I was hoping this arc was going to bring the series back to its old, nasty roots. Having it involve a crazed serial killer living in the sewers who takes bites out of girls will do that to you. What it ultimately winds up being is little more than a riff on your average underground horror story. That’s because a good chunk of it is given over to Narumi, who was captured by the killer in the previous volume, as she has to lead the other captured girls to safety as they all deal with broken appendages. She’s got the guts and the resourcefulness to do so, but she’s still up against a killer that’s more beast than human at this point. It all comes down to guessing who’s going to live to be rescued by Kuroko and her burly buddy Urara.
If I sound disappointed by this, it’s not because of the actual quality of the story. Mangaka Yoshimurakana does a good job in ramping up the tension during Narumi’s scenes and it’s ultimately satisfying to see Urara go toe-to-toe with the killer. It’s just that I was left expecting more from this arc when it comes to seeing this series try to push the envelope in terms of content. It’s yet another reminder that this series was at its best when it was trying to go completely over the top and find new ways to disturb the reader. That doesn’t happen here, unless you count the way the arc’s name, “‘Til Death Do Us Part” is invoked by cutting between the climactic sewer fight and Chiyo’s heartfelt talk with Hinako at a water park. Which is more disturbing in a, “...the hell is this?” kind of way as opposed to something genuinely stomach-churning.