Twenty-nine year old programmer Ichirō Suzuki is in the midst of a “death march,” the final few days before a game’s release as he works out all sorts of bugs, foregoing sleep (and hygiene) as he scrambles to complete his work. Finally hitting an end point, he falls asleep in the office, but awakes to find himself in a world that seems to be a combination of two games he was coding, complete with powerful enemies, skills, items, and perhaps most hazardous of all, the bugs he never finished writing out.
The newest isekai anime that drops a character into a fantasy gaming world begins haphazardly: as a protagonist, Suzuki isn’t easy to root for (he’s pretty self-confident for a guy approaching his thirties without any prospects and the actor voicing him is a little annoying—not good for an episode where he speaks dialogue endlessly) and the drop into the gaming world is done without proper explanation. But that’s when episode one gets interesting. The series, so focused on bugs in the first half, demonstrates why: the mechanics of this world are at front and center in series, as Suzuki figures out what he’s able to do and use from a gamer’s perspective. And though I had to suspend disbelief for much of the leveling up given to Suzuki, I was totally engaged in the back half of episode one because far more than other isekai series, I felt a part of this one. The episode felt half-game/half-anime, and so for all it’s flaws, Death March provides something unique—and I think I’ll be coming back for more.
Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody can be streamed on Crunchyroll.