Toward the Terra

August 13, 2016 at 7:24 pm (7 Heads, Toward the Terra) (, , , , , , , , )

Toward the Terra – 1980 – Japan

After Terra (Earth) is ruined by war and pollution, the survivors establish a totalitarian government called Universal Control. They create a computer program called Mother to breed a new race of genetically modified humans. These test tube babies have implanted memories that make them complacent and unemotional, thereby preventing mankind’s irrational tendencies from ever destroying the planet again. Occasionally, a mutant is born. These mutants are called the Mu. Each is physically disabled in some way (blind, asthmatic, mute), but they accommodate with psychic powers. Hunted by Universal Control, the Mu hide in their underground city and plot rebellion.

Toward the Terra follows Jomy Marcus Shin, an unruly teenager who discovers he is one of the Mu. He joins the Mu resistance, leading them to colonize other worlds and eventually wage war against Universal Control. The film’s epic plot spans thirty years and ends with the humans and Mu destroying Mother and building a new society. As the credit rolls, a song plays called “All We Need Is Love”.

Toward the Terra’s sweeping narrative is impressive. Its ideas are interesting and challenging, and each of the film’s many characters has an important and dramatic role. Toward the Terra is serious about its ideas—maybe too serious. Some more humor and romance might make the characters a little more human (and entertaining).

Toward the Terra is an anime movie based on a manga by Keiko Takemiya. The manga was also adapted as an anime series in 2007. Toward the Terra’s animation is antiquated but nice. The futuristic cities and spaceships look cool, and there a few visually powerful scenes. In one, a Mu woman goes crazy after her son is killed. She psychically immolates herself and the spaceship she is on. The animation of the woman being engulfed by twisting pillars of flame is expressionistic.

Rating: 7/10 Shrunken Heads. Jomy has a pet that is a cross between a squirrel and cat, but with green fur and human-like ears. It is supposed to be cute, but it is freakish.


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