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Until Death do Us Part Vol. #07 Manga Review

5 min read
Until Death Do Us Part Vol. #7
Until Death Do Us Part Vol. #7

Finally the back story we’ve been waiting for!

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

What They Say
Through an audience with the leader of the Element Network, Haruka learns more about Mamoru’s past-how his aspirations to master all forms of combat led him to a military training facility in the U.S. and from there to service with the Element Network. It was on a mission to stop TPC, a criminal group responsible for abducting children in Chechnya, that Mamoru first encountered the hitman Jesus…and lost his eyesight…

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Haruka has been in regular contact with the leader of the Element Network.  Daiba walks a fine line between being awkward and sketchy as hell, and introduces Haruka to the AI living in his office assisting him.  This latest meeting leads to Haruka asking the question that we’ve all wanted to know, how Mamoru lost his eyesight.

We launch into a volume long flashback which involves a chance encounter with the crossover assassin character of Jesus.  Mamoru joined the Network to help hunt down a group kidnapping and selling off disenfranchised children for their organs on the black market.  The group is full of deranged mercenaries on a powerful drug, with a leader who doesn’t care if his soldiers are killed.  The Element fighters don’t stand much of a chance as we watch their numbers dwindle even with Mamoru at their side.

The younger Mamoru was still trying to improve his sword skills, and prior to his assignment trained with a US military unit in order to learn how to fight in a live fire situation.  He’s more open, more casual, and more relatable than the Mamoru we know.  He’s not exactly cocky, but certainly more human.  He can’t turn his back on the situation with the kids even though he tries to act uninterested.

The situation becomes more fraught with peril the longer it goes on.  Then we reach the point where Mamoru is stricken blind and has to fight for the first time sightless.  The actual moment when it happened took me by surprise with it’s execution.  I think Mamoru recovered too quickly and pulled himself together too easily after the trauma, but then again this is basically a super hero series, and superhuman feats are commonplace in this story.  By the end of the flashback we know why Mamoru changed his stance on killing.

There’s a disconnect between Mamoru’s actions and the way the Element Network treats his actions.  They know why he acts the way he does and yet consistently act like he’s some force that needed to be reigned in and potentially removed.  Their leader doesn’t exactly inspire confidence either, not standing up for his prize fighter.  It reflects poorly on a group that was supposed to protect people when they don’t seem willing to go the full length to do so.

Then we shift back to the present.  Haruka is being targeted once again, but no one is going to extraordinary lengths to hide her identity anymore.  Instead they send her into a classroom taught by a certain assassin who happens to also be a teacher who is also being targeted.  It has all the set up of being a crazy contest to the death, with the added prospects of collateral damage.  Haruka’s job is to protect the innocent when the fur starts to fly.

The good guys aren’t quite aware that Haruka is being directly targeted at the moment.  Aegis does, as he learns that a mercenary group from a fictitious African country are out for the bounty on Haruka’s head.  He ends up tussling with the group while the cops get wind of the whole situation.  A great convergence is about to take place.

I was very worried in the previous volume that the series was about to loose the entire audience by bringing in crossover characters into the main plot.  We have two separate series lending leads to the current story arc, series we know very little about as English readers.  Thankfully Aegis and Jesus are the same level of ridiculously overpowered badasses that meld well into the action movie antics of Until Death.  In the case of Jesus we’re dealing with a character that could easily mop the floor with Mamoru if he so desired.  Their entrances might have been clumsy, but at least they’re being put to good use.

To close things out we still have the ongoing misadventures of Double-S and his suffering assistants.  This volume he imparts the wisdom of bathroom safety and the escapades of his amorous cats.

In Summary
After numerous chapters we finally learn how Mamoru lost his eyesight, although that doesn’t exactly explain his bad attitude in more recent times.  Maybe he’s just seen too much with his blind eyes.  I wish it hadn’t taken this long to get to this part of his backstory, and the actual moment when the injury occurs is appropriately dramatic and insane.  The crossover characters, while overpowered, at least fit the setting.  The start of a new story arc promises the thing that this story is good at, action and lots of it.  This is a solid volume, I just hope that the new story arc doesn’t bog things down like previous volumes.

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

Age Rating: 13+
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
MSRP: $18.99

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