Leiji Matsumoto’s OZMA is an anime released during the spring 2012 anime season. If Leiji Matsumoto’s name sounds familiar then you must be a Daft Punk fan because he also did Interstella 5555: The 5ecret 5tar 5ystem which was set to the French House duo’s brilliant album Discovery. OZMA was WOWOW’s 20th anniversary project and the show does feel like something special. Lasting only 6 episodes, the show comes and goes pretty quickly. The one thing you can say about this show right off the bat is that this show has a lot of action and suspense. Don’t believe me? Watch the show and discover it for yourself. Oh, wait this is the beginning of the review. Alright, review is starting… NOW!
Set in a distant future where Earth has been completely covered in sand, a young man named Sam is on the trail of the legendary sand whale Ozma, finds a woman named Maya who is fleeing from an enemy army. The Bardanos, Sam’s ship, takes Maya and they soon discover a secret about Maya that will change their lives forever. The Theseus Army, the enemy in which Maya is running from, is on the run to take her back. If there was a definition of standard, run of the mill story and characters, this could be it. You don’t expect characters to be special in something in which the action is the absolute front runner. The one problem with the characters is that the supporting characters are fairly interesting but since there isn’t a lot of time for character development those characters are set to the side. The story is nothing to brag about either and quite honestly, I found to be pretty boring.
The main positive with this anime is the animation is absolutely fantastic. Gonzo went the extra mile in trying to make this show look beautiful and they succeeded in a big way. Everything looks great and looks like a billion bucks. Seriously, it really looks like the show spent at least a billion bucks making this show looking nice and shiny. It was the only thing that made want to come back into this show. I liked the music too. It does a fairly good job in raising the emotional levels of scenes that call for such pieces of music. Of course, with the story and characters being fairly boring, the music tries its hardest in trying to prove to you that a particular emotional scene deserves to be seen. I give the music an A for effort but a D in proving its point.
Speaking about characters, the male lead Sam is another one of those kids who happens to be a part of something bigger than his height and he isn’t a great lead to make you care about anything. It seems his story is lost in the bigger picture. I wish we could’ve learned more about him but again, 6 episodes isn’t enough to get a story behind anyone. Actually, now that I think about it, the only 2 characters to get any sort of development is Bainas, the captain of the Bardanos and Gido, the so-called enemy who we later find out has a past with Bainas. It is with these 2 characters that we are led to show us the way but again I just don’t care. How many times do I have to tell you people? I DON’T CARE! No, please don’t make me go on with this. Do I really? Okay.
The opening theme is done by Korean rock band FT Island and it is done in English. It’s not a bad song but it won’t stay with you for days on end. The ending is also nothing major but during an emotional scene in the last episode, it’s actually pretty effective. They should’ve just used that song for the emotional scenes more often. I probably would’ve cared a little bit more. Let’s see what we have here: A standard story, not so average characters, fair music but amazing visuals. This anime has all the criteria for a Michael Bay film. I feel good about myself for that one. I wasn’t expecting much from this and even with the low expectations, I feel let down. The anime fools you into thinking this show is something epic but in reality, it falls flat on its face. Epic = false pretenses. The show hasn’t been licensed for home video release by any North American company which is probably a bad sign.