“Welcome to Bar ‘Queen Dekim.’ I will have you two participate in a game, risking your own lives.”
“Death Parade” is a TV anime series that was on air from January to March of 2015.
The anime was first named “Death Billiard” and was a part of the animator development project, “Anime Mirai.” It was created in 2013, and it became the prototype of “Death Parade.” The bartender that appeared in “Death Billiard” appears again in “Death Parade,” and he is the main character of the story. “Death Parade” is like a anthology; in each episodes, a different character appears.
The story is set at a place between the real world and the world after death. Two people who don’t have any memories of how their lives were are led into the bar ‘Queen Dekim’ to participate in a game, risking their own lives. The game’s purpose is for Dekim (the bartender/arbiter) to decide whether they’ll reincarnate or not. Through numerous tragic games, Dekim and the woman with black hair tries to find the meaning of the game and their lives.
Since this week’s topic is about morals and ethics, I want to talk about the two characters who appeared in the 8th and 9th episode: Shimada and Tatsumi.
Death Rally / Death Counter
Tatsumi (a police officer) and Shimada (a normal office worker) are lead to Queen Dekim, and they are told to participate in a game, risking their own lives. Before they participate in the game, they take a sit at the bar counter and have a conversation. Through the conversation, they found out that they both have a person who is important to them (Tatsumi = his wife, Shimada = his little sister (Sae)). Once they’re told that they may be able to reincarnate if they win the game, they decide to participate in it to go back and see the ones they love. Tatsumi says that he will go back and murder the person who murdered his wife, and Shimada says that he will go back and see Sae since they’ve lost their parents when they were little and he’s the only family member who is left for her.
They are told to play air hockey. On each of the packs, an illustration of a intestine such as heart, kidney, liver, etc. is drawn, and if they make it in the other player’s goal, the intestine of that player gets a strong pain.
Through the course of the game, they start to find out the truth that was hidden behind their stories. Shimada finds a bloody knife in his bag, and he recalls the memory of how he murdered the male who raped Sae. Also, Tatsumi retrieves all of his memories and tells Shimafa the truth.
After the death of his wife, he took revenge of it and murdered the criminal. From that experience, he started to think that it’s his job to eliminate criminals from this world. Every time a new case came in, he watched the whole course of it (the victims getting hurt and sometimes being killed) and then killed the criminal. One of the victims that he was looking at was Sae – Shimada’s little sister.
When Shimada hit Tatsumi and asked him why he just let the criminal rape Sae, he said that it was a necessary process to judge whether or not the criminal is worth murdering. The game ended, and Shimada won. Even though Shimada won the opportunity to reincarnate, but agitated by Tatsumi, he stabbed all of his pack with a knife and murdered Shimada. Both of them were sent to hell.
Analysis – What is right? What is wrong?
In this case, Tatsumi – who was a police officer – was the evil even though police officers tend to be drawn as the justice figure.
Driven by anger, Shimada raises up the knife towards the packs, but the woman with black hair stops him and tells him that he will lose his chance of reincarnating if he goes on. He drops the knife for a moment, but Tatsumi says, “The world is always cruel. If the world doesn’t change, change yourself!” Driven by that word, he stabs the packs. It seems like he is the justice, but at last, he has a smile on his face that it similar to Tatsumi’s – he also ends up becoming the evil.
Tatsumi’s script reflect’s the concept of good and evil. Even though they were both the good at the beginning, the world was cruel to them. The only way that they could live on was to change their selves and become the evil.
If something was a little bit more different, they might have been able to reincarnate. They might have not died at the first point. Yet, the world is always cruel, and changing their selves were the only way to protect themselves.