The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Mars of Destruction

Title: Mars of Destruction aka Hametsu no Mars
Genre: Action
Company: Idea Factory
Format: 1 OVA
Dates: 8 Jul 2005

Synopsis: The year is 2010. An exploratory probe sent to Mars burns up in Earth’s atmosphere and its cargo, the DNA of Martians, crashes into Tokyo. The DNA causes humans in the area to mutate into Iseki-jin, tall monsters bent on the destruction of humanity. The responsibility of combating the Martian threat falls on an elite corps of police officers and their ace-in-the-hole, young Hinata Takeru. Clad in the anti-Iseki-jin combat suit, MARS, Takeru is the last hope for repelling the aliens.

The Highlights
Budget: I looked and there it wasn’t.
Characters: Almost certainly undeserving of that term.
My will to live: Largely gone.
“Takeru!”: What most of the dialogue consists of.

Sometimes, in order to make what is good seem vastly better, one must season their diet of the excellent with something truly atrocious. I find that contrast makes almost everything better, and that’s the main reason I watched the infamous Mars of Destruction. However, there were some… unintended consequences, such as my becoming blind for a full three days after viewing this monstrosity. To add insult to injury, this show also took away my ability to feel even the most rudimentary emotions, and its misuse of classical music has spoiled my taste for Beethoven.

This OVA, if indeed it qualifies for a term other than slideshow, genuinely hasn’t a single quality that wouldn’t damn a better series by itself. As such, let’s start with the least awful aspect and work our way down, shall we? The voice acting, while better than everything else in the series, is so mind-blowingly atrocious that finding a worse example of it is almost impossible. Most of the dialogue didn’t take much skill, as all the seiyuu needed to do was master one word in one tone: “Takeru,” shouted in distress. Why anyone would call for help from Takeru, our main character, is a mystery to me. Despite having a one-of-a-kind super-powered alien fighting suit, he’s remarkably inept on the battlefield. There are only two action scenes in this OVA, and he gets his back broken in one and his wrist broken in the other, all while attacking unarmed combatants with what appears to be a lightsaber.

The supporting characters don’t fare much better; why the saviors of humanity are young girls with pathetically ineffective weaponry is a real head-scratcher. That said, the effectiveness of the machine guns they use is plastic to the situation. Most of the time the bullets bounce off harmlessly, but on one occasion they randomly cause an alien to outright explode. The aliens in question are, mind you, remarkably similar to men in suits making gurgles and grunts. This isn’t unheard of in live action media, but in a medium where it would have cost just as much to make them twelve feet tall and considerably more convincing, it strikes me as odd that the aliens are as they are. It’s possible that the reason the Martians were left so hilariously unintimidating is that Idea Factory didn’t want their unrelentingly dull characters to be completely outshone by their adversaries, but that’s just a shot in the dark.

When it comes to the sensory aspects, Mars of Destruction fares even worse. The animation isn’t simply ugly, it isn’t simply stiff; it’s blindingly horrible. The character designs are as bland as you can imagine, and adhere to every stereotype out there. The action scenes are so slow and lumbering one would almost think that this was Violence Jack, and the music during these scenes is a gross bastardization of the pieces used. Ever wanted to listen to Beethoven while watching an alien strangle a character nobody cares about? I sure didn’t, but if you did, I guess you lucked out with this masterpiece of banality. Worse than any of the aforementioned characteristics, however, is the dialogue. “This one’s totally gone” remarks a doctor, after checking the pulse of a decapitated girl. “You mean to tell me humanity originated from Tokyo?” asks an unnamed man, after being informed by an unnamed scientist that humanity came from Mars. One has to wonder if each writer thought he was working on a different project.

Not a single aspect of this landmark of ineptitude has any semblance of creativity, originality, or expertise. Everything, bar none, is so horribly botched that a single aspect of this show could have brought it down to a two out of ten had it otherwise been ten out of ten material. It’s hard to see any reason for someone in their right mind to watch this garbage.

 The Rating: 0

Reviewed by: CNile

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