By Erika Suarez
In Terra Formars, our creepy crawling friends that hide in our kitchen cabinets have turned into man-killing humanoids with killer abs and unsettles you in horrifying action when an international space team is sent to Terraform Mars and fight against them. The bloodbath battle brings all of this together in Blu-ray with uncut and uncensored agony.
You’re first introduced to a Japanese martial artist at an underground tournament, who is up against a man-eating bear while a crowd of maniacal and snobby rich people sit and watch. While Akira Hizamaru, the main character is being ripped open by the bear’s claws, his mind fades back to a memory of why he’s there. Akira’s beloved childhood friend is dying from a virus called Alien Engine and requires special care to survive which is why he’s fighting a vicious beast to obtain the money for this certain treatment. It's heartwarming stirred with heartbreak when you feel this character is done for while being torn from his insides, and It's a nice transition to his past that gives you a sentimental feeling for the character. If you like the heavy and ugly side of sci-fi anime similarly to Wit Studio’s Attack on Titan, then you’re in for a gory ride.
For one, the characters led up to be impactful in their own way, but not enough to be attached to them. It does save us from grabbing our tissue boxes and yelling “why?!” Most of the characters have their spotlight in the show while it takes its time giving their backstory and we discover their motive for joining the Annex Project (Mission to travel to Mars and find a vaccine for the A.E virus). Each of their backgrounds are heart-rending and moving. We are given a reason why we should care about these characters where we can connect and empathize with them, making it one of the show’s greatest strengths.
The space team Is put through a surgery that gives them animal qualities and abilities that will help them fight against the humanoid cockroaches. Captain Adolfe Reinhard, a German soldier has to be the most intriguing character with a bad ass power. He was a test subject at a young age and formed with the Electric Eel, giving him the ability to generate electric shocks through his body. You might need those tissue boxes for this particular character that imprints this series
Terra Formars’ plot is simple and not the best, what holds this show together is the animation and its indulging violence with strong characters. Along the way we discover plot twists and missing pieces that leaves you in the loop of what exactly is going on. For instance, I had no clue Sheila (a Hispanic space soldier) had romantic feelings towards Shokichi, the Japanese captain of the Annex Project. It was later brought up and shoved into an episode without dropping hints that this was occurring. It could have been a meaningful and small side story, but it's lack of impact felt unnecessary to be a part of the story.
The animation is stunning along with the character design. There is a beautiful glimpse of Mars’ glistening water when the space team arrives and takes you away from the unpleasant side of the planet. There are some parts of Mars that look lifeless even with the terraformars. For it being a Sci-fi anime, they could have explored a little more on the fascinations that we would like to see from a planet we’ve never been on.
The bipedal cockroaches are surprisingly smart and relentless, but their appearance makes it hard to take them seriously when they have six pack abs and dumb blank faces. Overall, it's enjoying and a little comedic relief tones down the violence. The show mentions that they quickly picked up on how to use weapons and use strategies to fight back, but why do they have hatred towards humans? And we’re not sure what their motive is besides killing the humans. This is an anime adaption of the manga series, so there could be more insight on it.
Indulge yourself in 13 episodes of relentless killing cockroaches as humankind fights for their existence in Mars. You can buy the first season now on Blu-ray or watch it free on the Viz website.
TERRAFORMARS - Season 1 (Blu-ray)
Writer: Yu Sasuga/ Ken- Ichi Tachibana
Director: Hiroshi Hamasaki