My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
About the Author:
Fuyumi Soryo born on January 6, 1959, is a Japanese manga artist from Beppu, Oita, Japan. Her works translated into English include Mars and Eternal Sabbath. In 1988, she was awarded the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōjo manga for Boyfriend.
Publication Year: 1996
Mars is a manga series revolving around the relationship of two unlikely high school students Rei and Kira. These two people are polar opposites: Rei is a rebel, a player and has an obnoxious reputation while Kira is painfully shy and aloof and prefers to stay away from boys. Rei dreams of being a professional racer while Kira is an artist.
During a chance encounter in the park, Kira asks Rei to be a model for her and Rei surprisingly agrees. After that, they grow closer and soon become the talk of the school due to their opposing personalities. The story depicts the struggles of the characters to understand each other and themselves while being together and enduring the grueling life of high school.
This was a fun series to read. I was expecting just a cute love story but this was much more than that. It covered the dark topics such as death, assault, trauma and much more. The characters had more depth to them so they felt real and likable. Through each volume, the story unravels slowly and many secrets from the past come to light. It was narrated from the perspective of both the characters. The artwork was done beautifully.
Both Rei and Kira carry baggage from the past that they have to deal with while understanding and supporting each other in the process. The development of the main characters was given attention while the side characters weren’t much explored, except for a few minor characters, but other than that, other aspects were left untouched. Anyway, that didn’t impact the story much.
It had some annoying clichés; there was angst and a lot of drama but at no place did it get over-the-top. The cliché of a bad guy falling for a good girl was also handled well without the story coming off as shallow. I’ve seen many dramas where the story just goes so overboard that it turns unrealistic but that wasn’t the case here. Despite the serious topics, the story was generally light-hearted. It was a little cheesy at times but in a way that was adorable.
The story takes place over the span of a few years and to be honest, I was a little disappointed that it ended without resolving many plot points but I’m fine with it. It was a short read and I wasn’t expecting much from the manga but I was pleasantly surprised that it turned out to be such an endearing story. If you’re looking for a cute romance with depth, then I recommend this manga.