I stumbled upon Death Parade after one of our writers shared a clip of a beautifully animated figure skating sequence on social media. I knew immediately upon viewing the clip that this show was a masterpiece and needed to have more attention drawn to it. I also have to admit that this show was ultimately responsible for my investment in FUNimation Now.
Art. I love the art. It's calm and melancholy feeling radiates from the screen and I have to give a special shoutout to whomever made the lighting and color choices. Everything in this show is on point, from the artistic choices of the background through the animation of the characters in the foreground.
Characters. Can I just say that Decim is the love of my life? No? Alright then let's talk about "The Woman", whose name I will refrain from saying for spoilers sake. The Woman represents the humanity of the show, using her feelings to change even the post-death system for the better. She adapts as much as she can to her new, strange environment, and somehow manages to steal the hearts of the heartless. The Woman, however, is not a Mary-Sue. She has her flaws and makes mistakes, but ultimately I feel almost any viewer can find a little bit of themself in her. Nona, who takes on the role as manager of post-mortem judgement department, is a particularly interesting character, as she has glimmers of humanity herself, which are brought out by her conflict with Oculus, who is God's stand in while he seems to be infinitely away.
Story. While Death Parade's plot is primarily episodic, there is a dark undertone that continues through the series in which we slowly learn the secret workings of the judgement sector, why it is the way it is, and why, exactly, Decim is unable to judge Chiyuki. I am particularly fond of series because it asks a lot of philosophical questions that the viewer can answer in their own way, but it also makes the viewer ask a ton of questions about how this world works. The key to it's success is that it actually answers those questions by the end of the season, and it allows the viewer to fill in the details of those answers. Ultimately Death Parade is what you make it, but it's thoughtful, witty and morbidly entertaining.
10/10 confidential keys.