After my disappointment at yet another couple-of-the-week in last week’s episode, I can’t even begin to tell you happy this week’s episode has made me. If you take a gander at last week’s write-up, you’ll see that this week’s episode delivered everything that I could ask for and more. Instead of playing another game, which in hindsight I might have criticized too much, this week we really crack the shell open and suddenly we got this torrent of new information and new characters. Some of the long standing questions are answered – the Assistant’s past and circumstances (albeit not entirely), the organizational structure of the arbiters and what they do and just some teasing hints about the show’s settings. I gobbled it all up so fast, I thought the episode was just 5minutes long. I don’t think it’s going to be possible for me to discuss every development in the episode, but I’m definitely going to hit the major ones.
So, personally, I think the most interesting development this episode is that we learn a great deal about the Assistant and what she’s going in the Quindecim. If I’ve understood it correctly, she is on a ‘prolonged’ judgement since she already knew she was dead upon arrival. I like the concept of wiping her clean so that she can be judged based on her actions as she is though doesn’t that fly directly in the face of the whole point of judging people based on their actions while alive? On the other hand, it would seem that Decim has all of her memories – since she turned up at the Quindecim, he would have received her life story from the Information Bureau, right? Well, in any case, the Assistant herself also has a dream in which she imagines a children story of a boy named Jimmy wanting to play with a girl (later revealed to be named Chavvot). Now, one of the first things I noted was that Jimmy has white hair, just like Decim. Next, Chavvot saves Decim was some kind of trouble and I’m wondering if that isn’t what this show is going for – the Assistant helps Decim get out of some trouble with Nona or the others, or something. The exact angle isn’t too clear but then again, the children’s tale that we were told today is incomplete too so my theorizing might be more accurate once we learn more.
Then we have lovable idiot, Ginti. He seems to have some kind of beef with Decim though it hardly seems serious or maybe he’s just that cantankerous buffoon that starts a fight for no reason. Still, he’s kind of hilarious especially with how easily Nona takes him out. He helps us establish some ground rules though – the arbiters aren’t human (which we’ve suspected for a while) and each arbiter seems to have their own unique fighting style, which I love. I think, generally speaking, it looks like it’s considered bad manners for an arbiter to interfere in another arbiter’s office and hence why Nona was annoyed. I guess Ginti isn’t too pleased that Decim is taking so long to judge the Assistant but Nona seems to realize that there was some extenuating circumstances at play here. Speaking of Nona though, she’s been in the business for a long while, considering she’s been a manager for 82 – that information itself tells us that there is a clear hierarchy. First you have arbiters like Ginti and Decim, then you have Managers like Nona and possibly Castra (the other manager that Nona talks to at the tail-end of the episode) and then on top of them all is the man closest to God – Oculus, who seems to be a bored but cheery old man.
Now, given that Nona was reading the same story that appeared in the Assistant’s dreams, I think we should take some time to summarize all the many plot threads running in parallel right now.
- First, there is the matter of the relationship between Decim and the Asssistant. Ginti seems to think, and I agree, that there is a romantic element involved, at least on Decim’s side and based on some things that I’ve mentioned in the past episodes, I think there’s enough reason to suspect that it might be mutual. Of course, such a relationship would be taboo and rather fruitless since the Assistant is to be judged soon.
- Next, we have the matter of Decim’s own performance as an arbiter –Nona was disappointed that Decim didn’t really do too well on Quin’s test (which begs the question of just who or what Quin is) though she notes that he is preferable to Ginti. Will Decim’s final test as an arbiter be his judgement of the Assistant?
- Oculus (pictured above, I think) says that God is dead which would suggest that that is the reason the arbiters are doing a job that would otherwise fall under God’s jurisdiction. Will God ever return and what will happen to the arbiters then?
- Castra mentions that the deaths are coming too fast and that ‘All righteousness is in competition with itself’. What does that mean exactly? Are people dying too fast for the arbiters to judge? What happens if there is a backlog? How do they get more arbiters?
- Finally, what exactly is Nona’s connection to the Assistant?
The next few episodes are going to be really promising though I do have to wonder what this week’s episode title was all about. ‘Death March’ has some pretty dark connotations to it and I wonder if it has something to do with the billiards game that Oculus and Nona were playing, as well as the 7000 people dying per hour. I did some quick research and it seems like on average between 6000 to 7000 people die per hour so I guess 7000 is a little high but it shouldn’t be high enough to break the system, right?