Like I’ve said, a lot of series kind of fall into a rhythm sooner or later. They’ll have two serious episodes for every one funny episode, they’ll have three “meta arc” episodes for every standalone episode… and so on and so on. I’ve been searching for some adjectives to describe this show’s rhythm, but the words escape me. Basically, the show will switch between patches that get me really charged up about the epic thrust of this story, and then there are patches that make me wish there’ would've been somebody in the crew who'd have said, “We should probably tighten this up.”
Take this episode. I was really about to write it off as off “filler,” but then Dune started tearing up robots, and then Dio started stomping the hell out of him, and suddenly I had to step back from that. I really hate to break this commentary down to “Well, it’s boring when they aren’t fighting, but super rad when they are fighting!” but the battles here are so uncommonly furious and frenetic that it’s impossible to deny how exciting they are.
I still think this would’ve been best executed as a half-episode-long “B plot” to counterbalance an “A plot” following Casshern around in whatever he's doing. Dune is another tragic character strumming on the same melancholic chords of robots' purpose-driven existence and the tragedies that befall them when that purpose is taken away. He’s also got a wicked awesome gimmick with his Dr. Octopus-like razor pinchers.
But still… there are only so many times I can hear him asking where Luna is before I want to say, “All right, I get the point, big guy.”
The intrigue with Dio repurposing himself as some sort of false prophet got a little long-winded, as well. Again, I’m vibing on how he’s getting coaxed into amassing his own sort of cultish crusade against our hero for transgressions that he’s very guilty of - - but those dialogues with Leda really need to be tighter.
The fact that he's named after the Grand Elf of Metal also makes me think that he should adopt a different tactic to win over the crowd...