REVIEW: Mars, vol.1 by Fuyumi Soryo

Mars by Fuyumi SoryoMars by Fuyumi Soryo is absolutely wonderful. If your looking to start with a romance-centric manga title this would be perfect! If your just looking for another good manga read then you should get Mars. Awesome work here and I’ve only read three volumes and I already love it. Nath loves it as well, too. If your curious about romance with a title like Mars well there’s a little story behind that. The title of the manga comes from the “God of War” from Greek mythology. You remember that don’t you? I’ll explain more on that part later. So, why do we love Mars?

This is a story of opposites attract. It’s a story of the bad boy who likes the quiet, shy, goodie-two shoes girl. Kashino Rei is a bona fide bad boy. He smokes behind the teacher’s back, he rides a Ducati motorcycle to school, he’s rude, arrogant, has bad grades and plays basketball to pay for his bills. Then there’s Kira Aso who is an artist who likes to keep to herself. When they first meet, Rei is rude to her. He laughed at her and made fun of her name. So she doesn’t like him much.  One day at the park she has the unfortunate luck to run into Rei again. He asks for directions to the Medical Center and instead of telling him the directions, Kira draws him a map, hands it to him then leaves.

However the turning point in their relationship comes when Rei looks on the back of the paper and sees a drawing of a mother and child. He is touched by the photo and the talent. The the next day at school, he remembers her and compliments Kira on her artistic skills and from there a tentative friendship is established. 

However, there are other girls who are vying for Rei’s attention especially Humari. She is Kira’s rival.  One day, Humari and her friends corner Kira and bully her about her relationship with Rei. They threaten her and tell her to stay away from Rei. Well, so much for the advice.  The next day, they all see Kira riding with Rei on his Ducati motorcycle. Rei had said to Humari that he never lets anyone ride on it but makes an exception for Kira who happens to be his first passenger. Kira knows that this will only draw more unwanted ire against her but she doesn’t care and why should she? She has Rei to protect her.

I could go on and on about this series but I don’t want to spoil it all for you. I’m only on volume three and there are 15 volumes in this completed series. The artwork is really, really nice. Dialogue is clear and legible. This series is character driven which is what I love about it. It has plenty of humorous moments, plenty of emotion and feeling. Rei isn’t really a bad guy inside. Beneath the surface he has some serious baggage. His mother died when he was young so it’s just him and his father. 

However, he moved out and is staying on his own and that’s rough financially for him. People make fun of him assuming that he is just a knuckle-head with no education or common sense but they are wrong. He made the highest score on the entrance exams but his grades suck. He plays excellent basketball but doesn’t want to join the team. He is fascinated with a girl that everybody thinks is an eyesore. Rei is his own person. He even models for Kira and when he notices the Greek statue of Mars in the art studio, he kisses the statue and Kira is fascinated by him. Their scenes together are really nice. The author shows how these two have a connection. A bond between them that nobody but these two can understand. I love the intimacy that they share together. It is just one of the best manga’s I’ve read where the relationship between Rei and Kira is the complete focus here.

Nobody has ever been able to get under Rei’s skin or armor but Kira. Her strength makes him feel as if he can do anything. Of course he gives her grief and resistance but Kira is persistent and persuasive as only she can be and she is only one he listens to. She has that much power over him. That much influence to make him a better person and he seems responsive and open to the changes in his life thus far. Unfortunately, Rei also has the need for speed. He loves motorcycle racing. He wants to race professionally and that could be dangerous. A friend of Rei’s lost his leg in a racing accident so I see that to be a potential problem in their relationship later. But who knows?

This is a must read for all manga fans. I love the characters, the story, the drawings. It just evokes a lot of emotion from you and the dialogue seems realistic. It’s teen-age love and angst but very engaging and very entertaining. Thanks Nath for the recommend on this one. Score.  My grade, A. It is rated for T for Teens. Kisses only so far. Go read it.

Since I didn’t have anything new to post for Monday, I thought I’d re-post one of my favorite manga series, Mars. It is completed at 15 volumes and is excellent and highly romantic and a bit angsty.

[tags]Mars vol.1 by Soryo, Manga Review, Romance[/tags]


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Grade A Reviews and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to REVIEW: Mars, vol.1 by Fuyumi Soryo

  1. nath says:

    I agree with every word of your review 😀 Also, what I like about Mars is that Kira and Rei’s relationship looks real and there are ups and downs… unlike most mangas where the love story is a bit “idealized” or too pink. And you’re quite right, there is a lot of depth in the characters and storyline and both Kira and Rei have gone through a lot 😀 Hope you get the rest soon, cos it’s real good 😀

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Nath! I am having a ball with this series. SPOILER! I love it when Rei kicks this guy’s butt for stealing Kira’s portrait. He didn’t even have to say anything when he saw it: he just knew it wasn’t his picture to submit for the contest and alas, Rei was suspended for it. I was actually worried that Rei would drop out of school because that is a huge risk factor for him but he doesn’t and all is well in the world. I’m sure there are more great moments like this. Sigh. Love it.

  3. Kris says:

    hey avid reader,
    I haven’t read any manga before, but I had been wanting to try it but did not know where to start. I just looked and my library has Mars Vols 1 through 13 so I figured I will give them a try. Thanks for the recommendation. 🙂

  4. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Kris: Let me know if you like it…or not? I love it so far.

  5. Vanessa T says:

    Hey all,
    Where do I start?….. Gosh, I read the “Mars” series in high school when I was 3rd form… so that was about 6yrs ago now and I absolutely loved it. At the risk of sounding stupid, I just cant put into words how much I loved these books. It was one of those “one in a million” books that kept me glued to it. It made me happy, and sad, and angry and even at times made me cry!! which doesnt happen to me very often. This series was my introduction to manga, and I was sucked in badly. I now own the series and have read it six or seven times and honestly, not a feeling has changed. Any book that can do that to a person is surely worth reading and in my case…. buying!.

    I have read and bought two more manga book series – “Marmalade Boy” and “Midori Days” which are not as good but still interesting. I wont give too much away but I will explain a brief outline of the stories for anyone interested. “Marmalade Boy” has an odd storyline, where their are two married couples (one with a daughter and one with a son) who are divorcing and getting with each others spouse. They all decide to live together for the sake of their children who in the book, fall in love with each other. Now, if you thought that was wierd, you havnt heard anything yet. “Midori Days” has a strange storyline, a girl loves a boy and one day she falls asleep in her bed and wakes up as his right hand. They both freak out but learn to live with their situation. While she is in a vegetative state in body, in spirit she is with the boy she loves doing everything with him and doesnt want that to change. Well thats all i better say because I feel im going to give away more than i already have…….

    Um… oh yea, if anyone can point me to a series nearly as good as “Mars”, please let me know because I do have a lot of tears that would be willing to come out lol!! Just joking, but I would love to read something really good, soon!!


  6. Avid Reader says:

    Hi Vanessa,

    I loved MARS too and am in the middle of reading and purchasing the series for my collection. I wish I could point to another good series that is just as good but nothing really comes to mind. Have you read Emma? It’s a regency setting and I have NANA that I am reading now and enjoying. I also bought PARADISE KISS and GIRL GOT GAME. I think MARS is just that one out of million that I had the pleasure of reading thanks to Nath. Maybe Nath can be inspired to come over and give more rec’s. I hope to read more and review more manga here on this blog. Thanks for stopping by Vanessa and the titles you mentioned sound very interesting. I’m always looking for rec’s so thanks.

  7. Vanessa T says:

    Hi Avid Reader,
    No i’ve never heard of Emma! Im not to sure what you mean by a regency setting :unsure: . Im still fairly new at this style book even though i’ve read 3 different series, im still not sure lol :biggrin: . Ive wanted to read Paradise Kiss for a while but just havent gotten around to it. Is it good?? I also want to read Peach Girl if you have any clue how that is. Thanks for all your book titles, i’ll look them up when I can. 🙂

  8. LTJpunkboy says:

    Hey ALL, hmm… you guys have really interested me more in the mars series ive only read the first few so far !!lol!! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series. Ohh and here are a few manga series that some of you might like …. Nartuto, Death Note, Eternal Sabath, and i think thats it … SO CYA =)

  9. Neocutey24 says:

    Paradise Kiss is… well, it really makes you think. And Peach Girl, in my opinion it was just too much fluffy lovey-dovey, no real problems. Fruits Basket (don’t take the name and think strange thoughts. Its a game in Japan. I think.) is really good and deep. Once you really get into their lives and their pasts, you’re hanging on the edge of their every word, laughing with them, crying with them. Its a romance/comedy and its based around the Sohma Family, a rich family in Japan that is very secluded, and a girl named Tohru Honda. Tohru lost her father when she was young, and her mother recently before she went to go live with her grandfather. But her grandfather is getting his place remodeled and Tohru doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone so she goes to stay in the woods. Well, anyway, she ends up staying with three Sohmas living off the estate, two who go to her school (Yuki and Kyo Sohma, who also hate each other) and Shigure Sohma(who is an author and a grown, perveted, funny man). Tohru soons figures out their secret: whenever they are hugged by a member of the opposite sex they change into certain animals (Yuki– rat; Kyo– cat; Shigure– dog). There are more characters that come along, most of them Jyunnishi (people who change into those animals because they have vengeful spirits sealed inside of them).
    If it sounds bad, its a mistake on my part. It really is awesome. Take my word for it.

  10. Kris says:

    Since you are reposting I thought i would give an update as well. I read this series since you first posted this and loved them. I could not put them down until i finished them all. Thanks for the recommendation.

  11. msaggie says:

    Thanks, avidbookreader for the marvellous review of Mars (I missed it the first time you posted it). It’s also the first manga series I read and I love it too – in fact, I thought “have I not grown beyond a teenage mentality? Why am I enjoying it so much?” and got rather worried. I agree that it is one of the best manga series – it’s deep and addresses several serious issues quite realistically I thought. The only thing that struck me when I finished it was how unlike the standard Japanese teen both the main protagonists turned out in the end. Some of the attitudes were very westernised and idealistic, but it’s really a very good manga to start off with if you haven’t read any before.

  12. Avid Reader says:

    msaggie and kris: I am so glad you all read Mars and loved it, too! It’s truly great, isn’t it?

  13. elahe says:

    i read 4 of those books, and i really like it but may you help me that how i can read another books by online. thanks…….

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