Hopefully if you are reading this there are two things you like. The first thing you like is anime; because why read this review if you do not like anime. The second thing is action and violence in anime. If neither of these are too your taste then read no further, it will not interest you. Now recently i watched the anime Terra Formars , I would like to offer my quick opinion on what i think it did right/wrong.
A quick summary of the show is that it covers an expedition of soldiers to mars, who have been enhanced with the powers of bugs allowing them to combat mutated cockroaches. These cockroaches were put on mars , along with some algae, to make the planet habitable for humans. In the years these cockroaches were left alone they mutated into caveman like creatures. The creatures look appropriately muscular for mutated super creatures. The one issue i have with their design is their head and faces. The eyes of the "Terraformars" as they are called, seemed to me as if they were a pair of tiny glasses. That small detail made them seem too comical too me. There was something about their face in general that off put me and i couldn't take them completely seriously.
I watched this show over two days (though that is a small feat since it is only 12 episodes long) and the main thing that attracted/excited me was the level of violence and action. The show managed to strike a nice balance of bloodshed and brutality , without causing the watcher to feel overly uncomfortable . It should be noted that i could only watch the first 4 episodes uncensored due to a lack of availability , but i noticed no difference when switching to the "censored" version. People and monsters a like were both destroyed with equal levels of brutality. Without going into too much detail, an early scene involving a spine had me replaying it over and over. All this brutality and death made me think of another anime Akame Ga Kill. Despite many issues i had with the end of Akame Ga Kill, one thing it did great was create an "anyone can die at any time" atmosphere. Terra Formars has a kind of atmosphere that is quite similar. Early on characters are introduced who you expect to become important and have fleshed out roles, only for them to get wiped out with barely and screen time. This creates a great connection with the characters. Any time one who had been suitably introduced found themselves in a tough situation i found myself tense, desperately hoping for them to make it through. I liked many of the characters, many were good people. If i had to pick one would to describe them it would be...
Depressed. Everyone of the characters is depressed. It seemed as if every character had a sad back story as to why they were willing to risk their lives on mars. It seemed as if every episode revealed another sad childhood or dying loved one. One character who i had never seen before started to spout off their story of a dying child as they were carried away. These sad back stories all served to deepen the connection i felt to the characters. I desperately wanted them to survive and return to their loved ones. A particularly poignant back story involved a man who had lived a life of torture from researchers and betrayal at the hands of loved ones. All these back stories are nice , but they lead to a problem of pacing. Too many times the back stories would take up precious time from battles. Specifically during the middle of the series i found myself screwing around with my phone as i watched ( a grave offense i seldom commit while watching anime). Despite that stumble in pacing, the end of the show is action packed and ends at a great starting point for (Hopefully) another season.
Overall Terra Formars is a great show for those who love action and violence. On top of the action there are p
lenty of intriguing mysteries waiting to be revealed. The characters are suitably developed with sad back stories , although the large cast makes it hard to remember names. Thankfully each character is very distinct once they transform. I cant wait for a second season 8/10