Mars, #1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     A hand-drawn map is all it takes to get sparks flying between shy Kira, an artist, and Rei, a motorcycle-riding teen rebel. But it's not all fun and games for this odd couple. They must struggle with the dangerous threats of Rei's ex-girlfriend and the sick advances of Kira's teacher, in addition to being shunned and misunderstood by those characters who mean the most to them.

Pros: It's incredibly hard for a manga-ka to pull off a good shojo story without being too mainstream, but it looks like Fuyumi Soryo does just that. Mars has the typical boy-meets-girl plot blended with interesting characters and deeper twists.

Although not all the characters' personalities are fully developed, the way they talk and act make them recognizable. You will catch yourself rooting for one character, or feeling another's pain.

Cons: Compared with the other characters, Kira seems to lack the background information that would give readers a better understanding of why she is the way she is.

My biased opinion: Shojo has never been one of my favorite genres, and I have to admit when I picked up this book, I was thinking, Geez, another romance? Is there a complete lack of inspiration in the manga world? But everything's worth at least one read and Mars certainly deserves it.

I loved how the dialogue plays out. It's natural yet poetic, and the words and pictures easily flow together. The art is pleasing although nothing too original, but a beautiful style nonetheless.

What I like most about Mars is Kira. I could identify with her, as we are both seen by others as the stereotypical reserved, anti-social, depressed artist. But that's never all there is to someone, and I'm glad that Fuyumi Soryo shows that in Mars.

The final word: Go out and buy a copy of this book! Heck, buy five copies! .



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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