Terra Formars Ep. 2: Bloody but somehow dull at the same time

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Well, I was hoping for a more interesting anime to write about, but it hasn’t gotten subbed yet. So for now, another episode of Terra Formars will have to do. It’s not a show I’m terribly excited about, to be honest. For instance, I think I’d have more fun laughing at the twintails anime than this one, but the former doesn’t come out for another week. Oh well…

— Thanks for the quick health lesson at the start of the episode. There’s no new information here other than that the virus is called the Alien Engine Virus. Silly name.

— For all the talk about viruses, terraforming, and space travel, it’s kind of odd to see the anime refer to the year as “Christian Era 2620.” I guess the BCE/CE thing has gone by the wayside in this alternate universe.

— What’s our first bit of character development? Sheila is in love with Shokichi. Uh-huh, sure, the exotic foreigner has a crush on a man twice her age. I’m not saying it’s impossible. I’m just saying it feels a bit like wish fulfillment. I guess I’m just too cynical to comprehend love in the anime universe.

— Who the hell stumbles upon a half-dressed anyone then proceeds to gawk at said person for long, uncomfortable seconds? The lady has some mega-sage advice for Sheila, though: “Women are meant to love at any time.” I don’t even know what that means. But as she walks away, Eva goes, “I wonder if she’s considered positive boobs.” Who write this dialogue?

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— With twenty days left until they reach Mars, people are already starting to pick fights with each other. For such an important mission, there are hardly any attempts to lead or establish camaraderie between the team members. Ah well. I never thought Terra Formars would be a very intelligent show, but I was hoping for at least average intelligence.

— I guess we’re content to burn time, ’cause now the anime cuts to a bar in Japan. A guy and the bartender talk about how they’re going to talk about Annex 1, but then we cut back to said expedition without that talk ever taking place. Okay then. That was a great scene. Totally eye-opening. I learned a lot.

— It also doesn’t seem like these guys have anything to do but to mill about and play catch with a baseball. You’d think that by the year 2620 they’d have some killer virtual reality simulations or something.

— But hey, with six minutes left in the episode, we’ve finally reached Mars! They sure are focusing heavily on Sheila’s crush, though. What, is she going to die soon or something? Haha, Terra Formars wouldn’t be that predictable, right?

— Eva is scared, you guys. There’s a stark lack of, well, either of the two main characters. Shokichi has made two announcements thus far. Other than that, he’s been a ghost. As for Akari… where the hell is Akari? Sure, a story should develop its side characters. But it’s only the second episode and the main character is taking the backseat already? Michelle hasn’t said a damn thing either. I just think that now’s the golden time to convince the audience to care about these three characters. After all, it’s painfully obvious that we’re going to be stuck with them for the long haul. On the other hand, I don’t care about Sheila when the death flag is so obviously hanging over her head.

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Furthermore, her story sucks. She has a crush on Shokichi, but she’s too scared to tell him her feelings. Really? That’s it? What is this? A slice-of-life anime about high school students? No, they’re goddamn adults on a trip to fight potentially racist caricatures of black people. As such, why the fuck are you feeding me this bullshit schoolgirl crush nonsense? Honestly, a bunch of men and women stuck on a ship for 39 days…? They’d just start fucking like rabbits. So it makes this schoolgirl shit even more lame.

— Oh no, some security cameras have gone out! Don’t tell me the terraformars are somehow aboard the ship. You’d think the ship would have various ways to detect additional lifeforms in 2620… Oh yeah, the terraformars have disabled the surveillance system too. That’s… that’s something, alright. The terraformars are apparently this intelligent, but due to… plot contrivances, any attempt to communicate with them is just impossible. Okay.

— A pair of guys (I still haven’t learned all of their names) are curious why someone is still showering at this point in time. One of them comments, “It’s not exactly a shampoo… but the scent of a woman.” Again, what does that even mean? Apparently, it means to creepily violate someone’s privacy: “And is it wrong as an organism to be drawn by such a scent?” Cool!

— It turns out that scent of a woman is really just a terraformar killing the hell out of some poor Chinese girl. We don’t even know her name. She’s just some Chinese girl. Anyway, the terraformar had apparently snuck into the showers just to club the girl to death. Where did it even find such a huge club on a spaceship? We not so subtly cut back to the bar in Japan, where the bartender “clubs” a cockroach to death after saying how these bugs just seem to be able to get into everything.

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— Elsewhere on the ship, everyone’s just getting slaughtered left and right. Y’see, even though they’ve all undergone the special surgery to give them powers, they still need some medicine to activate their powers. So they’re just sitting ducks. But scenes like this one are all you can expect to see.

— Here’s how the episode comes to an end: the two wannabe peeping-toms finally reach the storehouse where all the medicine is stored, but when they open the door, they see that the terraformars are already smashing everything up. One of the terraformars even picks up a vial of medicine, then snaps it in half in front of everyone as if to taunt our “heroes.” It’s so goddamn corny. Was I supposed to roll my eyes at that? ‘Cause I rolled my eyes at that. I don’t know, man, the show is just so hard to enjoy. It’s just… kind of a stupid.

— I gotta say, there wasn’t much to talk about this week. For 75% of the episode, everyone just dicked around on the ship, talking about nonsense. Oh great, Sheila has a crush… who even cares? Then terraformars start wrecking shit up. For such a bloody, violent anime, it’s actually kind of dull.

— C’mon, someone sub the Garo show already. I want to see if it’s any good.

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16 thoughts on “Terra Formars Ep. 2: Bloody but somehow dull at the same time

    1. Anonymous

      To be fair, I don’t think 99.9999999% of anime that have ever been made can pass ANY test. Not to beat a dead horse here, but have you ever tried entering Kirito or Tatsuya into a Mary Sue test? They fuckin’ shreds that shit to ribbons.

      Those silly gaijin, thinking that Western tools like the Bechdel Test to keep literary standards high means anything to our superior Nipponjin created sublime gods’-hand written pieces of art.

      Reply
      1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

        “I don’t think 99.9999999% of anime that have ever been made can pass ANY test.”
        That’s quite a silly statement to make for a lot of reasons.
        It’s also silly to think of that test as a real test rather than a broad reminder to not pigeonhole female characters.

        I mean really:
        “1. It has to have at least two women in it”
        That’s silly if taken at face value. There can be a story with only male characters and I’ve read stories where it only had one character as the focal point.
        “2. who talk to each other”
        If the female characters are at opposite ends of the world without any interaction between them then this is also a silly mandatory stipulation.
        “3. about something besides a man.”
        Which would imply they CAN’T talk about a man, in any way, which is plain stupid if they happen to be friends with a male protagonist or if they’re just friends with each other and one of them has a crush on a man.

        The Bechdel Test simply cannot be taken literally and certainly is not something to “keep literary standards high”. If it was seriously meant to be taken at face value then it’d be a disgustingly crippling set of arbitrary rules that stifle narrative originality and innovation.
        _It IS, however, an extremely useful tool as a reminder to budding writers (and forgetful older ones, I suppose) to not think of female characters as “women-first, characters-second”. It’s better to think of them as characters who just so happen to have vaginas. Much like writing homosexual characters or characters who are of a race other than the author, it’s their personality and role in the story that define them, not their chromosomes, race or preferences.

        And since you mentioned literature: Literature, like novels and any kind of written narrative, have been around since the Epic of Gilgamesh and possibly even earlier (only counting actual narratives and not cave drawings, obviously). Of any form of storytelling, literature is the one medium that doesn’t need to have any tests tacked onto it. There aren’t, and shouldn’t, be any rules for literature that must be followed on penalty of shame or failure (aside from the obvious).

        Also your last paragraph is, to be frank, nonsense. To imply that the Japanese are somehow less capable at writing good literature than the West in any way is ridiculous. Do you know what one of the first novels in human history was? “Tale of Genji” by Murasaki Shikibu.

        I’d suggest you read a novel, my Anonymous poster, maybe something outside of the confines you’re used to. Dune is amazing, and while not on the same level, I really enjoy Vampire Hunter D. I’d suggest Yasutaka Tsutsui’s “Paprika” but I can’t find an English copy.
        _Of course, you could also watch any given Satoshi Kon film for good anime and story telling.

        Reply
        1. Anonymous

          Firstly, it’ll be helpful if you looked up the definition of “sarcasm”, “joke” and being “facetious”.
          Granted, text doesn’t very well convey tone accurately 99.999999% (get it?) of the time, but this time around? Yeah, it’s clearly not meant to be serious. At all. Like, seriously. A joke. We’re on the Internet aren’t we?

          But, bravo to you. For putting so much work and time in something stating the obvious though.
          I’d excuse you if you were foreign and weren’t familiar to the subtle art of sarcasm in the English language, but seeing how your English is fine, I’m a little confused.

        1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

          True, Flawfinder, but we have to keep in mind that this is the anime equivalent to “Jason X”.
          It’s really the audience’s fault if they expect any of the slaughter-fodder to act like anything but stunted meat sacks devoid of common sense and personality. haha

    1. Anonymous

      This cast is surprisingly racially diverse, but that of course means that the death toll is more racially diverse. But of course our main character who’s going to kick the most ass is a glorious Japanese guy, because that’s completely likely and realistic if we’re talking about real-world statistics.

      But we should tally how many Chinese characters are killed of brutally before we start pointing fingers.

      Reply
  1. IonCaron (@IonCaron)

    “BCE/CE”
    I had to look this up since I’ve seriously never heard of this before, not even during my time in college. Apparently the “C.E.” stands for “Common/Christian Era”, so technically the anime is using it. It’s simply using the alternate variation of that designation.
    _I guess this gore fest is trying to take that up instead of the more commonly used “BC/AD” designations. I have no idea why, though. Maybe the writer was/is an academic? Would be funny to find out the creator of TerraForMars had conceived of their masterwork during their sociology class. haha!

    Anyway, I assume it’s a dull watch because if they made it more like the OVA more quickly then half of the episode would be…well…exactly like the image you showed us. It’d be just blackness all over the screen for 18mins.

    I don’t know, mate. I’d really enjoy the continued deconstruction of this show, but that’d only be good if it went full retard with superpowers and shounen nonsense like with the OVA. If the thing is going to be watered down and censored so horrendously then there’s just no point, though. It barely has anything to offer as it is. Without the stupid bug powers it’s just a slasher flick, and without the visceral imagery, due to censoring, it won’t even have that to offer.

    Up to you as always, mate. Maybe it’d be fun if we ran into concrete evidence that the roaches really are meant to secretly symbolize a hatred of black people. Bigotry is fun to mock. Otherwise it’s just retarded Melba toast with the sledgehammer metaphors.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      “BCE/CE”
      I had to look this up since I’ve seriously never heard of this before, not even during my time in college. Apparently the “C.E.” stands for “Common/Christian Era”, so technically the anime is using it. It’s simply using the alternate variation of that designation.

      My point is that it’s silly to refer to it as the Christian era when the entire ship is full of people from so many different cultures.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Yeah, I’ve pretty much expected this judging from the OVA.
    There’s nothing really intelligent put on the table and its only real schtick is extreme violence which is nothing special nowadays.
    Wait, there’s censorship. So… yeah.

    Since I tend to avoid anime forums at all costs just because how ridiculously FULL RETARD they get, I’m wondering how hyped up this show was.

    Reply

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