I decided to watch another series that I wanted to catch up with for a while, and decided on Death Parade. Fortunately, it was rather short, because it wasn’t really good. I can’t stamp it as bad either though, but let’s just go on with the review before I get to why.
In Quindecim, two people who died at roughly the same time get to be judged by an arbiter on whether they go to Heaven or Hell. The arbiter we follow is named Decim, and he gets to do a very special job; judge a person who knows she is dead. Usually, those who enter Quindecim know little to nothing about what happened prior to them ending up there, and especially not that they are dead. All they get to know is that they need to play a game to leave Quindecim.
The new girl gets her memories erased, and starts working with Decim as his assistant. Being with someone who is human makes his job a lot harder than it used to be though, as arbiters are not supposed to have feelings, but humans do. The duo goes on to judge their newly dead guests, all the while they both get to know each other and themselves.
Quindecim is only part of a big company of sorts, where other arbiters work on doing the same job as Decim, and they even have their superiors. The business is not as well-oiled as it seems at first though, and problems are bound to emerge from the actions of Nona, the head of the arbiters.
Now, I did like the overall idea and story of Death Parade, which was probably what made me keep watching the show. I liked how the memories of the guests gradually came back to them, and how they were like pieces of a grand puzzle, where we get to know what they were like, and of course how and why they died. I also liked that they still had the will to decide on certain things even after knowing they were dead, and how their actions in Quindecim could lead Decim to change his mind about their judgment.
However, the world it all takes place in is very shallow, and so is the main cast of the show. The opening makes it seem like we get to actually know each and every one of them, but we don’t. In fact, they very rarely meet each other, so it’s hard to feel something for other than our two main characters. Sure, we get to see Nona very often, but she’s just plain unlikeable, so it’s not really a good thing.
Another thing that really bothered me was, that it was mentioned a few times how arbiters are not supposed to have any emotions, and are just dummies doing their job. Each and every arbiter has his or her own personality though, and show almost nothing but emotions, be it boredom, fear, happiness, indifference, anger or whatever. This totally ruins the climax of the show, that clearly wants the viewer to feel something for at least Decim, but it’s so hard, because he was actually the least emotional of them all.
In the end, I didn’t know what to feel myself. I liked the episodes that revolved around humans and their stories, but the rest of the story was just utter crap. I don’t even know if I should recommend this show, but I guess if you have some time to kill, and you don’t mind a series being a bit bland, then you can go for it.