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Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku – Corporate Slave turned Isekai Protagonist


The Dream of Many a Man


 

Just here to check out the review. Is Death March worth watching?

 
Your mileage may vary, and it mostly depends on what you expect, coming into the series. First off, it certainly isn’t dramatic or action packed, and a focus on slice of life might bore some people. This isn’t a show for everyone. That said, Death March is quite consistent, and I couldn’t identify a moment as being ‘terrible’, though there weren’t a significant number of standout scenes. So what could you possibly enjoy? Like Log Horizon, a game interface is integrated into Satou’s point of view. Watching him achieve various titles became a source of unlikely entertainment, and at the end of the day, it’s really like watching someone else play a video game. Personally, I enjoy watching gameplay just as much as playing games myself, so this was totally up my street.
 
In spite of my lack of qualms, I want to outline a few things, that some folks might find distasteful. Death March’s more contentious themes would be an overpowered protagonist, loli fanservice and harem elements. But these aren’t particularly relevant in the grand scheme of the story. Yeah, Satou might be overpowered. But he doesn’t stomp through all his encounters either, and sometimes has to use his brains to figure out a solution. The series comes up with reasonable obstacles, that target his weaker understanding of the world around him, as opposed to letting him brute force everything. Also, despite questionable moments of fanservice, Satou’s poker face reactions were spot on. At the start of the series, he proclaims ‘I’m no lolicon’, and remains true to his words. And that’s not to say that the man is asexual either, seeing how he visits brothels every now and then, getting his Sexual Skills up to Lvl 2. This points towards an evident lack of any interest in these young girls, who are seen as daughters more than anything else. By refusing to exploit them, Satou is clearly a man of justice, that doesn’t actively dabble in harem antics.
 
Having explained why more contentious themes don’t necessarily pose an obstacle to enjoyment, I will now proceed to divulging my personal thoughts on the series, and why it works for me.
 

An Unconventional Isekai Protagonist

 
It cannot be denied that isekai (other-world) stories are a massive guilty pleasure of mine. I’m sufficiently entertained, seeing someone getting a second chance, without making the same mistakes from their previous life. However, upon reviewing the idea in a personal context, the same cannot be said about myself. If I became an extremely overpowered isekai protagonist, what would I do? Being spoiled for choice would leave me incapacitated. Supermarket shopping is already a nightmare, because I spend too long considering which breads or apples are available. Optimising RPG characters is even worse, to the point where I typically default to guides, when making decisions that I’d otherwise spend too much time mulling over. Without any direction, or cookie cutter steps to follow, I’d be stuck doing nothing for an eternity.
 
Additionally, I’m lazy to a fault. Why push myself past any sort of limits, when there’s a simple and happy life I can enjoy? Saving the world would take too much effort, and I’d rather avoid being placed in such a precarious scenario, unless it’s absolutely necessary. I’m not willing to sacrifice myself, for a greater good that I don’t even know about. Heck, I’d probably have been transported without consent, so why should I comply with the biddings of people who forcibly subjugated my free will?
 
This is why I find Death March compelling, even if it doesn’t offer anything new in terms of setting and concept. To me, Satou is a refreshing isekai protagonist who makes decisions like a rational being, despite his arguably bland characterisation. He comes across as an older iteration of the Gary Stu archetype, but that crucial distinction is all we require. As a middle aged programmer, he offers a frequently untapped adult perspective, with other priorities that are not obscured by delusions of grandeur. Instead of treating the isekai experience like a game that needs completion, or a hell hole to be escaped from, he approaches it like an extended vacation. Despite having the abilities that would allow him to do so much more, he chooses to kick back, by immersing himself in otherworldly cultures. Especially in culinary riches. Naturally, he intervenes when there’s no other way, or when his moral sensibilities flare up. Which allowed us to get awesome RPG-esque moments, like Satou heroically tearing through the labyrinth, in order to save Mia. Furthermore, he generally tries to remain as uninvolved as he possibly can, offering tactical support, before his direct intervention is inevitably needed. For some reason, I get the impression that many people would follow a similar path, if put in the same situation.
 
You might ask, if he was such a righteous man, then why didn’t Satou liberate the slaves? The man has reasons. Sadly, the anime cut out the explanations. Beast folk are heavily discriminated against, as we saw in the starting town. If Liza, Pochi and Tama were freed, a dangerous possibility existed, wherein some human toerag would have tried to take them as slaves. For these reasons, they begged him to keep them as slaves, wishes he chose to respect. As for Arisa and Lulu, they would need to break a high level curse, before their slave statuses can be removed. They choose to trust Satou as their master, rather than gambling, and potentially ending up with a depraved noble. Why not, if he’s such a nice guy towards them? As far as I could tell, most nobles in that world were complete scum, so that turned out to be a pretty good decision.
 

Concluding Thoughts

 
Unfortunately, the anime only covered the first few volumes, giving us a mere glimpse of this wonderfully carefree lifestyle. We got flashes with stuff like camping, sampling food, making potions, etc. But it’s a pitiful fraction, when compared against Satou’s later ventures. And what use is a solid foundation, when there’s ultimately no house built on top? Excluding Arisa, the slaves got severely shafted, with heavy cuts being made to their characterisation. Sadly, this is a limitation of single cour adaptations, which is a shame. With light novels in particular, the problem is more pronounced, where adapting studios will try to cram in as much of the story as possible, resulting in what feels like a poorly paced story. Worst of all, due to said limitation, Death March’s anime couldn’t express itself fully, in a way that would positively diverge from most other isekai shows. The end product was by no means bad. But considering the source material carries worthwhile qualities, and is something I’d consider to be special within the field of isekai, I feel it is a terrible shame we didn’t get a complete package.
 
What single thing would I have done differently, if I was the director? Easy. Go for a partial adaptation of the third volume. The Illusionary Forest Arc was fun to watch, but I would rather bulk up other arcs, while prioritising female characterisation throughout the rest of the series. There was no helping Lulu, since most of her characterisation took place in later volumes outside of feasible adaptation range. But in my opinion, something could have been done to help Liza and Zena, who are better characters compared with how they were ultimately portrayed. This is totally speculation on my part, since it’s hard to say whether such a change would have led to overall improvement, if sacrifices ended up being made elsewhere. Nevertheless, I would personally have liked to see characters reaching their potential, as depicted in the source material. In the case that you’re waiting for a second season which might not arrive, and you’re interested in what happens next, I have a suggestion to make.
 
For an authentic experience of what Death March is really about, I highly recommend picking up the light novel starting from Volume 3. Although the content is covered in the anime, they pretty much cut out a good chunk so that everything would fit, which is worth going back over to see. The subsequent volume is also where the plot starts to really pick up, so you would be in for a pleasant surprise! To conclude, though the anime is definitely enjoyable, there’s a whole other oyster of delights out there, waiting to be opened up at your choosing.
 

March 31, 2018 at 2:18 pm
51 comments »
  • March 31, 2018 at 3:40 pmDavid

    I’ve read a good chunk of the web novel. The light novel made a number of changes, mostly smoothing out the rough edges, but also smoothing out the rough edges. That is, it reads much better, but it gets rid of a lot of the less pleasant stuff that actually adds tension to the story.

    As far as the anime, the first few episodes had notable pacing issues. The insertion of the OP always felt random and incompetent. I was actually fast-forwarding through a couple of the middle episodes.

    However the anime also does do a couple interesting things. For example, it’s quite blatant that Satou always sees the game interface in his vision, whereas in the web novel it felt more Log Horizon-like, where it wasn’t there unless you specifically brought it up. This gives a little better understanding of why Satou treats everything as a game, because the game aspect literally never goes away. It introduces a distance between Satou and anyone else around him.

    Not that the director did a good job of making use of that. Likewise, it didn’t feel like an adaptation that made the best use of its medium. I watched the episode of rescuing Mia shortly after episode 12 of YoriMoi, and the crying scene at the end of the Death March episode, where everyone was upset about Satou going off and possibly dying (in their perspective) was just so hollow and flat in comparison that it was depressing. There’s a lot more connection made between the characters in the original, that you could at least find it believable. (For example, Arisa could tell that Zen was level 41, while she believed Satou to be level 10.)

    The amount of material in the original web novel is huge compared to what was adapted. They only just left the first city (with a horribly fake “tearful farewell” with Zena), compared to an entire cross-country travelogue. At the same time, it reminded me of the weaknesses of the early story, where the cast other than Satou were almost literally a footnote much of the time. “Find convenient excuse to ditch the rest of the party so that Satou can go do/experience something interesting.”

    Overall, the anime is very “white bread”. Bland, but at least hits the plot points. I just wish they’d taken a more serious hacksaw to reworking it, as the early parts of the series are also the weakest parts of it, and the rest of the group’s characters deserved so much more attention than they received.

    • March 31, 2018 at 3:57 pmZaiden

      Hey David!

      Thanks for replying to my post, because you really hit the nail on the head in a couple of places I missed. Firstly, what the anime managed to successfully build upon, in comparison with the source material. I never actually gave it much thought, how the anime always has the game interface on, whereas the novels do not explicitly mention this detail. I’m not entirely sold that he mainly treats it like a game, since my post suggests that he treats everything like a vacation. That said, these two things don’t innately contradict each other, meaning that he could be playing around with existing in another world, while enjoying his time there like a holiday.

      Thinking about it, you are indeed right, when claiming that the early parts of the series are the weakest. However, I did think that there was a better way of navigating them, that was entirely possible. A lot of lost potential does fall on the director’s shoulders. What made that moment in YoriMoi punch, was its genuine delivery, and how close we were to the characters. We really felt their hurt. With more substantial characterisation, as I had advocated, we would have had much less of an issue with everyone’s emotional reaction, when Satou set off to fight Zen. The rest of the characters certainly deserved more, and it’s a shame how they were easily cast aside, when effort could have been put into fleshing them out.

      As you said, there is so much material in the web novel, that people deserve to know about what they’re missing out on. But I recommend the light novel precisely due to its easy going nature, and how it smooths out the rough edges, even if it extracts some of the gritty stuff that adds depth.

  • March 31, 2018 at 4:15 pmAex

    While I enjoyed the anime, I’ll probably be in the minority due to the severe lack of tension. As many know, this isn’t a serious story and Satou never comes close to losing anything, so if you aren’t looking for a show about silly and sweet antics by cute girls while Satou’s curiosity makes him the winner of life whether he wants to be or not (and it’s usually not), then this show and the whole LN will bore you. Everything is also very slow, which I like, but that meant it really wasn’t suited for just 12 Eps from the start. The anime treats this as a stopping place when Satou has barely broken out of his shell.

    So yeah, if you found the anime at all fun I recommend the LN, cause things only get better. Never to the point of zany (this ain’t Konosuba), but always cute, sweet, and interesting to guess what’ll happen next.

    • March 31, 2018 at 7:51 pmZaiden

      Don’t worry, Aex, you’re hardly in the minority. If this comment section proves anything, negative opinions are in the minority.

      I don’t think everything in the show was slow. Rescuing Mia happened faster than my brain could process, even though I remember it taking slightly longer in the LN. But I guess they wanted to stick with a formula of 1 Volume = 4 Episodes, even if that didn’t translate very well into the animation process.

  • March 31, 2018 at 5:05 pmLyfe

    @even if it doesn’t offer anything new in terms of setting and concept

    You could say the same for most visual mediums. The concept of originality may be dead, but it doesn’t make something any less enjoyable. You just accept that the idea you’re watching or playing has been done a million times before.

    • March 31, 2018 at 6:20 pmzztop

      Most Japanese WNs usually follow the bandwagon of what’s currently popular, which so happens to be fantasy isekai for now.

    • March 31, 2018 at 6:34 pmZaiden

      Hey Lyfe!

      I meant to suggest exactly what you’re saying: that the series is still enjoyable, that I find it enjoyable, even if people typically pull out lazy criticism like ‘lack of innovation’. That was my counterpoint to criticism in that vein, before anyone could even have a chance of commenting it onto this post, because I was definitely expecting 1-2 negative replies along those lines.

    • March 31, 2018 at 8:37 pmNishizawa Mihashi

      So people tell others to innovate

      Well what would YOU do to innovate?

      It’s so fucking simple, if they keep on asking or telling that then just fire the EXACT same thing to them and see if what they can come up with is ACTUALLY innovative, and that is even and only if they’re able to produce a response in the first place

      Pretentious fucks begone! Sorry for the spiel, but that dilettante mindset must die a horrible, horrible death

  • March 31, 2018 at 5:14 pmThe Walker

    I never read the LN nor the web novel, but I did feel like the lady slaves were kinda short changed on characterization. Stepping back a bit, I went into this anime thinking it was gonna be like that Smartphone Isekai anime, so I was pleasantly surprised that it was far more competently done. While the slave girls didn’t get the development I would have liked, I did appreciate that he taught them how to fight and educated them. He did not take advantage of them sexually, even though it appears to be semi-expected. Given how they were trained to be so subservient that they wouldn’t eat food placed in front of them until they were given leave, some heinous stuff could have went down if Satou was that kind of man. I also really appreciated that he wasn’t one extreme or the other when it came to sex. He didn’t treat it like plague, nor did he slaver over and mentally undress every girl he came across. If there was a woman of age and consent was given, he was down for it. It was so underplayed and taken as normal that I didn’t even realize it happened until he picked up the skills and titles for it. I didn’t know that the he saw the game overlay ALL the time, just when he chose to see it. That would explain his constantly viewing the world as a game. I did like that there was a skill for everything and upping it to mastery didn’t necessarily mean you were the best at it like the stitching and music. This makes me want to read the story, but more than that, it makes me wish they had the time and resources to do the anime justice.

    • March 31, 2018 at 7:21 pmAex

      As far as the girls and Satou’s attitude/tastes go, just remember he’s actually 29, and a modern 29 at that. It was always a nice detail that they didn’t discard his emotional age for cheap ecchi tension, even if people love to complain about Satou being “boring” when he’s actually just being a calm, mature adult.

      • March 31, 2018 at 7:44 pmThe Walker

        Yeah, its the reason why I tend to like shows that revolve around older protagonists. They are generally more emotionally and hormonally balanced.

    • March 31, 2018 at 7:57 pmZaiden

      Hey Walker!

      I personally consider this to be superior compared with Isekai Smartphone, in most respects, barring one. Because I’m an oppai fan, Smartphone’s female designs are more appealing to me. And regarding Satou’s outlook, it’s as you say. He deviates to no extreme, which people will peg as ‘boring’. But for an adult like myself, that reflects my own moral values, and appeals towards my ethical sensibilities. Hence I have much respect for a mature character like Satou, who exhibits a capacity to calmly rationalise his situation, no matter what.

      • March 31, 2018 at 8:11 pmzztop

        The “extreme” MCs are getting very popular in a lot of WNs nowadays, especially the revenge-themed ones where the bullied/abused MC gains powers and seeks to get bloody vengeance on all who wronged him. It’s that one end of the power fantasy.

      • April 1, 2018 at 2:14 amHalfDemonInuyasha

        Yae was best Smartphone girl, lol.

  • March 31, 2018 at 5:16 pmruicarlov

    I really enjoyed this ride. In some ways it felt similar to the smartphone isekai anime, but I enjoyed this a good deal more, for the various reasons pointed out in the review. I liked these kinds of anime where it feels like an RPG game. Hey, I remember enjoying Ragnarok the Animation quite a bit while everyone else trashed it.
    The worldbuilding was quite nice and it was a good fun watching and learning how several mechanics worked at the same time as Satou.

    • March 31, 2018 at 8:05 pmZaiden

      Hey ruicarlov!

      I was hoping that the world building would run deeper, and would have liked a better explanation, on how levelling skills would actually affect Satou. Sometimes, he became a master at something, while other times, his Lvl 10 music still resulted in a shoddy performance on the leaf whistle. That said, I was quite satisfied with the approach towards magic, which had a solid system justifying how it worked.

      There was room for further world building, but with the rest of it being locked away in the light novel, I’d recommend you look that way if there’s a genuine curiosity to find out more.

      • April 1, 2018 at 1:11 amThe Walker

        The way I thought about the music thing was that he didn’t have any actual music sense. He could probably play each note with perfect tone and intonation, but actually MAKING music with themes and phrasing and rhythms is a different thing entirely. Sorta like being able to follow a specific recipe perfectly, but not knowing why you did each step so when the time comes to make your own food, it will turn out awful because you don’t understand any of the basics.

  • March 31, 2018 at 6:12 pmGinobi47

    I hate to be the annoying asshole that trashes the story that everyone loves, but I have to say my piece.

    I find Death March PAINFULLY BORING

    I’m currently at the middle of Episode 11 and I cant bring myself to continue watching it.

    I know that this was never meant to be your typical Isekai story. It’s more of a slice of life than anything.

    However, IMO, it does the slice of life horribly. It’s almost as bad as the Smart Phone Iseka.

    Now that I think about it, Smart Phone also caused me to delay watching it for extended periods of time due to the sheer boringness of it.

    Just to be clear though, I love Slice of Life shows. Kobayashi’s Maid Dragon and Interview with Demi Girls are my personal favorites.

    However, Death March seems to be stuck in the middle of an identity crisis.

    It’s an Isekai but barely commits into it. It tries to shove Slice of Life portions into it but the game menus and typical Isekai shinanegans quickly breaks into the scene to forcefully solve whatever problems he has.

    If this was a slice of life show, watching the MC clumsily navigate human interactions would be fun on its own. Unfortunately, he just spend points into some deus ex machina skill and VIOLA! Problem solved!

    Talk about lazy.

    And dont get me started on his harem…. which gets instantly sidelined!

    Death March is marketing itself as a Slice of Life Isekai and it fails horribly at both

    Or at least, that’s in my opinion

    • March 31, 2018 at 6:30 pmZaiden

      Nano desu? :’(

    • March 31, 2018 at 7:57 pmThe Walker

      Kinda sucks that you didn’t enjoy it, but that’s the way it goes. Personally I came at this show with pretty much a 0 for expectations. It looked like it was gonna be a reskinned Smartphone Isekai, but I thought it handled things better. I liked how he had to experience something new before he could put stat points into it. Each new attack against him was like a flu shot. Any thing he did for the first in that world gave him the chance to be an expert at it. Lvl 10 Sex God? Lvl. 10 Master Chef? I found it pretty amusing. It is a shame about the harem getting sidelined. They started off empowering them, but then it stagnated. Overall I didn’t love the story the same way I loved others, but it was still an enjoyable ride. Log Horizon would probably be my favorite game isekai, though I sorta wrote it off as something trying to ride the coattails of SAO. Then they started “breaking the system” and getting involved in politics and things got really interesting from there. Much like many other one cour LN adaptations, having more than 12 episodes would really give this show more oomph.

      • March 31, 2018 at 7:58 pmZaiden

        Imagine if Log Horizon only got a 12 episode adaptation, before any of the game-breaking/political stuff began. It would be severely stunted, and I’m saying that’s exactly what Death March had to go through.

      • March 31, 2018 at 9:39 pmGinobi47

        I agree that Log Horizon is one of the best Isekais out there. My personal favorite is Overlord with Kono Suba very very close in second place.

        However, those 3 stuck to their Isekai roots and it payed off in spades.

        Log Horizon did a good job of how people really reacted to the whole Isekai phenomenon. No ass pull meteor showers, no infinite skill points, no stupidly large amounts of skills that gets pulled out of the ass.

        And most importantly, Log Horizon did a much better job at the slice of life aspect simply because it stuck to its guns.

        Kono Suba is…. well… comedic masterpiece. The side characters were unapologeticly fun and insane. Megumin is mai waifu!

        The main plot was as pointless as Death March, but the execution was godlike.

        Main Plot? Who gives a shit! Give me more Megumin!

        And here’s the kicker, Kono Suba performed their slice of life 1000x better than Death March. Every second outside fighting was filled to the brim with humor and charm.

        There’s hardly any Isekai stories that can match the Isekainess of Kono Suba.

        Overlord is slightly different to Death March. It also went to the Isekai route complete with OP as hell MC, but it did one thing so much better than Death March: Phenomenal Side Characters.

        Overlord season 1 had only 12 episodes yet it did more to the side characters than Death March did to its growing loli harem.

        My point is this: Death March is sub par in every way possible. The protagonist is boring. Though his harem hits me with a wreaking ball filled with lethal levels of sugar, they get no growth. And this is in favor for still screens with MC’s new title or what not.

        It’s better than Smart Phone. That is a Fact. But that’s not something to be proud off. Smart Phone was complete garbage of an Isekai. Most Isekai could do better than that

      • March 31, 2018 at 9:43 pmGinobi47

        Huh… now that I think about it, those still screens and title pop ups might be a strategy to make the episode longer coz they lack the content for decent character banter.

        *sigh*…. Death March is seriously lacking in every department

  • March 31, 2018 at 6:14 pmzztop

    ANN’s reviewers absolutely hated Death March, and would pick and trash it in all their episodic reviews.
    They even did a “What went Wrong with Death March” article, where they complained the show was “lazy, boring, no stakes, loli-pandering,can’t commit to being chill SOL or fun action fantasy, skips compelling questions about living a new otherworldly life/Arisa’s past in favour of empty monologues and Satou-worship, etc.”
    https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/this-week-in-anime/2018-03-06/.128596

    Granted Death March isn’t the best, but the bias was apparent, given they did weekly reviews of Isekai Smartphone that were far less critical.

    At first I thought it was values dissonance between the reviewer and the subject, until they revealed in their chat forums that none of the review team wanted to touch Death March, but their audience voted they cover it as part of their weekly streaming reviews. So they had to push it to someone per professional obligation. IMO it was more they hated their posting and used the negative reviews to get back at their voters.

    • March 31, 2018 at 6:28 pmZaiden

      Hey zztop!

      I was actually planning to cover Death March at the start of the season. However, I got hit by a very untimely bout of flu, that took me out of commission for two weeks. That had a terrible knock on effect for both of the shows I was covering at the time, and I had a lot of university work to catch up on, so I had to abandon that idea.

      As I’ve expressed, I don’t think the series did terribly at any point, though I can see why it would leave people wanting for more. I can’t really comment on how ANN chose to approach their coverage of the series. But at the end of the day, they’re paid professionals who have to do their job, while still being entitled to their own opinions. I’m not quite sure what I would do, if it was mandatory to cover a show I really disliked, so my sympathies are certainly out there. Nevertheless, I would question the reviewer’s choice of going about the whole situation, especially if Isekai Smartphone got far less criticism for putting out much the same.

  • March 31, 2018 at 6:33 pmzztop

    Apparently the WN teases out the true reason for Satou getting sent to isekai, in bite size pieces of lore/flashbacks throughout the story (I’m told the LN foreshadows this earlier, especially in Ep 10 with the rainbow haired girl).

    If the info I’ve researched is correct,

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • March 31, 2018 at 7:10 pmAex

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 31, 2018 at 8:06 pmJeffers

    Well no matter what others (specially that nega remarks by ANN) says about death march, I still definitely enjoyed it and to me IT IS GOOD. Anyway I think people need to change their standards and beliefs about isekai anime(s) because it seems like after re:zero people standards rose to the point that for another new isekai to be considered good for them, it needs to be like re:zero. Point is, people forget that its a different story, new anime SO LOOK AT A NEW ANGLE and stop comparing… And if you do, you will realize the anime is actually good. Death march, if you look at it on its own while it has definitely some flaws, is really good. ANN reviews just kept on comparing this to that anime etc etc of course they will never see the goods of this anime if their standards for isekai anime is set to high. Which is, pretty idiotic to me.

    • March 31, 2018 at 8:19 pmZaiden

      Preach it, Jeffers. I also never understood why people use Re:Zero as the standard, considering that both series aim for completely different things at the end of the day.

      Admittedly, no isekai can get near Mushoku Tensei or Shield Hero. At least for me, personally. However, that doesn’t mean I compare everything else with these two, and prevent myself from enjoying anything that’s good. Things deserve to be evaluated on their own merit, and something else being better overall does not detract from its own positive qualities.

      Is anyone going to deny that Death March is a better slice of life and comfy anime, compared to Re:Zero? Of course not. People who prefer the aforementioned will find greater solace in Death March, just as it makes sense how people who prefer psychological/horror would easily prefer Re:Zero.

      • March 31, 2018 at 8:30 pmzztop

        I think Western anime reviewers tend to put higher standards on the shows they watch, sometimes approaching snob status. Like diners who keep expecting fine gourmet meals to be served, but lose it if the food fails to meet up to their standards.

  • March 31, 2018 at 9:47 pmET

    Death March isn’t a terrible anime per se (there are far worse series out there, like Big Order and Taboo Tattoo), but the execution was poor and watching each episode felt like a slog. Satou did get some action with various ladies unlike most other isekai MCs though, so I guess that’s a plus.

    For me, there’s really little reason to watch this show unless you’re a hardcore isekai fan who wants to watch every single series.

    • April 1, 2018 at 6:03 amZaiden

      Yup, that’s right. I’m a hardcore isekai fan, and am looking to cover isekai stuff for next season :)))

  • April 1, 2018 at 1:21 amDarren Thong

    from the comment i read, i do notice mostly ppl hate this anime due “slow pace ” anime.

    to me is great anime , as the character is slowly building his character along with all his heroin.
    for those who mention why this MC always flock by loli , because in this anime didnt mention that Show Spoiler ▼

    . unlike other isekai anime , you hardly see MC slowly build up his skill , mostly all appear as overpower.

    regarding the slave
    anime fail to mention Show Spoiler ▼

    i guess most people fail to notice this
    Plot twist
    Show Spoiler ▼

    as for animation , it was perfectly executed in
    -character voice
    -story plot ( not much skipping except they remove mia / alisa flirting part)

    the only i would complain is the color setting they , so light in color which kinda make the anime kinda look “low cost” . as the rest was all ok

    P.s i do all own all the light novel till current vol and read till latest webnovel, both have same story setting ( web more on rough edge but still good novel ver slight abit different Show Spoiler ▼

    ad few setting is not mention in webnovel.

  • April 1, 2018 at 2:13 amHalfDemonInuyasha

    I overall enjoyed the anime for what it was.

    As was mentioned by others, it would be nice if it were longer and that we got more details on things, but I liked how Satou wasn’t a typical OP Isekai MC, or even male MC in general.

  • April 1, 2018 at 2:23 amMelia

    I don’t know about novel or manga and whatnot but damn this Adaptation was as terrible as Isekai Smartphone, and screw you Zaiden for promising on episode 1 overview that it’s much, much better than Isekai, it was not, unless they completely went non-canon and made up entire thing using bits from source.

    • April 1, 2018 at 5:12 amZaiden

      Hey Melia! I happily concede that I promised more than what we actually got. But as I explained in my preview, and as noted by other commenters, the source material is potentially more than isekai.

      However, the anime production staff failed to capitalise on it. Pacing was all over the place. Moments that could have had genuine emotional impact, e.g. Satou going off to fight Zen when his party thought he had no chance, are waived in favour of blasting through the content. That said, the earliest parts of the series are easily the weakest, so I can see why there was such a struggle with making this adaptation. Which didn’t quite realise its full potential, but hey, I still found it entertaining, and so did many others.

      Regarding the light novel, if you saw any hope in this series, I would recommend reading the light novel, which starts becoming a real blast around Volume 4 onwards.

  • April 1, 2018 at 5:56 amNothing

    The series is over? Good. Hope that the blueray or dvd sales will BOMB hard. With that, maybe those incompetent studio will actually put some thought when picking a good isekai series to adapt instead of picking more isekai garbage like Death March and Smartphone.

    • April 1, 2018 at 9:26 amzztop

      Technically you should be blaming the publishers, since the studio is just a contract worker hired by them to make the anime promoting Death March. The publishers are the ones with the money and influence to decide what title gets an anime.

      Also, you should blame the Japanese fans for supporting Death March until it got published.
      It’s very popular with them, the WN version is now the 3rd most popular title on WN website Shousetsuka ni Narou.

    • April 1, 2018 at 10:27 amMelia

      It’s very sad, we went from high quality like No Game No Life and Drifters to fucking harem low quality mass produced trash Deathmarch and Smartphone

    • April 2, 2018 at 2:08 amJeffers

      Well just saying that the trash or garbage isekai smartphone you are talking about is in the top ten in latest LN rankings in oricon beating the likes of no game no life and gakusen toshi asterisk. And hey, animation studios doesnt give a fuck or two about your standards so you dont have the right to call them incompetent. And hell SILVER LINK? You call the studio who produced baka test and fate illya incompetent? I dont see how a studio who animated 3 batches of season on this both known titles incompetent. And in the first place, anime are made for japanese market only and we get only the anime if distributed by a foreign licensing company. Studios produce anime based on the preference of the anime fans in japan. Not us. So if they animate shit anime as you call it, that is the demand in the japanese market. Finally i agree with zztop. Blame the publisher for publishing this LN you hated not the studio. As matter of fact you cant also blame the publisher. Because a publisher doesnt publish stories that people will not like. So why they choose to publish it? Japanese people liked it. So if anything go blame their japanese people for their preferences but you dont have that right too because thanks to them we have anime. But well i feel like you have a fave isekai title or some title that wasnt animated so you are very mad at smartphone and death march being adapted. Well maybe it was because it doesnt sold well or not that popular overall in Japan dont you think?

      • April 2, 2018 at 7:01 amNothing

        Garbage means garbage. It baffled me that you think all non-Japanese people should like this type of series just because of Japanese love it. If Japanese love it so much, then why don’t they just animated all chapters instead of splitting into season and let the sales decide whether they should anime more episodes?

        Sometimes, this site is really strange. They bashed series like Guilty Crown or Classroom of Elite and called them a bad anime but at the same praising the real garbage like Death March and Smartphone anime and even wanting more of it.

      • April 2, 2018 at 8:51 amJeffers

        mate, i dont know if you know blogging stuffs. but, RC bloggers have their own tastes and level of expectations. if the blogger who covered guilty crown bashed it the anime guilty crown, it means the anime fails his/her expectations. now, if death march or smartphone got praised, despite NOT BEING BLOGGED nor as popular as other isekai anime, it SIMPLY MEANS, THE ANIME SURPASSED MOST FANS and RC’s EXPECTATIONS. my point is, everything is based on expectations. a good example? inoubattle. it was not covered thinking it was just a generic harem with supernatural twist. but after the series, it was considered a hidden gem, a dark horse, a sleeper you name it. why? SIMPLY BECAUSE IT SURPASSED EXPECTATIONS.

        anyway, what material to adapt to anime is chosen by producers and is made by japanese anime studios based on japanese market. if producers and the studio decided to adapt a “garbage” anime (for you) but is popular in japan its their decision because that is where the money in THEIR anime market. so dont whine calling studios incompetent if a title you like wasn’t adapted until now but garbage anime as you call it like smartphone or death march got adapted instead.

        and you know that mostly all of us rely on anime streamers. we watch for free, download videos for free basically we dont pay back the producers and studio for the anime they make (unless you really like the anime to the point you buy the complete limited BD set and everything related to it). so if they adapt a trash, that’s their choice. your rant is nothing. incompetent? more like a good choice since most people actually enjoyed death march.

      • April 2, 2018 at 10:12 amNothing

        Surpassed Expectation? You guys have a low standard. That is for sure. Ok. Gotcha. Based on what you said on how Japanese were totally into this kind of genre, then I guess smartphone isekai is making billions. Good for them and for the fans like you.

        Again, this site is weird. Guilty Crown/Aldnoah Zero/Classroom of Elite and etc are bad or terrible according to whatever the guy who watching it somehow it got blogged for every episode, but Death March, the anime that surpassed everyone’s expectation didn’t get blogged for every episode. You would have thought that the anime that surpassed everyone’s expectation will get blogged for every week for more views and traffic since, again according to you, a lot lot lot of people love this masterpiece.

  • April 2, 2018 at 10:04 amtheirs

    Just finished watching this anime, and I must say, I find it just as relaxing as Yuru Camp Δ. Funny thing is, I didn’t expect to like this anime. Lolis tend to put me off, even one can ruin an anime for me. So knowing a whole bunch of them will show up wasn’t so enticing. Reading the first episode synopsis got me watching this, because it so absurd. An Isekai where the protagonist just got practically max leveled in one episode seemed silly. Watching was even more funny since it was his own suggestion and that he actually realized it was silly. From then the just managed to leave me with enough interest to watch the next episode. And obviously none of the lolis has showed up yet.

    Watching it was really like watching a slice of life anime. Didn’t mind the lolis since Satou actually acts more like a father figure towards them. Can’t say I mind the slave status since he treats them more as children than slaves. On second thoughts, the slave status was actually good, since it prevented Arisa from getting into his pants. He clearly likes older women and doesn’t consider himself owning a harem.

    Out off all the kids, Arisa would normally be the most disturbing. But since she has the mind of an adult it actually makes her rather amusing. She really needs to realize what her apparent/real/in-game age is. Sure it’s a messed up world, but have some restraint girl!

    Sad to know it’s a web novel, since I don’t think I’ll be able to read it. Still find print to be more convenient. Would love to see what their adventures are like when Zena actually joins the group. Though a sequel would probably be more fun since those interface notifications actual add a lot to my enjoyment of this series.

    • April 2, 2018 at 10:52 amAex

      It’s also a Light Novel with an offical translation in progreess. I think there are already 4 Volumes printed in English.

  • April 2, 2018 at 12:44 pmRaidSoft

    I found the harem/girls throwing them self at him in one way or another part of the show obnoxious as hell.. I did get through all the episodes but it just left me frustrated and annoyed in the end, I had no expectations coming into the series (had not heard anything about it except it was an Isekai type series) and it seemed nice to start then suddenly loli harem and girls everywhere… Just facepalm..

    Why couldn’t it have been normal interactions with regular companions rather than slave lolis? Sure he behaves like a normal person but the fact that they just kept adding more and more girls to his “harem” just made it more and more frustrating as time went on. I mean a harem type situation isn’t usually too annoying but there was not much time in between “incidents” with some sort of sexual suggestiveness or similar which made it hard to enjoy the stuff that I actually found interesting.

    Oh and to be clear I don’t generally like harem type animes, I can deal with them whenever it’s not the apparent main focus or constantly in your face, but when you can’t go an episode without it being obvious then I’ll struggle to enjoy it…

  • April 2, 2018 at 3:11 pmhjerry

    For me, this series was just very relaxing. Like you said, it’s like watching someone else play a game.
    The series imo, never got actually “bad” to the point where it made me lose enjoyment to watch it. It is what is. It’s never going to really be though provoking, but it doesn’t need to be. I could just turn this on, and watch my stress float away. Don’t overthink it. There’s no need to want more character development or to have the side characters fleshed out. If that’s what you want, you’re watching the wrong series. Don’t think of them so much as anime characters, but rather think of them in the same way as NPCs who get added to our party. They aren’t there to do more than to tell you that rock looks weird. I need series like this from time to time. I love series that are thought provoking and super well made too, but I also need a series that I can watch just to help me unwind, and Death March was perfect for that, and I’d love to see more some day, though I won’t be getting my hopes up there.

  • April 2, 2018 at 8:15 pminfo600

    This anime adaptation did so much (all the skills that dropped in here and there for our MC – and us viewers – to see), yet it (apparently) still fall short in a lot of viewers eyes. I can’t fault them since it looked like there weren’t enough time to get this show out properly, though it’s more likely that the reviewers are tired of MCs being dropped into a second world however strong or weak they get afterwards.
    sidenote – I personally gave an average score on MAL

  • April 3, 2018 at 12:37 amCharkan

    Web novel is better in my opinion. Authors tend to listen to editors a lot when they remake the story in light novel format. What makes it more generic to be guaranteed success, anime is based on light novel. It is a pity.

  • April 3, 2018 at 2:01 amMonimonika

    I dropped this anime mainly because of the slog of seeing Satou breeze through challenges via OP skills (or buying skills out of nowhere <-ARGH!).

    But the moment that clinched my decision to actually drop the anime was when seeing Satou activate "poker face" and the text for that effect was itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny on the static screen featuring his bland face. I don’t watch with subtitles, so having to pause the video and lean toward the screen to read such tiny text to get the main joke (not an easter egg, not a subtle joke, the MAIN JOKE) was just too much annoyance for me.

    I was somewhat willing to maybe continue watching for more on the side characters, but it seems that would’ve been a waste of time according to the other comments here. Might look into the light/web novel if I have time, though.

  • April 3, 2018 at 1:26 pmVan

    I am going to be honest, I picked Death March up on a whim because Wake Up, Girls and their new junior unit Run Girls, Run did the OP and ED theme. It was definitely a little slow at times, which probably bored most people, but I still do not regret watching to the end. Like the blogger said, seeing Satoo gain new titles proved to be an unexpected source of entertainment.