Review: OzumaPosted: April 23, 2012
Animation Studios: Gonzo & LandQ studios
Number of Episodes: 6
Length per Episode: Approximately 24 minutes
I figured I’d get one more post out to make up for not posting the last few days. Plus, it’s nice to be able to cross out more than one post on my backlog list.
Anyways, before I start rambling about unrelated stuff, let’s get to actually reviewing this show.
A quick way to sum up Ozuma is that it’s formulaic. Main character goes out on his own, finds mysterious girl, bad people want mysterious girl, mysterious girl decides to go back on her own for silly reasons, good guys go after bad guys to get mysterious girl back, mysterious girl does some fantastical thing that only she is capable of, etc. Heck, they even had a Heroic Return moment with an iconic character showing up and sacrificing himself, although there was a slight twist to it.
But see, here’s the thing: formulaic doesn’t automatically equate to being bad. If anything, it gives it a neutral starting point with the chance of becoming good if it’s handled well. There’s a reason that the formula exists in the first place, after all. It’s been shown to work, and it’s loose enough for it to be used very well, or very badly. I’d say with a decent amount of confidence that Ozuma is an example of the former.
Well, most of the time, at least.
There’s obviously some things the show didn’t handle quite so well, one of the most glaringly obvious being the character designs. Though it’s hard to say whether the actual designs themselves are bad or not, the problem is that everything else in the show is absolutely gorgeous. By going for old character design aesthetics, pretty much everything else in the show makes them look ugly in comparison. They just don’t mesh well, and the show should have gone full old-school with everything, or used more modern-looking character designs.
Another problem the show had (and a good example of how to not use the formula well) was the sad excuse of a relationship between Sam and Maya. There was absolutely no chemistry between them, so when Sam went nuts and wanted to save her, it just made him look like an idiot. It also completely destroyed any possibility of tension with the end scene where Maya leaves.
Though oddly enough it seemed like the show was aware of how badly the relationship was handled, because boy does Sam get over her pretty damn quickly. “No! The girl I’ve been crazy for the last few episodes left us to hopefully make the future better! …Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.”
A far more minor complaint was that they named Sam’s brother Dick. I mean, I’m not trying to be immature, but every time a character longingly cried out “Dick!” I couldn’t help but laugh. I can usually understand when the story is based off some true story, because then it was an actual person that had the name, but in a fictional story I just cannot fathom why anyone would name a character ‘Dick’. Especially when it’s someone who gets cried for repeatedly.
But honestly, despite those problems and a few other minor ones, I enjoyed the adventure that Ozuma gave. With only six episodes, it never really had any down time, so it was pretty much always engaging, and the journey itself was just fun.
So Ozuma was a pretty standard adventure story, but there’s really nothing wrong with that. If you’re willing to forgive a few stumbles here and there, it’s a decently entertaining 6-episode ride.
RATING: 8 out of 10.