Manga Reviews

Monday, February 06, 2006

Märchen Awakens Romance

Märchen Awakens Romance (aka MÄR)
Licensed by VIZ

Topic: Shounen, Fighting, Tournament

Summary:
MÄR is about a middle-school boy named Toramizu Ginta. He loves playing video games and pretending he's a great hero. He's always bullied because of this but one day a portal opens in his classroom. Everyone else runs in fear but Ginta, seeing this as a chance to go on an adventure decides to hop through the portal. He appears on the other side in a magical world named MÄR-Heaven. This is a world filled with typical rpg fare: Talking rocks, magical powers, etc.

Furthermore, the people in this world weild magical weapons known as ärms. They are able to use their internal magical energy, through these artifacts, to summon various weapons or creatures to battle for them. Ginta manages to stumble across a very rare arm which is actually sentient. This ärm calls itself Babbo.

As Ginta explores the world more, he begins to discover that there is a dark group at work known as the Chess No Koma, whose goal is to destroy MÄR-Heaven. Somehow Babbo used to be linked to this group although it no longer retains any of its memories. Even more startling it appears that the Chess No Koma actually tried to destroy the world 6 years ago. However they were thwarted when Ginta's father also appeared through the portal and "killed" the leader of the Chess. Unfortunately he was also killed in the process. Over the past 6 years the leader has ressurected and is beginning his war again.

Now only Ginta and a band of warriors stand between the Chess and the rest of the world. They are to face off in a tournament known as the "War Game." What other secrets does this world hold and how is it tied to Ginta and Babbo's past and future?

Commentary:
This is the most recent work of Nobuyuki Anzai, who was the author and artist for Flame of Recca. Many of the characters share similar art between the two mangas. That said, the art quality for both the characters and the background are is top notch, with wonderful variety in locales and characters. The plot is also entertaining, although extremely predictable. Since it's a tournament manga it involves rounds of fighting where the characters show off their newest abilities. These are interspersed around chapters showing the characters training and "leveling-up" for the next round.

Very little backstory has been introduced over the first 10 volumes, which means either the author plans to create a backstory plot arc, or the author will forgo the backstory and just give it a cursory summary. Given the way Flame of Recca developed I tend to lean towards the latter. So if you're in the mood for a fun manga that has very little intellectual depth, give MÄR a try. If you're looking for something deeper and more psychological, I suggest you look elsewhere.

Rating: 7.0/10.0

2 Comments:

  • I only read up into the matched fights, but it was very good up to there. It seemed to slow down after that imo.

    By Anonymous du, at 12:40 AM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Anonymous Karthong, at 12:45 AM  

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