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Until Death Do Us Part Vol. #04 Manga Review

5 min read
Until Death do us Part Vol. #4
Until Death do us Part Vol. #4

Mamoru and Genda face off while Haruka puts herself needlessly in harm’s way.

Creative Staff
Story: Hiroshi Takashige
Translation/Adaptation: Stephen Paul

What They Say
Officer Genda’s suspicions that Mamoru is involved in the Haruka Tooyama case are confirmed when he confronts the blind man in the park on the night of the operation. Genda manages to hold his own against the master swordsman, but Mamoru isn’t of a mind to show his cards to the police and makes a quick getaway. Despite the officer’s interference, the mission is a success—whispered, fearful rumors of the Tokyo swordsman are beginning to spread. Who will be drawn out to test Mamoru next?!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
This volume of Until Death Do Us Part starts off promisingly, and then falls off the rails during what occurs in what was volume eight of the Japanese release.

Mamoru and Genda face off during the sting meant to lure out the grunts that would even dare challenge Mamoru.  Genda proves to hold his own against the blind swordsman and we discover it’s in part because they trained together at some point in the past.  We still don’t have the full story of how these two know each other and where it all went wrong.  I really wish the story would get around to telling us, because maybe it would explain why this cat and mouse chase is going on.

After that mission the group picks up another temporary member from the organization, Kilo.  His characterization is that of a gruff hothead, around to play babysitter along with Juliet.  He was probably around in the earlier chapters, but I don’t remember most of the Wall agents.  He earns his keep in the story by rushing off to save Haruka.

Haruka.  You know, I’m guessing that we’re suppose to care about what happens to her, but she’s making it difficult.  While at school she has a premonition that one of her classmates is going to be shot to death.  So she takes matters in to her own hands to attempt to stop it from happening.  She never thinks about her own well being and she never questions why the girl would get into a situation like that.  It turns out the girl is a mob bosses daughter, and her whole family is targeted.   It’s more complicated than that, with the yakuza stuff playing into other events that occur later.  We watch Haruka make some friends, act on her own throughout this story arc, and for once I was routing for the girl.  Then the story drops the ball by having Mamoru show up to save everyone.

As frustrating as that is, the kids we meet in this story arc are immediately dropped as soon as it ends and with Haruka’s cover being blown she’s pulled from school.  So not only did Haruka put herself and her defense team in danger, she gained nothing from doing so except to save a mob bosses daughter.  Oh, and I hope no one was attached to Kilo.  Every time the series introduces a character and we get to really know them they tend to by dropped from the story.  This is a series that really dares you to try to become attached to anyone.

The story went to great lengths before to explain that Haruka’s precognitive ability was just seeing all odds as they happened and picking the most logical path.  All of that seems dashed aside in the final chapters of this volume when she’s out cold with a fever and still having glimpses of events happening way beyond her scope of knowledge.  Once again she rushes off into harms way in a desperate attempt to save Mamoru from another Wiseman trap.  Foolishly, she figures if he dies than she dies.

Wiseman, who has been the constant background threat for awhile now, keeps luring Mamoru into traps to test him.  I figure that if anyone really wanted the swordsman dead they would have just dropped a bomb on him by this point.  Wiseman sends a bunch of PCP zombies out after him in a hilarious bid to wear out Mamoru, and to probably take him alive.  Mamoru, who hasn’t flipped out at the girl he’s trying to protect despite her suicidal tendencies, might finally hit the end of his patience at the end of this volume.

The extras in this volume continue the interesting saga of rotating assistants for the lead artist.  By the end of the book he’s down to a staff of three women, with Suri now lead assistant.  Good luck Double-S!  I think I’m more invested in his story than that the one the absenty author is writing.

In Summary
Until Death do Us Part frustrates me.  The premise and action are good, the art is great, but I just can’t sympathize with any of the characters.  Most of them are still cyphers this many volumes in, and don’t have enough of a draw to make me care about their plight.  Haruka proves to be a liability that really isn’t worth protecting, which is a horrible thing to say about a little girl, but it’s true!  I keep hoping that each volume will finally drop at least a little backstory or some twist that will turn my opinion around, until then this series is a string of endlessly slicing nameless thugs up and looking cool while doing it.

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

Age Rating: 16+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: July 23rd, 2013
MSRP: $18.99