Cagliari-Napoli: dove vedere la partita?

Anime Breakfast: Death Parade, Decim’s Dilemma

In this new episode of Anime Breakfast we will retrace together what our experience with Death Parade was: let’s go back to 2015, and to that moment suspended between life and death

Whether you are a believer or not, little is actually known about death and what awaits us once our body has stopped functioning completely. There have been many more or less artistic representations in the entertainment media, but one of the ones that has most impressed on Japanese animation fans is the one that gives Death Parade. And why not take advantage of this new episode of Anime Breakfast (here is the complete list of the episodes!), after a couple of Chara episodes dedicated to Light from Death Note and Zoro from One Piece, to talk to you about it? Let’s go.

Omote to ura | Anime Breakfast: Death Parade

Ideato, scritto e diretto da Yuzuru Tachikawa e produced by the always praiseworthy Madhouse (look at all the stuff they did), Death Parade was first broadcast in Japan in 2015 and consists of 12 episodes. It was actually born from a 2013 short film also created by Tachikawa and adapted by Madhouse, Death Billiards. After all these times that we have written the English translation, I think you have already understood the founding theme of all of Tachikawa’s work: death. Or rather, his intimate relationship with life and how the transition between the two actually takes place.

The series takes place, in fact, in the limbo that the author imagines between life and death, where people who die at the same, exact, time meet up in a bar, Quindecim. Here, the referee Decim, subjects them to a deadly game to judge and evaluate their souls and decide their fate: one soul will be destined for reincarnation, the other to oblivion. Each episode is self-contained and tells of a pair of characters, whose stories are told through flashbacks that narrate, delve into and examine their darkest secrets and deepest emotions. The ones you would never let anyone know, not even your loved ones.

Anime Breakfast: Death Parade, Decim's Dilemma

Quindecim | Anime Breakfast: Death Parade

Decim, initially impassive and detached, over time begins to feel empathy for the players, developing an unusual compassion that leads him to question the judgment system itself. A compelling story, that of Death Parade, and full of food for thought. This is because the series does not just want to entertain, but invites the viewer to reflect with Decim on the meaning of life and death, divine judgment and the possibility of redemption of the human being. Although some stories are less interesting than others and some characters are more subdued, there is no doubt that each protagonist has recognisable, iconic and morally impactful facets.

Regrets, secrets, remorse, anger, pain, love: every exhausting human emotion is intimately represented in Death Parade. Decim judges players through various challenges, from billiards, to bowling, to target shooting, using the “clash” or the “match” as a simple pretext. Often, the choice of the game is not random, but reflects the nature of the relationship between the two players and their darkest secrets and are the representation of the Last Judgment. Decim himself is an initially dark, enigmatic and fascinating character.

Anime Breakfast: Death Parade, Decim's Dilemma

Moonlit night | Anime Breakfast: Death Parade

His decisions are not based on a rigid, aseptic and impassive morality, but on understanding the motivations and internal torments of the characters. Death Parade and Decim himself invite us to reflect on what it really means to be righteous and who really has the right to judge the lives of others. Lives often tormented by pain and regret for their past actions. The pain itself becomes, in the series, an obstacle to the passage: forgiving and forgiving yourself is essential to finally be able to free yourself from the past and move forward.

Redeeming yourself is therefore the key to finding your inner peace: change is always possible and, truly, it is never too late to seek salvation. This does not mean, obviously, that one’s faults are erased: each person is the creator of his own choices, and must take responsibility for what he does in life. Some events remain, however, beyond our control: often, even the reason for a person’s death is beyond the possibilities of choice, control and manipulation thereof. For this reason, then, human existence makes no sense?

In reality, the series does not give a real answer to this question, but invites us to reflect: what gives value to our life? What makes it truly meaningful? The answer is obviously not unique: there are those who live for their passions, those for love, those exclusively for themselves. Whatever the motivation, each life is worth living to the full. Always, in the end, assuming one’s responsibilities.

Anime Breakfast: Death Parade, Decim's Dilemma

Game no Ato de | Anime Breakfast: Death Parade

Now moving on to the technical side, we can candidly admit that, despite being an anime from almost ten years ago, Death Parade is still an excellent product, with a original and highly detailed character design, curated by Eriko Itou. The style adopted is rather dark and suggestive, and fully reflects the atmosphere of the series. The animations are very fluid and the action scenes are excellently choreographed. Furthermore, Tachikawa’s direction is masterful and manages to create, with a play of light and shadow, an atmosphere so dark as to be almost oppressive. The rhythm of the series is well calibrated and alternates moments of tension with others of reflection very well.

Everything is accompanied by a perfectly fitting soundtrack, written and composed by Yuki Kajiura, who did an excellent job to make each scene even more evocative. The dubbing is also excellent, also available in Italian, although for this type of production we always prefer a first viewing in the original language.

Anime Breakfast: Death Parade, Decim's Dilemma

Memento mori

In short, let’s sum up this Anime Breakfast dedicated to Death Parade. Tachikawa’s series is literally unmissable for those who love deep and introspective stories, and it is a work that will not leave you indifferent and will accompany you for a long time after viewing. If we accompany this with a good technical sector for an anime from almost ten years ago, an evocative soundtrack and an unforgettable character design, you know very well what you have to do: go and see it.

Death Parade is available for streaming in both the Amazon Prime Video and VVVVID catalogues. Let us know what you think below in the comments and stay tuned with us at for all the news on the world of cinema and TV series!

Looking for new movies and new TV series to watch?

Discover the new subscription to Disney+, the streaming home of Disney, Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic and now Star. Subscribe now to only 5.99 euros per month on this page.

Bonus: how to have a subscription to streaming platforms and save

There are some services that allow you to share your account best streaming platforms (Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, NOW TV, Paramount Plus, etc.) with other people and two save on subscriptions, let’s talk about GamsGo, GoSplit or CooSub. Thanks to GamsGo, GoSplit and CooSub it is possible to purchase, at a negligible pricea subscription shared with other users in easy, fast and safe way.