Ozmafia!! – Mid Season Review
Original Air Dates: Jul 6, 2016 to ???
Synopsis: A young girl named Fuka has lost her memories. She wanders the unfamiliar town she’s found herself in and realizes she’s being chased by someone. The Oz Family, a local mafia syndicate, saves her. Fuka must now discover who is friend or foe in this town of friendship and conflict. But also why has she lost her memories? And also….
Why did I bother telling you any of this? While the Ozmafia!! Otome game may have been about this, none of that would fit into the short-form anime format! So instead Ozmafia is now a school story!
Scarlet has just transfered to Oz Academy but finds he’s already in trouble! The three boys who save him are Caramia, Kyrie, and Axel. They’re his new classmates.
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Just like it’s confusing summary, the actual Ozmafia show is a little hard to break down. There isn’t much of a story for the first four episodes besides the viewers having to watch as Scarlet starts life at a new school and meets all sorts of wacky characters; teachers, classmates and even the principal. Each episode usually has him trying to survive crazy shenanigans with the jokes rarely ever being that funny or unique.
Tom: Six episodes in and I can safely say the first third of this series is entirely boring as it focuses on Scarlet coming to terms with his new school and its odd set of teachers. In fact, those first four episodes are very unmemorable and I have to really think hard just to recall anything about them. It’s only in episode 5 and mostly 6 where things really pick up and, consequently, stray very far from the preceding events. Episode 6 is almost all action and while the mayhem is animated with a startlingly low budget, with tight shots and quick cuts, it’s effective and holds your attention far more than anything else has during Ozmafia!!’s run. That said, it glosses over the details or any kind of set up to really explain who these characters really are and why they have their powers or weapons, etc. leaving you more confused than enthralled.
Linny: The most recent episodes, aka episodes 5 and 6, are about assassins/ rivals attacking the school which plays very different than the preceding episodes. It ends on a cliffhanger of sorts but since this show does so little to properly introduce new characters, even a cliffhanger style introduction of a new character is easily forgettable. Ozmafia!! seems to have a revolving door approach to handling its characters. You’re constantly gaining and losing cast members, so unsurprisingly this latest addition fails to stand out.
Tom: Outside of our main character, the rest of our cast is formed of the odd ball teachers. Scarlet himself is a timid straight man constantly overcome by confusion and disbelief at the sheer wealth of crazy around him. The teacher characters generally feel interchangeable, their defining traits being how dangerous and stand offish they all feel. Sure, there’s one who’s violent by nature, or another with a crazy voice, but outside of their designs, their personalities feel hollow and devoid of detail. It’s clearly all hinging on the comedy formed by taking these gangster type characters and throwing them into a school setting as instructors. But the characterization for each is so subdued, so minimal in the time allotted that it just doesn’t resonate like it could.
Linny: Their over the top, aggressive attitude starts to feel forced and repetitive as the rowdier characters spend almost every episode either arguing with each other, arguing with other people, or belittling Scarlet. Their strong personalities are probably a symptom of the show’s Otome roots, which often have a couple of arrogant or aggressive characters for the player to romance. But this being a short form show coupled with the rushed pace at which it tells its story, the characters feel generic and barely leave much of an impression due to a lack of exposition.
Tom: Ozmafia!! does have some very vibrant and colorful animation going for it, making use of a wide palette that keeps the visuals flashy and oddly memorable. It also makes use of this odd chibi design, but abandons that style during after credits material and the majority of episode six in favor of a more standard style during the action sequences. I assume it’s to make the action stand out as cool, but the visual shift is jarring considering the chibi designs have been so prevalent otherwise.
Linny: I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that the animation quality of Ozmafia!! is very basic. There are often scenes where the character movements look stilted or certain frames look as if they could have used some quality control. The bright colour palette does help to make the show pop. What I found most distracting, however, is how every character has an extreme chibi look with a giant head and the body of a skinny kindergartner. It’s all the more disconcerting to see these child like bodies and faces talk like thugs or discuss falling in love and other adult topics. It has the potential to be comedic for some thanks to the odd contrast, but it can also make it difficult to get immersed into the story in the first place. There’s of course a change in design mid season to depict the characters in combat, which surprised me as the show seemed content to make its characters fight in their chibi form all the while before this. Does this mean a permanent change or are we just returning to the status quo next week?
Tom: Overall Ozmafia!! just doesn’t offer enough for newcomers. It’s humor isn’t impressive enough, and it feels like an understanding of the original Otome game is required to appreciate what’s being done here. It’s probably best to steer clear of this fan service reimagining until you’ve played the Otome game it was originally based off– assuming you have any interest in that in the first place.
Linny: Thanks to its rather bizarre approach to adapting its source material, Ozmafia!! seems like it would be a hard sell even to fans of the original game. From the peculiar character designs to the over aggressive comedy, there’s not much here that stands out as a must see. It’s most likely going to be another victim to the short form show standard as yet another forgettable and avoidable series. Unless you are extremely starved for comedy shorts or find the character designs appealing, you’re probably better off giving this show a skip.
Ozmafia!! is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.