Death Parade: Definitely a Mind-Twisting Game

71553

Alternative Names Death Parade, デス・パレード

Directed By Yuzuru Tachikawa

Producer Madhouse, FUNimation Entertainment

Original Run January 10, 2015 – March 28, 2015 (12 episodes, finished)

Genre Drama, Mystery, Psychological, Psychological Thriller

Plot 

Humans are either sent to void or reincarnated after death. They arrive at Quindecim at the instance of their death, and are challenged to Death Game that further reveals their real nature. The one who loses will be sent to reincarnate and the one who wins will be sent to void. Meanwhile, the mysterious girl named Chiyuki reveals to be an exception to the rule, as she helps Quindecim do his job as an arbitrer with the sole purpose to retrieve her long lost memories (prior to death) and know her destination based on her nature.

Main Review

So many positive “hands-down” points found in this excellent mind-twisting psychological thriller and drama anime. Words cannot merely express how this anime did an outstanding job in providing so much “feels” in emotional roller coaster scenes and in adding so much “horror” satisfying most the obscure anime aficionados, while playing around the audience’s psyche as much as the character’s lives have been played – making the characters fight with one another and hungry for winning without realizing that their souls would be at stake once sent into void. Death Parade is also more story-based than character-based, which is a rarity among the anime of today. The plot is so originally created and developed to the point that it cannot be easily followed by any other anime, and is additionally paired with the arbiter’s and the dead character’s life stories, which makes the anime worth sympathizing.

The most captivating part is how it teaches the audience the meaning of life. It may appear anti-religion in a sense that the heaven (reincarnation), hell (void) and the judgment day (the game) are portrayed differently from the Bible’s description of them, but further instructs that life has its purpose, is more meaningful than one thinks and that each individual must be reminded to make the most of his or her life before death slays him or her. Also, it underlines the importance of leaving a good legacy to others prior death, meaning to say showing good deeds to oneself, to others and to the environment one lives in. All these are shown through the flashbacks where each dead character finally recalls his or her own life. Chiyuki, for instance, even wishes to relive one’s life and do things one would have done prior to death.

Another add-on to this anime is its plot twist – wherein the direction of the plot turns differently from the audience’s expectations (that the winner will be sent to heaven, while the loser to hell). It turns out that the good souls lose the game and are given a chance to live another life (ie. to be reincarnated), while the bad are sent to void and have their souls turned to puppets. The compare and contrast notion between “Memento Mori” title (episode 11) and the actual episode happenings (wherein Chiyuki’s life story is further revealed in focus) is also what makes the anime enticing, with the title’s literal meaning (“Remember that you must die”) indicating that Chiyuki would have made the most of her precious life prior to death. Or, it can mean the opposite where the dead Chiyuki recalls her life (“Remember that you once lived”).

However, the anime has its drawbacks. Inconsistency is at its finest when the arbiters abruptly show their human emotions after Chiyuki told Quindecim that human souls are not meant to be played, while there should just be earlier scenes indicating where the arbiters are slowly revealing their human sides to show that they are only hiding their emotions as part of the rules (it is what this anime wants to prove isn’t it?) Another shortcoming in Death Parade lies in how it is too cyclical or formulaic to the point that every episode is constructed in exact same way (two dead people encounter one another in front of Quindecim, are asked to play the game, then are either sent to reincarnate or to void). This makes the anime more tedious to tune into that the audience would even lost his or her patience to watch a certain episode, and desperately want to move to the next. Yet, the monotony was broken thankfully enough, when Chiyuki’s life memories were featured in Episode 11.

Despite its negatives, Death Parade still remains a recommendation. Each person (although I am sure that otakus, especially the ones who are into dark anime, are most likely to devor it) must be given a chance to tune into this mind-twisting, dark and emotional roller coaster anime, as it will keep them gruesomely entertained.

Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars (9/10)

Sources

Death Parade, MyAnimeList

Death Parade, Wikipedia

Advertisements

Chuunibyou Demo Ga Shitai: A delusion brought to life

chuunibyou

Alternative Names Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions!, Chu-2 Byo demo Koi ga Shitai!, Regardless of My Adolescent Delusions of Grandeur, I Want a Date!, 中二病でも恋がしたい!

Written By Torako (light novel)

Directed By Tatsuya Ishihara

Producer Kyoto Animation

Original Run 

  • Chuunibyou Demo ga Shitai! (Season 1): October 4, 2012 – December 9, 2012 (12 episodes finished)
  • Chuunibyou Demo ga Shitai! Ren (Season 2): January 8, 2014 – March 26, 2014 (12 episodes finished)
  • Takanashi Rikka Kai: Gekijō-ban Chūnibyō demo Koi ga Shitai! (movie): September 14, 2013

Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance, School, Slice of Life, Supernatural

Plot 

Yuuta, who, after suffering chuunibyou (eighth grade syndrome wherein an affected individual thinks he or she is a superhero and attempts to live like one) in his middle school years as the Dark Flame master, moves to a new high school where none of his classmates would know him for his past. His world turns upside down as he encounters Rikka Takanashi, a chuunibyou victim who also happens to rent a room above his roof.

Main Review

“Reality be rent. Synapse break. Banishment this world.” 

Nothing is more delusional than watching a romantic comedy anime that brings eighth grade delusions into reality. Chuunibyou Demo ga Shitai! did an exceptional job in coming up with an outstanding and original plot that clearly identifies itself from other anime of the same genre, being based on a group of high school students who suffer a particular eighth grade syndrome that brings them to delusion that they are superheroes, as well as in extending to a deeper story line other than a simple typical school and slice of life anime. The art and animation, wherein the delusion brought to life effect as the chuunibyou victims show their claimed superpowers (e.g. Rikka as the Wicked Eye), is worth appreciating for its attractiveness and illusion merged with reality effect.

It is the emotional impact that adds the most flavor in this anime. Its hilarity and wackiness paired with romance, teary-eyed and dramatic moments touch the audience, and even make it worth the nostalgia for the audience who has watched Chuunibyou beforehand. Also, the characters are so well-portrayed that the audience can easily identify to them. There is decent character development and the anime is just at the right pace (neither too fast, nor too slow) with consistent scenes, two of which are additional add-ons to Chuunibyou’s positive side (despite the fact that its second season is a bit more monotonous, and solely focalizes on Satone’s infatuation and clingy moves towards Yuuta and Rikka getting jealous).

And last but not the least, the anime has catchy soundtracks that equally fit its overall theme. The soundtracks that is most appealing to me is the Season 1’s Ending Theme, and I admit that it is so addictive that it constantly plays in my head from time to time and I would just keep listening to it. Main reflected themes in this anime are self-discovery, finding oneself, escaping reality (done through superhero transformation), knowing the bounds and differences between delusions and reality, relationships with family, friends and romantic interests, and being an inner child for once. These are the themes that many teenagers can currently relate to, as well as adults who can reflect back on their childhood, teens and sometimes current adult life, enduring these experiences.

Definitely a recommendation to those who are yearning for a slice of life! It can also be recommended to any person yearning for an interesting anime, as it can appeal to any even to those who are not big fans of light fluffy anime (myself included!)

Chuunibyou-12_18-Rikka-rope-final-moment-ending

Overall Rating 4.95/5 stars (9.9/10)

Sources

Chuunibyou Demo ga Shitai!, MyAnimeList

Chuunibyou Demo ga Shitai!, Wikipedia

Up ↑