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To Terra/Toward the Terra/Terra He
Toward The Terra
Toward The Terra (Part 1)
Anime DVD Review

This new series still looks and feels like the original manga which spawned the EPIC movie in the 1980's (which the editors of anime.com rate as easily one of the best-ever anime of all time), so you know we're loving seeing it all over again, but this time with a much higher production value.

Toward The TerraThe plot will remind some of the overall gestalt of the X-Men: The psyonic "Mu" (mutants), are perceived as a threat by the "normal" humans and are hunted down to be exterminated. Humans now live in a computer-controlled, technology-driven paradise, and have colonized the stars. Any mutant DNA is tested, filtered for and eliminated.

Enter Jomy, a fourteen-year-old who has been having disturbing dreams. Are these dreams a sign that he might be a Mu?

Based heavily on A.E. van Vogt's SF novel SLAN, Toward the Terra is literary-level SF that takes place across the span of a generation, and one of the best ideas ever committed to film.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, September 2008

Terra He
To Terra
Manga Review

Not just another run-of-the-mill wavy-haired psyonic story, Terra He is a classic, epic tale told over the span of an entire generation, boasting one of the most complex plotlines in all of anime history. Created by legendary manga artist Keiko Takemiya, but heavily based on A.E. Van Vogt's groundbreaking SF novel SLAN, the tale is nothing less than the life and death struggle of the entire human race as they evolve, leading to a clash between the "normal humans" and the "Mu" (mutants), which have developed telepathic and telekinetic powers.

Keiko Takemiya, creator of Terra He.
Keiko Takemiya, creator of Terra He.
After seeing how uncontrolled humanity wrecked Earth, survivors organize the Superior Domination and decide to move to other planets and improve on nature: henceforth, all children will be computer-designed for rationality, then purged of all memories at puberty so they can be supervised by a "mother" machine. Sometimes, however, testing discovers that the child is a Mu, a hyperemotional and uncontrollable telepath, who are driven underground by the S.D. Being Mu is a death sentence, as anything "different" must be purged.

To Terra/Terra HeHaving been raised as a normal boy, 14-year-old Jomy desperately resists contact by the Mu, especially the news that he is an exceptionally powerful latent telepath who is destined to lead the Mu back to Terra. They are relentlessly pursued by Jomy's childhood friend who is now a soldier of the S.D. and determined to keep Terra free of Mu contamination.

Takemiya's artwork is a tribute the times it was created in - it has a late 70's early 80's "feel" that is both retro as well as progressive. These days most anime and manga fans don't get to experience art where even the spaceships are "organic" and look grown, rather than crafted in a computer to be hard-edged gleaming metal.

Terra He was such a revolution in manga that an anime theatrical film shortly followed, but it is sadly not currently available on DVD (in the USA). The movie is simply da' bomb. More than 20 years after first watching it, it still sends chills down my spine. Terra He is a masterpiece of storytelling, and wavy-haired psyonics never were better than this. The hair may have been bigger elsewhere, but the characters and situations were never more fully realized than here. Eat your heart out Locke, Soldier Blue kicks ass. These guys are the true veterans of 1000 psychic wars...

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, June 2007

Below: Illustration from the back cover of Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s.

Illustration from the back cover of Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s.

Below: Various panels from the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s. Keiko Takemiya's draftsmanship and storytelling skills are amazing.
A panel from the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s.
A panel from the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s.
A panel from the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s.

Below: A full page layout from the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s. Keiko Takemiya brings the page to life in a bold graphic manner.

A full page layout from the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the early 80s. Keiko Takemiya brings the page to life in a bold graphic manner.

Below: The cover of the the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s.

The cover of the the Toward the Terra manga published by Sun Comics from the late 70s/early 80s. Courtesy the collection of Michael James Pinto.


To Terra/Toward the Terra/Terra He

To Terra/Toward the Terra/Terra He
Website Links:


Vertical Inc.: The American Publisher of To Terra

Toward The Terra TV Show (Japanese)

Terra He (manga) at Anime News Network

Terra He (movie) at Anime News Network

Terra He (TV) at Anime News Network

Slan entry at Wikipedia

Below: The opening to the 1980 Terra He film.



Below: Stills from the 1980 film Toward the Terra.


Toward the Terra: Still image from the 1980 film.

Toward the Terra: Still image from the 1980 film.

Toward the Terra: Still image from the 1980 film.

Toward the Terra: Still image from the 1980 film.

Toward the Terra: Still image from the 1980 film.

Toward the Terra: Still image from the 1980 film.

Below: The front cover of the 'Anime Mook' for the Toward the Terra film from 1980. Courtesy the collection of Michael James Pinto.

The front cover of the 'Anime Mook' for the Toward the Terra film from 1980. Courtesy the collection of Michael James Pinto.

Below: The back cover of the 'Anime Mook' for the Toward the Terra film from 1980. Notice the cool organic spaceship! Courtesy the collection of Michael James Pinto.

The back cover of the 'Anime Mook' for the Toward the Terra film from 1980. Notice the cool organic spaceship! Courtesy the collection of Michael James Pinto.







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