Death Parade Review: Not a Very Cheerful Parade.

4 and a half stars
The anime club at my university recently started and, during our first meeting, we watched the first episodes of five anime, three of which we would choose to watch for the rest of the semester.
One of these anime was Death Parade, directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa, and of all the anime we watched that night it was by far my favourite.

episode 1 second attempt
The first episode, “Death Seven Darts” does a great job setting up the theme of the series, along with its characters and structure.

Imagine my disappointment then when Death Parade was not one of the anime that was selected.
Although, I suppose this did turn out in my favor because it gave me the opportunity to binge the 12 episode series over three days.
And, let me tell you, despite what the fantastic OP would have you believe, this anime is anything but a cheerful parade.
Death Parade is mostly set in Quindecim, a bar where many people turn up with no memory of what happened, only to meet the mysterious bartender Decim (Tomoaki Maeno) and his new assistant (Asami Seto).
Decim reveals to his guests that they will have to play a game by roulette of which their very lives will be stake.

decim
Decim and his, at first, unnamed assistant have a great dynamic, especially when it comes to the morality of Decim’s job and how the assistant deals with that.

To say anything more would be to spoil the twists of the first episode, which, although expected, I don’t wish to ruin because of how good the anime is.
With Death Parade‘s episode structure, it would have been very easy for the show to become repetitive but it almost never does with its great leads in Decim and the unamed woman and plenty of memorable side characters.
This culminates in many fantastic episodes like “Death Counter”, which is incredibly engaging in its mysteries and twists, and the final episode “Suicide Tour”, which really gets the tears rolling with its emotional climax and fitting ending.

Sad Decim
Prepare for a whole lot of tear jerking moments in the final two episodes.

One criticism I do have with the anime, though, is how often it is brought up that a certain group of characters cannot feel emotions, only for them to be clearly displaying emotions, with one of these characters almost always being angry.
Granted, I do not speak Japanese so the meaning of emotions could be very different in the language context so I could just be misinterpreting this.
Still, Death Parade is a great anime with plenty of memorable characters and tragic scenes.
Just don’t mistake it for the happy looking show that the OP makes it out to be.

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