「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).
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! 😀