Oddly enough, this episode’s got me thinking of ALIENS. Obviously, Ringo’s a bit like Newt, and the hoodoo about her needing to get rescued from the evil robots conjures up some memories of Ripley having to strap on a flamethrower to descend into the depths the Xenomorph hive. However, the connection I’m feeling here is more oblique. I’m thinking of Siskel and Ebert’s review of ALIENS on AT THE MOVIES in the 80’s when they gave the odd criticism/praise that the movie was too intense - - that the thriller was actually too thrilling.
CASSHERN SINS’ vision of an industrial nightmare is far more… colorful than that of the first three ALIEN flicks, but it’s got the sort of operatic tone which I appreciated in ALIEN3. The thrills might not be ceaseless in this show, but the sense of doom certainly is, and, no matter how many appearances Luna makes, I expect the arc of this series won’t be about averting any terrible fate so much as finding some way to come to peace with it (much like how Ripley’s suicide in ALIEN3 was heralded with triumphant horn section, right?).
In other circumstances, I might criticize this show for how it’s structured this feud with Dio to be almost spectacularly free of tension. Casshern’s already beaten this jerk and, even after offering to submit, he still manages to get him on the retreat. There’s really no reason to feel like Dio will pose any sort of threat after he marshals his army and, in a way, that’s really more interesting. Much like how all the skirmishes in PORCO ROSSO felt like carefree recess-time scuffles that were being fought while real conflicts were lurking around the corner, the dialogs about robots’ purpose throughout this show gives an almost whimsical sense of pointlessness to everything that happens.
Casshern and Dio are failed creations who continue to exist even after the point of their existence has been rendered irrelevant. Why are they getting out of sorts over a miraculous rumor that’s obviously a fraud? Why do they continue to wage these acrobatic duels even though the outcomes already obvious? Because they have loads of time ahead of time before them, and they need to do something to preoccupy themselves (lest they totally lose their artificial minds).
Who’d have figured that cyborgs in disco suits could provoke such existential pondering?