Ozma: Rightfully Relegated, Unfortunately Boring

One show that I had pretty high expectations for, mainly due to the reasons expressed in my last post, was the six episode series, Ozma. Unfortunately, the series has thus far been languishing in needless exposition, and probably would have been better served as a shorter movie. Making matters worse has been the unfortunate inclusion of Sam, who seemed to, and may still technically, be the series’ main character. However, after viewing episode 4, and recalling some of the events that have thus far transpired, it would seem that his inclusion in the series has, thus far, been completely irrelevant.

Instead, the series has rightfully focused, for the most part, on its most marketable aspect – submersible sand ship combat. Yet, even this haven of animation, more reminiscent of a  good U-boat fight, than Sci-fi drama, has been brought down as a result of Sam’s presence. If you re-watch the second half of the 4th episode, you’ll see that the most that Sam does is cheer lead from behind the captain’s chair. Even when Sam has had notable action scenes, the end results have almost all resulted in failure, with his inability to rescue Maya as case in point, and either endangered his life or his fellow crew members. So unless Sam somehow grows up ten years in the next two episodes, it is worth wondering what his role in the series will be.

The only place the answer could be found is the only other focus to the series – the aforementioned sand ship combat – and the source of the contrast between Sam and the rest of the cast. This difference is the power found within an organization, a team, a crew. As Sam stood on the sidelines in the second half of episode 4, the Sand Ship battle wasn’t just between Bainas and Gido, but their ships and their crew. Sure, they were the stars of the show, but could they have accomplished all that they did without trusting that their crewman would do their jobs, and do them well. The simple answer is no. Now, was this really highlighted within episode 4? Again, the answer would be no, but Bainas was able to stop Gido, and will potentially be able to rescue Maya, when Sam so magnificently failed. If anything, this highlights the differences in the strength and maturity between adults and children.

As much as I appreciate the finely tuned and subtle approach the series has thus far utilized in its action scenes, I do see how, and at times have found, this could be boring to others, specifically teen viewers. The show would certainly be more interesting if Sam had some Geass-like ability or alchemist powers, but that has been done. But this show isn’t Code Geass or FMA. Those shows, among other themes, showed that children could compete, interact, and even defeat adults. Thus, ridiculous futuristic premise aside, this anime is a bit more realistic in its portrayal of the power dynamic between adults and children. Whether or not this means the show is more interesting or better, is a matter of preference. That said, it is a preference I would judge you on.

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