Ding dong, the witch is dead!
…No, this isn’t some awkwardly belated anti-Thatcher jibe.
Ozmafia!! is an otoge set to be released in June, produced by new kids on the block Poni-Pachet. As one can easily tell by its title, Ozmafia is another VN which is heavily inspired by fairy tales, in particular the well known L. Frank Baum tale The Wizard of Oz. Its title is derived from a blend of ‘Oz’ (which, not coincidentally, is the surname of the family the heroine finds herself with) and ‘mafia’, making one wonder how the two end up meshing together. Our heroine awakens with a rather convenient case of amnesia, unable to remember anything about her life before that moment – naturally, this includes whether she lived in Oz before or her name. With that, her identity vanishes, the slate is wiped clean. It’s a terrifying prospect, yet it’s something she accepts readily enough. She temporarily chooses to name herself Fuka, although given Ozamafia‘s roots her true name won’t certainly turn out to be one with three syllables, beginning with D.
While starting off the day with a case of memory loss isn’t so great, things take a turn for the worse when a rough looking guy appears before our heroine, marking her as prey. Dead set on killing her, what else can Fuka do but steady her beating heart and the thoughts of desperately wanting to live and press on? It really isn’t the girl’s day, is it. Fortunately, fate graces her with the opportunity to run into a pair of marvelously efficient fellows who immediately protect her from the deviant giving her chase, no questions asked. It turns out that his name is Caesar, and he’s a heretic of sorts living outside the (not so emerald) city, part of the Wolf Gang. Certainly not like her perfect saviours.
There are several factions within the water colour world of Ozmafia, and as I mentioned earlier Fuka finds herself aligned with the Oz family (pictured above). Each of them, as you can imagine, are not so subtle plays on figures who travel alongside Dorothy on the yellow brick road, such as the cowardly lion. I thought they were a boring bunch to be honest, not one of them providing any source of interest bleeding the reader dry. This is key later on when one of them goes missing culminating in what should have probably been a tense scene with the reader having developed a feel for the character. The supporting cast and opposing factions such as the Grim family proved to be much more entertaining, bright and immediately livening things up whenever their presence graced Fuka, the twins in particular. It truly is a sorry state of affairs when characters who don’t have routes are more memorable than the heroes. Axel who, now?
I’m trying not to be overly critical here, especially taking into account that the company behind this don’t have a title to their name. With only two people involved and the scenario writer seemingly not having worked on anything before, it is a tad unfair, even mean to shoot down something they’ve worked three years on after an underwhelming trial spanning just over an hour. But I can’t help it. There was nothing special about this. It seems to be another run of the mill otoge without anything worthy of praise save for the art, featuring a heroine without a past or anything to give her a sense of self (self-inserting can be done at any time, eh) and heroes you’ve probably seen all too many times. Black Wolves Saga this ain’t.
Well, actually. There is one thing I’ll give P-P the benefit of the doubt for, and that’s for having a yuri route
Pashet is a wonderfully valiant character, based on Puss in Boots with an Oscar (Rose of Versailles) feel, head of her army. She’s the kind if placed into an older shoujo she would have a legion of fans, her own fan club. Pashet isn’t the lead by any means (I’m slightly miffed that she doesn’t even seem to be featured on much promotional material), but I’m proud of P-P for carrying out something so potentially risky especially taking into account that they’re new. To be honest, her route is the only thing that’s making me retain any hope at all for Ozmafia. Her presence alone may be the only thing which will drive me to pick it up. I’d play Scarlet’s route too, probably the mini ones but stay well away from Caesar and co unless positive, convincing reviews manage to change my ever so fickle mind.
While a setting like this comfortably allows its writer to work the landscape to their liking, not much is done with Ozmafia‘s world. Guns and swords along with any acts of violence being carried out is prohibited, and this especially goes for what is supposedly their day of rest, Sunday. Even so nearly all the cast casually traverse around town with weapons of sorts, be they a rifle or grenades since people like to foolishly pick fights anyway (hello Caesar). Saying that kind of thing doesn’t fly is at least worth a try. Further following Oz lore, a mysterious tower has been erected, allegedly featuring the king of the world on its highest floor. Rumours go, if one travels to the top their wish will be granted. But of course, the average person thinks it’s a load of hogwash considering there’s no obvious entrance, just groves in the wall.
The OP is a disaster, a light pop stinker that you’d have no trouble imagining someone listening to through One Direction headphones, flicking grubby mitts through a magazine aimed at teenagers featuring such engrossing ‘articles’ as the ideal tinted moisturizer for beating spots. Unfortunately you don’t just have the displeasure of just hearing that song in the OP, for its na-na-na-na-na-naaa~ melody rears its ugly head in a prominent BGM. Outside of that, the rest of the BGMs were completely unmemorable. I don’t need amnesia to not remember a single note of them. At least I can say the art (Satoi of Diabolik Lovers fame) is a treat, its dreamlike hues fitting the fairytale world.
You too can follow Ozmafia‘s unevenly paved pastel brick road by clicking here.