This sequel, which is actually a prequel to the classic Shoujo/Josei manga, Mars, is comprised of three stories; the first of which cites a freshman Rei and his subsequent meeting with Kira along with other familiar faces. The following two are short, individual stories which are not connected to the Mars storyline.
Story 1 - The title of Mars Gaiden, Horse With no Name not only comes from an old American song, but is the title of the first story of the book, and the only one that holds a connection with Mars.
Story 2 - My personal favorite, story two was a pleasing, and well written
story of a friendship between two very different people but with a tragic, and unexpected twist.
Story 3 - The most shallow and predictable of the lot, focuses on two lonely teens amid family troubles.
★ Story (7) - Each of the three stories has no relation to the other, though the first is a prelude to the classic Mars manga.
The first story is a peek at Rei's life before meeting Kira, though his friend Tatsuya actually plays a bigger role.
The second story focuses on the relationship between a delinquent and a cheerful girl - with a really big twist. My favorite story of the three!
The final and weakest of the trio, focuses on a lonely teen girl with a troubled family life who befriends an equally lonely teen boy with a background linked to her own.
★ Art (10) - As always, Fuyumi Souryou's artwork is gorgeous; with long neat lines and beautifully expressive eyes. A real delight to view.
★ Character (7) - Though the deep, intricate personalities of Mars are not present at in this story, the characters are somewhat interesting -some more than others- though most are toned down and rather shallow.
★ Enjoyment (7) - While no where near the masterpiece that is Mars, Horse With no Name is still an enjoyable, if forgettable story. Though the first story is the main point of this anthology, the second story is the most touching and well written.
★ Overall (7) - Far from being great, Horse With no Name is still a good read, though fans of the original series will enjoy the story far more. To others, it remains just another manga to pass time by.