Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody – Anime Preview
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Synopsis: “Satou,” aka Ichiro Suzuki is a programmer in the middle of a death march. He was supposed to be taking a nap but somehow wakes up in another world… What lies before him is what looks like the menu screen of the game he was working before his nap. He’s at a complete beginner stage at level 1. However, he had three “Meteor Showers” which could level a whole map. Suddenly, a whole group of lizardmen appears in front of him. In order to survive, Satou uses Meteor Shower, his level jumped to 310 and he became extremely wealthy. Whether it be dream or reality, Satou’s journey was now beginning. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody starts off dull as its protagonist, Ichiro Suzuki, repeatedly narrates the most inane and random things in an attempt to give audiences a feel for his current life. And while he’s often made to seem forgetful or zoned out in order to show how preoccupied and overworked he is, it also runs the risk of making him seem self absorbed and dim, as some of the ‘surprises’ he notices are things a supposedly regular workaholic would be more aware of.
Tom: Ichiro Suzuki has a crap life, or pretty standard life if you’re familiar with crunch time and game development. While the opening is basically designed to make us feel sorry for him (and his subsequent Isekai existence an elongated catharsis) it is interesting how much time Death March devotes to detailing his real world daily troubles. Most of these shows flash us past all that and dump our overpowered hero into the primary setting. It’s kind of refreshing, but once we’re past this Death March largely starts hitting all the familiar beats. Ichiro quickly finds himself massively overpowered for the world, although again Death March spends time setting this up and developing the concept, unlike say In Another World With My Smartphone. While this more detailed realization of these elements kinda works for this first episode, I am still concerned that Death March is going to head down the same mindnumbingly uninteresting, near conflictless, route that so many Isekai suffer from.
Linny: There are SOME things in Death March’s first episode that help it feel a little more interesting over the legions of Isekai, such as how it takes our protagonist much longer to catch onto his situation, how he doesn’t die to get to the new world, and how much more restrained his reaction to everything is. The restrained mannerism he exhibits is most likely to keep in line with his older age and it might win over those who dislike the younger, cockier personalities of the usual teenage leads. And though he has some very powerful abilities, they apparently come with major drawbacks, at least for now. However, this is an Isekai so it obviously contains a major power fantasy element, like how Ichiro’s level jumps to 310 from 1 thanks to wiping out an army using a bonus item. It’s not a complete show ruiner but it does raise the risk of Death March turning into yet another standard Isekai sooner rather than later.
Tom: Death March might’ve kept me around for the next few episodes if it actually looked any good. Trouble is it suffers from glaringly heavy usage of CGI for larger crowd scenes and the CGI just isn’t up to snuff. It sticks out and is a real eyesore. But if you’re an Isekai fan, Death March’s first episode seems a mild step up from other, more middle of the road, Isekai, and is worth trying in that regard.
Linny: The animation is definitely nothing to write home about and to me it became a real eyesore during any scene where Ichiro had to run. It isn’t horrendous, there are still some good shots ever so often but it does have some serious dips as well. Thanks to that and the story already displaying the trappings of its Isekai nature, Death March seems at best a show for devoted Isekai fans but nothing that would convert or blow away anyone else.