Those who’ve been frequenting my blog for the past few months probably have seen me ramble about the “big three” of the spring-season: Bokura no, Kaze no Shoujo Emily and Toward the Terra. While a lot more excellent series have been released in the past Spring and Summer-season, these three form the cream of the crop, they’re all consistently outstanding in their own way and are without a doubt my favourite series of the past half year.
Today the first one has ended: Toward the Terra. It’s an epic science-fiction series about outcasts with psychic powers called the Myu. The storytelling is incredibly fast-paced. You hardly run into an episode that doesn’t have some kind of climax. While most other anime need aftermath- and introduction-episodes for fleshing out the characters, the episodes in Toward the Terra flawlessly combine the quiet moments along with the tense ones, and it works like a charm.
It’s clear that the writers have talent, because not only do they write some of the best action-scenes (which finally are more about the characters than the action itself) I’ve seen the past year, they also excel in the character-development department. If you watch the first few episodes, you might wonder why such a beautiful tale can come from just teenagers, but don’t worry: around episode ten, we see countless of time-leaps, and the real meat of the series happens when around ten years have passed since then. This provides countless opportunities for character-development, and Toward the Terra grabs all of them. Because of this, it features one of the best antagonists I’ve seen in anime, just because the guy gets such an incredible amount of development. Around the middle of the series, the plot-twists become so mind-boggling that you won’t be able to predict them, and watch out for episodes 21 and 22: they’re quite close to the best and most emotionally charged episodes I’ve ever seen for the past year.
In terms of production-values, Toward the Terra also delivers. While it’s impossible to beat El Cazador’s soundtrack in the past season, it easily grabs second place with a bunch of epic tunes, perfect for the fast and slow pacing. The graphics also look awesome, but be aware that the character-designs are different from usual. If you’re used to the character-designs of series like Kanon or Shakugan no Shana, then you’re going to have to get used to the character-designs of Toward the Terra a bit (see the screenshots).
Regarding the bad points, for me the quieter episodes near the beginning and the ending that weren’t as good as their preceding ones were a tad disappointing. I expected to be blown away by the episodes, and while some did with a huge force, others didn’t. The first few episodes also might be a bit hard to get into, due to the fact that the main character gets a bit whiny at times, but don’t worry: he’ll change into someone much better.