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Series / Mars (2004)
aka: Mars

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Mars is a Taiwanese drama that aired in 2004, starring Vic Zhou and Barbie Hsu as star-crossed lovers who meet at college. The series is based on a fifteen-volume Japanese Shojo manga. It won the 2005 Drama Of the Year at the 40th Annual Golden Bell Awards in Taiwan.

Chen Ling is a casual guy who dreams of racing motorcycles in the World Grand Prix series, but was also recently released from a mental institution after seeing his identical twin brother commit suicide. Han Qi Luo is a shy art student traumatized by events in her past. Together they face the obstacles of everyday life as their love grows.

This series contains the following examples:

  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Ling is convinced he is the cause of Sheng's suicide.
  • Beach Kiss: For both Ling and Qi Luo, and Qing Mei and Da Ye.
  • Beta Couple: Qing Mei and Da Ye, one of Ling's ex-lovers and his best friend, respectively.
  • Big Fancy House: The Chen residence.
  • Blood from the Mouth: Several instances, most notably when Ling beats up Qi Luo's stepfather.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Sha Zhi, Ling's former girlfriend, who attempts to interfere between Ling and Qi Luo, to the extent she throws herself in front of a car and refuses to eat unless Ling shows up at her house.
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  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Tong Dao, who causes his best friend to accidentally kill someone, then kills his best friend, ultimately spending time in a psychiatric hospital where The Shrink determined he was not responsible for his actions.
  • Creepy Monotone: Tong Dao, when he talks about killing people.
  • Deadly Hug: Tong Dao stabs Ling in the abdomen several times while hugging him.
  • Does Not Like Men: Since she was sexually attacked by her stepfather, Qi Luo has shied away from all guys.
  • Dub Name Change: Played With. The character names were all translated in Mandarin but retain their meaning from the Japanese original. One example is Ling, which means "zero" like his Japanese name Rei.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: When faced with a lawsuit from Qi Luo's stepfather for assaulting him, Ling goes to his estranged father and requests he use his considerable power to protect Qi Luo. In return, Ling promises to stop riding motorcycles, buckle down in college, and learn his father's business.
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  • Missing Mom: Ling's mother died when he and his twin were young.
  • Motorcycle on the Coast Road: Ling and Qi Luo travel to the beach.
  • Pair the Spares: Qing Mei and Da Ye.
  • Product Placement: Ling's bikes were all from Yamaha, from his Fazer street bike to his YZF-R6 race bike.
  • Rape as Backstory: Qi Luo and her stepfather.
  • Shrinking Violet: Qi Luo, until she meets Ling.

Alternative Title(s): Mars