Märchen Awakens Romance, officially abbreviated as MÄR), is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Nobuyuki Anzai, serialized in Shogakukan’s Weekly Shōnen Sunday from January 2003 to July 2006. MÄR follows 14-year-old junior high student Ginta Toramizu who is transported into a fantasy-based world known as MÄR-Heaven. As Ginta ventures in the world of MÄR-Heaven, he encounters allies and antagonists.
An anime television series adaptation titled MÄR Heaven was broadcast in Japan on TV Tokyo from April 2005 to March 2007.
In North America, Viz Media has licensed both the MÄR manga and anime for an English-language release.The manga was published between July 2005 and June 2007. The anime aired first in July 2006 on Toonami Jetstream, an online service from Cartoon Network, and then on the network itself, as part of the Toonami programming block in December 2006.
A sequel entitled MÄR Omega by Anzai and illustrated by Kōichirō Hoshino was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday from July 2006 to June 2007.
An anime adaptation titled MÄR Heaven, produced by SynergySP premiered in Japan on TV Tokyo on April 3, 2005 where it ran for 102 episodes until its conclusion on March 25, 2007.
In North America, the anime was licensed by Viz Media and aired on Cartoon Network’s online broadband service Toonami Jetstream in July 2006, and the series premiered on their television programming block Toonami,on December 23, 2006. It also premiered in Canada on YTV channel on June 1, 2007. 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. In June 2011, the first 52 episodes were available on Netflix’s Instant streaming service.
A fun-loving, care-free boy with a ponytail who uses Babbo as his ÄRM. Ginta is a fourteen-year-old boy as a 2nd year student in Japan. He has always had a daydreaming problem; falling asleep in class happens on a regular basis. Ginta’s dreams are about a fantasy world in which he is the hero. On many occasions he tells Koyuki, the only person who believes that his dreams are real, about the dreams and how one day he will go to the place he sees when he’s asleep. Many of his classmates and teachers pick on him for sleeping in class and Ginta often ends up getting beat up or running around the school as punishment.
Ginta’s mother doesn’t like to hear of his dreams because of his father who disappeared about six years ago. He had the same dreams as well and she is worried that Ginta will leave her. She writes fairy tales, or märchen, for a living. She also playfully beats Ginta up for playing too many video games and slacking off at school.
One day, however, Ginta was sent to the fantasy world he dreamed of, MÄR Heaven. Being originally from another world (Earth) he was originally weak and nerdy (a stereotypical otaku) until he arrived in MÄR-Heaven, where he gained superior physical ability, 20/20 eyesight, and his path happened to coincide with that of the ÄRM of legend Babbo.
Ginta later finds out that he was brought to the fantasy world by a boy named Alviss so that he can save the world from the Chess Pieces. He uses the unique ÄRM Babbo, which was used by the head of the Chess Pieces six years prior, to create Team and defeat the Chess once and for all. He harbours a secret crush on Koyuki, who eventually reciprocates his feelings as she journeys with Ginta as Snow.
is a unique ÄRM that was first wielded by Phantom and is later wielded by Ginta. He resembles a metal kendama. He contained the soul of the previous Elder of Caldia.
Babbo has many forms:
- Babbo Version 1A: Hammer Arm – Babbo becomes a gauntlet over the user’s hand with a metal ball at the end. The base of the gauntlet has the same design as the hammer part of Babbo’s normal form.
- Babbo Version 1B: Dagger Arm – Babbo becomes an extension for the first version where a dagger appears in the place of a metal ball.
- Babbo Version 2: Bubble Launcher – Babbo turns into a gun that Ginta wields. This form can shoot exploding bubbles. Ginta uses this for long range attacks.
- Babbo Version 3: Gargoyle – Babbo turns into a giant Gargoyle creature that levitates with a giant crystal as his lower waist and holds a ring in his mouth. He can use the ring to fire a strong beam that uses a lot of magical power. Because this version is a Guardian ÄRM, Ginta can’t move when he uses it, but it also is very dangerous…if he is reckless with it, Ginta’s spirit energy will be crushed (he may also lose his sanity).
- Babbo Version 4: Alice – Babbo turns into an angelic female Holy ÄRM that uses healing magic, which is effective for counter-attack and protection against Darkness ÄRMs. Babbo becomes embarrassed after the transformation.
- Babbo Version 5: Cushion Jelly – Babbo turns into a giant jelly that protects Ginta and absorbs all physical attacks used by the enemy. This form will also render Ginta motionless.
- Babbo Version 6: Puss in Boots – Babbo turns into a larger version of Puss in Boots where he gains immense speed, has a knife hidden in one of his boots, and the ability to use ÄRM like Fresh Bonito (a Weapon ÄRM that resembles a fish that is actually strong) and Mr. Replacer (a unique ÄRM that resembles a doll that can substitute for Ginta when he is about to be attacked).
- Babbo Version 7: Unification – Ginta used this form to get his father’s mind back into his body.
- Babbo Version 8: Reverse Gatekeeper Clown – Exclusive to the manga, Babbo turns into a form that resembles Gatekeeper Clown that allows a certain number of people to go through by the dice that it rolls. Ginta and his dad used it to go back to Earth following the defeat of Caldia’s Orb.
- Babbo Version 8: Omega Gargoyle – Exclusive to the anime, Babbo turns into a golden version of Gargoyle where it is strengthened by the hopes and dreams of everyone on MÄR-Heaven.
The beautiful 16-year-old Princess of Caldea who is also a witch of immeasurable power, and the younger sister of Diana: Queen of Chess Pieces (the former princess of Caldia). She is the step-aunt of Snow (although she and Snow have some trouble accepting this) and thus, she bears the responsibility to put a permanent rest to Diana’s actions in accordance to the laws of their birthplace, the magic kingdom Caldea. She is first to appear walking up to Ginta. Since she saw the great strength of Ginta, she asked him to help her get ÄRM. When he refused, she offered up a Weapon ÄRM that was completely useless. Ginta agreed not knowing a thing about the ÄRM, so they enter the cave of where the ÄRM is sealed. Later, when they arrive at the ÄRM’s location they have to face a powerful Guardian ÄRM, Brikkin. As Dorothy fights it with her Guardian ÄRM Flying Leo, Ginta gets the ÄRM who calls himself Babbo, then Flying Leo breaks, and so with Babbo he beats the Guardian Brikkin. Later they argue over Babbo to the point when Dorothy tried and failed to pick up Babbo because it was too heavy thus Ginta got Babbo. Disappointed she flew away on the Nature ÄRM Zephiroth’s Broom.
Dorothy has an interest in stealing any uncommon ÄRMs she comes across (which is also her other duty on Kaldea’s behalf), heaping up into a wide variety for her collection, but she seems to prefer Guardian ÄRMs and Wind-themed ÄRMs in battle. Dorothy’s moods can vary from the sweet, kind-hearted girl to the pitiless, cruel fighter who could kill her enemies without any second thought. She also has a notably large crush on Ginta, leading her to smother him with attention, much to Princess Snow’s dismay.
During the last Chess battle with the Chess Pieces, when she was against Chimera, part of her dress were ripped away to expose a majority of her left breast (but not enough to expose her nudity), while a portion of the dress at her right hip was exposed too. Many viewers also commented on the ‘intentional’ attention on her breasts, when her breasts shake when Dorothy was surprised at Chimaera’s Ghost ÄRM, a close up at her breasts at a view slightly behind Dorothy, and when Ugly Hag was touching her breast while she was struggling against a pair of Ogre Hands. There is also a joke-skill that Dorothy has, called mostly ‘Defy Gravity’, made out when Chimera takes Dorothy’s leg and turns her upside down, but her dress does not slip down to reveal a likely genital (since it was speculated that with no brassiere, there will be no undergarments). This fact is also supported as the story never shows undergarments, as when Pinocchio uses his multiple hands to grab both of Dorothy’s legs and spreads them, while pulling her towards a chainsaw to cut her into half from between the legs, only her lap and thigh can be seen, with a slip of the dress between her legs.
Dorothy is inspired from the Wizard Of OZ from her name being the same as the main character except instead of defeating a witch she is one. She also has allusions to it from her ÄRM including: Scarecrow who is pretty dumb like the scarecrow from the original was supposed be, Rain Dog which is named TOTO like Dorothy’s from the wizard of Oz, Flying Leo a combination of the cowardly lion and the flying monkeys & Ring Armor which looks the tin man. And Like her counterpart she also has to kill a witch although in this case it’s her sister and not the wicked witch of the west.
Dorothy’s ÄRM consists of:
- Andarta – A Dimension ÄRM that allows Dorothy to teleport to anywhere that she has been.
- Antidote Tonic – A Holy ÄRM used to cure poisons.
- Broom of Zephyrus – A Nature ÄRM that takes the form of a metal broom that is always seen near Dorothy. Besides using it as her mode of transportation, Dorothy can shape the wind with it.
- Crazy Quilt – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a loud-mouthed whimsical puppet with dirty clothes and no legs.
- Flying Leo – A Guardian ÄRM that summons a flying lion.
- Ring Armor – A common Guardian ÄRM that summons a living suit of armor that is often used to test an enemy’s strength.
- Ring Dagger – A Weapon ÄRM that Dorothy uses when she doesn’t want to use up her Broom of Zephyrus.
- Rock Giant Golem – A Guardian ÄRM that resembles a giant suit of rock armor. It originally guarded Babbo until it was defeated and ended up in Dorothy’s possession.
- Scarecrow – A Guardian ÄRM that takes the form of a scarecrow whose hat can turn into a drill.
- Toto – A Guardian ÄRM that is the name of a Rain Dog (a three-tailed dog) that can eat absolutely anything.
- Watching Bird – A Dimension ÄRM that takes the form of a purple hummingbird that can watch anything and send the hologram of what it sees back to the user where it is shown on the ground.
- Zipper – A Dimensional ÄRM that summons a zipper that Dorothy uses to store her extra ÄRM.