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Ozuma – 06 (END)

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「新生の日」 (Shinsei no Nichi)
“Day of Rebirth”

And here we are, the first finale of the spring season.

I have to say, I’m not quite sure how to go about discussing this episode. It’s not that the finale lacked its fair share of good scenes (it didn’t), but there were just so many aspects that made me go “?” or “Hm…” this time around. It wasn’t exactly bad, as it provided a sense of closure necessarily for a last episode, but it wasn’t great either.

To start things off, I’ll talk about the Ozuma itself. After spending most of the series shrouded in mystery, we finally find out its purpose and link to Maya: a mechanical construct that collects life for the potential redistribution throughout the planet. Furthermore, we actually get to see it in its entirety for the first time, as well as the destructive potential it holds. Now, that’s all fine and dandy, but what makes Maya the key is never quite explained. It could be assumed its related to genetics in a way, but it feels like some clarification on that matter would have helped, as well as some clarification on when the Ozuma was first created, how it was created, and how it serves its task. I suppose the latter questions could be chalked up to some good old sci-fi magic, but the lack of explanations leave a bit of a void in my enjoyment, especially when a variety of aspects fall too conveniently in place.

For instance, Dick regaining control of the body and just so happening to be there at the Monokeros at the right time and the Ozuma going berserk, yet only targeting and destroying the Theseus forces are just too convenient in my book. Yes, there are probable explanations to both, but it just feels like everything goes just a bit too well for something that’s just chance. I mean, the possibility that the fall managed to knock Gido unconscious and allowed Dick to regain control and the possibility that Ozuma was only reacting to hostile forces explicitly targeting it, are both just pure chance events. At least though, they’re not Deus Ex Machina events… though how Ozuma saves the planet may loosely be construed as one.

Moving on, another aspect that bothered me a bit was General Danga. His “honorable death over willingly letting the Ideal Children be replaced” reasoning was slightly ridiculous and a bit cliche as well. I mean, if he views the Ideal Children as such great entities, should he not have confidence that the Ideal Children would still be able to rule even in the new world? Feels a tad bit contradictory. I do understand he could have already resigned himself to the idea that the Ideal Children were becoming extinct and couldn’t be saved, but it feels as if he turned into some generic character who prefers to take the world down with him rather than live in a world without his kind.

Regardless, there were some great moments too, even though it seems like I’ve made out the episode to possess an overwhelming amount of flaws. There was the brief, emotional conversation Bainas and Dick have before his valiant sacrifice, Dick’s cool walk into the Monokeros, as well as some great graphical treats in regards to the interior of the Ozuma and the Zone. Furthermore, the music by Yamashita Kousuke kicks in big time, giving this last episode an epic feeling that a finale should have. But, all these positives, which would usually make an episode great in my book, are cancelled out by a combination of negative aspects. In the end, what results is only a slightly above average episode, which is somewhat sad, considering the potential of this episode and the series itself.

Other Picture(s): 37 (A quick combination of 25 and 26).

Final Impressions:

As mentioned before, I love the sci-fi genre. As such, I came into this series with high expectations, considering the premise and the fact that Ozuma was produced by Matsumoto Leiji, the man behind a treasure trove of past sci-fi hits. At the end of the day though, I have to say that I was slightly disappointed.

I mean, there was a lot of potential from this series, and there were actually quite a few aspects that were done quite well. For one, there were great characters in Captain Bainas and Gido, who took control of virtually every episode, and made Ozuma a thrill to watch, just for their interactions and battle tactics. There was the art work, which while retro and mixed in with some occasional CGI that didn’t fit well, was a great throwback to the more classic works of decades past. The nostalgia, combined with the fact that this series was meant to celebrate TV channel WOWOW’s 20th anniversary, made that respect quite awesome in my books. Furthermore, there were some great ship designs, a unique environment, and a darn catchy OP sequence.

Sadly, one of the biggest problems was that neither Bainas or Gido were supposed to take the lead the way they did. And to me, it’s quite the major issue when you have supporting characters overshadowing the main character. Sure, it happens from time to time, but even those situations don’t have the side character overshadowing the main to such a degree, let alone multiple side characters doing such. I mean, Sam literally was a very visible flagpole, to reference my analogy from Episode 05. Furthermore, the ending was just a tad lacking. It provided some semblance of closure, but left some questions to be answered too. In addition, the story didn’t quite have any space elements, contrary to some descriptions which listed the series as an “epic space opera”.

Overall though, it’s quite clear that the answer to my question in Episode 04 is that we’ll be left wondering what heights Ozuma could have reached if given more episodes to develop. It definitely felt like the series could have been something amazing given some more time, but alas, that time was not given this time around. In any case, I have to say that sci-Fi fanatics would most likely still enjoy watching this series, as it does contain a fair amount of aspects that make sci-Fi series good. To others that don’t necessarily like sci-Fi or shows of the retro variety, you may be better off avoiding this one.

And with that, I bid Ozuma a fond farewell. It might not have been the greatest show, but it was still a memorable one due to aspects I mentioned above, as well as the fact that this was the first show I covered here at Random Curiosity. On that note, I’m also covering Jormungand and the Naruto manga this season as well, so keep an eye for those! :D

April 21, 2012 at 9:38 pm
26 comments »
  • April 21, 2012 at 9:47 pmstarss

    “Ozuma – 06 (END)”

    Wait what??

    • April 21, 2012 at 10:17 pmZephyr

      Yup, it was only intended to be 6 episodes sadly. =[

      • April 21, 2012 at 11:05 pmYou know, for kids!

        I’m not that sad about it, unfortunately. =[

    • April 21, 2012 at 11:00 pmZen

      “Leiji is a relic of a bygone era and we’re not willing to take a big risk on him” is probably the thought process of this show’s investors. That they gave Ozuma a chance at all was probably due to the man’s past successes…

      • April 21, 2012 at 11:36 pmZen

        Oh, and congratulations to Zephyr for completing his first series! ;)

      • April 21, 2012 at 11:37 pmZephyr

        Thanks! :D

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:12 amKushieda

    I assumed the reason that the Ideal Children ships were destroyed at the end is because their quantum fields were disrupted while they were in the sand. Once that happened the sand pressure crushed the hulls.

    As for the seemingly random laser shots only hitting Ideal Children ships… one can only hope that it was attacking ships it knew were enemies as opposed to truly going berserk.

    • April 22, 2012 at 8:48 amZephyr

      I pondered that too… But it’s weird, because if it wasn’t going berserk, then there would be no point to launch the Monokeros at it, per se.

    • April 24, 2012 at 12:35 amD-LaN

      IMO, the problem is, the Ozma is going to cave the whole Zone in if it keep shooting the enemy. But wht I don get is why the torpedo must be driven inside it…… =.=
      Couldn’t Dick just use the scanner and then launch it?

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:16 amIzzard

    Felt like the casts were either doing their own things (only a few and in a messy way) or not doing anything at all. And the story was like going all over the place; one moment going down the militaristic path and another moment going all Miyazaki-esque.

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:35 amJHN

    I agree, Ozma is far from the best what anime has to offer. But it will, like any old-school anime, leave you with fond memories.

    And it obviously has a lot of character, which many modern anime tend to lack.

  • April 22, 2012 at 1:08 amKarasuchan

    Huh…..doesnt this screencap http://randomc.net/image/Ozuma/Ozuma%20-%2006%20-%20Large%2032.jpg remind you of the Ohmu from Nausicaa…?

  • April 22, 2012 at 1:41 amSeishun Otoko

    Well, Ozuma was fun while it lasted and Bainas would certainly be missed.
    Congratulations Zephyr. You’re now a senior writer at RC ;)

    • April 22, 2012 at 8:49 amZephyr

      Haha, not quite there yet! Need another few seasons under my belt for that to happen. :D

  • April 22, 2012 at 3:57 amballoon

    Carried away by the leveling, my own birth, absolute birth. Fated birth, the absolute destiny, apocalypse. The present age, age of reflection, age of racism. A demon conjured up, which no individual can control. The demon of racism, conjured up, the Protestant Christian conjurer. My very self, no self, participation in the conjure.

    Oh, where am I and when am I? … STAGE, DESTINY, MAGIC MIRROR…!

  • April 22, 2012 at 5:32 amhoh

    The show is so Gonzo, from its good sci-fi elements down to the some what lacking (in terms of both plot & graphical quality) ending.

  • April 22, 2012 at 10:25 amiron2000

    Didn’t feel that sci-fi to me, maybe more of action and adventure.
    Sci-fi to me is something more like Ghost in the Shell, perhaps shows that entwine technology into plot and kind of makes the viewer get lost sometimes.
    Its just how I feel but it does fall into sci-fi according to Wikipedia’s definition :P

    I did find the under sand battles interesting.
    Substituting water with sand does make things look different.
    Reminds me of submarine battles in Nadia of the Blue Water.
    (But Nadia is more interesting and exciting for me)

    I guess the badly drawn faces at some parts are part of nostalgia too :P
    Quite sad for this in a piece used to celebrate an anniversary.

    Somehow with 6 episodes it somehow lack substance.
    It feels like the last arc of a long story.

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:23 pmmac65

    Pretty good series considering its length. The ending concept fit and made sense,
    but its execution was pretty weak and rushed, I felt.

    Some important questions about Maya and her connection to Ozuma weren’t addressed. Visually,
    I enjoyed the series and I kinda felt that it was meant to run longer than 6 episodes.

    Other than Sam being Dick’s brother, I think the story could have been told just as well if Bainas
    had rescued Maya herself in the beginning. I’m not sure what the character “Sam” bought to the table.

    Oh well…

  • April 22, 2012 at 12:29 pmbearzerger

    well, let’s see I’d say apart from the dumbass completely useless protagonist the series was fine. Shallow, but fine. I doubt more episodes would have made it better, the plot was rather thin and only the quick pace prevented it from getting irritating. Aside from the dumbass protagonist of course.

    Seriously what was with the guy? The crying and bitching is to be expected with typical teenage shounen protagonists, but the guy really didn’t have anything to do with the plot or the actual story aside from the bit in the first episode where he found the girl. Everything else would have just as well happened without him.

    His highpoint: Invading a military vessel on his own armed with a small knife and a grappling hook and getting captured within ten seconds.

  • April 22, 2012 at 8:57 pmTrombe

    Would it be out of place if I said that I really like Bainas’s legs?

    Anyway I’m a little bit disappointed, I was expecting more, it had a lot of potential.

  • April 22, 2012 at 10:59 pmewok40k

    I guess Ozma was the gathering part of the Zone system, prowling the sands and devouring any lifeforms he came across for storage in the zone. I wouldnt be surprised if Maya would be his chief engineer/developer once. As for the general, history is sadly strewn with graves of dozens of petty dictators who tried to burn at least part of the world before departing it themselves.
    Well, at least Mimay gets her reward, as you can notice that after awakening inside Ozma, it was her that Sam called out first :P
    I guess this show maybe wasn’t great but it definitely was different, which in age of cookie-cutter settings and characters is a huge bonus. Any show that doesnt involve middle-to-high-school setting is welcome for me these days!

  • April 24, 2012 at 12:20 amD-LaN

    Surprise, there no jokes about Dick here. (Intended or not is YMMV)

    Yeah I think I am a little late to the party….. But let say if I were to compare Oz(u)ma and GC, this show hv more points. (Ps, I don hate GC)

    So, the Zone is some sort of Evolutionary test ground and Ozma job is to “decide” wht to do w/h it when time come?

  • April 24, 2012 at 12:27 amD-LaN

    Dang it, keep 4getting to thk the writers. Congrats on your 1st fin blogged show Zephyr-san. I am looking 4ward 4 your future “projects”.

  • April 24, 2012 at 4:59 amGhostalker

    This series has a lot of promise with a post-apocalyptic setting, engaging story, and under(sea)sand battles which are certainly very exciting to watch. The series presents a retro look also which in the beginning can feel awkward but eventually I found it as a nice refresh from the mostly modern animation style I’m watching now. The only drawback thought was the relative shortness of the series which I think hinders certain aspect of the storytelling.

    Overall a good short series.

  • April 25, 2012 at 4:36 pmsealouse

    I gotta be honest, I’m not reading your wall of text for a series that was only 6 episodes long. I think you just need to take this show for what it is. A huge throwback to the Sci-Fi shows of the 80s with CGI mixed in. Anyways if this actually aired in the 80s you probably wouldn’t care about the details too much and the characters acted exactly like I expected them to. So yeah it was a good reminder of the good old days.

  • April 27, 2012 at 3:09 pmBoozerX

    Generic ending to a great series.