29-year-old programmer Suzuki Ichirou finds himself transported into a fantasy RPG. Within the game, he's a 15-year-old named Satuu. At first he thinks he's dreaming, but his experiences seem very real. Due to a powerful ability he possesses with limited use, he ends up wiping out an army of lizard men and becomes a high leveled adventurer. Satuu decides to hide his level, and plans to live peacefully and meet new people. However, developments in the game's story, such as the return of a demon king, may cause a nuisance to Satuu's plans.
I would describe Death March as a Slice of life novel of another world. Nothing much really happens from the main male character going to tea parties with nobles, to going on a desperate multi-day quest for the sacred ingredient, pickles. The side stories include the main character nonchalantly killing off demon lords and dragon gods, and the like. Of course while killing demon lords seems uneventful to the overpowered main character, side characters and the world itself become greatly affected by such "trivial" actions. This causes several events to unfold simultaneously, building up to some interesting situations throughout the story.
The main character gets transported to another world as an OP (overpowered) character. He has no distinctive quality other than being overly cautious and doesn't like pain, which contrasts greatly with the level of over-kill he is. Kind of like, although getting slashed with a sword would feel as bad as getting a paper cut, he still doesn't want a paper cut. I mean, would you? As a result, rather than spending time getting into battles, he becomes a full-time tourist of this world. As he slowly learns about the world through: food, crafting, skills, magic, trade, politics, religion, etc. the reader does too.
Story: Since this story is like a slice of life, there honestly really isn't much of an overarching story. There are some sub-stories that are interesting due to the "all-map" skill that the main character has. Basically, he can track what everyone is doing from a 3rd person perspective. (Think of tactics games such as Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, or Fire Emblem) As such, he also plays the role of strategist when confronting battles and problems on large scales. Other than the slice of life feeling of the story, this is my favorite aspect. The large-scale tactics are well done in my opinion. Hence an 8 for story despite the lacking overarching story.
Art: What can I say. It's a novel. There isn't much art? It seems decent to me though. Pochi is particularly cute in the art! nanodesu =w=)~
Character: While the main character has no personality, the side characters have very distinctive personalities that are quite easy to like. (Pochi and Tama are my favs. Can always use more Tamarin and Pochinium -- Intermission SS4 Volume 9 reference) While there honestly isn't much character growth (if any at all), since there are a lot of chapters from the side character's POV (point of view), sometimes the same event from multiple perspectives, the characters do give another depth the story. They are what drive home the story's charm. At least for me, some of my favorite chapters are from a side character's POV.
Enjoyment: Due to its light-hearted nature, this story is very relaxing to read, and very easy to enjoy. I'm an avid reader of transported-to-another-world type novels, and I would rank this one quite up there due to its unique perspective on the genre. Other novels that I have read or am still reading, and like (for reference) include: Cook of the Mercenary Corp, Mushoku Tensei, History’s Number 1 Founder, Transcending the Nine Heavens, Crossing to the Future it’s Not Easy to Be a Man, Kenkyo Kenjitsu o Motto ni Ikite Orimasu.
One other thing to address: Right, there is technically a harem. But honestly, it's closer to a teacher taking their students on a field trip. The main character isn't interested in them, and the attempts of the harem to advance towards the main character at a certain point becomes more jokingly, rather than with seriousness. Or at least that is how it's portrayed. As a novel of its genre, it's rather absent of excessive sexual comments. Which is a nice change of pace.
Conclusion: Slice of life style stories aren't for everyone as they are slow paced. Especially with the lacking overarching story, if you are looking for something high powered, this is definitely not the story for you. For the casual-type story reader, this would be of more interest.
This is a review of the web novel. For recommendations I would like to suggest to you Overlord, Tate no Yuusha, and Mushoku Tensei as they are of the same genre but are better than Death March in every conceivable way.
Death March brings a unique take on the being reincarnated into another world genre. If you are trying to decide whether or not to read this novel, I suggest that you don’t. This is the authors first and only work that has made it to publishing; which speaks to how much experience he has in his writing. The base concept is interesting and full
of potential but in the end is only a sad attempt at wish fulfillment.
Let’s firstly talk about what was good. The story starts off interesting enough as Satou unknowingly causes a meteor shower that kills thousands of people which in turn gain him a very high level. He decides to roam around aimlessly as he does not know of a way to get back home, and goes to a city where we learn about the world that he is now in and await what situations Satou might get into. It sounds decent, but that is the only good thing about the novel, everything goes downhill from then on.
The main flaw of this series is that Satou is basically an immortal god due to his high level, he is the most powerful person in the world for doing pretty much nothing. This immediately removes any dramatic tension because we know that if anything were to happen, Satou would take care of it in an instant. He will never be in danger or anyone around him for that matter. Be prepared for long boring chapters with a complete lack of any suspense due to how overpowered the main character is. Not only is he incredibly powerful, he is also the greatest at doing absolutely everything because he gains abilities for doing anything you can think of, with no set rule of what ability he can and can’t gain; throwing the reader for a loop as to why he gained an ability for doing this action but not for doing that action. There is a magic in the world but it is so needlessly confusing that you will end up nodding your head and ignoring it as it is poorly fleshed out. The author is a horrible job in world building with nothing being detailed and there is nothing to learn about the cities other than their general descriptions. The art is okay, it’s not good and it’s not that bad but don’t expect too much from this series.
The characters are where I think Death March screws up the most in, especially after introducing the seven female leads. As a reader you will witness Satou remain the same throughout the most of the chapters, not changing the least as a character or person. In fact Satou comes off as sometimes being an inane and despicable character throughout the story as killing thousands of people does not even phase him. Everyone, including Satou, are one-dimensional characters with most, if not all, of the females falling under the “In love with Satou” category. I wonder if the author is literally incapable of writing a female character who is not in love with Satou sometimes. The females are bland and unoriginal and are divided into two major categories: big-breasts and flat-chests, with each having their respective clichéd trope attached with them. We basically learn next to nothing about their pasts, and when we do it is immediately brushed off leaving no impact on the reader and wasting your time for even reading it. But, the most dreadful thing is that the main females only purpose, other than annoying the reader, is to stop Satou from being involved with any other woman and punish him whenever he does, which is honestly stupid given how powerful he is. The female leads are the most useless characters in the whole novel as sometimes they fight a monster or whatnot, but in the back of our minds we know that Satou could do what they are doing in a matter of seconds. They have no motivations and serve no other role except being wish fulfillment. I would like to talk about the small number of male characters but trust me you won’t remember any of them in a couple of hours.
There is no surprises to be had as the story follows down a linear road of monotony. If you did not realize it after Satou left the city, then boy are you in for a treat. Expect every location he travels to, to be a literal knockoff of what you read in previous chapters. The whole plot from this point can be summed up with one sentence: Satou goes to new location making women fall in love with him, cooks food, and then he leaves. How boring does that sound? Repeat that process over and over and you have Death March. The most irritating thing is that the story mainly revolves around Satou being a great cook more than anything else.
Frankly the only reason I was able to read this much of it, is because I was stuck in class with nothing better to do. If you are the type of person that can turn off their brain while reading then by all means go ahead, but know that you could spend your time reading something better.
Skip this novel. Seriously; go read Log Horizon, Mushoku Tensei or Tate no yuusha instead. This one is just a bad, sad take on the virtual MMORPG/ rebirth in a new world genre. Slight SPOILERS ahead.
If I had to choose the one thing that makes this novel a good choice for garden manure, it would be that the author seems to be too lazy to flesh out the world and the characters himself. Upon checking his page, I saw that this was his only publication according to MAL. In this case I can only hope he matures as a writer in his next attempt.
Everything just falls into place in this novel like a jigsaw puzzle because it is expected that it would. The game system is weird and intrusive, rewarding the character for doing anything other than simply breathing. The guy is automatically one of the most powerful people there. There isn't even some power to master or some trial to overcome. The guy just is all-powerful. He takes down a dragon God in the second chapter and becomes an extremely overpowered guy the very instant he wakes up. We learn next to nothing about the city, but it's all fine because there is nothing here we need not expect. There are slaves (there always are); there is magic (to be fair, there is a system involved but its not well-explained) and there are demons (how else can the OP MC do anything)
Most of the time, I found myself filling in for the author from other, better series. It wasn't even that funny.
Next, onto characters. I'm going to take the unconventional route and start with the women in this novel. Never have I felt more sorry for characters in a fictional world. Most of the women are cute, big-breasted (obviously) and eager to talk but sadly unavailable. The women who are available are either lolis or flat-chested or both. Would it have hurt to make some sort of well-defined character. I still don't know anything about the personalities of any of the female characters. I'm not even too sure about the female knight in the second chapter because she was always far too shy. I couldn't even properly empathize with Arisa's story in the third chapter. There's too many vague factors, we don't see Arisa work hard for her country once and the ordinary LN style narration did not help. The MC is detestable. At one point, he didn't land the killing blow on a demon in the city and the author brushed it off by saying something to the effect of "Well, I couldn't really do that, you know?" I get it. Modern men are mostly not used to killing and bloodshed and would be hesitant to kill something, even a confirmed demon. However, the author should not be allowed to explain this away so easily. Put some weight behind the words for god's sake. This is just a rip-off of any other novel in the genre with none of the emotions or strong characters. There is nothing that makes me like this character or respect him. On the contrary, I constantly wished this was a joke and the real MC would appear sometime later.
The art in this work was pretty average and expected of the LN I'd say. Nothing unusual or worthy of praise.
I know I haven't read a lot of the LN; just a little over a volume really. However, I have never been so eager to drop one. Some of the commenters on the website found it enjoyable. If so, I'd like someone to enlighten me about it.
FINAL SCORE: Your princess is in another castle/10.
I don't write reviews often, (like once or twice). But I had to write one for this. Seriously though, there were people here giving it an overall rating of 3 or 4. So I felt that it was under-appreciated.
First of all, this review is based on the Web Novel.
The Story is certainly interesting, rarely strays from original objective, quite original. Also, a tip for all of you who plan to read it, read the intermissions and short stories in between chapters. They add A LOT to the story development. The story is a bit original I guess, it does have similarities with other
(transport / reincarnated into fantasy world like novels), however I assure you that each "Arc" (that's what i'll call it) are certainly original. I assure you that as you keep reading the web novel, you will not be bored with it.
Uhh, the art is taken from the Light Novel. Honestly I couldn't say it's bad, the art is certainly nice. However because the LN and WN has slightly different stories, sometimes the art doesn't fit. Fear not, the Translator-San of the WN in Sousetsuka has explained this so.
Nice character dev. They're pretty unique. The Main Character is quite typical for this genre. However other main heriones / characters are pretty unique, they add a lot to the story line too. Also there's A LOT of side characters that are mentioned, and it's quite essential to remember them as they do reappear often. Because of this complex network of lots of characters, it adds a lot to the story of the WN also.
I can CONFIDENTLY say here, that I really enjoyed reading teh WN of this. As I have said before the story si very nice, and there's a lot of twists about the plot / MC hinted in the intermission and Short Stories. There's a lot of implicit meanings and ambiguous things in the WN. But because of the ambiguity, it allows me as the reader to enjoy the thrill of guessing ahead of the story and come up with our own ideas as to what they are.
In conclusion. I really recommend this WN to others, I've recommended this WN to some of my friends, and all of them agree that this WN is certainly interesting.
For Recommendations of similar WN / LN to this, I'd definitely recommend Mushoku Tensei. Yes, yes. It's all the hype now, but seriously, it's really good.