Of all the Tokyopop manga to be released lately, this was the one I expected least of. Strange then that its become my favourite of their current releases, having snagged a few volumes after our Chobits review a few weeks back.
Mars is the story of two star crossed lovers- one a shy and retiring young artist, the other a handsome and reckless bike racer who takes life somewhat less than seriously. One fateful meeting brings them together, but there are those that have their own plans for the pair.
Mars stands out thanks to its normality - there are no giant robots, aliens or tentacle monsters - just two people trying to get together despite the machinations of jealous others.
The whole thing smacks of a tragedy waiting to happen, and there are times even in this first volume that things start to get serious (death threats, teachers with less than honorable intentions and so forth) but its done so well, and in such an understated manner that its utterly absorbing and keeps your attention. I've read my mates copy twice now, and I'll be getting my own (and subsequent volumes) as soon as I can.
As you can see by the pictures I've posted here, the artwork is delicate and detailed, and although its not a style that I've paid much attention to in the past, I'm certainly starting to appreciate it now.
Like all Tokyopop graphic novels, the book remains unflipped, and I'm starting to become accustomed to it.
My only gripe with Mars is that, unlike other books in the series, there's no information on the artist, which is a great shame. Still, the manga is the important thing, and I can honestly say that in that department, the book is flawless. I'd recommend this to anyone.
Shoujo I can actually get into - fantastic stuff from start to finish.
Ross founded the UK Anime Network back in 1995, and is now the Publisher and Senior Editor of the site. Everything you see here is coded by Ross and even though he's locked away tinkering, occasionally he'll escape and review something,