Mars Red: How to Get Started With the Anime & Manga

Compared to most manga and anime franchises, Mars Red has a rather peculiar origin. Whereas many stories begin as a manga, anime or light novel, this series instead got its start as a stage reading play. This has seen its two best-known adaptations take on different ways to tell the original tale.

The manga’s English localization is almost complete, though the anime is already finished. To get ready to add both versions to your collection, here’s how the plot of Mars Red breaks down, and where fans can get a hold of the manga and anime.

The Plot of Mars Red

Mars Red is set in an alternate version of 1920s Japan, which is ravaged by the presence of vampires. These bloodsuckers come in a variety of mutations, some of which are merely mindless monsters. Others are contemptuous and aristocratic toward humans, while some retain most of their previous personalities. This sees them longing for a return to normalcy, a fate which sadly escapes them.

Combating these vampires is the Code Zero unit, specially trained to deal with the bloodsucking threat. The options they give their targets are simple: surrender to human authorities and have their biological blood requirements taken care of by the government, or die. As the team encounters different types of vampires, including those who simply wish to be left alone, they quickly realize that not all of them are quite as violent and inhuman as they believed. This makes humans further question the nature of vampirism and the role that the authorities have had in the vampires’ spread.

Where to Read the Mars Red Manga

Kemuri Karakara handled the Mars Red manga adaptation of the original stage reading, running in Monthly Comic Garden from January 2020 to July 2021. This amounted to three completed volume collections. Seven Seas Entertainment is handling the English localization, with the second volume having just been released.

The story is changed up to involve Special Forces Unit 16, who are made up of vampires themselves and investigate heinous crimes. The Mars Red manga can be purchased physical through retailers such as Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and Walmart, as well as online through Amazon and anime fandom retailer Right Stuf Anime. Digital versions of the manga are also available through Kindle and Comixology.

Where to Watch the Mars Red Anime


The Mars Red anime adaptation was announced in 2020 before airing from April-June 2021. Its story is more faithful to the original stage reading, which is shown in how intriguingly theatrical the whole affair seems. The anime's unique art style is animated by Signal.MD and the show was co-produced by none other than the well-known Funimation. The 13-episode series was also licensed by Crunchyroll.

Streaming-wise, Mars Red is currently only available through the Funimation streaming service, but it can be found more universally in physical form. Retailers such as Target, Walmart, FYE and Amazon all carry the Blu-Ray collection of Mars Red, making it easy for fans and newcomers alike to sink their teeth into the anime.

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