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EP. REVIEW: MARS RED


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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5033
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:18 am Reply with quote
A Reddit user appropriately named EternalWisdomSleeps was able to track down the sources of the poetry exchange between Yamamoto and Tomiko by Googling the original Japanese lines, and boy is it relevant:
https://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/mu6nsz/mars_red_episode_3_discussion/gv5k7pp/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3
Quote:

I've tried to track down the source of the poems.

It vanishes with each step we take

How sad is dream within a dream

Seems to be a quote from The Love Suicides at Sonezaki, play written by Chikamatsu Monzaemon in 1703. Later it was turned into Kabuki performance and a movie (in 1978). It's quite similar to Romeo and Juliet, which as pointed out by commentators in earlier episodes is a core of Mars Red story. In short, The Love Suicides at Sonezaki is a tragic love story about a boy who rejects his promising future due to his love to a prostitute. In the end they commit double suicide. Quite fitting that it was read in place none other than Yoshiwara district.

The joy of seeing you again in such a way feels to me almost like I am dreaming a dream from which I will never wake

To be in a world ephemeral as a dream may feel unpleasant, but we are free to dream or talk of dreams as we please

Those words are written on a monument in Nagaoka city dedicated to an encounter and love of zen Buddhist monk Ryoukan and nun Teishin. I won't delve into the legend of their meeing. Important part is Ryokan was Teishin teacher, they had to part ways and only exchanged letters for 4 years. This poem express their joy to see each other again, first line belongs to Teishin, second to Ryoukan.

Black kites and sparrows, herons, and even the crows

What wonder is it if two birds of a like kind should choose to flock together?

Different poem, same author, Ryoukan. Meaning here that it's natural to love another living human being. Even if you are monks, you are still humans with human hearts. Despite all the anxieties cherishing the life and things that are alive is an essence of Buddhism. Which is interesting in the context of Mars Red where one of the lovers is vampire who is no longer alive.

The person for whom I had waited anxiously had finally come

What can there be to regret in a meeting such as this

And we've come to an ending to Ryokan and Teishin story. Ryoukan wrote this poem when he got critically ill and Teishin hurried to his side. She was taking care of Ryoukan till his death.


A forbidden love between a nun and a monk is very appropriate to illustrate a forbidden love between a human and vampire, and boy is this series interested in forbidden love! We’ve had at least one couple per episode:
—Maeda and Misaki
—The vampire couple feeding on humans (note that Suwa, the eldest, masked vampire on the team, considers the fact that they’re a couple at all disgusting, implying that romance isn’t typical of vampires between themselves and may even be taboo)
—Yamamoto and Tomiko
—the set up between Kurusu and his intrepid girl reporter childhood friend Aoi in the future.

I’ve been really enjoying the show overall; loved the mad scientist’s backstory and the humor he brings to the show (This is why we should always wear personal protective equipment, folks! But at least he’s cool with the outcome).

The character who intrigued me the most, as I mentioned in the preview guide, is Anime Vampire Oscar Wilde, AKA Defrott.
Why do I think he’s a direct Oscar Wilde homage?
—He’s British
—He’s a Dandy
—He’s Queer coded (his English VA is trans)
—he has Dorian Gray’s unaging looks and blond curls
—He’s involved in the theater; Oscar Wilde was a playwright who wrote frequently of actors
—The heavy use of Wilde’s Salomé in episode 1

I can’t wait to find out more about him!
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9714
PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:31 pm Reply with quote
Could someone explain to me what happened with Maeda in the 2nd episode? It seemed like his forearm was bitten off when he shoved it in her mouth, and his sleeve remained empty to the end of that episode. But in the next one, it's back to normal, and the anime acts like nothing happened.

Does he have a vampire killing prosthetic or does he regenerate somehow? If it's the former, why didn't he retrieve it instead of wandering around with one arm for the rest of the episode? Did he want to wash it first before reattaching it?
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a_Bear_in_Bearcave
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Joined: 14 Jan 2019
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2021 4:00 pm Reply with quote
I wonder if Defrott turned Misaki specifically because she lied dying on scene due to accident and, as he seemed to know her well including her arranged marriage and that she wanted to show her fiance her role in the play, it was his method to arrange for her last wish. Her becoming ultra-powerful vampire was merely a side effect.
That doesn't mean he will be good, generous guy in the further plot, but seems fitting that actress as good and beautiful as Misaki, and playing such dark role at that, would win a favor of her vampire lord colleague and perhaps even fan, enough to waste his power on her for that last goodbye. If he's anything like Dorian Gray, he would at least appreciate the sad beauty of it.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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Joined: 06 Oct 2018
Posts: 150
Location: Westchester, NY
PostPosted: Sun May 02, 2021 11:46 am Reply with quote
I’m really enjoying the show and loved seeing the FLW hotel. Ooh, ending with the Kanto earthquake would be awesome. Looking forward to what happens next.
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Agent355



Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 5033
Location: Crackberry in hand, thumbs at the ready...
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2021 8:54 pm Reply with quote
Catching up on the review from episode 4:
Quote:
Suwa and Akesato are unique, because their tragedy is that they share no art to bind them together.

Ooh, this is such a good observation! I also feel that the reviewer’s prediction that the Great Kanto Earthquake will be prominently featured in the show. Will they have it be caused by a great vampire battle? I think so. I’m not sure that it’s in good taste to reimagine a real life natural disaster as a man (vampire) made event, but I’m curious as to how they’ll do it.

Episode 5 had so much going on, I wasn’t sure who was pulling which strings. Are we sure Nakajima was behind the vampire train-tank unit, and not the official he killed? Nakajima wasn’t given the budget for that, and none of the higher ups trusted him. They just wanted to outsource vampire soldiers to the Brits, and that tank unit could have been full of British vampires? I’m not sure.

What does seem clear is that Nakajima got Rufus to poison the noble lady vamps, and considering how poorly they treated him and how creepy and pedophilic they were (seriously, kids don’t even have as much blood as adults!), he was all too happy to oblige. I was glad to see them go, but I’m still not sure which side Rufus is on. Defrott, I want to believe, is good, or at least neutral. Just wanting to live a peaceful life and only turning humans when they’re dying from an accident (was it an accident, or was someone out to hurt Nakajima or force him to retire by killing his daughter?)
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3765
PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2021 10:01 am Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
Catching up on the review from episode 4:
Quote:
Suwa and Akesato are unique, because their tragedy is that they share no art to bind them together.

Ooh, this is such a good observation! I also feel that the reviewer’s prediction that the Great Kanto Earthquake will be prominently featured in the show. Will they have it be caused by a great vampire battle? I think so. I’m not sure that it’s in good taste to reimagine a real life natural disaster as a man (vampire) made event, but I’m curious as to how they’ll do it.

Episode 5 had so much going on, I wasn’t sure who was pulling which strings. Are we sure Nakajima was behind the vampire train-tank unit, and not the official he killed? Nakajima wasn’t given the budget for that, and none of the higher ups trusted him. They just wanted to outsource vampire soldiers to the Brits, and that tank unit could have been full of British vampires? I’m not sure.

What does seem clear is that Nakajima got Rufus to poison the noble lady vamps, and considering how poorly they treated him and how creepy and pedophilic they were (seriously, kids don’t even have as much blood as adults!), he was all too happy to oblige. I was glad to see them go, but I’m still not sure which side Rufus is on. Defrott, I want to believe, is good, or at least neutral. Just wanting to live a peaceful life and only turning humans when they’re dying from an accident (was it an accident, or was someone out to hurt Nakajima or force him to retire by killing his daughter?)


I'm wondering about that, too. From prior episodes, Nakajima was trying to build a vampire army, but had only managed the few we've seen. The higher ups, who were clearly done waiting, gave him an impossible deadline to excuse pulling the plug on him. Then it turns out that he maybe had more than he let on and was forced into revealing it. I suppose it's possible that he was working behind the scenes to buy his way to his goal, but at least going from what was said at the meetings, it sounded like Britain wasn't much better at cultivating a large enough number of vampires to put them in direct combat, and opted to use them as spies instead. The simplest explanation might be that nobody was revealing their full hand and/or feeding false information.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 964
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 10:03 pm Reply with quote
I'm relieved that Mars Red has more or less answered whether it was going to condemn or glorify Japanese militarism at this point. It was always going to be the elephant in the room for the series given the time period. The path to genocidal, fascist imperialism for Japan was built by men with seemingly noble intentions like Nakajima and the show has at least enough bravery to state that yes, his motives maybe sympathetic to an extent but his cause is unequivocally wrong.
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Netero



Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 95
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2021 4:22 pm Reply with quote
Agent355 wrote:
A forbidden love between a nun and a monk is very appropriate to illustrate a forbidden love between a human and vampire...

This isn't Abelard and Heloise, it wasn't actually forbidden as such for Zen Buddhist monks to take lovers.
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a_Bear_in_Bearcave
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Joined: 14 Jan 2019
Posts: 177
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2021 8:14 pm Reply with quote
This episode made me rewatch the first one and now I start to agree with TWIA there's more interesting story in Mars Red concentrated on Misaki, Maeda and occasionally Defrott's theatrical adventures. I guess other episodes don't have enough of vampire Salome.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9714
PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 2:41 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Defrott has been able to carve a life for himself despite his eternal youth.

Yes, but Defrott seems to be at least a teenager (I'd guess 14?), not five or six like the little ones it seems Suwa has been dispatching.

Man, I sure wish they would've avoided the whole anti-vax storyline. It's just such a can of worms now.
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Zeino



Joined: 19 May 2017
Posts: 964
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 5:19 pm Reply with quote
It's a shame that Mars Red has slipped from the artistic heights of it's first episode down into just fun melodramatic nonsense. Still less of a sharp fall than Vivy at least.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9714
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:03 pm Reply with quote
Don't fly too close to the sun! Laughing

Seriously, where the hell is he taking her? They were in Tokyo. No hospitals left standing there? He could've just dropped her off and hid out for the rest of the day. I'ma be super mad if the writers burn him up this stupidly.
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Cryten



Joined: 19 Jan 2019
Posts: 362
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 6:36 am Reply with quote
I know its being artistic in its plotting but I have to wonder. If Maeda had no trouble crossing the shadows in the water, why couldnt Defrott just charge the main control room and release the captive from there. As far as I could tell Defrott was just determined to let himself be killed until Maeda turned up.
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Greed1914



Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 3765
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:09 pm Reply with quote
Cryten wrote:
I know its being artistic in its plotting but I have to wonder. If Maeda had no trouble crossing the shadows in the water, why couldnt Defrott just charge the main control room and release the captive from there. As far as I could tell Defrott was just determined to let himself be killed until Maeda turned up.


That part bugged me. It seemed like most vampires weren't fast enough to do that zip thing and the impression I had was that even with that, they weren't faster than light, so it still wouldn't work. But now Maeda does it and Defrott still stays behind at the end? There is that sunscreen, but that wasn't revealed until later and Maeda doesn't seem like he was thinking clearly enough to use it, even if he did find some.
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blahmoomoo



Joined: 27 Jan 2020
Posts: 139
PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:22 pm Reply with quote
Greed1914 wrote:
Cryten wrote:
I know its being artistic in its plotting but I have to wonder. If Maeda had no trouble crossing the shadows in the water, why couldnt Defrott just charge the main control room and release the captive from there. As far as I could tell Defrott was just determined to let himself be killed until Maeda turned up.


That part bugged me. It seemed like most vampires weren't fast enough to do that zip thing and the impression I had was that even with that, they weren't faster than light, so it still wouldn't work. But now Maeda does it and Defrott still stays behind at the end? There is that sunscreen, but that wasn't revealed until later and Maeda doesn't seem like he was thinking clearly enough to use it, even if he did find some.


The dialogue discussing heat buildup with the sunscreen and the flashback where Shinnosuke's vampire friend said a few things before he burst into flames makes it seem like exposure to sunlight isn't instant death. Instead, it causes their body to rapidly heat up until they combust. So zipping through short distances exposed to sunlight is probably fine, but it would be risky to do too often (e.g. maybe it takes a long time to cool off) or in an area where someone could see the vampire appearing out of nowhere, jumping between shadows. Also, unless I didn't see this right, Defrott disappears after Aoi is taken away. I think his general tiredness/depression about being a vampire and concern for Aoi is why he didn't leave when the trap was being set.
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