「地の果てまで」 (Chi no Hate Made)
“To the Ends of the Earth”
Episodes like this are what Sci-Fi fans live for. I mean, the gorgeous close-ups of the Theseus submersible and the upgraded Bardanos alone would satisfy quite a few people. But no, this episode doesn’t just stop there. No, they have to top it off with some great combat scenes too; chock full of even more new weaponry and tactics to go with them. And you know what makes these aspects even better? The fact that many of these weapons and tactics are theoretically possible, if not already being used by military institutions around the world. Depth charges? Torpedoes? Active sonar? Submersibles? We got em all already. Lasers? We’re working on it. Heck, we even got railguns. Really, all that’s missing now are giant mechanical sand whales roaming our deserts… (Insert subtle hint here*)
In any case, we also find out a bit more about the past relationship between Bainas and Dick (revealed to be Sam’s older brother), which just adds more icing on top of the Ozuma cake. While the revelations weren’t unexpected, they were still surprisingly good, in the sense that they were incorporated well within the episode’s development. Furthermore, you know a revelation is good when it triggers some emotional sympathy even though you know what’s coming. Maybe it’s just because Bainas’ is just a darn great character. Maybe it’s because the face off at the end of the episode emphasizes the relationship even more. Either way, I can’t help but feel for Bainas this episode. Not only does she face off against someone who looks and sounds exactly the same as someone she loved and lost, but she also gets yelled at by his brother Sam, whose similarities to Dick must remind her of him on a daily basis. Combined with having to command a ship and fight off Theseus on a daily basis, really, how can you not feel for her? And how can you not respect someone who still manages to maintain such a calm and cool exterior?
Moving on… I want to talk a little bit about Sam’s character. I’m not quite sure if it’s only me, but Sam’s childish abandonment of the Bardanos and unjustified outburst at the beginning irked me a bit. I understand being a young kid and being emotional because you failed to save the prettiest girl you’ve ever met, but gosh darn, there’s a point where one should just stop and think about how ridiculous you’re being. I mean in the end, I guess you could chalk it up to him developing as a person, and things do work out after Mimay makes him realize Bainas’ intentions, but something about it just irked me a little bit. Though… I guess the fact that we get to see the development of Mimay’s character from this exchange balances everything out and then some. I mean, she could easily have just let Sam self-destruct and go on his suicide mission, but even though she clearly likes him, and he’s clearly infatuated with Maya, she decides to go and try to support him anyway. It’s not everyday you get a character like that; someone who could have let jealousy cloud her judgment, yet had the maturity not to give in to such emotions.
Now, I’ve spent quite a bit today just talking about the characters and the Sci-Fi elements, but there’s one more element that really made an impact this episode, and that was the background music. Don’t get me wrong though. I don’t mean to say that the music’s been bad up to this point or anything of the sort (it’s been anything but). But, the music this episode definitely upped things a notch and really added extra impact to major scenes, especially the combat toward the ending. Looking at his biography, I can’t say I’ve heard any of Yamashita Kousuke‘s other works, considering that he seems to be somewhat new in the industry, but this episode definitely put him on my radar, and I look forward to seeing more of his works in the future.
Overall, Ozuma is just a pleasure to watch. It’s not necessarily an epic masterpiece, but it’s still something that’s entertaining and worth watching. If the preview’s any indication, the last two episodes’ll be quite the wild ride, and I reckon I’ll be wowed quite a few more times before all’s said and done. Still, in the end, I wonder… Will we be saying that Ozuma was a great series because it was only six episodes? Or will we wondering what heights it could have reached if given more episodes to develop? The answer to that shall be quite interesting indeed.