Blind street samurai Mamoru has gone rogue! Teaming up with his former enemies, the modern-day Moriarty known as Wiseman and the elite group of warriors known as the Trumps, Mamoru has embarked upon a seemingly insane plan to invade the rogue nation of Galboa. Their mission is to sow as much chaos as possible to draw out genetic superman and master warrior Zashid Turus, the nation’s secret tyrant and mastermind behind the plot to abduct psychic teen Haruka Touyama. Mamoru claims he wants to ensure Haruka’s safety once and for all, but part of him hopes that Zashid will prove to be the ultimate worthy opponent he’s sought since taking up the art of the sword.

Unfortunately, Haruka has learned of Mamoru’s plan and she’s equally determined to stop him from throwing his life away on what she has foreseen as a hopeless battle that will end in his death! Leading her own elite team of agents from the Element Network and other friendly agents who feel they owe her their lives, Haruka begins to cut her own path across Galboa, working toward the secret factory where multiple criminal organizations under Zashid Turus’s control have begun developing cloning technology that will make him effectively immortal.

Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 12 seemingly shifts genres, reading more like a war manga than the previous volumes, which focused on individual martial arts battles. Of course, good action is good action, and Hiroshi Takashige proves capable of writing good action sequences regardless of the specific sub-genre involved. The battle sequences are fantastic and well-balanced between thoughtful scenes of various tacticians on all three sides of the conflict explaining their actions. It’s a fascinating study of both the characters and the strategies involved. It is a credit to Takashige’s skill as a writer that the many players involved remain distinctive and all are given a chance to shine, despite the vastness of the series’ cast.

Speaking of distinctive characters, I must again praise the utility with which DOUBLE-S has designed the various stars of Until Death Do Us Part. Unlike the vast majority of action manga, which suffer when the artists continually draw the same faces and body types, DOUBLE-S depicts a wide variety of visually unique characters. DOUBLE-S also excels in depicting thrilling action sequences that naturally guide the reader through some occasionally awkward panel placements.

As with earlier volumes in this series, Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 12 is rated OT for audiences 16 and up. While not as gory as the previous chapters, there is still a considerable amount of violence in this book. Naturally, we have several scenes of Mamoru showing his skill with a bladed weapon, but the book also does not hesitate to depict the horrors of war, up to and including the messy results of a sniper achieving a head-shot. There are also a fair amount of scenes that might be disturbing to younger readers, such as the criminal syndicate TPC abducting children from their homes.

Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 12
by Hiroshi Takashige
Art by DOUBLE-S
ISBN: 9780316272162
Yen Press, 2016
Publisher Age Rating: OT (16+)

  • Matt

    | He/Him Librarian

    Reviewer

    A librarian with over 10 years experience in public and academic settings, Matthew Morrison has been blogging about comic books for nearly as long as they’ve had a word for it.  Over the past two decades, he has written regular columns, commentary, parodies and reviews for such websites and blogs as Fanzing, 411 Mania, Screen Rant and Comics Nexus.  He has served as an Expert in Residence for a seminar on Graphic Novels and Comics for Youth and Adults at the University of North Texas and has given several lectures on the history of comics, manga and cosplay culture at libraries and comic conventions around the country. In addition to his work for No Flying No Tights, he is the Contributing Editor of Kabooooom.com and maintains a personal blog at MyGeekyGeekyWays.com.

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