[Review] Ozuma

Ozuma (or Ozma) was my first Matsumoto Leiji experience, and was just as grandiose as I had expected.  There’s an almost Miyazaki-esque feel to the themes of Nature and Man permeating the show, with reverence paid to Life’s raw power and mutability.  Complete with gorgeously detailed backdrops and sweeping orchestral sounds, we are expected to stand in awe of the beauty that is Life.  This life resists all forms of control: the Ideal Children’s attempt to infinitely replicate their genetic code, their further manipulation of the Natura’s bodies as shells for their own souls, and even in the Ozuma’s strangely sentient acts of self-preservation.  Through these struggles, the very definition of humanity is questioned.  What is more human than fighting to protect a way of life and set of ideals? What is the human mind, but a means for forever expanding the horizons of knowledge?

Almost hand-in-hand with these questions is an additional dispute of duty and love.  There are quite a few examples in Ozuma where characters display obvious signs of affection bordering on love, or even obsession.  And yet, in almost each case, those feelings are pushed aside for the greater good.  Duty triumphs and the “right” path is taken.

“Live, and love each other.  That is all humanity can do.”

Wonderfully imagined, Ozuma suffers from too little time and overly lofty goals.  A large array of themes are presented, only to turn into simplified lessons, or never addressed again at all.

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Initial Impressions: Ozuma

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.

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