Yeah yeah, we get it, Shinji-kami, enough already.
These two episodes are rather light, so let’s get to em.
Kurokami is having a dream in picture book style. It’s a little story about a boy who sees a constantly smiling girl outside, goes out to play, falls through the snow, but is rescued by the girl he came to play with.
Kurokami awakes with a start. Seems this is a dream she’s been having for some time. She spies a dress in her wardrobe that seems unfamiliar, but doesn’t really pay it much mind.
She goes to greet Decim, and they have guests coming. But something goes wrong with the memory transfer. Unlike previous guests, one of the guys here just wants a drink. To which Decim shrugs and obliges. Neither of the contestants has any memory of their lives.
Nona is playing pool with…god, I guess? He calls himself the closest thing to. Presumably high judge of the damned, or something, as he’s likely Nona’s boss, overseeing all the departments of the afterlife. He actually makes a rather serious aside that God is long gone. He makes several comments over the course of their game, such as how Nona is like Decim, how he’s surprised she lasted as an arbiter because she lacks self control.
Back in the bar, the big guy panics. He has flashes of memory to the bar, rather than his life. Decim restrains him fairly easily, and Kurokami tends to the boy. But she collapses, drawing Decim’s attention. The boy is a bit abrasive, but Decim eventually manages to subdue him. He identifies him as Ginti, a fellow arbiter, and his disguise melts away.
Seems Ginti is confused by Kurokami’s presence, the fact a Human is long term helping with judgments baffles him. They fight and fight, when Nona arrives, clotheslining Ginti in the most adorable way. She comments Decim usually never rises to Ginti’s bait. Implicit is that Kurokami is becoming something of a blind spot for Decim.
Turns out this was all a test. Which Decim failed. He received no memory transfer, which Nona says is vital to the judgment process. She advises him that in the future, if no memories are received, to cancel the game.
We finish the episode with Kurokami’s dream finishing. The girl, it turns out, is deaf, so she can’t communicate with the boy in the picturebook in conventional ways. Still, the two manage to become friends, even if they don’t know each other’s names.
…It is really odd that this show’s symbolism is more layered than the “spell out the obvious” we’re getting in Yuri Kuma Arashi.
Episode 6 is a diversion from the norm, now we’re in Ginti’s. His bar is far more traditional looking, more like a boarding house than anything. Our guests are a teenage girl and a Jpop star, whom the girl idolizes naturally. This dynamic is going to half fuel the next half hour. It doesn’t do a very good job.
And it’s Twister. Curiously, Ginti doesn’t do his judgments alone either, but with a cat.
We get to see Ginti’s style, and it’s very effective against the girl, Mayu. He’s abrasive and dismissive, which infuriates her. But Haruda, the idol, is much more subdued. He’s a performer, and used to suppressing his reactions, so Ginti’s temper doesn’t really illicit more than a smile and a wave from him, as does Mayu’s antics, even though privately he thinks of her as a pig and obnoxious.
So Ginti steps up the game one step further. The white is lava. No literally, the white parts of the Twister mat fall away and becomes lava. He mixes this up by freezing them and putting them through a wind tunnel. But the pair, on the outside, appear to be just as supportive of each other, if not a bit more worse for the wear.
So stage three the white of the mat drops off entirely, a drop into a pit of spikes. Now it’s serious, and Haruda seems like he’s ready to push Mayu off the edge. But Mayu sacrifices herself, saying she got to play a game with her idol, at least.
Well not even Haruda is that big a prick, and tries to rescue her. We see that his death came from a revenge, he had said some harsh words and a fan he was fucking, and she killed herself. Her sister was Haruda’s type, however, and well…she wouldn’t let that go unanswered. Good on you, lady.
But of course, the spikes are pillows, so she’s safe.
Mayu wets herself, of course. This is to establish her changing into a yukata and, now being a proper submissive Japanese woman, Haruda finds her attractive suddenly.
This is the beginning of Death Parade shifting its tone. Whether that shift is for the worse or better we have yet to see.