Casshern Sins

Title:Casshern Sins
キャシャーン SINS
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
Original Concept - YOSHIDA Tatsuo
R1 License - FUNimation
A remake of the 1973 superhero anime series Shinzō Ningen Casshan.

There is also a 2004 Japanese live-action film Casshern (wiki) that uses the same storyline premise.

Animation by Madhouse.
Aired in Oct '08.

See related movie: Casshern: The Last Day on Earth

FUNImation is streaming some episodes of this series to their YouTube Site -> Click here to visit.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 8 6 7 7 8 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1925#1552]
By the looks of it, Casshern Sins was trying to express morals on mortality and redemption focused on our amnesiac main lead, Casshern, as he wanders an apocalyptic future where humans and robots await what they believe to be their inevitable death after Casshern kills the planet's life source in the form of a young girl named Luna. To a degree, the focus works as the series explores Casshern's encounters with different robots and humans who have differing beliefs on how to live their lives within this future with those resigning themselves to their fates, trying to off Casshern from rumors that his flesh brings immortality, wanting to live their last days to the fullest, bring hope to those who have resigned to their fate or take advantage of this great uncertainty for personal gain. Many of the characters within the series also have legitimate personal motives for the actions they commit to within this world which can be quite on the tragic side. These motives can also come with their fatal flaws that come back to haunt the characters, thus creating flawed, tragic heroes and villains for the majority of the cast. In Casshern's case, he seeks redemption for what he sees as the sins he committed in his role of bringing about incoming ruin to the world while cursed with the inability to die for his atonement thanks to the immortality he gained from Luna's death.

However, the series does suffer from some major flaws with trying to implement its themes and its plot elements. For as interesting as Casshern Sins' themes are, the first half tends to drag quite a bit as there isn't much in the way of plot advancement as many episodes tend to be episodic and self-contained with Casshern's encounters with different people in his journey. This means mostly every character introduced that you might grow to care for won't be around after the particular episode and while the exploration on morality and redemption is an interesting one, some elements explored in the world of Casshern Sins did get repetitive at points. The anime also has its fair share of unexplored plot elements and contrivances such as what triggered Casshern's moments of going berserk, certain characters conveniently falling into ruin rather quickly or having little ill effects from the ruin compared to other robots and the return of a major character who was seemingly offed at an earlier point in Casshern Sins.

Visually, Casshern Sins was of average quality for a TV anime series with details looking a bit on the simple side and having roughly-drawn details with characters and settings. I'm guessing the animation style was used as a sort of homage to the 70s anime series that Casshern Sins is supposed to be a reboot of. The subdued, dark color tones used for the anime go along well with the it's somber, dark mood and apocalyptic world. Animation isn't too impressive either as the series has a nice number of animation shortcuts it resorts to with still shots and speed stripes.

Overall, I guess I found Casshern Sins to be a bit of a mixed bag. While making effective use of its moral themes at a number of points and offers solid focus on its world and characters, the series does drag quite a bit in its first half with its episodic stories, has some major elements unexplored and some moments happening too conveniently just for the sake of pointless drama. It's still a decent series, but the mentioned flaws to Casshern Sins still weigh the series down quite a bit for me.

Last updated Monday, November 26 2012. Created Monday, November 26 2012.
Unevaluated Silence [series:1925#2939]
(8 episodes watched)

Casshern Sins is something special, really special. Each episode so far explores deep stuff, and I am not sure that I can get them all. But i like it nonetheless. Episode 8 is really good, with 2 totally new songs (i think so) which are pretty good (and sung in decent English). I am getting a rough idea of where the story will move, and i am liking that idea. So I'm looking forward to more.

Last updated Tuesday, November 25 2008. Created Tuesday, November 25 2008.
Watch Stretch [series:1925#628]
(All episodes watched):

Casshern Sins was a series which initially struck me as vibrant and original, but slowly became tiresome and frustrating. Rather than being angry at the end, I feel a sense of mourning that such a clever show was allowed to go wrong.

This was one of the first new fall '08 series I downloaded yet one of the last I actually watched. That was a mistake, because I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode. This was clearly a bizarre show, with a difficult to describe blend of elements that gave it a distinct and entrancing "coolness". Casshern is an acrobatic robo-slayer in a desolate world; he has lost all memory and knows only this name that people call him by. Everybody is out to get him, something about him being "a killing machine", "the worst thing in the world", and the most cryptic clue, "You killed the Sun that was called Moon, and then the ruin began" (a reference to a fight he had with a girl named Luna). Apparently the human race has been virtually exterminated, and now the robots are dying of simple wear and tear, which terrifies them. A strange rumor has it that immortality can be attained by devouring Casshern. Somehow this series really has a 'seventies feel, not just due to the artwork but because it seems such skillful and original stories are uncommon nowadays. So much stuff nowadays is shallow recycled material that follows generic guidelines; Casshern Sins, on the other hand, is startling in that the dialogue contains some serious thought on issues of life and death, guilt and innocence, etc. In many ways this show is in a class of its own. It is also pretty neat; there's enough mystery, verging on too much at first, but the story came together before long, leaving me intrigued. What's what and who's human? Casshern Sins qualifies for one of my most honest indicators of quality: the full-length episode ended when I was expecting a station break. I smell quality here. By the way, I have never heard a robot howl in such pain!

What's unusual about this show, something we seldom see nowadays, is that there seems to be a moral to each episode. What's right and what's wrong? Should Casshern feel guilty for what he has done? Does being human automatically make a person superior to a robot which is capable of everything the person can do--even in terms of emotion? You can't watch this show without questions like these occuring to you. I went into episode three fearful that the series might not be able to maintain the quality it had displayed so far, but there was nothing to worry about.

I love the way the theme song bursts into play, snatching your attention, then takes off on a wild ride of music. During the Summer season I hardly noticed a single piece of notable anime music, but during the Fall I'm swimming in it, and this is my favorite. Each episode of Casshern Sins has a complete and well thought-out story to it--that's actually very rare nowadays. I would describe them as having a sort of brilliant simplicity; little or no time is wasted and as a result I remain intrigued right to the end. For instance, episode four: Casshern, who hates fighting and feels guilty for taking part in it, meets Sophita, a girl who loves it and feels no shame at all. They remind me of something like Aeosop's fables. The figure designs and choice of colors is deliberately simple and artistic.

It takes awhile, but Casshern decides to go searching for the truth behind all the accusations that have been made against him. Each episode begins with a flashback to his encounter with Luna (each one slightly different), but exactly how that turned out is still a mystery and I would say will be the key to the climax of the series. I don't know exactly what to make of episode seven, which involved Casshern meeting a woman who I would say was insane. If episodes like this can be afforded, will this be a 26 episode series? I'm getting a little impatient for some progress on the main plotline, i.e, the truth behind Casshern's past. Episode eight didn't tell us anything new about that, all we got was a girl who sings, and not all that well. It seems like the makers are running out of interesting morals for "filler" episodes, because this one didn't make much sense to me. Episode nine had a definite poignancy to it, so they're not all bad at this point. Twelve was good, too--some episodes are touching and moving while others seem like a frustrating waste of time. I wonder if it might have been a better idea to try to tell this story in the space of 13 episodes.

After reading a little about the plot of the original, 1973 series, it strikes me that this one might be more of a sequel or postscript to it than a "remake". Or, perhaps the same story being retold in an after-the-fact manner as Casshern regains his memory.

What was the deal with the blurry photos used in episode 18? Am I supposed to realize something here? Anyway, another thought which came to mind during the episode was that the music plays an unusually large part in telling the stories here, because the characters are sort of laconic. This is one of the few subtitled shows which I can watch without keeping a finger on the "pause" button.

For all the intrigue I felt early on, I can't help feeling that yes, a 13-episode format probably would have worked better. It just felt that the uniqueness which this series possesses largely goes to waste as it is stretched out over too many filler episodes. These don't make a whole lot of sense or seem to have anything to do with the main plot. I have become kind of bored with it, which I'm sad to say. But I really do want to see how things work out for Casshern and his companions, and I'll continue watching to the end.

As the series nears it's end, it seemed to be become more focused and enjoyable once again. Things were moving ahead, making more sense, and becoming more intriguing. I like the conflict between Leda and Luna, especially. Episode 23 almost felt like the final episode as Casshern and Dio duke it out, and the outcome was handled well. But there is still Casshern's old master, Braiking Boss, who has been shadowing him for some time now.

Actually, maybe the series should have quit with episode 23, because the final one, 24, was frustrating and confusing. All sorts of things which I had assumed would be explained never were--at least not clearly. What was Luna really doing with her "healing"? Did Casshern really kill her long ago, or not? Was she resurrected? I mentioned earlier that the truth about this incident would probably be the key to the series as a whole, but we never really get it. What was the "ruin" anyway? What happened to Ringo at the end? What was meant with lines like "Casshern became death for those who did not know it"? And, the biggest problem of all, what was the moral to the series as a whole? Would this have made sense if I had seen (or read) the original story? I'm left unable to say for certain whether the conclusion was touching and meaningful, or just crappy. To have things end like this is especially frustrating, because this show definitely had some neat things about it. Basically, Casshern Sins was a neat show which ran too long and didn't make much sense at the end.

My favorite line: "That must have been a little too much healing" --Luna

Also: "This is something I could never enjoy with mere eternal life!" --Dio

Last updated Tuesday, March 31 2009. Created Monday, October 13 2008.
Unevaluated aoneish [series:1925#1615]
ep 1. really REALLY nice animation and artwork. though designs are a little weird, but still interesting to see. we'll see about storyline. ^^

Last updated Wednesday, October 08 2008. Created Wednesday, October 08 2008.

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