Akari Hizamaru will do anything for his beloved childhood friend, including participating in an underground cage fight against a wild bear! As ridiculous as it sounds, Akari does not have any other choice. His friend is dying of a mysterious virus, and the fight is the only way he can get the money to pay for the procedure she so desperately needs. At first glance, it seems like Akari has no chance of beating the dangerous animal, but the brawl reveals that he might have some strange abilities of his own.
Unfortunately, he discovers he has been betrayed and his dear friend may be beyond help. In the aftermath, he meets two people who are part of an organization intending to send a manned mission to Mars. Prior expeditions to Mars ended in disaster when the explorers encountered hostile, mutant cockroaches. Now, they plan another mission with the sole purpose of exterminating the giant monsters because they may be connected to the mysterious virus that is plaguing mankind. Why are there giant cockroaches on Mars? And why does Akari have mysterious abilities that make him well-suited to fight these mutants?
Every now and then there's an anime that's released that walks the delicate line of being called absolute garbage and absolute FUCKING garbage. These shows tend to focus heavily on shock factor deaths as a one trick pony, which in turn removes any integrity it may have. Some notable cases include Elfen Lied, Gantz, Mirai Nikki, Deadman Wonderland and now the next anime to carry the torch Terra Formars, has stepped up for the challenge.
Story? What story? Government conspiracies, the mission of Bug II and anything else the show brought up remains unresolved. Plot points that go nowhere and simply end abruptly. It's like slowly going up the rails of a roller coaster and getting ready for the ride but the ride never happens. The show treats the material as more of a glorified add to read the manga than a stand alone work. This co-dependence on the source material to make a cohesive story is just lazy.
You'd think by now that CGI will be used in better effect in complimenting a show, right? Well, Terra Formars spits on the face of innovation, giving us hoards of horrid CGI cockroaches that rival that of Gonzo's track record. And to top it all off, it's simply the same design copied and pasted. The character designs, also deserve special mention for looking rather stiff. It feels like no effort or love was placed into this series. The only noteworthy mention should be about the grim backgrounds of the Mars environment.
The same tracks were played continuously, showing no variation at all. Nothing worth listening to on its own and nothing that really grabs your attention. They simply serve to follow the scenes, but does nothing to heighten them. Voice performances were fine. Each character's voice actor matched their given traits, standouts being Michelle K. Davis. Of course, it will all be forgotten almost as soon as you're finished with the series.
I'm not even sure this cast can even be considered "characters". They didn't even manage to make them 2 dimensional. There's more depth in your run of the mill shounen protagonist than any of these "characters". They mostly follow the lines of common fodder or OP roach killer.
Throwing in a depressing backstory doesn't qualify as proper characterization. Especially if we don't even remember them by the time the 20min run time is up. It seems like characters were only introduced to be killed by the next episode. Not only giving you no time to even care about them, but it also broke immersion when death is treated with no tension. Just a fodder fest of people we don't give a fuck about.
I'm a completionist, the only reason I even finished this nonsense was because of the short run time. Unlike other nonsensical series like Elfen Lied, Terra Formars became more of a chore to watch. I'd rather take my chances watching another Michael Bay film that sitting through this again.
Terra Formars was simply another rushed adaptation that felt more like an eyegasm for the fans than an actual show. If you're a fan of excessive gore or the manga then this might be for you.read more
-I haven’t read the manga.
-I watched the uncensored release of the anime.
Terraformars, an anime about a bunch of genetically modified humans with animal powers that get sent to Mars to exterminate a race of hyper evolved humanoid cockroaches called Johj. Sounds radical, right? Unfortunately it isn’t and here i’ll explain why.
Really, there’s not a whole lot to talk about in terms of story. The entire plot is just an excuse to get the characters to Mars as quickly as possible and make them fight a whole lot and i suppose it does achieve that just fine.
The main problem with the storytelling in Terraformars is the pacing.
For a series that prides itself on being nothing but dumb action and violent fights, it’s actually painfully slow. We get shots that linger forever for no good reason, characters standing around doing and saying nothing for extended periods of time, tons of narrator delivered exposition and a ludicrous amount of flashbacks that sometimes take up the entire duration of an episode, while not really adding anything substantial. The best moments of the show are when it throws away any pretense of storytelling and just goes into full-on hot-blooded action-mode. Unfortunately these moments are rarer than you might assume and usually over quite quickly.
Special shout-out to the shitty worldbuilding of this series.
Terraformars is apparently set 600 years in the future, yet aside from space travel, genetic manipulation and terraforming i guess, no technological advancements were made by the human race. The people back on earth still drive the same cars, dress in the same clothes and use the same fucking smartphones as we do today. Why even set the series this far in the future, if you’re not gonna use it for some interesting worldbuilding?
The lightning fast evolution of the humanoid cockroaches is ridiculous anyway, may as well have set it fifty years in the future and not expose your complete lack of imagination.
Oh yeah, there’s also some government conspiracy subplot, but no one cares.
The series doesnt’t even have any conclusion at all, it’s set up for a sequel that will undoubtedly happen considering the popularity of it’s manga counterpart.
The characters of Terraformars are about as boring and one dimensional as they come. The series utilizes constant long-ass flashbacks with sappy background stories to flesh out the characters, but it never works out, the characters remain uninteresting and all the flashbacks achieve is to kill any feeling of momentum this action series might have had.
I shit you not, there’s one character whose entire backstory involves people in his life telling him what a boring person he is.
However, this fleshing out only applies to a handful of the surprisingly large cast of Terraformars. The rest? Nameless cannon fodder that is absolutely and utterly useless and usually spend their time sitting around waiting to be killed.
Also, holy fuck Terraformars, your only important German character is named Adolf, are you fucking shitting me? Would it have killed the writers to spend five seconds to google more appropriate German names?
The OP is a generic fast paced buttrock track and it’s just kinda eh, but i can’t shake the feeling that it doesn’t really fit the series. I suppose i expected something a bit darker and more atmospheric.
The ED i don‘t even really remember to be honest, the music of the series in general is fairly forgettable.
As far as voice acting goes, it’s all fitting for the characters, but no one in the cast really delivers a standout performance.
The character designs are one of the few things in Terraformars i can praise. As someone who appreciates semi realistic human designs in anime, this stuff is right up my alleyway. The animal transformations of the humans also look pretty cool.
The same thing can’t be said of the primary antagonists of the series, unfortunately. The designs of the humanoid cockroaches or Johj have gained some notoriety for being 'racist', as they look almost like caricatures of large muscular black guys. I looked into it and apparently they are based on the homo erectus and not black people.
Looking at it that way, the design makes some sense, but is still not a great choice, as the Johj look silly and not particularly threatening. I feel like this is a wasted opportunity, the creators of the series could have created something truly horrifying, considering the creatures are based on fucking cockroaches of all things. The Johj could have been some serious nightmare fuel, instead they are silly cavemen.
Animation in the series is fine when it counts, the fight scenes namely. It’s fairly consistent and the battles feel impactful, violent and on occasion even well choreographed. Too bad the color palette is so ugly, as all the colors in Terraformars look washed out and muddy.
I suppose this was to give the series a darker and gritty look, but it ends up just being unappealing.
There’s also this distracting noise filter that they kept using seemingly at random. What was the point of that? It just made the already so-so visuals of the series look shittier whenever it was active.
I’m not gonna lie, as much as i shit on this series, there were some pretty kickass moments hidden in there, namely whenever the action was in full effect, but they are few and far between and get marred by all the problems plagueing this series. If nothing else, at least Terraformars is not particularly long and won’t waste a whole lot of your time.
And this may sound unbelievable, but the educational value of Terraformars is actually surprisingly high (that is, more than nothing). You will pick up a lot of weird animal facts in this series, so there’s that.
Terraformars is a series with a whole buttload of problems. Even if you are looking for a short, violent, action series, which is exactly what Terraformars is, there’s a lot of better stuff out there that you should check out instead.
I give it a final rating of 3/10.
As always, please excuse any grammatical mistakes, as English is not my first language. And please feel free to leave me some feedback, i really want to improve. read more
Story (2/10): Terra Formars – the show that has absolutely nothing to offer but death. There is no real story here, folks, just death. Some people get sent to Mars to capture some cockroaches and then it’s episode upon episode of people/cockroaches getting smashed to pieces. That’s it. The show even decided to be about nothing all the way to the very end when the show actually ended in the middle of a fight. This is then accompanied by a narrator that constantly spouts facts about what is going on, animal traits, how lightning works and other stuff that pretty much makes it look like the writers think the viewers are far too stupid to figure it out for themselves. I do understand that the majority of viewers will have no idea what traits the life form based powers will have, but I suppose my gripe is how often we are interrupted for an explanation of these traits. I would suggest a picture drama or a section that replaces the preview to introduce the powers before the next episode begins.
Art (5/10): The art itself is pretty boring. Deaths look barely as gruesome as they should be, a lot of the character designs look similar to one-another which really doesn’t help when you also don’t know anybody’s name either, and there was a sudden addition of 3D on the roaches after a couple of episodes which would switch back and forth from 2D to 3D regardless of the cockroach numbers – a larger number being harder to draw, meaning 3D would be the quickest option.
Sound (4/10): The sound effects are extremely average. We’re treated to the sound of something getting sucked into a vacuum every time a punch, jump, kick, or any other fighting action is landed. The deaths are also given a sound like an egg being dropped on the floor or the most cliché death sound – the sound of an empty water bottle being crushed. In conclusion for the SFX: I feel like Terra Formars has put little to no effort into their sound effects. As for the opening and ending: although I am a bit of a fan of the opening, I do not believe it is suitable for something so very focused on death. Although the guitar and drum tracks do fit the theme, I believe the vocals do not. When I listen to the opening, it makes me feel like I’m about to start watching a mech show. As for the ending, I’d say it’s far too upbeat and that’s all. Keep in mind that I say all this without knowing the lyrics (honestly, I’m not going to go out of my way to look up lyrics for average songs from a show I don’t like). Voice acting is rather pointless to talk about seeing as though the voices aren't around long enough for one to get a proper listen.
Character (3/10): Killing off characters without even giving us their names and expecting us to give a shit is what Terra Formars does best. I cannot count the amount of times a character has been killed off and we got a scene that looked like it was supposed to make the viewer sympathise. They give you neither their back story nor their name but still have the balls to attempt to make you care for them. Sometimes a character will get a back story, although it’s completely pointless. In almost every case where somebody got some background information, that person would die. It’s as though background information and names are death signals. And finally, those who have died are forgotten within one episode as if they didn’t exist. If I had to sum everything so far up, I’d say that the original creator didn’t give one shit about his/her characters and instead saw them as nothing but targets in a shooting range. As for our villains, the cockroaches, well, they don't speak... So you're not really given much of an explanation for their behaviour besides them being extraterrestrials that want to kill all humans. Talk about cliché. The only purpose they serve in this non-existent story is to die/kill, and to be revealed as a few new cockroaches with different abilities.
Enjoyment (3/10): I could probably enjoy something with this much violence, sure, but I need more of a reason for all this death than just because. Maybe if Terra Formars had fewer characters, they’d be able to focus on the characters a little better, and maybe if they introduced an actual story, it would become bearable. If they just fixed this shit up, I could really enjoy Terra Formars. The idea of taking on animal traits and using them in combat is a pretty neat idea.
Overall (3/10): If you’re a brainless moron that gets an erection off characters that are “badass” that do “badass” shit (e.g. Kirito), you’ll love this.read more
One of the most frightening organisms on the planet is so miniscule that it's a wonder that it exists in the first place, let alone causes massive harm. This organism is, of course, the virus. A tiny, technically lifeless thing whose only function is to replicate to keep its existence going. In biology, it's a rather fascinating phenomenon that has been in place for millions, if not billions, of years. While human technology has improved by leaps and bounds in an immensely shorter time span, there are still questions and unknowns we have yet to answer. Among them include nearly incurable diseases. With this premise in mind, Terra Formars takes shape. That shape being a crooked and jagged mess.
Terra Formars starts with a man named Akari, whose fighting prowess has given him the opportunity to join a select group of people aimed at finding a cure to a deadly disease that has plagued the Earth. Him and many others undergo an operation to mutate their bodies and board a spaceship destined for Mars and the supposed answers they seek.
The story telling within the anime follows a rather inconsistent style. It begins by following a majority of the groups confined to the ship, providing us with a glimpse into who is on board, the countries involved, and the gravity of the situation. Once on Mars, the focus shifts from a group mentality to an individual one. At this point, characters are singled out and, for usually less than a full episode, he or she is given a small amount of background. The idea here is to give us a sense of connection. That the people we're watching risk their lives on a distant planet are more than just fodder to the cause. But it never comes off this way (save for one character, more later). The show tried to focus on the characters over the story because the story itself isn't compelling enough to engage the audience. They attempt to mix in some plot elements, such as parallel stories and espionage, but it isn't executed nearly as well as it could be.
This execution is unquestionably the result of the core of Terra Formars: the fighting. Instead of attempting to showcase more of what the world has to offer or how the mission is more meaningful than it at first seems, it instead highlights the fighting between the humans and the cockroaches. This prominent focus therefore defers to gore and violence instead of actual narrative balance.
Due to the nature (if you will) of the show, part of the "allure" is in the powers of the characters at play. The problem is that, in order for the viewers to understand the mutations, a considerable amount of literal narration and time is spent on discussing what animals the humans are using. More often than not, it occurs during the fights themselves. Meaning, besides the story telling already being as choppy as it is, what the anime puts on a pedestal also succumbs to the same choppy issues. The mutations may have ties to the characters' pasts, but the inelegance of their incorporation within the story leaves much to be desired.
Terra Formars maintains a rather mature look throughout the season. The characters themselves are usually well defined, with sharp lines and contours for the faces and throwbacks to the actual animals they are portraying. The same can't be said for the environments. The vast majority of the locations are usually just rocky terrain and boring to look at, with almost zero variety. As for the enemies, CG is used for the cockroaches when a large amount of them are on screen at once. It can be a little off-putting at first, but over time one gets used to seeing them in that state.
Actual animation suffers a bit, unfortunately. Not only do there exist a lot of still frames and only mouth movements for many of the characters during dialogue, but many of the fights contain little choreography. Coupled with the fact that the majority of the battles contain zoomed in shots or little animation, the core element of the anime is a major letdown across the board.
The anime can be watched either censored or uncensored, but it is not worth it to see with the former in place. The censorship present when active makes many of the scenes completely impossible to watch, once again impeding the anime's shtick (very violent killings).
Putting it rather bluntly, the entire cast is unmistakably bad. It's only saving grace is that there exists a single character who, without him, would render everyone as forgettable. I'll start with the bad and work towards the (only) good.
One of the first characters introduced is Akari, a rough and tumble dude dead set on saving the girl he loves from the disease gripping her. His motivations are clear, yet his underlying strength is not. Taking the chance to create a better tomorrow for the ones he loves, he accepts the task presented to him, hoping to do everything in his power to bring peace back home, even if said power consumes him. He sounds rather intriguing on paper, but beyond the first episode or so, we never really learn much more about him. That is to say, he never again takes the spotlight long enough to make him relevant to the story at hand. It's a shame, considering he is one of the cast members who we learn a little bit about. His underutilization sets the precedent for everyone else involved.
Sheila embodies kindness. Free spirited and filled with generosity, she tags along with the rest of the squad not as a fighter but more as a cheerleader. Unable to mask her fear of the mission at hand, she clings to a romance that she most likely knows deep down can never be. Her friendship with Alex and Marcos shows that, despite her ladylike demeanor, she isn't afraid of helping those in need. The precedent set earlier is used once more; she is shown, talked about, then subsequently put to the side for the rest of anime. It's a little more forgivable this time, since her overall purpose was to give Marcos a reason to fight. The justification is there, but not executed well enough simply because her character feels just as useless as the rest of the people on board.
The only (seriously, the only) good character found within Terra Formars is Adolph. The byproduct of a terrible experiment, his broken spirit and reason for fighting feel the most human, despite the beast within him. His dedication to the position of captain and composed behavior in the face of an incomprehensible scenario make him a sight to behold both on and off the battlefield. He's a great character not just for being bad-ass, which he most certainly is, but because he actually contains some semblance of depth. Where he begins and where he ultimately ends help to showcase the futility of getting one's hopes up. A tragic character, his inclusion gave this one a small light in the sea of darkness.
Suffering "Mirai Nikki Syndrome", arguably the best part of the show is the OP. The back-and-forth vocals coupled with the fast guitar make it extremely catchy and great fun to listen to, even outside of the anime itself.
The ED is at least okay. The drums bring about the tempo, the piano adds to its gracefulness, and the vocals are slow and simple to follow.
The soundtrack is largely forgettable, save for the signature, six-note, up-and-down piece that plays when a battle is about to begin. The sound effects involved at least add to the brutality of the aforementioned fighting.
In regards to voice acting, there were no standout performances to be had. The only notable voices were the cockroaches and their "Jo Ji" which is the extent of their vocabulary, yet the meaning of varies wildly.
When the anime first started, the censorship was quite unbearable. Black shading and polka-dots filled the screen, making much of the on-screen action hidden to the viewer. If the entire point of the anime is to show grotesque ways of murdering humans and "cockroaches," then it should be quite obvious that any form of censorship would ruin the intended goal. It was eventually alleviated, but the damage was done.
The anime doesn't focus on much else. Some attempts at humor are made, but it never tries too hard at it. Same for the drama; outside of Adolf, the rest feels lackluster and completely falls flat. Watching the good guys use their animal abilities should be really fun to watch. And at times, it is. Watching Alex hurl metallic spheres at incredible speeds, seeing Michelle crushing a foe to smithereens, or witnessing Adolf's almost god-like powers can be quite cool. But these moments are too few and far between to make the show compelling enough to keep one interested.
Terra Formars wasn't trying to do much. But even for what it set out to do, the execution just wasn't there. The story is bland, the characters are bad, and the rest is boring. Perhaps in the future, when missions to Mars are actually feasible, we can send this anime to where it belongs: anywhere but here.
Story: Bad, inconsistent, too much focus on the fights, poorly placed explanations
Animation: Bad, lame art style, little animation even for the battles, too much censorship
Characters: Bad, Adolf saves the day
Sound: Fine, good OP, okay ED, bad soundtrack, average VA work
Enjoyment: Bad, literally just humans squashing bugs
A full year has passed since the events of the first season. Our favorite superhero team has new members and the world around them is going through a series of changes. The new season is bound to pleasantly surprise fans of the first season.