Death Parade: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
January 1, 2017 by Dennis Amith
“Death Parade” is an anime series that was refreshing, addictive and badass! Recommended!anime series with a shorter duration, “Sky Wizards Academy” is worth watching!
Image courtesy of © 2016 Funimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Death Parade: The Complete Series
ANIME SERIES AIR DATE: 2015
DURATION: (Episodes 1-12) 300 Minutes
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition (16:9), English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, English Subtitles
RATED: TV MA
Release Date: November 29, 2016
Originally created by Yuzuru Tachikawa
Directed by Yuzuru Tachikawa
Screenplay by Yuzuru Tachikawa
Music by Yauuki Hayashi
Character Design by Shinichi Kurita
Art Director: Satoru Hirayanagi
Anime Production by Madhouse
Featuring the following voice talent:
Asami Seto/Jamie Marchi as Black-haired Woman
Tomoaki Maeno/Alex Organ as Decim
Atsumi Tanezaki as Mayu Arita
Kouki Uchiyama/Leah Clark as Clavis
Rumi Ookubo/Jad Saxton as Nona
Ryoka Yuzuki/Morgan Garrett as Castra
Ryoko Shiraishi/Anastasia Munoz as Quin
Tesshō Genda/Jeremy Schwartz as Oculus
Yoshimasa Hosoya/Robert McCollum as Ginti
When two people die at the same time, they’re sent to a place that’s neither heaven nor hell: a lavish bar between worlds where the stakes are high and the rules are simple: if you win you live again, if you die you’re gone for good.
Decim is the bartender charged with serving the souls who enter Quindecim. He may make a mean cocktail, but his true profession is to play the role of arbiter: a judge who determines whether or not a soul is worthy of reincarnation.
To aid in his judgment, the bar’s patrons are forced to play simple games laced with sadistic twists designed to bring their true natures to light. To Decim, judgment has always been black and white — that is until he meets a mysterious young woman whose fate seems impossible to decide. His indecision shakes the very foundation of the games and raises the biggest question of all: who is fit to judge the dead?
From Yuzuru Tachikawa (who worked on series such as “Steins;Gate”, “Attack on Titan”, “Kill la Kill”) and Madhouse comes the anime series “Death Parade”.
Originally a short film titled “Death Billiards”, which was produced by Madhouse for the Young Animator Training Project’s Anime Mirai 2013. The series aired in Japan between January and March 2015 and each episode was released in the United States not long after the Japan release of an episode.
The anime series is directed and written by Yuzuru Tachikawa, music composition by Yuuki Hayashi (“Gundam Build Fighters”, “Haikyu!!”, “My Hero Academia”), character design by Shinichi Kurita (“Arata-naru Sekai”, “Brotherhood: Final Fantasy XV”) and art direction by Satoru Hirayanagi (“Familiar of Zero”, “Guin Saga”, “Shining Hearts”).
And now the anime series will be available on Blu-ray courtesy of Funimation.
The series revolves around two people (different individuals for each episode) who are taken to a building managed by Nona. And on the 15th floor, they are led into a Quindecim bar by Castra to participate in game. What these individuals are unaware of is that these games are death games.
Greetings them is a bartender named Decim, who has no human emotions. Who happens to also be an arbiter, the person who must judge each individual and explain to the individuals of the games they are taking part in. Assisting Decim is a mysterious black-haired woman named Chiyuki who has no memory of her past life or her real-name.
But there is also another bar on the 20th floor known as Viginti, ran by Ginti, like Decim who also must lead individuals to taking part in the death games.
The two people that come in to the bar are unaware they are dead and the purpose of taking part in the game, is to find out who gets reincarnated and who must go to the void.
And in the end of the game, they will be judged.
“Death Parade” is presented in 1080p High Definition (16:9). Animation is from Mad House who did a fantastic job with this series when it comes to detail of the bar, character designs, lighting and overall animation. Picture quality does have a hint of softness, as one would expect from an anime TV series. But pallet is colorful and the series looks great on Blu-ray.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Death Parade” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. The series for the most part features crystal clear dialogue and music. The English dub has the edge with its 5.1 surround soundtrack but both voice acting for Japanese and English are well-acted.
Subtitles are in English.
“Death Parade: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:
- Episode 3 Commentary – Featuring ADR director Chris George, Bryn Apprill (voice of Mai Takada) and Micah Solusod (voice of Shigeru Miura.
- Episode 12 Commentary – Featuring audio commentary by ADR Director Zach Bolton (voice of Clavis), Jamie Marchi (voice of Black-Haired Woman), Jad Saxton (voice of Nona) and Alex Organ (voice of Decim).
- OVA: Death Billiards – Featuring a special episode with Decim and Black-Haired Woman encountering two people who must compete at billiards.
- Playing with House Money – (6:15) Jad Saxton (voice of Nona), Robert McCollum (voice of Ginti) and Jamie Marchi (voice of Black-Haired Woman) meet up in a bar for a game of billiards.
- Textless Opening and Five Closing Songs
“Death Parade: The Complete Series” comes with a Blu-ray and DVD version of the series plus a slipcover.
For those who have been craving for anime with original stories, “Death Parade” from Madhouse gives anime fans a series built on a fascinating storyline, some that are surprising, others quite tragic and heartbreaking but also showcasing mysterious characters.
The series pretty much is the judgment of individuals of who will be reincarnated and who must spend eternity in the void.
As two people are escorted into a bar to participate in games, they are unaware that these are death games and by playing, it slowly reveals the history and what led to the demise of an individual.
From its mysterious no-emotion bartender named Decim and a human, who is not an arbiter but is working closely for Decim for some unexplained reason. What is the story about her?
But the stories revolve around two people who take part in death games.
For example, the first episode features Takashi and Machiko, a loving couple who are unaware they are dead. But the more they play the game of darts, they start to realize that their relationship is troubled.
Takashi remembers when Machiko said she was pregnant but he feared that the pregnancy was due to another man. Machiko claims that it’s Takashi’s baby but the more viewers start to sympathize with Machiko, the more the game is played, the more is revealed about her dark side or does he have a dark side?
Another two that plays the game is Misaki Tachibana, a hostess of a reality TV show who has a hot temper. She had a baby by an abusive man and had to raise five children through multiple failed relationships.
Yousuke’s father remarried with Misaki and refused to accept her and avoided her no matter how much Misaki tried to give him love. But what led to their demise? And who will be reincarnated and who will go to the void?
These are just a few examples as you will see couples take part in “Death Billiards”, “Death Bowling” and more.
And of course, the series comes to a resolution with its mysterious black-haired woman, Chiyuki.
A satisfying, addictive anime series, it helps that it’s a shorter series that is only 12-episodes long and not drawn out with filler storylines that mean nothing. In “Death Parade”, each storyline contributes to changes with other characters, especially Chiyuki and through these experiences, the story concludes with a satisfying storyline. I really enjoyed this series!
And as one can expect from Madhouse, you get wonderful animation, background and foreground artwork and while colorful, it does have a slight softness but that is expected from anime television series. You also get two audio commentary and a featurette with three of the voice English dub voice talents. Plus a bonus “Death Billiards” episode.
Overall, “Death Parade” is an anime series that was refreshing, addictive and badass! Recommended!
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