“Desu Ribāsu” (デス・リバース)
The first episode was extremely good, the second episode looks to be introducing us to the characters in Quindecim more. Getting a more even grounded view on what is going on.
And that is exactly what happens. I think Nona overplayed everything the whole episode long, it was like she wanted the “Assistant” to feel emotively about the whole thing whilst telling her that she’d stop feeling emotive.
The episode runs parallel to the first, as the events of the first unfold we get told exactly what is going on.
I liked that we got this look inside the workings of the arbiters, mainly because it showed that they lacked human emotions. The Assistant that Nona brings to Decim has those emotions and came to the same conclusion as I did.
I honestly believe that Machiko said what she said because she still had hope. If you “win” and “lose” then something has to be given to the winner and I think Machiko was smart enough to figure it out. We learnt that she did have a affair but looking closely at it the Assistant is right that it could have been a one time thing that had been eating away at her. The question Nano asks of whether or not Takashi could ever be happy if he was so unhappy at a simple misunderstanding as over hearing the girls in the bathroom gossiping is right. I feel the wrong decision was made as the soul of Takashi is probably damed to be just as miserable in his next life as he was in his first whilst someone who would rather sacrifice themselves for the better of the person they loved has been lost to the void.
What hasn’t been explained, or maybe just not said explicitly is whether or not both souls CAN be saved. The arbiters have a kaleidoscope of their memories so Decim would always have seen that Takashi was right that Machiko had cheated on him but would her very obvious actions to prove she loved Takashi minus the confession at the end have saved her?
After all I thought the whole way through that Machiko played to save Takashi. When Takashi worried about losing deliberately threw a dart so it would hit Machiko she forgave him and we saw explicitly that Machiko’s next move was made half in pain and really was a mistake. Its hard to tell what move Takashi next made, if it really was a mistake or not but the last throw from Machiko was Takashi’s fault because he wanted to cheat to have her lose.
After he couldn’t cheat and Machiko won by pure accident he then went on to demand more darts.
To me watching it unfold Takashi did not look like a man that would ever be happy in life or that would do the better thing for anyone other then himself. Regardless of what he’d overheard he went through to marry Machiko which would imply that he loved her and if you go through with these things on the pretense that you love someone then the ultimate show of love is to sacrifice yourself, something I think Machiko did.
It showed that Decim is not infallible. It also showed that making this decision is difficult. Humans react to different things differently and one persons love is different from anothers. How could you ever say that Takashi truly loved Machiko when his jealousy and determination to “beat” her proved otherwise? Whereas making a human mistake, and I’m no saint I’ve cheated on someone before and felt completely paralyzed by what I’d done, does not equal a bad person. Of course what she did was horrible and in other circumstances regardless of whether she was sorry for it you’d be on Takashi’s side but Takashi hadn’t caught her out in a lie so her cheating because something different. Takashi overheard a conversation and immediately didn’t trust the women he apparently loved.
Decim seems to be unable to realize that us humans in all our forms make mistakes that we can truly be sorry for. He seems to forget that humans have something inside them that believes in hope and it seems that Machiko would rather have the hope that Takashi would be in a better place if she lied about her baby and admitted (in a overblown way) to her sins then if she’d walked away without it. He seems unable to tell the difference in mistakes and doing something with the intent to hurt. Maybe that is more to do with not having a full look at their memories but just short bursts that have something to do with their deaths, after all the main factor in their death was Takashi being jealous therefore the guilt of a one night stand (and lets face it he only had a flash of Machiko in a one night stand whereas the conversation said that “Matchy” had a boyfriend which surely would have flashed up more then a one night stand) was used against Machiko but for me it seems that the intent and actions of Takashi during his time in Quindecim was ignored.
I also apologise if I’ve just gone off on a random tangent but I like this. I said it reminded me of the first Saw in the other review and this is why I liked it, I still to this day can have discussions with my friends about the minute details of some of the characters in Saw and it can swing both ways between whether they deserved it or not. It looks like it’ll be the same with this and I love that I’m being asked to actually look at everything in front of me to come to a conclusion on the way humans work. I find it fascinating.