Toward the Terra - movie
In the distant future the Earth becomes a wasteland. The planet needs time to heal, so humans take to the stars, waiting for the day they can return. Society is ruled by super computers, plotting human lives with efficiency in mind. Children are created in test tubes, raised by selected parents, and if they pass the test to adulthood; have their memories wiped so they can become a functional member of society.
Not everyone is keen on machines ruling them. A band of outcasts known as Mu have ESP abilities, and are on the run from regular humans. A boy named Jomy Shin will rise to lead the Mu. Will he choose to destroy the humans, or try to coexist with them?
For an 80s anime, Toward the Terra is dated n animation and design, with some funky music. While I'd like to be kinder to a classic anime, the problems are significant enough that I can't overlook them. Problems are typical for a film trying to take substantial series and squash it into movie length.
The movie starts in Jomy's youth, trying to capture various parts of his life but everything is too disjointed to flow well. It gets the point across (even if a bit forced). Characters are lacking in believability in general, but Jomy seems particularly scatter brained. He goes from denying he's a Mu and hating them, to accepting them and becoming their leader in a 2 minute span. Things like that really should be fleshed out better.
Logically, some parts didn't make sense to me. Everyone is obsessed with returning to the Earth, however the Earth is a garbage dump with a single underground city. Other inhabitable planets exist which are just as nice, yet everyone is bent on Terra. Another thing, society is orchestrated by a computer, and Toward the Terra makes a point about how people dislike that as inhumane. But if people never knew anything else , they wouldn't know any better. It's amusing that natural childbirth hasn't occurred in 200 years. Jomy declares his band should try it. He looks to Carina and she's like "Oh, you want me to volunteer? Okay!". I'm thinking, holy crap is that guy smooth. I guess when you have your own cult, dating becomes very efficient. There are other points as well, but I think they're more a matter of poor explanations.
This title devolves into a disaster movie a few times, spending too much time focusing on people trying to escape whatever catastrophe befalls them. There's also two space battles that were out of place in length and detail. In movie time constraints with this scale of story, it really shouldn't be doing this.
I like the concept of Toward the Terra, but the story is poorly told. Likewise the characters seem plastic, with little time to develop. If you're specifically seeking old school anime sci-fi title, then Toward the Terra is decent. Most will want to avoid this one, although the more recent TV version may be worth checking into.
Tony: When they reclaim their true humanity once more, we'll return to Terra.
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