Tag Archives: terra formars

Terraformars REVIEW

The Fall 2014 reviews begin today with one of the first series to feature on the calendar. The world that humanity once called home is looking to broaden its reach to its nearest habitable world, Mars. In the late twenty-first century, man sent samples of algae and cockroaches [one of the hardiest creatures on Earth] to Mars in a hopes that these could terraform the planet [generate air and plant-life] so humans can move in the future. Five hundred years later, this mission has worked. Sort of. The mission’s head didn’t anticipate the cockroaches transforming into super-strong humanoid cockroaches that can break a man in half as if it were rice paper. Terraformars is about humanity claiming back the world of Mars with tons of blood and guts…if you could actually see them!


The show takes place in the early twenty-seventh century when a young man named Akari is the subject of great interest of the United Space Agency (U-NASA) after his wife is the victim of a new virus which is believed to have originated from space. This strain of disease has the potential to wipe out humanity and the team have no leads; except one. That planet that they tried to colonise centuries ago…what was it called again? MARS. This is what you get when you play god! In an attempt to not only gain a foothold in the fight against this new virus but to eliminate the threat that destroyed two previous expeditions, Akari and dozens of other recruits are offered special treatment to prepare them for combat and Martian life. Led by the survivors of the previous mission, BUGS 2, the team of Annex I aim to eradicate the threat of the Terraformars and discover an antidote for the biological threat that is looming closer. This sounds like a pretty threatening premise…if you weren’t thwarted by black bars which take up most of the screen.


I’m going to go onto this very quickly because this problem is a HUGE one. Black bars. Censorship in anime these days is fairly common when you have more risque and violent series; you usually find it done very cleverly or subtly (i.e. as rays of sunlight next to a window or dark shadows in a dingy room). Recent laws have required this to happen and most creators have adapted smoothly, or as smoothly as they can. Terraformars doesn’t do that. All of the blood, all of the shock, all of the immersion is ruined when you are greeted with censor bars which, at times, take up eighty percent of the viewable space. Some move jerkily around if gory material is being shaken about; or heads are blacked out if they’ve been crushed. I have never seen censorship in a mainstream anime go this far; it’s ridiculous and unnecessary. It is also cheap – a blatant tactic on the part of Liden Films (the makers of the show) to generate sales of the uncensored Blu-ray and DVD release in the months ahead. You might think that because the content is so violent and that this is going out on Japanese TV that you would need to adhere to this kind of censorship; I don’t agree. For starters, the show goes out at 12.30am. This is at a time where any kind of watershed will be long expired. Also, there’s the fact that another equally gory anime, Parasyte, is airing with very little or NO censorship whatsoever AT 1.30AM! If this was a consensus amongst all broadcasters, both anime would be equally censored; but it’s not. Instead, we have an anime which is compromised. Extremely.


So what do we have when things aren’t censored? Well, we have a bit of a narrative mess, especially at the beginning. The first two episodes covering the initial recruitment of the characters, including Akari, is in actuality covering the first TWO VOLUMES of the manga. The writers have compressed three hundred pages of content into forty-five minutes of screen time. As a consequence, the plot is severely rushed and stripped clean. The first episode especially left me confused as most of it involved Akari fighting a bear in some kind of freak show for rich people. I had no idea what was going on. Presentation-wise, it’s a little pretentious. Jaunty angles and epic camera pans are thrusting the idea that Terraformars is another Attack on Titan. How? The epic camera swooshes, the overpowered Akari and executive officers being the only hope, the RIDICULOUSLY strong Terraformars themselves and humanity being under threat by them. This show wants to be the latter but it fails because it’s mostly dull; characters talking about corruption and sundry matters. The genre is meant to be action, so make it action-packed more often.


The Terraformars though are pretty menacing. For the first couple of episodes, they are portrayed as silent and brutal killers with no idea of emotion. Hyper intelligent, fast, strong and scary. Sounds like a perfect monster; you’re left wondering about how you can tackle a being like that. Well, you have to make a medicine to help level the playing field; but they’re onto that. Episode two has a moment which made me perk up and upped the stakes tremendously regarding the Terraformars. When they opened their mouths though and yelled, it sort of diminished their fear factor but they are still frightening; you wouldn’t want to meet one in a dark alley…or anywhere for that matter. The way they are presented, including the animation itself is respectable, if a little stiff. There are grand shots, mass action and detailed backdrops; but the animation of the characters is a little lacking and lazy. One example is one scene when the executive officers are fighting the monsters and then we cut to another scene; we return and the Terraformars are dead, most of them killed off screen. Great. Are we supposed to be impressed by IMPLIED strength? Maybe, but I want to see bugs being smashed; especially since we don’t see anything else remotely gory.


I think Terraformars has potential to be pretty good in terms of pure action. One of those sci-fi properties like the original Total Recall or Alien where there’s tons of over-the-top action and bags of character. However, I cannot excuse the censorship rife in this show. It taints the show for me and I cannot recommend the show because of it. Crunchyroll has recently announced that, for one day only, they would stream the first three episodes uncensored; probably as a response to the mass criticism or merely as another marketing exercise. It’s hard to tell but all this hiding behind black bars has overshadowed this anime entirely.

TERRAFORMARS is available to stream on Crunchyroll.

RATING: CANCEL [With regret – this cheap ploy for disc sales negates the potential that this series has.]

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Fall 2014: Preview Summary

The Fall 2014 season is just about to begin in earnest, with some shows beginning their runs in the past few days and others very shortly. This season has had a mixed bag and a surprising lack of NEW sports anime. Also I have merged the Game genre into the others to save confusion. One thing I’ve noticed is that there a lot of visual novel adaptations this season and not as many light novel adaptations.

If you missed any of the individual genre videos, click the following links to catch up!
Action / Fantasy & Magic / Comedy / Slice Of Life / Sci-fi & Mecha /

Now let’s take a look at my Review Priority Rating index [RPR] and how I rated the twenty nine anime eligible for review:

High 4
Medium-High 11
Medium 11
Medium-Low 2
Low 1

You can rate the anime you’re most looking forward to in the poll below or CLICK HERE.

Remember, these ratings are based on first impressions and things can change as I begin watching them. Some can go up or down in estimation, you never know!

These shows have managed to catch my interest down to their innovative art styles, compelling plot and different spin on previously established archetypes. Reviews will be more forthcoming for these titles.

High Priority: Denki-gai no Honya-san, Kiseijuu, Magic Kaito 1412 and Sanzoku no Musume Ronja


The medium-high list are the shows which are still very good but didn’t quite fill me with rapture at first sight or seemed to play it a little to safe for my liking. Reviews will be posted slightly later.

Medium-High Priority: Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken, Donten ni Warau, Garo: Honou no Kokuin, Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, Nanatsu no Taizai, Ore Twintails no Narimasu, Orenchi no Furo Jijou, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, Shirobako and Terra Formars


The medium list comprises those productions which have either been considered good or inconclusive based on little or no information. This third premise is for shows that have either had no trailer or minimal content surrounding it published. Instead of labelling it bad, medium is a temporary default for such titles.

Medium Priority: Akatsuki no Yona, Amagi Brilliant Park, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, Grisaia no Kajitsu, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Sora no Method, Trinity Seven: 7-nin no Mahoutsukai, Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete and Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru


The medium-low priority list is populated with shows that seem to either be OK or slightly disappointing based on its promotional presentation. Some of these shows DO have sparks of potential and I’m hoping to see them shimmer and generate a better review score.

Medium-Low Priority: Madan no Ou to Vanadis and World Trigger


The low priority list. The shows which seem to have no hope for being good or original. The shows whose existence is questionable, depressing or bemusing. Two of these titles are here because there’s no trailer or supporting content to go with it other than one poster and a small blurb surrounding its plot. Their outlooks aren’t good but you never know. What I do know is that these will be reviewed with less of a priority than the other shows listed.

Low Priority: Girlfriend (Kari)


Based on the tally, the season is looking to be quite good! Most of the anime are in the average/above-average category and only three are less than average. Of course that can differ once the shows begin broadcasting but for now I have high hopes for the season ahead! These results should be used as a barometer about what to watch; these are what I think will be good or not so good. In the end, it’s up to you; we have anime to watch! Good hunting.

So what anime are you looking forward to? Now’s your chance to vote for as many shows as you like so we can get a gauge on what the Anifile audience is excited about. If the results for one show in particular are high enough but the show is further down the review list, I will respond by pushing it up a little bit.


Fall 2014: Sci-Fi & Mecha

Next up we have the Sci-Fi & Mecha genre. Surprisingly, this is a very small list for this season. Granted, there are two new Gundam shows [Gundam Build Fighters Try and Gundam: G no Reconguista] but these are continuations or variations of the original Gundam franchise and as such are ineligible for coverage here. Only one new mech series this season! True there are shows that I’ve listed in different categories, like World Trigger, that COULD be considered sci-fi but their premise, I find, is geared more to that other category than it is to sci-fi; your definition may differ from mine. In any case, let’s take a look at the two candidates.


Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryu no Rinbu

(Cross Ange: Rondo of Angels and Dragons)

Animation Studio: Sunrise
Origin:  Original Sunrise [Director – Yoshiharu Ashino]
Date of Premiere: October 4th

Sunrise returns to produce YET ANOTHER giant robot franchise. Enter Cross Ange, a world where magic exists (albeit in a pseudo-technological kind of way). Everyone is able to use this new “Mana” technology; except our main character – Angelize! She’s the heir to the Misurugi Empire but upon the discovery she is “out of mana” she is outcast from the kingdom. She then teams up with a gang of similarly discarded misfits who pilot giant robots fighting against inter-dimensional dragons – woo!

Initial Thoughts
Hmm, the premise is a little harsh, don’t you think? Mind you, why would you want a leader who is ‘inferior’ to the major population? Bold but harsh. What taints my expectations for this show is that the main cast of characters are all exploited in terms of fanservice. I’m all for an all-female team of mech pilots, but I don’t like the fact that their uniforms are pretty revealing; it cheapens their strength and the integrity of the story. I pray that the fanservice is otherwise kept to a minimum, I really do.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium (Medium Low if the fanservice gets out of hand)



Animation Studio: Linden Films
Origin:  Manga [Sasuga/Tachibana]
Date of Premiere: September 26th

This one is quite straightforward. Mankind is ready to conquer Mars; but Mars isn’t ready for mankind. As such, humanity launches a five-hundred year mission using cockroaches and mould to terraform the Red Planet and make it less red. In 2577, a mission to Mars receives a grim reminder; the cockroaches they sent have evolved into super-roaches! After wiping that initial squad, another mission is sent to fight the roaches now armed with genetically enhanced soldiers. It’s time to take Mars!

Initial Thoughts
Oh man, this premise is pretty bonkers. It’s pure science fiction and something I really respect. The whole idea of science fiction is to excite and go insane; you have no tethers holding you back and do whatever you want and this is what is going on here! It looks like a real thriller with tons of action and violence; just be sure that you don’t mind seven foot tall bugs walking around!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High


The sci-fi & mecha genre may be small this season but the titles are pretty ambitious in their approach! Tune in next time for comedy!