Monday, December 5, 2011

Manga Mondays (79): New Meme! MAR, Vol. 1 (Marchen Awakens Romance) by Nobuyuki Anzai

New Manga Mondays Meme!

I've been doing Manga Mondays every week since I started my blog 18 months ago. It's always been a personal feature, but now I'm going to try turning it into a meme. There are quite a few people who do Manga Mondays. I don't claim by any means that I owned or created the idea of Manga Mondays - it's an obvious choice given the alliteration. I think a meme would be a good way for everyone to publicize their own Manga Mondays and get a little more publicity.

The linky will be below my review.

MAR, Vol. 1 (Marchen Awakens Romance)
by Nobuyuki Anzai


Ginta Toramizu is a 14-year-old kid who doesn't have a lot going for him: he's near-sighted, doesn't do well in school, sucks at sports, and to top it off - he's short! But Ginta is a dreamer and has had the same dream 102 times, always in the same fantasy world, where he is a hero blessed with all the abilities he lacks in real life. Then one day a supernatural figure appears at Ginta's school and summons him to a mysterious and exciting new world! In this strange universe filled with magic and wonder, he is strong, tough, agile - and he can see without his glasses! Thus, Ginta begins a mystical quest in search of the magical items known as 'ARMS,' one of which may have the power to send him home. Joining him on this epic journey are his companion Jack and the valuable living, talking, mustachioed iron-ball weapon known as 'Babbo,' which everyone wants but, it seems, only Ginta can possess! (courtesy of Goodreads)


*Warning: Potential spoilers. My manga reviews tend to be more of a summary than a review. I find it hard to review manga in the same way I do regular books.

Meh. I tried MAR after reading several good reviews. I liked it well enough, but there was nothing that rocked my world. There is nothing unique about this story. Boy is an ordinary loser at home, but he falls into a secret world where he's strong and important.

Part of my issue with this manga is that I'm not really into Shonen manga (action based manga, mostly for boys). You'd think with a name like Marchen Awakens Romance there would be some romance in this story. Perhaps there will be in later volumes, but the only hint of it in this volume was a crush on a friend back home. This is all action.

Ginta is a fight-magnet in his fantasy world. Once one fight sequence is over, another begins. Anzai does a good job of drawing lines so you capture the excitement of movement of the action scenes. It does make it a bit hard to look at - it almost feels like the page is blinking at you. The manga is fairly spare on dialogue. The story is definitely told mostly through pictures. The lack of words makes it harder to understand the supernatural world Ginta fell into. I imagine it will become clearer further into the series, but it doesn't make me want to continue on to find out.

There is lots of good snarky insults exchanged between Ginta and his talking weapon Babbo. Babbo is a gentleman and thinks very highly of himself, despite looking like a bowling ball (actually he's one of those toy balls on a strong that you toss into a plastic cup). Babbo thinks Ginta is disrespectful and annoying...until he realizes that it's better off to be with an annoying kid that alone. By the end of the first volume, Ginta and Babbo have been joined by their new sidekick, Jack. I anticipate lots of funny dialogue between the trio in the future.

MAR is okay. It has potential to grow into something that I'd like, but unfortunately, I don't feel invested enough in the series to want to continue. Have any of you read MAR? What did you think?


  1. Sorry you weren't that impressed with this manga! I like the colorful cover!

    I haven't read this one but maybe I will check it out! Hmm I'm going to check out the anime too!

    I'm just curious is there any Shonen manga you like?

  2. I love Shonen anime but can never seem to get into shonen manga, probably because its different watching the action scenes to reading it! I love snarky insults and if I even get the feel for shonen manga I may just have to pick this one up!

    Nomalicious Reads

  3. Sorry this one fell through for you, Alison! I hate when that happens. I usually try at least 3 volumes of a series before I decide to pick it up. I dropped DNA Angel and Soul Eater (which still seems really popular) because they didn't hold my interest at all. I hope your next manga read is better.

    p.s. I hope to join your meme once I find some manga series to read. So far nothing seems interesting.

  4. I have never heard of this series and although I do like Shounen manga (prefer them in anime form though) this doesn't sound like a unique enough or interesting enough read for me to enjoy it.

    Great idea into turning this into a meme, I have come across a few other blogs that also do Manga Monday so this would be a great way to check out what other manga people are reading :). I will link my post later!


  5. Huh. I would have thought there would have been some romance involved given the title as well. Super misleading:) I think I would enjoy some of the other manga series you've reviewed more than this one since, I like action sequences as much as the next person, but I like emotional character interactions even better:)

  6. Oh, I remember watching the anime based on this years ago. I didn't like it that much. XD

  7. Does it have to be a manga review done on Mondays only? Whenever I review manga, I usually review it on Thursdays, and not always every Thursday.

  8. Haven't heard of this one, but I kind of like the title! Still, not a big fan of too many action-based manga series...
    Great review!

  9. Enjoy your the linky tool! Plenty of things to review on your site..Thanks!!


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