Akari Hizamaru would do everything for his childhood friend, including participating in an underground cage match against a bear. However, even though Akari can raise the money for her medical care, hope is bleak. She, like so many others, is dying from a mysterious and always fatal virus. Yet, a mysterious organization gives Akari a chance to save his friend, by going to Mars to defeat alien specimens so that they can look for a cure. However, Akari and his teammates from around the world must first have their DNA altered with animals so that they can fight the deadly scourge that awaits them.
Terra Formars may be a gorefest and the story doesn’t really start until the second season, but you can’t deny that some of that hardcore violence is, on occasion, satisfying. For more satisfying severed heads and flying limbs, check out these other anime recommendations.
For Fans of Giant, Violent Aliens
Knights of Sidonia
In the distant future, humanity has been forced into the far reaches of space by mysterious aliens called the Gauna. Now humanity barely survives on seed ships travelling through the universe. However, the Gauna have found them again. Now humanity’s only hope is the mysterious Nagate Tanikaze that suddenly comes forward from the depths of the ship to strike back at the aliens.
Both Knights of Sidonia and Terra Formars tell the trials and tribulations of humanity’s struggle against a primitive, yet superior race of aliens that continue to evolve at an alarming rate. They also tell the story of a few “special” people that are able to fight back. However, Sidonia is more mecha than Terra Formars, but they both feature some good old fashioned blood and guts.
The story of Gantz begins at the end, when Kei Kurono is hit by a train and dies. From there, he finds himself brought back to life and forced into a survival game where he and a few other recently deceased people must kill aliens if they have any hope of surviving.
Huge, diverse aliens? Check. Ridiculous over-the-top shock gore? Check. Special tools used to fight? Check. Essentially a space setting is the only thing that separates Terra Formars and Gantz from being the same anime. Both are horribly violent gorefests, but Gantz has the disadvantage of having an utterly whiny main character.
In the distant future, humanity has been replaced on the top of the food chain by a bug-like alien race called Blue that forced them off of their planet. Now operating from a space station, humans strike back at the aliens, but their best hope might just lie on their old home.
Blue Gender was the Terra Formars before Terra Formars. Both series feature humanity being plagued by a bug-like alien race that takes them off Earth. However, not only do they feature different settings, Blue Gender tends to be more dramatic and atmospheric while Terra Formars is near pure action.
It happened suddenly and silently over night – aliens invaded Earth, nesting inside their host’s brains. However, when an alien tried to take over Shinichi Izumi’s body, it found itself trapped in his right hand instead. The pair now has no choice but to work together in order to survive as not only humans, but other aliens are against them now.
Both series features an alien race that has an extreme blood lust for humans in particular and want to destroy them for unclear reason. They are also about humanity using the similar traits of the alien race to fight back. However, one series takes place off planet while the other is about an alien invasion.
For Fans of Humanity in Decline
Kazuya Aoi is entering his first day of training to become a Limiter, a man that works together with female Pandoras to fight the deadly alien invaders called Nova. During this fateful first day, he mistakes the power “Untouchable Queen” Pandora as his dead sister only for her to end up taking him on as her Limiter.
Both series exist in a future in which humanity has to fight aliens in deadly clashes. However, while Terra Formars is dark and serious, Freezing tends to land more on the ecchi side of the spectrum. Both series also feature main characters that have superior abilities to those around them even though they, too, have special abilities.
Humanity has been pushed back to the edge of extinction by the fierce man-eating monster known as Aragami. While they feature immunity to traditional weapons, special cell infused humans called God Eaters have the power to fight them. However, can these fighters beat the monsters before humanity is destroyed?
Both series share the premise of humanity threatened by horrific and widely unknown creatures while also having to deal with a series of government conspiracies. However, while the premise of God Eater sounds pretty dark, Terra Formars is darker.
In the near future, humanity was infected by a parasitic virus know as Gastrea that turns them into monsters. To counter the Gastrea monster threat, a group of kids known as the Cursed Children were created by being infused with a small dose of the virus, just enough to give them superhuman abilities and fight for what remains of the human race.
Black Bullet is essentially the less GAR version of Terra Formars (minus the trip to Mars). Both series feature a strong, heavily insect-inspired enemy and have the heroes undergo a treatment that gives them similar aspects of what they are fighting.
For Fans of Augmented Humans
Ken Kaneki is a shy college student, but he finds himself instantly drawn to the reserved Rize Kamishiro, enough to go on a date with her. However, Tokyo has become a dangerous place where flesh-eating ghouls blend in with humanity in order to feast on humans. As it turns out Rize is one such ghoul, but by a twist of fate Kaneki not only survives his encounter, but begins life anew as a half-ghoul.
Like many of the characters in Terra Formars, Kaneki wakes up after surgery with mysterious powers. While in Terra Formars they were desired, they make Kaneki’s life miserable in Tokyo Ghoul. However, both series feature incredibly visceral violence as well as a long and interesting list of characters.
Sho Fukamachi was a normal teenager until he found an alien object known as Unit. The Unit bonded with Sho and transformed him into a powerful life-form called Guyver. With this power, he ends up battling the mysterious Chronos Organization and their Zoanoids in order to protect his friends and the world.
Both Guyver and Terra Formars feature a limited amount of people that are compatible with augmentation in order to fight a near endless horde of monster. While Terra Formars is more over-the-top violent, Guyver tends to stick to the old-school hero tropes. Interested parties should know that this references the 2005 Guyver and not the 1989 version, which is fine too.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Terra Formars? Tell us about it in the comments section below.