Post by Zak
Quick Side story: Today stared really ominous for me before writing this review. When I was preparing to heading out to uni this morning, I’d decided to pack my umbrella which I had left by the door last night. When I go to pick it up I find a cockroach lying underneath it. After quickly finding a shoe and squash it, I find out that it was carrying eggs. Just saying seeing black cockroaches and their eggs first thing in the morning before reviewing Terra Formars … pretty ironic.
Do you like me, find that no matter how old or desensitised you are to cockroaches, there is always a innate fear that kindles deep within. Now imagine if those cockroaches evolved to be 2 meter tall humanoids with all their natural strengths and abilities scaled to human size. Now imagine there is a planet wide infestation of them on our nearest neighbour Mars, and to make matters worst previous expeditions to exterminate these creatures has brought back an incurable disease that is 100% fatal. These are the challenges the people of the 27th Century face, and humanity is put under even more threat as the dangers continue to grow. The year is 2620, the brave crew of Annex I and her captain, Shoukichi Komachi, now set off into the vast wilderness of space to combat this threat with new biological weapons to face the Cockroach Intrusion.
Terra Formars is a great Horror, Sci-fi, Seinin filled with tons of fantastic artwork and gore. Much like how Attack on Titan’s creepy faced Titans scare people, Terra Formars introduces a threat that everyone fears on a primal level, A Giant Cockroach infestation. With a terrifying enemy, the vast isolation of space and suspense filling the initial volumes, this is a must read for fans of horror manga. Although, despite how good Terra Formars is as a Horror manga be warned some core elements of the manga can be irritating. If you hate Sci-fi stories that spoon feed you every single scientific explanation no matter how basic by a God Narrator, this will be an exhaustive read. And, if you are not a Nipponese Nationalist or a Weeb with no sense of irritation towards Japanese racism/xenophobia this can get on your nerves very quickly, especially if you are into Black/White racism debate. However, if you can get past the nationalist Japanese propaganda of this manga, this is still a nerve wracking manga to read in a dark room on a cold stormy night.
For me what excelled over the rest of the irritating parts of this manga was the mystery and horror feeling the initial volumes provided. The horror aspects of this manga are done really well and the artwork does a fantastic job of supporting it. The isolation/claustrophobic atmosphere the artwork provides is great and it brings out many of the same feelings you would get from watching something like Alien (1979). The monster cockroaches in this series are also drawn amazingly well with a 3D level of shading that makes their horrifying presence jump out of the page. By far the way in which the early chapters of Terra Formars hooks you into it’s story is fantastic with the early volumes providing some great entertainment. However despite this the Sci-fi parts of the manga drained my initial hype more and more as I realised how the lack of scientific mystery there is to this world.
I won’t spoil any hype for you know but just know that the major plot reveals of the Bugs 2 mission left me demystified with the world and the characterise and the plot began to appear more like a B movie than a space horror. Things like this early on took away the hype I had from the premise and the formulaic battles got me even further detached from this series. The manga is good and if you’re a fan Space Horror that’s fine, but I prefer more mystery in my Sci-fi horror manga than what Terra Formars provides. Overall, this is a nice manga to check out if you wan’t to get a nice tension filled space horror manga, however know that unless you become attached to the characters, you’ll likely find limited enjoyment past the initial arcs. Check out the first 3 stellar volumes of Terra Formars in the club room this week, and get ready for a Josei Classic with Nana.