‘Death March Kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku’ Season 2: ‘Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody’ Anime

Studios Silver Link and Connect'Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody' Anime TV Still

The Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Season 2 release date from anime studios Silver Link and Connect need not be too far away thanks to the pacing of the first season’s episodes. Based on where Episode 12 leaves off, the Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody light novel series provides plenty of source material for a second season, but the real question is whether production will ever be greenlit.

Nicknamed “Death March Isekai” or “DesuMachi” by fans, the Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku light novel series, by author Hiro Ainana and illustrator shri, began by first being self-published as a web novel in 2013, only to be adapted and published as light novels by Fujimi Shobo Novels starting in 2014. As of March 10, 2018, the light novel series is up to volume 13 and the LN-adapted version includes extra original content that wasn’t in the web novel. In January of 2018, Hiro also published a prequel story about Princess Arisa called Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Ex: Princess Arisa’s Otherworldly Struggle.

Death March Isekai was adapted into a manga series by mangaka Ayamegumu starting in 2014. As of December 9, 2017, the Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku manga is up to volume 6, having covered only a small portion of the light novel series’ story. Beginning in February of 2018, mangaka Akira Segami also began adapting the prequel story about Princess Arisa into a manga series. The first volume of the prequel manga has not yet been released.

New web novel chapters are released about once a week, usually on Sundays. The web novel is currently 16 “chapters” or volumes that are divided into sub-chapters. An English fan translation project is completely caught up with the web novel all the way to Chapter 16-41 and it is usually updated on Mondays. So, it’s possible to read way ahead of the DesuMachi anime’s story right now, but keep in mind that there will be story differences compared to the light novel, manga, and anime.

Yen Press is publishing the official English translation for both the Death March manga and light novel series. The English manga has only caught up to Japanese volume 4, whereas the English light novel series is also only up to volume 4. For the manga, volume 5 is scheduled for October 30, 2018. For the light novels, Death March Volume 5’s release date is May 22, 2018, while volume 6 is scheduled for September 18, 2018. The release date for volume 7 has not yet been announced.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Manga/Light Novel Series Compared To The Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody Anime

Reviews of the anime have fans either loving it or hating it. Derided as Satou’s Harem March by critics, one review called the DesuMachi anime misogynistic trash because the main character, Satou, gathers a harem of literal slave girls and technically does not free them from slavery. Worse, one of these girls, Arisa, is a Shotacon-loving Japanese woman stuck in a reincarnated 11-year-old body who attempts to seduce him because Satou is stuck in a younger-looking body. He declines, but it still comes down to an older “hero” choosing not to sleep with an 11-year-old former princess-turned-sex slave.

Defenders of the anime point out that Satou does not treat the girls like slaves and they’re more like an adopted family, not a stereotypical anime harem (even though they insist on the master/slave relationship based on cultural imperative). Satou is also not a lolicon who takes sexual advantage of the girls, and in Episode 11 he states, “As your guardian, it’d be ethically wrong to lay a finger on any of you.” On the other hand, Arisa openly believes she’s part of a harem.

The main criticism of the anime adaptation has been the slow pacing and the fact that the story conforms to many isekai genre tropes. Some critics consider Satou’s character to be banal and he’s technically even more overpowered than Ainz from the Overlord anime. On the positive side, the anime’s plot doesn’t get swamped down in harem rom-com antics like so many isekai anime (think Isekai wa Smartphone). Fans point out that the anime’s pacing is more like a slice-of-life fantasy intermixed with the occasional action sequence and high-level-creatures-turned-into-food anime.

In comparing the DesuMachi anime story’s progress against the manga, volume 4 was about exploring the Cradle and defeating Undead King Zen, and that story arc was over by anime Episode 9. By Episode 11, the anime was up to manga chapter 39, which is the newest available chapter. This means that the English manga release is currently behind the anime adaptation.

As for the light novels, Episode 10 kicked off the beginning of volume 3, which was chapter/volume 6 in the web novel. Episode 11 covered about three-quarters of volume 3, but this story was not in the web novel since it was original to the light novels and manga. Death March Episode 12 finished off the light novel-only story from Volume 3 and foreshadowed the upcoming journey to the Muno Barony in Volume 4. In short, the pacing of the anime accelerated at the end since a single volume was crammed into three episodes.

All in all, there is plenty of source material for making Death March Season 2. With 10 light novel volumes and a prequel left to cover, it could be argued that there’s enough to create Death March Season 3 and 4, as well. And it’s a necessity because the anime otherwise leaves audiences hanging without any major resolution to the story.

Warning: Minor spoilers in the next paragraph.

The real issue with the DesuMachi anime is that the underlying backstory and world-building haven’t been developed much beyond the flashback dream sequence in Episode 10, which featured a girl with rainbow-colored hair. There’s no main conflict to be resolved (yet) and even the only established long-term goal won’t find any resolution in the first season. At the current pace of the anime adaptation, elf princess Mia won’t reach her home in the Boruenan Forest until perhaps Death March Season 3, unless the second season is either two cours or much faster-paced. Audiences also will not be filled in about the meaning behind that dream sequence until many episodes later.

At the same time, the way the story is progressing is part of the point. It’s a story about a programmer who was wasting his life meeting goals and deadlines during crunch-time death marches. Now, he’s free to journey and explore with no end-goal in mind. For Satou, it’s all about enjoying the ride rather than reaching a goal.

Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody Light Novel 4 Cover
'Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody' light novel Volume 4 cover.Featured image credit: shriFujimi Shobo

Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody Season 2 Release Date

The DesuMachi anime was produced by many companies in the anime production committee and licensed by Funimation and Crunchyroll. As of this article’s publishing, animation companies Silver Link and Connect have not announced anything official about the Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Season 2 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel’s premiere is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody Season 2 premiere date may occur.

Unfortunately, the Death March Blu-Ray sales are off to a rough start. Ranking number 19 on the Oricon charts, the first week sales of Death March Volume 1 were only 1,507 copies sold. Convention wisdom holds that an anime needs to sell 3,000 copies on average to justify a second season, but streaming services like Crunchyroll and Netflix have changed the financial paradigm for the better.

What is known is that the studios have greenlit production of the anime Strike The Blood Season 3 as a joint project, and Silver Link is planning another Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya sequel, presumably Season 5, since the Sekka no Chikai movie came out in 2017. Besides those projects, the studios have multiple other anime seasons and movies planned for 2018. Nothing has been announced for 2019 or 2020 yet, but developing an anime series takes years and studios are booked out far in advance.

Considering that the light novels are so far ahead of the anime, it’s possible the studios could release the Death March anime sequels in back-to-back years. After all, Silver Link has done that in the past with the Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma☆Illya anime series.

Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody
The action sequences of 'Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody' were quite the departure from the slice-of-life antics.Featured image credit: Studios Silver Link and Connect'Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody' Anime TV Still

Death March Season 2 Anime Spoilers Based On The DesuMachi Light Novels

The anime finished off with the story arc from Volume 3 of the light novel series, which was not contained in the web novel, and continues with Volume 4. The ending of Episode 12 also indirectly explained how Satou came to be in this parallel world via magic from the Dragon God and the Young Goddess.

The next time that anime audiences watch Satou and company, he will be taking his group to the dangerous Muno Barony, a northern territory that has seen strife since the death of Marquis Muno and his family at the hand of the Undead King Zen. Nobles have fought over the territory and the peasants are in poverty.

An earl from a neighboring territory took on the name of Leon Muno to lead the barony, but there’s a conspiracy afoot amidst the ramshackle villages. A demon has disguised itself as a trusted counsel member and has brainwashed Leon. Satou must help the new baron’s beautiful daughter, Lady Karina Muno. The young woman is level 50 and master of the Raka, a magic tool that looks like a tiara, bracelets, and anklets.

Satou still does not want anyone to realize a wandering merchant is a level 310 adventurer, so he disguises himself as a hero and goes by the names Nanashi or Kuro. He’s also been working on a new attack spell called Holy Bolt. The demon has summoned undead and there are even giants and a haunted fortress involved in this adventure. But poor Satou was probably more overwhelmed when he was offered the hand of 19-year-old Lady Karina in marriage.

Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody Karina Muno
The light novel cover of 'Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody' Volume 4 features Karina Muno.Featured image credit: shriFujimi Shobo

Satou’s next adventures in Volume 5 and 6 takes him to the Dwarf village, Bollhart City. Along the way, he earns the titles of a hard, heavy, and heavyweight drinker for good reason. He visits the dwarven smithies and is allowed to be the blacksmith for creating the Fairy Sword Trazayuya, a mythril sword that is gifted to Satou. This is a big deal because a lot of noble sons are trying to buy up any magic sword they can since it’s a requirement for entering a competition in the Oyugock Dukedom that’s held every three years. Noble children who don’t inherit territory become commoners, so they are competing to become a noble guard of the duke.

Along the way to the Oyugock capital city, Satou and his party defeat a gorilla-like demon with six arms terrorizing Gururian City. What’s more, Satou ends up rescuing Princess Menea Rumooku from the demons. The princess was engaged to a prince of a neighboring kingdom, but he died so she was traveling to study abroad in the royal capital in hopes of meeting her next suitor.

The story of Death March Season 2 will probably culminate in the old capital city when Satou arrives just in time for the martial art tournament. Behind all the fun, fireworks, and ball dancing lurks a secret society of demon worshipers called the Wings of Liberty. Their lair is located beneath the capital and inside a labyrinth that holds a gigantic ritual room.

A 15-year-old girl named Sera Oyugock, granddaughter of Duke Oyugock, is betrayed by a member of the family and given to the cult. Disguised as Nanashi, Satou goes to the rescue but the Wings of Liberty sacrifices Sera to summon the level 120 demon orc lord, Golden Wild Boar King. This fight tests Satou since he has been endowed absurd power but lacks experience. The demon has the ability to regenerate itself with new bodies like translucent tentacles and summon magic swords capable of slaying dragons. But the real problem is not the beast — it’s what to do with the corpse of poor Sera.

Death March To The Parallel World Rhapsody Golden Wild Boar King
The Golden Wild Boar King as depicted in the light novel illustrations.Featured image credit: shriFujimi Shobo

Warning: Major spoilers.

The story finally reveals what’s going on in the wider world as the light novels progress. It turns out the Goddess Parion desires to protect mortals from demon attacks and she has taught people of the Saga Empire how to summon heroes. There are many modern Japanese people who have been summoned and placed in various points on the parallel world’s timeline. One of the ancient leaders of the reincarnated Japanese is Ban Hellsing and just by that name alone you can probably guess what he’s about.

Unlike pretty much all isekai anime, Satou eventually gains the ability to teleport between the fantasy world and real-world Earth. He even runs into an old office co-worker named Hikaru (Mito Mitsukuni), who was summoned to the past of the parallel world as a hero. After doing great deeds, Hikaru could have returned to Earth, but when an oracle told Hikaru she’d meet Satou if she stayed in the parallel world, she decided to wait for years in a stasis-like sleep.

And, yes, there is romance. Satou does not view the girls he’s rescued as a harem yet. Later on, there will be romance with at least several of them. But Satou apparently likes older women — much, much older women.

Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku Light Novel Volume 8 Aze Elf Character
The high elf character Aze is featured on the cover of 'Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyusoukyoku' light novel Volume 8.Featured image credit: shriFujimi Shobo

When the travelers finally reach Boreunan Forest, he falls in love with a high elf named Aze, who is literally hundreds of millions of years old. The elf loves pranks, but the worst joke is that the love of his life refuses his advances, claiming that the gods desire that Satou have children from 100 human women in order for his progeny to make the world prosperous. Only once he achieves this goal will Aze become Satou’s wife.

Anime audiences will only get that far in the DesuMachi story assuming Death March Season 3 is ever made. In the meantime, let’s just hope the Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku Season 2 release date is announced. Stay tuned.