The television anime based on the series is titled MÄR -MÄR Heaven- (MÄR -メルヘヴン-, Meru -Meru Hevun-) and was originally broadcast in Japan on the TXN station. MÄR is characterized 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.
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 Kouichiro Hoshino
As of 2006, the manga's first part ended in 161 chapters.
The series is published in Japan by Shogakukan, in North America in English by VIZ Media, in France in French by Kana, in Spain in Spanish by Ivrea, in Singapore in English and Simplified Chinese by Chuang Yi, and in Indonesia by Elex Media Komputindo. MÄR has been announced as a part of Cartoon Network's new online broadband service called Toonami Jetstream. It has aired on Jetstream since July 14, 2006. It is currently airing Saturday nights on Toonami, having premiered December 23 at 10:30 western and was aired January 16, 2006 on Cartoon Network in Australia at 6:00pm. Canadian network YTV will now start airing it starting June 1, 2007 at 7:00pm in the Friday anime block, Bionix.
The show is now airing on Toonami as stated, however, the order of shows originally was not in sequential order. The first episode was aired, then another episode that was not the second followed. On January 13 2007 Episode 7, Awaken: Meet the other Ed, was aired. The next listing on the Cartoon Network website was listed as Episode 14. The same was happening with Prince of Tennis, which started at the same time. As of February 24, Prince of Tennis and MÄR changed timeslots. MÄR moved to 10:00, and both shows started over and went in order until June 9 when both shows were removed from the schedule.
The story follows Ginta Toramizu, a hyper and easily excitable boy who has always dreamed of a fantasy world, and has been transported to one, the world of MÄR-Heaven, by an extremely powerful Dimension ÄRM known as "Gatekeeper Clown." It was used in desperation by the world of MÄR-Heaven, which is in a period of oppression and instability caused by the mysterious reappearance of the Chess Piece Army. The "Gatekeeper Clown" goes as far as to pluck the surprised and shocked Ginta out of his classroom during a fairly typical day of school, where, being a dreamer, he is constantly heckled by his classmates for his lack of physical prowess, except for his childhood friend Koyuki who encourages him to tell her about the dreams.
Upon appearing in MÄR-Heaven, his physical weakness is replaced with physical strength as well as incredible stamina and endurance. The explanation given was that the gravity was lower in MÄR-Heaven, thereby bestowing relative strength and endurance on Ginta. However, no explanation was given for his improved eyesight. Ginta, who on Earth was a typical video game geek and underachieving student with a drunkard chain-smoking writer for a mother, finds his wildest dreams come true by discovering a world beyond his own where he can be someone else.
Dorothy plans to obtain the mysterious ÄRM Babbo, and brings Ginta along. Babbo is extremely special for an ÄRM: he can be shaped into different forms with the use of imagination and possesses a will of his own. However, he has lost all this memory, and considering himself a "gentleman". After saving Dorothy from Babbo's guardian, Ginta becomes the new owner of Babbo, though at first they do not get along.
He continues on a journey of discovery, reveling in this new world, but also finds that he misses the real world. Eventually Ginta forms resolves to find a way to reach home while enjoying as much of MÄR-Heaven as he can along the way. However, it is not long before Ginta finds out that the world of MÄR-Heaven is not as peaceful as it seems, as he is attacked by thieves wishing to steal Babbo (who is wanted by the Chess Pieces Army). He soon meets Alviss, the person who brought him to MÄR-Heaven using the Gate Keeper Clown, and acknowledges the upcoming war with the Chess Piece Army. The army aims to destroy the peace of MÄR-Heaven.
Many more secrets and characters come to light, especially that of the epic MÄR-Heaven War six years ago, in which a mysterious man called Danna (lit. 'Boss' in Japanese, and in the Toonami Jetstream Anime) from Ginta's world defeated the champion knight of the Chess Piece Army, Phantom (the former owner of Babbo), ending the first MÄR-Heaven War. However, he gave his life in the process. As time passes, the story reveals that Phantom has been resurrected and wants to start another reign of terror over the world, with the help of the evil queen of Lestava.
Most of the series is borrowed from fairy tales, or marchen. Coincidentally, Ginta's mother writes marchen (but as stated in the first episode, that doesn't mean she believes in them).
(メル, Meru) Main article: Team MÄR
Team MÄR consists of the series' eight main protagonists; Ginta Toramizu, Babbo, Snow, Jack, Alviss (Cross Guard), Alan/Edward (Cross Guard), Dorothy, and Nanashi (Luberia). The team was formed to fight the Chess Pieces in the War Games.
(チェスの兵隊,Chesu no Koma) Main article: Chess Pieces
An army created by two outcasts of the magic kingdom Caldia, Diana and Phantom, which gathered soldiers of different objectives and united them under the same goal: to conquer the world. Most of the Chess Pieces, especially the zodiac knights, were rejected by others and want revenge. Phantom hates the world and everything in it. Its ranks are based on the pieces in the game of chess with rank going down from King to pawns. After the deaths and scattering of the top members, it was thrown into anarchy and consequently disbanded. Some members however, due to Ginta and Team MÄR's influence, desert the Chess Pieces before its collapse and retire peacefully.
Main Article: List of minor characters in MÄR
This is a list of the minor characters in this show.
Main article: Chapters
Main article: Episodes
- The witch Dorothy (named after Dorothy Gale) has many references to L. Frank Baum's Oz series (best known for "The Wizard of Oz")
- She uses whirlwind attacks (reminiscient to the tornado that took Dorothy to Oz)
- She has a Guardian ÄRM which is a huge dog which she calls Toto, which was the name of Dorothy Gale's pet
- Flying Leo could also be a reference to the Cowardly Lion
- Ring Armor and Brikin both resemble the Tinman
- the Guardian ARM Scarecrow resembles the Scarecrow
- her Guardian ÄRM Crazy Quilt may be a reference to the Patchwork Girl of Oz
- A relative named Diana is the equivalent of the wicked witch of the west
- Kaldea's Grand Elder is the equivalent of the wizard, Oz who instructs Dorothy to pursue the wicked witch.
- In the English version, when Snow is training Ginta in the Training Dimension, Ginta makes a comment about all the Guardians he's seen were "lions and golems and stuff." to which Snow responds "oh my!". This is reference to a song in the Wizard of Oz called "lions and tigers and bears. Oh my!"
- Pinocchio's saw Weapon ÄRM is based on one of the first versions of Pinocchio, where his maker found a tree that had been struck by lighting while searching for a suitable tree to cut down to make his next puppet using that kind of saw. Additionally, his Guardian ÄRM Fastitocalon is a reference to Monstro, the whale that swallowed him.
- The Weapon ÄRM, Magic Hammer, used by the Bishop Korekkio, has the ability to reduces one's height. It is quite similar to a hammer from the popular Doraemon series, which increases one's height. It is probably based on the Japanese legend of Issun and the Mallet of Luck.
- The name of the magic kingdom Kaldea, is very possibly derived from Chaldea, a Hellenistic designation for a country situated in southern Babylonia recorded in ancient scripts, whose scholars were found to be extraordinarily versed in all forms of incantation, sorcery, witchcraft and magicals arts, beside being masters in writing and reading.
- Jack is based on the fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. In the fairy tale, Jack obtains magic beans which grow a huge stalk towards the sky while he sleeps. This is clearly the basis for the character of Jack himself, as well as his Earth Bean attack, which produces a similar stalk.
- One of the six strongest Knights, Vidar, noticeably has many versions of translations for his name (Veezle, Vizel, Pizel, etc...), among which Weasel is the name used in the serialized (official licensed American) manga. But since he has a Guardian ARM which summons Yggdrasil, the gigantic ash tree which connects nine worlds in Norse mythology, it's very possible the most correct form of his name is Vidar, a god residing in Asgard, son of Odin and slayer of the monstrous wolf Fenrir which killed Odin in the apocalyptic day of Ragnarök, also from the referred myths.
- The name of a member of MÄR, Alviss, is derived from Alvíss, a dwarf in Norse mythology who was tricked by Thor into petrifying himself, ironically caused by his profound wisdom which successfully answered all of Thor's questions.
- Alviss' Guardian ÄRM A Baoa Qu, name and shape, is derived from a Malay legend about a magical creature who follows visitors up a tower seeking enlightenment.
- The Knight Rapunzel who possesses the lethal ÄRM Hair Master which allows her to lengthen and use her hair at will is a warped version of an imprisoned beautiful girl in the fairytale Rapunzel, who also used her hair as the ladder for her capturer the evil enchantress to climb up the tower in which she was held.
- In the first episode, when Ginta first makes contact, he is wearing a shirt with the symbol for Jera
- Hamelin is a direct reference to the poem "The Pied Piper of Hamelin," in which the piper used a flute to draw the town's rat infestation into the river Rhine and to take the town's children when he wasn't paid his fee.
- In episode 2 of the series Hayate no Gotoku, Jack make a special guest appearance in Hayate's imagination.
- In episode 5 of the series Hayate no Gotoku, Ginta and Dorothy make a special guest appearance for an applause at Hayate's magnificent save of a falling octopus truck.
- In episode 13 of the series Hayate no Gotoku, Nanashi make a special guest appearance as he walk past Ayumu Nishizawa.
- In late November, 2014 an online petition was created on Change.org to release all of the english dubbed episodes of MÄR to DVD to either release more DVD volume or a complete series box set from Viz Media, hopefully this will be successful.
|MÄR by Nobuyuki Anzai|
|Chapters • Episodes • MÄR-Heaven • Characters|