Name: Terra Formars
Release Year: 2014
Genre: Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
Rating: R for violence and profanity
Duration: 24 minutes/Episode
Plot Summary: With the space program attempting to travel to Mars, 21st century scientists were tasked with warming up the planet so that humans could survive on its surface. They came up with an efficient and cost-effective plan of sending cockroaches and mold to the surface so that the mold would absorb the sunlight and the insect corpses would serve as a food source for the mold.
It is now the year 2577 and the first manned ship to Mars has landed on the planet and the six crew members are ready for their mission. But what they find are giant mutated humanoid cockroaches with incredible physical strength. The crew members are easily wiped out, but not before sending a transmission back to Earth. Now, humanity will send elite warriors to exterminate the mutated bugs and claim back Mars.
Imagine a gore-fest where cockroaches have gained human-like strength, speed and agility. Now imagine that they hate you as much as you hate them. Disgusted yet? Well, that pretty much sums up Terra Formars.
I don’t know why I watched this anime; it’s nothing like what I would normally watch, but you know when you’re so disturbed that you can’t even look away? Yeah.
The show introduces us to Hizamaru Akira, a Japanese member of the Annex Project sent to reclaim Mars. He, who has known nothing but hardships all his life, joins the team after his childhood best friend dies from a virus linked to the cockroaches on Mars.
Sounds like the perfect hero with a depressing backstory right? Wrong. We don’t actually get to connect with him because right after the team lands on Mars, they divide themselves into small groups. Every episode after that, deals with a new character backstory. What’s worse is that the show kills them off before we even have time to feel sorry for them, but it still expects you to feel sorry for them.
The only exception to this was Adolf Reinhard, whose backstory was so depressing and his character so intriguing that I wished the whole show was about him.
The first couple of episodes were actually very interesting, and I thought that it’ll be a more violent and depressing version of Attack on Titans, but it wasn’t. It really wasn’t. Below are some of the questions that were going through my head as I watched this:
What is happening right now?
Ew, what’s that yellow liquid?
What is this?!
Why can’t these insects just GO AWAY?
Why am I watching this?!
I read somewhere that the show is supposed to be plot-driven rather than character-driven. But let’s be serious here, there was no plot. Every episode was a bloody mess of human and insect limbs. The violence that starts out chilling and shocking soon becomes repetitive and clearly only used for shock-value. The anime slowly fell into a repetitive formula of introducing a character’s backstory, showing him/her fighting a cockroach, flying limbs, insect facts, and then the result of the fight.
The show had the chance to be REALLY good, but the repetitiveness ruined it. The plot did not advance at all, I mean there is only so much human vs roach fights you can see before you get bored, but apparently the makers of this show disagree. Literally nothing else happens throughout the 13 episodes. I don’t know how they expect people to tune in for the 2nd season. They plot idea is so traumatizing and interesting; they could have done wonders with it!
You know what would have made this show truly epic? First of all, they should have decreased the number of characters, I can’t remember half their names because they barely got any screen time. You can’t connect with any of them because their backstories were not fleshed out, and it wouldn’t have been possible to flesh them out because there were too many of them.
Secondly, there should have been more scenes that did not revolve around fighting those disgusting creatures. We needed to see team members interacting and showing their individual personalities.
Thirdly, more information on how the roaches came to be and why have they declared war against the humans. I am guessing the makers are going to delve into this during the 2nd season, but I am afraid it’s going to be too late by then.
The insect facts (did you know that there is an ant that blows itself up when it senses danger?)
The first 3 episodes
Too many characters
Will I watch the second season? No. But if you’re into a simple story that doesn’t really have a complicated plot and would like to know some very interesting insect trivia, this show is for you.
And finally, here is a picture of a real cockroach for your enjoyment: