The nation of Galboa is in chaos as the rebellion of the tyrant Zashid Turus’s sons unfolds, having been inspired by the fake one plotted by Mamoru Hijikata. Between that and the twin swaths cut by Mamoru’s own forces and the portions of the Element Network led by teen psychic Haruka Touyama, things would look bleak for the genetic superman if he were not as cunning as he is strong and fast.

Mamoru planned for everything in his plot to force a duel with the seemingly invincible Zashid Turus… except for Haruka surrendering herself into Turus’s custody in exchange for Mamoru’s life being spared. With Haruka’s precognitive powers being used to round up what remains of the resistance, can Mamoru find a way to save his young charge from a life as a slave to the world’s most brutal dictator? Or will this be the point when death finally parts them?

This thirteenth volume of Until Death Do Us Part brings the series to a satisfying conclusion. What Hiroshi Takashige and DOUBLE-S accomplished within these thirteen volumes is truly remarkable on multiple levels. While huge crossovers between established franchises are par for the course in American comics, Until Death Do Us Part established links with three other popular seinen series while making it seem like a logical extension of all the relevant worlds. All of the protagonists—blind swordsman Mamoru, ethical assassin/teacher Jesus, and cyborg bodyguard Tate Karito—were given logical reasons to be drawn into the same conflicts in spite of their separate spheres of interest, and not a one of their storylines together felt forced.

Hiroshi Takashige proved a master of characterization throughout. Even the most minor of characters had a clearly defined personality, to the point where it felt like every scene was being taken from a manga focused on that one person’s adventures. What’s truly astonishing is how Takashige made most of even the most villainous characters likable in some form or fashion. Even the main villain, Zashid Turus, is almost admirable for the grace with which he suffers setbacks and the even-handed way in which he deals with everyone, friend or foe.

The artwork by DOUBLE-S remained equally intricate throughout this final volume. There was an amazing balancing act which DOUBLE-S accomplished with relative ease, finding the perfect unity between clarity and complexity. Most manga artists keep their work simple, avoiding overly complicated line work. The artwork of Until Death Do Us Part was amazingly involved, yet it did not suffer for that involvement or become needlessly cluttered in its detail.

As with the previous volumes, this book is rightly rated OT for audiences 16 and older. There’s a fair bit of body horror this time around, as we see Zashid Turus’s cloning factory in action and the disastrous effects as one of his son’s new limbs is rejected by his body. There are also some uncomfortable adult situations (yet no nudity) as Haruka is exposed to Zashid Turus’s harem of wives and informed that he plans to have her eggs implanted in them to breed a race of psychic warriors.

Until Death Do Us Part, vol. 13
by Hiroshi Takashige
Art by DOUBLE-S
ISBN: 9780316547741
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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