Mars v.5 by Fuyumi Soryo - 198 pages
Rei and Kira undergo simple everyday experiences as a couple – Rei getting sick and Kira taking care of him, cooking, kissing, Rei teaching Kira how to ride a dirtbike. Through their conversations Rei tells Kira more of what life was like with Sei and their father, and their family quarrels, and he is able to come to a better understanding of himself and his motivations.
“I don’t know how- how to protect a kid like a mother does,” Rei tells Kira. “I’m not a mother, or a father. I don’t know how to protect anyone.” Kira replies, “You wanted someone to protect you, too. You needed to be supported even more than Sei.” Rei finally breaks down in a cleansing act of grief.
Rei is finally able to tell a devastated Shiori goodbye. “Shiori,” he tells her, “They say there’s always someone you can’t live without. You go and find that person. I already found mine.” We are left wondering if Shiori will finally be able to let go of Rei and move on.
At the last part of the volume, a man who may be Rei’s father admires Kira’s painting of Mars in a gallery, and Kira wonders if she should get more serious with Rei when she likes things exactly as they are now. While very much a middle chapter of the story, Rei’s healing was an important factor in being able to move forward in life, and it’s interesting to see how the characters develop.