A while ago I swore I was going to start doing write-ups on anime and manga, especially given how much I love the two. Admittedly though, my viewing and reading of the two have been less than had been in years past. That aside, I had a rare opportunity of some free time and jumped into a new series, so I figured why the heck not do this review. I could go old school and talk about a classic like Evangelion or Cowboy Bebop, but it probably makes more sense to go newer. Although not in the current “season” of anime, it is still fairly new. It really stuck with me as one I like, so let’s check out the world of Terra Formars.
Well, instead of going to the Wiki, you’re here for some information on Terra Formars. The introduction of the series is that sometime in the 21st century we’ve decided we are going to start colonizing Mars. In order to do so, scientists create a plan of terraforming it with a unique spreading of algae via cockroaches. Five centuries later, we head up with a small crew to check on progress, only to be immediately killed by the now evolved and humanoid cockroaches. Years later, a second crew is sent up to exterminate the giant bugs, and again are met with slaughter save for two members. One of the two, Shokichi, will not let this stand and vows to return to get revenge for his fallen comrades.
Now for the key piece of information about the series relevant to both the second crew, and the new crew Shokichi Komachi has formed. In order to even stand a chance against the giant cockroaches, dubbed Terra Formars, the members undergo a risky surgery. With only a 1 in 3 chance of survival, it involves implanting an organ which allows the recipient to take on the special characteristics of another life form. Shokichi for example was granted the strength and lethal stinging ability of the Vespa mandarinia or Asian giant hornet.
Beyond the concept of the series itself, what actually makes it worth watching, or possibly even reading? One of the big things for me was seeing all the different abilities that crew members were given. The new crew, aka Annex I, has 100 members, so there is a lot of opportunity for some really awesome ones. What I really loved in the show is how they introduce the character’s ability, going between the scene itself and an almost Nat Geo type video of the organism displaying that power.
The animation in the show is really gorgeous, especially with all the fantastic action going on given that they’re battling most of the time. I almost wish I had read the manga first just to enjoy seeing the story come to life even more in the anime, but that’s not a huge deal. The designs of the characters when they transform are really nice, still maintaining a very human appearance with key aspects of their respective “surgery base” as they call it.
Having then read the manga after, the story just keeps getting more and more intense. There is absolutely no shortage of emotions that you’ll experience with this series. At no point in either watching the show or reading the manga did I ever get bored with it, and that’s not always something I can say. Especially with how terrifying the Terra Formars are. I mean, seriously, they are enough to make someone not typically bothered by bugs afraid.
If you’re looking for a new anime or manga (or both) to get into, I would definitely suggest this one. While I’ve been quite behind in keeping up with my beloved anime and manga, I was glad this was a new one that brought me back. It hasn’t to the best of my knowledge really caught on among the community, but if it indeed hasn’t already, I can see it happening soon.