Ozma – 05
Well, the great Dick mystery is solved – it is him, and it isn’t. Gido took Dick’s body, but according to Maya, Dick’s consciousness was killed in the process. That’s pretty harsh, but also consistent with where the story has been headed. We have a bunch of clones – the “Ideal Children” – who came to realize that all their genetic robustness was gone, and the wildling “Natura” were better able to adapt to the hostile world they shared. Classic Matsumoto, really. As was the Shangri-la in the caves underneath the desert, some sort of natural lab where all of of the planet’s life could flourish in mysteriously benign conditions.
We were this close to finding out just what was the deal with Ozma before Danga showed up with his fleet, but it’s obvious that the sand whale (who pissed him off?) is the key to whatever Maya has planned. And as one of the “original humans” and Queen of Theseus, she seemed to be the only hope for some sort of future that reconciles the Natura and the Ideals. I hadn’t guessed that she was a clone herself, transferring her consciousness to each new body as it was cloned, but it makes sense in this mythology. I still wish this had been a movie or a longer series, because it feel rushed as a six-part series. There just hasn’t been enough time to develop the characters beyond the simple mechanics of their role in the plot, and I suspect as a film the story would have been streamlined considerably to allow for more such development.
Mobile Suit Gundam AGE – 27
Now that was an interesting twist. I figured Obright’s death warrant had been sealed when Remi Ruth accepted his proposal, but not – fate and Sunrise flipped the trope and killed her instead. It’s interesting to see a woman die protecting her man in anime, and pretty uncommon. That’s about as heroic a death as a maintenance tech is likely to get.
As for the rest of the episode, I thought it was rather good – one of the best of the series right down to the episode title, “Aki Yuuhi wo Mita” (I saw a Red Sunset) in fact. The battle sequences were rather elegantly choreographed and there was a certain poetry to the way Asemu and Zaeheart were maneuvered into working together one more time to save the Earth. I must say, however, that it’s a miracle the Vagans must me one of the most incompetent fighting forces I’ve ever seen – ever one of Ezelcant’s master plans seems to end up in a disaster for them (though they did have a Plan B this time – or was it Plan A all along?).
So now we’re left with the finale of Asemu’s arc, and things have moved to Earth at last. Most of Zeaheart’s close associates are dead but he survives, thanks to Dole. Asemu sees his first sunset, Ezelcant’s landing capsules are there too, unbeknownst to Flit and the Diva. Asemu’s had a rocky road but at least he seems to have grown some in the end, though I’m a bit disappointed if his great insight was in finding what was worth being a warrior for – I’d hoped he might buck tradition and find a destiny as peacemaker. But judging by the preview that’s not likely, so perhaps it will fall to his son to assume that role…
Area no Kishi – 15
The mystery of Tsujido High is solved – their #10 has the somewhat dubious ability to fire a throw-in with laser-like speed and accuracy for 40 yards. If I had a guy who could do that I’d certainly do what they did – kick the ball off your opponent and try to get as many throw-ins as possible. That’s how they score most of their goals including their first one here, though their second did come in the run of play. That first goal was the result of Enoshima’s defenders forgetting that the offside rule doesn’t apply on throw-ins, an interesting loophole to drive a plot through.
I’m not sure I like the device of using the annoying broadcast club guy to describe every second of the match – I was right along with the Enoshima cheering section when they told him to shut up – but I did think the fan comments during his player introductions (“Who’s he?” Lose some weight, Araki!”) were the funniest moment in the series so far. The match itself goes especially poorly, with Enoshima down 2-0 at halftime and playing a man down after Hino is goaded into two yellow cards by an old rival on Tsujido and gets himself tossed – setting off a rather fierce rebuke by Kondou-sensei. For some reason Uryuu sets Iwaki’s head straight at halftime (that’s your opponent, Einstein) and he inserts Kakeru and Kota into the match after the break, along with backup keeper, Lee. Looks like we’re headed for more drama with Kakeru acting Suguru-like next week – I hope this time we get something a little less superficial out of that this time, and a real exploration of Kakeru’s character instead.
Saint Seiya Omega – 03
It’s getting harder and harder to see a way to keep shows like Saint Seiya Omega in my blogging schedule, which is a shame because this episode was excellent. The Palaestra Arc begins, and with it come all the trappings – the gruff male instructor, the tsundere but hot female classmate, the arrogant rival student who resents the new kid with his fancy Pegasus Cloth. It’s all in the service of Kouga trying to find his way back to Athena, and he receives the information that she’s at her temple – but that he can’t see her until he becomes a Gold Saint. Helping him along the way is going to be Yuna (Yukino Satsuki) who looks to be the main crush as well. Kouga is instrumental is getting her to buck the rules by taking off the mask that all female Saints are supposed to wear – any man who sees their face must be “killed – or loved”. A concession to modern gender politics there, perhaps.
As a relative neophyte to this franchise I’ll be following it with some interest, as things at Palaestra look as if they could get quite interesting and I certainly enjoy a well-produced old-school shounen. With the schedule being as packed as it is, though, it’s likely I won’t have time to blog it for this season, anyway. As always, that’s subject to change along with my whims.