Terra Formars Vol. 9 (Story by Yu Sasuga, Art by Ken-Ichi Tachibana) (a J!-ENT Manga Review)
November 15, 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 to find a vaccine, the officers find out that their are not just the Terraformars they should worry about but also their own people. An action-packed volume featuring one of the best battles to be seen in the series thus far! “Terra Formars” vol. 9 is recommended!
Image courtesy of © 2011 by Ken-Ichi Tachibana, Yu Sasuga/SHUEISHA Inc. All Rights Reserved.
MANGA TITLE: Terra Formars Vol. 9
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 November 17, 2015
A giant swarm of Terraformars is bearing down on the escape vehicle where Bao from Division 4 is holding Akari and the others captive. Virtually defenseless, Bao contemplates a horrific course of action. Meanwhile, Marcos and his team head underground with a plan to hack into the Annex’s communications array and attempt to contact Earth. But Bao’s treachery and his unique ability may be the end of them all, if the Terraformars don’t kill them first!
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. 9 of “Terra Formars”, it was revealed that the Chinese delegation have been working against everyone and are the true traitors and are trying to kill off the other countries officers.
But now, as the USA and Japan teams were barely able to escape from the Chinese and the swarm of Terraformars, Russia who took the full brunt of the battle against China, try to pursue the Chinese officers that are after the USA and Japan team.
But the Terraformars sent their best Bullet Ant and Ground Beetle to decimate the teams. Now, Akari Hizamaru and Michelle K. Davis must do all they can to protect the others and fight the two Terraformars off. But with their teams decimated and have already suffered injuries, will they be able to fight these two powerful Terraformars?
Find out more of what happens in “Terra Formars vol. 9”!
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?
In volume 9, the Chinese are in pursuit of the USA and Japan teams, while Russia who are incapacitated are behind. Meanwhile, the Rome team are also being ambushed.
In order to create a diversion, both Michelle K. Davis and Akari Hizamaru must fight with all their might to take on two powerful Terraformars they have faced yet…a ground beetle and a bullet ant in humanoid version.
With the ninth volume of “Terra Formars”, the teams are being pursued by the Chinese and in order to give the others time to escape and survive, Akari and Michelle must take on two powerful Terraformars which comprise of a bullet ant and a ground beetle, two powerful species combined with humanoid DNA and making them elite Terraformars.
But with everyone suffering injuries, can Michelle or Akari defend themselves and beat these two powerful alien species. And will they give the teams enough time to escape from the Chinese who are trying to hunt them down?
The volume marks one of the most action-packed volumes I have read and it helps that this volume focuses on two of the more dominant humans, Michelle and Akari. And this is not your usual manga battle, this battle is intense and for both individuals, they will need to fight to the death in order to survive.
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 only enemy…it may be the human factions of Earth.
Vol. 9 of “Terra Formars” is recommended!
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