An incredibly rich and fascinating world that is full of wonders and enchanting beauties—a world in which men are watched over by the mechanical goddess Marie who at times appears on the sky. Marie's music brings people happiness and harmony. Their life is free from advanced technology and the longing for progress. The story centers around Kai, a young man who develops a deep affection for Marie. His quest for enlightenment leads him inside Marie's mechanical body where he learns the unbelievable truth about her and his own world.
First of all, I usually don't write reviews for this website. I review anime and manga when I have time on my personal blog, but I tend to stray away from MAL reviews, simply because I've seen so many outstanding reviews on here that I feel like whatever I write will be utter crap.
But when I finished The Music of Marie, or Marie no Kanaderu Ongaku, I felt like I just had to at least say something about this remarkable manga.
The Music of Marie is one of the most underrated manga I've ever had the pleasure of reading, underrated in the sense that almost no
one knows about it. It's definitely an undiscovered gem, and I personally feel like that's one of the best things about it. The author is clearly trying to tell a beautiful story, instead of pulling some deep philosophical stuff out of nowhere in order to make some money.
So, without further ado, the actual review. (For the sake of fluidity and time, I'll be using "Marie" to refer to the manga itself. If I'm referencing the character Marie, I'll do it without quotes.)
The story of "Marie" is deceptively simple, yet amazing. Basically, the character Marie is a mechanical goddess that watches over a peaceful, post-apocalyptic world. The plot revolves around two teenagers, Kai and Pipi, as they go through a series of events that ultimately makes them question their world, and perhaps their entire existence. Nothing is what it seems in this manga; everything is full of mystery and wonder, which is what makes the story so captivating. "Marie" is definitely one of the more different stories I've come across, and the ending is absolutely shocked me to the core.
Now, why did I give it a 9, you ask?
Well, it's more of a 9.5, or even a 9.8. The only reason why it's not a full ten is because I felt like the author could have expanded on Kai and Pipi's relationship. Even after the story was finished, I still couldn't understand exactly why Pipi was so in love with Kai in the first place. Maybe I missed something...but anyways, for just two volumes, the story and concept was fantastic.
The art in "Marie" is absolutely gorgeous. I've honestly never seen any manga drawn with such attention to detail. All of the scenery and technology in this manga are drawn so imaginatively and beautifully. I'm not much of an artist myself, so there's little more I can say for this aspect of the review. But basically, the art in this manga is breathtaking.
To be honest, the characters in this manga by themselves aren't that unique or memorable, though I suppose Pipi is a bit of an exception towards the end. But overall, it's more of the roles the characters play in the whole of the series rather than their individual qualities that makes them shine.
I finished this series in one day, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. "Marie" has now been added to my favorites, where it will most likely stay for a VERY long time. Never before have I read a manga that combines philosophical ideas with fantasy so well. Although this series reminded me of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica in some ways, I don't even think that could possibly compare to the level "Marie" is on. I'm not religious at all, but I could even relate to the religious overtones found in "Marie". Basically, everyone should read this.
I recommend The Music of Marie to every one and anyone, regardless of what genre you usually enjoy. Even if you don't like manga, you will like "Marie".
I disagree with most of the fans of this.
Is it good?
Is it underrated?
Do I like it?
The art style felt way too shoujo which distracted me from what could have been very good looking artwork
The story took too long to go anywhere, half of the entire thing and even then it wasnt satisfying considering I had to slough through half slice of nothing happening.
characters were bland and got better but again a bit too late.
The world in this manga was without doubt the main selling point, or rather the only selling point. Which is perfectly fine for me, as I can easily enjoy a piece of work immensely as long as it has at least one very strong and creative point.
Unfortunately I can't say the world was perfect, or even brilliant, at most I can say it was decent. I found the world presented in the early chapters highly bizarre and full of wonder. Yet as the manga progressed I couldn't help but lose interest in it.
The main cause of my disinterest was the fact that the author didn't
allow for reader interpretation, he diluted the wonder by leaving little to the imagination; it's a problem in the same vain of author's not trusting in reader intelligence, they believe that the reader's won't be able to read between the lines, so they jam in exposition dump after exposition dump to explain everything and ultimately leave no subtlety in their work.
There were multiple subtle world-building moments in the manga that were completely negated by an unneeded explanation soon after.
Basically the world was explained, the meaning and theme were explained, and even the very last questionable point in the manga was explained, which I find is a pretty bog standard path for a manga that had such imaginative potential to take.
Interestingly enough the characters were actually harmed by the world they inhabited, which I find is a bit of a deeper meaning that the author didn't intend for. You see, all the characters, with the exception of two, were merely mouth-pieces for the world, they existed to explain the world, which even though sounds philosophical is ultimately shallow. If the author had replaced these exposition-characters with fully realized and interesting characters it would have improved not just the characters themselves but the world as well, allowing for it to appear even stranger and mysterious.
The only two characters actually worth naming are Pipi and Kai. Even though both of them are fairly shallow in their own right, Pipi more so than Kai.
Pipi is actually a pretty terrible character by all standards, yet she can at least be called a character, unlike the world-expositors. The problem with Pipi was that her entire character was defined by her love of Kai. She had no goals, motivations, relationships and traits outside of the box known as Kai. Funnily enough the one shown interest she had outside of Kai, her garden, was even revealed to be some esoteric profession and dedication of love towards Kai in the final chapter, which fully rendered her character as 100% Kai defined.
Kai himself was also fully defined and obsessed with another character, though in his case it worked much better, simply because it worked in tandem with the theme of the manga and raised some interesting personal questions. Though he had basically no personality.
There was one plot twist right at the end of the manga, which I felt was pretty ridiculous. The plot twist itself didn't surprise me as I had thought something along those lines was going on in the first chapter, where the first foreshadow for this twist appeared. The bit that I found ridiculous was the other characters complete lack of reaction(with a few exceptions) throughout the manga, at what should've of been a pretty telling situation. Really I feel the twist shouldn't have been explained at all, and the author should have simply left all the foreshadowing as an interesting little mystery to those paying attention, it would have at least kept my suspension of disbelief in tacked.
Overall this manga felt weak, it unequivocally answered every question its theme brought up, which I don't doubt some enjoy, but which I find a pretty boring form of world-building, a form which makes the world feel tiny and unimaginative. The moral questions are also given answers, and I shouldn't have to explain why that's dull. In spite of all the problems I had with it, the manga was much more interesting and creative than what is usually served in this medium so I would definitely recommend it.
Marie no Kanaderu Ongaku is a manga about a girl who lives in a strange world and loves a man named Kai who is a strange person.
First, the best thing in this manga is the world and the art style. Both of them combine really well. Is not too realistic, so it creates a sensation of surrealism, because of the strange world they live full of gears and green. Even though the world is interesting, the main focus of the manga is not the world building, so we are not introduced to all the it's caracteristics
and cultures or somethings like that.
The story of the manga is not bad, but it was badly executaded. There is a lot of subjects the manga tried to develop, for example the religion, the godness, the relation of Kai and the girl, but none of these were actually really developed in its total potential.
The "ending" too was unnecessary.
Despite all that, it's a good manga and it's not so long, so you can read it in a few minutes. Good way to relax reading something different!