Score 7.88

Death Billiards

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Status: Completed Studio: Released: 2013 Duration: 25 min. Type: Episodes: 1 Posted by: AC Released on: Updated on:

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Synopsis Death Billiards

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.

Anime Review: Death Billiards | Ride a Rollercoaster of Life and Death!

Story Synopsis:

Death Billiards, produced by the highly-regarded animation studio Madhouse, is a one-shot anime film that’s part of the Animation Project Young Animator Training Project’s 2012 lineup. The story begins unassumingly, with two men – one young, one old – finding themselves in a bar named ‘Quindecim’. The enigmatic bartender tells them they must play a game of billiards, but this is more than a simple parlor game. The details of their lives are made clearer, and they realize that the stakes are much higher than they ever expected – they are playing for their lives.

The game is intricately tied to their pasts and their moralities, revealing poignant and sometimes shocking truths about their characters. As the game progresses, both men are forced to face the reality of their lives, their sins, their triumphs, and ultimately, their humanity. It’s a psychological thrill-ride that explores the complexities of life and death, existence and obliviance, unraveling at the roll of a billiard ball.


I have watched many anime over the years, but rarely have I come across one that has struck me as profoundly as Death Billiards has. This is not your conventional anime. This is 25 minutes of deep, thought-provoking storytelling that artistically blends suspense, drama, and philosophy into something wholly unique and mesmerizing.

The animation quality is simply brilliant. Madhouse truly outdoes itself with the exquisite detailing of the characters and the beautifully murky atmosphere of Quindecim. The color palette aids in setting the haunting and mysterious tone of the movie, with the choice of music only enhancing the suspense and drama.

The game of billiards serves as an interesting narrative device that reveals the characters’ pasts and personal lives without the need for extensive flashbacks or monologues. This shows the narrative prowess of the creators – you’re engaged, on the edge of your seat, and emotionally invested, all within a very compressed timeline. This shows the brilliance of the narration and the meticulous planning the script must have undergone.

The beauty of Death Billiards lies not only in its stunning animation and suspenseful plot, but also in its thought-provoking exploration of human nature, morality, and the concept of life and death. I found it intellectually stimulating and emotionally draining in the best possible way.


Do I recommend Death Billiards? Absolutely! Whether you’re a die-hard anime fan who appreciates deep storytelling or a casual viewer looking for something steered away from the ordinary, this is a must-watch. You’re not just renting, buying or streaming an anime film. You are stepping into an experience that will challenge your emotional and intellectual boundaries.

Rating: 5/5

Death Billiards
7.88 / 10 Reviewer
{{ reviewsOverall }} / 10 Users (0 votes)
Death Billiards provides a thrilling experience with its philosophical narrative and intense storyline. The animation quality is top-notch, and its thought-provoking themes are explored thoroughly despite the limited runtime.
Death Billiards is a series that may leave viewers feeling confused due to its abstract storytelling and heavy symbolism. Additionally, its short run-time doesn't provide enough time for character development or a deep exploration of its themes.
Death Billiards offers an unique and thoughtful take on the concepts of life, death, and judgement. Its engaging storyline and captivating animation make it a standout in the genre of psychological thrill-yet-dark anime. With intriguing characters and expertly rendered suspenseful games, the anime stimulates viewers' curiosity and empathic feelings, leaving a lasting impression.
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Characters & Voice Actors

Decim Main
Maeno, Tomoaki Japanese
Kurokami no Onna Main
Seto, Asami Japanese
Otoko Main
Roujin Main
Hazumi, Jun Japanese

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