|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.
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 in a white and blue t-shirt with a penguin on it awakens to see Decim who asks if he slept well. The man rubs his eyes, and asks where he is. Instead of answering, Decim directs him to the bar top, where a girl with brown hair and overalls waits. Taking his seat, the girl leans over and greets him. Doing the same, the man is taken aback by her beauty, and the girl asks if he is okay. Looking back at the collection of drinks behind the bar, the man notes that he is perfectly fine. Seeing a lull, Decim takes the opportunity to introduce himself and the bar to the two, while inquiring as to what they remember from their past few minutes. The man knows that he was on a bus after a day of college, but not much else. Thanking him, Decim now asks the girl, who is unable to remember a thing. Commenting that it is fine, he proceeds to tell them the rules of the bar while receiving help in the form of his helper who says the rule number.
1. He is unable to inform them of where they are.
2, The two of them will play a game soon.
The man asks him to clarify what he means, but Decim keeps listing the rules.
3. Their lives are at stake while playing the game.
4. The game will be decided by a roulette spin. A mint colored board descends from the ceiling, broken up into nine sections. After getting over the shock, the man bangs his palms on the table, but Decim keeps on with his last rule.
5. They are unable to leave until a winner has emerged.
After hearing these rules, the man and women go to the elevator, determined not to stay there. While trying to press the down and up buttons, the man states that this elevator isn't responding, while also having to deal with a game at the same time. Wondering if the woman knows anything, he asks her opinion of what has happened. Met with a basic affirmation, he tries to get her to speak out more, to which she responds that she can't remember a thing. Agreeing with her, the man is informed that she truly can't recall a thing, not even her own name. While he was passed out, she went to the bathroom to stare at a mirror, but to no avail. Looking at him, the woman asks if he is able to remember his own name. The man can, and without a single bit of hesitation, he responds with his given name and surname: Shigeru Miura. Now fully aware that she's alone, she starts to doubt herself.
Trying to cheer her up, Shigeru brings her back, and Decim states that if she were to play the game, then her memories will return. Skeptical, Shigeru puts his hand on the bar stands and wonders how he can be so sure. Decim evades this question by stating that he is unable to answer. Speaking up, the young women gulps, causing everyone to focus on her. She goes on to state that because she's not been able to remember a thing, this opportunity is too good to pass up, but wishes to know if Shigeru will go along with it. After a few second of deliberation, he consents, wishing to help her out. Touched, she bows and thanks him. Seeing that the two have consented, the woman in purple presents the roulette button. Once pressed, it goes about its cycle, landing on the box in the third row and third space, turning to reveal bowling.
Once the bowling rink appears, the two are taken aback by the many glowing lilies situated in a pound in which the ally is on top of. The woman explains the rules to them: it is exactly like traditional bowling, but each turn will last one throw instead of two, and they must play with a purple ball with a large blue object in it, and a red ball with an orange object in it. Shigeru takes hold of the orange one, fully prepared to knock down some pins, but is stopped by the heartbeat of the girl's heart which causes him to back up in terror. Asking if he is okay, the woman stands up in alarm and Shigeru sputters out that the ball throbbed. Answering her ensuring question, Decim notes that these balls correspond with their heart rate. Shigeru's mouth falls agape, and Decim continues that these balls will not harm the other person, but they just act as a representation. Concerned, the woman asks if there is any other kind of ball they could use; this is immediately shot down by Decim, who insists that they follow the rules exactly. As she recoils, Shigeru places his hand in the holes and 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 goes down the lane to knock down 8 pins. Disappointed, Shigeru curses a bit, and then they swap places. Experiencing the same realization, and announcing that they are more real then she imagined, the girl takes the ball as Shigeru tries to slow down his heartbeat to ease her woes. After a few seconds, the girl ponders what is causing him to have sudden palpitations, but brushes it off as quite normal, given the situation.
Releasing the ball, the girl rolls a five, puzzling her. Not wanting to see her sad, Shigeru encourages her by saying her form was quite fantastic. Newly reinvigorated, the girl bows and thanks him, brushing some hair out of her face. This causes the light to catch the strands, kick starting his memory so that he remembers a girl that looked like her waving to him during that sunset in the part. Not bothering to get up, the girl says that it is his turn to which Shigeru thanks her and apologizes. At the lane, he tries to remember what that girls name was, but can't come up with an actual response, so he shrugs it off. With his mind so preoccupied, he forgets how to bowl, and so ends up getting a gutter. Shocked by his lackluster attempt, he is given hope by his complaint, who knows that he will do better next time. Noting that she is correct, Shigeru thanks her.
Observing from the sidelines, Decim and the woman watch. The woman is quite relieved that the mood isn't confrontational for once. Thanking her for her support, Decim also is pleased to learn that she has done this enough times to feel at ease. Crossing her arms, the lady revels in getting praise for once in her career here.
Shigeru and the girl then take turns encouraging and inspiring each other as they cast their balls down the lane, despite getting a gutter or two. The game goes as such:
Frame Two: Shigeru still has eight points while the woman has advanced to 12 on account of her getting a seven.
Frame Three: Shigeru bowls a seven, bringing his score to 15; while the woman gets a score of six and thus her score is set at 18.
Frame Four: Receiving another gutter ball, Shigeru does not get any points; the woman successfully bowls a strike, shooting her score up to 32.
Frame Five: Replicating her success, Shigeru receives a strike of his own, bringing him to 33; his partner receives only a four, with her score set at 36.
Frame Six: Almost receiving a strike, Shigeru nets himself eight points, bringing him to 41; his partner gets his same amount that he did, shooting her score up past his to 44.
Frame Seven: Concentrating fully, Shigeru does get another strike and his score reflects this when it turns to 60; the woman is less successful and only gets a five, bringing her score to 49.
As the two continue to strengthen each other’s spirits amidst the losses and successes, Shigeru successfully bowls one shy of a strike, bringing his score to 69 in the process. Noting that he is having a great time, Shigeru says that he's thrilled at how this game is progressing. Agreeing, the woman comments that physical activity can be quite enjoyable, which is quite odd considering that she still can't regain any of her memories. Not wishing to offend her, Shigeru apologizes, but the girl won’t hear of it and says it's fine.
Feeling bolder, Shigeru braces himself for what he is about to say: he asks her to accept a wager. Confused, the girl, along with Decim and his assistant, is that the bet is that if he wins, he'll go out on a date with her. Saddened, the woman at the bar next to Decim sighs. Believing this to be a sign of discontent because the game will stall some more, Decim tries to brighten her spirits. Waving him off, the woman explains that because the two are dead, nothing will happen after this game. Taking it all in, Decim affirms that he knows what is now transpiring.
Shifting back, the women notes that her heart is beating quickly, as Shigeru's is, but isn't bothered by it for some reason. In fact, it feels quite nostalgic. Rolling her ball, she is stricken by a memory in which she is at a bowling alley cleaning off a ball as an employee and spots Shigeru in a red button down shirt having something whispered in his ear by a friend. The pins being separated by the rolling sphere jolt her back, with Shigeru giving commentary on how great her roll was. Going even further, he declares that he won't lose playfully, but asks if she is all right because she never showed any sign of acknowledgement by her.
Giving the excuse that she was so overjoyed at the thought of doing well, the woman moves away and returning to her seat, she wants to remember more, because she feels as if she's met him before. Shigeru focuses and brings his score to 77 by getting eight points. As she goes up, another memory floods her mind: she calls Shigeru in the park, and he responds by calling her Chisato. Getting his attention, she spins around and gaily 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 hand, claiming that she must be his long friend, to which he relishes in the opportunity. Nodding, she is quite thrilled as well.
Still behind the counter, the two hosts watch the festivities before them. Decim notes that the memory flow truly engages now. Asking what he meant, the purple clad woman is given a blank no. Not wanting to be purposefully out of the loop, she grabs his shirt collar and yanks him, demanding to know. Consenting, Decim agrees. Stopping, the woman remarks that she would have to do more than that usually, and that this is a treat. Taking her hair away, Decim whispers something, causing her to scream. Gasping a hand over her mouth, Decim says that she mustn't make any sudden noises. Compiling, she wants him to affirm it again, and he does. On top of that, the information may cause the two to not be on such good terms by the end, but the two must make the judgements accordingly.
Staring down the lane as he is about to take his final throw, Shigeru plays back the conversation that just occurred with Chisato: for her last shot, she'll make a gutter, already having 79 points. 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.
One of them, a guy in a gray polo, asks why out of all places, he invited them here. Telling them that he wants them to see a cute girl he likes, he points her out. The three watch as Chisato finishes polishing a garnet ball. After confirming that she is the one he fancies, his friends talk to each other about her. They know about her from their high school life, but because he wasn't in their high school, he wouldn't know. Getting curious, Shigeru insists that they answer his question. Leaning in, the man in the gray polo whispers something into his ear, and he is shocked at the news. 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 driver loses control of the vehicle, colliding with another bus, killing everyone.
Knowing that they are dead, Shigeru stays on the ground, panting despite Chisato's offered assistance, which at first believes that he's thrown out his back. He puts on a brave face, and declares that everything is okay. Giggling, she proceeds to internally miss the last shot, but has another flashback.
An operating room ceiling, the busses view of the country side and when Shigeru approached her on the bus are all overplayed with Chisato proclaiming who she is. A few weeks have passed since Chisato left, and the young Shigeru informs Mai that she won't be coming back. Taking in the news, Mai tells him that she won't be leaving anytime soon, to which Shigeru turns and nods.
As she gets the gutter, Chisato realizes that she isn't who she thinks she is as Decim announces that the game has concluded. The woman in purple congratulates Shigeru, who remains slumped over and wishes to confirm if they are already dead. Affirming, Decim starts to give his speech about how humans must be judged by the arbiters if they die at the same time, but is interrupted by Shigeru, stating that everything has become clear, and he needn’t waste his breath. Doing as he says, Decim refrains from saying another word as Shigeru approaches Chisato. Trying to confront him, Chisato speaks up, but is asked if she were to partake in a pseudo-date here in the bar. Admitting that she would enjoy his company, while also stating that she has always had feelings for him, she accepts his hand. Turning, they ask Decim is they would be allowed to have some time together before they must leave. Complying with them, he allows them to have five minutes. As everyone gasps, his assistant throttles him yet again, proclaiming that it must be extended. Admitting that it was a joke, he wants them to have as long as they need. Bowing, the two thank him.
After, the two hold hands at the elevators. Saying how much fun he had, Shigeru doesn't want this to end. Neither does Chisato, and brushes a tear away asserting that these are tears of joy, not regret. Feeling the same way, Shigeru is glad that they have both passed on. The two laugh, while Chisato remarks about how morbid that sentence was, yet how funny it truly is. As the giggles subside, they both knew that this is the end, and they go into their separate elevators. Looking on, Decim and his helper think back to when Decim was whispering the sensitive information into her ear that caused her to scream. Decim harshly informed her that Chisato is not the true Chisato Miyazaki, but rather someone else; the reason she believes she is Chisato is because of the operation.
Chisato remembers talking with a doctor who asks if she is ready to undergo this surgery. Not hesitating at all, "Chisato" states quite firmly that despite being with Shigeru for many years, he has always been fascinated with Chisato or some other thing. This is the only way to get him to notice her, and she won't take this as a blow to herself to give up. Rather, she should keep living and be prosperous with this new obstacle. Tears flow from her face as the doors close.
Shigeru has the full conversation with his pals at the bowling alley become clear too: that girl over there is Mai Takada who has facial surgery; the doors shut on him while he tries to hold back his tears.
Their date is shown during the credits, which would encompass: sipping a drink made for one with two straws, looking at the pound near where the red carpet entrench starts, gazing at the jellyfish in the tank with wonder, going in a row boat to navigate the closed off water of the lake, making faces in a glass plate and reaching for something under the water.
Cleaning off the balls, with Shigeru's in the woman's hands and Decim wiping Mai's off with a roll of cloth, she asks her boss about how nifty it was that two childhood friends were the two patrons, and also what the big difference in appearance was between Mai and Chisato in terms of looks. Having no clue himself, Decim digresses to how vast the experiences that humans go through are quite varied, and that we touch each other without knowing it. Despite all of the things that we do, we are unable to know when our time comes. Agreeing, the woman rises and winds up for a roll while commenting on his previous statement: once people die, then they might not even know what lies in wait for them. After releasing, the two watch and the ball collides with every pin. Remarking about how splendid that was, Decim sees her spin around, smiling wide.