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Light Novel / Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody

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Death March to the Parallel World Rhapsody (Death March kara Hajimaru Isekai Kyousoukyoku; Desumachi for short), is a Japanese novel series by AINANA Hiro. Originally serialized as Web Novel, it eventually received a Light Novel rewrite with illustrations by shiri and an English translation by Yen Press starting in 2017.

Due to a co-worker suddenly disappearing without notice, 29 year old programmer Suzuki "Satou" Ichiro has spent the last month on a programming "Death March", an endless stream of coding and debugging over 80+ hour work weeks, to put out a new release of a mobile game his company was contracted to finish. After finally pushing the release out of QA, Satou curls up under his desk to get some well-deserved rest... and wakes up to find himself in a fantasy world still in his causal clothes but 15 years younger, with a screen telling him he's currently at level 1 and has a 3 time use scroll called "Meteor". Satou soon tests out this meteor scroll, only to watch it accidentally destroy an entire civilization of dragons and gain him untold amounts of experience and loot in an instant.

With no idea what he's doing there and enough power that seemingly nothing can threaten him anymore, Satou decides he might as well go on a much needed vacation, and begins a sightseeing tour around this new world. Now Satou and a growing menagerie of companions try to see the sights, while stumbling onto wars between gods and demons, medieval political intrigue, and more along the way.

Also has a manga adaptation and currently airing anime adaptation.

Page Needs Wiki Magic Love.

Tropes in series

  • Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted. The weaselkin tribe is found constantly causing havoc across various kingdoms. That's because they're spies specifically despatched to destabilize foreign powers. Inside the weaselkin empire itself, it's actually generally nicer to live in and with considerably less Fantastic Racism than other nations.
  • Animal Jingoism: While not exactly animals, Demons and Dragons don't get along. In fact, the main reason heroes are summoned isn't because demons can't be repelled - Dragons can repel them just fine, but a battle between them would leave a devastating trail of destruction in their wake.
  • Arranged Marriage: Many nobles seek out Satou to get him to marry their daughters.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: Various holy swords require a cry of some sort to activate their special abilities.
  • Clark Kenting: Reconstructed. Satou utilizes elaborate masks to prevent himself from being recognised. Additionally, his abilities allow him to see through most disguises. However, anyone who knows two of his alter egos for long enough inevitably realize from their abilities and shared goals that both people must be Satou.
  • Complete Immortality: The gods themselves as well as demon lords and some heroes can't be killed by traditional means, and will even eventually revive as spirits given enough time. Though anyone with the [Hero] or [Demon Lord] title can kill their physical form and anyone with the [Godslayer] title can steal pieces of their divinity till they lack the power to physically reincarnate.
  • Confronting Your Imposter: Satou, as Kuro, meets 'Viscount Pendragon' while at his firm, 'responding to a marriage proposal' of the manager.
  • Cool Mask: Satou use various mask while impersonating different personalities, be it classic face-covering mask or synthetic one, and in the case of his Hero Nanashi persona he use both to appear as a masked hero.
  • Crystal Ball: The Yamato Stone is used to determine a person's status.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The unique abilities granted to reincarnated persons and summoned heroes are this. Using them once in a while is fine, but abuse leads to loss of sanity and eventually transformation into a Demon Lord as the soul start to collapse. Having too many of them will similarly cause the soul to collapse as it cracks from not being able to hold the excess divine power.
    • Satou's learned version of Meteor Swarm. The limited use version explicitly wiped out an entire map including multiple ancient Dragons and a god. The fully upgraded reusable version is stated to be even more powerful, so Satou seals it away, lest he accidentally destroy a kingdom.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Slavery is often viewed by the enslaved as a reasonable alternative to being homeless and destitute. While some people react with disgust, what appalls them is usually the treatment of slaves and not the inherent lack of freedom or Questionable Consent that inherently comes with it.
  • Dungeon Bypass:
    • Satou attempts to get past a Riddle Inscribed Wall through this, but fails and has to rely on obtaining a new skill.
    • Later on in another dungeon he does this simply by teleporting away from every trap on the dungeon increasingly frustating the Dungeon Master.
  • Dungeon Crawling: The summoned labyrinths, which spawn around the demon lords corpses, are places where adventurers explore for a living.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In early chapters, Satou uses magic guns (which later became Lulu's Weapon of Choice), despite switching almost entirely to holy swords and magic for the rest of the story. Similarly, the Once per Episode "Satou here" opening section doesn't show up for several chapters at the start of the novel.
  • Establishing Character Moment: In the first episode, before coming to the parallel world, Satou is eating lunch on a public bench when a little girl nearby starts crying. After looking around and concluding she's lost, he approaches her to calm her down and bring her to the nearest police officer, although the girl's mother finds them first. Satou's internal monologue expresses relief that the mother doesn't suspect him of being a pedophile. Then he reflects on how hot the mother is. Despite his preferences, he seems to be cursed to attract mainly teenage or preteen girls into his Battle Harem.
  • Exact Words: Arisa sexually assaults Satou despite being a slave thanks to the phrase attend to my master day and night when the slave contract was made.
  • Fantastic Racism: Common against demihumans. For example, Pochi, Tama and Liza are not allowed into inns in Seiryu City (though that was to such a extreme because they used to be at war).
  • Foreshadowing: The Intermissions are rich with information which both hint at what is to come and add information to a past event.
  • Geas: Arisa and Lulu are under a Geas that makes really difficult to free them. It can be lifted either by one of the rare [Geas] skill user (only two are known) or by sacrificing one owns lifespan to use the [Wish] skill.
  • God of Evil: The demon god who created the demons and warred against the others.
  • God Was My Copilot:
    • The Dragon God has been engineering Satou's rise to power, summoning him to her world, letting him kill her current physical form at the start of the story to raise him to an absurd level, and then giving him loot that lets him steal power from the Demon God by killing various demons. All so he will become an immortal god like her, and she no longer has to watch him die and be reincarnated across eternity. Also she's apparently been his friend and/or lover in every universe he's ever existed, shows up now and then as the little girl [Unknown] to assuage his various fears about other gods controlling him, and a joke curse she put on him is the reason most of his party is flat-chested girls.
    • All the demons were empowered by the Demon God, who wishes to be worshipped as the sole god of the fantasy world, and destroy the 7 gods most people currently worship. Every reincarnated person with purple hair was summoned into the fantasy world by him too, which is why some like Zen ended up as Demon Lords.
  • Hammerspace: Some characters have ways to store and carry multiple items.
    • Bag of Holding: Able to stack 30 varied types of up to 30 items, [30 Holding Bag].
    • Hyperspace Arsenal: Heroes have an infinite storage. Satou (like always) takes it to the extreme by stoping the item's time too.
  • Happiness in Slavery: Most of Satou's party enjoy being his slaves, though mainly because he doesn't treat them like such at all. Arisa even wanted to be Satou's slave due to her sexual proclivities. Some people also want to be sold into slavery period, as they've lost their homes and livelihoods and fear starvation otherwise.
  • Horse of a Different Color: In addition to normal horses, there are other animals such as Hexapedal Boars, used as mounts.
  • Human Sacrifice:
    • The Religion of Evil tend to kidnap priestesses to sacrifice and turn them into demons as it'll let the demon god steal the power the 7 gods gave to their priestesses, and thus shortening the time for its resurrection.
    • Sacrificial rites were also performed in Kubooku Kingdom to revive a labyrinth.
  • I Have Many Names: It all started when Satou chose the name Pendragon as his family name, then Black Dragon Heroine named him Kuro as a sign of friendship. After that Satou gave himself different names depending of what he was working on so that his works couldn't be traced back to him. Some of these names come from the famous people from his previous world, such as Michaelangelo (when making ornaments or accessories) , Trismegistus (when making artifacts) and Echigoya (the fake name he uses for Kuro as the director of the Echigoya Firm)
  • It's Raining Men: Satou likes using his Sky Drive skill to drop in from space if he wants to travel places quickly.
  • Kill the God: The Demon God's ultimate goal is to destroy the 7 world pillar gods to the point he gets every reincarnated human to promise to kill any god they meet. He's also fairly amused when the future Weasel Emperor promises to kick the crap out of him too, leaving him with an encouraging Bring It.
  • Leaked Experience: Satou uses the fact anyone who attacks a monster will get an equal cut of its experience to level up his comrades quickly: Either they perform a surprise attack on a much higher level monster which he then kills, or he stuns an enemy, then let's the others kill it with a Death of a Thousand Cuts.
  • Ley Line: Flowing streams of magical energy that gives life to the land that can be found dungeons, cities and other places. The cores are known as Earth Veins or Dragon Veins form dots on the land.
  • Magically Binding Contract: The slave [Contract] skill binds the participant to a master and causes pain if they disobey.
  • Mundane Made Awesome / Mundane Utility: Pretty much everything Satou makes and/or does is a combination of the two. Need a kitchen knife? Make it of magical metals used to make the Holy Swords. Making Pimped Out Dresses for a ball? Make them from the ultra rare philosopher's stone and twigs of the world tree. What about the Magic Edge skill that only the strongest knights of the kingdom know? Have the 10 year old learn and use it as easily as breathing, or better yet, learn how to use the advanced variants that almost no one knew even existed. And finally, remember those Holy Swords that only Heroes can use and are one of the most effective weapons against Demon Lords? Use them as magic batteries? Yeah, why not. Even Satou's more insane Unique Skills are thanks to the Dragon God exploiting his mundane [Indestructible] Unique Skill, which just allows his soul to heal from any damage to it: bits of his unchanging soul were slowly shaved off over countless lifetimes and then reconstructed into a single soul big enough to hold near endless divine power.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: Meteor Storm is special item that can't be blocked, can't be interrupted, can't be dodged, and instantly kills everything in range. Satou, has only useded it twice.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: The King and Prime Minister of the Shiga Kingdom eventually realize Satou must be a dragon or the avatar of a dragon due to him consistently getting in the way of both the demons and the seven pillar gods. Satou thinks this sounds ridiculous, even though he is the Dragon God's Chosen One and was granted a sizable portion of her power.
  • One-Man Army: Heroes with Unique Skills can typically take out entire armies on their own.
  • Our Orcs Are Different: Originally an Always Chaotic Evil Long-Lived race, they were destroyed and the survivors are now living peacefully in secret. They were also ones who created the [Travel Gates] .
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Zig-zagged. While the Golden Knights use really elaborate identity conceilment artifact and golden full armor, for those that personally know them immediately notice that they are the Pendragon party.
  • Point of View: Often Satou is the narrator but sometimes other characters are.
  • Red Baron: Some beings get titles depending on what they did or are.
  • Reincarnation:
    • Some characters are Japanese people who died and then were offered reincarnation in the fantasy world by a God, signified by they purple hair and eyes and their Unique Skills. this is due to all of them being given a piece of the Demon God's soul when he reincarnated them.
    • Satou's dream early in the story also suggests that as long as your soul doesn't get destroyed, everyone reincarnates eventually anyway. though only Satou reincarnates as a nearly identical version of himself in each lifetime.
  • Religion of Evil: Several religions try to draw out demons.
  • Role-Playing Game Verse
  • RPG-Mechanics Verse: The world the male protagonist Satou awakens in.
    • Character Level: Anything that is alive and/or can fight has a level.
    • Experience Points: People and things can gain points through doing activities, such as simply reading books to engaging in combat.
    • Point Build System: Summoned and reincarnated people can allocate a maximum of 10 points to a skill. Satou has more points than he knows what to do with, so he maxes out pretty much every skill he comes across, giving him instant mastery after his first attempt.
    • Skill Point Reset: As shown by Arisa, one can reset and reallocate skill points though with a slight decrease in points regained.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Satou becomes several hundred levels higher than almost anything out there and gains an entire hoard of Infinity +1 equipment by accidentally defeating a "Dragon God" in the first chapter, meaning his battles are usually about finding interesting ways around an enemy's magic or unique skill protections using his absurd resources, rather than if he'll actually win or not.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Those with the skills such as [Appraisal] can often identify items and see the name, level, title, and skills of others.
  • Sufficiently Analyzed Magic: Satou goes to great lengths to study his abilities, testing out the various capabilities of his items and abilities.
  • Summon Every Man Hero: Often someone from Japan is summoned to be a hero to defeat the demon lord in the world. Justified when it's revealed the Dragon God, who has been in love with a man who is seemingly born in Japan in nearly all his reincarnations, is the creator of the summon magic.
  • The Three Certainties in Life: Taxes from city to city are substantial, causing Satou to consider bypassing them through the use of his storage.
  • Trademark Favourite Food: Gabo fruit for goblins, Meat for the Liza, Pochi and Tama.
  • Two-Timer Date: Has to attend an event at the royal capital as both Chevalier-> Viscount Satou and the Hero Nanashi.
  • Trapped in Another World: Most people who get summoned to the fantasy world can never go back home, either because they died and were reincarnated or were otherwise summoned by a god who has no interest in sending them home. Even Parion's heroes will only be sent home after they kill a Demon Lord for her.
  • Utility Magic: The life line of magic in general are like this, with functions such as drying clothes, preparing a bath and cleaning objects.
  • Universal Universe Time: Averted, time runs differently in the game world
    • 1 year is only 10 months long, and one month only 30 days long.
    • A day is divided in 24 "hours" as in Earth, but it took Satou two novels and change to realize that each local hour is in fact 70 minutes long. This messed up with his biological clock a little before getting used to the 28-hour day length cycle.
    • There are no weeks, the months are instead divided into upper moon, middle moon and lower moon.
  • Unique Protagonist Asset: "Unique Skills" are powerful unique abilities granted to reincarnated or summoned humans, as well as demon lords the Unique Skills further come from pieces of divinity the gods have granted their chosen champions.
    • Satou himself has 4 extremely powerful unique abilities, due to the most powerful deity in the setting, the Dragon God, granting him 4 fairly large portions of her soul as part of her plans, [Menu], [Unit Arrangement], [Unit Creation] and [Indestructible]. These grant him:
      • psuedo omniscience through [Menu]'s [Map] and [Analyze] functions.
      • pseudo control over space and time through [Menu]'s [Storage] function, which allows any non-living thing to be stored in a pocket dimension, indefinitely frozen in time, and [Unit Arrangement], which provides cost free teleportation to any location he can see or has claimed ownership over.
      • psuedo power over the act of creation itself through [Unit Creation].
      • A soul that won't break or warp no matter how much its damaged due to death or the effects of divine entities through [Indestructible]. This is actually how the Dragon God managed to give him 3 more skills and why Satou doesn't suffer the Dangerous Forbidden Technique downsides of Unique Skills: by collecting pieces of Satou's soul across thousands of lifetimes where his soul remains exactly the same, she was able fuse them into a single soul big enough to hold more power from her and other gods as well.
  • Unwanted Harem: Both Satou and the Saga Empire Hero Hayato sport this - the majority of girls in their party do not suit their taste in women.

Alternative Title(s): Death Marching To The Parallel World Rhapsody