Terra Formars Vol. 20 (Story by Yu Sasuga, Art by Ken-Ichi Tachibana) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)

February 3, 2018 by  

I enjoyed this latest volume, I’m hoping Sasuga can maintain consistency, as inconsistency has hurt the manga series.  But as vol. 20 brings upon the war between humanity and the Terra Formars, I can’t wait to read vol. 21!

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Image courtesy of © 2011 by Ken-Ichi Tachibana, Yu Sasuga/SHUEISHA Inc. All Rights Reserved.

MANGA TITLE: Terra Formars Vol. 20

STORY BY: Yu Sasuga

ART BY: Ken-Ichi Tachibana



RATED: T for Older Teen

Available on January 16, 2018

The members of Ichi Security and the SPACIALS continue their deadly fight on the artificial island in an attempt to rescue the human hostages of the Terraformars. But the human traitors’ incredible technology closes in on Akari and Michelle as they make their escape. In the confusion, Hongo launches a suicidal attack that brings him face-to-face with a mysterious warrior who knows a terrible secret about the coming apocalyptic battle for Earth!

The Terra Formars have been waiting for the moment to invade Earth and now the invasion has begun and their target is Japan.

The beginning of the human vs. Terra Formars war begins in vol. 20!

And the mission is to take down the Invoker.

What is “Terra Formars”?

In 2011, writer Yu Sasuga and artist Kenichi Tachibana would create “Terra Formars”, a manga series that would become a major hit in Japan.

First serialized in Shueisha’s “Weekly Young Jump” and an OVA and anime series slated later this year, “Terra Formars” was ranked #1 in the 2013 “Kono Manga ga Sugoi!” top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey.

With nine tankobon volumes published in Japan, “Terra Formars” vol. 1 will be released in the United States in July 2014 courtesy of Viz Media (on the Viz Signature imprint).

With Earth looking to colonize Mars which is undergoing its final stages of Terraforming and now becoming a green planet, a group of 15 men and women have been sent to Mars to check on the Terraformation of the planet.

Meanwhile, on Earth, the planet is falling into ruin due to environmental destruction and energy shortages, so Mars has been the focus by scientists.

Scientists have used moss and a black organism to darken the surface of the planet and causing it to absorb more sunlight, increase temperatures and melting the carbon dioxide.

The black organism used by scientists were cockroaches.

As the 15 men and women of BUGS 2 arrive on the planet on their mission to evaluate the planet but also to find out what happened to the first crew (BUGS 1) that landed on the planet.

The team discover that the Terraforming has succeeded but to their shock, the cockroaches have mutated with human bodies.

As the Japanese members, Shokichi Komachi and his childhood friend Nanao Akita try to make contact with one of the beings, the humanoid cockroach snaps Nanao’s neck.

And now the humans have become the hunted.

Because the cockroaches exhibit all abilities of a cockroach, it was learned that scientists embedded human DNA in them and their mutation has made them beings that would not just survive in Mars but also exhibiting human characteristics and a hatred towards humanity (as humanity has had a hatred towards cockroaches).

But humanity also has found a way for humans to counteract the cockroaches by using injections of insects on humans that will briefly give them insect powers. But is it enough for the humans to survive in Mars as they are now considered the pests for the planet in which the humanoid cockroaches are the primary species?

In volume 20, as America steps into aid Japan to rescue humans in the China Sea, America entering China Sea is seen as an act of war.  But when China is to give a press conference to the world, instead of human, it’s a Terra Formar.  And with the press conference being shown all over the world, the Terra Formas decide to invade Earth.

Which leads to a battle on Earth between the humans and the Terra Formars.

Just when you think the story has strayed off course, fortunately Yu Sasuga was able to bring “Terra Formars” back to what made the manga awesome in the beginning.

The manga series has always been a story about human survival against the Terra Formars.  And because of what humans have done in trying to create a weapon, suffice to say, experimentation and corruption has led to an invasive species now on Earth and are threatening invasion.

And what Sasuga was able to create is a really smart story of how the invasion takes place and delving into Japanese politics about what happens if a Prime Minister goes down and how it eventually leads to the temporary downfall of the entire cabinet.

And in this case, the perfect opportunity for the Terra Formars to strike when Japan is unable to respond.

Also, the way the story is written about the threat between a pending war between America and China (as China were the antagonists) and using the threat of invasion to show unity between all countries to fight a common threat.

And now it leads to this all-out, action-packed war that is featured throughout the pages of vol. 20.  The artwork by Ken-Ichi Tachibana is fabulous but if anything, Yu Sasuga manages to bring things back to its roots, building upon it and making it a more interesting story.

So, as I enjoyed this latest volume, I’m hoping Sasuga can maintain consistency, as inconsistency has hurt the manga series.  But as vol. 20 brings upon the war between humanity and the Terra Formars, I can’t wait to read vol. 21!

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