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Mars, Volume 1.jpg
Cover of the first tankōbon volume of Mars, published in Japan by Kodansha on May 13, 1996
Genre Romance
Author Fuyumi Soryo
Publisher Japan Kodansha
English publisher United States Tokyopop
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Japan Bessatsu Friend
United States
Original run 19962000
Volumes 15
A Horse With No Name
Author Fuyumi Soryo
Publisher Japan Kodansha
English publisher United States Tokyopop
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Japan Bessatsu Friend
Published 1999
Volumes 1
TV drama
Zhànshén MARS
Network Republic of China Chinese Television System
Original run 20042005
Episodes 21
Anime and Manga Portal

Mars is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Fuyumi Soryo. Initially serialized in Bessatsu Friend from 1996 to 2000, the series spans 15 tankōbon volumes. It follows the disliked teenage romance between Kira Aso, an introverted artist, and Rei Kashino, a troubled playboy who is a professional motorcycle racer. A single volume prequel, Mars: A Horse By No Name was released in 1999.

The manga is licensed for an English language release by Tokyopop, which has published all 15 volumes plus the prequel. The series was adapted into a 21 episode Taiwanese television drama in 2004.



Kira Aso and Rei Kashino meet when Rei asks Kira for directions to a local hospital one day in the park, but instead of telling him the directions she draws him a map and hands it to him without saying a word. On the back of the directions is a picture Kira drew of a mother and child. On the first day of school they are both surprised to find that they are in the same class. Later Rei walks in on their teacher sexually harassing Kira. Rei promises to protect Kira in exchange for a painted version of the sketch that was on the back of the map. He also offers to "lend Kira his body" and she asks him to model for her.


Kira Aso
A timid teenage artist, Kira lives with her mother; her father died when she was ten years old in a car accident involving a motorcycle gang. Her stepfather raped her when she was fourteen years old. Her mother finally discovered what was happening and separated from her husband, taking Kira with her. This experience caused Kira to withdraw from her social life at school. However, years later, Rei Kashino helps her recover. At the end of the series, Kira is engaged to Rei, and Rei's father has offered to pay for her to go to art college.
Rei Kashino
An extroverted playboy, Rei rides motorcycles on the professional circuit. He only entered high school because he made a deal with his father that if he did he could move out of the house. He and his father do not get along. He had a twin brother, Sei, who committed suicide. His mother was mentally ill and tried to kill Rei when he was young. She committed suicide shortly after. Rei is extremely good-looking and is loved by all girls. He falls in love with Kira Aso while modeling for her. At the end of the series, he is engaged to Kira and continuing to work on his professional career as a motorcyclist.
Tatsuya Kida
Rei's best friend, a skateboarder (though its only mentioned once or twice in the series), and a less than average basketball player, has had a crush on Kira since they attended junior high together. However, he eventually comes to love Harumi, and goes out with her.
A female classmate of Kira and Rei's, she's been "in love" with Rei ever since they slept together in their freshman year. Although initially she makes Kira a target of psychologically brutal attacks because of the growing connection between Kira and Rei, she later reforms and becomes a solid and protective friend. She eventually comes to care about Tatsuya, and they go out together.
Shiori Sakurazawa
A girl from Rei's past, she was first Sei's girlfriend but then left Sei for Rei. She also blames herself for Sei's death.
Masao Kirishima
A bisexual effeminate sociopath who was often bullied by his only friend, Yuji Aoki. Rei had saved Masao from being beaten to death at one point in time, but barely remembers this event as the action was impulsively taken when Rei was still in shock over Sei's death. Soon after this incident, Masao kills Aoki. Masao admits to having a crush on Rei, he also says that he has a crush on Kira, who he sees as an obstacle in getting to Rei. His personality and mind is very much twisted, and he attempts to kill both Rei and Kira in the series.
Kira's Mother
A tired older woman who tries hard to raise Kira alone and earn enough money to enable Kira to go to college. She doesn't believe she can do it alone and compromises Kira's safety by moving in with the man who raped Kira earlier in Kira's life. (She did not remarry him - there was never a divorce.)
Kira's Stepfather
A businessman who had promised to take care of Kira and her mother, but rapes Kira when she is in eighth grade.
Takayuki Kashino
Rei's 'father' and the president of a multi-million dollar electronics company, Mr. Kashino is sterile. His wife cheated on him with his brother because he was infertile.
Akihiko Kashino
Mr. Kashino's younger brother and biological father of both Rei and Sei, having had an affair with his brother's wife. He died in a car-racing accident.
Shoko Kashino
Rei's mother, she became insane shortly after Akihiko died. After making the realization that she couldn't take care of her children, and believing that Mr. Kashino would not take care of the children of an affair, she attempts to murder them. Although Mr. Kashino intervenes and puts her into a mental institution, Shoko commits suicide by hanging to be with Akihiko. Rei and Sei (age five) are the first to find her.



Written and illustrated by Fuyumi Soryo, the chapters of Mars were serialized in Bessatsu Friend from 1996 to 2000. They were collected and published in 15 tankōbon volumes by Kodansha. The first volume was published on May 13, 1996; the last on December 13, 2000.[1][2] A short prequel series, Mars: A Horse With No Name (MΑRS外伝 名前のない馬 MARS Gaiden Namae no Nai Uma ?), was serialized in the same magazine in 1999, and its chapters were published in a single tankōbon volume on December 9, 1999.[3]

The manga series is licensed for an English language release in North America by Tokyopop. The first five chapters were serialized in Smile starting in the October 2001 issue, and running until the March 2001 issue.[4] which published all fifteen volumes from April 23, 2003 through November 11, 2003. It released A Horse With No Name on July 13, 2004.[5]

From October 12, 2006 through January 12, 2007, Kodansha republished the series in Japan across eight kanzenban special edition volumes, collecting more chapters in each volume.[6][7]

Volume list

No. Japan North America[5]
Release date ISBN Release date ISBN
1 May 13, 1996[1] ISBN 978-4-06-303030-3 April 23, 2003 ISBN 978-1-931514-58-3
2 September 13, 1996[8] ISBN 978-4-06-303041-9 June 25, 2002 ISBN 978-1-931514-59-0
3 January 13, 1997[9] ISBN 978-4-06-303054-9 August 20, 2002 ISBN 978-1-59182-054-3
4 May 13, 1997[10] ISBN 978-4-06-303065-5 September 24, 2002 ISBN 978-1-59182-055-0
5 September 12, 1997[11] ISBN 978-4-06-303076-1 October 22, 2002 ISBN 978-1-59182-056-7
6 January 13, 1998[12] ISBN 978-4-06-303095-2 November 19, 2002 ISBN 978-1-59182-057-4
7 May 13, 1998[13] ISBN 978-4-06-303106-5 December 10, 2002 ISBN 978-1-59182-072-7
8 September 11, 1998[14] ISBN 978-4-06-303126-3 January 7, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-087-1
9 January 12, 1999[15] ISBN 978-4-06-303140-9 March 11, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-105-2
10 May 13, 1999[16] ISBN 978-4-06-303153-9 May 13, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-129-8
11 September 13, 1999[17] ISBN 978-4-06-303166-9 June 17, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-130-4
12 February 10, 2000[18] ISBN 978-4-06-303181-2 July 15, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-131-1
13 July 13, 2000[19] ISBN 978-4-06-303199-7 August 12, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-132-8
14 October 13, 2000[20] ISBN 978-4-06-341208-6 September 16, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-133-5
15 December 13, 2000[2] ISBN 978-4-06-341217-8 November 11, 2003 ISBN 978-1-59182-134-2
Mars: Horse With No Name
No. Japan North America
Release date ISBN Release date ISBN
1 December 9, 1999[3] ISBN 978-4-06-303178-2 July 13, 2004[5] ISBN 978-1-59182-864-8

Live action television series

In 2004, a twenty-one episode Taiwanese television series based on the manga series began airing on Chinese Television System. In simplified Chinese: 战神MARStraditional Chinese: 戰神MARSpinyin: Zhànshén Mars the characters names are changed to Chinese names, but it otherwise follows the manga's plot. It was voted Favorite Drama of the Year at the 40th Annual 2005 Golden Bell Awards, and was the highest rated program in 2005 when it aired on the Philippine network QTV.

The live-action series uses two pieces of theme music, one opening and one ending theme. "零" (lit. "Zero") by Alan Kuo is used for the opening, while "Rang Wo Ai Ni" by Vic Zhou & Barbie Xu is used for the ending.



  1. ^ a b "Mars 1" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  2. ^ a b "Mars 15" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  3. ^ a b "Mars 外伝 名前のない馬" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  4. ^ Davis, Julie (November 2001). "Animexpress: New Manga". Animerica (Viz Media) 9 (10/11): 21. ISSN 1067-0831.  
  5. ^ a b c "List of manga releases". Tokyopop. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  6. ^ "Mars 1" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  7. ^ "Mars 8" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  8. ^ "Mars 2" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  9. ^ "Mars 3" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  10. ^ "Mars 4" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  11. ^ "Mars 5" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  12. ^ "Mars 6" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  13. ^ "Mars 7" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  14. ^ "Mars 8" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  15. ^ "Mars 9" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  16. ^ "Mars 10" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  17. ^ "Mars 11" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  18. ^ "Mars 12" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  19. ^ "Mars 13" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  
  20. ^ "Mars 14" (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved 2008-10-26.  

External links

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