It is in the year 2599 AD that overpopulation on Earth reaches the breaking point, and humanity must find new frontiers and a new home. In preparation for this, Earth has been in a centuries-long terraforming process of Mars, introducing moss and cockroaches to speed the transformation. Two missions, Bugs 1 and Bugs 2, travel to Mars to see the result of that terraforming. What they find is the horror called Terra Formars.
Twenty years after the ill-fated Bugs 2 mission, there is a new mission to Mars, Annex 1. This mission is crucial to finding a cure for the A.E. Virus which is currently plaguing Earth. As Terra Formars, Vol. 3 (Chapters 9 to 19) opens, the mutant Terraformars, giant humanoid cockroaches, have infiltrated the Annex 1. Captain Akari Hizamaru initiates “Emergency Plan Delta.”
The crew divides and escapes in six high-speed escape vehicles. The mission is to get to the surface of Mars and to capture three live specimens of the Terraformars. To survive, the humans will need all the new powers of Captain Hizamaru and Michelle K. Davis, both no longer human and a bit more than an insect.
THE LOWDOWN: The Terra Formars manga is a strange manga, and one full of surprises. It gets stranger at least every two of three chapters. Illustrated by Ken-ichi Tachibana and written by Yu Sasuga, it is a science fiction manga, a horror manga, and a horror of science fiction manga.
Terra Formars Volume 3 makes it clear that the series builds tension on the fact that humans have found a foe that is more than their equal and is shockingly capable of matching wits with them. I don't know where this series is going. It seems as if it is a battle manga, but the goal of the fight is extinction. I think that the intriguing thing is that both the future story lines and finale are a great dark unknown.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Fans of seinen manga will want to try the VIZ Signature title, Terra Formars.