Ozuma – 06 (Fin)

Ozuma arrives in the Zone, and Mimay and Sam fly Maya to it’s “head” to speak to it. The giant whale-like machine opens its jaws and swallows the three of them whole. Maya reveals her purpose as an original human: she has chosen to awaken all of the life stored in the Zone and release it into the environement, creating a new ecosystem where humans are no longer the highest form of life. She joins with Ozuma just as Denga’s fleet carpets the Zone with depth charges and missiles.

Ozuma becomes enraged and lashes out, threatening the structure of the Zone and destroying Denga and his fleet. Dick awakens from Gido, only to sacrifice himself by launching Monokeros, which calms Ozuma. Maya then completes her duty, and the Zone explodes with green life. A new world has begun.

Add up the six episodes of Ozuma and you’ve got the equivalent of a full-length feature film that runs just over two hours, which just happens to be the same link as some of our favorite Miyazaki films (Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, Mononoke, etc.) And as a whole Ozuma works quite well as a film: confident in its storytelling while cognizant of the limits of a short run. It’s efficient and doesn’t try to do too much. It also does what any film worth watching must do: hold our interest and be entertaining. After previous episodes focused on individual battles, the tactics therein, and politics, the climactic final episode takes everything that’s been set up thus far and brings everything to its logical conclusion.

Ozuma is shown in all its awesome, mechanical whale-like glory (its ‘eyes’ even change from blue to red when angered, like the Ohmu), Maya does what she needs to do; Sam protests but is held back by Mimei, Dick returns to finish what he set out to start, the bad guy is brought to justice, and the barren planet is given a new lease on life, as long as the humans who live there can get along. None of this is revolutionary stuff, but like we said, it absorbs and stimulates well enough.

Rating: 4

Moretsu Pirates – 16

With the crew getting more comfortable with the Bentenmaru’s systems, Marika announces their first piracy job: the plundering of the luxury liner Princess Apricot, a regular client. The tactical maneuvers prove tricky, but after a rocky docking, the crew boards the liner dressed in cosplay, initially confusing but ultimately charming the customers, and the mission is a surprising success. When Grunhilde reports seeing Lynn talking to someone over the comms, Marika confronts her. Lynn tells her she has a new mission for the Bentenmaru: the kidnapping of former Yacht Club president Jenny Dolittle.

Moretsu (or mouretsu) translates as ‘bodacious’, which is defined as either “excellent” or “audacious in a way considered admirable.” The normal Bentenmaru crew fits the first definition: they’re pros and they’re excellent at their jobs; so much so, they weathered the changing of captains without breaking a sweat. The Yacht Club fits the second definition: it indeed takes audacity to field a trainee crew for a piracy job meant for the first-string crew, and they do an admirable job.

True to the spirit of this series, the mission doesn’t go off without a hitch. There’s nothing routine about it for these kids; it’s hard both to maneuver the ship into position and to provide the proper combination of entertainment and intimidation for their customers, while maintaining their confidence. Chiaki fills in nicely for Misa as Marika’s right-hand-woman, sweating details like finding the crew quarters and even playing the mom at times. And the episode leads on that Lynn is Up To Something like espionage or treachery, but it turns out she wants the Bentenmaru to assist her in abducting her former president, Jenny. Why, we’ll find out another day.

Rating: 3.5

Accel World – 03

Chiyu is upset by Haru’s association with Kuroyukihime. Hime sits in a cafe with Haru and explains the hierarchy in the Accelerated World: she was one of seven “Kings of Pure Color” who had attained Level 9, who ruled their own realms. Wanting to reach Level 10, meet the game’s creator and learn its purpose, she opposed a peace treaty and killed the Red King. She’s now a fugitive with a price on her head, both in the Accelerated and real worlds. She now has someone threatening her from the local school network, and wants Haru to help her learn the foe’s identity. Hime suspects Chiyu may be this “Cyan Pyle”, and Haru direct links with her and discovers back doors.

It’s been a while since we watched the first two episodes, but we already see a pattern: first episode, explanation; second, action; third, more explanation. This episode seems to be setting up a more action-oriented fourth episode. Regardless, there was a lot discussed about who Kuroyukihime is, what she wants, and where Haru fits in. She even reveals things to him about Chiyu he didn’t know before – surprising considering how far back they go – namely, that she is a burst linker like them. Hime believes Chiyu wanted to recruit Haru, but she got to him first. Their conversation takes up nearly three-quarters of the episode, and its mostly via direct link, so any bystander would just see a guy and a girl sitting in a cafe staring at each other in silence, which is pretty funny.

Chiyu, for her part, keeps her cards close. When Haru comes to her house to apologize “properly” via a direct link, it quickly becomes a very awkward, intimate, and surprisingly touching scene. As the only available cord is so short, Haru essentially has to lie on top of Chiyu during the link. Chiyu clearly harbors feelings for him and doesn’t understand his self-hatred, but Haru has been uncomfortable around Chiyu and Taku ever since they’ve become a couple. It’s interesting how Chiyu isn’t aware Haru is looking through her files while talking with her, ultimately coming across suspicious back doors. So far the dynamics between characters are well-executed and interesting, and despite this being mostly people blabbing without moving their mouths, the episode was surprisingly entertaining, and backed up by a good soundtrack. Haru was a lot less pathetic  in this episode, and we find ourselves liking him more and more. So he’s a dwarf. So what?

Rating: 7 (Very Good)

Car Cameos: Many cars stream past as Haru and Hime stroll down the city streets, including a Mitsubishi Colt Plus, a lilac Toyota Estima, and a partially-obscured but still easily-identifiable Nissan March.