***SPOILERS FOR DEATH PARADE EPISODE 9 WITHIN***


There are only two words I can say about this episode:

HOLY

SHIT

(Caps intional)

Seriously, this might just be one of the best episodes I've ever seen in anime. Hell, in anything out there be it books or movies.

Honestly, at first when episode 8 of this show popped up, I felt that I've seen everything that this show had to offer in terms of the judgements, and just wanted to get back to learning more about the main cast. Even by the end of it when it's revealed that both of the attendees are killers due to their situations, the lack of a certain something kept me from getting attached to their stories just like everyone else's. I still can't put a finger on what that thing is, but by god did episode 9 have it.

Here the reason for using air-hockey becomes evident as the story of the two gets pulled out more and more. Rage, angst, and many other emotions I can't describe clearly show on their faces, and their game of air-hockey perfectly highlights this and drives it home. But that's not what makes me love this episode, oh no. It's the falling dominos that do.

Tatsumi's mental snap after he realizes that he has already killed his wife's murder and became a heartless vindicator allows Shimada to figure out that he killed Tatsumi in panic and that he watched his sister get assaulted at the park. This sends Shimada into a frenzy and is just barely stopped by Onna, who send Decim into a state of pure shock as she makes him realize that he understands nothing about the people he is judging, and thus is not fit to decide whether they should be sent to The Void or get reincarnated. Yet even that isn't what made me love this episode. The final domino is what seals it.

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Tatsumi's final monologue throws Shimada right off the deep end, making him smash each hockey puck tied to Tatsumi's organs in succession while the ED comes in and powerfully highlights the emotional intensity of this moment, along with now bittersweet images of Shimada and his sister. Just............ Wow.............