Title: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol. 3
Author: Aya Megumu (Art), Hiro Ainana (Story), Shri (Character Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shonen, Fantasy
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
Volume three of Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody was a rather slow volume that felt more like filler than progression, but that isn’t to say that the volume didn’t have its interesting points. While the interesting part could be considered character development, it also served as story progression as well. That interesting point is the discussion between Satou and Arisa in the beginning of the volume. Satou tested Arisa and Lulu by whispering “There’s a spider in your hair” in Japanese. Arisa reacted to it and that tipped off Satou that there are more like him trapped inside of this world.
Through Arisa, we learn that there’s two ways to be brought into this world. The first is Transference which occurs when somebody in the real world dies and meets a “god.” This god will then transport their soul into this “game world” and they must start life over from infant status. The only difference is that they retain all of their memories from the real world. The other way is through Transmigration in which someone from the real world is summoned as a hero. Satou sounds like a Transmigration type, but he didn’t match any of the circumstances surrounding someone who would be summoned here.
The majority of the volume then takes place with Lulu, Arisa, Pochi, Tama and Zena touring the town, eating food, watching a play and, eventually, defeating a swarm of acid-spitting flying ants that just so happened to invade the town.
At the end of volume, Satou meets Yusaratoya Bolenan, an elf who, apparently, is becoming a new character. After the introduction, Satou is wandering around town at night and ends up witnessing someone getting mugged. He’s attacked by shadow monsters and defeats them before saving the person, who ends up being the red helmet ratman that was eluded to earlier in the volume. The ratman didn’t make it, but his dying wish was to have Satou take care of the princess. Recognizing the looks of the princess, he took it back to the inn where Yusaratoya recognizes her as someone named Mia Bolenan. This is where our volume comes to an end.
Not a real huge cliffhanger, to be honest. It was only a few pages earlier that we were introduced to Yusaratoya so the reveal wasn’t really all that shocking nor did it make me want to see what it was all about. It was just an odd stopping point for the volume. The biggest moment came at the very beginning when we finally got some clues as to the world Satou is trapped in and how he’s a special case. He now knows that there is a kingdom where heroes are summoned so I’m sure that will, eventually, be our destination in a future volume.
A lot of attention was placed on Arisa. In fact, one of the chapters is even named after her! Through Arisa, not only do we learn of her past and why her purple hair is a bad omen to all those who see it, but we also learn how skills are acquired and what happens when you gain a level in this world. Through Arisa, Satou learns an important lesson of keeping the real world’s knowledge to himself because it could end up having adverse effects if applied in this world. It brought about a very interesting dynamic to the story.
As for the rest of the cast, including our new elf character, their development was little to none. In fact, character development as a whole seemed to take a back burner for the sake of having a few chapters that could be turned into filler episodes for an anime. Even the ending with the reveal of Mia was underwhelming because we have no background information on her whatsoever other than she’s related to Yasuratoya… another character that we have no info on other than he’s an elf and hates being compared to long-eared races.
I do like the fact that Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody is trying to keep things on a realistic level, but this volume was a bit too slow for my tastes. The battle against the flying ants was very underwhelming as was the fight against the shadow monsters which seemed to pop up out of nowhere for the sake of adding drama to a possible mugging situation.
One thing that is bothering me is the amount of skills Satou is learning. It’s been three volumes now and he’s learned more skills than any RPG I have ever played… and this includes EverQuest which had an insane amount of skills to learn. Some of those skills were learned just for the sake of a joke, like when Satou learned Coerce and he wondered how he even got that skill based on what he did.
All in all, I hope volume four picks back up. It doesn’t have to feature a lot of action, but it does need some more interesting story. There’s nothing really exciting about walking around town to buy clothes and food for over 50% of the manga. If Death March… can get back to the lore aspect and mix in some action, we’ll be in much better shape next time around!
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press