Mars Red

Title:Mars Red
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: SUWABE Junichi
It's 1923 and vampires have existed for quite a while. But now, the number of vampires is increasing and a mysterious, artificial blood source called Ascra has appeared. The Japanese government, in turn, creates “Code Zero,” a unit within the army tasked with taking down the vampiric forces. And there's no better way to track vampires than by using vampires.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

13-episode TV anime that premiered on March 29, 2021.
Animated by Signal.MD.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 7 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:4278#1552]
Mars Red explores how the typical storytelling tropes of vampire titles could be applied during Japan's Taisho era with the military having their own vampire squad to fight vampires and how some of the vampiric characters coping with elements of their existence such as having immortality and fighting off the thirst for blood. The historic Japanese setting does offer some interesting story possibilities dabbled into such as the military struggling to cope with the increased globalization affecting the country's cultural norms, the implementation of theatrical performances serving as relevance in some of the developments of a few characters, and dealing with the aftermath of the Great Kanto Earthquake. But the series doesn't necessarily escape its traditional vampire story cliches completely and this does affect the title's storytelling in later episodes with the introduction of a rather over-the-top antagonist that infiltrates the Japanese military for his own ends and lacking a conclusive ending. Still while not necessarily breaking any new ground, the implementation of traditional vampire lore into Japan's Taisho period still offers some engaging storytelling and character developments explored throughout its 13-episode run and is at least worth a look if you have interest in vampire-focused titles.

Last updated Monday, June 28 2021. Created Monday, June 28 2021.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:4278#628]
(One episode watched):

I had figured that an anime by this title would be science fiction involving the planet Mars, but no. Still, there was no reason why a show about vampires couldn't be entertaining. When I saw that it was set in 1923 (does that mean the catastrophic earthquake in Tokyo will occur at some point?) I wondered if it would be another attempt to rewrite history with Japan not drifting towards starting WWII but instead fighting a justified battle against some supernatural threat. We meet Major (later Colonel) Maeda and his aide Moriyama of Special Unit 16, and see the special precautions that have been taken to handle captured 'Vamps', which was sort of interesting. Apparently the idea (at its most ambitious) is to harness their incredible powers as a new sort of military technology that will render the conventional kind obsolete overnight (and it seems the British have already made a good deal of progress doing this). Or, at the very least, to keep them from running wild. There are lots of hints but little is made clear. And I became confused after Misaki (an actress who has become a Vamp) gets shot. In the end, wasn't it nothing more than sunlight that did her in? Just how dangerous are Vamps? At one point we are told that the lives of a number of soldiers who have been injured by her are not in danger, and I would guess neither was there any risk that they might become Vamps themselves. There was lots of repetitive reading of lines from a play, but to me the intrigue was outweighed by the lack of clarity. Eh, it could have been worse, but I was not all that impressed. At the moment I am ambivalent about whether to watch any more.

Last updated Monday, April 05 2021. Created Monday, April 05 2021.

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