Sunday, May 27, 2018

Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody Vol. #03 Manga Review

Misunderstandings are the spice of love.

Creative Staff:
Art: Ayamegumu
Story: Hiro Ainana
Character Design: Shri
Translation: Jenny McKeon
Lettering: Rochelle Gancio

What They Say:
Satou's purchased Arisa and Lulu from their slave owner. However, Arisa seems out to take Satou out right from the start, and what's more, she seems to know a lot about Japan!

The Review:
Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
Oh man, it's been quite some time since I've reviewed a Death March volume. I mean, after the anime showed up and sort of killed my interest in the franchise for a while, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little burnt out on it. But, the manga does have a pretty consistent track record of being better than its adaptation, so let's see how things have been in this good ole' parallel world of ours!

When we last left off, Satou was in the midst of an encounter with two new prospective party members. Currently in the possession of the travelling merchant, Nidorin, Lulu and Arisa seem a bit...foreign when compared to the other slaves. Not only are neither of them beastfolk but they both have distinct Japanese features, something incredibly uncommon in the world Death March has built. Slightly skeptical from this, Satou speaks to each of them in Japanese and, what do you know, Arisa understands him.

After a short expository dump detailing her backstory (And some nice, old-fashioned loli fanservice), Arisa teaches us that there are several different ways to be summoned into this world. And while there are many factors that both directly and indirectly impact this, it really boils down to either being resurrected here as a baby or transported out of reality and spawning here as an adult. Of course, the fact that no one beside Arisa or Satou mentions this even once heavily hints at their situations being abnormal. It's highly probable that the vast majority of characters encountered thus far have actually lived here their entire lives. There is no way of proving this right now, though, so we'll have to put that in the back of our minds for a bit.

While book three lacks the same clear-cut conflict as its predecessors, there are still several issues that are brought to light within it. The first of which being- no one wants friggin' beast girls in their house. I have no idea why, considering all three of them are adorable (Liza is total wife material, by the way) but its something that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon. As a result of this, Satou relinquishes his current room at Martha's inn to Lulu and Arisa and takes the girls to the stables in order to sleep with them there. No, not like that.

The bigger (And slightly stranger) conflict lies in the hands of a rogueish rat-man who recently escaped with an elvish princess in his arms. We spend a small portion of the book's second half learning that this man is essentially a wanted criminal but, when Satou finally encounters him, he takes him to a nearby inn for shelter instead of turning him in. This all transpires in the course of just a few pages so, if I hadn't already been exposed to the anime, I'd probably be a little confused here. Regardless, both the rat man and the elf girl are safe for the time being. Now, it lies in the hands of Satou and the innkeepers to keep them out of harm's way.

In Summary:
The third installment of the Death March manga series is a bit frantic in nature, which is surprising because I'm pretty sure it is several steps ahead in the word count department when compared to the others. Regardless, book three serves as a good set-up chapter for the next major conflict. In a world that gets more convoluted by the second, Satou's deadpan reactions and steadfast resolve carry the series toward the more serious side of the isekai genre. And while it isn't as unique or exciting as many of those worlds, the characters are interesting enough to make this worth reading.

Content Grade: B-
Art Grade: B
Packaging Grade: C+
Text/Translation Grade: B+

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 18, 2017
MSRP: $12.99

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