Two men have just arrived at a location known as Quindecim and are unable to remember how they got there. They are immediately greeted by a young woman who escorts them to a small bar, where a bartender awaits them. They are told that they will have to participate in a game, randomly chosen by roulette, and will be unable to leave until its completion; if they refuse, the consequences will be dire. In addition to the rules of the game, the two men are told to play as if their lives are at stake.
The game that has been chosen is billiards. But there's more to it than just pocketing pool balls, as the two are about to find out the outcome could mean life or death.
Death Billiards is one of the four anime works that each received 38 million yen (about US$480,000) from the "2012 Young Animator Training Project." Just like in 2010 and 2011, the animation labor group received 214.5 million yen (US$2.65 million) from the Japanese government's Agency for Cultural Affairs, and it distributed most of those funds to studios who train young animators on-the-job.
The film was later expanded into the 2015 TV anime Death Parade.
Now that is a single pearl, easy to miss and likely to be underrated.
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.
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
What happens when two people, whether they're strangers or the closest of companions, are pitted against each other in a seemingly mundane contest, with the stakes being their own lives? Suspicions, outrage, deceit, bargaining, and all manner of psychological warfare commence, all in the name of survival. However, is everything as it appears?
------If you have questions or comments about this review, please message me-------
I feel this episode 0, if you will, should actually be seen after the first two episodes of the Death Parade TV series. That way, one has an idea what's going on, and who the characters are. Part of the mystery of the one-shot may be dispelled, but it made much more sense and was more interesting and compelling having seen some of the series.
Two persons enter, and play what's a seemingly unremarkable game, such as darts, bowling, or in this case: pool. The people have no memory of why or how they've come to be at the Queen Decim, and are given no explanation of why they're being forced to play the game; other than that their lives are on the line. The alternative to playing is explained as "not something they want to experience."
Eventually, after bargaining, attempts at escape, and outright threats, our contestants concede, and begin their life altering game.
Outwardly, we watch two people locked in a simple contest of pool, each demanding no less than victory for themselves, if only for the pride of winning. Inwardly, we see a classic struggle: a clash between souls, with the ultimate reward or price at stake.
The interplay of fear, suspicions, motives, emotions, and the individual thoughts, feelings, and memories that make up the person are a phenomenal conflict within themselves. They lead us to the question- "What will you do to survive?" which everyone can only answer to the best of their ability to do so. Life isn't fair, and rarely presents an opportunity for two souls to be on equal footing in their struggle, but again, our characters find themselves answering a question- "what is it that I have to live for?"
In this one-shot, we're introduced to Decim, the white haired, steely composed purveyor of the Queen Decim. The Queen Decim, an enigmatic bar (and character within itself), with a grand ballroom and game theatre whose only entrance is a pair of elevators ordained with a pair of ornate theatre masks- representing heaven and hell.
Decim's purpose is to ensure that the entrants to the establishment agree to, and carry out their contract to play a random game of chance, enforce the rules, and execute the results. He's a stony, dispassionate man, and seems to take no joy in the games that he has his contestants undertake.
Our two visitors in this episode are an old man, and a young businessman, each with their own Raison d'être. Neither has a clue as to why they're in the Queen Decim, playing pool for their life, but both have the same goal: win. As their fates unfold, so do their pasts- their memories begin to return to them- and alters the path that their life henceforth is set on.
Excellently colored. Dark, ominous shades permeate the show. A miasma of blacks, purple, reds, and blues set the foreboding tone. Beautifully hand drawn characters are very consistent, and the anguish, the swell of victory, and the crush of defeat are very evident in the body language and facial designs. Moving.
Soft BGM, appropriately dark and foreboding. Subtly raises the intensity of the visuals. I felt that the moments of absolute silence were the most oppressive: it allowed the character's speaking to have a much more profound effect, as there were no distractions.
A very intense and emotionally gripping episode. Twists and turns, and while not much makes sense in the beginning, everything is revealed in due time. While a bit dialogue heavy, and metaphorically challenging, it was absolutely enjoyable. It never felt like a chore to decipher the meanings behind, and has a very interesting outcome.
The gloomy atmosphere and sense that something isn't quite right that surround the show are entirely addictive. Left me wanting more.
I've been looking for a new psychological thriller since finishing Ergo Proxy, and I may have found it. Very excited to see where the TV show is headed. read more
As quite few of you already know this is the preview for Death Parade, which has drawn comparisons to things like Saw movies or Twilight Zone, but this particular episode clearly screams out Twilight Zone episode called A Game of Pool. you'll nod if u know what I'm talking about!
Anyway, I actually started watching Death Parade before this, and thus that kinda influenced me of knowing what was going to happen in Death Billiards.
What makes this episode great and like all other death parade episodes are how they present you 2 characters that are pushed to their extremes thinking at first they have to win the "game" to live, but in reality they are both dead and the "game" is really being fought over who gets reincarnated and who goes to the void. The characters start to realize this, but the pressures of the game and the introduction of their memories heavily influence their actions.
Even though the arbiter decides who goes where, I personally say that the anime allows you to have your own interpretation and how you would decide if you were an arbiter. One may argue both should go to hell, another may argue that they deserve heaven, another may say only one character should go to one and another goes to the other destination.
So really you're not playing for your life, but moreso of your sanity and inadvertently who you truly are as a person.
I also forgot to add this earlier, but the artwork is simply fitting for the mood of the anime, it feels very dark and mysterious, which in turns adds greatly to the environment that the 2 people have to play the game. It totally fits what the story is portraying. When you add the voice acting that brings out the stress from the 2 people competing from eachother and the relatively emotionless bartenders, you get sucked into the world with ease.read more
A 1961 episode of The Twilight Zone entitled, "A Game Of Pool" features two men playing a life or death game of pool under supernatural circumstances. The 2013 anime short film Death Billiards also features two men in a life and death game of billiards; but just how similar are the two?