-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.