Disclosure Time: I bailed out on this show after three episodes, as it did violate my Rule Three of Anime (“If you feel the show is not going to get better, leave it. It is NOT going to get better.”) In my opinion, this is one of the worst animes I have seen this year (fighting for that title with “Blue Gender”) and the worst anime I have seen since “Peach Girl”. Now, this differs from one I don’t like. There are some shows that just miss for me or aren’t worth my time from the capsule description. This one I at least watched to draw my conclusion (and my repeated open).
In 1974, there was a band called “Rose and the Arrangement” which put out the novelty tune “The Cockroach That Ate Cincinnati”. This series, “Terra Formars”, might as well be subtitled “The Cockroaches That Took over Mars”. The plot, such as it is:
In the 21st Century, Earth decided to colonize Mars. Well, it’s not the most hospitable place; it’s like Cleveland, but with no Starbucks. To aid in this transformation, it was decided to send two hardy life-forms to start the process of terra forming. Molds would help generate a breathable atmosphere and all that comes with it. Cockroaches could survive anywhere and would give the mold something to eat when the bugs die off. Then, we forget about it for 500 years. What are you, stupid?
So, now, in the 26th Century, it is time to reap the rewards of our work. We send an expedition, which promptly gets wiped out, so we send another one. What are you, stupid? Well, they nearly get wiped out, but come back with a horrific tale. It seems that the cockroaches have mutated and now are bipedal, stand between seven and eight feet tall and apparently have spent the last 500 years pumping iron, so they have massive muscles and rippling biceps and killer abs and thighs that can crush your head like it’s papier-mâché.
Look, it’s bad enough those bastards crawl into my kitchen at 2 am to eat my pizza, I’ll be damned if they are going to take over an entire planet, so it is decided to send a Special Force to do this. What are you, stupid? Now, these folks need a special operation that makes them stronger, but it kills two in three (actually seven in ten, but who’s counting?) When we have our force of six hundred or so (can’t tell exact numbers, much like cockroaches), they are sent to Mars…..only to have the Cockroaches infiltrate the ship and start to kill folks off. This is where I get ticked off.
It’s bad enough it’s terrible science fiction. It’s bad enough it’s terrible war. It’s unforgivable that it’s terrible horror. OK, now horror is not a genre I chase after. There are some good shows (“Sankarea”), some iffy ones (“Another”) and some terrible ones (“Corpse Party”), but this is what got to me. The site I saw it on had modesty bars so you never saw people getting killed. What are you, stupid?
There is a scene, where one of the roaches is wreaking destruction. There are six black dots to cover the fact that some of the crew had their heads crushed like they were papier-mâché, but they do not want me to get grossed out by the red puddles on the floor. Sure, if I was maintenance, I’d get really angry. Blood is not the easiest thing to clean up and you have to treat it as HazMat and that’s a major hassle. But when I am watching the show and I am losing 40% to 60% of the screen because you don’t want me to see the gore, then why have it on in the first place? When I chase after horror, I know what I am, more or less, going to be seeing, and then you take it away because you think I might get offended because someone got their head ripped off? Funny, when the bugs are cleft from crown to perineum, they can lie in a pond of their green goo, as that’s OK. What are you, stupid?
Do NOT watch this show. Even if you can find a censor-free site, the turgid drama is slow and leaden. And the fashions! In the 70s, there was a clothing company called Eleganza (you can do an Internet search for it). These folks defined the fashions of the era, with leisure suits and wide ties and shirts with collars so big, you could be your own Flying Nun. The folks on the space ship dress like there is the biggest disco party on Mars. I’m surprised the craft didn’t look like an orange 1975 Trans-Am with “Superfly” cranking out on the 8-Track player.
And the best way to kill a cockroach? Diatomaceous Earth. You can get it at nearly any garden center. This fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of the insect’s exoskeleton, causing them to dehydrate. The fun part? It is not toxic to us. Try that with a can of Bug-B-Gone! You just cover Mars with it and go back in a few days (and not 500 years). Too easy? Sorry.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (It feels off and the fashions!)
Plot 6 (It just got in the way of the horror)
Pacing 6 (Too much exposition)
Effectiveness 0 (Because I gave up)
Conclusion 0 (GAVE UP)
Fan Service 0 (GAVE UP, so I never saw if they had any)
Overall 2 (And that’s being generous)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. What are you, stupid?