To Terra

To Terra by Keiko Takemiya 5/5 stars (

Earth has been ruined by humanity, so people take to the stars. Society in the future is extremely rigid, and reproduction is strictly controlled. Test tube babies are assigned to foster parents until the day of their Awakening around their fourteenth birthday. Jomy seems a bit different from everyone else. He’s rambunctious and doesn’t blindly accept the rules of the society he lives in. He’s subjected to extra tests to see if he has ESP. A new race of humans called the Mu live separately, waiting for the day they can return to Terra. Their leader, Soldier Blue, arranges an interruption of Jomy’s Awakening. Jomy’s psychic powers haven’t emerged, so he feels out of place on the Mu’s ship.

Takemiya’s art excels at capturing the vastness of space and dramatizing the Jomy’s internal struggles. There’s been a little bit of controversy about Vertical marketing To Terra as shojo manga, but however it is marketed it is a great story. I think the storyline will appeal most to fans of classic science fiction. I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Planetes. These stories are very different, but they both blend science fiction with great character development. I’m happy that we’re getting more classic manga like To Terra translated into English, and I’m looking forward to reading future volumes.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher.