Did anybody else find that this episode’s easy-to-call twist ending felt like the punchline of some wickedly morbid joke? There's a fine line between naiveté and plum stupidity, and I was just terribly amused by how Sky High thought he was getting such profound, inspirational insight from a robot whose speech-related AI seemed about as sophisticated as command prompts on an ATM. Pair that with that the sack of flowers he bought her and the fact that he tore his lady apart with such “preposterone”-charged aplomb, and the trappings of black comedy are real hard to deny.
Tiger’s potential power diminishment looks to be pretty ripe for some aging-related drama but I’m a little worried that the time shift might be the “shark jumping” point for this series if the business with Jake and Ouroboros is seriously over with. Barnaby doesn’t have to be a tortured soul who broods forever but, still, he’s basically just shrugged off his life-time revenge plot like it was as high on his bucket list as a trip to Bermuda or some such.
As a side note, I want to point out that this episode had more than a few references to German expressionistic films of the 1930s in addition to its usual shot calls to American comics. Not only is Stern Build hewn in the “super urban” that started with Fritz Lang’s METROPOLIS, Cis has plenty of the same qualities as that flick’s famous lady robo Maria, and her maker, Rotwang, is directly named after his analog in the flick. Honestly, I feel compelled to bring that up because of one kid in the talkback for a feature I did on THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI a while back who was just about furious that Lang’s METROPOLIS has more esteem than the 2001 METROPOLIS.
Even though I thought the anime was only so-so for my tastes, anyway, I found it highly amusing that the guy seemed to miss that Tezuka was pretty blatantly inspired by Lang. Some of you lunatics have expressed some frustration over how anime fandom has short memories for older, influential titles and that’s something I can certainly agree with. I might actually be able to do some “classic revisits” sometime soon to address that (maybe) and I do think it’s worth stressing that no anime's ever made in a bubble and the chain of influence is rarely ever limited just to other Japanese animation.
Watch this episode "The Sky’s the Limit" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.