Terra Formars is a Japanese manga series written by Yū Sasuga and Michio Fukuda. Illustrated by Michio Fukuda. It is serialized in Shueisha’s magazine Weekly Young Jump since 2011. Also, a spin-off manga titled Terra for Police started on May 10, 2014 in Jump X.
It was number one on the 2013 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! Top 20 Manga for Male Readers survey. It was placed second in Zenkoku Shotenin ga Eranda Osusume Comic 2013, a 2013 ranking of the top 15 manga recommended by Japanese bookstores. It was nominated for the 6th Manga Taishō. The 6th volume reached the number one place on the Oricon weekly manga chart in the week of August 19–25, 2013, with 317,248 copies. As of February 2015, Terra Formars 11 first volumes have sold over 10 million copies. As of August 2015, the series had sold 13 million copies. As of April 2018, the manga had over 16 million copies in print.
In an attempt to colonize Mars, 21st century scientists are tasked with terraforming the planet. Their goal is to seed the planet with a modified algae to absorb sunlight and purify the atmosphere, and cockroaches, whose corpses spread the algae across the planet as they feed.
Five hundred years later, the first manned ship to Mars lands and its six crew members are attacked by giant mutated humanoid cockroaches with incredible physical strength, later labeled “Terraformars”; the crew is wiped out after sending a warning back to Earth. Two years later, BUGS II, a multinational expedition of genetically modified humans, is sent to collect 10 samples of both sexes of roaches, and exterminate the mutated bugs to take control of the red planet. Only two survivors manage to return to Earth, one swearing to return and avenge their fallen companions. As a third expedition is assembled questions are raised about the true origin of the Terraformars and their connection with an unknown disease afflicting mankind, the Alien Engine Virus, or A.E. Virus. To fight the Terraformars’ strength and agility, members of the second and third expedition undergo genetic modification to inherit the characteristics of other organisms, only possible after having a special organ implanted with a 36% chance of surviving the surgery itself.
The third expedition ends with most of its crew members killed as well, be it by fighting the Terraformars, or amongst themselves in the multi-sided conflict between the various factions aboard the ship, each with own opposing interests. Despite that, the few survivors manage to collect enough samples for the research on a cure to the A.E. Virus and return home. However, a new fight against the Terraformars begins when it is revealed that the creatures arrived on Earth long before, and after multiplying on an alarming rate and adapting themselves far better to their new environment than they did to their homeworld, they start their plan to take over the planet.