TOWARD THE TERRA offers a sprawling story of conflict in outer space between human colonists who have fled a polluted earth and a race of mutants who display advanced psychic powers. Dating from a simpler era in Japanese animation, this production emphasizes character, mood, and story
and is noticeably free of the excessive sex and violence which characterize much recent anime.
On the far-off planet of Ataraxia, descendants of humans who fled a dying earth 500 years earlier have set up a rigid, authoritarian, computerized society employing Adult Evaluation exams designed to weed out critical thinkers and potential psychics. In the course of his Adult Evaluation,
14-year-old Jomy Marcus Shin resists the erasure of his childhood memories and is forced to flee Ataraxia with the help of the Mu, an outcast race of mutant humans with psychic powers, who recognize Jomy as one of their own.
At their base on the planet Naska, the Mu acknowledge Jomy's developing powers and eventually appoint him their leader. Their dream of returning to an ecologically-healed earth is stalled by the war with the humans. In the meantime, they raise a psychic shield around Naska and form a settlement,
growing crops and living off the land. Jomy mates with Karina to create the first natural childbirth in 500 years.
On Earth, an elite group from Ataraxia has built an underground city ruled by Grand Mother Computer. Keith Anyan, an android reared on a space station, leads the Earth Defense Forces and manages to penetrate the Mu's shield. After a devastating bombardment of Naska, the Mu survivors launch a
ruthless counterattack against Earth.
In a meeting on Earth, Jomy convinces Keith that the real enemy is the Grand Mother Computer, which has continued to foment war between the two groups. Keith's resistance to the computer causes it to destroy the underground city. The Mu land on Earth and offer aid to the human survivors, forming a
basis for a permanent reconciliation.
Dating from 1980, one of the peak years of what many fans consider the golden age of Japanese animation, and only this year released in the US, TOWARD THE TERRA offers simple but elegant, streamlined design and few of the splashy effects associated with recent anime. The film projects an
overwhelmingly somber mood: its only expressions of optimism and joy are found in the scenes on Naska in which the Mu return to a short-lived traditional lifestyle marked by farming, feasting, dancing, courtship, and natural childbirth. (Violence.)
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- Released: 1980
- Rating: NR
- Review: TOWARD THE TERRA offers a sprawling story of conflict in outer space between human colonists who have fled a polluted earth and a race of mutants who display advanced psychic powers. Dating from a simpler era in Japanese animation, this production emphasiz… (more)