Toward the Terra

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Toward the Terra
Toward the Terra LD Cover.jpg
Cover of laserdisc release of Toward the Terra depicting Soldier SHIN (The Chosen Soldier of Soldier BLUE)
地球へ…
(Terra e...)
Genre Science Fiction, Supernatural, Psychological
Manga
Written by Keiko Takemiya
Published by Asahi Sonorama (original)
Square Enix (reprint)
English publisher
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Gekkan Manga Shōnen
Original run January 1977May 1980
Volumes 3
Audio drama
Station NHK-FM
Original run July 23, 1979July 28, 1979
Anime film
Directed by Hideo Onchi
Studio Toei Animation
Licensed by
Released April 26, 1980
Runtime 115 minutes
Anime television series
Directed by Osamu Yamazaki
Written by Satoru Nishizono
Studio Minamimachi Bugyōsho
Licensed by
Network MBS (and other JNN stations)
English network
Original run April 7, 2007September 22, 2007
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Manga
Terra e... ~Keith of the Blue Light~
Written by Fumino Hayashi
Published by Square Enix
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine GFantasy
Original run May 2007 – ongoing
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Toward the Terra (地球へ… Terra e...?) is a Japanese science fiction manga series by Keiko Takemiya. It was originally serialized in Asahi Sonorama's Gekkan Manga Shōnen magazine, between January 1977 and May 1980. In 1978, it won the very first Seiun Award for manga,[1] and in 1980 also won the Shogakukan Manga Award for shōnen/shōjo manga (along with Takemiya's Kaze to Ki no Uta).[2]

In 1980 it was adapted into an anime movie, produced by Toei Animation and directed by Hideo Onchi. In 2007, the manga was adapted into an anime TV series, co-animated by Minamimachi Bugyōsho and Tokyo Kids, and produced by Aniplex, SKY Perfect Well Think, and Mainichi Broadcasting System. Directed by Osamu Yamazaki and featuring character designs by Nobuteru Yuki, it premiered in Japan on MBS-TBS's Saturday 6:00pm doroku time slot (previously occupied by other notable anime series such as Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, Fullmetal Alchemist and Blood+) on April 7, 2007, and ended on September 22, 2007, replacing the cancelled Bones series Tenpō Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi.

Plot[edit]

The story takes place in the distant future sometime after the 31st millennium where humanity exists under the rule of the political order controlled by supercomputers known as Superior Dominance and the carefully selected humans known as the Members Elite. Centuries before the story begins, the human race came to the conclusion that war and pollution rendered life on Earth unsustainable. Using warp travel the decision was made to leave a supercomputer Artificial Intelligence and caretaker humans behind and colonize distant stars.

Under the rule of Superior Dominance all humans are born in vitro and given to carefully selected parents. At the age of 14, all children are put through brainwashing where their memories are wiped by Superior Dominance and overwritten to produce functional adults. A race of advanced humans with psionic abilities called Mu has evolved, and the supercomputers that control Superior Dominance make every effort to exterminate them. Led by Soldier Blue and then Soldier Shin, the Mu make every effort to locate and rescue as many Mu children as possible before they are discovered and eliminated. The Mu have only one wish, to return to what they see as their promised land, Terra.

The series spans a large number of years, jumping back and forth multiple times, from Jomy's life on Ataraxia, to the various events on Station E-1077, to Jomy's founding of a Mu colony on a habitable planet, to the Superior Dominance war of extermination on the Mu, and finally to the Mu return to Terra.

Characters[edit]

Main Characters[edit]

Jomy Marquis Shin (ジョミー・マーキス・シン Jomī Mākisu Shin?)

Voice: (1980) Junichi Inoue ; (2007 TV series) Mitsuki Saiga

Jomy, a student born on the Education World of Ataraxia, unknowingly carries the Mu Factor within his genes. On his 14th birthday, he fails his adulthood exam, but is rescued by the Mu from execution. Later on, Jomy's dormant powers awaken, and he is confronted with the realization that he is one of the strongest Mu (a Type-Blue), and the only hope his race has for continued survival.
Jomy originally rejects the idea of him being a Mu but comes to accept it and succeeds Soldier Blue as their leader. Despite being unnaturally healthy for a Mu, in the original manga his well-being eventually deteriorates to a state that renders him blind, deaf and mute.
In the DVD-only Epilogue episode of the anime, it is shown that in an unknown future Jomy is reincarnated and reunited with Keith on the successfully terraformed Earth.
Keith Anyan (キース・アニアン Kīsu Anian?)

Voice: (1980) Masaya Oki ; (2007 TV series) Takehito Koyasu

Raised in a test tube for the first 14 years of his life, Keith does not remember anything before his non-existent adulthood exam. Labelled as an "android" by Seki Ray Shiroe, he is known for his exceptional mind and elite skills on-board educational station E-1077, on which he befriended Sam. His continued outstanding performance earns him a rapid rise in ranks, and he eventually comes to lead all of Humanity at the young age of thirty.
Interestingly, despite being pitted against Jomy and the Mu several times throughout the series, Keith's portrayal is similar to that of an anti-hero and somewhat of a second protagonist, rather than a "villain". His connections and experiences with the Mu ultimately lead him to betray Grandmother, and the SD system itself.
In the DVD-only Epilogue episode of the anime, it is shown that in an unknown future Keith is reincarnated and reunited with Jomy on the successfully terraformed Earth.
Soldier Blue (ソルジャー・ブルー Sorujā Burū?)

Voice : (1980) Taro Shigaki ; (2007 TV series) Tomokazu Sugita

The first leader of the Mu, and the very first Type Blue psion, hence the origin of his name. Having an abnormally weak body, Soldier Blue is reaching his limit in his advanced age, and seeks out Jomy to lead his people, and to ensure the continued survival of the Mu. After 15 years of deep sleep, Soldier Blue unfortunately meets his end in his successful attempt to destroy the Meggido cannon aimed at Nazca by overloading its core with his remaining psionic power, getting vaporized in the overwhelming explosion.
Tony (トォニィ Toonii?)
The very first natural birth since the implementation of the SD system, Tony was born to Mu parents on Naska. He marks the first of several similarly born Mu children who experience rapid growth and possess Type-Blue powers far superior to many of the other Mu. Despite being hot-headed and rebellious, he holds a deep affection for Jomy, calling him "Grandpa" (despite having no relation to him; however, in the movie version, Tony is depicted as Jomy's son). In the manga, his mother explained to him that Jomy was the "father" of all married couples (in that he allowed the marriages), hence the "Grandpa" nickname.
Tony's ultimate fate differs in each adaptation. he succeeds the late Jomy as the leader of the Mu.
Physis (フィシス Fishisu?)
A blind woman who uses Tarot cards to predict the future, Physis is perceived by Blue to be the 'goddess' of the Mu. She is different from other Mu in that she does not carry the necessary mutated gene, and is an otherwise normal human upon whom Blue bestowed psionic abilities.
Jonah Matsuka (ジョナ・マツカ Jona Matsuka?)

Voice: (1980) Hiroko Yakushimaru ; (2007 TV series) Motoki Takagi

A young man with an unwavering loyalty to Keith. Initially believing that his ability to read minds was merely "weird" and "unique", Matsuka is in actuality a Mu who managed to trick the system and pass his adulthood exams without detection. For a time being Matsuka became Keith's personal servant aboard any vessel they were assigned to, using his powers to rescue Keith from any hostile situation involving the Mu. Tragically, Matsuka dies when he saves Keith from an assassination attempt by Tony.
The main cast of the Toward the Terra animated TV series, from left to right: Harley, Physis, Blue, Jomy, Keith, Weeping Mouse, Shiroe, and Sam
Seki Ray Shiroe (セキ・レイ・シロエ Seki Rei Shiroe?)
A young boy unaware of his Mu powers, he is a freshman on-board educational station E-1077 during Keith's senior years. With a fiery, rebellious nature and vehement dislike for the system, he opposes the perfectly elite and poker-faced Keith Anyan, constantly provoking him and striving to surpass him.
Although Jomy and Shiroe never meet in the manga or its 1980 adaptation, the TV series features an early episode in which Jomy attempts to take the 10-year-old Shiroe back to the Shangri-La with him.

Mu[edit]

Harley (ハーレイ Hārei?)
The commander of the Mu mothership, Shangri-La. Despite appearing older than Soldier Blue, they are from the same generation. He's a Type-Green, capable of perfect psionic defense. After years of fleeing the humans and finally arriving on Terra, Harley and the elder Mu sacrifice themselves to allow Physis the chance to escape the collapse of Terra's underground city in the anime TV series adaptation.
Leo (リオ Rio?)
A gentle-natured young man born with speech disability, Leo communicates primarily through telepathy. He is one of the first Mu to encounter Jomy, aiding his escape from Ataraxia. Leo dies saving a young human woman from a falling boulder during the collapse of Terra's underground city.
Carina (カリナ Karina?)
Tony's mother. She is the first female to give birth naturally after the introduction of the SD system's eugenics program. After Keith stabs the 3-year-old Tony while being held captive on the Mu mothership, Karina is immediately led to believe that he is dead, and she ultimately destroys herself out of her own grief-induced rage.
Artella (アルテラ Arutera?)
One of the naturally born Type-Blue children who possesses remarkable powers like Tony. She is fiercely loyal to Tony and will abide by anything he plans to do. She secretly loves Tony. Artella is killed in battle above Jupiter by Serge Sturgeon's anti-psion defense fighter whilst trying to stop him from killing Tony.

Humans[edit]

Sam Houston (サム・ヒューストン Samu Hyūsuton?)
A childhood friend of Jomy, Sam passes his adulthood exam and is placed in the same class as Keith, where the two become close friends. He eventually loses his mind and is reduced to the mentality of an 8-year-old, his mind ironically filled only with the memories of his childhood that repeated memory erasure had forced him to forget. Eventually, he dies from pneumonia after running out in the rain for hours. Keith carries Sam's blood in his earrings.
Swena Dalton (スウェナ・ダールトン Suvena Dāruton?)
Given a bigger part in the anime, Swena was another of Jomy's childhood friends. She is placed in the same class as Keith and Sam on E-1077. She harbors unrequited love for Keith. Swena's biological daughter develops the Mu factor and is rescued by them when Keith tries to kill her as a way of stalling their advance to Terra. In the original manga, she was first seen just before she left E-1077 to get married.
Serge Sturgeon (セルジュ・スタージョン Seruju Sutājon?)

Voice: Nobuhiko Okamoto

An anime-only character who also serves as an homage to Serge Battour, the main character of Kaze to Ki no Uta (another of Keiko Takemiya's more famous works). Serge is loyal to Keith - as shown by his grief when he believes that Keith is dead - and often acts as his second in command. He also befriends Matsuka, and is the only person shown to refer to him by his first name ("Jonah"). With his final words Keith tells Serge to look after the human race and work alongside the Mu for a positive future.

Computers[edit]

Grandmother (グランドマザー Gurandomazaa?)
The all-powerful computer that governs mankind. It disapproves of the Mu. It was programmed with the prime directive of suppressing the Mu population to prevent it from spreading, and in Keith's words, as a way to direct human hatred toward the Mu and prevent humanity from destroying itself through greed and selfishness.
Computer Terra (コンピュータ・テラ Konpyuuta Tera?)
A computer deep within Earth that appears after the destruction of Grandmother. Originally installed ten years before the S.D. calendar, its calculations showed a high probability of the Mu deciding Earth's destiny. The politicians of that time disapproved of the calculations and went on to build Grandmother. In the manga, Keith shuts it down after killing Jomy, ending the rule of Superior Domination.
Terraz Number 5 (テラズ・ナンバー5 Terazu Nanbaa5?)
One of the nine "Terraz Number" and directly connected to Grandmother. Terraz Number 5 is the computer in charge of the awakening ceremony on Ataraxia.
Mother Eliza (マザー・イライザ Mazaa Iraiza?)
The mother computer of Educational Station E-1077. She appears as a holographic projection, taking the form of a person familiar to the student. While she acts as counselor, she is in reality in charge of the station, frequently praising and favoring Keith, whom she considers her "child". Eliza and E-1077 are destroyed by Keith when he discovers his origins within the in vitro eugenics program conducted within the station's labs.

Other[edit]

Weeping Mouse (ナキネズミ Nakinezumi?)
A creature looks like a purple fox. It communicates with its kind using ultrasound and is capable of limited telepathy. It was created by the Mu, but humans were led to believe that it came from a foreign planet. One specimen communicates with Jomy telepathically at Fantastic Dreamworld, and is freed from its captivity; it follows Jomy to the Mu mother ship later on, and is eventually named "Rain". In contrast, it is also used throughout the TV series as a symbol of Keith and Sam's friendship.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The manga series, written and illustrated by Keiko Takemiya, was serialized by Asahi Sonorama in Gekkan Manga Shōnen between January 1977 and May 1980. The chapters were collected in three bound volumes, which was reissued in August 1980 with the release of the movie. In 2007, on the day before the TV series began airing, the manga was reprinted by Japanese publisher Square Enix. In 2007, American publisher Vertical released all three volumes of the manga in North America under the title To Terra....

The series won two awards: the Seiun Award for best manga in 1978 and the Shogakukan Manga Award for best shōnen in 1979.[1][2]

Japanese releases (reprint)
English releases

Terra e... (April 6, 2007), Square Enix, ISBN 4-7575-2009-3

Terra e... v2, (April 6, 2007), Square Enix, ISBN 4-7575-2010-7

Terra e... v3, (April 6, 2007), Square Enix, ISBN 4-7575-2011-5

To Terra... (February 20, 2007), Vertical, ISBN 1-9322-3467-5

To Terra... v2, (April 24, 2007), Vertical, ISBN 1-9322-3470-5

To Terra... v3, (June 26, 2007), Vertical, ISBN 1-9322-3471-3

Movie[edit]

In 1980, Toward the Terra was adapted into an animated movie, produced by Toei Animation and directed by Hideo Onchi. TRSI released a hardsubbed version of the movie in North America. It was titled Toward the Terra, and appeared on VHS in 1994 and on laserdisc in 1995. At Anime Expo 2008, The Right Stuf International announced that its Nozomi Entertainment division had licensed the Toward the Terra film for the North American market.[3]

Staff
Cast

Director: Hideo Onchi

Producer: Chiaki Imada

Art Director: Isamu Tsuchida

Writers: Hideo Onchi

Keiko Takemiya
Chigusa Shioda

Composer: Masaru Satō

Jomy Marquis Shin: Junichi Inoue
Physis: Kumiko Akiyoshi
Keith Anyan: Masaya Oki
Soldier Blue: Taro Shigaki
Tony: Toru Furuya
Tony (young): Chiyoko Kawashima
Seki Leigh Shiroei: Akira Kamiya
Karina: Mami Koyama
Sam Houston: Hiroya Ishimaru
Jonah Matsuka: Hiroko Yakushimaru
Zel: Hidekatsu Shibata
Harley: Keiichi Noda
Sam Heathton: Yoku Shioya
Admiral Kuf: Kōji Totani
Era: Sumie Noguchi
Mother Eliza: Masako Ikeda
Computer Terra: Yasuo Hisamatsu
Grand Mother: Kyôko Kishida
Teraz No 5: Eiko Masuyama
Papa: Banjō Ginga
Mama: Toshiko Fujita
Doctor: Jōji Yanami
Nurse: Yumi Nakatani
Police Officer: Masaharu Satō
Man in White: Kazuhiko Kishino
Boy C of Mu: Tomiko Suzuki

TV series[edit]

Toward the Terra was adapted into an animated TV series in 2007, co-animated by Minamimachi Bugyōsho and Tokyo Kids, and produced by Aniplex, SKY Perfect Well Think and Mainichi Broadcasting System. It was directed by Osamu Yamazaki, written by Satoru Nishizono and featured character and conceptual designs by Nobuteru Yuki (Vision of Escaflowne) and Yutaka Izubuchi (RahXephon) respectively. The first opening theme, spanning episodes 1-13, was "Endscape", performed by the band UVERworld, while the first ending theme is "Love is", performed by Miliyah Kato. These were replaced from episodes 14-24 onwards, with the second opening theme being "Jet Boy Jet Girl", performed by Hitomi Takahashi, and the second ending theme being "This Night", performed by Chemistry.

The series premiered in Japan on MBS-TBS's Saturday 6:00pm time slot on April 7, 2007. That time slot was previously occupied by other notable animated series, such as Mobile Suit Gundam Seed and Fullmetal Alchemist. It was replaced in this timeslot by Mobile Suit Gundam 00, which premiered in October 2007. The series was also aired in Japan on the BS network Animax, who also subsequently aired in its English language network in Southeast Asia and South Asia.

Staff

Planning: Seiji Takeda (MBS), Noriyasu Kimiki (Wellthink), Kōichirō Natsume (Aniplex)
Planning co-operation: Atsushi Higashiyama (Dentsu)
Screenplay: Satoru Nishizono, others
Character design: Nobuteru Yuki
Conceptual design: Yutaka Izubuchi
Mechanical design: Yasushi Ishizu, Takayuki Yanase, Hideyuki Matsumoto
Display design: Yoshinori Sayama
SF research: Mitsuyasu Sakai
Art director: Shunichirō Yoshiwara (Bihō)
Art settings: Tomoyasu Fujise, Yoshinori Shiozawa (episode 1)
Color design: Yūko Kanemaru
Color design assistance: Rieko Sakai
Director of photography: Takeshi Hirōka
3D director: Tatsuo Hayasaki
Editing: Yutaka Fukuda
Music: Yasuharu Takanashi
Music director: Fumiko Harada
Sound design: Minoru Yamada (eNa)
Sound recording engineer: Shōji Hata
Sound recording assistant: Hiromi Yoshihara
Sound recording studio: STUDIO T & T
Sound recording production head: Jun'ichi Inaba
Sound production: DAX Production
Music production/co-operation: Sony Music Entertainment, Just
Producers: Hiroshi Morotomi (MBS), Norihiro Hayashida (Wellthink), Ai Abe (Aniplex)
Animation producer: Kiyomitsu Aoki (Tokyo Kids)
Assistant director: Hidetoshi Yoshida
Director/direction supervision: Osamu Yamazaki
Animation production: Minamimachi Bugyōsho, Tokyo Kids
Production: Mainichi Broadcasting System, SKY Perfect Well Think, Aniplex
Cast
Jomy Marquis Shin: Mitsuki Saiga
Keith Anyan: Takehito Koyasu
Soldier Blue: Tomokazu Sugita
Tony: Noriaki Sugiyama
Physis: Sanae Kobayashi
Jonah Matzka: Motoki Takagi
Seki Ray Shiroe : Marina Inoue
Sam Houston: Wataru Hatano
Swena Dalton: Yuki Masuda
Leo: Daisuke Namikawa
Karina: Sayuri Kubo
Harley: Jūrōta Kosugi
Ella: Fumi Orita
Zel: Yousuha Akimoto
Brau: Minako Ichiki
Serge Sturgeon: Nobuhiko Okamoto
Glaive Murdock: Ken Narita
Artella: Ayahi Takagaki
Jomy's Mother: Yukana
Jomy's Father: Yasunori Matsumoto
Alfred: Takuma Terashima
Nina: Sayaka Narita
Yui: Kazutoshi Hatano
Harold: Kunihiro Kawamoto
Hillman: Atsushi Imaruoka
Toki: Fumie Mizusawa
Nakinezumi: Manami Komori
Mother Computer: Ai Orikasa
Commanding Officer: Hiroki Yasumoto
Narration: Norio Wakamoto

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "日本SFファングループ連合会議:星雲賞リスト" (in Japanese). Retrieved 2008-10-04. 
  2. ^ a b "小学館漫画賞:歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19. 
  3. ^ Right Stuf Adds Gakuen Alice, Reissues First Terra e - Anime News Network

External links[edit]