'Terra Formars' Season 3: Manga Creator Yu Sasuga On Health Hiatus, Anime OVA Has Terraformars On Earth

The Terra Formars Season 3 release date is both desired and feared depending on which studio team handles the anime adaptation of the popular Terra Formars manga. Terra Formars: Revenge was critically panned, with fans disliking the new tone, animation style, anti-climatic ending, and pretty much everything about how the second season was handled. The series also suffered another blow when it was announced that manga creator Yu Sasuga was going to be on hiatus due to health problems, which means the next major story saga for the Terraformars on Earth will be delayed.

[Update April 25, 2018] The anime that focuses on the new Earth story arc will finally release in 2018. Please see the new article for details. This article otherwise remains as previously published.

Terra Formars Manga Shifts The Terraformars Story From Mars To Earth

Writer Yu Sasuga and illustrator Kenichi Tachibana have been releasing the Terra Formars manga since January of 2011. The story started in the 21st century, with scientists deciding to terraform Mars by sending a combination of mold and cockroaches. In the year 2577, the first manned mission to Mars, the Bugs 1, is easily wiped out when they arrive and discover that the cockroaches have evolved into giant humanoid creatures called Terraformars.

The Bugs 1 crew manages to send a transmission before being killed, warning Earth of what had transpired on Mars. The crew of the second manned mission, Bugs 2, undergoes an experimental procedure to give them enhanced combat abilities, but they are also killed by the Terraformars. The story of the failed Bugs 2 mission was adapted into two Terra Formars OVA (Original Video Animation) episodes that were released in 2014 with volumes 10 and 11 of the manga.

The first season of the anime adaptation began 20 years after the Bugs 2 mission. The A.E. Virus is plaguing mankind, and it's believed the mutated Terraformars could hold the cure to the virus. A third mission called Annex 1 is launched, and this part of the story has been the focus of all the manga chapters released between 2012 and 2016. The Annex 1 story saga was also the focus of the first and second seasons of the anime.

Terra Formars: Revenge ended with some of the crew infiltrating the communications center on the Annex 1 ship, an event which took place in Volume 11 of the manga. Division 4, the Chinese squad, had betrayed the rest of the crew and it was decided that any survivors would reunite north by the sea. The shocking revelation at the end was that Terraformars had somehow managed to reach Earth already.

The fact that giant cockroaches were organizing themselves near Tokyo signaled a dramatic shift to the manga in 2016. Once the Earth saga began, the numbering of the chapters was restarted after Chapter 173. The Terra Formars logo was even changed from red to blue.

Terra Formars Manga Characters
The covers of the manga. [Image by Kenichi Tachibana/Viz Media]

What's Left For Making Terra Formars Season 3?

How do the anime and manga compare when it comes to the story? Episode 13 of the second season shares the name "12-Second Revolution" with Chapter 108 of the manga. However, the finale episode mostly focused on events of Chapter 107, while parts from Chapters 108 and 132 were included. This means that the anime ended near the beginning of Terra Formars Volume 12.

Is there enough source material for Terra Formars Season 3? It took two OVA and two seasons to adapt about 11 volumes of the manga. There are over 60 chapters of the Annex 1 saga that have yet to be adapted into anime, and the Earth saga is already up to Chapter 39. This means there is plenty of source material for a third season, but the manga is completely halted as of this article's publishing.

According to Anime News Network, the manga creators put their Terra Formars manga on hiatus on March 9, 2017, due to Sasuga's health issues. They plan on returning to work sometime in the fall of 2017, but no definite date has been set. In addition, the most recent Earth saga chapters were supposed to be released in May as part of Terra Formars Volume 21, but the book has been put on indefinite hold as of this publishing.

Terra Formars Terraformars Cockroach Smiling
[Image by Kenichi Tachibana/Viz Media]

Terra Formars Season 3 Release Date

As of this publishing, the anime production committee has not announced anything official about the Terra Formars Season 3 release date, although this article will be updated as soon as the anime sequel is confirmed. However, there can be reasonable speculation about when, or if, the Terra Formars Season 3 premiere date may occur.

The prognosis for another full anime season remains mixed based on the available information. Although the third season of Terra Formars has not officially been canceled, it's quite notable that the third Terra Formars OVA is supposed to be an abridged version of the Earth chapter. If the anime committee plans on producing the third season, why cover this major story event with a single OVA? Unfortunately, this OVA episode is delayed, and there's no official release date since it will be bundled with Terra Formars Volume 21.

In addition, the Terra Formars Blu-ray sales in Japan were pretty bad. The Oricon ranking for the first Blu-ray volume did not even make the MyAnimeList cut-off for the main list. The first disc was even the bottom of the list for the spring 2016 anime. But disc sales in Japan are only part of the financial picture. According to Anime News Network, Terra Formars was one of the top 25 media franchises in 2016, beating out other popular anime like Fairy Tail, Erased, and Food Wars. When an anime committee makes a decision, they're certain to take those numbers into account.

If Terra Formars Season 3 is given the green light, then fans are hoping the anime production team that produced the first season will be back. Unfortunately, nothing official has been confirmed, so this idea remains a mere hope.

Terra Formars Anime
'Terra Formars' Anime Key Visual | TYO Animations/LIDENFILMS
[Image by TYO Animations/LIDENFILMS]

Terra Formars Spoilers

Assuming the Earth chapter is abridged in the third Terra Formars OVA, the emphasis will probably be on explaining exactly how the Terraformars managed to bridge the gap between Earth and Mars. The explanation is that the giant cockroaches were already on Earth years before the Annex 1 mission ever left Earth. That's how the Terraformars entered the ship before the crew ever landed on Mars.

Knowledge of the ill-fated Bugs 1 mission had been kept top secret for a good reason by Earth's governments. Although the crew was killed, the Terraformars managed to hitch a ride back to Earth on the wreckage of the Bugs 1 spacecraft. The giant cockroaches have adapted quite well to their new environment, and they've been planning to take over the planet!

Meanwhile, the few survivors of the Annex 1 crew managed to return home to Earth after collecting enough samples for the A.E. Virus research. The Terraformars have been multiplying at an alarming rate on Earth, so the battle shifts from the red to the blue planet.

For those wanting more details, English manga readers can catch up on the Earth saga since the English translation of Terra Formars Volume 18 just released on July 18, 2017. Volume 19 is scheduled for October 17, 2017, and Volume 20's release date has yet to be announced. As for the Terra Formars Season 3 release date, anime-only fans will just have to wait and hope there's more to come.

[Featured Image by TYO Animations/LIDENFILMS]