Hey hey! Who called it about Pride using Morse code? Well, it's not exactly Morse code. They come up with a clever, timeless alternative in “slash and dot” (or whatever it was) instead, so as not to beg the inevitable questions of when, where and how Samuel Morse existed in this world... but I was still right, and Al still showed how empty his head really is (get it?) by letting the evil little bastard drum on his it all that time. Then again, I'm actually a little appreciative that the cast of this show is big enough for some of the characters to be downright stupid when the situation fits. Al won't bash his powerful enemy's skull at a vulnerable moment because he's too much of a gentle soul to harm sweet lil' Selim, and May's gullible's enough to lead Envy right back to an even greater source of power because she's 12 or something, and 12-year-olds are notably easy to dupe.
And speaking of her - - how absurd was the animation in that one shot where she's dodging and parrying all the zombies in the sewer? I’m always startled by the quality of rendering in anime, even in a weekly show likes this. Just throwaway scenes like that and Olivier dueling with Sloth looked like full animation you rarely see outside of features.
Getting back to what I was saying about the characters, though... even with the big cast, I'm consistently impressed by the strength of the dramatic challenges these characters are put through. In writing theory, they talk about how it’s important to push your characters into areas they don't want to be in and Al's scenes in this episode put him through so many in such a short amount of time. His compromises of his limbs, his mercy for the lion, his finally having to use a stone he's morally opposed to, his going Super-Saiya... he goes through such a wringer in just one scene!One character who desperately needs to go through a dramatic arc, right now, is Armstrong - - and it's an arc to redemption and self-respect. I'd say he's halfway there after his intervention with the Sloth fight, but he's still got a ways to go for me.
I'm told that the new intro and outro are the final ones, and they honestly feel anticlimactic. The previous ones showed fun hints of the future, sure, but this all-but-shows what I imagine is going to be the denouement in the last episode. I can practicality fill in the lines the older Ed's going to utter when he retreats to the idyllic homestead in the country.
Watch this episode, “The Immortal Legion,” below and decide for yourself, then read my comments on the previous episode here.