Death Parade: Episode 10

Story Teller 「ストーリー・テラー」

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Decim’s got an existential crisis on his hands as black-haired girl questions her own existence and honestly, if a viewer’s reading too much into this anime and in particular this episode, you’re prised to face and question your own existence and enter your own existential crisis. 

Nona reminds us all the three golden rules of arbiters, one of which is that they must not feel human emotions. Picking up from last episode, Decim’s questioning the role of an arbiter and why arbiters only judge when souls are put to extreme conditions/situations. He’s very affected by what black-haired girl said in the last arc about how humans should be judged beyond just how dark their souls can become. Like detective Tatsumi in that arc opined that there can only be a perpetrator if there is a victim and therefore, a sacrificial victim is required in order to give judgment unto a perpetrator, Decim asks Nona if arbiters are merely creating desperate extreme situations just so they can draw out the darkest parts of each soul and from there and only there, judge a person. In spite of his poker face, Decim’s bothered enough to ask Ginti and herein lies the crux of everyone’s existential crisis – are humans born just to die so there’s no point arguing about living or is it because one is alive that one then dies? Time for some Alan Watts…

Nona’s concerned about Decim’s… thoughts… Ginti laments that their role as arbiters is to judge and not think. Thinking is for humans it seems. She’s arranged the sweetest guest this week for Decim to judge alongside black-haired girl. I’ve forgotten that she’s lost all her memories and is waiting to be judged lol. She’s showing signs that she’s outstaying in Quindecim as she slowly turns into a doll/dummy. This fact together with the pre-OP opening scenes make me wonder – was Decim originally human before he became an arbiter doll?

This week’s guest comes courtesy of Death Billiards‘ old man’s wife. Decim purposefully declines to receive old lady Uemura Sachiko’s (Tani Ikuko) and black-haired girl’s memories. Maybe he wanted a “normal” arbitration done his ideal way i.e. without pulling out the darkness. Wise old Sachiko realises she’s in the afterlife and doesn’t need to know how she died. She’s led a happy, purposeful life and it seems she did make the most out of her plight. This contentment seems to surprise Decim and black-haired girl perhaps because Sachiko’s so unlike any other previous guest. Is this what being alive ought to mean? Is this what death without fear looks like? Black-haired girl has a lot of memories for someone who died young and Nona’s bribed Quin to help sort them out just as her name at least, returns to her – Chiyuki 知幸, which means knowing fulfilment. That name adds a layer to Death Parade’s true intention of questioning life and death and the living in between doesn’t it? How did Chiyuki die? Does it really matter? I’m more keen to know now what Oculus has in store for Nona who’s implied to be acting on her own behind his back with regards to Decim… at least Ginti got some screen time this week (yay for this Hosoyan fan~) and more next episode too!

P.S.: The background jazzy, bluesy OST is divine as Sachiko, Chiyuki and Decim sit down for a simple, non-violent, non-bloody game (for once!) of old maid~ Hayashi Yuuki you’re good…

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