All in all, I enjoyed that second episode of Ozma very much. The animation is very obviously done on the cheap here, and that’s not a strength of the series, but I could just sit and stare at Matsumoto Leiji’s character designs and ship interiors all day with a stupid grin on my face. It becomes obvious as you watch a Matsumoto work that his “look” is frequently copied, but never quite matched.
Not that there’s nothing else to recommend the series. Most of the ep was a high-stakes game of chicken between Captain Bainas and Gido (Hayami Sho) leading the fleet that’s searching for the submerged vessel. This was like a classic WW II submarine adventure, with Bainas trying to use silent running to avoid detection, and Gido trying to use depth charges, anchors and every trick in the book to smoke her out. Eventually Bainas has to turn off her ship’s “QTF” field to avoid detection, but this causes the heat and pressure to build up until both crew and engines are on the verge of collapse – and it seems if Gido had wanted nothing but to destroy the ship he could have done so. But Bainas won the game of chicken because Gido needs Maya alive, and eventually withdrew rather than see her destroyed. I sense more than practical considerations for GIdo here, as he seems reluctant to give in to evil.
Speaking of Maya, it seems she’s abnormally sensitive to heat, as she was on the verge of death while Sam and his mates were still just having a good sweat. She’s clearly necessary for the plans of the Theseus and their leader Shogoun Danga (Kuroda Takaya – what fun to hear he and Hayami Sho having a conversation). I’m also paying a lot more attention to the photo from the ED, which made an appearance in the episode this week, and wondering who the young man in the center of the frame is. Sam’s aniki, perhaps?
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 24
Another pretty interesting episode of AGE this week, continuing the revenge theme that seems to drive most of this arc. You have Grodek promising to deliver vital information to Flit about a conspiracy inside the Earth forces government, only to be killed by Arabel Zoi, the son of the Vagan commander he killed in his own act of revenge. Zoi is then killed by the agents working with him, now that his purpose has been fulfilled. I wonder if Grodek has been set-up here and fed bogus information, or whether he was simply silenced by the infiltrator before he could release the info. Given that he deleted the evidence in his final moments, it’s clear he didn’t want it to end up in anyone’s hands besides Flit.
As for Asemu, he seems to be more and more of a lost soul. Zaeheart actually approaches him to make a last-ditch effort to talk him out of fighting, so that he can go all-out on the battlefield himself. The fact that Romary came to Zaeheart’s defense has to have been really galling, and the evidence is that she really seems to prefer the Vagan. Could it be that Arisa is actually destined to be Asemu’s wife – or even that he’s not to be the father of the 3rd-generation hero, Kio? I doubt that, but Asemu is in a pretty deep metaphysical hole, here, and not even superpowered AGE “double-wing” equipment or a confiscated UE helmet granting him X-rounder powers are likely to help, as it’s still just Asemu pursuing a path of trying to be someone else and not himself. It’ll be interesting to see how he redeems himself(if at all) and what happens to Flit from here, as he could seriously go over the age from hard-liner to war criminal pretty quickly. I’m getting the feeling that the sympathetic feelings being generated for the Vagans are not a diversion, but in fact the main direction of the plot.