Fall Anime Review: Terra Formars

The fall anime season is coming to a close, and many of the season's anime have already concluded their run, so it is time to look back and review each of the anime that I watched this season, which is 32 anime, including a few shorts. Unlike my summer anime reviews, my fall reviews are not in order of worst to best, but rather whichever anime that happened to finish soon enough for me to review, since several anime have yet to finish their run. Another change is that since some anime require more than a brief 500 word review, but less than a full in-depth review, several of my longer reviews will be posted solo on the weekends, in addition to the multiple review posts during weekdays. Hopefully that makes sense, so without further ado; here is my review of Terra Formars to kick off my fall anime reviews.

Terra Formars
Terra Formars takes place 500 years in the future where earth attempts to make Mars habitable by introducing various chemicals, mold, and the most indestructible creature on earth, the common cockroach. After 500 years of mutation due to the chemicals, and possibly other mysterious reasons, the once benign cockroaches are now humanoid killing machines. To assess the situation on Mars, genetically altered soldiers and scientists are sent to investigate. Each of the members of the expedient has an ability based on the attributes of various insects and animals. 
As you might remember in my seasonal impression,Terra Formars got off to a rough start with absurd amounts of censorship that nearly ruined the series. Thankfully, after viewer uproar, the uncensored cut of the early episodes were released for a limited time on Crunchyroll, and the later episodes were animated in a way avoided censorship most of the censorship, so that the action was still intense. 
My favorite aspect of Terra Formars is the concept. Using attributes based on animal and bug powers, yet actually take the story seriously, is not something that I have seen before. It seems like something that would make a killer video game, and as antagonists, the Terra Formars are imposing and almost terrifying at times.
Aside from the concept, Terra Formars did a few other things well. In Terra Formars, anyone can and will die, so the action sequences have consequences, and the action sequences themselves are intense and use smart strategy and tactics to win. Lastly, many of the episodes focus on a single character, or a small group of them, with flashbacks to earth and to show what they are fighting for. Not all of the backstories are compelling; however, several of them did succeed in making the audience care about the character to a degree. Also, in terms of personal entertainment, the series was worth rewatching when the uncensored cuts were released on Crunchyroll, and I almost never rewatch anything.
Terra Formars is Liden Films' first series, and while they seemed to have had trouble with their style at first, as the series progressed, the art style proved to be rather unique. The character designs are more realistic, which lends itself well to the serious seinen tone of the anime. With a higher budget, Liden Films could have a promising future in the seinen genre. Also, the opening song, "Amazing Break," is just awesome.
One issue with Terra Formars is that the series starts around the middle of the manga, at least that is what others say, so the characters reference some things that happened in the past, and yet anime only viewers do not really know what they are referring to. However, before the series aired, there was an OVA about the previous mission to Mars. Currently, it is unlicensed, so you have to watch it in fansub, but I do highly recommend that you watch the OVA before watching the main series.
Terra Formars' biggest problem is that the series ends with, what is essentially, a "to be continued," almost as if a second season in already in the works. Maybe we will be getting a second season, which I will definitely watch, because the concept of Terra Formars is fantastic, even if the series did not entirely deliver. Until a second season is announced, or if you are okay with a "read the manga" ending, Terra Formars is difficult to recommend. However, if you are like me and enjoy the action, concept, and characters, despite the lack of conclusion, then give Terra Formars a watch.
Watch if you like: Sci-fi, Action, Thrillers, Terra Formars' concept,

Please check back tomorrow for more fall anime reviews.

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