It’s a REVELATION SPECTACULAR on this episode of Death Parade! Firstly Kurokami finally truly realizes that she is dead, and receives a distant memory of herself as a child reading the Chavvot book. She isn’t the only one so interested in this book, though – whilst there’s a copy in her room, there’s also one with Nona. As for Nona, she is currently hanging out with the original bartender of Quindecim, known as Quin, who made an impromptu visit. Meanwhile, Ginti doesn’t seem to have passed any judgement on Mayu from the last episode – she’s still hanging around for whatever reason, much to his annoyance.
It is confirmed rather explicitly that the beings known as ‘arbiters’ lack human emotions, and that Decim is some kind of pet project of Nona’s and the result of her curiosity about how an arbiter with emotions would act, and how it would affect their judgement. It certainly had one unexpected effect – the various dummies throughout Quindecim are all actually the shells that the spirits of the ‘guests’ inhabit during their judgement, which Decim has made it something of a hobby to dress up like the original guests. He explains to Kurokami that it’s because the sheer volume of memories arbiters have to receive from the dead means that they have them periodically wiped, and he found it sad that these souls would otherwise be forgotten.
Well, we’ve finally, met the other arbiter in the opening – and I like her a lot. Quin’s rather different in comparison to the other arbiters – much more down-to-earth and carefree. Technically, she’s not an arbiter anymore – and this fact also reveals that the arbiters can quit. I still have a lot of questions about the revelations surrounding arbiters in this episode that I hope get answered – if arbiters don’t have emotion, what about the other workers, such as at the Bureau? If Decim is an arbiter with human emotions, how exactly was he created? And if these arbiters don’t have ’emotion’, why is Quin so happy and Ginti so angry? (Well, as for that last one, I suppose it makes sense if it actually meant the arbiters do not have human emotions in the same way that humans feel them….which is all the more ironic, because I honestly think that of all the arbiters in the cast, Decim seems the least human and the most like an emotionless husk. I’m guessing this is entirely intentional, though.) There’s not much revealed about Quin besides her personality and the fact that she preceded Decim, but she seems to have lost an eye between the flashback and the present, which is apparently Nona’s fault.
I like Decim more and more with every episode, and he was honestly endearing in this one. Now while I did say that he (on the surface at least) seems to have the least emotion of the arbiters, I don’t mean he’s completely emotionless, and this episode definitely showed his more compassionate side. The whole thing with the mannequins was just the right blend of creepy and touching, yet it also brings up the horrible possibility of this entire show ending up as a tear-jerker. It’s starting to become more and more obvious that Decim is fond of Kurokami – likely a result of the ’emotions’ he posesses…which means that he can’t ever judge her if he doesn’t want to forget her. After all, even if he did make a mannequin of her, he would eventually forget who it represented. I am completely convinced this is going to end up being another show that tears my heart out and I don’t know if I’m ready. Decim being ‘different’ to the others also finally explains why he kept being surprised by almost everyone he was judging. I’m still not 100% clear on Decim’s emotional capacity, and why it isn’t to the extent of Kurokami’s (Nona’s reason for wanting Kurokami as a helper was because of the unique insight that she – a human with emotions – could bring to the judgements…but wasn’t that the point of Decim?) but I expect that will be explained in time. There’s definitely the sense that everything Nona’s been doing has been incredibly unorthodox and could get her in a lot of trouble, so perhaps she’s made Decim’s emotions be not-obvious on purpose. The old man who may be the only one higher up than Nona – Oculus – seemed rather benign to begin with but he’s taken on a slightly more sinister and foreboding presence this time around.
There was so much going on in this episode in regards to revelations and that rare kind of well-done info-dump that I actually forgot all about Mayu until she appeared again. Unfortunately, we still don’t get to find out exactly what happened with her, or whether Harada is also still around, but I hope we do soon.