In a world flooded with Isekai stories, it’s hard to find one that really stands out these days. Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody is another entry into this over-saturated series, but can it make its mark where others have felt bland and generic?
Ichirou Suzuki is a game programmer/debugger who is working on two titles at the same time. He enters a death march (i.e. crunch time) where he needs to buckle down and do nothing but work long hours in order to meat tight deadlines. One day, he puts in a tremendous amount of effort and when he finally is able to take a break, he does so by falling asleep on the floor of his office. As soon as he nods off, he finds himself in another world that seems like a hybrid of the two games he had been working on. Under the name of Satou, he uses his meteor skill to massacre an entire squad of lizardmen, instantly leveling all the way up to lvl 310.
Power is something Satou respects and agrees to put a limit on it. Instead, he decides that if this isn’t a dream and he’s really trapped there that he would spend his time sightseeing before finding a way home.
The first two episodes were pretty relaxed, but I expected to be as such. This is one of those rare times where I’m a manga reader first and an anime watcher second. The show is following the manga nicely and I can say that the manga does start off rather slow, but it’s good because this is a show that takes world building seriously. So far, they are treating this isekai story like an actual RPG rather than just a video game as evident of all of the skills Satou is learning and using. One thing that bothered me in both the manga and the anime are the insane number of skills being represented. It seems like EVERYTHING has a skill and it makes skills seem more like a plot device than a meaningful part of the story/character development. If they had just cut down and made skills a bit rarer, then they would be more impactful when learned.
OP and ED Thoughts
The OP for the show is “Slide Ride” by Run, Girls, Run. I can’t stand this song, to be honest. It doesn’t fit the genre of the show and the music itself is too erratic get behind. It feels like the kind of song that you just slap on a throwaway series and hope that it sells CDs when the full version comes out. Maybe some people will like it, but it’s not my thing.
“Suki no Skill” by Wake Up Girls is the ending theme and I had to do a double take because parts of the song sound like they came straight out Makoto Shinkai’s Your Name… just… not as good sounding. The high-pitched, nasally-sounding vocals really turn me off on this ending theme. Other than the Your Name sound-alike backing track, this song isn’t really anything special either. It’s a shame because this was one of the series I was looking forward to and hoped that it would get some decent opening and ending music.
MAYBE –As a manga reader, it’s a resounding YES for me, but I always like giving my recommendation from the viewpoint of someone who hasn’t read the manga and right now, Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody may be a bit boring for most people. If I hadn’t read the manga, I would be up in the air due to the show’s slow start and with 12 episodes, it may leave viewers wondering if the show would have any time to pick up its pacing. This is a stick with it kind of show as it does get better, but you typically want to hook people within the first three episodes and because of the way the source material is laid out, this show doesn’t look to do that. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind trudging through a slow beginning then you will be rewarded later on, but if you want something more action-packed from the start, you may want to watch something else and then marathon this show later.