MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance) Vol. #12 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

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: 7.99
  • Pages: 208
  • ISBN: 1-4215-0942-3
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left
  • Series: MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance)

MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance) Vol. #12

By Ben Leary     July 11, 2007
Release Date: March 20, 2007

MAR (aka: Marchen Awakens Romance) Vol.#12
© Viz Media

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Noboyuki Anzai
Translated by:Kaori Inoue & Gerard Jones
Adapted by:Kaori Inoue & Gerard Jones

What They Say
Could it actually be the beginning of the end? Princess Snow of Team Mar is captured by the Chess Pieces and taken to the ruthless Queen Diana. Despite being a member down, Team Mar must remain undaunted as they go into the final battle of the War Games. Will they be able to persevere against the Chess Pieces? And what fate awaits Snow in the hands of her evil stepmother Diana?!

The Review
In volume 12 of MAR we get more of the same, but that's not necessarily bad. We actually get to start clean this time, as the previous battle between Dorothy and Pinocchion was resolved at the end of the last book. (Love the Guardians used in that one, by the way--you just can't beat Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz unleashing a giant Toto against Pinocchio's Monstro for sheer audacity.) There's nothing in this volume that can really top that, but there's no shortage of trying. What comes closest is Ginta's encounter with Ian: due to the challenge issued in the previous volume and something that raises the stakes in this one, this fight has a real grudge-match angle to it that give the whole tone of the War Games a different feel. And that tone is further deepened with Jack's battle at the end, which he has a similar motivation for fighting. Now it's getting personal.

The fight scenes continue to display the same expertness in design, layout and execution. I really like the way Anzai keeps finding new wrinkles to put in the action, so the fights never have a chance to go stale. Even when the outcome is predictable, as it often is, no victory or defeat is without its effect. A story arc devoted to a single long tournament has its limitations of course; but work within those limitations is rarely as succesful as this. I can't help but admire the skill--perhaps even the virtuosity--with which such simple and potentially repititious material is handled. Full marks for style.

The end is another cliffhanger that will finish in the next volume. I'm delighted to see the comedy cartoons return at the end. Some more good fun to be had here. New readers should be warned that jumping into a series at volume 12 is a bad habit, but this volume is, of course, an easy recommendation for anybody who's come this far. It throws in whatever it can get its hands on from fairy tales to video games for the sake of putting on a good show. And a good show it is, too. If MAR can keep up its head of steam, I'm definitely eager to see where it can go.


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