Ozuma – 05

A standoff betwen Gido and Bainos is interrupted by Ozuma. Both ships make emergency dives and end up in a mysterious underground paradise with clean air, water, and greenery. Sam and Mimei reconnoitre and find that Gido’s ship is stuck in the solid rock wall. Sam goes aboard the ship and is quickly captured. Bainos offers Gido assistance, but he wants the Bardanos, and will trade Sam for her. A firefight ensues, and Bainos shoots Gido’s mask off, revealing Dick. Maya tells her Theseus has taken to putting the minds of Ideal Children in the bodies of abducted Natura, like Dick. She herself is one of the original humans, who has stayed alive for centuries thanks to cloning. As General Denga’s fleet nears, Bainos prepares to use Monokeros against Ozuma.

When you only have six episodes to work with, it’s important to keep things uncomplicated. And to its credit, Ozuma has done just that, while still keeping things interesting. Case in point: Sam’s brother Dick isn’t Dick anymore, he’s Gido. Gido’s mind controlling what was Dick’s body. It’s pretty diabolical technology, but considering the Ideal Children system is coming apart at the seams, they apparently didn’t see any alternative. And since Gido isn’t the product of brainwashing, it would seem the Dick Sam and Bainos know is gone for good.

This week we were treated to another dimension of the awesome setting in the surreal “Zone”, some kind of underground seed bank. Again, we were reminded of the pure, clean, and peaceful realm beneath the Sea of Decay in Nausicaa. It’s a very cool-looking place we wouldn’t mind exploring ourselves, and what has been a consistently-excellent orchestral score really sells it here. The big finale next week will involve Maya running out of time in her current body, the Ozuma she can somewhat control, the ultimate fate of the power-hungry Gido, and, of course, General Denga. Should be fun.

Rating: 3.5

Moretsu Pirates – 15

Using a false image of Kane, the Yacht Club is given clearance to depart from base under the guise of a practice cruise, but their true goal is to intercept the powered-down Bentenmaru, board her, and commence piracy under Marika’s command. The Bentenmaru crew observes from a series of hidden cameras, and through Show, secretly transmits hastily-compiled manuals crucial for the ship’s startup sequence. But the manuals do not include FTL info, so Marika has to go by memory to jump the ship and evade Alliance ships. The Serenity sisters and Chiaki learn about the help Marika’s crew gave her, but decide to keep it a secret.

Is Marika Kato an incredibly bright, resourceful, talented, driven young woman? Darn tootin’. Can she singlehandedly get the Bentenmaru properly started-up and running without the aid of her crew? In a word, no. But that’s okay. Marika needs help from both friends, family, and classmates, whether she knows it or not. Otherwise she wouldn’t need a crew at all. The series has done a good job keeping her out of Amazing Flawless Perfect Girl territory. This is the future, after all; even if her crew is quarrantined, the technology exists for them to give her quite a bit of assistance from afar; as well as keep an eye on her progress. Misa told her they wouldn’t be around to bail her out, but she really meant they wouldn’t be able to help her as much as if they were free.

The Yacht Club girls ooh and aah as a group of high school amateur spacefarers are expected to do, and seem more than up to the challenge of operating the ship once they learn how. The hiccups in the process – a girl accidentally firing the ship’s laser cannons; stalling the engines on the first go – aptly illustrated that there was a learning curve. The Serenity sisters stow away yet again (thanks to Chiaki, interestingly enough), and their contribution consists of pumping up the club’s blood sugar with a bevy of decadent desserts (perhaps the reason Chiaki helped them). A little silly, perhaps, but not offensively so. And of course, most importantly, no one was killed!

Rating: 3.5