Saturday, 14 March 2015
FIRST IMPRESSIONS – DEATH PARADE
Among the reported ‘Anime to Watch’ is Death Parade. I tuned in for the first dubbed episode and here are my initial thoughts on the somewhat bizarre anime:
The plot for Death Parade is fairly simple: There’s an eloquent bar in limbo where you and someone who’s died at the very same moment as you go to. The bar tender is named Decim and he tells people who end up there that they have to play a game in order to move on with their life. He neglects to inform you (until after it’s too late) that the loser will be reincarnated whilst the winner gets sent to the Void – whatever that is.
Now to be honest, I don’t understand the hype about this show. I considered turning it off midway. The characters are unlikable, except for Decim who hardly says anything other than exposition. The games the characters play are interesting, being warped versions of sadism games. For example, the first game is darts and the board is psychically linked to a organ in your opponent’s body. Hit that spot on the board and they feel the pain in that organ. Clever, but it’s dragged down by the pettiness of the participants.
"Why didn't we just both take one elevator to save electricity?"
The players for the first round are a doctor (voiced by Eric Vale) and his wife (Trina Nishimura) who can’t remember their life together, but the man remembers being suspicious of his wife having an affair. They spend most of the episode either bickering or second guessing what the other tells them. I feel bad for the voice actors as I doubt this piece sounds fun in any language. It’s boring and selfish and you just don’t really care who wins or loses in the end. Well actually, considering I don’t know what ‘void’ means (I interpret it as disappearing into nothingness), I’d probably lose on purpose and get another chance at life, even if I don’t remember my previous one. Sounds much better than being ‘sent to the Void’.
"These aren't tears. I'm just sweating from my eyes."
I don’t know if it was just a bad first episode, but it feels like an episodic formula with different, unlikable characters every week which isn’t my cup of tea. I will praise the music and animation for Death Parade. It’s beautiful and the music really fits what’s happening well.
Rating the first episode: 6/10. Tiresome, soap-drama with a pinch of horror-esque thrown into the mix.