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This Week in Anime - Is Mars Red Too High Brow?




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Chiyosuke



Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Posts: 303
Location: Nashville, TN (I was Kurious)
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 2:07 pm Reply with quote
So yall are really gonna sit there and pretend that Aaliyah ain't been dead for 20 years (on August 25). *exits thread*
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9523
PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:20 pm Reply with quote
How is a view of him writing with his left hand a hint that he has a prosthetic arm? He's left handed (perhaps by necessity rather than nature, but we don't know). His prosthetic is his right arm.

The true visual clue we got (that I only noticed in retrospect) is that when he walks he doesn't move his right arm in the walk cycle. Other characters do. It's kind of the arm analog to a limp I guess, and it actually does affect his gait.
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octopodpie
ANN Executive Editor


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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2021 10:22 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
How is a view of him writing with his left hand a hint that he has a prosthetic arm? He's left handed (perhaps by necessity rather than nature, but we don't know). His prosthetic is his right arm.


We do know, though because his handwriting is atrocious. He's not a natural left-hander.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5017
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 12:01 am Reply with quote
I had to Google that Aaliyah reference, y’all could have provided a link! Laughing

Every episode of Mars Red starts off with a disclaimer reassuring viewers that the work is fiction. Nice try, but I want to believe in vampires!

Ok, I wouldn’t want to live in a world with them, mosquitoes are bad enough. But I do honestly love how perennial vampire fiction is, and how creative artists can get in their telling. Just from manga and anime, this is a genre that has gifted us with Blood: The Last Vampire (and Blood+, but I’ve heard we don’t talk about Blood -C), the hilarious homage and parody Karin/Chibi Vampire, the deliciously weird shojo manga Black Rose Alice, the incredible coincidence of Twilight and Vampire Knight somehow both coming out in 2005 (those two franchises are so similar in my eyes, it’s uncanny. Uh, no offense to their fans), and many, many more.

Mars Red isn’t the most unique take, and it relies a bit too much on old vampire tropes for my taste—sunlight is deadly, vamps are ranked by their “sires,” super strength, that weird mix of impossible to kill and all too easy to kill—but I don’t mind the good old standbys of angst, forbidden love (nearly one star crossed couple per episode!) and European Dandies. They use the period setting really well, and the literary and theatrical underpinnings add an artistic touch.

I’m surprised you didn’t mention Aoi, the intrepid lady reporter who is also vampire Kurusu’s childhood friend/star crossed love interest waiting to happen. The English dub gave her this American East Coast 1920’s brogue that makes her sound like she got accidentally transported from the Baccano dub, that I both find incredibly grating and absolutely hilarious. It’s the bees’ knees, as she’d put it! I’m rooting for her to somehow get to the truth without dying!

Now, cover Jouran next! It’s the other Taisho era supernatural horror/action show this season! Bonus! It also has poetic interludes! (Maybe wait till the season is over, though, because it’s so incredibly twisty covering it mid season would make the article obsolete by the next episode).
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FinalVentCard
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 28 Oct 2018
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 12:28 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
I had to Google that Aaliyah reference, y’all could have provided a link! Laughing


Aha, I'm oddly pleased at having stumped you with that one!

Agent355 wrote:


I’m surprised you didn’t mention Aoi, the intrepid lady reporter who is also vampire Kurusu’s childhood friend/star crossed love interest waiting to happen. The English dub gave her this American East Coast 1920’s brogue that makes her sound like she got accidentally transported from the Baccano dub, that I both find incredibly grating and absolutely hilarious. It’s the bees’ knees, as she’d put it! I’m rooting for her to somehow get to the truth without dying!


Sadly, with there only really being 4 episodes to the show and Aoi having done nothing but a lot of side-character screen mugging there just wasn't much to talk about when it came to her. I like her antics and her cute 1920s outfits are really adorable, but in the greater scheme of the show she was just a funny side character without much to tie her into the main plot besides showing up at the right place at the wrong time. Same goes for that one devastatingly pretty shopkeeper.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 776
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 3:43 am Reply with quote
Granted I've only seen three episodes, but "high-brow" isn't really a thing I would've associated with this show... mediocre yes, stilted yes, failing to find a balance between "serious historical" and "edgy boys in very modern costumes" yes, trying very hard to seem smart*, yes... the only interesting part would be the social/political commentary but even that was half-baked and done better in other works, at least from what I saw.

I did like the otherwise annoying scientist's attitude to having become a vampire though. The others are like "woe is me" while he's all "I'm immortal! awesome!"

*I mean so they referenced Salomé. If one is a kind of person who feels smarter just by getting the reference, I guess that's great, but otherwise what did the show do with Salomé? Why was it important that it's Salomé and not any other work with the basic story of woman-pining-after-a-man theme? And then they had Romeo and Juliet which is not only the most clichéd and boring work to apply to "tragic lovers" but also yet again, it was just a veneer - the lovers in question had no connection to the play other than dying in the end. And then in episode 3 they just went ahead and had the characters stand around and recite the Relevant Poetry.
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
Posts: 96
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:07 am Reply with quote
Absolutely agree with the writers that episode 1 is fantastic and so fascinating to watch. It has me checking out the rest of the show even though the later episodes aren't as nuanced or emotional. Really digging the series and yeee FUNi's english dub for it is great. Hearing Sean Schemmel as Maeda is some good stuff.
SHD wrote:
*I mean so they referenced Salomé. If one is a kind of person who feels smarter just by getting the reference, I guess that's great, but otherwise what did the show do with Salomé?

Go give a read to Steve's review of episodes 1 to 3 disgruntled sir. Might help illuminate!
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Netero



Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 89
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 4:45 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
How is a view of him writing with his left hand a hint that he has a prosthetic arm? He's left handed (perhaps by necessity rather than nature, but we don't know).

You weren't allowed to be left-handed in Japan (and many other countries for that matter) because of the social stigma. Children were pretty much forced to use their right hands.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 7:34 am Reply with quote
Stelman257 wrote:
SHD wrote:
*I mean so they referenced Salomé. If one is a kind of person who feels smarter just by getting the reference, I guess that's great, but otherwise what did the show do with Salomé?

Go give a read to Steve's review of episodes 1 to 3 disgruntled sir. Might help illuminate!

I read it and there was no illumination. There's only the flimsiest connection of Salomé to the story in the episode (about as much as Romeo and Juliet had in the second episode). I assume the intention was to use it to elevate the story by drawing a parallel re: the girl and Salomé, how she's pining after this man and then she almost kills him to make him hers but plot twist! she decides not to. But if so it was clumsily executed and generally underdeveloped. Salomé is a powerful play with some very heavy themes, if you want to use it you've got to have a concept more than a lip service to "elevate" some plot beats, otherwise it'll just come off as pretentious.

(Also, for the record, I'm not male.)
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Stelman257



Joined: 26 Jul 2013
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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 9:19 am Reply with quote
SHD wrote:
(Also, for the record, I'm not male.)

Ah sorry about that.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3431
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 12:10 pm Reply with quote
Netero wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
How is a view of him writing with his left hand a hint that he has a prosthetic arm? He's left handed (perhaps by necessity rather than nature, but we don't know).

You weren't allowed to be left-handed in Japan (and many other countries for that matter) because of the social stigma. Children were pretty much forced to use their right hands.

Mizuki Shigeru, the creator of the Kitarou manga lost his dominant arm, the left in his case, during an Allied air raid in World War II. He nevertheless became an influential manga-ka using his off hand. I can't do much of anything with my left arm and hand, certainly not draw or write. Even if Mizuki was ambidextrous. becoming an artist of his stature is incredibly impressive.
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SHD



Joined: 05 Apr 2015
Posts: 776
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 12:33 pm Reply with quote
Netero wrote:
Gina Szanboti wrote:
How is a view of him writing with his left hand a hint that he has a prosthetic arm? He's left handed (perhaps by necessity rather than nature, but we don't know).

You weren't allowed to be left-handed in Japan (and many other countries for that matter) because of the social stigma. Children were pretty much forced to use their right hands.

Case in point, my grandpa, who was born in the late 1920s, was left-handed and yet he couldn't write well with his left hand, because in school they forced him to learn to write with his right hand. He could do everything with his dominant hand, except writing. It was pretty impressive how good his handwriting was, everything considered.

That said, frankly I think this is reaching here, the point the show made was that his handwriting was crap, showing that he was writing with a hand he wasn't accustomed to using.
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Animegomaniac



Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 3725
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 6:03 am Reply with quote
Episode 1 was fantastic and I really looked forward to see how Misaki... the only interesting character... reintegrated herself back into some semblance of humanity or something new, something different.

Then it ended. Then I stopped caring as well as watching as it unhesitatingly became my least favorite format of all: The anthology series with a reoccurring cast. Come in Scooby Doo, your number's up.

"Is Mars Red too high brow?" No, it's too myopic to see a good concept when it had one in the first episode. And then there's the word that's kind of like myopic, misogynistic, partly because of the time period chosen...

No, vampires aren't real so why not explore what would happen to that world if some women were suddenly... yeah, no, the Fearless Vampire Hunters are a squad of all guys so what does it matter if they're all humans or vampires then? At least if they were human there would be some threat of them being turned so why...

... and partly because the show itself is just misogynistic period.

I made it through two episodes and I'm done. Thanks you, Japan, for remaining Japan.
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