After people die, their souls are either reincarnated or cast into the void. This decision is made by arbiters, human like entities without emotion that cannot die, who play games with these souls to bring out the darkness in a soul and judge its worth. Decim is such an arbiter operating out of the bar Quindecim. However, he comes upon a soul that he cannot judge. Normally, the memories of the souls are wiped a bit, to hide the fact they died, to be able to force them in order to play the games where they will be judged. But she seems to remember that she’s dead. And hence, cannot be judged. Decim’s boss, Nona, decides that instead of sending her back, wiping her memories, and judging her, instead Decim will judge her anyway, by first taking her on as an assistant, who will help her judge various other humans. Decim agrees, and ends up being effected tremendously by her, ultimately questioning how they make judgement at all, just as Nona intended.
Death Parade is incredibly stylish, the style being somewhat whimsical while also being quite dark. It has moments that are quite comedic, while also having ones that are quite disturbing. The closest I can describe to its sense of style is Tim Burton, though it certainly has a completely different flare to it as well. The character designs also unique around those lines. As for plot structure, there are a number of separate judgement, and each one pretty much has a very different tone, and hence in terms of tone, it shifts around quite a bit. Some episodes are incredibly dark, some are adorable, some are peaceful, and some are epic. Still, they don’t feel completely disconnected. There are two main overlying plots, one with Chiyuki’s judgement and one with Nona’s plans. The one regarding Chiyuki’s judgement ends with considerable impact, in a way that’s bittersweet, and fits with where it was going. The one regarding Nona’s plans however does not and doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Decim certainly gets strong character development, but with the scale that it seemed to be going at, I expected a larger impact, which never quite materializes.
The OP/ED are really great when you get used to them, the OP especially being fantastic in both visuals and music. The soundtrack is decent. The art style and animation are quite unique and good.
An anime with a number of interesting stories with a very unique but well done style.