Story: Yu Sasuga
Art: Ken-ichi Tachibana
Translation: John Werry
What They Say
In the late 26th century, overpopulation on Earth is reaching the breaking point, and humanity must find new frontiers. The terraforming of Mars has taken centuries but is now complete. The colonization of Mars by humanity is an epoch-making event, but an unintended side effect of the terraforming process unleashes a horror no one could ever have imagined…the story continues in Volume 15 of Terra Formars.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Though the book’s been focusing a lot on the battles with other humans and various bits of intrigue, with this entry we once more get a full scale battle between our heroes and the Terraformars themselves. And to kick that off, we get a nice flashy reintroduction for the remaining cast, showing them take down their foes in style. For the first real fight of the volume, though, we’re given a battle between Keiji and a peacock mantis shrimp Terraformar. It’s honestly plenty cliché, complete with a “what, you thought I was fighting at full power?” style reveal, but damned if it isn’t satisfying. Like, just a good old fashioned boxing brawl executed with some real punch.
We get a short bit of background for Ivan afterwards, which acts as a decent enough break in the action, but it’s nothing especially noteworthy. Things really heat up, though, when a rescue pod lands, only to be kicked at high speeds literally straight through one of the heroes by an especially strong foe, followed by some more backstory to give it some weight. So yeah, even if it’s not executed flawlessly, it’s still a scene with some real impact and bite to it. To add to the tension, only 3 people can fit in the escape pod that landed nearest to them, making for a very tough decision. It makes for a nice scene between all the characters, and also sets up one hell of an intense fight for those remaining.
Will our heroes be able to break past the powerful enemy before them without suffering further loses? And what of the swarm of roaches remaining? And even after all that, just what form will the rescue vessel take, and will it be capable of extracting them from this hell?
With this volume, the series returns to its strengths: a desperate battle against overwhelming odds, trying to break through a countless number of foes. That’s really captured well here, as it absolutely feels like one hell of a bad situation, making it that much more satisfying to see the characters struggle to overcome it. Of course we get plenty of flash along the way, and in terms of actual battles this book’s unlikely to disappoint. I will say that the flashbacks here don’t feel quite as strong as some of the ones in the past, but even then they’re placed effectively enough to still have some impact. So in the end, though this may not be one of the volumes that leaves a strong lasting impression, it still makes for a great, exhilarating read.
Content Grade: A-
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B+
Text/Translation Grade: B+
Age Rating: 17+
Released By: Viz Media
Release Date: November 15th, 2016