From the author of Flame of Recca, Noyubuki Anzai brings us at tale of parallel worlds, and a hero destined to travel between them. You know the drill. I would pretty much agree with what the others have said; a good read, but in the end, nothing truly special to set it apart.
The story was probably the weakest point of the series; While it wasn't bad, in any way; an acceptable concept, fairly good plot development, and satisfying ending, I can't really find any specific complaints to log against it, except the fact... it just didn't go the extra mile. It was a story, but
not much else. It's two scoops of vanilla ice cream, when it could have been an XL Super-Decker Double-Fudge Heartstopper Supreme. The tale won't disappoint, as long as you don't expect too much.
The artwork is where this manga does get my credit, though. Obviously, any form of art is completely up to opinion, but I think anyone can agree Anzai-sensei's work is solid and even impressive in some parts; being a manga pretty much based around battles, it holds together well in showing the action, suspense, and awesome moments.
The characters are pretty much what you've seen before; the bold and daring hero, his love interest, his sidekick who's goofy or perverted for when the need arises, the mature flirt of the woman, the pretty playboy, the badass, etc. However, their designs are just enough so you can tell them apart from any other shounen stereotype. The author also does well in the designs of the multitude of minor characters; though most not memorable, they certainly stand out, and you might even find yourself fondly attached to a few (but don't expect the majority to live long...)
These elements mix together in a satisfying way that makes this manga a good read; since it's light on storyline, you can pretty much pick up any volume and immerse yourself; almost every chapter is titled "_____ vs. ______ part___". Of course, all the powers and fights are engaging to see, so as long as you come for the bloodshed (and believe me, there will be blood...), you'll get the most out of this manga.
So. Overall, a seven out of ten. Nothing that makes me go "Oh-my-jeezus you gotta read this!" to people, but enough to make me invest in all 15 volumes of the series. If you were looking for a fantasy masterpiece, keep moving, because this won't sate your palate. But if you're bored of your battle-filled shonen like Naruto, Bleach, or Reborn, pick this one up...
...oh, and does anyone else wonder about the striking similarity between the Gatekeeper Clown in this series, and a certain other character from Final Fantasy 8? No?...
The story is set mainly in a world other than our own. Ginta, the main character, is a dreamy, less-than-average, Japanese schoolboy who is summoned into the world of his dreams, to fight an evil organisation and save a princess.
The storyline is rather typical. The main character is called to be a hero and must save the world from evil. What is unique, however, is the fighting style. In the world of MAR Heaven, people fight using ARMS: jewelery that can be transformed into swords, spears, or even guardian monsters. 75% of the manga is staged within a tournament between the evil organisation, the "Chess
no Koma", and Ginta's resistance troupe. Ginta and his friends have to battle one-on-one with their enemies to advance in a "war game" and gain a chance to fight and defeat the "king" and "queen" of the Chess. This, rather than the story, is the lure of this manga.
If you like elaborate and exciting fight scenes, I highly recommend this manga for you.
Although this story may lack exceptional story plot, I would still consider this manga to be a good read.
Ginta, our main character, is very funny at times and I can relate him to Frodo, from Lord of the Rings. In some characteristics, of course not all of them, I think other readers would agree with me on this. ^_^
One of the characters, Jack, once annoyed me, but after I awhile I accepted and then really enjoyed his part in the story, and that kind of attitude in a story is what I really look for.
Also, the Evil side of this world, the Chess
No Koma, is a wonderful, fresh form of evil!! Haha, they truly are, with their very interesting characters, their motives for their actions, and their reasoning. Take Ash, Girom, and Phantom as examples. :)
I think that most of the characters in this story are well developed and very funny, so with that, I'm giving this a 9. (although I wanted a 8.5, that would be ridiculous)
As a side note, I don't really judge too harshly on art, since I can't draw crap! So for this manga, I think the art was pretty nice, and at times paritally strange, off, or annoying.
P.S. I hope you thought this review was okay, (sorry if you didn't!) because it is my first!
A 10 if you're looking for a case study of shonen, a 4 if you're expecting a high quality battle manga.
What separates MAR above other battle manga is that it cuts through the heart of what shonen is.
There's no filler here folks but neither are you going to get the type of 'faux' unique quality often praised from series like Naruto.
You'll definitely spot the hot blooded hero, the traditional cliches and at first MAR looks like your generic battle manga only if you read through the entire series excluding MAR Omega the sequel you're guaranteed to see a sort of elements of "battle manga
compendium lite" that makes the artist seem more like he was making a subtle serious satire of the genre rather than striving for mediocrity.
It's all hard to explain but suffice to say what MAR does best is that it is able to contain all the stuff you love and expect from battle mangas but it slices it so thin that instead of getting a quality manga with no filler - you get even less of that while having the whole package intact. There's really nothing quite like it that I've seen. It's like a master musician stopping at the exact point of the crescendo to the point that it feels flawed but you get that he could easily have continued just one sound further and it would have been great.
This holds true for all the plot elements but it stretches further towards the art which is what makes this manga seem poor. You'll see stuff that on hand you'll think cliche or generic and yet when you really think about it, it's original but it's explored at the surface. One of the best scenes to notice this is in a fight with a pinocchio like character later in the series. It's a minor battle but if you pay in particular to how that character speaks and how he attacks and then you re-read that scenes and ignore the elements of the character - you could swear the artist could have easily add one extra sentence, back story or prolonged battle stance and that fight would be more memorable than it should. I'm talking literally "in-your-face" details here even if you're not an artist, a critic or an otaku.
That is the secret of MAR but alas it's not an "official" statement - plus you're probably looking for mangas to be entertained or actual tutorials and official announced satire to be thought provoked and in that element, MAR doesn't fair as well especially with more hardcore audiences who think believe they know the cliches and non-cliches of shonen or believe they can just get that info from TV Tropes or other wiki sites.
Also one thing to keep in mind when considering MAR, it does this so well because it lifts up the rules without breaking them. Example the titular chain ball character is both a follower of the cliche generic battle manga design which seems like it's trying to follow the rule of cool but breaks it horribly but even as the backstory is rushed up until MAR Omega - the thing is able to grow on you while again constantly breaking the rules that should appeal to your taste.
Without spoiling anything, let's just say by the end of the manga, the upgrades to the weapon would all fit the rule of cool quality and would probably make this manga more recognized had the artist designed the sidekick those ways originally but in a masterful stroke, if you reach that far, you'll be more empathic towards the original lame design. An effect that may on the surface seem obvious in that it's clear which design gets the most appearance and is branded into our memory but still as an ingredient of a recipe this is how this manga is able to "tell by showing" the heart of what a true generic shonen manga is and thus in my opinion it is more a valuable tool for the beginner artist/storyteller than everyone else and can't be removed from a high rating in every other criteria except the overall.
(This is my first review. Breath in, breath out)
When I founded about MAR, it was on Wikipedia. I getted into it instantly. Unfortunately I was at school and I didn't have time to read it or found a site to read it.
Two years later, here I am. Writing a review.
SO! Fatherless, harmless and eye-sightless, Toramizu Ginta dreams of a world named ,, MÄR HEAVEN". No-one believes it is real, excepting his only friend Koyuki (which means ,,Snow Child").
After his 103 dream of MÄR, a portal opens to the world he dreamed o and he enters there in no time.
After that he meets
a which, learns about magical items named ARMs, steels a special one and makes new frineds... till he learns of a great war in MAR.
MAR is about a nerdy boy who one day suddenly enters a fantasy world. And he must save the people from all over the world from the evil army known as the Chess Pieces. There's a wide varity of characters that appear in this manga and what's even more great is that most of the characters are based off of fairy tales. For example, Dorothy the witch is based off of the Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and the farmer Jack is based off from the one from Jack and the Beanstalk. It's a little comedy than fantasy though. The characters are always making
jokes in parts of the manga. But they are still serious about the War Games. Speaking of which most of the story takes place in a tournament in which our heroes have to fight members of the Chess Pieces in 1-on-1 fights (which probably might take forever if more characters were fighting the Chess Pieces). It dosen't really expore much of the world of Marchen usually stays in one place. But like I said the characters are great and there's a lot of comedy and that's just enough to get an 8 out of 10.
MÄR is the definition of a mediocre manga, or close to it. I had seen some of the anime in my childhood and had some nostalgia for it, so I decided to give the manga a whirl. It didn't stack up to my memories of it.
The story is as bare-bones as could be and the weakest part of the manga. For the first thirty or so chapters there is something resembling an actual story as the cast of main characters is assembled, but once they are, it launches into a tournament arc that lasts for the rest of the manga. The beginning had some promise,
so it's a shame. I don't know if I should even refer to the two parts as "arcs". Maybe it should just be "Pre-tournament" and "tournament". I can only say that this was a terrible choice. There are no real developments throughout the tournament aside from some forgettable and half-assed twists peppered throughout the thin number of pages there are between fights. While a relatively generic fantasy world, it would have been better if there were more traveling and exploration of the setting. The tournament arc shouldn't have been so long and it shouldn't have been neither the second part of the manga or the last part. The location of the tournament, a floating castle, does not change throughout the manga aside from a quick visit to a character's hometown towards the end. The characters are transported to various different arenas, but that doesn't change the fact that 75% of the manga takes place in a single location.
The art is the strongest aspect of MÄR. It isn't highly distinct and it isn't a masterwork, but it's good and done by an experienced hand. My only real problem with it is the paneling. I may have imagined it, but there's often an odd disconnect in the procession of events depicted. For example, a character will give another character an object, but there's no actual panel SHOWING them handing the object to the other character. Or a character will remove an earring from their ear, but there's no actual PANEL showing them removing the earring, just a panel before they remove the earring, and then a panel showing the earring flying to the ground. And they won't be grasping the earring with their hand in the panel before the earring is tossed away, they'll just be standing normally. It's like somebody went through the manga and removed a single panel from all sorts of random places. It really throws you off and sort of cheapens everything you see.
The cast is comprised of fairly typical and common character types. The hot-blooded protagonist who alternates between goofy and sincere moments, the lewd and seductive older woman who makes advances on the main character, the male friend to the main character that sometimes acts as comic relief, the cooler, more reticent and skilled character, the innocent childhood love interest, and the tough older man that knew the main character's father. They're not especially well fleshed out due to the vast majority of the page count being dedicated solely to fights. Little development in the margins between the fights. The villains are worse. There are too many forgettable small-time henchmen littered throughout the tournament. By the time we get to the more interesting elite villains, there's no time left to expand upon them and they're ultimately as forgettable and as one-dimensional as the henchmen, There were possibilities here, but they weren't explored.
It's not horrible, but MÄR gives you a feeling of unrealized potential. Like a incomplete story board for a larger story that never gets told. It's not very satisfying.
The feeling that I ultimately took away from MÄR was a strong sense of unfulfilled potential. I still have fond memories of the anime from my childhood, but revisiting the story now I find it's regrettably unremarkable. MÄR isn't horrible, it isn't terrible, but it's painfully mediocre. There are better shonen battle manga out there to choose from.
I just watched this whole anime in japanese and its under the table dirty af all the boys are gay (alviss and phantom spitroast rolan) and Chaton fingers loco and sux off Alan till he nuts all over baby loco and dorothy’s clothes are always getting torn off and the octopus tentacle turns into a veiny dick that goes inbettween her tits and makes her blush wtf did I just watch. oh and jack ties a girl up with fines thats clearly sexually assualting her and then date rapes her with psychadelic mushrooms. WTF DID I JUST WATCH IS THIS A SHOW FOR KIDS? my
eyes hurt, my soul is fading, Its so bad I can't stop watching, makes me want to drink bleach and listen to the worst metallica album ever (SAINT ANGER)
The author played it safe because he intendes to make MAR his last work.. So there is no complex story, no in deep character background. Just a linear story.
Story and character
It's about a kid named Ginta, who is bashful due to his relatively short stature and eyeglasses. his classmates treat him like a little brother instead of bullying him. Ginta is not an antisocial to begin with, this is a good start. Most authors sacrifice moral value by making
the lead an antisocial so that readers could easily relate to.
Along the awy, we will be introduced to other characters, the loudmouthed jack. the loving princess snow, the wild girl Dorothy and the silly Mentor Alan. typical cast.
Just like dragonball and flame of recca , the manga uses tournament system. There is no explaination whatsoever why the bad guys don't just attack our heroes at once. It's just the way it is.
The battle is very straightforward, because prior to the battles our heroes always acquired new weapons and spells that can easily defeat their opponents. It's like Rock, paper, scissor game. Scissor always defeats paper nomatter what.
Just i like i said in the beginning this was meant to be the author's last work, so He wanted to finish this as quickly as possible. Do i recommend it
If you have a plenty of cash, buy it just for extra reading.
If you have a tight buget, there are a lot of better manga out there
The anime started to get out of context after episode 80 so I started reading the manga. A thousand times better tbh. I didn't realize it was Anzai who wrote MAR until after I finished it, and he just so happened to have been the same guy who wrote Rekka no Honoo. Which explains why Dorothy was able to be badass without being annoying, it explains the amazing art style, etc. There isn't much to say besides I really enjoyed this manga and I hope Anzai keeps writing good shit.
Like yeah, the story is generic, but he makes it in a way that it isn't
so generic. Like, it's actually enjoyable and gets unpredictable at times (and we get some nice fan service too (*cough* see Dorothy vs. Chimera *cough*). The art of course was amazing (that hair over one eye style :3 ) and the characters are great.