MAR anime review

MAR anime review
Ginta is a Japanese high school boy who often fantasizes about a land known as Mar Heaven. One day, he is mysteriously summoned to the imaginary land, which in fact turned out to be real. Upon reaching there, he learns of powerful weapons known as Arms that exist in Mar Heaven. With the companions and friends that he meets during his travels, the group seeks to destroy the Chess, a faction led by the mysterious Phantom, which is determined to bring about Mar Heaven's Ultimate Demise for reasons unknown.

MÄR‘s strengths lie in its characters and story. It’s a fun and carefree little tale filled with people you can’t help but root for. The plot starts simply enough, establishing Ginta’s origins and personality while starting him off on his journey. The tone is definitely lighthearted, seeking to amuse and entertain. A darker undertone lies beneath, though. Just why does Ginta find Babbo so familiar, and how did Ginta’s mother–a fairytale author, curiously enough–seemingly sense his son’s departure from Earth?

The humor is done well. Moments like Ginta “geeking out” over seeing a fairy, fantasizing about chasing it the same way Homer Simpson chased a fluffy-tailed dog, are charmingly funny without leaving the impression that MÄR is trying too hard to get a laugh.

Ginta is a solid and believable character, a nerd with strong morals that just doesn’t fit into normal society but is right at home in and constantly awed by MÄR’s surreal surroundings. As the story progresses, Ginta, slowly but surely, starts to see the merit of the world he left behind, starting some character growth that will hopefully be done justice in future volumes.

Ginta’s companions are just as likeable. Babbo’s slightly annoyed, older brother-ish disposition is both entertaining on its own and an enjoyable contrast to Ginta’s brash youthfulness. Jack, a farmer boy who soon joins Ginta’s quest, brings a combination of ruggedness and stubbornness to the table, both traits meshing well with Ginta and Babbo.

An interesting trait about several characters is that they are named after and based off of actual fairytale personas. Jack hopes to grow an extremely tall beanstalk and climb into the clouds one day. Other fairytale references include Dorothy the witch and Belle the fairy.

One complaint: inconsistency regarding Ginta’s physical traits. In one episode, the super-strong Ginta gets clobbered and sat on by a giant iron golem, but lifts the thing off with little effort. In another episode, a normal man stuns Ginta for a long time with a simple punch to the stomach, but later Ginta returns the favor, sending the thug flying at least a couple of football fields’ distance away, making one wonder how Ginta got stunned in the first place. Also, it’s a little unusual that, while on Earth, Ginta has boundless energy, but gets tired after running for a few seconds. That said, Ginta’s unusual frailty while on Earth may end up being one of MÄR‘s mysteries, answered in a later episode. We’ll have to wait and see.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: MAR. Watch it now:
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