Death Counter 「デス・カウンター」
Wow, I knew this second parter to the double-murder judgment would be great given that so much was built up in the previous episode but this ending, the acting and the excellent script really delivered something spectacular and more soul food for thought once again.
Twist after twist. I did not see that coming and it’s shows that make me gasp while watching in suspense, that prove to me they’re great shows. So it turns out that Shimada was the one who killed detective Tatsumi and it wasn’t a nasty mistake either, he did get his justice done for his sister. What I’m curious about is just who killed Shimada? I mean, he’s there getting judged after all. They both end up in the void where unmistakably they’ll spend eternity thinking and regretting, or will they? When you get that warped, to the bystander it’ll seem like punishment but for them I reckon it’s so self-justified that they will only see it as a rehashing of the good deeds they’ve done, to hell with morality. Problem for black-haired girl is that having both Shimada and Tatsumi’s memories, before they arrived at Quindecim, did either of them deserve to go to hell? Or was it purely because of how the arbiters bring out the worst in their guests that they ended up in hell? If it’s the latter then is it truly fair?
Tatsumi’s internal reflection of how he was self-justified in his actions and the whole philosophy of making use of a victim’s sacrifice to deliver justice, was something I did not see coming. When it did though, the irony was noted on how this is probably how Psycho-pass‘ Makishima Shougo (Shimada’s seiyuu Sakurai) and Tougane Sakuya (Tatsumi’s seiyuu Fujiwara) came to be. What Tatsumi did not do for Shimada’s sister was plain cruel and one can easily understand how Shimada eventually got antagonised on into doing all he can for vengeance for her even after he’s already killed Tatsumi once. That revelation was just heartbreaking to watch and Shimada’s desperation so finely displayed. Why would Tatsumi antagonise Shimada into inflicting more pain though? Because all of it makes his wife’s “sacrifice” more worthwhile?
How is it that black-haired girl can interfere so much this week? Is this all part of Nona’s plan to train Decim? It’s made me wonder if this is how arbiters find entertainment for themselves, through sinister arrangement of adding in the unexpected to the mix to throw off the mundane life that is judging souls. Black-haired girl literally collapsed under the weight of both Tatsumi and Shimada’s memories so it’s testament to earlier episodes where Decim comes off cold and aloof – treating human emotions arbitrarily and objectively is the only way to withstand all the emotional pressure that comes from feeling them, something that the emotional black-haired girl got a taste of for the first time and boy did she not expect such strong memories and feels. Her outburst towards the end about how humans are actually simple creatures with simple but strong emotions, really got to Decim because we see him actually displaying emotion and clutching his… heart? She’s right though, you can’t judge someone just by the darkness in their hearts all you arbiters! Nona, what are you up to putting these 2 together! Oh the intrigue!
Fujiwara Keiji proves to the younger seiyuus just what a veteran he is as vigilante detective Tatsumi. He went from passionate detective out for vengeance to dispassionate vigilante who makes judgements by his own hands, much like how Decim does his job. It’s such a treat to hear this range in just one episode when compared to his work in Psycho-pass season 2 where we had to wait until the final culmination after 10-11 episodes. Sakurai Takahiro, also a Psycho-pass alumnus of both seasons, proves he’s the guy who can take on Fujiwara’s acting and deliver in equal strengths without being out-shined. That last smirk was bone-chillingly creepy, ending off 2 episodes of a meek, mild-mannered Shimada who’s enraged vengeance we can all understand. As Tatsumi guided Shimada last episode, taking charge of their predicament, to Tatsumi pushing Shimada to sacrifice him for the sake of Shimada’s revenge, I kept thinking of how in real life, Fujiwara does actually take on that role of guiding and watching out for Sakurai’s career as a seiyuu senpai; apparently Fujiwara’s played golf with Sakurai’s dad before too (heard it on a radio show long ago so I may be mistaken). Black-haired girl seiyuu Seto Asami does some good delivery of strong yet desperate lines in that outburst and kudos to her for not going over-the-top. Maeno Tomoaki, precisely because he had very few lines, did those simple gasps that just threaten to overflow with emotion so timely and controlled. The acting this episode was really top notch! The script/lines were thought-provoking (I love how dark things got – fear and pushing Tatsumi and Shimada to the edge) and the general plot also moved forward. 3 more episodes to go, hopefully we get to resolve black-haired girl’s presence and see if Decim turns out to be a new type of arbiter.