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Terra Formars Volume Two – Review

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“Intelligence is based on how efficient a species became at doing the things they need to survive.” – Charles Darwin

For weeks now I’ve had a bad taste in my mouth thanks to the appalling Anime adaptation of a Manga I find myself very exciting to continue reading; “Terra Formars”. Riddled with censorship, the Anime has so far only worked to diminish what positive popularity the Manga had built.

This hasn’t stopped me from wanting to continue the Manga, though. If anything, it has made me want to read the Manga even more with the hopes that it will explain more and show all the things the Anime refused to and thanks to our friends as Madman Entertainment I’ll be able to keep reading the Manga completely for free!

Though…from what I’ve read so far, I would have no problems at all paying full price for every new release. Volume two marks the beginning of a whole new generation of characters and the third crew to be sent off to Mars.

This time, though, they know what’s up there waiting for them and they’ve made some pretty serious preparations to avoid the slaughter that occurred the last time they were on the red planet. Don’t be fooled, I’d still read the first volume. Not only is it damn good but it sets up a great deal of what’s to come in the story. To read my review of it, Click Here.

Thailand, twenty years after the ill-fated Bugs 2 mission. Two American U-NASA agents arrive to find Akari Hizamaru, a child born after the operation, and recruit him for Annex 1, a new mission to Mars. The purpose of Annex 1 is to research the origins of a new disease that is ravaging the earth. But the reasons why U-NASA would need the incredible powers that Hizamaru possesses are still a closely guarded secret. Once again, humanity launches an expedition to Mars that has frightening implications for the future. – Madman Entertainment

I was surprised, after watching the Anime adaptation, that volume two featured so much backstory regarding the main characters. The way I saw it and the way it played out in the Anime; the characters were just “there” and it’s up to you to figure out who the hell they are. The Manga, on the other hand, is totally different: You’re given exactly what you need to know about the crew of Annex I. Nothing more, nothing less. Everything that played out, played out perfectly. There was no joke that ran on longer than it should have, there was no explanation that ran longer than it should have, there was barely any action but somehow it still kept me entirely engaged.

Maybe because, by the end of the first chapter, it was made very clear that this is a setup for the war against cockroaches that is about to begin. Volume two did a great job at outlining the characters you NEED to know about…just so that when they die you’ll be able to mourn them properly. Let’s be honest, that’s where this Manga is going. Usually the first volume of a Manga is the setup volume but it seems as though “Terra Formars” is changing the game just a little bit, making the SECOND volume the setup volume. The first was full of action, blood and gore which in itself was pretty informative but not as informative as volume two. What I’m getting at is…volume two rocked and it really just served to expand my appetite for this series. Simple as that.

Like volume one, the art in volume two was “on point”. Kenichi Tachibana, as I stated in my last review, knows exactly what he’s doing when it comes to his drawings and, despite the vulgar scenes of death and carnage, he knows how to illustrate things in a way that will still keep people reading despite just how unnerving they are. Yeah, seeing a young lady get ripped in half is something you’d usually look away from…among other things. In “Terra Formars” you feel sorrow when a panel like this comes around…but you don’t put down the book.

You keep on reading because, somewhere deep inside, you kind of want to see it again. What he’s knows best is intimidation. We see this in the cockroaches themselves but we also see this in the human characters who, when basically trapped on a spaceship together for three months, can get a little hostile towards their fellow “astronauts”. Tachibana is clearly a master of illustrating action and gore, so being partnered up with a writer like Yu Sasuga who’s very good at working with tragedy is a perfect combination.

Volume two did exactly what I hoped it would do; it washed away the terrible memories of an Anime not quite ready to be made. It answered a lot of the questions that were left after episode one and genuinely did a great job at setting up what’s to come which, obviously, is exactly what you want from the early volume of a Manga. Volume one perfectly setup the world of “Terra Formars”, volume two perfectly set up the specific story of Annex I.

The way this volume ended, my assumption is that volume three will feature a GREAT deal of combat and I have no problem with that at all. Not just because I’m a fan of action but because we’ve been given enough information on these characters to care about whether or not they live or die and without that, “Terra Formars” would have no impact at all. Thanks to volume two…volume three is going to be devastating. The good kind of devastating.

Grab yourself a copy of “Terra Formars” Volume Two through the Madman Entertainment official website: Click Here.

Grade: A+

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4 comments on “Terra Formars Volume Two – Review

  1. I need to grab a copy of this soon – I’ve been a little surprised with trying to find it in stores up here, not sure whether they’re not stocking it, or it’s just selling well. I managed to catch the first three uncensored episodes on CR (sadly missed the second batch, damn the 24-hours-only thing they had) and it looks to be pretty good when you can actually see what’s going on! I’m hopeful CR will make the full uncensored series available once it’s finished airing.

    But yes, everyone did just appear in the anime, so I’m interested to get more background info on the characters. Is the info on all the characters, or just the young recruits?

    • Frank Inglese

      If mostly focuses on the recruits but you’re also introduced to characters that are seen for maybe ten seconds in the Anime, most of which play pivotal roles. I will never watch the Anime after reading volume two of the Manga because it seems as though what they did for episode one was cover the events of volume two of the Anime but cut out most, if not all, of the backstory. I dont know how they thought they’d get away cutting so much from the source content.

      • Hmm. Well I have no knowledge of what’s to come, but maybe it was just a timing issue with all they need to fit in later episodes? While I notice the lack of info with all the new characters, I didn’t feel it was a major issue (I may rethink this after reading vol 2, who knows) that lowered my enjoyment of the show. I feel more like the anime will improve after reading the manga, to give me the extra info.

        It’s like books to movies – it annoys me they cut so much out, but I understand it’s something they have to do. The only thing that really annoys me is when they change major plot points.

        Can you tell I just really want to like it? Even though they seem to have no care at all about trying to ruin it as much as possible? However, I just did a quick search and it looks like now if I visit a couple of stores I can pick up volumes 2 and 3 – xmas reading I think!

      • Frank Inglese

        Yeah, look don’t let my comments deter you at all, I stopped watching after the censorship in episode one so I have no more to compare but I cannot recommend the Manga enough. You loved Volume One so I can see you really liking Volume Two as well :)

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