There's so many things I want to say about this series that I don't know where to start. I am truly UNIMPRESSED with Mars, and I can't believe the author was allowed to go on with 15 volumes! o_O
The story is very typical; boy meets girl, they fall in love and... and that's it. Nothing interesting really happens there, even though the author tries to throw some fair amount of dramatic events. Unfortunately the way all those events were presented, and how they unfolded, was very poor and didn't pique my interest at all. The virst volumes felt very rushed and I felt like I was being forced to accept everything that's happening without any explanation, kind of like: get over the fact that the main character was bullied by another girl, because from the next page they're gonna be best friends! Wow, really, what are you taking me for an idiot? The same thing was with the main characters being "so much in love", but honestly, I could not see that, there's no proof, I couldn't understand what kept them together (?)
It is also funny, that the author decided to deal with pretty serious themes, that normally would evoke some kind of emotional reaction, yet she seemed unable to get the results. Not only I was not able to symphatize with any character, I felt absolutely nothing reading it.
The art itself wasn't bad at all, however I felt like the character design didn't match the "image" the author was trying to achieve, and so I found the characters lacking and annoying cause they simply didn't make sense. It's a pity cause there was so much possibilities to make it good, the author gave them "dark pasts", but it seemed like it was too much for them to handle, and at the end all that wasn't even necessary there to begin with.
Overall, soap opera gone wrong.
Don't pick it up unless you're not very demanding and don't mind cliched events.
This manga has to be one of the best shoujo mangas I have ever read. In terms of my personal rank, this is definitely number 2 on my list (Skip Beat being number 1 of course ^^).
Story: The story of Mars is by far one of the most intricate and complex of which I have ever seen. You pulled into the world of pain and darkness of the characters but at the same time, you see hope and a will to live and overcome their pasts. I was totally drawn into the story. Some parts I was giddy with joy while other parts I was ready to cry as my emotions went on a roller coaster ride.
Art: Absolutely beautiful art by the mangaka. Although a little too shoujo-esque, the characters were beautiful nonetheless. There wasn't too much attention to detail, although its not always necessary. The art was fairly cute at some parts.
Characters: One of the best parts of the manga was how well the characters were developed. This manga delves deeply into the darkness and cruelty of human nature. The characters were very well fleshed out and we get to learn about their dark pasts and how they struggle to overcome it.
Overall, this manga has had an amazing impact and I would recommend this to any shoujo lover. Although not a light-hearted manga, I was able to fully enjoy this manga and its perspective on human nature.
If I had to pick only five manga series to read for the rest of my life, Mars would definitely be one of them. The best way I can describe this series is as a soap opera, what with mysterious deaths, unknown twins, and crazed murderers, but despite that unflattering description, it's an insanely addictive series that will keep you hooked!
Please be aware that this review contains some mild ***SPOILERS***! I've tried to keep them minimal and vague so as not to spoil everything, but I'm not really sure how to properly bubble about this series without mentioning a few of the details.
I really loved the characters in this series. Naturally Rei and Kira in particular, as they get the most development as the main protagonists, but it's really impressive to see such interesting, fleshed-out characters. They don't fit neatly into stereotypical character slots; Kira starts out as the shy artsy girl who was the victim of abuse, but you get to see her not only come out of her shell, but even have some traits that are rarely ever shown, like getting cranky when she's bored, or actually letting herself have feelings of vengeance and hate. The same goes for Rei: he starts out as the slightly misunderstood playboy, but even when he's very much in love with Kira, you see him doing normal guy things like checking out another girl's cleavage, or getting flustered at being misunderstood. I liked getting to watch them slowly fall in love and learn about each other without the usual plot that involves unrequited love from early childhood finally coming to bloom.
The supporting cast is also excellent. Tetsuya and Harumi are fantastic, even if Tetsuya can sometimes get stuck with some cheesy lines. And even though he's something of a minor character, I really love Rei's father. The mangaka really made you feel the heaviness that surrounds him and makes him behave and treat Rei the way he does.
There are so many twists and turns to this series, and as I mentioned before, it's almost soap opera-y in nature. And yet it doesn't come across as far overdramatic. Things unfold and are revealed at a really good pace.
This was one of the first series I ever started collecting, and I reread it at least once a year. No matter how many times I've read it, I still cry at the ending. EVERY DAMN TIME! It's so good!
The only reason I will not give this manga a full 10/10 is because of the basics - bad boy meets good girl... she wins over his heart and brings forth a change of heart. However, don't be too put off by the cliche that this presents. As 'Mars' progresses the story unfolds to reveal twists and turns that draw you in more than you would anticipate at first glance.
Story: It is truly a complex story. It explores the dynamics of two opposite people falling for eachother, but what truly shines is how it handles personal struggle... even including the secondary and some background characters. Whether it involves suicides or overcoming something difficult it always handles it in a realistic and quite beautiful way. Nothing seems to be irrelevant either - while sometimes a bit confusing and contradictory of itself, the story gives you everything you need for things to make sense and that's mroe than satisfying. If you let yourself be drawn in to it (and I say please do), be wary of how it will grasp your emotions! It will have you jumping around from happy to sad to anxious (to wanting to jump right in to the story and help a character out).
Art: I don't mind the art. It can be quite wonderful to look at and is done quite well. The characters are easy to recognize and are pleasing to the eye. It creates the right impact at the right moment!
I'm not as much of a fan of the coloured pieces inbetween - it makes me feel like I'm reading a rather cheesy romance novel, but that's simple opinion on something that contributes very little to a well drawn manga!!
Characters: I've already touched briefly on characters. You'll get to explore each character in depth from start to finish, watching them win and lose many battles. They each have very distinctive personalities!! (I can't wait for you to meet Violet, she put a smile on my face.)
This manga is not a light one either - it tackles the harsher side of humanity and happily pushes the characters in to situations that bring out the worst in them. I found that watching each character mature was one of the most lovely and enjoyable aspects of this great manga.
While mangas like this are not typically something I'm in to, I'm finding myself more and more drawn to them. I have not been able to put Mars down and it has managed to sneak a significant place in to my heart. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in romantic mangas that aren't just made of fluff, but that have a bit of depth and excitement to them,
Best romance manga ever. Perfect beginning, middle, and end. Kira and Rei's love will tug at your heart strings till the very end.