Striking The Wrong Note: Death Parade

Two things, right away. I actually like this OP, and I actually like this show. Both are really good. Just not so much together.

Figured I should get that out of the way before anyone got the wrong idea.

Death parade is an odd little 12 episode, 2015 series from, naturally, Madhouse. Cause they just gotta do all the things. It revolves around the people who work at a bar at the end of life. Sort of. Look, it’s strange, and its anime, so just roll with it all here, okay?

Basically, people who have died find themselves in the bar, where the staff sorts out who deserves to go to Heaven, and who deserves to go to Hell. There’s a whole lot more to it than that, but this is one of those shows where talking about it too much can seriously spoil it, so let’s move on to the OP.

As I said at the top, I really do actually like this OP. It’s catchy, fun to watch, and really well made. It just doesn’t even remotely prepare you for the show you are about to watch. In any way. At all.

The show itself is a an interesting exploration of life and death, as well as human emotions, and what drives people to be who they are, and do the things the do. It is frequently deep, philosophical, and on occasion, rather morbid and gory. The idea that empathy is essential to judging the worth of a person, and their life, is central to everything that happens.

The OP, on the other hand, conveys absolutely none of that. It’s light hearted, fun, energetic, and contains no traces at all of the themes, ideas, and concepts the show will explore. It certainly doesn’t prepare you for the darker aspects.

Honestly, the first time I saw the OP, I didn’t think it was going to be anything but a slice of life comedy with a weird title. Since I wasn’t in the mood for that at the time, I skipped it for a long while. When I did watch the show, I really enjoyed it, but the Op still left me baffled.

Now, before anyone has a hernia racing to explain to me why I don’t get it, let me say you are right. I don’t get it. I’m sure there’s some meaning or reason to it all, but I’m not seeing it. Or rather, it isn’t making any kind of a connection with me. There’s a huge gulf in what the OP implies, and what the show is about.

Which isn’t to say the OP is bad. it’s not. Separate from the show, I like the OP. As an intro to what the show is about, however, I can’t say that it works well. It’s just sort of there. This thing that’s attached, but seems to have no real connection to the whole f the story.

Again, I admit, I’m probably just not grooving on what Madhouse is laying down here, but that’s okay. Not everything is going to work for everyone. That’s part of the industry. Now and then, something just ends up being disconnected, and fails to let people know what they should be prepared for.

Still, “Flyers” by Bradio is a cool song. I love it, even if it doesn’t really work well with a strange exploration of humanity.

Everything here is cool on its own. Together, though, it just kind of strikes the wrong note.


5 thoughts on “Striking The Wrong Note: Death Parade

  1. I kind of liked the contrast between the opening and the show itself. Normally, I like an opening to lead me into the tone of the show, but I think with Death Parade anything else might have made the whole thing too depressing. We needed that zany weirdness to start us off and it was just one more contradiction. Still, if you don’t know what the show is about, the opening sure isn’t telling you anything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really isn’t. I kind of avoided the show because of the OP for a while, then read some really good reviews, and decided to give it a go. It was worth it, but that OP really can turn some people away.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t tell you why you don’t get it because I don’t really get it myself. I like the show and I like the OP but yeah, the latter doesn’t really match with the former. That said, it’s very entertaining to see all those characters dance like their lives depend on it with deadpan expressions.

    I’m curious what you think about the ED of Death Parade?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is kinda hysterical in that way, I agree. The whole deadpan expression and the high energy just sort of clashes, but works.

      As for the ED, I think it’s awesome. Actually, I think it would have made a better OP for this show.

      Liked by 1 person

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