“I wouldn’t trust him. He’s a killer.”
This collection contains volumes 3 and 4 of Until Death Do Us Part as originally published. It’s an action manga at its core, but the characters and story are quite layered so best to start reading at the beginning.
I was pleasantly impressed with the way the first book of Until Death Do Us Part came together in terms of story, action, and art working in harmony to overcome some of the more cliched elements it employs. These volumes are more in same vein with appropriately escalating stakes.
Volume 3 ties up the first major arc that’s been building while setting future plot threads up with interesting new angles and players that continue throughout volume 4. The storylines and arcs feed into each other nicely, with prior events logically progressing into further complications for our protagonists. The main characters are well developed, and have sufficiently nuances personalities and motivations to keep them compelling and the general level of intrigue high throughout continually increasing tension.
The way numerous schemes overlap and intersect continues to be a highlight for me, as Takashige spotlights the intelligence of his characters even when they make mistakes or get outmaneuvered. This is always important to me in any story, as when anyone acts dumb for plot convenience it ruins dramatic tension.
The opposition also finds clever ways of creating difficulties for Blade which prevents things from getting too one-sided given his vast skills.
In addition I liked some of the philosophical touches in these volumes regarding Haruka’s powers and the fact that sometimes the only choices available are bad ones. The desire of her companions to seek out as “normal” a life as possible for her is another strong theme that seems destined to become extremely important long term.
Good capitalization on the first book’s potential here. I hope the momentum continues.