You know, it is rather reassuring to know that even a far-off steampunk village like this will always have its own resident Peppermint Patty. (Well, actually she’s maybe a combination of Patty and Lucy, but you understand what I’m getting at). While it may not be as big of a surprise as the football getting yanked away just before you’re about to kick for a field goal (sorry), the inclusion of a catty, precocious little girl into the cast at this stage of the game raises an eyebrow - - albeit a pleased one, perhaps. Yeah, it doesn’t too strange on paper, but in practice, it does feel like one of the writers went back over this series’ larger outline and figured it’d needed another sarcastic voice to poke even more holes into these dire heroics, lest things get too self-serious.
Maybe it’s simpler to just say that this little scamp’s another likable addition to an already-appealing cast of characters?
I’ll admit it can be hard for me to keep up with names in an ensemble this big. That’s why I like to assign names - - calling the big robo “Mifune” and likening our entertaining to TV’s Anthony Bourdain, and so on. Now that the rookie’s got his own throng of swooning teenage girls, I think I’ll have to start referring to him as “Timberlake,” so I can claim some casting fee on the occasion of this show’s hey-anything-is-possible Hollywood remake. Don’t act like the comparison doesn’t hold when you go back over the previous 10 or so episodes, because the guy’s definitely gets his his own SOCIAL NETWORK-style dramatic reconsideration in this episode after wrecking the mech-scout.
Actually, bringing that up is a good enough reason to put the “serious” cap on for today. Without getting into too much of over-serious “violence in media” discussion here, it’s interesting to see this particular plot turn around the same time as the latest episode of CASSHERN SINS. Both are shows with a rampant supply of slaying that'll occasional punctuate that wanton slaughter by focusing on the ramifications of just one single murder...
Read on below, I’ll tie this all together…
So, yes… here we are to further explicate what I’ve been getting at.
While the framing scenes for these episodes initially seemed overly obfuscating, I’ve grown to appreciate them a lot more as the series has gone along. The way I see it, this is one of those rare strokes of post-modern, challenging artistic intent that actually gets the effect it’s looking to provoke in the reader. In a show that otherwise has its hero shredding through the bad guys - - killing them, even though they’re robots - - the careful focus on all the incidentals details of this terrible murder makes a far deeper impact for not actually showing the act.
We see Casshern staring down his unseen prey, we see blood spill out into the rippling water, we see the horrified reactions of Ringo and Dune… but we don’t actually see our dashing hero kill this innocent “Sun Named Moon.” Not only do all these clues raise a maddening level of curiosity over what we’re missing in this scene, they also stress how the act affects everything surrounding it. Everything that happens after it, everything that leads up to it - - all are tainted by the metaphorical taint of this one unjust act.
I’m still trying to figure out how Dune’s rapid aging fits into all of this. They make a point to show that he had the same sort of handsome good looks and bountiful 70’s hair as our fair Casshern, so there’s obviously supposed to be some message in the contrast. Unless there’s supposed to be some added dimension of this murder happening a very long time ago - - and thus, Casshern and his cohorts would really be relics from a mythic creation story - - then I suppose the implication is that the Ruin hit Dune the hardest of all. Not only is he mumbling mess, now, he also looks as hunched and dried out as one of the mystics from THE DARK CRYSTAL.
Again, that’s another detail that’s easy to hop past, but rather profound when ruminated upon. I’m seeing now that the implication of Luna being “the Sun named Moon” is that this world really does feel just as incomplete and desolate as it’d be if it were missing the Sun.