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DVD Review

DVD cover

MÄR (Märchen Awakens Romance)
Volume 4


Starring (voice): Kumiko Higa, Motoko Kumai, Souichiro Hoshi and Ai Shimizu
Manga Entertainment
RRP: £24.99
Certificate: 12
Available 19 January 2009

Ginta Toramizu is a slightly below average hyper school kid whose only claim to fame is his continual dreams about another magical world, he spends so much time talking about this that he is the butt of jokes from most of his fellow students and his mother despairs of him. This all changes when a magical door appears, a door into the very realm he has been dreaming of. Without hesitation Ginta steps through...

MÄR (Märchen Awakens Romance) is a shonen anime show directed by Masaharu Okuwaki from the original manga by Nobuyuki Anzai. Volume four covers episodes forty to fifty-two in a three disc set with options for pulse pounding English or Japanese 2.0, with subtitles, soundtracks. Extras are confined to a couple of trailers on the first disc.

What is it with long running anime shows that means the story effectively ends and an endless round of battles starts? This may be okay when you are viewing it at a rate of an episode a week, but placed together the shows become very similar to them selves and other shows. As a reviewer you find yourself in a battle overload, longing for something that will substantially move the story forward. What was once an interesting RPG fantasy affair tips into boredom as the show rehashes itself week after week. It’s not the first show to go this way and it wont be the last, meaning that there is a market amongst young males who would rather watch an animation which plays like a computer game, than play the game itself.

The discs pan out as follows

Disc One
40. The World’s Ugliest Match! Snow vs. Emokis!
41. Alviss’ Crisis: Stolen Magical Power
42. Sensation! The Knight Candidate – Stone User!
43. Battlefield of Death! The Psycho Space

Disc Two
44. Fateful Mortal Combat! Nanashi vs. Galian!
45. Lightning vs. Lightning! Nanashi’s Memory Returns!
46. The Knight Reborn: Ian’s Revenge
47. Alviss’ Struggle
48. Dorothy’s Anger! The Desert Tower

Disc Three
49. The Zonnens Infiltrate The Training Gate!
50. Alviss vs. Nanashi! Forbidden Labyrinth!
51. Dorothy vs. Snow! The Allure of Lippenstift!
52. Concentrate! The Power of Sixth Sense!

What started out with promise has turned into a passive poor man's Final Fantasy, with characters fighting, getting stronger and fighting again. It’s the sort of thing which finally put me off Naruto. Still, if you like the show, you can't complain about the generous number of episodes on offer.


Charles Packer

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