Add to My ListAdd to FavoritesEdit Anime InformationBuy @ RightStuf Buy from Amazon Buy from Japan-Best
Synonyms: Wakate Animator Ikusei Project, 2012 Young Animator Training Project, Anime Mirai 2012
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Mar 2, 2013
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 7.901 (scored by 13639 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Apr 14, 2013
Death Billiard is like a piece of beautiful diamond between a pile of rough stones, not so many people even aware of this anime (actually me too, until now). Its kinda coincidence i found this one, honestly i found this one when i am looking for some ecchi anime, thats why i said "like found a piece of diamonds in a pile of rough stones"
Anyway, why do i called it like A beautiful diamond? first of all, Death Billiards is just ONE episode anime. One? yeah just one, but its enough to make your head blows up.
The story involves about 2 man (one young man and one old man), they somehow stranded in a room like a bar and with no hope of escaping, they must play a pool game but its not like any other pool game, the bet for the game is their life!
With that synopsis, i feel like its not gonna work if they had to make it into one episode, but suprisingly they made it well. We could feel the emotion of each character and within 25 minutes we got some little flashbacks to make us (viewer) knows the background of those two men. and not just that, i really enjoy watching the story with that elements. Not to mention, an amazing twist that this anime has in the ending.
Not just the story that makes Death Billiards attractive but also the quality of art itself, especially the background. The background were so detailed and beautifully drawn, and not just that, it also strengthen the fear atmosphere. Not to mention from the sound section itself, it brings up the feeling of despair, fear, confused, and something like that.
and Finally, For a short story. Death Billiards is success to package a "complex" story into 25 minutes video. More than that, the quality that they brings is above from average. My conclusion is, this one is surely a MUST WATCH anime.
"A beautiful diamond between those rough stones" read more
Apr 7, 2013
Madhouse studios must be mad.
A short story of life and death, a story of human life and the illusion of equality. Could it be possible to compress into 25 minutes? Well, it seems it was.
On artistic-wise, visuals were appealing, if not gorgeous. Such details and great work for such a short story, with all the detailed background visuals were something that multiplied the joy.
For a one shot special anime, it would not be fair to judge characters, yet they were not half-baked personages either.
Death Pool (or Death Billards for that matter) uses its visuals perfectly to tell the back story of the characters and their emotions. No need for long speeches and introductions.
Overall, a rare pearl to enjoy. read more
May 31, 2014
However, that's not all there is to this 25 minutes long movie. Moreover, I wouldn't say that the animation is what tops its positives, although it comes very close. No, what especially shines is how the whole story, as much as there is to it, is presented in such a short period of time. The best part of it would have to be the great execution in the progression through time. At first, we are thrown into a tad weird situation. Through the core of the movie, we are shown various factors that aren't well explained, making each and every one of us create an image of what might be the truth behind the setting for ourselves. There is a well-justified reason why almost nothing is explained, but I shall say no further, mainly to avoid possible unwanted spoilers.
In other words, various secrets and the purpose of suddenly appearing and being forced to play a game of billiard is most excellently presented through time, resulting in some watchers possibly even changing their theories and views on a character or two, even though it all lasts less than half an hour. After the time of being in the dark passes, the truth is revealed. Usually, the story ends at that time, with everything being revealed, as well as one of the routes actually taking place that some watchers might have foreseen. Death Billiards tends to go the other way around. At the end, some things are still left unexplained, with one of them being especially crucial. Not everything is understood, nor all the strings connected. What's more, the ending is hardly expected, or almost impossible to foresee, unless you were spoiled about it or have already seen it prior to watching the entire movie. Usually, not explaining everything and having an ending in a way that no one saw coming ends up in dissatisfaction. This movie says different, as it succeeds at bringing enjoyment through leaving the story partly open, yet the main purpose explained.
Death Billiards is one of a kind. The progression and animation are simply wonderful, with the connection of the two truly delivering the enjoyment factor. The one watching is rather entertained when thinking of all the possibilities and causes that might be true for such scenes to take action. And even though the ending might seem like a rip-off if it would be used in other series, it is rather appropriate and contributes towards that final progress enhance in the movie. With the secrets and various info that mustn't be shared being available through the entire time being executed wonderfully, the short story becomes more and more interesting, which is yet another focus of the progression factor. When hearing that, one might think that it would be better if the series were longer. Well, not really. The scale is set wonderfully, with it starting at the bottom in the dark, and ending at the peak in the light. The intensity is increasing through all 25 minutes, and making it any longer would only make the story lose its shine.
In the end, Death Billiards goes its own way. Even so, the path it takes is great. It stands as an overall whole and is very recommended to be experienced fully. read more
Dec 14, 2013
All the four pieces of work from Anime Mirai 2013 were outstanding, in my opinion. Honestly non of them are "bad" or "average" when you consider that they are 24min one-shots. What really matters here is that all the young animators from each production company tried their best and gave their all into the work.
However, Death Billiards stood out to me the most, and is (in my opinion) a must-watch of the animes of 2013, which is why I am taking my time to write this review. I will try not to go off topic, but I must mention the other 3 entries of Anime Mirai 2013 to present and argue some of the points I bring up.
Why did it stood out to me so much? The general circumstances of the plot, story, and setting of Death Billiards prove to be the most difficult to incorporate in only one episode. Yet those young animators found a medium to make it all so cohesive, attractive, and impressive. While Gonzo, Zexcs, and Trigger chose to go with a renowned historical story background, a Matrix/GITS-like Sci-Fi setting, or the brainless Moe witches in school with eye-candy graphic; none of them chose the direction MAD House went - The genre where most animes that follow it are known to be quite meh, which is set around fundamental social norms, human morals, and superstitious afterlife imaging.
Death Billiards was so well executed and original that in my opinion, beats all other similar types of anime dealing with aforementioned morals, ethics, and human psyche (i.e. Hell Girl). My high praising of it does not solely come from its smooth graphics, spot-on voice acting and premise, but that the anime and its characters trigger its viewers to provoke deep thought and reminiscence about their life and decisions after watching it. I'd have no doubts that this would be on par with the psychological goodness of Serial Experiments Lain or Boogiepop Phantom, but in 24 minutes.
While the story of Death Billiards is quite linear and extremely straight forward, but intriguing, suspenseful, and intense, it is not the remarkable quality which made me give Death Billiards an 8/10. To be honest, there really isn't of a story to begin with, and there is no defined plot. Everything is going on as characters explore their intra and inter-personal relationships' worth; nothing is set in particular to anything else. One has to realize that in a one episode series, the most important factor to divide their anime between the line of watchable and not, is character.
No one wants to watch a 24min series about a particular setting, or an eye candy slideshow with some mediocre ambient/contemporary BGM, that's what documentaries do. This meta is exactly why many elements of a story and setting have to be told primarily by characters themselves; Little Witch Academia does quite well in explaining most of the background events and settings through character interactions and monologue, while Ryo (using lessons from Japanese history classes) and Arve Rezzle (using news and the media in the anime) leaves so much ambiguity, which only makes the audience confused, incomprehensible, or lose interest.
With that said, Death Billiards is the pinnacle of character design. From the subtle gestures of politeness with offering strangers greetings and cigarettes, to an outbreak of a violent fight, the characters are beautifully shaped from the inside out. The audience will be granted the chance to measure the weight of the two main characters, and judge them for the better man themselves. You will be fascinated with them right from the beginning, and as the story progresses, each character gets a little closer to resembling someone you know personally from your life. Each of the characters are multi-faced, and has an endless possibility of displaying their different personalities and characteristics; some quality you rarely see in one shot series. Scary, yet amazing at what anime can do to make you think. Every character has their childhood, past, decisions that they regret, and their reasons for acting the way they do. In making all the characters so capable and easily of being related to, sympathize or compare/contrast with, the audience will be able to gain much of the enjoyment from only the characters themselves and their interactions with each other throughout the 24 minutes. Something that neither of the other 3 Anime Mirai's have mastered.
This step away from fancy Sci-Fi action, or the typical school girl kawaii, or any of the pre-existing genre that is destined to sell well is surely a bold one taken by youth animators at MAD, but it also stepped into a boundary where anime can have more philosophical values than anything else of the sort. Yes, it does have a more realistic approach that many find less appealing, though not as realistic as Ryo (man that thing is based entirely on history!), but even so, it will still come as unexpected to most viewers. A surprise that is appreciated by anime viewers of different age, culture, or gender groups alike. The enjoyment versus time-spent ratio on this show is unbelievable. I've watched longer shows, but enjoyed them less than how I enjoyed Death Billiards. It does everything in subtlety, but before you know it things take a good twist and you're left yearning for more. There is also a great deal of usage of symbolism present throughout different parts of the show; mainly that relating to good VS evil, heaven VS hell, light VS darkness, etc. This use of symbolism contributes further to the overall eerie and mysterious atmosphere of the setting.
Nothing is really THAT special about Death Billiards; story is without a beginning or an end, plot is ambiguous, the art is pretty average for nowadays' standards, sound is accurate but nothing soul-shaking (similar to the other 3 titles). Despite that everything else is pretty average, and albeit the short run-time which is probably the factor that makes all of the four entries feel like something is missing, Death Billiards is the only one that feels the fullest, most resembling a show, offering premium quality characters and interaction; it will absolutely positively satisfy any viewer that desires high quality shorter shows. I am not going say "if this is the type for you" kind of statement, but after reading this review, I hope you will be able to decide for yourself if Death Billiards is worth your time.
Scored ratings and punchlines:
Story 6/10 (I am left just as frustrated and confused as I was in the beginning. Nothing is really explained, nothing really "happened." This was probably due to the short time available, so that is understandable)
Art 8/10 (Smooth, extravagant, consistent animation throughout the whole show. Able to make everything feel alive and believable. Frame by frame of goodness, though sometimes feels too dull)
Sound 7/10 (Voice actors give the characters life and personality they should have, spot on with the tone and pitch of voices. Non-animated objects sound accurate as well, though not detailed enough. Average soundtrack that does not represent the mood/atmosphere at all)
Character 9/10 (Characters are so average daily-life type that they seem more realistic than they are. Expressions are filled with hidden personalities and characteristics. Great depth and values, and very interesting interaction between them. A key point of the show)
Enjoyment 9/10 (This is funny, thought-provoking, and dramatic all at the same time. Nothing about it is boring or bland or generic. Leaves many wanting for a full series/OVA/movie)
Overall 8/10 (Definitely the best one out of the four, but only in terms of collective quality and character designs. I wouldn't doubt if some people find the other 3 more enjoyable, but Death Billiards deserves the higher score for its display of limitless potentials of the next generation of animators) read more
Apr 9, 2013
As the game begins we learn about the two unrelated main characters through some brief flashbacks. The challenge of getting an audience to care about them in such a short time frame is handled very well, and as the story unfolds it's hard not to empathise with both of them. Other characters include a mysterious man and woman who act as 'hosts' for the event although we learn little about them. The tension in Death Billiards begins early on and builds steadily thanks to careful pacing, making for quite a gripping experience. You will find yourself invested with this story, and you will want to find out the fate of its protagonists.
The atmosphere on-screen is very well crafted thanks to slick animation and a stirring soundtrack that ebbs and flows with the visuals. The main setting is a large room in what appears to be a bar of some sort, although there are no customers to be seen, and an air of mystery permeates the ambience. Not everything here is quite as it seems. A dark colour palate is used tastefully for the interior although there are some gentle hints of brighter colours to be found inside the bar too. The sounds and sights in Death Billiards are of high quality and gel nicely creating a bleak setting - cleverly matching the plight of its main characters.
There is really not much to complain about in Death Billiards. The story evolves steadily and even delves into the theme of human mortality - yet it is careful not to overstep its margins due to time constraint. Animation and background music are very fitting. Perhaps the only gripe I have with Death Billiards is that I'd like to know more about its setting and see its characters fleshed out a little more, but these complaints are very minor. Be sure to check out Death Billiards if you feel even remotely curious. It's not very long and you'll probably enjoy it.
Apr 25, 2013
Death Billiards. In a bar, two men, one old, one young, arrive through an elevator and sit down at the bar. The waiter brings them their drinks, although neither man can recall how they arrived. In this bar, they are forced to play a game of billiards. The stake? Their lives. Although the premise of this bet may be deeper than it seems.
The story is as deep as one can be made in only 25 minutes, which I must say, is quite impressive. The young man plays a good foil to the old man, and the setting and exposition is well done. Only one minute in, the viewer knows all he or she needs to drive the story. The development is outstanding, although there is a bit of shallowness at certain points, but mostly due to the short amount of time allotted. Not only is the story original, but also interesting (despite a few attention grabbers).
The art is amazing with the amount of money given towards its production and is animated by the same studio that animated many other major works which include Beck, Black Lagoon, Death Note, Hajime no Ippo, HunterxHunter, and many other notable animes. Sound is also phenomenal, and the voice acting in particular is extremely convincing, expecially the coldness of the waiter and the accent of the old man.
Characters, for what little screen time they get in 25 minutes, are developed as well as they could be. There is seriously a large space for improvement if more time was allotted, so the development, in general, was much more broad. The creator does enough characterization to get his message across though, so no worries. We learn about the old man, the young man, and even a bit about the bar itself.
The plot twists toward the ending are surprising, yet comfortably fathomable. The ending itself is wonderful, although it may take a bit of replaying to truly understand. It is comforting, but slightly painful, and I'm sure that viewers will feel that the producers went the wrong way about it.
Let me ask you this: What is more representative of a human's true nature. The destination he ultimately arrives at, or the path that he takes to get there?
Death Billiards is an entertaining and thought provoking anime that will leave viewers thinking, not only through the anime, but a long time after it's over. The story is compelling and anyone looking for a good story should definitely watch this. It's short, so there's not much commitment involved. But you might just want to watch it a second time...I'll see you in my next review. read more
Apr 8, 2014
To start off, I was literally surprised at the fact that the anime was only 25 minutes long, since any good plot according to me should take its time building up the story. And to my surprise, I didn't feel that the anime was rushed at all. It took it's own pace to tell the story it was supposed to.
I'd pretty much say that the anime has one of the best open endings of all time. The anime as a whole can be subjected to multiple interpretations [I don't want to give anything away]. The animation was very well done and the characters were very well developed in accordance to the story.
The dialogues are also written with care such that each one can be being subject to much interpretation. Another thing that this anime excelled in was how thoughtfully the backgrounds were made with multiple objects shown here and there that are very much symbolic in nature.
Overall I felt that this was one of those anime's you should not miss out on. Definitely in my top 10 psychological anime.
May 29, 2014
I don't exactly know how to put it into words, but the anime showed great depth in very short time and managed to show us how a person can honestly be defined when they realise their life is on the line. How twisted are you, really? If you were put in a situation where you had no choice but to fight for a hinted 'survival', how would you react?
Would you be enraged, flustered, maddened be what was bestowed upon you? Death has always been near you, it gets closer and closer to you day by day, that you never realise it until someone puts you in a situation that makes you stop and think about it: your time is running out each second.
Humans tend to forget that each person has a story that defines them, we always think it is only us who gets to experience a bundle of situations, that it is us prior to live and exist; we forget, each person, as plain and boring they seem to you, actually lived for years the same way you did and went through things the same way you did.
This is exactly what this 24-minute movie conveyed. In such short time, it showed us two different humans who might have taken the same road fight each other for existence. Could you be calm if you were put in the same situation? read more
Apr 11, 2013
How it was expressed in Death Billiards, however, is not as good as one would guess. One would have to wrap his mind in order to find out what is right and what is wrong.
I liked the story because I wasn't spoon-fed details. My mind worked a lot in order to collect excess information of the setting, something that I haven't done in a while.
I disliked the story because I dislike the idea of godly punishment, or heavenly embrace, or rewards for how you behave in life, as well as the idea of afterlife.
The characters wasn't eye capturing, art-wise. They were above average - the characters are detailed up to a limit. There are barely any human expressions, other than a select few from one character.
There's a lot of effort put into the surrounding. The lighting was very well done. Same goes for the shadows. The place is worthy of being a remarkable pub.
I did not pay a lot of attention to the soundtrack. That means it did not bother me at all. The sound effects are fine, and the character voice seems to fit. It does not feel like how the characters would sound if they were having the game in real life, but this isn't real life anyway.
The characters weren't ones I could attach to. I do not have respect for the elderly as much as the creator of Death Billiard has. I do not hold respect for youngsters as well, and certainly not to a certain bartender who must keep his mouth shut for one reason or another. The characters were far away from me.
It was fairly enjoyable. I didn't hope for better, and didn't expect worse. The 25 minutes were well spent, but I'll forget this in a few months or a year.
I recommend watching this piece of work. Subjectively, I did not like it, but objectively, it really is fine. read more
Jun 13, 2013
The concept is pretty cool. Elements of the story are slowly introduced. You are slowly revealed the set up and you seem to grasp the story and its concept pretty well. And then things get a little crazy and you're kinda left with "Uh? But that means...." It's new and fresh. It was good. Just good.
The art is.... It could have been better. I mean, it's 2013 already. But then again, how many staff members did they have? The sound was okay I guess. It didn't turn me off at least.
The characters didn't get much development as expected. We get a brief intro into they lives before they came to the billiard table. But I guess they author was too poetic with the way he portrayed them. I didn't quite get the old man and therefore couldn't make an accurate guess at his actions at the last scene. But time was an issue. I would think it was because of the plot that the author had to develop the characters a little, which in turn made them look underdeveloped. In comparison to a story that needs little character development and could focus on making a better story... Yeah.
I still enjoyed it I guess. It was short. So it's very easy to say that I didn't waste my time on it. I was introduced to a new fantasy and story, and it was good. Could have been better, but was good enough overall.
Thanks for taking the time to read my review!
Apr 12, 2013
At first, I was a hesitating on checking this out. However, after watching another anime from the Anime 2013 Mirai Project group, my confidence was higher than usual and I decided to give this title a shot. And boy, I did not regret that decision.
The anime seemingly takes off in a modern like era at a local bar named the Queen Deim. However, there is a sense of confusion involving memories and how the characters came to this mysterious place. That mystery becomes a sense of danger though because seemingly, two characters becomes involving a game where their very lives at stake. There is seemingly no way out and the only way to escape from the bar is to beat the game. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be a virtual game but one based on a roulette time of challenge. If you lose, it's game over forever.
Any viewer of this episode may ask themselves the nature of these games and why the characters are there in the first place. However, one thing for sure though is that the complexity of the games is real and reality is to be faced. The games themselves are conceptual to modern type of leisure activities. Games such as pool is a common leisure activity for young men and adults. The added part is the psychological factors incorporated to test the players' skills in order for them to survive because as mentioned before, lives are at stakes here. At one point in the episode, it's stated that “life is not fair” and that definitely holds true for one of the main character seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
And that puts them on the wrong side of life.
For me, this episode was actually a surprising little gem. The characters' designs fits the mood of the episode and despite its strange plot, it gives off a psychological sense of portraying the way the game is being handled while the characters themselves have doubts about their future. The characters' designs and the expressions on their faces reflects on the psychological atmosphere of the anime. The soundtrack is fitting with a mysterious vibe and the chilling mood. Overall, this anime is worth the time but just remember though in life, it's not a game. Still, you have to play your cards right to win. read more
Apr 8, 2013
I recommend it to anyone who like to be amazed , confused & shocked.
Atleast this was my reaction there isn't a good way to describe it only thing i can say.
Why are u reading this if u can watch this at the momment?!
Apr 24, 2013
This could be good, if it were a series, not a movie. 25minutes is too minimal time for a movie (at least for this movie). Nothing interesting happened, they just played some billiard and the game wasn't even exciting. Also the plot was kinda too simple & stupid.
After the movie, yes I wanted to see more. But as a one episode movie this wasn't so great. Like I said, as a series this might work!
Oct 7, 2013
so this is obviously where the translation breaks down, the dagger is the billboard, and not billard. so it should be called death billboard. heh
so apparently 2000 years ago, all the aliens lost their teeth due to a "rubber human" who's arms stretch really far, so he snuck into the giant aliens mouths and stole all their teeth. this led the aliens to go on a campaign to get rid of the "Monkey D. Plaque".
their star ship is called the Freeza which is powered by chocolate, which is really funny b/c its ironic. thats actually the best part, i just spoiled it for you. ha
anyway, they come to earth looking for the one piece to stop the spread of the plaque, but a blond guy named Maruto to stop them with his ninja skills.
all in all, i thought it bordered on the cliche a little. read more