Vampires are a dime a dozen, so what does it take to make a bloodsucker present stand out? MARS RED aptly blends a interval piece, the anxiousness of Westernization, and a rising army with all of the showmanship of the theatrical stage. Is it too obtuse for style fans or simply what vamp followers want?
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Spoiler Warning for dialogue of the film forward.
Hello, I am Jean-Karlo, that there’s Nick and AAAAAARGH
That, pricey readers, is the sound Jean-Karlo made when he came upon we tricked him into masking one other vampire present! Shock!
Vampires reciting “Salomé”: for when “Carmilla” references simply aren’t sufficient.
However yeah, in the present day we’re masking MARS RED, the surprisingly esoteric supernatural motion present of the season. And since I haven’t got your explicit bias in opposition to the undead, I am pleased to say I am actually digging this present to this point!
Secret vampire authorities taskforce in Taisho-era Japan.
…My editor would kindly respect for me to broaden a bit extra, I am instructed.
So, we’ve a secret vampire authorities taskforce in Taisho-era Japan. The primary character, Maeda, is the pinnacle of a staff of vampires who’re the prototype of a proposed initiative for vampiric troopers for Japan’s armed forces. He is accountable for a zany staff of two troopers, a mad scientist, and a bizarre loner. He is a human, the remainder are blood-suckers.
I do not maintain it in opposition to MARS RED for Maeda being an emotionally constipated gruff of a lead, however I do assume Misaki up there received off easy–even as a vampire, she’s too spirited for the man. Even when a home romance between a Taisho-era militiaman and his arranged-vampire-actress-wife can be cute. Suppose The Approach of the Househusband meets A Bride’s Story.
I really feel like a jerk for applauding such a element for a primary episode (I swear, this is not performative damnation by faint reward), however this can be a textbook case of displaying and never telling and it is unhappy that this present made it look so easy when so many different exhibits can barely pull it off. I reside for this type of lowkey, good storytelling. Like, snark apart: I’d simply suggest this one episode to individuals as a result of it is such a great stand-alone episode.
That stated, I do get it if individuals have been delay by that type of intro. Whilst any individual who paid to concentrate it took me three viewings to appreciate Maeda has a prosthetic arm as a result of it is established with a single piece of dialogue 30-odd minutes earlier than it ever turns into related.
Once more: this can be a stellar first episode, and it might be cool to see, like, some type of stageplay or some such tailored from it. It is artistic and well-written and journey me sideways, there’s a complete different present we gotta discuss.
And never simply the truth that this blond obviously-undead twerp is hanging round like he received misplaced on his method to Anne Rice’s home.
GEE, I WONDER IF THIS LITTLE BLOND FUCKER WITH THE NOCTURNAL PUPILS IS A VAMPIRE. I FUCKING WONDER, MARS RED.
That is a few of that good-good proper there.
The added wrinkle of militarism provides to his character, as a result of in any other case he is only a gentle novel character ready to occur.
He is def received essentially the most typical arc although. Principally Maeda’s protégé who has to be taught to combat when crucial to guard harmless individuals. He is not dangerous, however positively the decrease tier when it comes to compelling character.
Disguise your face within the shadows and get possessed by Germatoid, you bum!
I additionally just like the implication vampirism turned his hair pink.
Sidenote: That track is a few wonderful Scorching Matter Rock, the likes of which I have never heard since Deadman Wonderland‘s OP. I find it irresistible.
He does have a militaristic streak that may be worrisome if it have been extra prevalent, doing stuff like speaking about how individuals have gotten comfortable in peacetime. However yeah, he does have a refreshing little bit of humanism in direction of his staff of leeches.
I am going to grant MARS RED that it is nowhere close to as boring as Noblesse in any capability. However very like Noblesse, the present is at its finest when the characters are allowed to be themselves and breathe. The precise “motion plot” is the least fascinating factor about this present.
…Only a thought.
Although one other wrinkle I respect is the time wherein this entire factor takes place. Vampire exhibits are not any stranger to interval items, however the Taisho setting makes for a very distinctive place for it. Our pal Steve caught on in his episode evaluations that there are hints that is all constructing in direction of the 1923 Nice Kanto Earthquake, and basically there’s only a sense of a altering world within the quickly evolving tradition surrounding these pasty boys.
It is nonetheless left a thriller what, if something, they’re attempting to perform, but it surely holds the potential for some fascinating historic commentary. Like hey, British aristocrats smuggling medicine into an East Asian nation to undermine the populace? That certain sounds acquainted.
I do know my tastes are distinctive, so my griping apart I can confidently say persons are actually gonna get a kick out of MARS RED. The visuals are luxurious, the writing is sweet when it delves into the emotional core of the solid, and the music is fairly good too. Additionally vampires, of us like vampires I assume.
You would possibly even say I can actually…sink my tooth into it.