Title: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol. 5
Author: Aya Megumu (Art), Hiro Ainana (Story), Shri (Character Art)
Publisher: Yen Press
Genre: Shonen, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Volume five of Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody was probably the slowest volume in the series thus far but we did end up getting some world building out of it and a bit of a clue as to how Satou ended up in this world.
Satou ends up escaping the cradle and rescues all of the numbered girls in the process. He takes them and Mia back to Seiryuu City where Mia is reunited with everyone. The numbered girls refer to Satou as their new master now that Zen is dead. Satou reluctantly agrees to it but is immediately asked by the numbers if they can return Zen’s ring to his lover’s grave. Satou agrees to this but Number 7 decides to stay behind to act as their ambassador to which Satou gives her the name of Nana (which means seven in Japanese).
With everything in order, Satou decides that it’s time to embark onward on a new journey as he is asked to bring Mia back to her hometown so it’s off to the Labyrinth City Celivera… but not now. First, we much travel by horse-drawn buggy, do a bit of camping, some doll-making, and then some spell learning/training. This takes up the majority of the volume and ends up bringing the story to a screeching halt. At the end of this; however, we end up reading a myth about the world that explains how seven gods and the world trees came to the world. The demon god didn’t like these new visitors and went on a rampage. The demon god and the dragon god were already on the planet when the other seven arrived. The dragon god was the only one who helped the humans to fight against the demon god by bestowing the power to summon heroes.
While the explanation is pretty vague, it does round out the information we already know about the world. Satou was summoned by a person who has the dragon god’s power to summon heroes into this world. The mystery of who that is has yet to be revealed and I don’t believe it will be for a very long time.
The volume ends when Satou takes a pit stop in the town of Kainona. Satou ends up purchasing five ratmen slaves for fifteen gold coins but when he brings them back to the wagon, something stirs them and it doesn’t look good!
I had praised this series for doing a really good job at world building but volume five seemed to do very little of that. It felt like filler more than anything and the myth tale which did accomplish some world building just felt like a slight extension to information we already knew. The action in the volume was kept to the very beginning where Satou escaped the cradle and stopped a tidal wave of salt from the cradle’s collapse. Outside of that, this was just a very slow, boring volume.
I can’t really think of any significant development for any of our characters outside of Nana as she tries to grow accustomed to things. Obviously, Nana isn’t used to interacting with the world as the only world she has known was the cradle. You can tell how she’s an adult but yet maintains the naivety of a child. It’s not her fault though but watching her experience things was a little heartwarming. The only downside to this is we’ve seen this before with almost every character that Satou has encountered so far. It makes you wonder how many more times they are going to take this approach.
Outside of that, there really wasn’t much to report on the development front.
I’m really hoping the pace picks up for volume six with some action or, at the very least, some more interesting world building. I am a sucker for lore so I was hoping we would get more than we did in this volume. After the action-packed arc at the cradle, I expected this volume to be a cooldown before the next big plot kicked in but I didn’t think it would slow down to a creeping halt.
Despite the slower pace, the volume was light-hearted and this kind of story typically works in more action-heavy series where it gives the people a chance to breathe and process everything that happened; however, Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody is not one of those action-heavy series. While there is action in it, it’s used sparsely as the means to an end of a story arc. Overall, the series is rather docile so cooldown periods like this need be used more cautiously, otherwise what happened in this volume will be the result.
It’s fine to use a cooldown and this volume would have worked perfectly with a heavier series but in this series where the overall feeling is pretty lax, it didn’t really do it any favors. Don’t mince my words… I’m not saying this was a bad volume. At face value, it was a quaint volume that allowed you to get more attached to our cast of characters and that, in and of itself, was enjoyable. I just think they pumped the brakes a bit too hard here.
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This item was provided for review by Yen Press