Title: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol. 2
Author: Aya Megumu (Art), Hiro Ainana (Story), Shri (Character Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shonen, Fantasy
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
The second volume of Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody picks up after the cliffhanger ending in the first volume. Satou and three of the slaves fell into a labyrinth after a demon attacked the city. Now they have to fight their way out. I wish I could say more about the story, but this was a very action-oriented chapter with 90% of it comprised of them doing a dungeon crawl, beating monsters, leveling up, acquiring new skills and just about anything else you would expect out of an RPG.
That’s what gave this volume its charm, though. The manga treated their situation like an actual RPG game and nothing was blown out of proportion. Satou did an amazing job keeping his true level and powers hidden and he also did a great job of figuring out how to get the slave girls leveled up. I did kinf of laugh when they referred to themselves as Cat, Dog and Lizard, though. Satou gave them the names of Pochi, Lizu and Tama to make it a bit easier even though they were still, funnily enough, pet names.
As they journeyed through the dungeon, they met up with civilians, nobles and soldiers who were also trapped in the dungeon by the demon. The demon himself made an appearance as a boss, but he was replaced by a Right Hand of the Demon Lord. Satou knew that they couldn’t beat it on their own so he used a diversion to escape and mask himself, returning as a high level hero. He ended up defeating the Greater Demon and then disappeared, only to change back into Satou.
After everyone was rescued, one of the traveling merchants he rescued introduced him to two other slaves he had. One of them is named Arisa, a high -ranking noble who lost her kingdom. She offers to tell Satou much about the world. This is where our volume comes to an end.
So it looks like Vol. 3 of Death March is going to be an information dump, which I am find with. After spending six chapters on action, it will be nice to take a bit of a breather. Plus, I loved the lore from the first volume so getting to learn more of it is something I am looking forward to!
The manga focused on Pochi, Tama and Lizu for the first half. It was charming to see the three of them react to things that they don’t normally get to have due to their lives as slaves. Even something simple as beef jerky was an absolute treasure to them and it was just precious to see. Satou even realized that it was hard to get them to do anything if what he said didn’t sound like an order. That’s actually kind of sad when you think about it. It just gives you a glimpse into how their lives are and just how much removed from normalcy they were. Slight spoiler… I liked his Satou became their official master after getting out of the dungeon. This means they can finally start to live their own lives, but I have a feeling there will be many more misunderstandings and adjustments along the way.
Outside of that, we are reintroduced to some of the characters from the first volume, but there really wasn’t any particular development with them. This volume focused on Pochi, Tama and Lizu and then opted to advance the story into the next arc, which is fine by me. This manga seems to be picking and choosing where to develop its characters and its doing it rather wisely. It seems to know where each character is development-wise and it’s taking care to make sure everyone gets their moment.
I’m really loving how this story is being treated like an actual RPG. Satou still seems a bit calm about being trapped in this world, but then again, he felt he was simply having a realistic dream. Maybe he still thinks that at this point? Satou is learning a LOT of skills, which is the one thing that’s a bit overkill for me. I know RPGs typically have a lot of skills to learn, but it seems like EVERYTHING in this one has a skill tied to it to the point of overkill. That’s the only thing that’s really taking me out of the fantasy because with Satou being such a high level, it seems like the authors can just create a skill, have Satou put points into it and then use that to overcome a problem. I just hope that a system like that won’t be used to escape some, seemingly, impossible situations in later volumes.
All in all, after an informative opening volume, volume two of Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody is filled with action, strategy and all the good things about the early experiences in any role playing game. It continues to draw you into the fantasy of the world all while keeping its charm about it. This is probably one of the better “trapped in a fantasy world” stories I’ve read and I can’t wait to see what the anime adaptation is going to be like!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press