Death Parade was released a bit ago in 2015 and finished airing after a single season with 12 episodes. And while it’s not underrated by any means, I find it, still to this day, flies under some people’s radar. The basic premise is that instead of going to heaven or hell in the afterlife, your soul is either cast into the void or reincarnated. The ones that make this decision are called arbiters.
Before they receive their judgement, two “guests” arrive at a bar without any memories of their death and the circumstances that surround them. They are coerced to play a game, like air hockey or darts, but there’s a twist to them as they are designed to bring out the worst or best in people. As they slowly regain their memories over the course of the game, the arbiters watch closely to see what each person will do, and judge them given their findings. Decim, the main arbiter of Death Parade, however, begins to question the way they judge people over time with the help of one very important visitor, and this is where the show really takes an amazing turn.
If you are looking for the short answer as to whether or not Death Parade is worth watching, yes it definitely is. When it comes to the people Decim does judge at Quindecim bar, you are given snippets of their life as their memories come back to them. And they are beautifully conveyed as you learn how they lived and loved in the most intimate way possible. This proves to be one of the show’s greatest attributes as each guest leaves, but never quite, because their judgement leaves a lasting effect on not just you as the viewer, but also Decim.
It also makes you question your own existence as you watch it. You learn you can’t judge a person by their actions alone, but you also must consider the reasoning behind them. It really makes you question how you yourself judge others, and puts into perspective just how easy it is to make the wrong decision about someone. And even more so, it makes you wonder how you’d be judged if you were to meet Decim at his bar. When push comes to shove, good humans can do terrible things, and quite possibly maybe you are no exception to that if you were met with the same circumstances? That’s a scary thing to think about and makes you feel as if you are in their shoes, making you more and more invested in these people and their stories.
The show’s choice of characters and circumstances are what make this show shine, but it really blooms when Decim himself begins to question his own existence as an arbiter and the way he’s judged others. As he comes into contact with more and more people, and as mentioned before one very important one in particular, he becomes more and more human-like as the show goes on. It’s heartfelt, it’s introspective, and it’s one of the best anime I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. I hope you give it a shot, because while it’s not your standard anime, it’s one you’ll emotionally be invested in long past its conclusion. Still need more convincing? Check out the trailer below!
Death Parade Trailer
Where to watch Death Parade: Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Hulu
Tags: Death Parade