Death Parade

Death Parade is a limited anime television series licensed in the US by Funimation.

The story is simple enough. A group of beings known as Arbiters, none humans, are tasked with deciding whether a person who has died should be sent to the void as punishment, or to be reincarnated. Definitely not your Christian view of death. There are three rules that bind an Arbiter. (1) They cannot stop arbitrating, for that is the reason of their existence, (2) They cannot die and (3) They cannot have human emotions. Those rules are not in any order of importance. They make their decisions not based on the sum of how a person lived his or her life, but how they reacted in a game they are required to play. The Arbiter has to make the person play the game without telling them they are already dead. To accomplish this, the person will have no memory of how they died, or that they are even already dead.

What happens if they refuse to play? Then the person cannot move on. They are stuck in Limbo, so to speak. And the Arbiter cannot decide. And if that person somehow realizes that they are already dead? Then there is no reason to play.

Given the constraints defining what an Arbiter is, and the limited information they get from a game, mistakes can be expected. And if that mistake sends a good person to the void, and a bad one rewarded with reincarnation? And this is where the conflict lies.

Can an Arbiter who has never been human or experienced death be expected to be a fair judge?

A forward thinking manager of a group of Arbiters wants to find out. The perfect scenario emerges when a person arrives for judgement and she knows she is already dead. Unable to decide on the best way to judge her, she is asked to work as an assistant to an Arbiter. While judging several people, the Arbiter learns from her human emotions like fear, sorrow, happiness and regret.

The opening theme to the show can be misleading. I first thought this was going to be a party show. All the dancing and drinking is not one I am particularly interested in. This quickly changed during the first episode as things where explained in the first judgement game.

Short story, simple plot equals a good show.

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