Posted by psgels on 22 September 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews, Toward the Terra


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.

29 Responses

  1. Hoshia says:

    THIS IS MY FAVOURITE ANIME EVER!
    There are lots of awesome and touching episodes that totally catch my heart,esp. Matsuka’s death. But I have to admit that some quite episodes are not as good as those exciting ones. The ending is a good and harmony one,that’s not bad.

  2. Mythophile says:

    This is one of the few animes I can honestly say is a winner all the way around. While my inner fangirl wanted some things to be a different, I can say I’m pleased with the way they wrote this one. It doesn’t suffer from the wild ups and downs in terms of quality and pacing that many animes do.

  3. sovayfox says:

    I love this tv show a lot. the ending I waited for and watched all at once. it was one ofhhte best I have ever seen. thanks for blogging it.

  4. Aya says:

    Thenk you for blogging this series.
    I looked for this anime’s blog in English, but I could find few though I believe this series is owesome, so I was happy. Episode21&22 was very very good, I think so, too!!!
    Thank you for reading my poor English.
    Terra he…DAISUKI!!!

  5. monta says:

    Hoshia, don’t put spoilers in your comment please *rolleyes*. some people want to read the reviews to know whether it’s worth watching or not

  6. Sarah says:

    I totally agree…I just watched this two days ago and stayed up until 3am in the morning. It was that captivating. The only real critique I have of it is that sometimes the series took itself too seriously, especially in the beginning when I wasn’t quite into it completely yet, and the ending was a little too rushed. But still, I think everything else overshadows these flaws.

    For one thing, I thought to myself, “finally, a sci-fi anime series which actually focuses on the characters for once, and not how many things can be blown up.” Alright, I’m not giving enough credit to those other series. They do attempt to have character development, but it almost always ends up shallow with the characters being simple and two dimensional. I mean, I don’t care about action scenes unless I care about the characters first; then I’ll be really into the battles, wanting them to win and not get killed and whatnot.

    I also praise the character design for Blue. When I saw him, I was like, wow he is beautiful. And damn, the writers can really do sad scenes because I cried at the end; there was such an emotional impact with this series for me. I began watching Macross Frontier today and it’s sad that, although the budget is obviously larger and the animation is higher in quality, Toward the Terra beats it by miles. Or at least I think so.

    Anyways I think I’ve said enough. Sorry. I rambled but I don’t think this series gets enough recognition, and while it’s not my all-time favourite, it’s still up there.

  7. edward says:

    it is so facinating how similar this series is to battlestar galactica [reimagining] all the main beats of both shows are verry different but the bases is their. myus fleeing to find the paridise of terra[aka :earth] a place they can call home. [galactica: the colonists fleeing with the human race away from the cylons to find earth their new home] [p.s mild to big spoilers ahead incase anyone havent seen galactica]

    and in the middle of this series the myu’s find a planet and start living on it until the humans find out and they have to escape and leave.

    in season 3 of galactica the colonists find a planet they name new caprica and start on it until the cylons apear and inslave humanity until they escape.

    and for the ending.

    terra: everyone finally finds earth but is broken hearted to find the once beautiful paridise is a beautiful waistland.

    galactica: almost the same happends here. the colonists reach earth. everyone is overjoyed until they land and a broken adama picks up a dead peace of earth looking at the baron waistland that sarounds their feet. they find that earth was destroyed in a nuclear hollicost 3’000 years ago.

    many of the themes are similar too abeit galactica is MUCH more complicated and tackles human emotion in proberly the most realistic way ive ever seen in tv. powerful stuff.

  8. Montel says:

    Ok I must admit I let lose a few tears at the end of this series, the soundtrack compliments the story well, and the characters are well thought out. There are no characters that any amount of reasonable time was spent on that did not play a part in this. I love how the story comes back to the nature of human beings to be basically sheep doing what they are told but when confronted with the reality they take action. long story short its a good series touching and moving definite recommendation.

  9. Tan-Tan says:

    I just finished the series.

    Fuck. Just fuck.

    Just fucking awesome.

  10. Nichokiu says:

    A very special thank you to the author of this review for introducing one of the most epic and brilliant animes I’ve ever feasted my eyes on!!!

    To be honest, I was juggling whether to watch this anime for weeks… to me, the animation designs turned me off a bit, and when I googled the anime, the screenshots and pictures didn’t seem all that exciting, and the design of the characters seem to be quite poor.

    Boy, was I DAMN wrong. I watched the WHOLE anime in 30 hours.. sleeping only 3 hours. I’ve never been so intrigued with an anime before.

    Now I rarely swear, but I echo the comment by Tan-Tan above… this anime is “F*CKING” AWESOME!

  11. temperus says:

    I’m four episodes in, and I can’t stand this show so far. There is no suspension of disbelief; everyone is a one-dimensional idiot, led by more idiotic one-dimensional characters. I will try to stick through past the first time skip, because I really do want Terra e to impress me, since everyone rates it so highly. But so far it’s really tough to muster up the will to do so.

  12. Nichokiu says:

    Trust me temperus, this anime goes no where but up, up and up from episode 4..

  13. Tan-Tan says:

    Alleluia, Nichokiu.

  14. jho says:

    I just got to finally watch this anime. oh my gosh. How is it that I miss top 5 of all time shows like this? Just wow…

  15. Nichokiu says:

    This anime is so damn good I come back here to post even after a month’s time. Geez, I probably rewatched it 20 times already! >.

  16. exuver says:

    Ahh I just started watching Terra again for the like… billionth time… and I have to say it still ranks way above animes like Macross Frontier, Gurren Lagann, (both of which I could not stand) and a lot of other high budget, popular franchises.
    It’s still without a doubt my #1 heartbreakingly awesome choice.

  17. Nichokiu says:

    Second that so whole-heartedly exuver!

    It saddens me that so many out there are missing out on such a brilliant gem!

  18. Sarah says:

    Jeez, after a year since my post I came back to check this blog JUST to read the praises people have been writing for Toward the Terra. That’s how much I love this…I’m such a goner for this series >

  19. Matt Glatz says:

    well Ive seen the first 6 episodes and have not been impressed. i think my standards were to high, not bad but definitely not awesome

    but ill keep watching for a couple more episodes hopefully it gets better

  20. Kurage says:

    Thanks for blogging about this show, as I would never have watched it otherwise. It truly is an amazing series. Now excuse me, I need to go buy the dvds!

  21. shreyasee says:

    I keep watching Terra again and again and again.And each time I watch it I shed tears. Its my favourite anime

  22. shreyasee says:

    I keep watching this anime again and again and again.And I just love it!

  23. anusha says:

    this is the heck of an anime.without doubt all those who watched it were stricken with emotions.I couldn’t sleep for a few nights after i watched it

  24. arzamond says:

    it’s good, interenting and enjoyable
    really worth ur time

    but the plot logic flawed… imo.

  25. cRystaL says:

    nichokiu,,i totally agree with you, ‘ya know..i’ve watched a lot, and i mean a LOT of animes, but Toward the Terra is just one heck of an AWESOME anime!!and i echo your comment, “it saddens me that so many out there are missing out on such a brilliant gem!”..it’s just sooo amazing, but why can’t other people notice it?..whatever..what’s important is that i got to know this fantastic anime!!yeahhh….!!!

  26. kimi-chan says:

    can u watch kaze no shoujo emily online? if so, where?

  27. devilzzy says:

    I’m so glad to have stumbled upon this review as I did, as many others, contemplated on whether to watch or not. I’m a fan of many sci-fi or space type anime where it really focuses on not only characters but the plot as well; but after watching macross frontier I was pretty let down seeming as its budget and rave about it was pretty high.
    Thank god I decided to watch this as now it’s in my all time top 5 and has definitely made me shed tears throughout the whole series. Sure, the first few episodes where Jomi was selfish and self-centered was pretty.. hard to get through but it only got better and better. For all those who are interested in sci-fi or space anime in general and has not been impressed by the first three episodes or so, I say keep watching. It really only gets better.

  28. Souther says:

    I would give the series a relatively lower rating, but generally speaking the results were still very enjoyable and satisfactory for me. Definitely underrated and worth watching.

    The ending did seem slightly rushed, though I don’t have any problems with the bittersweet nature of the result. It’s fitting for the material and, as they say, there’s still some hope left.

    As for the characters, I would have to say the cast is good, as a whole, but I ended up preferring Jomy to Keith. He is an effective antagonist, to be sure, yet the problem is Keith keeps up his stone face for way too long. He develops, no doubt, but the small glimpses we get about his feelings and emotions don’t really cause him to change until the story is almost over.

    Now, I haven’t checked this out myself, but I’ve heard that in the original manga he shows more critical thinking skills and questions the system even before the ending, which is also apparently similar in general but significantly differently in some specific areas.

  29. Deepak says:

    Thank you psgels for introducing me to such a wonderful anime

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:29 PM)
    @Kaiser Someone who actually still likes Nicholas Cage outside of his internet memes? To me he’s one of those actors who at this point, I can’t visualize playing a role outside of himself. Similar to how I can’t see any of Steve Carrell’s movies without seeing Michael Scott.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:19 PM)
    @Bam Yup, asking for money online is flawed in almost every way from the donor’s point of view, a lot of my former art history degree friends have taken to Patreon in a last ditch effort to float their poor career choice.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:46 PM)
    With synecdoche it has the benefit of Hoffman’s performance and to get it you just have to “Feel it”.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:45 PM)
    Adaptation is one of those films with Nicholas Cage where you really wish he’d do more of, I wasn’t expecting that to go so off the rails near the end.
    Being John Malkovich, I dug the crazily creative premise.
    Anomalisa felt so human that the characters are puppets you can easily forget that.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 07:42 PM)
    @Bam: I really want to use Urotsukidouji as my reasoning for why more messed up stuff should be adapted, namely kara no shoujo but the industry will just never be that hardcore anymore.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:44 AM)
    In a world where Urotsukidoji gets 3 series of OVAs there is nothing you want to make that is too risqué or edgy that nobody would want to pick up. I get a small startup trying to push their fist film out, but most big Kickstarters are ran by bigname talents that already have a string of hits on their resume. C’mon, just have some faith in your work, it’s just crazy to ask for money upfront.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 10:37 AM)
    SuperMario: I assume you mean Charlie Kaufman’s new film, in which case he already did pretty much whatever he wanted. Have you seen Synecdoche, New York and Adaptation? Now I’m a big ran of the man, but this creative control card gets a bit overplayed. The Under the Dog producers claim the same thing, but looking at their trailer it doesn’t look like anything that Japanese studios don’t already greenlight.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 09:01 AM)
    for me though, I only pay for projects that I’m certain to watch (and have to pay for it eventually), so I don’t see the point not to “helping” them out. It’s all the same for me.
  • SuperMario
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:58 AM)
    @Bam I think the core concept is 1) with Kickstarter, many projects that otherwise never could have made is get supported here and 2) creators have more artistic control over their project. Take Amonalisa for example, big studios was very hesitate to fund the film, because of the commercial failure of his first film, but he insisted to get crowdfund and we have one of the more creative animation output last year.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 08:53 AM)
    A lot of the tech stuff is things you will never use twice; like a smartphone microscope attachment. they’re usually pretty shifty with it too. Yeah I’m sure it takes the price of a house to make a video series about sexism in videogames- right? And it takes almost a million dollars to make a 4 level indie game with three guys- seems legit. Must be pretty nice to basically do business with zero chance of failure.

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