Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol 1 Review
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol 1 is a light novel written by Ainana Hiro, and was originally published as a web-novel in March of 2013. It was officially published a year later by Fujimi Shobo, a brand company of Kadokawa Corporation. Yen On (Yen Press) picked up the English rights to the series in 2016, and has since published two of the nine existing volumes. The illustrations for this novel series are done by Shri.
Synopsis: Suzuki Ichirou, a 29-year-old programmer, was working overtime in a final effort to get his game completed by the deadline. After 30 hours without sleep, he finally passes out underneath his desk. When he wakes up, he finds himself in the desert of a fantasy RPG! Within the game, he’s a 15-year-old named Satou. At first he thinks it’s all a dream, but the experiences are just too real. Due to him using the special power Meteor Shower three times, Satou ends up wiping out an entire lizardman army and becomes an extremely high level. From then on, he decides to hide his level and live a peaceful life. Along the way he meets many new and interesting people.
Review: From first glance, this novel may appear to be just another “guy is transported to a fantasy world” story. While there have been a lot of these recently, Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody, puts it’s own unique spin on things. To start things off, we are given a working adult as the main protagonist, rather than a young teen (although he take on a younger appearance once transported). Soon after he defeats the large group of lizardmen, he encounters Zena, a female soldier for Seiryuu City. Upon saving her, she falls in love, but unlike most other stories, he doesn’t fall for her in return. Instead, he believes himself a pervert because she is so much younger than him. After the incident, he is taken back to the city, and is taken on two tours, by two different girls. One of the major positives of this story, for me, is the detail they give in regards to the city, the people, and the RPG elements. Satou is visibly bothered by a lot of what goes on, specifically the slavery. It is always a nice change of pace to see the main character focus on something other than the girls in love with him.
While on the second tour, he comes across a priest that is trying to convince citizens to throw rocks at some little beast-girls. After stopping the ruckus, a demon appears and creates a huge dungeon in the ground. Satou is then trapped in the dungeon with the three girls, Liza, Pochi, and Tama, and must find a way out. While on the way to the exit, he teaches them how to fight, again showing that he isn’t interested in the girls around him. The story does create a harem situation, but because he is still 30 years old at heart, it thankfully doesn’t capitalize on this. Towards the end of the dungeon, a much stronger demon appears, and Satou fights it off while under disguise. Upon obtaining victory, he gets the in-game “Hero” title. As much as Satou wants to live a peaceful life, it appears that he isn’t going to be allowed the chance.
The use of this photo is for review purposes only. © Yen Press, Hiro Ainana, Shri.
Most of the characters don’t seem like anything special, but this could partially be because we haven’t learned much about any of them. Satou is the exception though, and gives us a unique take compared to the usual protagonists thrown into his situation. He is much more intellectual concerning his thought process, and the fact that the book is written from his perspective is definitely a strong point. Two additional characters were introduced right at the end of the book, and are named Arisa and Lulu. The art style (although there are only a few images) is unique, and the colored pages are stunning.
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Vol 1 was a very enjoyable read, giving a fresh enough take on what is now considered an overly-saturated genre. The story is uniquely written from Satou’s perspective, and isn’t as dialogue-heavy as many other light novels. With an interesting adult protagonist, detailed world setting, and an enjoyable emerging plot-line, this is definitely a series worth checking out!
This book was provided to us free, for review purposes.
If you are interested, this book is available for purchase digitally from BookWalker Global.
Additional Note: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody has been announced to be getting an anime adaptation, although there is no release date as of yet. Read more here.