Everything about Ozma screams classic in the making, from its opening plot, setting, characters, art style, and even soundtrack. And yet, I had walked into this without almost zero expectations, it being my first excursion into Matsumoto Leiji’s works (creator of Galaxy Express 999). The premise from the brief introductions I had read from season previews made it sound like some twist of Frank Herbert’s Dune series, which in itself isn’t a bad thing at all. I happen to be a huge fan of Dune, and so I used that as my basis for wanting to try this anime. Luckily, my inklings paid off with this grand first episode and I’m now dead set on Ozma as one of my leading shows to kick off the spring season.
I don’t know if the sand lizards of Ozma look anything like the sand lizards of Earth, but if so, then eating their eggs doesn’t really get my tummy a-rumblin’. Of course I would try it, since I would try most any food at least once, but the name doesn’t exactly promote salivation.
This is sort of how I felt about the visuals of Ozma; whenever I used to see stills of Galaxy Express 999, I would cringe away from the stretched female faces, oddly wide eyes heavy with lashes, and equally elongated bodies with their spindly limbs (think CLAMP, but worse). But after my immersion into Ozma, my tastes have somehow taken a 180. My excitement for the direction of this anime coupled with my interest in its characters have added an exotic undertone to my tasting, and I found myself actually liking the art style. Like a food uneasy on the eyes and ears, yet smooth on the tongue, I can’t stop gorging myself on the flavors.
Sci-fi adventures just do this to me–case in point: Nadia, The Secret of Blue Water (re-mastered this spring, hint, hint). I honestly think Nadia has some hideous-looking characters, but my love for that story has cast a glamour on the art. The music of Ozma also enhances my appreciation for the anime, using adventurous orchestral arrangements and haunting vocals reminiscent of The Fifth Element‘s Diva. This is one to watch wearing headphones!
All praises aside, there are some elements that do irk me with their conventionality and/or transparence. The villain looks like he stepped out of a typical Gundam story with his wild hair and white mask, and the nurse reveals a very traitorous face. But this is just the beginning of the six-part adventure, and I’m hoping for some backstory to create a bit of sympathy and depth. Six episodes may sound like a short amount of time, but handled properly (unlike Break Blade‘s lame ending), I think Ozma can pull it off.