March 13, 2012
Fuyumi Soryo – Tokyopop – 2003 – 15 volumes
The penultimate volume! It’s actually a fairly quiet one for Mars. Not a whole lot of drama, just a whole lot of decision-making and, ultimately, happiness. An unsure happiness, but one that feels fairly realistic despite that.
The first part of the book covers Rei’s foray into the corporate world. Kira has second thoughts, and wants him to go back to racing, but despite being needled by unkind rivals in the business world, Rei seems to be able to handle his father’s social crowd. These are strange scenes, and while it’s clear that Rei isn’t exactly comfortable, it’s hard to tell what he really thinks about the people that seem to be having fun at his expense. He side-steps and gives it all back rather elegantly, and without much humor, which is what I like best about these parts.
The second half features more racing, except instead of being a happy, exciting hobby full of adventure, we see it from Kira’s point of view. It’s a very dangerous sport, and those that love the thrill of the race are well aware of the danger and consequences. There’s a mini-plot dealing with this, but all the characters seem to come to terms with it by the end of the volume.
As I said, there’s not a whole lot of drama here. Drama does rear its head in both halves, but unlike what we’ve seen before, the problems are dealt with and settled. I’m taking this as a sign that the characters have matured, and I like that potentially long storylines, very classic shoujo fodder, are being dismissed in favor of the characters settling their problems quickly. There’s one volume left, but honestly, there’s not too much strife for Kira and Rei to deal with, and I like that things are ending very quietly.
Well, sort of quietly. One last exciting round with Kirishima, the psychotic classmate, seems to be in store for the conclusion, but other than that, I think all the character-centric matters will be settled quietly.