Kenran Butoh Sai: The Mars Daybreak

Title:Kenran Butoh Sai: The Mars Daybreak
Mars Daybreak
The Mars Daybreak
絢爛舞踏祭 ザ・マーズ・デイブレイク
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - BONES
Music - WADA Kaoru
R1 License - Bandai (Defunct)
SEKI Tomokazu

On a Mars covered in ice and oceans, people have learned to survive by building large floating city-ships in which they can live. And by using submarines to travel beneath the ice and harsh winds that rage overhead, humanity has been able to develop a global community. But during a distant galactic war, Earth looked to Mars as important water resource to support their war efforts. Now that the war is over, Earth still values the wealth of resources that Mars provides, and is reluctant to release their firm control over their smaller step-sister.

Continuous oppression breeds complaints and contempt, and rebellions occurred. And with each failure, the independence movement learned and grew more organized. During this confusion, pirates appeared to prey on wealth and abundant resources of Earths occupying forces. The Earth government decides to organize a special military unit equipped to fight on Mars, to settle and suppress both the independence movement and pirates once and for all.

[26 TV episodes based on Sony Computer Entertainment's PS2 game, Kenran Butoh Sai.]

See Wikipedia entry for ↗Mars Daybreak for more info.
絢爛 (kenran) = gorgeous, 舞踏 (butou) = dancing, 祭 (sai) = ritual

1:48min Series Trailer - ANN Streaming Vid
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 7 6 6 6 5 5 Ggultra2764 [series:912#1552]
This is about as cookie cutter as you can get. Mars Daybreak features our carefree and free-spirited male lead Gram finding his own mecha that gets attracted to him for whatever reason and he tags along with the pirate crew aboard the Ship of Aurora in the hunt for ancient treasure on the planet of Mars. Basically, the series mixes around adventure and comedy in its focus on Gram and the Ship of Aurora crew as they usually run into combat situations against rival pirate Kubernes and Earth Forces, as well as having episodes focused around a different member of the crew. It's a decent storytelling approach, but the series doesn't really bother going into great detail on the backgrounds of each character and how they became part of the pirate crew, especially when you have a talking cat and dolphin among the crew who never get any fleshing out. Pretty much, the majority of characters in the series are archetypes you would see in one form or another in different adventure titles similar in premise to Mars Daybreak and they never really grow out of them, with only one major character in the series getting any significant character development.

The lack of depth also rings true for many elements of the show's storyline and the title's world-building. The series seemed to be dropping hints that Gram might have a past connection to the earliest humans who colonized Mars in the first half of the show, yet this builds up to nothing. There are hostilities between Mars and Earth for the latter's occupancy and influence being felt on Mars and contributing to large amounts of poverty and crime to occur, yet this is mostly a backdrop to the adventures of Gram and the Ship of Aurora. No explanation is given as to why all of Mars is covered in water. Ester makes mention of being part of a race of beings called the Nautical Witches, yet the show never bothers telling us what they are. Nothing is revealed over how an RB is able to come under Gram's control. I could go on and on pointing out the lack of depth and explanation that Mars Daybreak has for many elements to its plot and world.

I suppose the best way you could enjoy this series is if you don't ask questions and just enjoy the comedy and adventure. But many comedic moments in Mars Daybreak fell flat for me and the adventure element has its setbacks thanks to the character-focused episodes feeling like padding that add nothing to the show since we don't learn much about the characters anyway and even then, most of the developments of the adventure are cliched and quite predictable if you've seen enough titles like this. You know that the Ship of Aurora crew will prevail in many of their missions unless the plot demands for a twist in developments, which occur in the final episodes of the show. Even then, said twist is very predictable considering you could see it coming from a mile away since the Ship of Aurora crew knew how fishy things were with this development. It's not that I find this series to be bad at all. It's just there's nothing unique in it that sticks out for me compared to similar offerings I've seen in the past.

Overall, this series may be worth a look if you're showing it to a younger audience (since the show was made for young boys in Japan) or if this is one of your first anime titles you are checking out. But otherwise, Mars Daybreak doesn't really offer anything for more seasoned anime fans unless you can look past the depth issues and lack of unique elements.

Last updated Thursday, May 23 2013. Created Thursday, May 23 2013.
Rent Forbin [series:912#1573]
Anime Type
DramaLowYou think there is drama, but there isn't
ComedyMedSome Comedy abounds abord the Ship of Aurora
EcchiNoneI don't remember any
It was a nice ride, but what did I learn....NOTHING.
That's why it was a rent, it was a good show, with no real plot to show for it.

In fact for Character Development the ONLY one that developed was Enora.(Girl on the left). All the others including Vess and Gran did not change.

What Did I like about it
  • The Mystery of the machine and the people
  • The Romance of Gran and his mini harem.
  • The ships of course!
  • The Music
What Did I NOT like about it
  • The was NEVER explained.
  • The purpose of the Ship of Aurora. It was sorta useless.
Anything Notable?
  • They got into fine details such as missing teeth or a lionfish.
So when the mystery was solved. (Was it a mystery) and the evil pirate defeated (Was he?) This was just an action fluff. It needs about 5 episodes of Prequel.

Last updated Saturday, August 19 2006. Created Thursday, August 03 2006.
Rent 8 8 7 7 7 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:912#436]

While this wasn't a bad series, it was little more than shounen fare. The opening had elements that seemed borrowed from various anime. The OP theme seemed like something Fullmetal Alchemist used. Imagry used in the OP reminded me of Full Metal Panic. The incidental music reminded me of Inuyasha (very similar). And certain elements in the story reminded me of Vandread. Sadly, KBS doesn't do anything as well as the above-mentioned elements.

While the series has a happy ending, don't expect a lot in the way of answers. I would have loved to have known more about Vess and Gram's past. Why was Vess chosen to be the adopted daughter of a very rich and powerful family? No answer is given. Why was Vess then allowed to join the military? How did the young girl with the telepathic abilities join the pirate crew? How and why did the doctor join the crew? What were the Naval Witches and why was one of their members the 2nd in command of the Ship of the Aurora? Apparently they are aliens, but why are they on Mars? Why does the cat talk? How did it join the crew? How did the porpoise join? Why did an RB save Gram? Why is there water covering Mars? What exactly happened with the original settlers on Mars? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Next on the list was the cliched moments. Sheeze, there were a ton of them. Starting with Gram's rescue by an RB to his becoming a master RB operator in no time. Then there was his mysterious past and being given some precious artifact by someone who abandoned him as an infant. Thus he's the key to the Martian treasure and he's the savior of Mars...or something like that. So I had a couple of eye-rolling moments from time-to-time.

Still, there was just enough here to keep me interested and wanting to watch the next episode. So on that level I was certainly entertained. With all of those unanswered questions, the series is a bit frustrating. I can't help but wonder if some answers were provided in the game. If so, that would be bad, but not unheard of. However, even if that was the case, one would expect the writers to do a better job. Then again, this is a shounen mecha title and the writers did only what they had to do.

On the plus side were some of the seiyuu performances. I really liked Ester and her seiyuu Orikasa Fumiko made it more enjoyable. Likeable characters as a whole helped a lot as well. And as I stated earlier, there was just enough here to keep me coming back for more.

Bottom line: the shounen crowd and those with less anime exposure will get the most out of this. It was just worth a Rent just to see once, but nothing more.

Last updated Tuesday, December 14 2004. Created Monday, November 29 2004.

Buy 8 7 8 8 8 8 Jan-Chan [series:912#967]
If you enjoy this type of story, then you might want to check out - Patapata Hikousen no Bouken and Fushigi no Umi no Nadia.

While I agree with Astro-boy about this series having a (very) formulaic story line with a number of serious plot short-comings (some of which are so large that you can sink a battleship through,) but I have to admit that after about the 3rd episode, I kind of stopped noticing these types of things and I just got caught up in a very fun and entertaining story of Gram, Vess, pirates in submarines, and a quest for lost treasure.

If one can enjoy a bit of a simple story (with all of its short comings), this is a very fun tale of how pirates can be good guys, and how the military is really the bad guy. And how some characters are free enough to move between the two extremes. Yes, of course there are a number of unrealistic (and improbable) situations, but they still can be very fun when they are woven into the story, if only just to let the different characters interact and spend some time together. (I think the best understanding might be in remembering the movie “Swiss Family Robinson”, how did they have zebras and tigers on an isolated island? Hey, never mind the details! Just enjoy the story!)

This series does have a number of very fun moments, which are very entertaining. And the good guy overcomes all and wins (big time) in the end. (I hope I did not give away any plot spoilers, oh well…. You probably would have seen it coming anyways!)

So, if you can enjoy a fast moving story that mixes adventure, humor, and danger, with a fair bit of romance and a lot of underwater mecha action, then you really might enjoy this series. I did, and I am inclined to over-rate it as a BUY, because I can find myself wanting to put my brain in park, if only just to kick back for a few hours and enjoy watching this series again, some time soon.

1 - Raid! The Ship of Aurora
2 - Furious Attack! Round Buckler
3 - Jr. / Dream Deployment
4 - Contact! Gram, Vess and the Submarine
5 - Anna`s Struggle! Our Dream Fleet
6 - Ah! Revolution of Glory and Passion!?
7 - Friend or Foe!? The Mercenary Pirate
8 - Gorgeous! Extravagant Ball
9 - Thump! Swimsuit-riddled Bathhouse
10 - Sightsee! Romance of the First Martian Immigrants
11 - Break Through! Federation Trap
12 - Bizzare! The Ghost Ship Drift Zone
13 - Daring, Fearless! Bride on the Bottom of the Ocean
14 - Big Jailbreak! Beyond Love and Passion
15 - The Enemy Below! Dive deep, quietly.
16 - Enter! Historical Ship, Castle of Eichi
17 - Rebellion! The Universe`s Greatest Pirate!
18 - Marriage Proposal to the Captain!? The Man Known as "Doctor"
19 - Fly, Kibougou! Over that Gate
20 - Duel! Gram and Vess
21 - Good-bye My Friend! A Man`s Dream Lasts Forever
22 - Discovery! Sanctuary of the Olympus treasure legend
23 - God`s Stone! Free For All Battle
24 - Earth Forces Attack! The Ship of Aurora`s Break-through Tactic
25 - Run, Gram! Rescueing the Captured Comrades
26 - The Dawn of Mars! Mars Daybreak

Last updated Tuesday, October 14 2008. Created Wednesday, November 17 2004.

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