Thus Begins the Matsumoto Blitz: Ozma!!!
And this one is out in March! HERE. It looks like this will be the first of several projects coming from the master in 2012 and 2013.
I commented elsewhere that since Leiji Matsumoto is very much into ancient astronaut theories as well as into the Mayan civilization, all of his activity recently might be linked to the year 2012. That’s a joke, maybe..
What’s no joke is my suspicion that there’s been some major development in the Yamato legal battle that we’ve not been made aware of. Over in a couple of 2ch threads the fans are going crazy speculating on what can and cannot be shown on Nishizaki Jr’s upcoming Yamato 2999 remake and on Matsumoto’s Mahoroba film (which will feature Yamato in some way or another). I think the debates are pointless because it’s looking more and more obvious that the two men are letting each other be.
I mention this now because Nobuteru Yuki is listed as co-character designer for this project, and at the same time he’s doing character design for the Yamato 2199 remake. I don’t think he’d have been able to work for both sides at the same time like this if Nishizaki’s son and Leiji weren’t getting along to some degree. But maybe I’m wrong.
THE ACTUAL THING
So it’s going to be 6 episodes to celebrate the 20th anniversary of a TV network. The episodes will air Friday at midnight, and in the weeks prior to these the same network will be showing older Matsumoto shows (Harlock Saga etc) to whet people’s appetites.
This site [here] has tons of info in Japanese on this “out of the blue” project. There’s so much info that considering the fact that this is only going to be 6 episodes long I’m afraid there won’t be much left to watch. The setting is dystopic, in a future where Earth is full of deserts. The main guy, Sam Coin, reminds me of Susumu Kodai. He’s running around doing stuff in the desert and intends to avenge the death of his brother, who’s apparently died at the hands of a mysterious creature called Ozma. There’s a blue-haired character called Maya (though I imagine Leiji might prefer we spelled it Maja) whose story seems Akiraesque: she’s one of a group of ideal children, and is running away from the military. Then you have Mimei and Bainas. Mimei is a crew member and Bainas is the captain of a sand pirate ship, and they’ll of course will be helping Sam and Maja out. The blond Mimei’s name is practically Miime (with the “i” switched around) and Bainas is likely based on Venus. Oh, and she’s basically an Emeraldas or Harlock.
WHERE IT COMES FROM
Matsumoto released a manga called Lightning Ozma in the 1960s. I haven’t read it (though I’m extremely tempted to get it from ebooksjapan) but from what I gather this looks to be somewhat vaguely related to it.
The notable thing about that manga is how it was a grandfather to the Space Battleship Yamato franchise. Starblazers.com has a great article on this [here]. There’s also a nice review of the manga on the page [here], about halfway down. If any of you actually read those links I want you to keep them in mind for the inevitable occasion when someone watching this TV show will say: “But he’s just ripping it off Yamato!” And then you’ll be able to tell them: actually, he’s just rehashing what he himself was working on a decade before Yamato 😀