|Japanese Air Date||
January 30, 2015
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Death Arcade (デス・アーケード, Desu Ākēdo) is the fourth episode of Death Parade.
An older woman tries pulling at the doors of where Nona led Decim's assistant, yet has no luck in prying them open. A younger man comments that these must be locked too, and that they have no luck. The woman, upset, asks why those people behind the bar are making them unaware, and looks at them with disdain. Externally musing, the man wonders just what it all means. Thanking him, the woman hatches an idea and drags the man to the ladies restroom, much to his protest. Ensuring that he'll be fine, for she has no inkling to take advantage of him, the woman presses him above the wall. Being clueless, he asks her what they're doing in here. Not expecting the answer, the woman walks away from him and asks him if he watches a lot of TV while also asking his name. He responds with Yousuke Tateishi, yet neglects to ask her his own. Disappointed, the TV celebrity named Misaki Tachibana announces her presence. Trying to place her, Yousuke has heard about her on her new reality show where she is with her five kids all the time. Believing herself to be worth more than just a posing thought, Misaki points out the she should have been spotted soon, to which Yousuke is taken about at how star-struck he is on account of how young she looks in person. Pushing the issue, Misaki asks if the cameras age her up, to which he denies. Brushing that aside, Misaki points up to where the hidden cameras are, confident. Met with a confused Yousuke, Misaki explains that these shows are common in the summer, not to mention the fact that her manager was hiding something from her. Skeptical, Yousuke agrees with her, Misaki is confident in what she thinks. Deciding that it is better to agree, Yousuke stares at her breasts. Taking notice, Misaki uses this to her advantage by getting her to work with him, but his mind is somewhere else, so she saunters over and explains that the director wants their reactions to be as real as possible, so they must not be aware. Not so convinced of her hidden camera theory, Yousuke tries to protest, but Misaki comes up and assures him that she will whisper things to guide him along, and touches his face, which spurs him to agree. Pleased, she walks out to where Decim is.
Decim's helper introduced the button to the two of them, and Misaki, with Yousuke observing, hits it; the roulette lands on the Arcade space, to which Decim didn't even flinch or look back, yet the woman in purple did. As the game ascends from the ground, Misaki is floored by the budget of this production.
The two approach the gaming machine and it starts up; the title screen has an announcer stating the title is Battle of Life and blue flames spread out across the screen. Trying to place this game, Yousuke comes up short as Decim's helper tells them that even though they have a time limit on the screen, none will take place as it is frozen and that the matches will be a stranded two win system. Misaki gives the go ahead to his helper, and leans in to tell Yousuke that they should play as they normally would, to which he agrees and she departs to her side of the machine. As they start it up, the announcer states that they should select their character, yet as Yousuke scrolls, he only sees himself, as does Misaki. Pleased with his she is recreated, Misaki wishes to thank the game maker for their efforts, and Yousuke clicks himself after going through some "options" and sees that he has high attack, medium stamina and defense and pitiful guard. His biography* is displayed as well, his in-game character punches, kicks and then whips out his laptop to search for something. Believing that he is being represented unfairly, Yousuke condemns the game's development, and looks at something else, finding the command board interesting yet insulting; Misaki has the opposite reaction while her avatar pulls out a mirror after slinging her parasol around, and also having opposing stats. She doesn’t know what to make of the command list, determined to figure it out as she goes along. As they select their fighters, they select the VS option on the main menu, and their fighters exchange pre-game banter: Yousuke holds a doll while proclaiming that his life of being an otaku isn't something to be messed with, and Misaki says that even a performer can turn real. Misaki is embarrassed, while Yousuke is unamused. Officially starting the first match, Decim oversees the festivities.
As the first round starts, the two find themselves in a mock Chinese marketplace. Misaki feels out the controls, jumping and kicking with no regard for hitboxes; Yousuke throws a few throwing stars, and as she comes closer, he does a half backwards motion on the joystick to produce the Love Figurine Upper move, hitting her square on the jaw. Using his vast experience in completing games, Yousuke thinks that this will be quite an easy feat. Misaki manages to do a quarter circles forward for the Parasol Gun move, and is quite pleased with her. Her victory is short lived when she gets a few punches and another Fig Upper. Trying harder, she manages to pull off the Children’s Toy move, which is accomplished by half circle forward, and then follows it up with Brand Bag Blow by inputting forward, forward punch, up punch and then forward punch. Relishing in her ability, Yousuke does the A-A combination, a move done by two quarter circle backwards and pressing the punch button three times. Proclaiming that he has quite a lot of skill, Misaki is met with a question, to which she adamantly agrees with because her power has gone down to almost nothing. Internally, she believes that this is okay because she can work with it. Yousuke inputs the Shrine Pilgrimage Attack for the first win.
As her character is knocked out, Misaki grips her head. She remembers being with her school mates in her blue and yellow uniform who go to the arcade and meet some of their other friends with a few delinquents. Getting humped by one of them in an alley, she marries him, yet as she has her first two kids, Naoki and Akiha, she keeps getting beaten up and knocked down. Getting rid of him, she invites more men into her home as she has her next set; the three kids, Sachi, Jiyun and Takahiro, yet makes the same mistakes again and is punched by a different man as she falls down in her yellow sweatshirt. She tries to cope with the pain, yet has some luck, and manages to cover it up when Yousuke come over to check on her. Going back after her fine vitals, she pulls him back as Decim pulls an item out of his pocket that has a lion paw shell design and is a dark salmon color. Curious, the woman with the black hair asks what that device is, to which Decim replies that it is a tool used for his job, to which she isn't amused about. Yousuke mirrors her reaction to which Misaki proposes: throwing the next round in her favor. Insisting that she is too played like they agreed, Yousuke is told that he needs to play to the cameras, and if he doesn’t do this, then it won't be interesting in the slightest. Still kicking up a fuss, Misaki lets him have free reign of the last round, and this seems to put him at ease. Once again using her charm, Misaki heads back to her console.
The second round starts, and Misaki whales on Yousuke with a series of high punches and low kicks, causing Yousuke to become dizzy and she tries out Bubble Dream, a move that involves going forward, backward and then forward while pressing punch and kick at the same time. As she inflicts more damage, she is just about to clinch it when Yousuke fights back with a Shrine Pilgrimage Attack, angering Misaki who shouts at him, yet gets nothing in response. Flustered, Misaki tries to counter, yet easily takes the round when Decim presses down on the new device, causing Yousuke's blue ball on top of his joystick to pop off and out of the circle as Yousuke and his helper look on in shock; Misaki knows how lucky she is, and finishes him off with Bubble Dream. As the in-game Misaki opens up her umbrella in victory, Yousuke experiences his own flash of memories about his troubled childhood with his mom divorcing his father, and telling her own son that she wished that he'd never been born. As he walks home without any friends, his father introduces him to his new step-mother, a kind older lady wearing a purple sweater. Ensuring his safety, Misaki wanders over to check on him as he grips his head. Confirming that he is fine, yet not thanking her as she did for him, Yousuke sees Misaki make a talking motion as they go into the bathroom again. Pressing him up against the wall, Misaki berates Yousuke for the sudden turn in battle, imposing about how she almost lost due to him. Yousuke backs himself up by saying that if they are on a TV show, then the audience will suspect something. Retracting her earlier statements, Misaki loves where his mind is at, and wishes him to do the same thing during their final bout. Agreeing, yet nervous because it would cause her to lose, Yousuke is calmed by Misaki, who proceeds to tell him that it IS TV, after all and asks him if he understands what that means in the long run.
Fixing the orb, Decim screws it back in as his helper informs him that it was a tactless move, and he shouldn't do that again. Replying that it is his pride he is worried about, yet his assistant wants more; Decim turns towards her and explains that as an arbiter, they are supposed to create extreme conditions. Not enjoying his reasoning, and fed up at the system, the woman with the black hair shouts back by not understanding what he means by these supposed extreme conditions. Decim stares at her.
As he washes his face, Yousuke hears Misaki's shock at not being on TV after all, and he explains that because they don't remember a thing, that must be the reason. Agreeing with him, Misaki watches Yousuke put on his glasses as he tells her that he was playing a video game, and just ended up here as he tries to validate her theory as to if they were on TV, then they must have been brought here. Pushing the envelope, Misaki asks if his mom brought him here, to which he replies that it isn't the case. Taken aback, Misaki presses the issue, yet Yousuke shoves the question right back at her; she remembers Takahiro crying and being taken care of by Sachi, while Naoki, Akiha and Jiyun watch on with disgust as she reads a script and munches on a ham sandwich. Not wanting to relive those memories, Misaki walks away, sighing and stating that if that’s the way he wants it, she will do the same. Not catching on, Yousuke sees her go towards the door, and demands that she explains herself. She brushes him off by saying her intention is to go confirm what he is thinking, as if it wasn't blatant enough.
Yousuke following, they make it back to Decim, who agrees with Yousuke. Stunned, Misaki hopes that a crew is somewhere in the building, which is again denied by Decim, much to Yousuke's dismay. Getting more frustrated, Misaki asks why they were brought here, and yet Decim refuses to answer; Misaki's face starts to twitch as she grabs Decim by his collar and wishes to know, and all Decim does is apologize. Misaki is about to yell more, but she recalls the bodies in the back, and meekly asks if they will be killed if they lose; Misaki then proclaims that the whole ordeal is unfair because of Yousuke's clear advantage. Decim looks her in the eyes and tells her that if she is to state that, then she must already be aware of how unfair life is, causing another storm of memories involving her lying in bed and breastfeeding Naoki with a bruised face. Looking down, Misaki takes her place at the chair before the fight starts, yet her mind is at other places; when the announcer begins the last battle, she goes to the arcade buttons in a whirlwind of scared appreciation as she button mashes. Yousuke flings ninja stars at her as he jumps over and preforms another Fig Upper. Her fear growing, she pushes at the buttons in a crazed manner, begging for something to help her and pulls off her Ultra Finishing Move, accomplished by executing a forward half circle forward; her body glows a yellow light as her kids come from off-screen in her attack called Filial Children Attack where they charge Yousuke, to Misaki's elation. After a few punches and verbal taunts, the kids leave, save for Takahiro, who clings on to Yousuke's dizzy neck, to which he tries to move his joystick to get out of. Denouncing all of her kids save Takahiro, Misaki's top of her joystick pops off thanks to the device, which is grabbed by Decim's helper as Misaki tries to grab the top, but falls to the ground and out of her chair as the sphere rolls out of play, causing her to think that this is some cruel joke as her right eye contorts. Repulsed, Decim's assistant asks why he did that; not being concerned in the least, Decim states that it is necessary to expose a soul's darkness and pass judgement. This is made apparent when, to which she asks why. They are interrupted by thumping, and so Decim's worker turns her head, and her eyes widen as Misaki slams Yousuke’s head into the arcade machine until the screen cracks and she lets him go as Decim tells her that this allows them to see what their souls contain, which is rebuked by his helper as she slams down the tools, calling it brute force instead of natural progression. As he falls, he remembers falling out of a window during a sunset and thudding on the ground.
Breathing, Misaki thinks that she might have gone overboard, and looks over at her own handiwork and is utterly shocked by how she could do something so heinous; she runs over and asks Yousuke to wake up, but is greeted with the torn face of the still unresponsive Yousuke as he remembers not eating his new mother’s homemade meal and instead eats ramen in his room. Looking at the two, Misaki yells at them to call an ambulance because she doesn't have her cell phone with her, Greeted with silence, Misaki begs for their support, to which Decim tells her to finish the game as it is. Not understanding, Misaki asks for him to repeat himself; Decim does so, and informs her that the game completion is their top priority. Not expecting such a callous response, Misaki reminds them that he is not able to keep going, yet is met with an even more firm answer of the same suggestion posed before. Looking up at the ceiling and sobbing, Misaki asks why these people are demented before chipping away at Yousuke's life with weak punches, putting up for her own protest.
Yousuke's mind works backwards to when he was overhearing a conversation between his stepmother and father; his stepmother has a dream, and asks her husband if he has any clue as to what it may be. He doesn't, so she tells him that it would be that Yousuke would call her mom, wishing to be part of his world. Thanking her, he thinks that it will be accomplished quite soon, to which she responds by stating that she should be thanking him. His knowledge that while he was in an ambulance, his step mom called out to him, and now he opens his eyes, and does a Fig Upper, much to the delight of Misaki. Initiating his own Ultra, his step mother appears and flings home-cooked food as part of her Suppertime finisher. As they both have one hit to go, they charge, with Yousuke remembering that he was playing one of his games after rejecting one of his new mom's meals and declares the game pitifully boring, so he glances out the window to see it is sunset. Opening the window, he jumps out and commits suicide. Misaki yells at her manager for booking gigs without her authorization, to which she apologizes for. Not content, Misaki slaps her to the extent that she falls down as she whips out of her phone to call Sachi and tells her that she'll have to break her promise. Assured that Takahiro has been put down to sleep, she hangs up and tells her that she'll be home when she can, and is strangled from behind with a towel from her manger as they both K.O. each other.
Tossing the chair aside, Misaki slumps down and wants to be with her kids, and is in denial while Yousuke keeps repeating what he did over and over again. The lady with the black hair says that the game ended in a draw, and Misaki asks if they are truly dead, to which Decim goes to tell them about how Quindecim works. Confused due to the sudden information dump, Misaki doesn't know what he means by Heaven or Hell, much less how they make the judgement. Side stepping, Decim directs them towards the elevator, and all will become clear. Wishing for him to tell them outright, Misaki charges him, yet is restrained by the wires; as she crashes into the jellyfish tank, who have been swimming all this time, she wants to know how HE is qualified to make such an important decision. Responding that he is an arbiter, Decim is met with a flurry of wild accusations and movements by Misaki all pertaining to be they have set her up to lose and to make her look like a fool and a horrible mom. Not biting, Decim plainly informs her that his role is to see how far she will go to get what she wants, and that's it: she made all of her own choices. Enraged, and her anger turning into sadness, Misaki tearfully informs him that everything she has done has been manipulated by something other than her in all aspects of her life, from the amount of kids she has to her career, and she was just trying to love and cherish the time that she could spend with them now that everything was looking so promising with the new show coming out. As she bawls, Decim walks over to Yousuke, who then proceeds to cry because of his inability to be sweet to a woman so deserving of his love like his step mother and asks himself why he jumped out his window and wishes to make it up to her. Not content with merely being not in control, Misaki takes this into her own hands and begs Decim to let her see them again to further herself, and ends up breaking the strings and falling into his open arms, much to his helper's annoyance. Informing her that she did well, Decim gets Yousuke in his arms a swell on each side of him; Decim alters his speech so that it included both of them as Yousuke keeps wailing.
After walking them to the elevator, Decim wishes them well in their next lives as Misaki stares straight forward as the doors close as she departs to the void, and Yousuke goes to reincarnation.
Behind the bar, Decim gazes at the device as his helper gets more guests.