I don't know what's going on here, but every other person that is reviewing this manga is full of bullsh*t(except Yakub).
Terra Formars is a gore-intense manga set in the distance future of year 2577. 500 years ago in the 21th century, scientists came up with the plan of mass-dumping cockroaches and moss onto Mars in order to increase the overall temperature of planet Mars, so that it would be suitable for human inhabitation.
However, when the ship Bugs 1 lands, something unexpected happens. They discover that the supposed cockroaches were replaced by giant 2 meters(7 foot) tall muscular humanoid creatures with incredible strength, thus the communication from Earth and Bugs 1 were lost. Learning from this lesson, genetic engineers worked to increase the potential of human by implanting insect genes into the bodies of humans that were to aboard Bugs 2, the second attempt to colonize on Mars.
The overall manga is characterized by a complete, uncut, and explicit gore that the manga provides. With the massive cast it has, many of the characters die off ususally in violent and cruel ways.
With that being said, lets get to the reviewing of its elements.
The artwork is rather realistic in the shading and drawing of the characters. Though the faces of the characters can't be said to be 100% realistic, they are most certainly not exagerrated such as in many moe-based manga are.
The designs of the Cockroaches are very athletic bodies of human, as well as detailed drawings of the spaceships earns an "8" for this manga
This is where the scores starts to drop. While an overall premise exists, the plot and the characters that are piloting it are generally ignored throughout the course of the story as it turns into more of a battle manga than anything, the story can still be enjoyed, though it is to keep a note that the plot isn't as prominent as the seemingly mindless fighting.
Also, many plot points broughht up earlier in the manga are almost never touched.
The setting is the worst part about the show. To enjoy this manga you would need A LOT of suspension of disbelief. As this show is set in 500 years in the future, how could Cockroaches evolve into gigantic sizes in such a short time? Is it even necessary? Since they are the only form of life on the planet, all they have to do is adapt to the environment and then feed off of the mosses. And what about the countries? Its hard to imagine that the political situation isn't much different from today. Hell, one of the characters even called the Russian guy(who got a bit of cameo) a "born communist", you are telling me that communism vs capitalism is still alive and well, 500 years in the future?
And what about monitoring? With such a huge project, surly the world is anticipating it, probably even more than we would have anticipated the moon landings, I mean, a premise of the series is that "Earth grew unhealthly overpopulated", so Mars is suppose to be our next hope right? Even now, we can see Mars from our Telescopes, its hard to imagine, FIVE HUNDRED YEARS INTO THE FUTURE, we are still not able to spot countless giant man-like creature on the closest planet to us.
Most of the characters are given a back story, but that's it. Many characters do no survive into the story, so they are somewhat irrelevant. But what is bad is the modern-day stereotype in the series. The German is named Adolf, and the Chinese barely have any screen time, as well as the Russia being a "born communist". Many of them sound the same on manga, its almost difficult to distinguish between the characters.
And of course, a disproportional amount of the main cast are Japanese, which is somewhat unrealistic considering there were basically 1 character to represent each MAJOR country otherwise.
However, it is still interesting to watch the cliched speechs and the problems they overcome.
The style of telling the story is confusing to say at the least with multiple view in many different characters, the flow between them almost seem to not exist. The story is based on battle and battle, as well as genetic engineering. Early on in the manga, there would be info-dumps about some kind of insect, or some obscure animal that the main characters have underwent surgery for.
The style of art is brutal and realistic, making no qualms to show the inside of the human bodies, as well as a person's spine when his head is pulled out of his body.
Should I read this Manga?(TL;DR)
If you enjoy gory depictions of humans facing against a seemingly superior being, as well as the premise of space travel, you should definitely pick this one up. Though if you are looking for deep character development, or a light-hearted romcom slice of life series, avoid this at all costs. Beware also if you do not enjoy oddly paced story telling.
You should also watchout for the info dump in the series on the various animals of our planet, that is one of the most interesting points in the stories and you may learn a lot more.
In essence, Terra Formars is a good manga, but not as much as the other reviewers praise it to be. it has obvious flaws but can be considered a rare series where intense battles can be seen with lots of gore, if you are willing to suspense your disbelief.