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
If there is one thing that makes me wonder, is how Death Billiards is set under the “Young Animator Training Project”. Emphasize the word “Training”. That would be purely because the animation is most splendid, easily peaking the works of many so-called professional studios out there. It could be because quantity-looking, not much of a story had to be animated in the first place, nor there was much of a deadline set, meaning that more time was able to be spent on each separate scene. Still, those are all basic assumptions. What is known is the outcome, and that is that the animation holds apparent quality. In all honesty, if I wouldn't be told this project has been made by some younger animators that are apparently yet in training, I would have never guessed. It's brilliant.
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
Death Billiards is a rather unassuming title. It is a short that only has a ½ hour episode going for it with an interesting name but a lacking synopsis. What story could possibly be told in a half an hour that could engage you? Well this hidden gem not only told it well but left me wanting more.
Unlike my other reviews, this one won’t be as lengthy. This is because it is only one episode and thus does not need a lengthy review.
Imagine, you suddenly find yourself in an elevator that leads you to a strange bar. When you try to recollect just how you got there you suddenly can’t remember. Another person also comes into the bar, you shake hands for the first time and introduce yourselves. Then the bartender tells you that you two will play a game against each other, the prize is your life.
This is the story of death billiards. It appears simple enough; an old man is paired against a young man in a game of billiards to fight for their life (sounds a lot like the MAL summary, hm?). But as you progress further into the episode more of the story is revealed. it’s an enriching story about life and death that weaved very nicely with how human beings come to terms with both.
As expected of Madhouse the art and animation were absolutely stunning. The characters were simple in their design, made to look normal in their peculiar environment. This combined with the matte, purple color scheme of the show you, as the audience, know that you are in for a dark and unnatural ride.
How would you act knowing that you had to play a game for your life? Even though we only get one episode with these two players; their life, their character, and their desperation paints a perfect and rather grim picture on the human psychology. Their true nature is revealed during the game, which is just so raw and true to us that I couldn't help but relate and sympathize with them. We don’t get too much on their backgrounds, but it’s just enough to understand their lives and how they ended up playing pool together, which is more than enough for the show.
Overall I was very impressed. Like I have stated, the art and animation was beautiful, the characters felt so real, and the story is entirely enthralling and rather refreshing. If you have a spare half an hour just watch it. And if you DO end up loving the show, or if you’re reluctant to watch a short never fear! Madhouse will be producing the anime ‘Death Parade’, which will be the adaptation to Death Billiards. It’ll be coming out along with the other winter 2015 season anime, and if staying true to 'Death Billiards' should prove to be a very good show.read more
Death Billiards should be applauded for its ambition to convey a well executed and thoughtful short story in only 25 minutes. The premise is dark - two men (with a few decades between them) are basically forced to compete in a game of pool... with their lives on the line. What starts off as a cruel premise evolves into something even darker as the two men deal with the severe trauma of being forced into such a grim scenario.
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.
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
What happens when two people, who befriended themselves just recently are pitted against each other in a pool match in order for them to survive is the whole concept behind Death Billiards. Death Billiards is a part of the Anime Mirai project and for me, this was the first anime that I watched from this project; and I did not even feel a sliver of regret after finishing it.
After reading the synopsis, I had my doubts if this show can accomplish what it set out to achieve within a solitary episode but I was proven wrong. The story meted out almost all the conditions; trying hard to not leave any loopholes.
Since the animation was done by Madhouse, I had high expectations and it did not let me down one bit. The animation was brilliant and the attention that they paid to bring out many minuscule details showed how meticulously the team had planned so as to please the eyes of us viewers. Sound... well, I paid only partial attention to the music aspect since the story made me incline towards it for the most part.
Yuuichi Nakamura, Asami Seto and Tomoaki Maeno form the crux of the voice-crew and all did their jobs very well, especially Yuuichi Nakamura. Characterization was very good and the emotions depicted by the voice-actors made it even more outstanding.
"Life is never fair" - Bartender.
This above saying epitomizes the entire concept and the entire episode of Death Billiards
"Death Billiards" has an intriguing premise. An old man and young man, whose names are never given, find themselves in a luxurious, mysterious bar, and must play a game of billiards. It's never revealed what is at stake, only that it's very significant. While comparisons to "Kaiji" and "Liar Game" were already swirling around in my head, I was immediately engaged.
Unfortunately, the execution is often lacking. The young man is an overly hysterical, ridiculous character, and thus reduces our investment in the game and his fate. If he is neither sympathetic, intelligent, nor even realistic, why should one care? The billiard game itself is okay, but nothing special. Considering what "Akagi" was able to get from Mahjong, they surely could have done more here. On the plus side, I liked both the animation and flashbacks. It conveys the atmosphere of this bar exceedingly well. I especially enjoyed the neon lights of the jukebox and the loving way the drinks and cigarette smoke were drawn.
Another weakness is that while I normally enjoy ambiguous endings, doing so here robs the short of any real point or punchline. We don't know what ultimately happens, and can only guess based on symbols that may or may not be relevant.
Overall, this is an enjoyable work I would generally encourage others to see. But it's also nothing special; "Kaiji" and "Liar Game" are light-years ahead of this. read more
***THIS IS A REVIEW FOR ALL THE FOUR ANIME MIRAI 2013 TITLES. HOWEVER IT IS MAINLY ON DEATH BILLIARDS****
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
This short movie was produced by some amateur trainees at Madhouse. And you can tell, because it wasn't very good.
The story was highly unrefined and boring.The short movie clearly strived to be a thriller and psychological drama. This inherently means the pacing was somewhat decent; there were a few new things to hold my interest for a few seconds.
However the climax was very disappointing. It was not even clear which scene was the climax because the pacing was so monotone and inorganic. It was like reading a list of events on an author's outline, rather than being engaged by the world or characters. So in that sense the story-boarding was quite subpar.
To tie things off, the ending did not resolve anything and was 'open' for the sake of being open. This 'story' was just a one-way trip to nowhere.
There are argubly multiple main characters instead of just one. At least, most of them shared about the same screentime. This was a bad idea because the story was already so weak and pretentious. There was nothing compelling about the characters, and most of their issues and mysteries remain unresolved.
I cannot give away too many details without giving away the plot. And therein lies the problem. The movie was just one cheap surprise.
The animation was typical of Madhouse, very rigid and crisp, thick lines and low keyframe-rate (unsmooth movement). The sound was decent enough; the voice-acting immemorable and unexceptional. Some of the characters were drawn well enough to be memorable. The only female character however, did not stand out and was quite forgettable.
The only strength of this movie was that it dealt with a rather uncommon theme; life and death. Errr, but again, more cannot be said without giving 'plot' away.
If you like being mystified by horror movies that is just full of cheap surprises but leads to nothing substantial, this movie 'might' be for you.
"A man is born alone and dies alone; and he experiences the good and bad consequences of his karma alone; and he goes alone to hell or the Supreme abode."
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
Like many others, I ended up watching this "backwards", i.e. after completing the anime series Death Parade (which was based on this movie).
As such, I expected it to be something along the lines of a quirky OVA albeit with somewhat less-developed design and animation.
Much to my amazement and delight, however, I discovered that both the animation and design were just as stunning and breathtaking as in the later series. From the clean use of CGI to the setting and backgrounds, everything was practically impeccable.
Although the design of the two original characters was probably updated and slightly improved for Death Parade, their main traits and quirks stayed exactly the same. Unfortunately, their personalities and backstories are not explored in very much detail given the rather limited time scope. Nevertheless, they still manage to convey their mysterious auras as well as their peculiar relationship really well.
If you have watched the anime series beforehand, you will of course be better informed as to how the whole "Death Billiards" system operates and why the characters do what they do, but, unfortunately, that will also make this short movie somewhat more predictable for you.
Fortunately, however, you will not be able to foreshadow everything as the dynamics of Death Billiards are slightly different from those of Death Parade (and also include new characters whose backstories are undoubtedly new, too).
The music used is also different from the anime series, hence making this movie all the more unique. While not in any way better, it is certainly far from being "worse" and even farther away from being "bad" (given the fact that it fits the overall tone and mood of the story pretty well).
Although you will probably miss hearing the opening (and may have hoped that they would have had at least used some kind of opening or ending, like myself), with such a limited time frame and a story so condensed, it is easy to understand why these were omitted.
Overall, I seriously enjoyed watching Death Billiards. Despite having watched Death Parade beforehand and being able to predict some aspects of the movie (as well as losing the original "shock" value it may have had for me), I was still pleasantly surprised by the change in dynamics and music as well as the consistently immaculate art style and animation.
Whether you're already familiar with the world of Decim and The Black-Haired Woman or not, this is definitely a movie worth watching. read more
Only 25 minutes long, but this is perfectly enough time to make people ask some questions about life and death, and equality.
At first, I was a bit afraid of the characters if they are developed or not really. Then it became clear very quickly: they ARE motivated both in their acts and thoughts, so not rough-and-ready at all! Another plus goes for the creators because no additional dialogues were needed to show their personality/backgrounds. I really enjoyed the minimality and simplicity in this.
Gotta admit too that I'm very picky about animation in general,however now I just can't say anything bad. This movie is well animated, the staff surely paid attention to small details. Just press pause while watching backgrounds. Totally worth!
(Personally, I found the movie accidentally by searching for some fansub for other anime series and movies and the cover/poster of Death Billiards just caught my eyes.)
I'd highly recommend this visual short story.
For instance, if you don't know what to watch or don't have a full 1-2 hours to spare, this one could be absolutely satisfying! :)read more
I was listening to the Death Parade opening song song last night and I got the urge to watch Death Billiards. Death Billiards is the OVA that eventually lead to Death Parade. It's about two people who have to play risk their lives while playing a game. In the spectrum of Death Parade episodes that had this format, it's below average lacking any momentous revelations about the characters. Never the less, it's exciting and entertaining and defiantly worth watching if you enjoyed Death Parade.
The story is affiliated with religion. The thought of karma, "heaven & hell", life being a game monitored from above, the thought of fate... They all "reek" of religion. I presume that the writer of the plot is of Japanese origin and therefore had brainstormed ideas from Shintoism, even though such ideas also appear in Christianity.
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
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!
Human minds were never easy to decipher, you would walk past each human thinking their life is as ordinary and as boring as a plain living beings, you would never guess the sort of stories that lived up inside their hearts, you wouldn't guess anything about them.
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
Death Billiards is pretty much an unknown anime to most people. I ran into it when I was looking for some good Psychological anime to start with.
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. read more