Mars 4

November 28, 2011

Fuyumi Soryo – Tokyopop – 2002 – 15 volumes

Mars only gets better and better with every volume. More dramatic, more sad, and more of everything I love in a really good shoujo romance. There’s a good reason why this is a classic, and I’m so glad I’m reading it.

This volume goes more in depth to Rei’s past, and we gain another perspective on the Sei incident, as well as two people who knew both Rei and Sei that enter the story here. We learn a lot more about Sei, too, and a little bit about the relationship between Rei and Sei.

Shiori is one of the new characters that shows up shows up. She immediately gets on the reader’s bad side when she begins to work hard at stealing Rei away from Kira. Rei doesn’t fall for it, but he’s obligated to go out on a date with her and give her a present meant for Kira. Shiori makes her feelings towards Rei known, and also talks down to Kira. Rei basically ignores her, but she does get a small reward in that her showing up suddenly from Rei’s past makes Kira uneasy.

Actually, Shiori turns into all kinds of crazy, the perfect shoujo villainess in terms of melodrama. After Rei rejects her, she begins performing a series of self-destructive behaviors that will get her noticed and will also force Rei to intervene in her life in order to save her. But he rejects her, time and time again.

The Sei parts were a little sketchier. We get some different impressions of Sei, and different interpretations of his death as well. Was Sei’s death a “momentary adolescent impulse?” Was it not a suicide at all, and Rei pushed him? Was it something that Rei said that drove him to suicide? Was it something that Shiori said that drove him to suicide?

There are also still plenty of choice Rei and Kira moments scattered throughout the melodrama, and that’s one of the good points of Mars. There’s not a whole lot of happy times in this book, but despite that, Kira and Rei still find time to dote on each other between all the Very Serious Conversations they have. The doting isn’t quite as elaborate as some of the best scenes from the past, but all of it only serves to strengthen their relationship more and more. I also like that, by this volume, they are a firmly established couple. Shiori’s interference would normally spell disaster in a story like this, but in Mars, it merely opens the door to the past.

Wonderful, wonderful stuff. I speak of all the melodrama here lightly, but that it manages to be so dramatic and still weave such a beautiful story is what makes Mars worth reading. Really. Every volume is just amazing.

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