|Japanese Air Date||
January 23, 2015
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Rolling Ballade (ローリング・バラード, Rōringu Barādo) is the third episode of Death Parade.
Two college students, a boy and a girl, are brought to Quindecim to play a game of bowling. The two students have a fun game of bowling and learn they were childhood friends as the game progresses. After realizing they are dead the boy asks the girl out on a date, saying it would be his only chance. Decim permits them a final date before sending both their souls for reincarnation.
Just as dusk is about to vanish and be replaced by night, a boy in a yellow shirt waves to a girl in a pink dress. The girl joyfully announces that she will see him later, to which the boy agrees. The two wave, and the girl is taken away by her mom.
His eyes fluttering open, a man is awakened by Decim, who asks if he slept well. The man rubs his eyes and asks where he is. Decim directs him to the bar and that he will explain things there. The man heads over to the bar, where a girl with brown hair and overalls waits. Taking his seat near her they seem like strangers. The girl greets him cautiously. The man stammers and is taken aback by her beauty, and the girl asks if he is okay. He says he's fine.
Decim now introduces himself and welcomes them to the bar, Quindecim. He then asks what they remember from their past. The man knows that he was on a bus coming home from college, but not much else. The girl, can't remember anything. Decim thanks them and proceeds to explain their situation, while the black-haired woman counts things off.
- He is unable to tell them where they are.
- The two of them will now play a game.
- The Game will be chosen by roulette.
- The two will stake their lives on The Game.
- They cannot leave until the game is over.
After hearing these rules, the man and the woman try and leave. After finding no way out, the man asks if the woman knows anything. She responds that she is nervous and scared because she can't remember a thing, not even her own name. The woman asks if he is able to remember his own name. The man can, and tells her his name, Shigeru Miura.
Back at the bar, Decim states that if she were to play the game her memories would probably return. Shigeru is skeptical, but the young women speaks up. She goes on to state that because she's not been able to remember anything, she really wants to take the chance, but wishes to know if Shigeru will go along with it. After a few seconds of deliberation, he consents, wishing to help her out. She bows and thanks him. Seeing that the two have consented, the black-haired woman presents the roulette button. The game that gets decided is Bowling.
When the game is decided the lounge of Quindecim explodes into smoke and is illuminated by gold light. Once everything settles a bowling alley is revealed. Shigeru and the woman are taken aback by the many glowing water lilies situated in a serene pond, which the alley is placed on top of.
The black haired woman explains the rules to them.
It is exactly like traditional bowling (10 pin, 10 frames).
Each turn will last one throw instead of two.
They will take turns until the game is over.
They must play with special balls containing their "hearts" in them.
They will bowl using each-others "heart balls".
Decim declares the game has begun.
Shigeru takes hold of the orange one, but is freaked out by the "heartbeat" of the bowling ball. Decim notes that these balls correspond with their heart rate, but it will not be painful. He also mentions that the balls are the same temperature as their bodies. Concerned, the woman asks if there is any other kind of ball they could use. Decim plainly states they must follow the rules.
Shigeru resumes bowling and places his hand in the holes of his ball. He notes that the woman's heart is beating quickly and she might be nervous. He then feels how nice and warm her heart is as his face becomes flushed. Snapping himself out of his trance, and shocked at his own behavior, he bowls and knocks down 8 pins.
The woman then goes to take her turn and is startled by the balls "heartbeat" as well. The girl takes the ball as Shigeru tries to slow down his heartbeat. After a few seconds, the girl ponders if Shigeru is nervous, but brushes it off as quite normal given the situation. Releasing the ball, the girl knocks down 5 pins.
Shigeru compliments her by saying her form is good. The girl thanks him, brushing some hair out of her face. This causes the light to catch the strands, reminding him of a young girl waving goodbye to him in the sunset (same memory as the intro scene). Taken aback, Shigeru thinks that the girl he used to play with could be the woman he is now with. He brushes it off and tries to bowl. With his mind so preoccupied, he throws a gutter ball. The girl encourages him for next time.
Observing from the sidelines, the black haired woman is quite relieved to have a friendly judgment for once. Decim comments it's good that she is getting used to it.
Shigeru and the girl take turns bowling and are having fun, encouraging and inspiring each other as they play. In the 8th frame Shigeru puts the score at 69-49 for himself. The girl mentions she's having a lot of fun even though she doesn't remember who she is. Shigeru apologizes, but then asks if she will go out with him if he wins.
The black haired woman next to Decim groans. Believing this to be a sign of discontent because the game will stall some more, Decim says it wont be a problem. The woman explains that because the two are dead, nothing will happen after this game and that she feels bad.
Shifting back, the girl notes that her heart is beating quickly, as is Shigeru's, but isn't bothered by it. In fact, it feels nostalgic, familiar, and delightful. Rolling her ball, she recalls a memory in which she is working at a bowling alley and spots Shigeru with his friends. She rolls a strike and Shigeru compliments her. She is disappointed that she can't remember anything else, but apparently knew Shigeru.
Shigeru takes his turn, then she bowls again. As she throws her ball getting another strike, she recalls another memory. It's of a girl saying goodbye to Shigeru as children and Shiguru responding goodbye to "Chisato". Shigeru is impressed she got another strike. The girl spins around and happily announces that she's Chisato Miyazaki, his old friend who used to play in the park with Mai. Overjoyed, he leaps off the couch and embraces her hands, remembering who she is and that she moved away.
Still, behind the counter, Decim mysteriously says it really begins now. The black-haired woman asks what he means, but is given a blank no, until she shakes him by his collar demanding he tell her. Decim agrees only if she will lower her voice. Decim whispers something, causing her to scream and Decim quickly covers her mouth. He continues saying the information may cause the two (Chisato, Shigeru) to not be on such good terms by the end, but they must make judgements depending on how they react.
Staring down the lane as he is about to take his final throw, Shigeru recalls the conversation that just occurred with Chisato. For her last shot, she'll throw a gutter ball, meaning he will only need to knock down 3 pins to win and secure their date. Knowing that he will receive a date regardless, he decides to embrace his manly roots and wants to get a strike. Lining up and releasing, he has another flashback to when he was at the bowling alley with his friends.
Shigeru is telling his friends that he wants them to see a cute girl he likes, he points her out (Chisato). His friends reveal a secret about her that he wouldn't know because he wasn't in their high school. Shigeru is shocked by what they tell him. Later, he spots Chisato on the bus home from college and approaches her. He speaks a few words, but she is unable to respond because the bus collides with something resulting in their deaths.
Shigeru gets a strike but falls to the ground, crushed by what he remembers. Knowing that they are dead, Shigeru stays on the ground. Chisato checks on him and he quickly picks himself up cheerily. He puts on a brave face and declares that everything is okay. She proceeds to intentionally miss her last shot, but notices Shigeru's heart is beating out of control. As she bowls, she has more flashbacks in quick succession.
An operating room ceiling, a view of the countryside, checking her face in the bus window, and Shigeru approaching her. She also recalls that her actual name is Mai Takada, the other friend and not Chisato, who moved away.
Decim announces that the game has concluded and Shigeru has won. The black haired woman congratulates Shigeru, who remains slumped over. He asks if they are already dead. Affirming, Decim starts to give his speech about Heaven and Hell, but is interrupted by Shigeru, stating that everything has become clear, and he needn’t waste his breath. Shigeru approaches Mai, who tries to explain. Before she can say anything he asks her out, saying this is his only chance because they are dead. He states he wants to be with her until their last moments. She accepts tearfully and happily as Decim watches on, seemingly interested. The black haired woman does a small fist pump in excitement.
Turning, they ask Decim if they would be allowed to have some time together before they must leave. He says he will allow them to have five minutes. As everyone gasps, the black haired woman throttles him again, proclaiming that it must be extended. Admitting that it was a joke, he wants them to have as long as they need. The black haired woman calls him lame and he averts eye contact.
After, Shigeru and Mai are holding hands at the elevators. Saying how much fun he had, Shigeru doesn't want this to end. Shigeru is glad that they have both passed on. The two enjoy the gallows humour and give their last goodbyes.
Looking on, Decim recalls what he whispered to the black haired woman. Decim informed her that Chisato is not the true Chisato Miyazaki, but rather someone else. Mai mistakenly believes she is Chisato because she had plastic surgery to look like her and got confused by her own memories.
We are shown more of Mai's memories.
Mai recalls that she (Mai Takada), Shigeru, and Chisato would play as kids but stopped when Chisato moved away. She recalls always loving Shigeru, even confessing to him as a kid. Throughout high school she felt like she never caught his eye. And then her talking with a surgeon about plastic surgery to finally be noticed by Shigeru.
We also see more of Shigeru's memories
Shigeru recalls his friends telling him that Mai actually had plastic surgery done to her face.
Decim bids the two farewell and watches the elevators ascend. Both elevators have a Woman Noh Mask above the doorway.During the credits, Still shots of Shigeru and Mai's first and final date are shown. Them sharing a drink at the bar. Observing the jellyfish tank. Checking out the pond by the elevator. Paddling a canoe in the small lake by the bowling alley. Checking out the crystals and floating petals in the lake.
After the credits, The black haired woman is wondering if Mai looked like Chisato, while Decim is cleaning the bowling balls. Having no clue himself, Decim remarks that life is really mysterious. Each life spins its own totally separate tale, yet can be so intertwined. No one knows how life will end up.
"Until after you die", the black haired woman chimes in and takes a ball from Decim. "But that's what makes it interesting", as she bowls a strike. Decim comments that was "nicely done", and she spins around, smiling brightly.
- Shigeru asked out Mai on the bus before they died. This is why she felt "nostalgic" when he asked her.
- Both Shigeru and Mai's souls were sent for reincarnation. both had Woman Noh Masks above their elevators.
- The bowling game is branded "Decim Bowl".
- The score at roughly 11:55 is incorrect (8th frame), 69-69, as Mai had not rolled her next ball yet. it would have been 69-59 pending on Mai's next frame. This is likely an animation oversight as they know she was going to roll a strike on her next turn (10 bonus points + another strike "10 points").
- Final score-sheet, G = Gutter ball (0 points), X = Strike (10 points + your next frames points), the next frame is essentially x2.
|Player 01 (Shigeru)||8||G||7||G||X(+8)||8||X(+9)||9||8||X(+0, end of game)|
|Player 02 (Mai)||5||7||6||X (+4)||4||8||5||X (+X)||X(+G)||G|