Death March 「デス・マーチ」
The judge gets judged and spectacularly failed did he.
Just when you thought Death Parade was gonna be formulaic, things are turned around when the Quin memory test is put on Decim instead. But it’s not all him because the focus of this episode really was on the human – Kurokami no Onna. We’ve moved leaps this episode (and you’d be forgiven for thinking you weren’t watching the same anime when this episode first started) and there are so many things I’d like to launch directly into but I just can’t prioritise them! There was planetary billards, new characters, wonderfully atmospheric background music and the unravelling of a most enigmatic plot. Where to begin?! With the seiyuus of course ^^
Yasumoto Hiroki‘s deep baritone timber is put to good effect as Fujii, a man who’s as tall and big as Yasumoto himself. Middle-aged pot-bellied Fujii arrives with boy Jiro (Matsumoto Megumi), who looks as frightened as a deer out of its woods. Instantly you feel for Jiro because everyone always feels extra sympathy for the death of a child. Jiro bumps into Fujii and the guy gets rough, threatening the tiny boy as they head over to Decim and Kurokami no Onna. Should Decim judge a book by its covers? This viewer already did just by watching the dynamics and stereotypes played out between a big burly guy and a tiny poor little child. Therein lies the test and its twist. And I have failed just as Decim had in focusing on the protestations of the adult, assuming Jiro to be but a harmless child. Oops. But hey, it was spectacular. Gorgeous animations of spider web-like threads vs water blobs later, Hosoya Yoshimasa finally joins the cast this week as another arbiter Ginti who’s a brute just by the looks of it. It’s as though Hosoya is destined to voice red-haired ruffian-like characters; Ginti’s the third after Brothers Conflict‘s Asahina Yuusuke and Kamigami no Asobi‘s Loki. That’s not all. He seems to have a knack for voicing manly leaders who somehow are above everyone save for one female character – Kuroko‘s captain Hyuuga and Strike the Blood‘s Akatsuki Kojou are preludes to how Ginti succumbs to Nona’s overpowering arm grip. She’s the boss after all, even against her boss Oculus (Genda Tessyo), the being closest to being called God.
Here’s the enigma that can be considered fun times for Nona, or so her boss Oculus (groovy dude by the way) speculates. Turns out Kurokami no Onna was human and she arrived unlike no others before or after her – she remembered everything, including that she was dead. So Decim couldn’t judge her, no one could, even though someone should. Ginti’s upset that she’s still around especially since she’s not one of them i.e. she’s human. There are hints to Kurokami no Onna’s background in the tale of Chavvox that Nona held and read back in episode 02 and the dolls in her hands in the OP; am I the only one who thinks there’s something sinister about the little girl in Chavvox? Nona erased her memories, which brings us to the opening of episode 02 with a freshly blank Kurokami no Onna who in spite of having no memory, manages to retain her humanity. How’s that for a twist because doesn’t this mean (especially to the arbiters) that you don’t need to have experienced something to feel for it. As Kurokami no Onna does her job as Decim’s assistant, getting closer to him, can he bring himself to eventually judge her? It’ll be interesting to see how she’s deployed as a device in this anime for the purpose of eliciting change within the bartenders, winning them over to the side of humanity over their rationality. Decim’s already changed and it seems for the better, being bothered to fight Ginti.
I don’t know why but Death Parade just gives me such a circus feel to it as though it were showcasing itself act after act and I really like that. I reckon the music’s a huge highlight that brings this aspect out – lounge/contemporary jazz music fits like a glove to the bar setting and its lightly whimsical lilts accent perfectly the mood and enigmatic atmosphere each week. We part with Nona’s visit to the one-woman memory survellance delivery team of Castra (Yuzuki Ryoka) who’s got a really cool headgear that’s parts wild and parts archaic. Well done for a near halfway-through episode Death Parade, well marched and marching straight on head up proud.
*Akatsuki sincerely apologises for the late post and promises to catch up asap!*