- For the Wikia dedicated entirely to this series see http://mar.wikia.com/wiki/M%C3%84R_Wiki
MÄR (MÄR Meru?), an acronym for Märchen Awakens Romance, is a manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai. The anime television series based on the series is titled MÄR Heaven (MÄR -メルヘヴン- MÄR -Meru Hevun-?) and was originally broadcast in Japan on the TXN station.
MÄR is characterised by fairy tale motifs running throughout the series, Märchen being itself the German word for "fairy tale". VIZ Media has acquired the North American rights to both the MÄR manga and anime and aired a dubbed version of the series, first on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block. In June, Canadian youth network YTV broadcast MÄR.
A sequel to MÄR, entitled MÄR Omega, was announced in September 2006. However, it is not being written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, but by Kōichiro Hoshino.
Ginta Toramizu is a 14-year old junior high student who is portrayed as a typical video game geek and underachieving student. One day and without warning, he finds himself summoned to the mysterious world of MÄR-Heaven which he has only seen before in his dreams and in his mother's books. In this fairy tale world, Ginta's physical weakness is replaced with superior physical strength, incredible stamina and endurance, and being able to see without his glasses.
Upon meeting a mysterious witch named Dorothy, Ginta is introduced to the powerful magical accessories and weapons called "ÄRM" (pronounced air-um). Dorothy plans to steal the mysterious ÄRM Babbo from a trap-guarded cave, and brings Ginta along to assist her, intrigued by his unusual strength and abilities. Babbo is revealed to be an extremely special and unique ÄRM, as he possesses a will of his own and the ability to speak. Displeased with the fact that babbo is so cumbersome, Dorothy gives Babbo to Ginta instead taking the guardian arm that guarded the chest, departing with a warning that others will try to steal Babbo from him.
He continues on a journey of discovery, revelling in this new world. However, when he encounters the farmer Jack and his mother, who are troubled by two werewolf brothers, he finds that he misses the real world. Ginta resolves to find a way to reach home while enjoying as much of MÄR as he can along the way, Jack journeying with him.
However, it is not long before Ginta learns that the world of MÄR-Heaven is not as peaceful as it seems when he is attacked by thieves wishing to steal Babbo. Upon meeting Alviss, who summoned him to MÄR-Heaven using a ÄRM known as the Gate Keeper Clown, he learns of the sinister "Chess Pieces" and how, six years earlier, they had tried to take over MÄR-Heaven. Alviss reveals that he summoned Ginta in order to gain assistance from an "other-worlder" in the upcoming war, as was done previously, and that Babbo originally belonged to the leader of the Chess Pieces.
Gaining both allies and enemies, the series follows Ginta as he opposes the Chess Pieces and their undead leader Phantom.
The series was published in Japan by Shogakukan, in North America in English by VIZ Media, in France in French by Kana, in Spain and Finland in Spanish and Finnish respectively by Ivrea, in Singapore in English and Simplified Chinese by Chuang Yi, in Indonesia by Elex Media Komputindo in Vietnam in Vietnamese by Kim Dong Publishing House and in Germany by Egmont Verlag.
SynergySP produced an anime adaptation of the MÄR manga, which premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2005 where it ran for 102 episodes until its conclusion on March 25, 2007. It was released across 17 Region 2 DVDs in Japan by Shogakukan, which each disc containing 3 episodes except the first and last which contained 2 episodes each.
The anime was licensed by Viz Media and aired on Cartoon Network's online broadband service Toonami Jetstream and for a limited time on their television programming block Toonami. On July 9, 2007, Toonami Jetstream restarted MAR from the beginning with episodes being broadcast biweekly, and "reruns" every other week. Viz Media began releasing the series to DVD on June 12, 2007, with each disc containing 4 episodes. Four volumes were released before Viz delisted the series in favor of other titles. The first two seasons were on Instant Netflix; the first was removed due to issues with the wrong audio being played for episodes, and the second also exhibited these issues. The audio has been fixed. Both seasons can be watched on Netflix, but with occasional slight timing issues with the subtitles. (As of June 1 they are no longer on Instant).
- "Future DVD Volumes of MÄR Anime Reportedly Delisted". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2009-01-29.
- Official TV Tokyo MÄR site (Japanese)
- Official Viz Media MÄR site
- MÄR (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
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