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EP. REVIEW: Death Parade


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:53 pm Reply with quote
One of the most promising series this season imo. Death Parade has the style and what it takes imo and I just love how the characters' roles are played out so far.

OP and ED songs are also among my favorites this season.
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walw6pK4Alo



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:00 pm Reply with quote
I watched Death Billiards, so coming into this series wasn't some revelation of unique freshness, it just felt like more of the same, Bartender crossed with Jigoku Shoujo. The concept of the bar and the games are fun, but it SO evidently clear that the game doesn't matter and its only used as vehicle for people to get nasty with each other. I don't buy into that melodrama, so I hope the show really picks the hell up and finds something new.
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Zac
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:03 pm Reply with quote
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
I watched Death Billiards, so coming into this series wasn't some revelation of unique freshness, it just felt like more of the same, Bartender crossed with Jigoku Shoujo.


I just watched the pilot film before this second episode and yeah, if I'd seen that in 2013 I doubt the first episode would've felt so fresh to me (it's the exact same thing), but I love it all the same.

Being able to recognize something's influences isn't a reason to dismiss it. Just means you've seen the ideas before. It's all in the execution, which I feel this show has in its favor.
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Dop.L



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:26 pm Reply with quote
I suspect the number of recaps used in the second episode were just there to introduce the new 'employee' to the way things happen behind the scenes.
Looks like her role will be to provide a second point of view behind the decisions taken on who goes where.

Anyway, next week, Bowling!
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:38 pm Reply with quote
I think they just wanted to keep the exposition out of the new material. If they had put this is the last episode or another episode with a new couple, the exposition would have taken away from that story. We shall see if they follow a similar pattern in the coming episode or if this is just one-off exposition.
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justsomeaccount



Joined: 24 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:07 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
I just watched the pilot film before this second episode and yeah, if I'd seen that in 2013 I doubt the first episode would've felt so fresh to me (it's the exact same thing), but I love it all the same.

That's what happened to me, but I get why many critics liked it so much without seeing it. I personally liked the pilot better, it felt more clear and complete but with some traits of ambiguity well done.

This episode was a little tiring, I didn't like they used so much recap and explicit exposition about obvious things that the previos episode (and the short) implied instantly without adding that much new information. If they wanted to do that I would have liked another case so we have a new interest in two new persons but from the perspective of the nameless woman, and all these details missing about the previous couple were put into the first episode without so many exposition; but I guess they couldn't find a way to put it all in only 20 minutes without damaging the pacing so they had to split it.

I'm fine with making the thing about the judges and their different points of view because I don't think the episodical nature we suspected it to have can survive very long by its own without becoming repetitive (but we'll see with next ep how it handles it), so we need another angle, but at the same time it's a little unsettling that the people in charge of judging the dead are so inexpert and making mistakes in this divine trial, it makes the system look even less solid and more questionable than before. But as long as the show doesn't commit many missteps I can forgive that, but I'm also concerned about what it's going to do now.

Edit: Other weird thing is, when I saw that budist symbol in this episode (before the elevator) I thought "well, then void (Nirvana) = good and reincarnation = bad, right?", but now knowing exactly that the woman lied to be seen as the bad person, now we know that it's the opposite. Intentional change or accidental?
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octopodpie
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:50 pm Reply with quote
I'll have to go watch episode 2 since I called the twist about Machiko during the first episode, so was confused about the outcome. I figured I was just wrong, but it was the impression I got while watching. I guess I can credit that to a good performance by her VA.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:06 pm Reply with quote
I watched Death Billiard, and I still found the first episode to be very enjoyable and fresh. So much so, in fact, that when the ED started playing, I did a double-take on my watch, since I couldn't believe that a 20-minutes episode ended so quickly.

Now, bowling, ha? That is going to be "smashing"! Cool
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Ahirue



Joined: 15 Jan 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:10 pm Reply with quote
It had honestly never occurred to me that Machiko might not be lying in her outburst at the end of episode one; the way it was framed, the voice acting, the expression on her face, it all seemed obvious to me that she wasn't being truthful there.

Of course, I had thought that she was trying to have the last twist of the knife, as it were, by telling Takashi that no one had or could or would ever love him, and also to sort of bitterly attack herself for being with the guy to begin with, and that's why she was sent to the void, buuuuut I guess I misinterpreted, lol.

I do like that we start off with one of our leads making a mistake because he couldn't comprehend human feelings and how they were displayed; it conveys both how alien the arbiters are, but also that they're fallible. And it felt like there was an emotional weight to his failure for Decim, too - he's a quiet guy, but already quite the likable character, imo.

Nona and the unnamed "assistant," too. Like Zac said, I want to learn more about all these people!
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penguintruth



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:17 pm Reply with quote
Since these people are arbiters of the afterlife, shouldn't they know automatically whether people are lying or not? If they're really deciding who is reincarnated and who gets put into the void, you'd think they'd have to, right? You would think the afterlife wouldn't make mistakes like that.

But I guess that's coming from a Western perception of the afterlife.
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ikillchicken



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 9:31 pm Reply with quote
I quite enjoyed the second episode. I actually enjoyed it more than the first. Although admittedly that has to do with my having seen the short already. I don't consider the first episode's failure to break new ground to be a fault per se. It was probably a necessity given many viewers may not have seen the short, but it was slightly unfortunate for those who had. Anyway, I'm very pleased that the focus of the show will seemingly be the Quindecim staff as much as the people being judged. That seems like it has much more potential long term. I wasn't bothered by the recap either. I completely disagree that it goes on too long. Quite the opposite, they show just enough of it to put the assistant watching in context but otherwise never dwell on it unnecessarily. The focus, even through the first half of the episode while the events of the first episode are playing out again, is completely shifted to the assistant and her reactions to the situation. It works too because the first episode is so heavy on mystery and subterfuge. It's interesting to see them go back and evaluate what exactly went on. I quite like too that the arbiters are actually not at all infallible. Again, it means there's more of a dialogue to be had with different characters offering their perspectives on the people being judged and what their actions really meant.
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Izanagi009



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:04 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
walw6pK4Alo wrote:
I watched Death Billiards, so coming into this series wasn't some revelation of unique freshness, it just felt like more of the same, Bartender crossed with Jigoku Shoujo.


I just watched the pilot film before this second episode and yeah, if I'd seen that in 2013 I doubt the first episode would've felt so fresh to me (it's the exact same thing), but I love it all the same.

Being able to recognize something's influences isn't a reason to dismiss it. Just means you've seen the ideas before. It's all in the execution, which I feel this show has in its favor.


Very good review but I think I will disagree with your evaluation just a bit

There may be a pull between Nona and the nameless women (called Onna in myanimelist) as Nona seems to see the more negative side (the comment about Takashi's personality as she entered her house) vs Onna who is more positive minded about people.

Still I do admit that this was slower and could have shown more about the cast or not recapped as much but I am very interested in where this show goes; It seems to be an interesting version of heaven and hell that's different from others. This one is flawed but manages to test it's participants all the same and blends concepts from Buddhism( the void vs reincarnation) and Christianity (the judge of "hell" concept like Midas in the Divine Comedy). The fact that this purgatory for lack of a better term is flawed makes it more human than the omnipotent decision making of God and Buddha .
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Thatguy3331



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2015 11:52 pm Reply with quote
Upon finishing the second episode I can say I'm more firmly on board with this show, I'm just not sure if this was the best way to go about it.

Personally though I did like seeing that these 'people' who are to be judges aren't perfect in their dictation, since that makes things all the more interesting. Even with this nameless girl (I too hope she gets a name soon) giving a 3rd or maybe 4th person perspective on the game and sort of adding in what I personally thought about the wife saying what she said (though maybe not for the same reason as I didn't think it was some sort of selfless act) this means that she can be wrong as well. If they handle that aspect of it I think the show will fare well in the future, especially since I am interested in this world and these characters now (not to mention that opening is just too good!)

I feel like the biggest issue people would find with this ep, aside from recapping material is that the show itself outright tells us these things. I think some people would have liked a few answers to be left unanswered for a sense of ambiguity. Otherwise while not a winner in it's own right this episode did just enough to kick me into the "in" crowd for this show.
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gridsleep
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:13 am Reply with quote
Death Parade sounds like a series that someone would develop who had been tasked with providing the theme for a new series and could not come up with a single decent idea until watching Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Creating an exceptional series on this premise requires the kind of genius that was infused into the likes of Twin Peaks and The Prisoner. I may watch it for myself but from the tone of the review the requisite genius is perhaps lacking and the audience may be left with an idyll curiosity rather than an experience with the intensity of Serial Experiments:Lain, Wolf's Rain or Berserk.
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YeNguyen



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:42 am Reply with quote
The first episode blew my socks off so I just HAD to watch Death Billiards immediately after (this was before the second episode was up!). To me, Billiards is better, but not by too much. I enjoy the dynamic between its two strangers and how they go against each other when they life is on the line. I also enjoyed the complete ambiguity of what it meant to go back into those elevators.

But for what it's worth, I like what Death Parade's first episode does with this structure to set it up for a longer series. A couple slowly falling into accusatory melodrama really, REALLY sells the psychological/existential drama of this impossible situation. Mentioning the void/reincarnation thing this early on is still less preferable to me than the ambiguity of Billiards, but it's still interesting and lets us build on that more quickly.

And while the second episode does take far too much time comfortably replaying the first episode, the structure of the episode was enough to keep me interested. After Ep. 1 and Billiards, you're really set up to believe Death Parade might be a purely anthology show, which would've still been good, probably. But immediately breaking away from that to set up the world behind the bar really makes me confident that MADHOUSE has a story to tell here (and a schedule they want to keep). It's a shame that the old footage couldn't have been pared down that little bit more, or that we only got one truly new angle (Machiko contemplating her wedding ring before starting up her act), but hey, foundation's set and the mystery gets to unfold from here. Can't wait for more.
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