Ozuma - 5
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Acknowledging formidable opponents, talking about the ethics of cloning and superiority complexes held by one race of people over the other. What a polemical episode this turned out to be.
You know those time when you have to get out of your ship and congratulate your opponent for a splendid fight before drawing your gun once more If you don't your missing out but watching the first minute of this episode should suffice in giving you an idea of how it feels when you do that. And with just that stand off almost the entire flow of the episode ended up with Bainas, something I wasn't upset over since as a main character Sam is very frustrating.
After the initial meeting between Gido and Bainas, both ships end up submerging and arriving in the "Zone" - a rather generic name if you ask me and as a basketball fan, the zone means 2 different things anyway so I was not feeling the importance of the name given to this supposed utopian laboratory. Since the other episodes have all been set in the Tatooine-like dessert, I kind of expected this development where they revealed an area filled with water and wildlife which also makes sense geographically speaking (water does percolate through rocks and goes through sand).
I would have liked to see Sam stay put and for once obey Bainas but yet again his character decided to act on impulse and immaturity, even trying to dissuade Mimay from joining him with the exploration of this new territory because he was obviously going to search for Maya. He get's captured, proving his ineptitude once again, letting Bainas take over again as the centre of attention (yay!). And the rest of the episode finally reveals all of the withheld information: confirming that Gido's body is in fact Dick's, explaining what ideal children are fully and of course revealing that Maya is a centuries old ancient who was there when the cloning processes started.
In regards to the whole issue of cloning and Baina's and Sam's brief glmpse of hope that Gido is really Dick, the episode felt like a philosophical discussion as to whether one is no longer himself when his body has been used to implant another's memories and the problems faced with cloning such as weakening genetics as generations pass. A very typical sci-fi plot device dealing with the superiority complex held by one race over another does appear in a lot of different anime and didn't particularly add interest to Ozuma's plot because this series is ending next episode.
The redeeming part of the episode was Sam's talk with Mimay where he reveals his feelings and allows us to sympathise with his character a little, making him more likeable. That conversation also made me think that focus of the series was never going to be about defeating Ozuma, who if anything doesn't seem to be a vile creature, but the search for one's brother and not wanting to let go - something both Sam and Bainas share in common but go about different ways in doing so. At that point it was was the first time anyone could actually relate to Sam since he, much like quite a few characters in sci-fi plots, expressed his concern over his own inadequacies.
Even if the story isn't about capturing Ozuma, Sam will face it next episode and presumably by defeating it will gain peace of mind. Yes it does sound a little cheesy but hey, that's what we could get. How Gido will act when he presumably re-appears is yet to be seen but I figure it can go one of two ways: he will try and take over as a ruler or he will sacrifice himself - my bet is the first option but I could be wrong.