This is it. The final episode, and the first series I will fully cover with episodic posts. Episode 11 was visually impressive and built the conflict well, finally showing us the past of Chiyuki, yet another victim of suicide. What caused her to do such an act was not that she was unable to ice skate anymore, but that she came to the conclusion that humans have an inability to understand one another. After having gone through such tribulations of losing the one thing Chiyuki dedicated her life to, she became disconnected from those around her. I find it hard to reach the same idea as her personally, but I can see it happening. Chiyuki’s story brings out the empathy within Decim and now as an arbiter, he truly wishes to understand who he is judging.
01:09 – I always thought that Nona was previously an arbiter. How could she possibly be different than the arbiters now then?
01:39 – One cannot be a dummy when possessing different ideals from other people. Just by the fact that they are having this argument makes it impossible for them to be dolls to be controlled.
01:50 – So those who are thrown into the void are punished by becoming arbiters. There they judge other humans to gain empathy for the living before being reincarnated. An interesting system but still just as flawed as before. I am not sure if I am misinterpreting this though.
03:01 – This picture looks so familiar to the one where she is in the hospital bed. Its the same profile shot but backwards.
04:09 – Death Parade is starting to remind me of “A Christmas Carol” where they have the ghost of Christmas past present and future. Looks like Decim is here to show Chiyuki all of the sadness she caused to her family and friends by committing suicide, perhaps with a chance to reverse things?
04:44 – Everything in Death Parade has this texture to it that adds to the visual style it exudes. It is especially prominent here with Chiyuki’s old home.
05:08 – Here is the ghost of Christmas past coming in.
06:43 – Decim has definitely developed empathy for the living. I feel like Ginti seemed to have it to, but was proven otherwise from the last episode as he ruthlessly casts Mayu into the void.
07:00 – Yet even after all he says about wanting to understand humanity, Decim still pulls something like this. It seems we are going to mirror what happened with Mayu and Ginti. Hopefully Decim won’t be as stubborn.
07:45 – I’m glad that they added this line. It is impossible to be happy while worrying about the thousands of deaths that occur everyday. One can only care for those around them while being empathetic to the situation of everyone else. It shows that Chiyuki considers the decision and though I know she will chose not to take it, it adds some suspense.
08:43 – What a beautiful shot of Chiyuki. Death Parade seems to be coming back to this motif of the mirror and how one views oneself morally. Here Chiyuki trying to find her answer but is just like the glass her mind is foggy and unsure.
09:29 – A dilemma I have faced multiple times. Its not always easy to express emotions when one needs to. It always seems to come out too late.
11:42 – I wasn’t always emotionally invested in all of their stories, but it comes together well. Chiyuki’s empathy with all of the people who have passed through Quindecim have changed her mind. Usually in situations like this I feel the story does not justify the decision of the character and it all fits because it just was the “right” choice. Here I can fully understand where Chiyuki is coming from and the question she faces as she makes this decision.
12:00 – Why didn’t you make this realization sooner Chiyuki!
12:22 – The flickering light effects are bothering me.
12:41 – The production value of this scene is insane though. Everything looks great other than the weird lighting effect that’s supposed to show us that Decim is also feeling the emotions with Chiyuki.
13:16 – Chiyuki’s face was a little overdone for my tastes, but I enjoy what is happening in the scene. Chiyuki doesn’t want the guilt to haunt her but still wishes to express her feelings to her mother. Decim now truly sees flaws in the arbiter’s system, forcing out the worst in everyone, even if they would normally otherwise.
13:33 – WHAT? is Decim no longer an arbiter? I guess when he feels emotions he becomes human for that moment, since his eyes changed away from those of an arbiter.
14:25 – Everything the arbiters do is so cruel. I can only imagine what Chiyuki feels.
15:13 – Now the roles are reversed from the earlier episode where Decim comforts the dead and their unfortunate life circumstances. Like them Decim is also trying his best in an unfair world.
17:04 – This is the creepiest I have seen Oculus, but yet he still doesn’t seem like an intimidating antagonist. The lighting is phenomenal in this shot though, and the head tilt almost makes him a Shaft character.
18:46 – Decim is so adorable.
19:21 – Alright, this was such a well done heartfelt smile. I couldn’t help but smile myself and be happy when I saw it.
20:33 – She literally is talking to no one. Why do they have to bring it up again in this way. Have it be a part of the conversation with the two others or something. Its easy to talk about this when they were just talking about the changes in Decim too!
21:31 – I like how they finished just as they began. It signifies the endless pursuit for mutual understanding.
Even though Chiyuki was unable to understand the people around her quickly enough, she was still able to say that she was glad that she lived. What a poignant story of two people coming to understand one another. It even added extra weight to the people and experiences that Decim and Chiyuki both shared making me appreciate some of the earlier character vignettes that I didn’t like. I even teared up a little when Decim cried and apologized as he tricked Chiyuki to judge her. Flawed as the judgement system is, the goal of mutual understanding is a noble one that still continues to this day. Madhouse has left the series open ended so their could possibly be more seasons, but I am quite satisfied with what we got here.