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Death Parade

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In 2013, I was introduced to Anime Mirai. That year was the year I was introduced to OVAs by up-and-coming animators! The one that stood out immensely to me was Death Billiards. I think you can guess that just the name alone appeals more to me, compared to say, Little Witch Academia (which was also a great film in its own right).

Anyway, Death Billiards took place entirely in a bar. Two men, one young and one old found themselves in the bar one day/evening/night with no recollection as to how they got there. The bartender introduces himself as Decim. He tells them they must play a randomly chosen game and implies they might face death if they don't play. Unable to escape, they have no choice but to do as Decim says. In the end, one is sent to the void ("hell") and one is sent for reincarnation ("heaven"). Winner or loser doesn't factor in this final decision. The actions taken by the players themselves as they regain their memories throughout the game and become desperate to win determine if they're "good" or "bad". Sounds interesting doesn't it!

It is based on this that Death Parade was introduced. While it might seem as though due to the limitations of the game there won't be much plot, however it is in fact the complete opposite. For example, the first episode gave us what we wanted, another game. Then, the second episode showed us the same game from the arbiters' view (my favourite episode so far!). The third goes back to games, but then we find out it is possible for two people to end up in the same place. The writer is really creative as thus far each episode has been pretty different from one another!

Nona, Decim's boss
From exploring the different aspects of human nature, good, bad or ugly, to gradually exploring the arbiters' stories of how they came to be, their thoughts about the humans who end up at the bar. In the end, the arbiters themselves seem pretty human as well, despite their almost godly duty of judging those that pass through.

Overall, I think anyone who's into the slightly morbid psycological genre would like this! Beware though, if you're squeamish. The common theme of the games is that they are linked to the players themselves. For example, in episode three, the bowling ball is a representation of the other person's heart, in real time. In episode one, each dart corresponds with a body part which will hurt when hit.

With that said, Death Parade also appeals to me because of its dark settings. I love the overall purplish glow it has. The art is efficient (due to the budget etc.) but the colouring really sets the mood! If you're not into mainstream anime, perhaps Death Parade would be a suitable selection and if you are into mainstream anime, well, Death Parade could be a nice change of pace!

Written by Nana

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