Mars 13

March 7, 2012

Fuyumi Soryo – Tokyopop – 2003 – 15 volumes

Oh, the drama! Lots of stuff comes at you in this volume! More about Sei’s suicide note! The truth of just how disturbed Rei’s mother was, and how it affected his life as a young boy! The truth about Rei’s father, and how he died! The reappearance of Masao, the psychopathic classmate from earlier in the series!

This volume is a whole lot of exposition, and most of it is either hidden from the characters, or accepted and everyone moves on with their life. The story of Rei’s mother is interesting, and drama-tastic, but it doesn’t seem to have that big an impact on Rei once he learns the truth. The suicide note and the truth about Rei’s father is a slightly bigger deal, and both those tidbits are secreted away for another day. Masao, similarly, reappears, but it’s likely we won’t see him take action until later.

The meat of the plot this time, though, aside from the flashbacks, is how Rei is adapting to his new lifestyle. He bends over backwards to be a good son to his father and do as he’s told, which includes going to fancy social events, dressing in suits, studying to become heir to the business, and mixing with important people. None of these things interest Rei, and he’s not very good at them. Watching him flub his intro to the bigwigs is especially heartbreaking, since he’s usually so charismatic.

Most of all, he promises to give up racing. The end of the volume suggests he can never really give up on this completely, and his new lifestyle suits him so poorly that it’s obvious a big change is going to happen. Whether that will be because he blows up at his father, his father realizes Rei isn’t happy, or the two come to a mutual understanding… that remains to be seen.

This feels more like a means to an end, as if it’s presenting all the problems that will eventually lead to the climax of the series. Honestly, I could watch Rei and Kira read stock quotes and I would probably still love it, Mars is just that good. So I didn’t mind a little break from the action here, especially since the drama continued.

One Response to “Mars 13”

  1. Demeter Says:

    Kind of random! I found your blog while looking for something else, and started reading your reviews of various manga I’ve read – most I either agreed or disagreed with, but there was something I actually wanted to add about Mars.

    Something I really liked about Mars is the evolution of the character of Rei’s father. He started out as a semi-villain, someone no one was supposed to like. The mangaka did the slow reveal (and this is what made the last few volumes of the story for me) and the misconceptions the reader had about the father are turned upside down. I think the tipping point of this was the flashback when Rei’s mother tries to kill her twins and the father saves and then comforts them; he knows he’s not biologically their father, and he loves them anyways. Mars was excellent before that, but it landed on my ‘best-of’ list with the story-arc of Rei’s dad.

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