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Mars now has oceans, but the end of an interstellar war has thrust the planet's economy into deep recession. Frustration and deprivation have led to riots among the colonists, separatist movements, and widespread looting and piracy. The Earth government means to suppress the trouble-a combination of the revolution of Gundam and the human flotsam of Cowboy Bebop, both of which were earlier production credits for first-time director Mori.

Gram River lives from hand to mouth, drifting through a variety of temporary and casual jobs in one of Mars' floating cities. By chance he is asked to pilot a Round Buckler, a humanoid mobile suit, "The Vector of Hope." The suit's almost obsolete-the older models were used to fight the interstellar war and most are remote-controlled nowadays-but Gram finds he has a knack for handling it. When this leads to another offer of work with the same machine at a higher rate of pay than he's used to, he's just too tempted to weigh the risks. He finds himself on the pirate submarine The Ship of Aurora, under the command of the tough and scary Captain Elizabeth Liati. They're on the run from a Round Buckler squadron from Earth, and by coincidence the squadron leader is Gram's childhood friend Vestemona (aka Ves, but surely a Japlish mangling of Desdemona) Lauren. She was adopted years ago by a rich Earth family and now commands the Mars Division of the Sol Global Forces. When the two old friends reunite, they are on opposite sides of the law-she's the hunter and he's the hunted.

The fancy names of the suits and the romantic undersea settings, plus the talking cat and dolphin, which can get around in its own humanoid-shaped environment suit, all betray a fascination with pirate tales and submarine yarns. The story, based on a computer game by Sony, owes as much to Seaquest DSV (1993) and Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) as to anything else; yet there's something irresistibly appealing about oceans and glaciers on Mars and about a butch dyke and a crew of talking beasts and deadbeats taking on the might of the Empire. The anime world, never one to ignore a good idea that was not yet wholly wrung of all saleability, flooded Mars again the following year in Aria.

Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Hirokazu Yamada

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Mars Daybreak
Name: 絢爛舞踏祭 ザ・マーズ・デイブレイク
Romaji: Kenran Butosai: The Mars Daybreak
Publisher ?
Start Year 2004
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Aliases Kenran Butohsai
Gorgeous Tango: The Mars Daybreak
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