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Until Death Do Us Part Vol. #3 Manga Review

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Until Death Do Us Part Volume 3
Until Death Do Us Part Volume 3
The hunted become the hunter, as Mamoru sets his sights on the bounty hunters hired to kill him.

Creative Staff
Story: Hiroshi Takashige
Art: DOUBLE-S
Translation/Adaptation: Stephen Paul

What They Say
Haruka and Mamoru take to the streets, fleeing the deadly invisible enemy that pursues them. With Mamoru wounded and his sword blunted, Haruka fears that prolonging this fight will only end with her protector’s destruction. But Mamoru has not been relying on his strength alone. Igawa has been working behind the scenes to counter the assassin’s drones…but is the pair’s technical expert up to the task of disabling government-grade weaponry? Or has Igawa met his match in the world-class hit man, Fang?!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
We’re up to the third omnibus edition of Until Death do us Part. The manga has been a decent but not exceptional action series so far. I was happy to see that the author is finally starting to delve into the protagonists and their abilities more, but the pace of the storytelling is still slow and hidden among the set-piece action scenes that make up the bulk of the story.

The first half of this volume finishes off the conflict with the assassin Fang. The team works to turn the tables on the hacker by playing to their strengths. Sierra sets up a sniping spot while Igawa works to hack into the killer robots, and Mamoru cuts up everything in his path with seemingly no concern for his own well being. With the team firmly established there’s time for Mamoru to explain his methods to Haruka, which basically amount to incredibly fast reflexes.

We also learn early in this volume about Haruka’s prognostication abilities. She’s not seeing the future, but rather the most likely course of events based on probability. Of course, she can’t predict completely random or irrational behavior or events, and Mamoru’s tactics don’t always follow the typical path of logic and reason.

Happily, Haruka lightens up in this volume. Her behavior always came off as unrealistic for a twelve year old, and Mamoru calls her out on it. He gives her permission to act like a normal kid, and we finally see the emotional outbursts that you’d expect from a girl in her position. This is really on display when a new team member arrives to replace the temporarily out-of-commission Sierra.

Speaking of the new team member, Juliet, I’m not sure what to make of her. It’s fun to watch her come in and shake things up, but at first I wasn’t even sure if she was a legit Wall agent. Right now she’s just another attractive female for the cast, but other than push people’s buttons she hasn’t played a role in the story yet. It’ll be interesting to see in my suspicions about her motives come into play later.

After Fang is taken out of the picture it’s open hunting season on Mamoru and Haruka. Mamoru shows just how crazy he is by taking this as an opportunity to cull the criminal population, even going so far as to give the bounty hunters a time and place to find him. Those warning sirens start going off in Igawa’s head again about his partner, but even the rest of Wall seem to have no problem with this plan for once.

While the team goes about their business the cops continue to be left in the dark. Genda discovers the reason why everyone wants Haruka, and confirms his suspicions about Mamoru being involved. We still don’t know his history with Mamoru, but since Genda finally catches up to him at the end of this volume I suspect we’re not long in finding out what they might be. At least, I hope the author doesn’t continue to string us along about that little detail.

Yen includes the unused color cover of volume six and title pages in color at the front of the book, as well as both volumes artist’s notes. The saga of Double-S continues to show us life behind the scenes as he gains one assistant only to loose three, reminding us readers that serial comics in Japan often require just as many hands as english language ones.

In Summary
Volume 3 of Until Death do us Part is an improvement over previous volumes, but not to an extent where those on the fence about the story would change their opinion. The focus remains on the action, which the series excels at, but there’s finally enough information starting to filter in to make all this running around worthwhile. Mamoru remains a cypher of a lead, but Haruka is finally starting to act like a normal human being. With addition of another femme fatal to the cast, and with Detective Genda finally coming face-to-face with Mamoru, things are finally starting to get interesting.

Content Grade: B
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B +
Text/Translation Grade: A

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: February 26th, 2013
MSRP: $18.99