MARS: Tada, Kimi wo Aishiteru Episode 3 Recap

The darkness is coming! But it really is so very brief. Fujigaya can do it, though. I think, even though the manga and even Taiwanese drama definitely had very dark undertones, this version is doing its best to handle things seriously, but yet on the lighter side without going too deep into the darker topics. I wonder if the movie version which has just been green lighted will tackle these issues more head on then they are now.

One problem I have with the development thus far is the building of relationships. It feels rather unnatural how quickly Kira depends on Rei and is willing to do everything she can to protect him and keep her promises to him. Even Rei’s ties to Kira and everything he’s willing to do doesn’t seem quite right either. But this drama is half hour episodes (meaning like 20-25 minutes of actual drama) and you know it doesn’t have enough time to build things up.

So after assuring himself that Kira has survived Sugihara’s attack in one piece, Rei heads off to find the jealous minx. Sugihara refuses to apologize and stands firm in her dislike of Kira and warns Rei that Kira is not the weak, pathetic girl Rei thinks she is. Rei is well aware that inside the easily bullied Kira there does lay strength and resolve so he knows Sugihara isn’t wrong and Rei also knows that it’s not because he’s being played by Kira showing an innocent and weak side that he’s willing to go to any length to protect her. Rei does assert Kira isn’t his girl (not officially…yet) and he tells Sugihara in no uncertain terms that she had better lay off of Kira. And if she doesn’t? Rei gives a pleasant enough smile with his reply that he’ll kill Sugihara who of course doesn’t believe him.

I have to admit that Rei’s reactions in this scene were quite cute. Like him asking her why he can’t do such a thing. Because that would make him a murderer…a criminal. Rei doesn’t want that does he? People kill people everyday. Just watch the news. If Sugihara really wants to test him, go ahead. We’ll see how far each of them will go. Rei walks away and Sughihara is left alone and frightened. Ok. So…while I liked Rei’s offhand responses and reasoning, I didn’t really get that “aura” of menace that Sugihara supposedly picked up on. It wasn’t there. And I know it can be there because we’ve witnessed something close to it from Fujigaya before.

Does anyone else find it irrational that Sugihara willingly opens up to Kirishima’s prodding about what happened with Rei? These two have had practically zero interaction and of course Sugihara’s unhappy with the turn of events with these guys taking notice of Kira. Anywho, Kirishima asks Sugihara to stop targeting Kira. He then asks why she dislikes the other girl so much. Sugihara’s reply is the typical one really in these situations. She’s always been by Rei’s side willing him to notice her so that she can be “the one” and Kira is getting in her way. Irrational. But human beings really are anything but rational creatures at times. I hate how people think they deserve or have the right or lay claim to someone. I do like how Kirishima points out that Sugihara is wrongly targeting Kira when it has been Rei doing the approaching all along. Sugihara knows this, but she hates that Rei and Kira have a strong connection that they themselves aren’t even aware of. Kirishima then leaves Sugihara with a piece of advice—stop bothering Rei and Kira as she will only end up miserable in the end.


Later that night Kira is in her room recalling Rei embracing her to him while looking at the picture she is supposed to be painting for him. She then hears Rei’s motorcycle pull up outside and rushes out of the apartment to greet him. Rei was kicking himself for not getting Kira’s number when he spots her. He’s impressed she knew it was him. Kira sits down next to Rei and asks him to go easy on Sugihara since the other girl likes him. Rei doesn’t get why he has to do any such thing. LOL. True. Just because Sugihara likes him doesn’t mean she’s allowed to do the bad things she did. Of course, Rei should have probably looked at her more seriously to understand just how deep her obsession/feelings went, too. Of course, Rei has the experience from past girlfriends that he’s merely an accessory. He looks pretty so it reflects well on the women he dates. Ouch. No one wants to be a trophy on someone’s arm.

Rei goes on to say he doesn’t care what people think about him as long as he’s having fun. Besides, he’s a person whose empty inside anyways. Kira says that isn’t true as she feels such wonderful colors coming from Rei. This surprises him. What kind of colors? A glorious color that is both wild and beautiful…and a little sad. This surprises him even more. Kira moves and her hand ends up on top of Rei’s. She apologizes to him for saying something weird like that and he leans in for a kiss which totally shocks her. She then turns tail and runs back inside leaving Rei thinking.jmars.e03-00004

The next day Kira greets Rei in the parking lot. He goes to say something about the kiss, but Kira waves him off. She knows he was just going with the flow and it didn’t really mean anything, but it’s okay since it was Kashino-kun after all. Somehow I don’t think that’s necessarily what Rei was going to say. Kira then runs into Sugihara who says not to gloat or think that she’s won. If Kira sticks with Rei for much longer, she could get seriously hurt…or even killed.

While Rei is modeling for Kira, she apologies for making him do something so boring. He’s completely fine with it. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll skip out on her. When Rei stretches, an art club senior, Kurosawa, tells him to go back to his original pose. This surprises Rei and Kira. Rei gets up and tears up the sketch Kurosawa was working on and leaves the classroom after the two boys call each other rude. Kira rushes after him and apologizes for ruining his mood. As she wasn’t the one who upset Rei, I really don’t get why she’s apologizing. Neither does Rei.

Kirishima witnesses the end of this conversation and starts walking and talking with Kira. And I must say I hate his wardrobe. I don’t care if our cast pretty much revolves through the same outfits…or outfit…but can we put Kubota in less baggy and ugly clothes…please? Anyways, Kirishima is dialed into Rei’s real personality. He has known him since middle school after all. He tries to warn Kira that people have different faces and Rei is not the person Kira probably thinks he is. If Kira cannot accept Rei’s dual nature then she will have problems with people her entire life. Kirishima also warns the girl that he’s not the person she thinks he is either. I wonder how much of Kirishima’s dark side we’ll get to see? Of course, Kirishima plays off his warning as a joke.jmars.e03-00007

Later Kira visits Rei at the basketball court and tells him about Kurosawa-senpai. He’s the son of a famous artist and is looking for a subject to paint for an art contest. Kira then mentions accolades Kurosawa has won already and takes him to see the painting of his hung in their school. Rei looks at it and while Kira compliments it, Rei says that while it is pretty there’s something off. Kurosawa happens to pass by and asks for his honest opinion. Rei gives it. He’s not an art expert, but he goes by feelings. Kurosawa’s painting is void of feeling—empty, so Rei doesn’t like it. Of course after asking for his opinion, Kurosawa gets angry when Rei gives it and it’s a negative review. Someone as “vulgar and insensitive” as Rei could never get art. Ouch. Kira tried to intervene before Rei spilled out the truth, but the landmine was stepped on anyways.

Kira runs after Rei who walked away after telling Kurosawa to ignore his ignorant opinion. She apologizes once again for ruining Rei’s mood. WHY!? She hasn’t done anything. Again, it’s Kurosawa making Rei angry. Although Rei says it doesn’t bother him…which may or may not be true. He did say earlier he doesn’t care what people think of him. Kira asserts that Rei was not wrong and Kurosawa is at fault for making Rei voice his opinion only to degrade him for it. This makes Rei smile and he reaches out to pat Kira affectionately on her head.

In the art room, Kurosawa is angrily staring at Kira’s sketch of Rei. He throws her stuff on the floor and sees the sketch of the mother and child that Kira is to paint for Rei. He steals it. Kirishima sees Kurosawa exit the art room with his own sketchbook clenched tightly to his chest. We all know what’s happening, don’t we? Kira comes back to the room and her sketch is gone!

And after these more serious discussions and happenings, we have to do something with a bit more comedic relief. We have Rei and Kira having a whispered disagreement. Of course, they make this suggestive by only show close ups of their faces and using ambiguous dialogue. But it turns out that Rei wants to copy Kira’s answers and Kira is too afraid to let him. They struggle over her paper until it rips in half and the teacher wakes up. This leads Rei to having to retake the test.jmars.e03-00016

Kira tells Rei not to resort to tricks or cheating later. Rei replies saying he’s stupid and can’t pass with his brain. Kira refutes this. She doesn’t think he’s stupid…just that he’s becomes (made himself) stupid. LOL. Rei says that Kurasawa knows him better in that department than Kira. Kira says that he’s again neither stupid nor insensitive. She feels that’s he’s incredibly sensitive of others and he’s quite quick thinking. He even scares her sometimes. She then brings up the incident with the English teacher and says it was just a threat, right? Rei is quick to assert it wasn’t a threat. He would have really stabbed the teacher if he came near. Too bad the man chickened out. Yeah. Needless to say Kira isn’t very happy at this exposure to his dark side…but she likes him anyways, you know?

Kirishima is in the art club reading a book with “Diary” emblazoned on its front when the art teacher comes in. She is talking on the phone about some good news. Kirishima inquires about what is happening. The art teacher tells him to keep it a secret, but Kurasawa’s painting has been accepted for a competition and is probably going to win. The teacher shows him the painting and he instantly recognizes it as Kira’s. He shows it to her and the two go to confront Kurasawa who refuses to acknowledge he stole Kira’s work. He then threatens the two. If they bring up such a matter, the school’s art club will be ruined and they will be forced to close. Kurasawa walks away and Kira explains that she was going to give the painting to Rei, but now she can’t.

Speak of the devil and he shall come. Rei strides towards Kirishima and Kira and demands to know what happened. He takes the phone from Kira and sees the painting made from the stolen sketch. Rei gives the phone back to Kira and walks away without a word. Kirishima isn’t stupid and swears. He knows that Rei is going to do something bad. And of course he’s right.jmars.e03-00022

Rei goes to Kurasawa’s classroom and literally starts slapping him around. He calls Kurasawa a thief, but of course Kurasawa denies stealing Kira’s sketch. Rei takes Kurasawa’s right hand and starts bending his fingers to break them. Kirishima rushes in and tries to stop Rei, but is pushed away. Enter Kira who calls out his name and cries. Kira recalls Kirishima’s warning about Rei’s gentle and dark side while Rei recalls Kira’s words about him having a glorious and sad color. He says nothing and just walks away.

This last scene…Fujigaya really nailed Rei’s darker side and malice here. But…I won’t lie, him slapping Kurasawa made me laugh. It shouldn’t have, but it did. I guess because you’d picture Rei as someone who’d use fists and not do a more girlish thing like slapping. But I will also admit to inwardly cheering as Kurasawa got backhanded across the face with no warning. Just wait until the next episode and you get to see more of his personality and conflict with Rei. He’s a total jerk.


  • I was also surprised at the slap. I think in the tw-version Ling punched the guy? I agree about Kira being so quick to trust Rei. I thought it would take a lot longer.

    • Now that I’ve caught up on the Japanese, I’m switching back to get to the same spot in the Taiwanese drama. Ah, thinking about the slap makes me laugh again.

  • Nice review! 🙂

    Not sure if you’ve read the manga, but the lines that they say are pretty much spot on with the manga. Kira in the manga does apologize both times for Rei’s mood despite it being out of her control.

    For Kubota’s clothes… The character he plays is supposed to be this small framed, girly looking boy. I’m assuming they are trying to make him appear smaller framed by giving him baggy clothes?

    Also, Rei does backhand slap Kurasawa in the manga. I actually really liked how Fujigaya did the slap and thought it was really hot *^*
    Kurasawa’s character just annoyed me so much here I was cheering on the inside when Rei slapped him XD

    • Oh and regarding Rei’s challenge toward’s Harumi in the beginning. Once again, follows the manga to a T.
      It wasn’t so much a “menacing aura” that Harumi was sensing I feel. It was more like Rei’s reasoning and nonchalance towards taking the life of another human being that chilled Harumi. To him, life is just a game and putting the end to someone’s life is just another aspect of that game. This is what freaked Harumi out. And I felt that Fujigaya’s portrayal was spot on.

      • The problem comes from the fact that it’s been over 10 years since I’ve read the manga, so I can’t go off the accuracy of my memory. Rewatching the Taiwanese version doesn’t help because I remember more of Vic and Barbie’s portrayals versus the original source. 😛 I remember Rei having that more nonchalant attitude along with that more hardcore menacing and dangerous one. But I sadly can’t remember too much of the plot or nuances. I was looking to buy the entire manga series, but since it’s a Tokyopop title it’s hard to find. I loved this when I read it in high school.

        I get that Kirishima was supposed to be a slim boy…but they could still use a better wardrobe. Kubota really is slim enough on his own without those horribly loose clothes. While the scene with Kurasawa made me laugh, I too, was cheering Rei’s backhand. I really didn’t like that senpai.

        • MARS was a favorite of mine back then and one of the first manga series I’ve bought so I’ve been flipping through it on my down time.
          The tw vers, I have the DVDs somewhere but it’s a bit too long for me to fine the time to re-watch. But I’m biased anyways, so I’ll most likely find myself enjoying the JP version more anyways. XP

          The wardrobe for both male leads are just. I don’t mind the plaid shirts for Rei. But… that’s all he has?!?!
          I guess, since he IS poor so… I’ll give them that.

          • This is one of the few dramas where the characters essentially don’t appear to change clothes…ever. The girls seem to get a bit more of a wardrobe than the males for whatever reason.

            Mars…I think that or Fruits Basket was my first manga in high school. Sadly, it’s a manga series I’ve never managed to start collecting, but I really, really want it.

            • Ah yes, Fruits Basket was another favorite of mine that I also luckily managed to collect ^^
              I wish there’d be a live action of Marmalade Boy. I loved that one

              • There is a Taiwanese version but I couldn’t get into it. I’d love to see a jdrama of that manga. I do have the first two volumes of the anime.

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