Death Parade Episodes 1 & 2:
Episode 1: Death Seven Darts
Opening theme: “Flyers” by BRADIO
I absolutely love the opening theme. The animation is fun, the song is catchy. Somehow, it doesn’t fit the show at all from what I have seen to date and I absolutely adore it nonetheless.
Takashi and Machiko are a couple that arrive at Quindecim with no recollection of anything but being on their honeymoon. Decim explains the rules of the bar and the two believe he is crazy. Despite being told that they cannot leave, Machiko and Takashi still try and fail.
At last, they agree to play a game in which they are each given seven darts to throw at a target. Each section on the board is connected to a body part, each ring represents points. For each dart thrown, points are taken off of their score. The person with the lowest score at the end, wins.
The game starts with Takashi’s hand “slipping” and causing Machiko pain. To me, I believe this was more of a test to see if the sections on the board were really connected to their bodies. Because of her own pain, Machiko misses and hits the double points section for his eyes. The two, in great pain, feel hostile towards one another until Machiko begs him not to hit her stomach because she is/was carrying his child.
Unfortunately, bad memories resurface and assumptions caused a good deal of trouble amongst the two. On their wedding day, Takashi overheard that a woman whom he assumed was his fiancé (by the nickname Machi) was cheating on him. This rage causes Takashi to hit her stomach and accuse her; however, she reveals that she had a high school friend at their wedding by the same name. Because she wasn’t actually having an affair, the baby would have been his.
At the end of the game, Machiko has won and the two remember getting into a car crash because of Takashi’s reckless jealousy. Knowing that Takashi snubbed out their lives and that of their child, he gets hysterical, begging to be told that the kid isn’t his. Machiko, seeing him suffer, decides to say that the child isn’t his and that no one would truly love him.
The only real time Decim interferes with this game is when Takashi, in a fit of rage, tries to attack Machiko with a dart. Despite his role as a middleman, or arbiter, Decim can still step in from time to time if things get out of hand after a game. As judgment is passed, Takashi’s soul is sent for reincarnation and Machiko’s is sent to the void/hell.
Episode 2: Death Reverse
The second episode begins with Onna awakening with no memories of her name or who she is. She is taken to Quindecim by Nona, where she is told she will serve as an assistant.
I really enjoyed this episode as it focused on the mechanics of Quindecim and the purpose of the games. First, the memories of the players are sent into Decim’s eyes, which I believe is interesting. Nona and Onna go to a room (filled with puppets made by Decim – creepy) and watch the game between Machiko and Takashi from afar. The games exist to create tension between the players and reveal the darkest parts of their souls. Dying comes as a shock to the soul and memories are lost; the games are meant to evoke such things.
It is revealed that while Machiko may have had a man on the side, it would have only been a one-time thing. The father of the child was actually Takashi but Onna believes that Machiko lied to save his soul and help him find peace. Decim, of course, doesn’t understand why she would lie about such a thing. However, Decim appears very apologetic for messing up and gets chewed out a bit by Nona.
At the end of this episode, Nona states that Onna’s trial is only for three months, so it seems she will play a bigger role in this show than one would expect.
It is rare that I find a lot of newer dubs as wonderful as Death Parade’s. However, I have really enjoyed the dub so far and Bonny Clinkenbeard’s script-writing on the show is tremendous.
Decim (Alex Organ): Alex Organ has not been in a lot and he certainly hasn’t been in very many lead roles. I am, personally, not familiar with his voice so I really enjoyed hearing a “new” voice to the industry. I really enjoyed Decim’s English voice as it was kept smooth and deep as well as apathetic.
Onna/Woman (Jamie Marchi): Onna’s English voice is neither bad nor great. In the serious scenes, it is kept pretty accurate to the Japanese. However, when she shouts or raises her voice, it is a little less fitting. Overall, still an unexpectedly great pick.
Nona (Jad Saxton): I am not horribly familiar with Jad Saxton but I really enjoyed her take on Nona. I honestly got more than I had expected.
Takashi is played by Eric Vale, which was a pretty good pick. Machiko, voiced by Trina Nishimura (Mikasa Ackerman), was somewhat higher in English than Japanese and I didn’t enjoy her voice as much as I normally do.
Overall, I am liking what I have seen of the dub and I look forward to more from the series.