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Death Parade (2015) Anime Review

In Roman Catholic theology, limbo is the place between heaven and hell where souls that are yet to be punished or saved dwell. Although Catholics never really claimed that this term is centrally accepted by its doctrines but leaves it to them if they want to believe it or not.

The term is somehow different from purgatory because that means that a soul is being purged before going to heaven.

Death Parade somehow portrays what it means for a dying soul to be stuck in a state of limbo and purgatory.

Plot Overview

When someone dies, the soul that represents the person goes into a mysterious bar served by a bartender who tends to judge the afterlife. They are judged when participating in Death Games that usually stake their soul on the line. The game does not need to be difficult, but it becomes challenging because it lets you recall a few memories that may have triggered your death or a significant point in your life. The soul doesn't necessarily need to win the game because the arbiter judges them by their performance on how they react to certain situations.

After the game concludes and the arbiter hands over his decision, the soul must go into an elevator that will either grant them.a second chance in life or certain death.

The series follows a lone bartender, Decim, in his simple bar Quindecim and his assistant, Chiyuki. We follow his day-to-day activities, tending to souls that find their way into his place.

This anime is produced by Madhouse Studios, which also created classics like Hunter X Hunter, Monster, and One-Punch Man.


Death Parade is a pretty interesting anime with a uniquely structured plot. It starts with the proper suspense and mystery that diverts your attention from the main characters. It lets you think the series would be a compilation of vignettes constructed into a single storyline.

I would be fine if the main characters didn't experience character development. Even if the story stuck to a compilation of vignettes, I would have been okay with that. However, this anime also uniquely incorporated the emotional developments of its characters throughout their journey in the lonesome bar.

Along with its unique concept and storyline, the anime also features banger opening and ending themes.

Before watching Death Parade, I think it's essential also to check out its short movie prequel, Death Billiards. They have the same set of characters, and their story somehow gives you a sense of what the anime could bring. Chronologically, Death Billiards was produced first, so it's only necessary to watch it before Death Parade,

The anime itself is pretty short, consisting of 12 episodes, and can quickly be finished in one or two seatings. It is also relatively easy to understand and appreciate.

Death Parade doesn't blow you away with good animation sequences, wild fight scenes, or heavy drama. It focuses on emotional character development that features their strength and weaknesses.

A good 3.5 out of 5 stars

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