When OZMA first aired, we were following the adventures of Sam as he comes across a mysterious runaway known as Maya. Throughout the first five episodes of the series, Sam and the pirate crew lead by Bainas were doing their best to protect her from the group known as Theseus. There was also some Moby Dick elements thrown in with the mysterious whale known as Ozma.
With each passing episode, you could not help but to be concerned because of the way how time was spent in each episode. For example, spending an entire episode on a submarine battle is not the best way to ensure the viewers that the story will come to a proper resolution. By the time we arrive at the show's finale, the main cast encounters a hidden realm within their planet, and at the center of it lies the truth behind Ozma. On top of that, Gido was there with Maya as his prisoner, and the rest of Theseus was planning an all out attack. Just from what I mentioned, this sound like something that might be impossible to resolve in one episode.
However, OZMA somehow succeeds in giving us a resolution that brings the main premise to an end. While the story would have been more effective as a longer series, OZMA did manage to stick with a main objective through and through. In the end, we manage to learn about the purpose of Ozma and Maya's reasoning for entering the story.
What held OZMA back was that certain scenes in the series might have worked better if we would have gotten the chance to expand on certain story elements. One of the most guiltiest ones is the relationship between Bainas and Sam's brother known as Dick, which could have been an emotional moment if we got to connect with that story a bit more. Because the series ended up being short, there were a few last minute elements that were thrown in that felt kind of out of place, which resulted in some minor plot holes in regards to a certain character that should have been dead.
It would have also been nice to have spent more time with the rest of the pirate crew, since they came off as a fun group of people to be around. But on the bright side, the battles in the series manage to show the way how each character performs in the face of danger, which felt similar to the teamwork shown in Space Battleship Yamato.
OZMA is not a terrible series by any means. It may feel a bit rushed in the story telling department, but it manages to become a decent series that might be enjoyable to those who are into sci-fi, pirates, desert environments, and/or anything by Leiji Matsumoto. Running at six episodes, you are not wasting that much time by diving into it. Heck, the total run time is equivalent to watching a movie or two.
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