Death Parade – 04

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2D fighters are serious business

Two episodes in a row, Death Parade as made me cry. It’s great how this show can do some pretty different scenarios (or you know, different stories in the same setting), but still manage to make things really emotional to watch.

The theme this episode seemed to be about living. Was someone who gave their all like Misaki the “better” one, or was it Yosuke, who didn’t even come close to living his life to the fullest, but didn’t physically harm anyone other than himself? Or at least, that’s the question the episode seemed to be asking. Though as for the judgement itself, it was more about inflicting harm on others.

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Misaki seems to have gone to the void. It’s hard to say if this was entirely deserved or not though, since while she did show the most “darkness in her soul” as the Death Parade calls it, during the game, but her life circumstances were pretty terrible. Though they’re probably saying something about how even if people have wronged you, it doesn’t give you the right to wrong others. Misaki was abused by the men in her life, which was horrible. Unfortunately for her, she turned that into abusing her manager, she almost took out her temper on Yosuke in the second round (…and then did try to harm him in the last round), and her children didn’t look overly impressed at her in one of the flashbacks either.

But she wasn’t totally a bad person. All she wanted at the end was to see her children again, and she did seem to be worried about Yosuke after she was done attempting to murder him. That’s not a reason to try and injure anyone, but it’s not the worst reason to want to avoid death. Plus in life, maybe she had good intentions behind her outbursts. She seemed like she was angry at her manager because she couldn’t go see her kids, and it was maybe the stress of her life that made her seem angry all the time, but where she went wrong was that she took out that stress on others.

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Meanwhile, Yosuke was reincarnated. Given how so many religions view suicide as being an extremely negative thing, this was maybe a bit surprising. Also, he seems to have wasted a lot of his life away, not really “living”. His circumstances in life weren’t the best (or at least his mother’s attitude towards him was not great), but that doesn’t excuse how he disregarded his stepmother’s affection towards him and how he took his own life for seemingly no reason. Going back to religion, a lot of them seem to be okay with the idea of dying on purpose for a noble sacrifice. Yosuke’s death was definitely not that. But seeing how Decim is supposed to judge the darkness of a person’s soul, Yosuke was pretty much in the clear. He never lashed out at Misaki like she did towards him. In the end, he also recognized that he wasted so much in killing himself, and felt remorse. Between him and Misaki, Yosuke seemed to have learned his lesson after the game better than she did.

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There was also a little bit of focus on the staff this episode. Onna obviously had some reservations about pushing this episode’s contestants to their limits, but maybe Decim had some too. He knows his job and he performs it, but from little hints like him staring at the remote after the judgement, or clenching his hands at certain times, maybe he isn’t as heartless as he may first seem. He even comforted Misaki and Yosuke when they both started crying at the end. Sometimes people just need to hear a “you’ve done well”, and Decim saying that line to both of them was extremely touching.

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But his actions of pushing people seem to be necessary for the judgement to take place as well. The people involved aren’t always going to be like Mai and Shigeru from the previous episode. And it seems reasonable to assume that people will fight viciously for their lives when their life is on the line. Especially if it’s between their life and a stranger’s.

Well they weren’t Shigeru and Mai from the last episode, but the two people shown this episode weren’t entirely awful. They obviously weren’t the best people either when they were alive, but they fell into kind of a grey area. Maybe I’m giving Misaki more credit than she’s due though. Having a terrible life may give a good explanation as to why someone has anger issues, but it’s no excuse to have them take that out that anger on others.

But as for the overall plot (that I’m still holding on to the hope that this has), this episode was good for the purpose of showing that maybe the arbiters don’t necessarily like what they have to do to people. Onna is a given (though she’s getting used to the job) and maybe I’m over-reading what Decim has been doing, but both seemed like they might have had reservations. Or maybe this won’t play into the plot, but was more about characterizing the arbiters. In any case, from the preview seems to have more arbiters in it, so maybe we’ll see even more points of view on this work.

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More Nona next episode~ (plus a shota)


University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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15 Responses to “Death Parade – 04”

  1. Anon says:

    So you just completely missed how she neglected her children to go out drinking, then brought home abusive men to have sex right in front of them.

    Yeah, she cared a lot about them and had great intentions.

  2. bobob101 says:

    We all know what the next EVO is going to look like.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Damn, that was a lot to take in. If Death Parade continues like this, it should get an award for most feels. Had I been in a jury-like position observing the two players, I’d likely be deadlocked because neither are completely in the right or wrong. They’re both victims of circumstance though I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the suicide thing.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Aside from expecting Nona in the next episode, if you’re wondering who the guy with the orange hair will be voiced by, his seiyuu is Kojou/Wave Yoshimasa Hosoya.

  5. Overcooled says:

    I don’t blame you for tearing up. Honestly, this show can be so depressing…When they cry, I want to cry too!

    I like that the oldest kids all look horribly depressed in all the photos while the youngest ones look a little better off. I think Misaki was trying to change her life towards the end and things better for her kids (which is nice). Unfortunately, change doesn’t come that quickly and before she could really redeem herself she got killed. Too little too late?

    I also feel bad about her going to the void when she tried so hard and just basically had a really shitty life. Especially next to Yousuke who did..nothing. His story didn’t make me feel endeared to him at all.

    Anyways, people are complex so I guess it’s hard to really judge people. And Misaki did some pretty bad stuff whereas Yousuke didn’t really do anything worthy of punishment. No idea how Decim does all this judging without going nuts.

    • Kyokai says:

      I had issues with Misaki being sent to void because whatever she did, she had a hard life and she was in the process of correcting it. In comparison, I couldn’t empathise with a person who takes his own life. This has nothing to do with religious beliefs rather he was a person who just gave up without trying hard.

      But I guess, that is the fun of this show. It makes us think and take sides. And not always we agree with Decim’s judgement.

    • Highway says:

      I thought that the decisions were fine. If we’re looking into the darkest corners of people, we saw that Misaki was willing to be a horrible person to get what she wants. Heck, she got killed because even if she was trying to do well for her family, she acted horribly. And I don’t even think she was repentant in the least about how she had acted, just realized the situation she was finally in.

      Yousuke I thought made an appropriate repentance, realizing that his behavior had hurt someone else because he was unable to accept their feelings. There wasn’t any malice in his heart when he did it, nor later during the contest.

  6. Kyokai says:

    Another interesting episode. And it answered my query from last episode of seeing unrelated people as well, similar to the OVA setting. I didn’t like the judgement but oh well.

    Off topic but I have to say this that hearing Morita Masakazu cry, who I’ve met personally, was strange.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Off topic but I have to say this that hearing Morita Masakazu cry, who I’ve met personally, was strange.

      You’ve met the seiyuu? Most likely at a convention. Lucky you.

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