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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Special Guest Edition: Mars


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Julia-the-Great



Joined: 14 May 2005
Posts: 328

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:41 pm Reply with quote
This was one of the first manga series I read the whole way through. A friend of mine bought every volume and we both ate it up. Pity I never bought it myself. I remember it so fondly, and yet the details have faded away... Thanks for the article, it brings back a lot of good memories!
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1094

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:45 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Mars sounds like the title of a science-fiction story, but it's not.


Sorry, Shaenon, but "Mars" is the name of a science-fiction story. Mitsuteru Yokoyama created the sci-fi/mech manga Mars back in 1976, 20 years before Fuyumi Soryo's shojo manga. It was the inspiration behind the popular 80s mech anime Rokushin Gattai God Mars, the 2-episode 90s OVA Mars, and the 2003 TV anime Shin Seiki Den Mars. What does this have to do with your article? Not much, but I just wanted to have a little fun with the way you started this article.

But, in all honest conversation regarding the manga this article is about, I remember hearing the name Mars a few years ago, but it never really caught my interest. Who knows, maybe if it was re-published I might try it out, if only to be somewhat familiar with the "other Mars".
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Wiesteria



Joined: 25 May 2007
Posts: 104

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:47 pm Reply with quote
I love Mars. It was one of the first manga series I read. I didn't start it at the beginning, though, and the first volume I read was the one where spoiler[Rei discovers that Kira had been raped] and it was an eye-opener for me because it was the first time I realized that love stories don't have to be entirely made of fluff. Rei and Kira are both damaged individuals and for their relationship to work out, they needed to deal with their own demons as well as accept the flaws in each other. I appreciated that this series did not hesitate to deal with serious, real-life issues that many shoujo romances shy away from.

And yes, I really hope Kodansha will re-release this one as well.
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neocloud9



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 1175
Location: Atlanta, GA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:00 pm Reply with quote
Man, one of my high school buddies owned this entire series and I remember borrowing it and reading the whole thing when I was home sick one day. Best illness I ever had. I need to revisit it sometime... I especially loved how the two main leads supported each other in their respective aspirations. You really couldn't help but root for them.

On a completely unrelated note, is the Shaenon Garrity who wrote this article the same one who named Bartleby in Jeff Smith's Bone series? I can't imagine the comic book world being small enough to have two unrelated Shaenon Garritys... Wink
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 3633
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:56 pm Reply with quote
I have this. As I remember it is one of the few romances I have read that didn't have major plot point that depended on the leads misunderstanding each other, over heard conversations or failure to communicate.

At one point during the book's run, Diamond put out some nice posters of select cover art from the series.
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classicalzawa
Space CowboySpace Cowboy


Joined: 19 Jan 2008
Posts: 5009

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:10 pm Reply with quote
After I read Eternal Sabbath via the library, I was dying to read this (same mangaka and all), and lucky for me my friend had the entire set! Whee!

Sadly though, Mars just never really did it for me, I never got invested in the two mains like I did with ES and I didn't feel a whole lot of pain with their relationship (to quote a Royksopp song: "cus love without pain isn't really romance"), more like "my parents don't like my bf", which describes so many American movies, so I found it boring from start to finish. And, ok, there was more than romance, the tragic pasts and stuff, I just didn't really see it affecting the characters currently or having shaped them, so those didn't do it for me either.

Who knows, maybe it'll do more for people who didn't adore ES? It still makes me really wish someone will get Cesare
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marie-antoinette



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 4124
Location: Ottawa, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:41 pm Reply with quote
Mars is still one of my favourite manga. I actually think it has one of the best first volumes I have ever read, I remember when I first bought it I was on a trip and I must have re-read my copy about 3 times before we reached wherever we were going. It is also the only really long series I own that I have completely re-read (yes, Mars is long for me).

For people who like it, I definitely recommend the Taiwanese live action adaptation, as I actually think it tells the story better than the manga. The real great thing it does is it begins to set things up earlier in the story than the manga does, which makes the whole story flow better IMO (for example: spoiler[Masao character is in the first episode and hints that Kira was raped are in there as well]). Only thing that is a bit odd for me watching it was that the names are changed, though I do like that they made it so that the male lead's character still means zero.
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rizuchan



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 317
Location: Kansas

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:43 pm Reply with quote
Wow, so much nostalgia! Mars was the manga that got me into Shoujo manga. Reading it now, it almost feels like too much drama... can't the main characters just be happy sometimes?? But it was certainly the first time I'd seen anything like it in manga.
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Alan45
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Joined: 25 Aug 2010
Posts: 3633
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:51 pm Reply with quote
@ classicalzawa

Odd, I had the reverse reaction. I bought both Mars and ES as they came out. I enjoyed Mars, but I never could get into ES. I tried to read it several times but never could get beyond the first couple of volumes.

These are two very different stories, I would not recommend one on the basis that someone liked the other.
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Aynslesa



Joined: 08 Feb 2012
Posts: 190

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:15 pm Reply with quote
Now this is a little eerie...I just picked up volume 1 of Mars off my shelf a couple of days ago to re-read my way through the series (haven't read it in well over a year), and now it gets an article about it. Talk about a nostalgia trip.

Mars was one of my first manga series when I began steadily collecting it - I'd been doing anime for a few years, but hadn't yet expanded into manga. It was also *the* first manga series that, upon reading volume 1, I went and ordered every single remaining volume that was out immediately, which I think at the time was almost all of them.

I'm a great fan of shoujo romance, usually fantasy, but I'm always looking for that slice-of-life that just strikes a chord with me. Mars did that, and although I've seen the formula repeated time and time again, rarely do I find one that actually hits me in the same way Mars does. The story of Rei and Kira will always be my favorite, and it's definitely one of my top recommendations.
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Graceful Nanami



Joined: 24 Aug 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Virginia, USA

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:19 am Reply with quote
Soryo is an amazing mangaka.

Mars made me weep on more than one ocassion.

And damn, Masao is one hell of a character.

Also, I really wish this column would do a piece on Cipher. Truly a unique manga. Probably my favorite SOL ever.
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Etrien



Joined: 27 Mar 2009
Posts: 490
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:24 am Reply with quote
This is one of the earliest shoujo stories I can remember really getting addicted to, and, as a boy, it helped teach me to not discriminate on series based on their target demographic. Wink Unfortunately, despite how much I loved it at the time, I realize now that I can't really remember the details anymore. Sad I need to reread it some time.
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GATSU



Joined: 03 Jan 2002
Posts: 12607

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 6:14 am Reply with quote
I don't think I would've gotten into shoujo without Mars, so I really treasure that series.
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Shaenon



Joined: 17 Sep 2010
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:59 pm Reply with quote
On a completely unrelated note, is the Shaenon Garrity who wrote this article the same one who named Bartleby in Jeff Smith's Bone series? I can't imagine the comic book world being small enough to have two unrelated Shaenon Garritys...

Yup! I am all the Shaenon Garritys there are.
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sailorsarah



Joined: 01 Sep 2006
Posts: 186
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 2:04 pm Reply with quote
This was a wonderfully written article. Mars was one of the first manga series I ever read. Before Mars, I had no idea comics could deal with the heavy topics that it addresses. It is still one of my favorites. I couldn't put it down. I bought the volumes as fast as I could afford to at the time.
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