Terra Formars Vol. 8 (Story by Yu Sasuga, Art by Ken-Ichi Tachibana) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
September 9, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“Terra Formars” is an exciting, violent but addictive series that I am looking forward to! As humanity depends on the survivors on Mars, how will Earth’s only survivors of the mission survive another day on Mars without medicine and advanced weaponry? But to find out that the Terraformars may not be the true enemy…it may be the human factions of Earth. Vol. 8 of “Terra Formars” is recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2011 by Ken-Ichi Tachibana, Yu Sasuga/SHUEISHA Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Terra Formars Vol. 8
STORY BY: Yu Sasuga
ART BY: Ken-Ichi Tachibana
FIRST PUBLISHED IN JAPAN: Shueisha, Inc.
PUBLISHED IN USA BY: VIZ Media, LLC
RATED: T for Older Teen
Available on September 15, 2015
In a sad reflection of the situation on Earth, factions among the human explorers on Mars fall into conflict with each other, a fight they can ill afford as the relentless Terraformars continue to close in on them. The cockroaches have begun to display more human-like qualities, and the battle becomes even more desperate. If the humans can’t set aside their differences long enough to face this threat, death is the only guaranteed outcome…
With a new mission is being set by U-NASA (20-years after the disastrous BUGS-2 mission), this time, this latest expedition is for the survival of humanity as a virus has swept Earth and the only known antidote is in Mars.
New recruits have been selected and a powerful group of officers that are part of Annex 1 are on their way to Mars, but to the surprise of anyone onboard, the Terraformars have gotten aboard and now it’s a fight for survival in the spacecraft traveling to Mars.
As the onslaught of Terraformars have killed many of the officers of Annex 1, but those who have survived and fought back against the humanoid/cockroaches are now starting to discover that it’s not just cockroaches that are on the planet, other insects are also on Mars and each of them have fighting capabilities.
With vol. 8 of “Terra Formars”, we find out that every recruit sent by their respective countries, were not exactly working as a team, they were working as factions for top secret missions for the benefit of their country.
But with the traitors revealed to be China, other countries must make a decision of whether to form a union.
And with China in control of the labs and the Annex, Russia has entered their area, just to be attacked. And now, the Russians and the Chinese must do battle against each other, while a new group of Terraformars wait for the prime moment to attack.
Find out more of what happens in “Terra Formars vol. 8”!
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 2 of “Terra Formars”, the manga is set 20-years later and Shokichi Komachi is now the new head of U-NASA. As one of the few survivors to escape from Mars and survive the cockroach onslaught, the Earth he has returned to is not just facing an overpopulation problem but also a widespread virus that came from Mars.
The bad news that the only way to stop it is to confirm the existence of the virus and determine its type and bring it back to Earth in hopes to create a vaccine.
But will Shokichi find a new group of people willing to sacrifice their lives for humanity by going to Mars and prepare for the onslaught of cockroach/humans that have infested the planet and want nothing more than to kill the humans?
As the Terraformars have invaded the spacecraft of Annex 1, it becomes a battle of survival as the recruits must prepare for a crash landing on Mars, but to find out that not only have Earth’s recruits have evolved, so have the Terraformars!
In volume 4, the officers come across different types of Terraformars that somehow have other insect abilities. Did they evolve that way or is someone responsible for the insects becoming bipedal humanoid.
And in volume 5, learning that these Terraformars have managed to evolve possible with other insects that were kept behind on Bugs 2. And now, Adolf Reinhad of Germany and his crew must survive in their fight against them.
In volume 6, the onslaught by the Terraformars continues and as the Division 1 has no extra serum to continue fighting or heal themselves, can the team of Lt. Davis and Alex save Division 1 in time?
Meanwhile, it appears there is a traitor amongst U-NASA and that the Terraformars are much more developed than expected.
In volume 7, it is revealed who the traitors who sabotaged the U-NASA mission and why they did it. As Divisions 1 and 2 finally regroup and plan their next strategy, back on Earth, we see how nations are politically corrupt and are working in their own personal best interests and their thoughts of even rescuing the divisions on Mars.
Low on medicine, low on weaponry, will the surviving divisions have any chance of survival on Mars?
In volume 8, the Chinese have revealed that they were never on anyone’s side and are in control of the lab and annex. And with the Chinese feeling they can eliminate all other teams sent by various countries, the Russians are the first to arrive and take them on.
Who will win in this fierce battle? And what about the Terraformars?
With the eighth volume of “Terra Formars”, a lot has changed as the battle between human vs. Terraformars has now changed to something much more corrupt as humanity must face each other, as China is revealed to be the country who sabotaged the mission and because they control the lab and Annex, they have become the powerful group on Mars.
But back on Earth, as the countries leaders must decide on what to do with China, they all know that by uniting as a team, they may be able to defeat them. But due to political corruptedness, each country has their own reasons for going to Mars and their own reason to ally with another country.
But on Mars, the first country that arrives to take on the Chinese are the Russians. Do the Russians have any chance of defeating the powerful Chinese crew? And what about the Terraformars? It’s one thing to fight against these powerful modified alien bugs, but now having worry about human factions?
The artwork by Ken-Ichi Tachibana is magnificent. Characters are well-detailed, artwork is just pleasing and the action is well-featured. And of course, the writing and research done by Yu Sasuga has really made “Terra Formars” a fascinating and captivating series.
But I am starting to enjoy the research that Yu Sasuga has put into the creating the various cockroach/insect Terraformars but the planning that went into the powers that would be utilized by U-NASA to fight against the Terraformars and the political ramifications by the corrupt leaders of various countries. Everyone was in it for themselves, when it came to the mission and now, all hell has broken loose!
Overall, “Terra Formars” is an exciting, violent but addictive series that I am looking forward to! As humanity depends on the survivors on Mars, how will Earth’s only survivors of the mission survive another day on Mars without medicine and advanced weaponry? But to find out that the Terraformars may not be the true enemy…it may be the human factions of Earth.
Vol. 8 of “Terra Formars” is recommended!
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