One thing I know for sure about Death Parade – it has one fantastic opening. As for the show, I’m not so sure yet, though the premise is interesting, the characters seem fun, and for one episode, at least, it avoided being some lower form of torture porn. I enjoyed it.
Seriously, sweet opening.
Episode one focused on a young couple (Takashi and Machiko), just married, who must play a deadly game of darts, the reason for which isn’t determined until the end. That’s when we find out the eternal destination of both, and that the woman we as the audience sympathized with was actually the wrongdoer. Through most of the episode, we’re led to believe that Machiko had no idea what she was getting into – that she married an awful guy. But at the end we discover that Takashi is the one who didn’t realize who he was marrying.
Most of you reading this are not married. I am. And I’ll let you in on a little secret – no one really realizes what they’re getting into when they wed, nor exactly who they’re marrying.
When you marry someone, you level up in the relationship, right? You’re given all of that person – you learn his most intimate flaws, those that he doesn’t let anyone else see, those that he may not even know about himself. This is a huge leap for some relationships, especially for couples who aren’t best friends before they marry – marriage is a rude awakening.
But even if you cohabitate first, even if you’ve dated your partner for years, marriage will still give you a shock, sooner or later, because we all change. We’re humans. We’re dynamic. The person we are now is not the person we’ll be in five years or in ten years. Our bride now will be very different in many ways thirty years from now. She may even seem very different in just one year.
And further, marriage itself changes us. We now love someone more than ourselves – we now put our partner above ourselves all the time, if you’re doing marriage right. The Bible tells of a mystical union – of two becoming one. You can’t go through this union – something meant to symbolize God’s marriage to His people – without changing in some manner.
The point is this – we’re not led in some continuous line of love and wedded bless. We must choose to love our partner, to give him or her our hearts, to shine grace when wrong is done, to wake up every day, next to our loved one, making that choice. Marriage is the culmination of the idea of selfless love – unlike Takashi and Machiko, if we’re to make a marriage work, it must be without pretense, without lies, without strings attached.
And when you do that, you won’t fear failure. You won’t fear the change that comes with marriage. You’ll embrace it.