Day 13: Death March Rhapsody to the Parallel World by Hiro Ainana and Aya Megumu

Yen Press brings artist Aya Megumu’s manga adaptation of Hiro Ainana’s 2013 web novel “Death March Rhapsody to the Parallel World,” adding to the expanding collection of video games themed series.

Suzuki Ichirou pushed himself to his limits to get his company’s online game “WW” ready for release. The deadline forced him into a “death march” or a full day without sleep filled with work and he instantly passed out after finishing his programming. However when Suzuki woke up, he found himself in the midst of a desert battlefield. Luckily he had ways of defending himself thanks to the game menu shown in his sight. He used spells and skills to stop his reptilian attackers while also searching for more information about this world. Suzuki quickly discovered that the game’s mechanics worked a bit differently in this reality, especially since he felt and saw the immediate consequences of his actions. With the help of Zena Marienteil, a soldier of Count Seiryuu’s army and other local residents, he figures out what he has done along with seeing if there is a way to wake up from this strange “dream.”

With many other series with alternate digital and fantastical realities out on the shelves and screens, new creators have to find ways with their stories to stand out and attract readers. Unlike recent ones like “Log Horizon” and “Sword Art Online,” it seems that Suzuki, rather “Satou” is the only character that knows they are not of this fantasy world instead of having a large cast of people trapped. Not only is Satou from the modern reality, but also part of the team that created the digital realm. Some older Anime fans and gamers may remember the “.hack” franchise where its game captures many players, but also its own developers. One may wonder after reading the first volume if Satou might be able to use some of his old skills to help him. The setting of “Death March” definitely goes a different route by trying to go close to old high fantasy with arcane magic. Writer Ainana praises Megumu for bringing his tale beyond his visions, words and artist Shri’s designs in a small afterword. Readers will see the slight difference in focus and detail between Ainana’s text from the prologue and the information shown in the manga’s pages. The artist expands the audience’s view beyond what Satou sees and gives more life to this fictional world.

Yen Press has both Megumu’s manga and Ainana’s light novel available for interested readers. According to the manga’s fourth volume, a “Death March” anime is in the works, but no confirmation on a release date. For more news, visit Yen Press’s website.