Mars Red Episode 5 Review

Mars Episode 5 Review
karandi avatar no background

Hey Irina, you know how we both said the political stuff was a little less interesting compared to the vampire unit last week… I think I’m changing my mind after episode 5. I was not expecting obsessive grey-haired guy to go this far off the rails this early in the series but I kind of like it. Certainly I’m now wondering just how far things will go wrong from this point forward and what Maeda’s plan is going to be to somehow fix this (I’m assuming Maeda is going to try). Anyway, I quite enjoyed the turn of events here, but how did you find the episode?

Irina 2020

I also like the coup! I still think those budget meetings leading up to it could have been a bit more exciting but I appreciate the foreshadowing. This said, I’m a bit fuzzy on the details. I understand that the Colonel wanted to have a national vampire force and had been working towards it and sinking resources in it for years and now that the government wants to shut down the program he sort of snapped. Or simply forcefully disagreed. 

And I get that the government thinks that hiring a foreign vampire force would just be way more effective. 

Mars Red Nakajima
Yep, he snapped.

But why did grey haired guy want to create the force in the first place? On a whim? Is he a passionate patriot that thinks a national force is the only way to ensure the future? Is he making a private army? Should I be happy, sad or scared by this turn of events? And why did the government think a foreign force would be better. Has grey been hiding his results. Is a foreign force better and they’re about to get whipped out?

See, fuzzy. 

I do think fuzzy works for this show though so it’s not a bad thing but it just makes me not quite sure how to interpret events.  

“Simply forcefully disagreed” – this may be my new favourite description.


I kind of liked that this week we introduced this group of haughty vampires who come across as potentially being the next big bad and then within the same episode more or less discard them with their demise coming from underhanded methods and their actual deaths occurring off-screen. While it might have been fun to see what those two female vampires would have gotten up to if they’d been set loose on the town, I think ultimately it was good that the focus remains on the characters we’ve already met going forward. It could have gotten very messy otherwise.

Mars Ep5 9
These two could have been fun, but I guess we’ll never know.

The blonde haired vampires is turning out to be some sort of major antagonist. I’m intrigued (more on that in a bit).

Mars Red struggles with its villains.

Though speaking of characters and screen-time, Maeda was a little scarce this week. Admittedly he was in hospital and then apparently ‘went missing’. I’m very curious as to what his intentions are going forward. He seemed to be onboard with the grey-haired guy’s plan prior to this episode but it definitely seems now like he had his own agenda in coming into the unit. So I’m not sure what his goal is now but I guess we’ll find out soon.

Thinking about Maeda though, the one scene that did seem a little out of place this week was his visiting the play-house and accusing the boy of being a vampire. I kind of already thought he knew that so it was a bit of a surprise to me. More than that, then that scene didn’t really seem to go anywhere. It just kind of cut away and I’m not sure what the point was. Any ideas?

Mars Ep5 6
Maeda is not impressed with you, reporter girl.

Before I get into the plot, I watch Mars Red of Funimation. That’s where it airs here. And this week, there was no Japanese track for some reason. Setting the language to Japanese as I normally do still had only the English voice overs and oh boy. I think most of the cast is decent. I slightly prefer the JP cast but they do a good job in English. 

However, you were not kidding about that reporter girl. I could hardly pay any attention to what was going on the entire hospital scene. Why is she a valley girl from the 90s? What’s going on??? Who’s choice was this? It’s so out of place it’s almost surreal! 


And then blonde baddie has an accent. What type of accent? I dunno. Brita-germ-italian maybe? It really sounds like one of your school buddies putting on a fake accent at a party for laughs. 

I’m sorry, it sounds mean. They are probably talented and lovely actors but the choices being made here are just baffling! I’m not sure if it’s the director or the actors but I’m perplexed.

Was Maeda in love with that first vampire lady? And if so did he know her before or was he just touched by her tragic plight and beauty? As for the playhouse, I wouldn’t go so far as to call the scene out of place. It seemed to be a scene that stems from a series of events we have not seen but I kind of liked it.

Mars Ep5 8
I’m sure this guy has some answers but he isn’t sharing.

I continue to really like the look of this show. Yes, it is very dark and the animation isn’t that impressive but it is consistent and the visuals really suit the tone of the story being told. I also love the focus on hands again this week with the vampire girl cupping the boy’s face kind of mirroring the gestures of the vampire girl back in episode one.

There’s not much more that I want to say about this episode as it feels very much like a transitional point and I’m not quite sure what we are transitioning too yet. I do know that people who have kept watching Mars Red will be intrigued but it probably won’t be enough to gain back those who bailed early on. Either way, I’m definitely wanting to see what they all get up to next.

Mars Ep5 14
Just realised we didn’t talk about the vampire squad this week… oops.

This episode raised a bunch of questions in a good way. Mars Red is moving along at a good pace and it always leaves me wanting to find out what happens next!

Images from: Mars Red. Dir. S Sadamitsu. Signal.MD. 2021

Thanks for Reading From
Irina and Karandi

Irina 2020

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3 thoughts on “Mars Red Episode 5 Review

  1. I didn’t quite catch what went on in that hospital scene. What were those letters? Were they his to begin with? I didn’t get the sense that Maeda knew the vampire lady, but I did get that they were her letters (or am I wrong about that? I tend to forget names)? It’s weird. What’s going on here. Some sort of arranged marriage deal? It looks more and more like blond vampire boy turned her for a reason, but I can’t figure out that part. I’d have to rewatch episode 1 and then this one. Maybe others, but I’m at a loss which ones. And I don’t quite like the show enough for that.

    Now I’m also wondering if there’s some hidden message in the choice of play (Salome), but I’m really just confused about all this, and I think it isn’t the writing so much as that I haven’t been paying proper attention.

    1. It also feels like we are still missing pieces of the puzzle but I kind of hope we will continue to gradually be fillef in.

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