Mania Grade: B+
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- Art Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: B+
- Text/Translatin Rating: A
- Age Rating: 13 & Up
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 9.99
- Pages: 208
- ISBN: 1-4215-0493-6
- Size: B6
- Orientation: Right to Left
- Series: MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance)
MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance) Vol. #11
By Ben Leary
July 04, 2007
Release Date: January 16, 2007
MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance) Vol.#11
© Viz Media
Translated by:Kaori Inoue & Gerard Jones
Adapted by:Kaori Inoue & Gerard JonesWhat They Say
The epic saga of the War Games continues! In the final match of the fifth battle, Nanashi for Team Mar is up against Galian of the Chess Pieces. There's quite a history between these two - Nanashi is the current leader of Luberia, and Galian just happens to be its former chief. Watch the sparks fly when these two lightning-wielders clash!The Review
The War Games continue, dropping us into the final chapter of a fight on page one in the tried-and-true cliffhanger style. Yes, this is tournament fighting manga. If you want something other than fighting, go somewhere else. But if you've come this far, you know what to expect. And I very much doubt you'll be disappointed. There's enough flair and style and pizzaz in the battles to keep the pages turning effortlessly. I read this volume in one sitting, without once looking at the clock or checking the page count, and believe me, that's easier than trying to put it down.
What really separates this from a lot of fighting manga is the variety you see from battle to battle. The use of the Guardians gives a tactical edge to the combat that you don't often see, so it's a lot more fun to read than your typical endless exchanges of punches or energy blasts. You may know where it's all going in the end, but I can't deny the effectiveness of the presentation here. The art is designed and drawn for maximum impact and isn't afraid to pull out all the stops. The full page money shots are as good as any I can remember. And a big thumbs-up to the layout: it's very clean, always drawing the eye exactly where it needs to go, always keeping the action flowing smoothly. I'm sure a lot of thought went into it, but it looks effortless.
The comic relief is also here in full force; down time for the characters leads to several funny situations that lets them and the reader blow off a little steam. Even one of the subsequent battles is played for comedy, as Alan the ex-dog takes on a catgirl and gets his clock cleaned for the first time. We also get the fun little extra gag comics at the end. There's some really good material in this one--I love the bit where the characters design introduction badges for each other. The badges are one of the funnier aspects of the real comic, giving the fights a Final Fantasy Smash Brothers kind of feel, and they make a great target for a little good-natured ribbing.
In short, MAR isn't a title that tries to do a whole lot, but what it does try to do it does very well. A real pro job all around and a very easy read. If you've come this far, by all means keep going.