Death Parade – 12 [END]

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Everybody put your hands up! One last time!

Madhouse certainly did not disappoint with this anime! …Or at least, I was impressed, I don’t know about anyone else. But in any case, here I am with Kyo for one final look at Death Parade.


Wow, last season went in a breeze for me. But, I finally caught up and Death Parade definitely did not disappoint. What a wondrous end and a thoughtful story. I’m happy to wave this one goodbye with my partner in crime, Kara for the Kara no Kyokai tag.


//Chiyuki’s Goodbye

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It’s been quite an adventure of Chiyuki, and her final judgement was no exception. Her struggle was really emotional and definitely a tough decision to make a person go through. In a way, it resembled Mayu’s judgement in that it was kind of unfair in that both judgements targeted the person’s weakest point. to question their morals. For Mayu it was Harada and for Chiyuki, it was her mother mourning her. Of course, Chiyuki had a hard time choosing between her life and the life of a complete stranger, but it just shows that she’s learned a lot over the course of the season since it was a rather difficult decision for her. It’s good to know that everything she’s experienced watching other people’s lives wasn’t wasted. Plus if she had pushed the button without difficulties, she would have probably ended up in the void. Again, this kind of brings back Ginti’s decision with Mayu and how different it was in this situation, since  he seemed not to care about Mayu’s internal struggle over sending a stranger to the void. Decim was definitely different, and as a bonus, Chiyuki seemed to awaken something inside of him in regards to emotions.

// Decim’s Awakening

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From the beginning, we have labeled Decim as an emotionless person with a deadpan expression but throughout the series, we have seen him change with the influence of others. Of course, this was part of the big design that Nona had in mind but it was not all keikakuduri, as Decim went even beyond the wildest dreams for an arbiter. He more than toed the line of becoming a human by embracing their complicated emotions. He has become an anomaly in the system and it was not all Nona or even Chiyuki behind it but all his experiences accumulating to a crescendo of emotions. Of course, the final push was given by Chiyuki but it has been an experience seeing him open up, almost as a child learning about emotions and how things work.

Emotions have always been overplayed in Death Parade, be it crying in general or showcasing the cruelty of emotions, which makes us do few things over and beyond our good judgement. But for Decim, it felt just right as he had to let go on how he had to almost force a hand to judge Chiyuki and her wish to be alive again seeing her mother’s plight. Death after all is the final challenge that no human can battle, but this touching of beyond by a person who never knew life or death was touching and brilliantly presented. A smiling Decim is so much better than his original self.

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// The Death System

Let’s recap the general rules. First, Arbiters cannot give up passing judgement because they exist only for it. Second, Arbiters cannot experience death as it would link them to humans too closely. Third, Arbiters can’t feel emotions as they are only puppets. Fourth, Arbiters can’t work hand in hand with life as it will be the end of them. For Decim, every of these rules have become void except for the second as he has not experienced death himself and even when he did fulfil the conditions of the first rule, the third and fourth were very much broken. Even Ginti at a point broke rule third because of his over-boiling anger, which is definitely a powerful emotion.

Even when such clear breach has occurred, Oculus didn’t seem too bothered. I was sure that Nona would get some punishment and Decim would face serious repercussions; however, nothing much happened. Does this bode well for another season, where the staff will close these plot holes? The system of Arbiters and the death management has been explained in quite detail so I wanted a better closure to this element rather than Oculus twiddling his brows and saying, ‘Oh shucks, this shouldn’t have happened’. However, this is my only problem and a minor one at that.

// Nona’s Plans

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Nona seems to have had great plans for Decim (or maybe not “great”, but maybe they were a little revolutionary), but did she manage to accomplish what she set out to do? It wasn’t a huge change, but she did seem to accomplish something, it seems. Decim is a new kind of arbiter thanks to Nona’s plotting, and while there isn’t a new way of judging human souls for the whole system, but a small achievement in finding a slightly better way to judge. Between what Chiyuki and Decim have displayed in judgements, it does seem like the judgements are better when the arbiters work with the humans and suffer a bit. Though how does one judge difficult situations like what Decim did with Chiyuki? Do you take into account the person’s struggle or ignore it like with Mayu’s case? Maybe the anime was left open ended since there isn’t really a right answer for that. Oculus didn’t even really do anything about Nona’s plans either other than go “how ridiculous” and then kind of walk away. Is Decim going to be scrapped, or is he safe? It’s hard to say, really. If Oculus plans to ignore Nona and call her plans nonsense, it’s probably because Decim is just one individual among a large number of arbiters. One infraction of the rules like this isn’t really going to overturn the whole system.

Plus the rules are kind of vague in the first place. Don’t the arbiters experience death if they’re the souls that were sent to the void? Though they have their memories wiped and such, so it’s the human they were before experiencing that and not the arbiter themselves. Having the “no emotion” rule is pretty vague too. We’re told that Decim is the unique one with emotions, but the other characters like Ginti or Quin seem to have them too to some extent. They never addressed if the emotions the other characters have are fake or not. With Clavis, it was more easy to see that he was more of a ‘fake’ character, but Ginti’s emotions seemed pretty sincere at times. Plus where Decim’s unique thing was that he made the mannequins to admire humans, Ginti was kind doing that as well (or at least it seemed kind of sentimental) with his kokeshi collection. Or at least that one he had at the end resembled Mayu a little.

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Wah, it’s over already? Well, as I said before, I really enjoyed this series! Some of the moments were just amazing to watch and it wasn’t quite as brilliant as episode 11 was, but the scene with Chiyuki and Decim in this episode was pretty emotional. That struggle! It’s nice that Nona’s plans kind of worked out too. There’s a lot of space for a second season, and even if it’s not about Decim, it would be interesting to see how his character change affected (or maybe didn’t affect) the system. …Or if they would finally explain Ginti’s cat. But even if they don’t ever make a season 2, this was an amazing watch all the same.

This has been a wonderful ride. I wasn’t following it on weekly basis from the middle but the final run was a treat for the sore eyes. The important scenes like Chiyuki’s ice-skating to the crescendo moment for Decim, when he became human in the process of empathising with Chiyuki or even loving her in his own way. From the animation, music and to even voice acting, everything was super fantastic. Amazing work by Madhouse, as if I wasn’t already their fan before. As a watcher, I would really be keeping tabs on Yuzuru Tachikawa’s upcoming work because this was brilliant. Personally, I shipped Decim and Chiyuki, and their farewell was heartbreaking but still quite uplifting. Very happy that Chiyuki went for reincarnation rather than void and can we hope for another season? Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

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At least they’ll be together like this.


We live, laugh, enjoy and strictly believe on "more the merrier". When together, we usually come up with very chatty, conversation-based episodics and interesting posts.
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6 Responses to “Death Parade – 12 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    What I appreciated best about this series was the risk it took. They could very much have created a story, that from the start, was designed to fit with a a series of safe, yet dark, morbid Death Games. With all the drama resolving itself in 22 minutes, and keeping the background a mystery. It worked for the Anime Mirai project, and it work the first few episodes.

    Instead they used those moments as a sort of punctuation; highlighting the story elements from start to finish.

    All along I thought it was Chiyuki’s story, and I wouldn’t be wrong, would I? But by suggesting it was Decim’s all along, it gave the whole series much more depth than it started with. And you can even extend that to the rest off the cast if you wish.

    Thanks for the coverage. It’s a bit hard to bid this one a farewell. So let’s hope they find a new element to fixate on later….

    • Kyokai says:

      I liked how things went and real kudos to the staff as they took a lot of risks. Not just plot-wise by dissecting the story that made the OVA so brilliant. Decim’s growth was a sight to see and except for Nona’s loophole, everything was rounded off nicely.

      I hope we get more in the future? Let’s see.

  2. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Since it sounds like Game of Thrones, I bring you:

  3. Hoshi says:

    ~Oh man I absolutely loved this series. Pretty sure I cried through 70% of it lol.

    I’m actually happy that it had such an open ending. To me it seemed there was a subtle sinister tone with Oculus, but that may just be because I don’t believe he’s not going to do anything about what happened, and will do SOMETHING EVENTUALLY as punishment, but of course we probably won’t see that (or who knows, maybe?)

    I still not too sure what Nona’s plan was. I’m assuming she may have just wanted to use Decim as an example to be like “Hey, we’re doing this wrong!” and somehow change the system in some way? Also, I was confused as to why Ginti had kept Mayu like Decim had Chiyuki. Was it for the some reason, or maybe I just missed something lol?

  4. BlackBriar says:

    Oh, I’ve been so busy with the new shows that this got pushed aside. My thoughts are a little eroded but I’ll lay out what I have.

    I’m very impressed. From start to finish, Death Parade was real good and well-constructed series. One I enjoyed a lot. A lot ranged from intense to subtle moments with great execution that doesn’t leave you feeling it’s all the same. The best part comes from Decim and Chiyuki’s relationship so it was saddening seeing them separate. With that doll of Chiyuki Decim is keeping around, there’s no doubt she left an impression on him.

    Nona’s plan to instill emotions into an arbiter was an otherwise success. Yet there’s no shaking the feeling she’s faces retribution later on, considering how the finale went along Oculus’ last moments. Hopefully, I’m wrong about that.

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