Japanese: キャシャーン SINS
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 2, 2008 to Mar 16, 2009
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 7.711 (scored by 18433 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Nov 8, 2013
Casshern Sins is a remarkable feat, in that it somehow captures every single, minute detail of the human spirit. It achieves this by starting from the very basics and quickly developing on the basics as the series moves on.
One thing that really took me in, is how Casshern Sins truly captured my fear of death. It achieved this through an odd but clever display of writing, by showing us that even the machines that we make will some day fall into decline as rusting scrap metal.
I for one like to identify myself through the materials that I collect and make, and even this review right here is constructing another aspect of myself. Casshern Sins asks, what is the point of all this? I believe the materials that remain after my death will serve as a reminder of my existence, but nothing can escape the harsh reality of time and a millenium from now, it is an almost inescapable fact that those materials that I had so carefully constructed, so thoughtfully made, will just vanish. It is quite frightening and puts true emphasis on the word death.
Things change however, a chance of hope comes along. An ideal that preserves life, immortality.
Many religious affiliations pervade Casshern Sins series. God from the perspective of Catholicism promises a chance of eternal life, I make this comparison as Sins as a robot stands as a metaphor for this deity, a promise for immortality. Building on that concept, the precious beautiful skin of his body only serves to emphasize the prize of such a trait, but being immortal comes at a price. A price that one may not expect. As time wears on, one discovers an infinite sea of potentials, this quest to transcend the boundaries between being just a simple robot engineered to destroy, to becoming 'human', not physically but consciously has begun, but once this has been achieved. Who is left to bear witness it? Even though this concept and theme is not exactly original, it must be said that Casshern Sins is particularly noteworthy on how it manages to effectively show this journey of emotional discovery in every excruciatingly painful detail.
Watching this show reminded me of Paulo Coelho's quote "It is the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary" and it is the simple things in life that Casshern Sins detaches from and allows us to witness as realistically as possible; both the efforts and dramas to recapture these important and sometimes trivial things, but it is these aspects that only elevate the potency of Sins journey. Even when the helping hand of a loyal friend may seem far away, capturing that relatable and simple essence of loneliness has rarely ever made such a profound impact.
A negative aspect to the story can largely be centered on the extremely pessimistic nature of the series and it can arguably fall into the category of angsty melodrama rather than insightful, and many of the concepts that are brought up through the entire series can come across as completely redundant by the series conclusion simply because of the handling. One scene that I wanted to bring up in particular is a scene where a robot finally submits to her desire of wanting to be immortal after reflecting for an entire episode that she wants to die naturally. Whilst it was certainly a powerful scene at the time, thinking back on it, the series only seems to want to be as depressing as possible. Whilst this isn't always a bad thing, it comes across as forced, and lacks a level of fluidity.
However, with those observations out of the way, it still can't be dismissed that the overall series has very solid writing and is riveting in how it plays out. Never failing to provide a delicate balance of answers to the many questions that the series asks.
Much of Casshern Sins' characters are truly integral to the story that the show is telling, and because of the theme heavy story in respect with the series episodic nature. It is only inevitable that many new characters are constantly introduced in order to represent another aspect of a philosophical question/s that the series imposes. A lot of the characters become representations for the themes of mostly hope and despair, but entangles within many varying levels of regret, remorse, guilt, jealousy, occasional romantic struggle and sometimes optimism.
Considering the series episodic nature, a large majority of the episodes do an absolutely splendid job of building characters in such a short time and it is a truly commendable aspect because at times I was almost pushed to tears in some of the more powerful episodes. Saying that, I will have to discredit some of the episodes for having an inconsistent quality, this inconsistency is mostly due to the characters that are being presented, but for the most part the character development is well above average and occasionally phenomenal but these cases are few and far between.
I can only appreciate the characters so far though, because as I said previously there is a varying level of quality in the development of many of the characters, another problem I had with the characters is that many of them have very similar intentions throughout the entire series, it can get a little repetitive at times. Adding onto that; some characters only seemed to be placed there to plunge Sins into a more intense state of guilt and regret. Even though this can be perceived as a problem. The fact remains that this can be ignored to an extent because these characters show that this the series is remaining true to the premise that it has given and does not cop-out, even at the moments when the series becomes unbearable.
Many of the motivations for the characters are understandable, as a dying breed of life suffering from an incurable disease; I imagine it would only be natural for someone to carry out desperate measures when they have been pushed to their breaking point. This is one theme that Casshern Sins portrays better than anything else.
The series artwork does nothing but do what it sets out to do, abysmal and ruined, wrapped up in an unusual mixture of bluish-greyish brownish textures that builds the apocalyptic landscape with powerful ease.
The series takes time to build on its own sorrow in order to emphasize some lovely landscapes that capture the quintessential and brooding style that is reminiscent of an Edward Hoppers painting, two that come to mind are "The Lighthouse at Two Lights", and "Screaming Monkey Drive In", pleasant to look at but cringing with a landscape of heart-ache and desperation.
Much of the animation is carefully designed. One noticeable moment was a touch of rust painted below the eye-line of a robot. The moment was heart-breaking and is something that took me by absolute surprise. Rust is deterioration and its symbolic connotation within this scene was used to its utmost potential.
I always look forward to bear witness to the fascinating ideas of art that series from Madhouse Animation studios have to offer and Casshern Sins is a beautiful edition to the collection that is sure to become an influence in the future.
One thing I noticed about the OST was the consistently monotonous style across the board. Which certainly works in the series favor, but a couple of tracks stood out for me: the first one being "Roamer" as it captured the image of one man, simply standing a-top a hill graced in a red sunset, contemplating as to where his feet will take him next, it's a classic pose and one that holds much weight.
The second one was "Memory Past", I'm not entirely sure what it was about this track but it just pushed a button in me. It was like I was floating in a sea of water feeling the waves softly carrying me. An interesting perspective to say the least, but I couldn't help picturing myself as a robot resting in the sand of the shallows feeling the water brush over me. It was a vivid moment, and a beautifully foolish one, it is simply a moment of passing time awaiting the day of no-return.
At the time of watching this series. I think I was in the exact state of mind that was required to enjoy Casshern Sins and I finished it up in a marathon sitting. I tend to love a nice happy show as much as the next fellow but my thirst for drama can be over-bearing at times and Casshern Sins knew how to keep me glued to the couch. I was engaged with every detail that was playing out before me and every bit of terror, every moment of blissful decadence only served to invoke a greater emotional response from me. Those special moments of heart-ache scattered throughout, only serves my interest as keeping Casshern Sins as a worthy investment of my time for years to come.
From what has been discussed I believe that Casshern Sins is a fantastic work, capturing every rigid emotion of the human spirit and melding every element so effectively. Constantly serving as a reminder to the breadth of questions that have been brought up and sought after in this series. Deep, often beautiful questions that serves as a recipe for sympathy and empathy towards all its characters as you bear witness to there destruction.
I find it difficult to recommend this series mostly due to its overbearingly negative nature, and time has shown that not many people like pessimistic series. Nevertheless, for all of those out there who can withstand or perhaps immerse themselves in Casshern Sins battlefield of depression, they will surely find solace in the beauty of its melancholy.
Overall 8/10 read more
Mar 27, 2009
Like most good shows, Casshern is amazing in a number of areas and wouldn’t be the same without any of them. The soundtrack, voice acting, animation, directing, fights, dialog, art - everything aligns just right to create a show that is just about perfect for what it is. I’ll be getting into detail on that now.
Casshern Sins has a very powerful and gripping soundtrack composed by Kaoru Wada (Princess Tutu, Tekkaman Blade, To Heart). The songs are all symphonic, ranging from minimalist and pretty to towering and sinister. The loud songs are very intensely dramatic and dark to the point that some (like the first track Sins) sound outright evil. (Interestingly, that song sounds like the symphonic version of an Opeth song.) The calmer songs are usually very airy and often acoustic-guitar driven. They definitely evoke images of Casshern’s world where you’ve heard them in the background. While either type is great, I prefer the calm songs if only because the more dramatic ones would go better with the show.
There is something very mysterious but also very charming about these calmer songs. They bring a sense of wonder mixed with familiarity. It’s a sense like seeing something totally new, but so enthralling that it feels like home. The ultimate song that captures this feeling is ‘Memory Past’ which is the song that usually played whenever Casshern met someone new and learned their story. The closest real musical comparison I have for this OST is the music in Phendrana Drifts in Metroid Prime which has always been some of my favorite composition. In the context of the series, all of the songs work superbly well to add ten extra layers of tone onto the already tone-tacular series. The music is notable straight from episode 1, which I guess it’d have to be to make me go and find the OST.
In addition to the OST, there has been a Best Theme Collection from this series. The show has one opening theme (Aoi Hana by color bottle) and 3 endings (Reason by KANA, Aoi Kage by Otoya Kichiemon, and Hikari to Kage by Kuno Shinji), the second of which is only used for one episode. The best theme collection has the op and main eds in TV size, several instrumental versions of Aoi Kage, two original tracks by Wada Kaoru, two important vocal insert songs from te series (Sky and A Path by Nami Miyahara who voices Lyuze), and finally, both the original Tatakae! Casshan! theme and a new, heavy version of the song by Otoya Kichiemon.
I personally didn’t care much for the 2 main eds, but I found myself completely unable to skip the op for even one episode. It is easily one of my favorite opening songs in a while. Aoi Kage and the modern Tatakae! Casshan! are both awesome because they manage to play heavy metal acoustics. Anything that can do that is automatically awesome. The old-school Tatakae! Casshan! is the ultimate great touch for lovers of old-school tatsunoko songs. However, great as that all is, Sky and A Path were the real reasons I was interested in this release. These songs made episode 8 of the show amazing and reappear at many great moments later in the show. Both are extemely pretty and wonderful, and Nami Miyahara’s English is excellent (evidently she studied English in Australia).
It’s worth making the statement that Casshern Sins has some of the coolest sound effects ever. The effects during fights are visceral, intense, and completely full of impact. Care was taken to make the sound effects just right and give every hit that needed extra edge. I’m thinking that they made a lot of the effects in the studio, seeing as there were very organic sounds of like pots breaking or the creak of metal. It’s pretty rare I think these days for so much craft to go into sound effects in anime, so it’s pretty notable when it does.
As far as voice acting goes, this show amassed a royal fuckton of talent. Being as there were so many minor characters, a lot of voices were required, and Madhouse didn’t skip out on giving every single character a standout voice. For starters, Casshern himself is voiced by Tohru Furuya (certainly most notable as freaking Amuro Ray, as well as Tuxedo Mask, Pegasus Seiya, and Yamcha) which is a very interesting performance. The voice of Casshern is certainly unique, sounding strong but never stern, and in pain but never really weak. The voice adds a lot of mystery to the character, sounding like the robot he is, who doens’t quite understand emotion even though he seems to feel it. The best part though is his wails in agony which are used frequently when Casshern’s body self-repairs. That dude’s wails are frightening.
Nami Miyahara plays Lyuze with the perfect mixture of resolve, confusion, rage, and love. Like Casshern, hers is a very distinct voice. Yuko Minaguchi (Videl - Dragonball, Yawara, Akiko - Kanon) does a completely superb job as Ringo. She should be cast as every single little kid in anime. I’ve never heard a kid voice that managed to sound young and yet in no way annoying. Best kid voice ever. ‘Cho‘ reprises his role as every old man in anime, lol. Akiko Yajime (Diva - Blood+, Shin-chan, Relena Peacecraft, Kuu - Haibane - damn that’s range) brings her mysterious voice to Luna which tricks you with it’s very regal sound until you start to see another side… well that’s a spoiler. Kenji Utsumi (Shenlong - DBZ, Zodd - Berserk, Lt. Armstrong - FMA) is Braiking Boss who he played in the old version of the show as well, bringing a nostalgia factor.
Toshiyuki Morikawa (Who is in everything. His list is totally nuts.) is awesome as Dio. He plays the perfect rival character. His voice has a darkness to it, but not like an evil bad-dude, more like a man driven by dark purposes but full of resolve, which Dio is. Mami Koyama (Lunch - Dragonball - yes, most of the cast worked on Dragonball, Balalaika - Black Lagoon) brings the thunder as Leda who is convincingly evil and conceited, but also has an inner emotional side. Some of my favorite minor character performances include Mami Koyama’s second roll as Lizbell in episode 7 (which is interestng because Koyama is Tohru Furuya’s ex-wife, which when you think about it makes certain scenes very awkward), Tomoko Akiya whose performance as Sophita is borderline creepy and very fun, and Taeka Kawata who plays Nico, the little girl whose brain has been fried.
Casshern Sins is animated by Madhouse. The dudes who brought you (alphabetically) Black Lagoon, Boogiepop Phantom, Death Note, Dennou Coil, Gunslinger Girl, Nana, everything Satoshi Kon, Texhnolyze, Trigun, and X, just to name a few. If you’ve seen none of those, I’ll just say it - they have incredibly high production quality and have been around forever. To give you an idea of how high their budget is, the first half of Casshern Sins aired simultaneously with three other Madhouse shows, the second half with one, all of which had unfaltering high-quality animation throughout. There is pretty much no other studio who can do something like that. So it really comes as no surprise when I say that Casshern Sins has incredibly beautiful animation.
The most instantly and consistently notable thing about Casshern’s art is the luscious backgrounds. The background art is almost incomparably beautiful - almost. Probably only one show matches up to it, it being Mushi-shi, which is why it’s no surprise that Yoshihiko Umakoshi was the art director and character designer for both series (a dual job he’s done for Zipang, Street Fighter Alpha, and Boys Over Flowers, none of which I’ve seen. He also did it for Air Master which doesn’t matter because that show is fugly, probably thanks to budget.) I’ve actually watched an interview with this guy on one of the Mushi-shi DVDs and while he is very boring to listen to, I do remember him saying that he was a perfectionist and would always stress that there be boatloads of detail in the backgrounds, which I guess he’s still up to.
Casshern’s art is almost always barren, lifeless, and cold. The world of Casshern faces ruin (basically, apocalypse) and so there is little life to be found. The landscape is jagged and covered in large mountains, hills, valleys, craters, and deserts of sand and snow. Remnants of civilization can be found, some cold cities have buildings that still tower while others have fallen apart and buildings have become decrepit husks. Some places have become so dry and ruined that the ground has actually crystallized and cracks under every step. Occasionally, though, there are places of lush, brimming life to be found. Secret gardens surviving in caves or wellsprings and oceans. There is definitely a sense of mystery to the world that you can find anything if you look around enough. And, as a character in one episode teaches Casshern, every place in this world is beautiful. As a big fan of dystopic art, I found myself completely enraptured in these wastelands as much as I was mystified by the lush outcropping of life in unexpected places.
Umakoshi’s character designs are drop-dead gorgeous. It takes skills to make a masked superhero with a big red C on his chest and ornamental horns on his helmet fit into a dark, somber setting. But, somehow, he’s done it. Casshern looks like a badass but also looks like he fits into the setting. He is supposed to be a beautiful person, and it’s certainly visible in his design. All of the characters are very tall and lanky, almost like CLAMP designs, but have an added sharpness to them and are actually consistent. I can easily call them some of the best character designs I’ve seen in anime.
What’s most impressive, though, is that a definitive 70s style remains ingrained into the designs. Every one has absurdly big hair and their facial features are very old-school. However, these elements have been perfectly crafted so that the designs still look modern and not ridiculous as they often do when new shows try to use old style. The robots especially represent the old school with their very basic designs, but they have a bloodthirstiness about their designs that makes it unsurprising when they are killing machines. Overall, I’d say my favorite designs from the series were definitely Lyuze and Luna.
Naturally, since this is Madhouse, there are also plenty of exemplary animation techniques. Unfortunately, ANN doesn’t have any animators listed, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Hiroyuki Imaishi’s (director of Gurren Lagann and animator of all those wacky scenes in shows like FLCL, Mahoromatic, and even FullMetal Alchemist) name ended up on that list since his trademark over-the-top and hyperactive style is used in many of the fights. The show features a lot of ‘sketchy lines‘ and badass shadow effects. The fight scenes often contain mind-blowing animation tricks that will make people who notice these things cream a huge load.
I think that series director and storyboarder Shigeyasu Yamauchi probably had the biggest impact on the way this series turned out. As you can see on his ANN page, he directed a bunch of the Dragon Ball/Z and Saint Seiya movies and had involvement with their main series (and going by their ANN pages, he would have had experience with nearly all of this show’s seiyuu during those times). The experience with those series can be seen heavily in the fight scenes. When Casshern and Dio fight, nearly every strike rockets someone into a wall which explodes just as the other fighter shoots at them like a bullet for the next blow. There are several scenes where the ground around Dio craters under the sheer fluctuation of his power. Yamauchi definitely wanted to bring the scope and intensity of a DBZ fight to this series, which is something I personally have always wanted to see done in a serious anime. It is made a thousand times better by the huge budget of the show which allows the fights to look amazing, cool, and fluid.
Yamauchi definitely has a great sense of dramatic cinematography. Every shot is carefully composed to look as cool as possible, with characters nearly always in some kind of dramatic pose and the light hitting them just right. This is taken to an almost hilarious extent in some of Casshern’s fights against robot armies because he will literally attack them by kind of jumping at them, striking an epic pose, and somehow causing them to explode. Lighting is impeccable and the use of color is very important. Most of the show has a sort of blue and grey hue to it, but when other colors appear they are striking and noticeable against the backdrop of blue. Overall, I think Yamauchi just does a splendid job and probably had a lot of fun with it.
The overall plot in Casshern Sins is so simple that I could detail the whole thing thoroughly in a small paragraph (but I won’t for spoilers’ sake.) The show’s focus is more on the themes that drive the series and the characters representing or interacting with those themes. That said, while the plot is simple, it is very well-presented and interesting, making it a great driving force for the action and themes.
All of the show’s themes relate directly to the conflict between life and death. The dark, barren world of Casshern is on it’s way to ruin and death is ever-present. Every person is directly grappling with death and the end of the world, and those who don’t die just from the ruin usually die at the hands of other robots, especially if they try to attack Casshern. There are few characters who survive their own episode, much less the whole show.
What Casshern, who is immortal, learns in his travels through the dying world is how death effects different people (usually robots). Most of the world desperately clings to life. The strong robots fight and kill each other constantly to steal each other’s parts and try to prolong their lives. The weak search for any means of survival, clinging to little hopes or loosing to despair. Some merely accept the ruin as pleasantly as they can, but more often than not they will turn from this mindset at the slightest sight of hope - namely, the supposed immortality that one will gain if they devour Casshern.
However, not everyone is desperately clinging to life. Casshern encounters some robots and humans who aspire to something without the fear of death. Some teach him that the world is beautiful even in ruin, that there is hope in the world, or that they can live forever in the things that they leave behind. Casshern’s conflict becomes whether or not eternal life is justified or death necessary. He is torn between the sadness of death and the liveliness brought out by it’s presence.
The themes of each episode are interesting and deep, sometimes moving, and more so as they culminate into the over-arching theme. Casshern, as a stark contrast to the world around him that he desperately tries to understand, makes for the perfect receptacle to these themes.
Casshern Sins features surprisingly complex main characters in light of it’s simplistic plot and usually episodic nature. Casshern himself starts off as basically a blank slate with no memories and only knowledge as far as he learns from others. As he experiences the world, he has to weigh his experiences against each other to figure out his own beliefs. His character is kept interesting by the conflicting ideas he develops in relation to those experiences.
Lyuze’s conflict is between her desire to kill Casshern because of him ruining the world, effectively killing her sister, and her growing care for him and changing perception of the world. Casshern’s first companion, Friender, has some pretty great development considering that he is a robot dog who cannot speak. Friender’s emotions are represented through actions, and in those actions we see how he slowly transitions from hating Casshern to trusting him and eventually both protecting him and keeping him under control.
Without spoiling, the villains, Leda and Dio, have their own interesting development. Dio has dreamed of nothing but killing Casshern, while Leda is using dio to try and make the world her own. Each of them is thoroughly explored and developed. Luna, Oji, and Braiking Boss are also great characters with a lot of development, but those are spoilers.
There are a whole plethora of minor characters, most of whom appear just for one episode. Every one of these characters feels alive - they don’t merely expunge their beliefs onto Casshern, but show him the way that they live (or, of course, die) through their actions. Characters come in all variety of personality, shape, and size. (inside joke) Casshern could be said to have the best pseudo-harem since Ginko from Musi-shi.
Casshern Sins is episodic much in the same sense as Cowboy Bebop. The chains of episodic parts are broken up by plot-related episodes, the major characters get their own introspective episodes, and the last group of episodes form the conclusion. There were a couple of less-than-amazing episodes (I remember finding 15 and 16 a bit boring and 21 is kind of ill-done but the next episode justifies it) but otherwise, every episode was great.
All of the plot episodes were superb, especially whenever Casshern and Dio fought, which was always quite epic. Besides the wonderful climactic episodes, I pretty much had 4 favorites. Episode 7, where a woman in a high tower teaches Casshern about the beauty of this ruined world - Episode 8, where a woman wants to spread hope through her song - Episode 12, where a man tries to paint his city his color so that the world will remember him - and Episode 18, and excellent cuckoo nest episode into Lyuze’s psyche.
As I stated in the beginning, Casshern Sins is definitely not for everyone. If you like all kinds of anime regardless of genre and are easily interested in something without it having to be fast-paced, Casshern may be for you. If you’ve always wished that the philosophical plots of pretentious anime would mix with the good fun and awesome fights of shounen action, Casshern may be for you. However, if slowness leaves you bored or action leaves you disinterested, you’ll want to stay away. For me, the show was everything I could have wanted and filled a niche that I’ve long waited for an anime to fill. read more
Jul 8, 2013
Directed by Shingeyasu Yamauchi, scripted by Reiko Yoshida and Yasuko Kobayashi, and produced by Madhouse, whose resume includes the popular Death Note, the recent Chihayafuru, the somber Gunslinger Girl, and the short Death Billiards, Casshern Sins is a reboot of earlier Casshern franchises, Shinzou Nigen Casshern and Casshern: Robot Hunter. The old-school character design by Yoshihiko Umakoshi is meant to be a tribute to those earlier eras of Casshern and anime itself. This new reincarnation, however, takes more similarities in substance from, say, the Rebuild of Evangelion than the Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica Movies in that they both seek to tell their own separate tales. However, unlike the Rebuild of Evangelion, a copy and paste of personality and drive of its earlier counterpart, Neon Genesis Evangelion, this show hosts vastly dissimilar character backstories and motivations. Now, as grave his deed may be of killing Luna and, consequently, unleashing the Ruin, the Casshern the audience follows at the show's opening, as opposed to the Casshern of flashbacks, has no recollection of his deed nor much knowledge of the consequences of the devastation aside for the obvious absence of life from organisms and machines alike, hounded by hordes of robotic thugs wishing to consume his flesh so they can live forever, or so the rumor goes (a fallacious conclusion due to Casshern somehow gaining immortal himself) and Lyuze, a robot in the likeness of a woman, that seeks vengeance for his supposed crimes. Yes, robots are defined, in part, by gender. It's not for guttural reasons for once, mind you.
Consider the philosophical classification of being and personhood. Being refers to concrete qualities such as a blood vessel or a wired transistor, whereas personhood refers to more abstract qualities, yet qualities the majority of us can't deny doesn't exist, such as emotion, reason, and free will. Now, put aside any preconceived notions of mechanical agents save their hardware and understand that the robots in this setting are both beings and persons, much as humans typically are. Factoring the fact that a robot can exist indefinitely and coupling it with the effects of the Ruin, these elements are a conceptual build for this question: how would one react when suddenly confronted with the reality of mortality? It's something humanity has long since acknowledged, but robot-kind? What we have here isn't mainly sci-fi or action. People looking for primarily one or the other will be disappointed. Instead, we have life's meaning. If you're not interested in topics pertaining to existentialism, as too many people are unfortunately, then you might want to pass this show by. If you are, then, by all means... read on.
Casshern and ourselves ignorant of the Ruin, its effects on all persons, places, and things it encompasses, we learn about this destitute world's people as well as the world itself bit by bit through his eyes, his encounters. Each of these encounters follow an episodic format: the inhabitants of the hospice, the man who coughs blood, the angel of ruin, the maker of bells, the singer, the artist, etc. Some romantic, others tragic, still others enigmatic, but most... inspiring, and soon a theme takes shape. A matter of living vs. existing. Our female warrior confronts the same internal conflict in Episode 20, complete with a host of surreal spatterings. Kudos to Madhouse, or rather, some studio other than Shaft, for putting the effort to experiment, to challenge the bounds of what constitutes a meaningful visual experience. The more conventional visuals are excellent as well. The devastation of the Ruin and the traces of life in plants and people in between, already striking to the eye, become more poignantly bleak and beautiful in juxtaposition than they would otherwise. The same can be said of peoples' that have given in or carry on in the face of death and the way they carry themselves, whether on the move or in a fight, from clunky and cluttered, to impassioned and empowered.
With shows of episodic natures, specially ones that have more to do with observation than action, they can afford to take a few more liberties than would otherwise be acceptable. However, the conveniences have piled up in Casshern Sins to a point where they are too noticeable to ignore, particularly the frequency and timing of generic mobs assaulting Casshern and whatever company he keeps for generic reasons: misery loves company, and desperation begets savagery. It's not that these reasons aren't worthy for illustration, but they lose their impact when they become cliches. It gets tiring when the show has to resort to them to make a point. Devoid of much in the way of substantial variance, the fighting and imagery can get fatiguing, even if they aren't merely for the fighting and imagery's sake. I can only look at flowers and Casshern going apeshit on metallic husks for so long until I have to shout “I get it already!” to get rid of the frustration. The recurring cast too, for that matter. Then there are just moments where both feel out of place, particularly towards the end. Speaking of endings, the show decided to forgo episodic beginning at the half-way mark and finish plot-driven, namely, discovering how to end the Ruin. Unfortunately, plot-driven narratives permit far less wiggle room and require more solid development, and the content of before hadn't done much of a good trying to map out the developments of this overarching plot. The result toward the end were that certain mysteries from before were completely neglected and others after were suggested but forgotten or too ambiguous to really appreciate. New material is rammed in, scattered throughout, and resolved without enough time for it to settle and concentrate. Some developments occur that even within episodic paradigm are hard even for me to swallow, not to mention certain themes are just stabbed over and over like a mentally battle-scarred greenhorn trying to make sure his bloated, putrid husk of an enemy adversary is dead with his equally vile-smelling bayonet. The time the show took toward overemphasize would be better served trying to address more pressing issues. And finally, the resolution that Casshern ultimately decides to act on, one of arrogance, is one that, given his journey and my convictions, leaves a foul taste.
The aesthetics for the OP “Aoi Hana” or “Blue Flower” by Color Bottle is mainly composed of a sequence of pictures of Casshern and Lyuze doing aloof poses. However, combined with the acute climb in musical intensity from rest, the images take a transitional quality, blurring the seams of stagnancy into motion, a blurred barrier between still artwork and animation frames, blurs of vocals. The music itself is comprised of a freewheelings of the drum set, electric guitar, and male vocals. They give off this air of freedom in how each of these parts, summed together, can so effortlessly careen in speed, volume, and dynamic. The OP and EDs have lyrics fitting for the subject of the show, but while the OP appears to mimic fits of passion, the EDs take on more subdued, reflective tones. That, of course doesn't diminish the enjoyment I got from either. The EDs for Episodes 1-12 and 14-23 are “Reason,” by K∧N∧ and “Hikari to Kage,” or “Light Like a Shadow,” by Shinji Kuno respectively. Both are pleasant, the former, upbeat and uplifting, the latter, dreamy and drifting. Episode 13 has a separate ED entitled “Aoi Kage.” While the rest of the OST excels in helping establish a tonally appropriate mood for each scene that it is present in, a noteworthy mention goes to the OST, “A Path,” by Nami Miyahara in the sub and Caitlin Glass in the dub. Sung by the main episodic one-shot character Janice in Episode 8, the number recurs throughout the series. If there's one factor that may lead one to watch the dub over the sub, it's that the English voice actor on this particular piece does a better job than her Japanese Seiyū counterpart. In addition to being fluent in the language that the lyrics for the OST was written in, namely, English, Glass just conveys more passion, more power, more consistency, more expression, more flourish into the words. In Episode 8, she works with the motions of her character as Janice has her moment on stage, whereas Miyahara work feels, comparatively, distant and disconnected.
Though distasteful the ending may have been received by me personally, I'm grateful toward the show and all its moments throughout its beginning three fourths worth of content, splayed out in those many encounters, those many moments, for taking on such a bold and contemplative topic in such an inventive and imaginative way.
I give Casshern Sins an 8 out of 10. read more
Aug 11, 2013
Story: In this Alternative Universe, the world is almost only inhabited by Robots and the humans that once created those, became rare. This world is shown in a post apocalyptic state, where all the robots, which couldn't die due to them getting old earlier, now slowly ruin away. This Ruin heavily resembles rust and seems to work the same way as infirmity for humans. Here lives our main protagonist called Casshern. He is a robot that is immortal, immediately heals every time he is wounded and cannot decay like all the others Robots. There also are a lot of rumors around him, that if a robot would devour him, he would get the immortality that is Casshern's. Our protagonist though, doesn't know what happened to him and has no idea why he is immortal and where the Ruin comes from.
There actually is not a lot more to say about the plot, as it is rather simple and going deeper into it would result into spoilers. The thing that stands out though, is not the plot itself, but the Setting it is presented in. One thing has to be said though, being that this show is slow! For almost the whole show it moves forward so slow, at points it even gets a little boring. It actually takes the show 12 episodes before it gets a little faster, before it actually goes back into slow-motion mode again and decides that the fast pacing is something it doesn't like, before only getting a little faster in the final episodes. This is something that many people might find to be a problem with this show and something that turns away many. I myself didn't have any problems with that though and actually thought it fit the world rather well, but that is just preference and I can totally see why people might not like that.
Characters: For the majority of the show, it moves forward in a "Character of the Week"-Style and only goes away from it if it gets to a climax, which happens rarely due to the slow pacing. Every single episode, the show introduces a new Robot or Human, lets them interact with the main characters that are currently present, before either letting them stay, leaving them alone, or killing them off. It's a concept that quite some shows often use in a similar way, being the "monster of the week"-concept. A really popular Anime for this is the Mecha Deconstruction "Neon Genesis Evangelion", which introduces one enemy per episode and let's the three main characters kill them off at the end, before it goes into the actual main plot later on. Casshern Sins does the same thing with it's supporting cast. The thing that most shows that use this concept intend to do is get depth added to their own characters. Casshern Sins does this while also getting a little more into the Setting every single episode and every single episode that is used for a Supporting character in the end helps our main character realize the thing that the whole show wants to tell us, being that without death, life would not be livable
This concept is executed in such a good way, that every single episode we get a new character, that for the most time doesn't even show up anymore at all, that is either really likeable or just amazingly well written. Unfortunately this can not be said about all the main characters. More than once, I had the feeling that the supporting cast would be overshadowing the main characters by far. We do get development for every single one and a lot of depth of course, especially to Casshern, but all this doesn't help me to sympathize with the characters more and I feel like they were way to boring for the most part to actually make for a good cast. Leaving us with an amazing Supporting cast, while the main cast didn't succeed in convincing me of them being really interesting.
Art: The Art in Casshern Sins is, to leave it simple, amazing! It's another show where Studio Madhouse doesn't disappoint in just being awesome. The fighting scenes, which exist at least once per episode, look really good and are completely fluent. The coloring is for the most part beautiful and fits the dark atmosphere really well, while still featuring a lot of colors. The Characters Designs though, are something that I had my problems with, with it being really old school, since the characters were designed in 1974 already for the most part, which is not a style that I really like. That again is only preference and doesn't really matter for the overall enjoyment but rather is something that I didn't like myself.
Sound: The Soundtrack of Casshern Sins is something that I didn't realize during the first few episode, but that grew on me really fast. It mostly consists of really quite pieces, using a lot of guitar. It is used perfectly for the most part and one of the few songs in the Soundtrack that I actually didn't like was the only one that was not the opening or ending, was the only one using lyrics. The Openings and Endings though, were something that is in contrast to the OST itself actually...rather annoying. While the first Ending song was okay, I could stand neither the first Opening, which was plain annoying to me and the second ending, which I actually didn't watch a lot.
Casshern Sins is a show that is not for all people, featuring a pacing that is a lot slower than the pacing of most, but if you happen to like more than a few genres and are able to take things that are a little different from the usual shows, it definitely is worth checking out.
Now as I calculated all 5 scores that I have given (Story, Characters, Art, Sound and my personal Enjoyment), I give Casshern Sins a 7.96/10 as a show that pleased me, but not as much as others did! It currently is available for legal Streaming on FUNimations web page, if you happen to live in a country where you have access to that particular Stream (Other than me '-.-). It also has been licensed by FUNimation if you happen to live in America, and by Manga for the Europeans.
With that I hope I could help you and I'll see you next time!
Nov 20, 2008
I am pleased to say that it says a lot. Casshern Sins is what looks like the most original anime of the Spring 2008 lineup, and while it may be sad, it is truly amazing to watch. (This review will update as the series goes on, if all goes well ;D)
Casshern does not know if he is a man, robot, or neither. In a world of destruction, where humans are rarely found and the last of the robots rust, Casshern wanders, trying to discover his true self. If you exclude the amnesia cliche, the story is very original and engaging. You feel Casshern's emotions, you feel that somehow he has changed throughout his unknown ordeal, and you feel his sadness and frustration at his inability to control his primal instincts. As he wanders, he encounters many new things, all of which get him closer to discovering the truth of his world. The pace is somewhat slow in the beginning, but it gets quicker and stays generally understandable.
This is where Casshern Sins truly shines. The animation is amazing to watch, it's fluid, smooth, and elegant. The battle scenes are works of art, and it seems like the animation staff is always excited to draw new panels instead of reusing the old ones again and again. The landscapes look fabulous, and draw the viewer deeper into the sadness and depression in Casshern. Everything is drawn and animated beautifully; this series is almost a must see just for the animation. The best part is that 11 episodes into the anime, the animation crew still has not cut any slack on this wonderful series.
The theme song is pretty good, the ending is also above average. Nothing super superb here, but the music is engaging enough to draw you into the anime and feel the emotions of the characters. The ED is a "hopeful" song, one that leaves you with the right emotion instead of destroying the ending mood with a happy go lucky ero ero ending... just what we don't need. Luckily Casshern Sins doesn't do this, and the background music is above average as well. Nothing super special here, but its definitely not bad.
Casshern is somewhat cliche in his amnesia-but-wanting-to-do-good act, but it definitely works well for this anime. The characers around him are very unique as well, and all of them have some sadness that they share with Casshern and different ambitions. The way the characters interact is very realistic, and there's not so many characters that you start getting confused. Casshern Sins does a good job of introducing the characters and letting you get to know them well.
Promising series from what I have seen so far. I definitely reccomend checking Casshern Sins out if you're looking for something unique. It is a somewhat depressing anime at times, but it is meant to be saddening, so make sure that you watch something lighthearted afterwards. Unless you absolutely love the plot and characters, in which case I've done my job well :) I suggest you give this one a shot; you may find something you really like. read more
Mar 20, 2009
Art: The drawing style is very minimalist, but is works incredibly in the context of the world of ruin. Everything is very angular and colors are usually very muted. It helps to establish the world of Casshern as one that is both unique and memorable. This carries over into the fight scenes as well, where the fast movements really compliment the sharpness of the drawings to create a very visually exciting and energetic sense of combat. The art style really helps to bring all the themes of this universe and the intensity of combat into full fruition.
Sound: The music is very fitting. It's mostly sinister, ominous tones used to bring out the dread of the world at hand. However, many tracks bring out the small shimmers of hope Casshern and his friends encounter in a world governed by death. It is these tracks that really stand out to me personally as great compositional scores and pieces that really bring the main themes of the show to light. "A Path" stands out as one of the best songs in anime this year.
Character: All characters in this anime are fully-fleshed out and are all very important in the grand scheme of things. The character of Casshern is a great lead. Yes, his amnesia is a little generic in anime in general, but it never becomes a problem and serves to re-enforce the themes presented. Ringo is a great kid character, never annoying but still very childish. She also serves as a great motivator for everyone, always inspiring them to search for a better tomorrow even as the odds are stacked against them. Lyuze, Ohji, and Friender all serve as great lead characters that all contribute equally to the story at large. The villians are real showstoppers as well. Dio and Leda are a great duo that are full realized and make very worthy adversaries to Casshern's team. Braking Boss as well is a great sideline villian. He is a master manipulator that always gets other people to do his work for him.
Casshern SINS is a fantastic anime series that deserves your attention. The depressing atmosphere may turn off some people, and in the first half of the show its basically all one shot stories, but that's OK. Everyone else who sticks around will get not only an outstanding action anime, but an outstanding action anime that makes the characters and you the viewer think at the same time. It is truly a remarkable and unique show for the current generation of anime.
Overall Score, 9 out of 10. read more
Sep 30, 2010
I think that this question kept running through the studio director's mind as he decided to take up an old project that was long lost and created its new version - Casshern SINS. The series is a 24-ep-long philosophic discussion on the sense of human nature and its everlasting need for self-improvement. Paradoxically though, there are very few humans in this distorted world. The entities who appear to be more humane are... decaying and rusting robots...
The story keeps dwelling on the subject of coming of age and dying as well, as almost every robot out there is about to perish because the world has lost its only flower - Luna. And this aspect is staggering too. Every episode presents a different story with a different characters. Of course some stories intertwine to create a whole plot line, but mostly you will have to get used to one story-one ep form of the show. It remains that way till the very end. You'll also have to get used to a very slow pace. Noone is rushing nothing here. There are moments of complete silence (that is if you don't have a proper hi-fi and a blu-rau version) or a muttering sound of the wind rustling with the rocks, the sand and the water ocassionally. There are almost no plants in Casshern's world. Only rust, rocks and the remains of human civilization. This picture may sometimes get depressing, but there's not one thing in this show that would suggest that it should be different. But going back to the story, which is the main protagonist here...
As the show progresses many truths about the world are revealed. Some are universal and old-school viewers would get to those since episode one, and some are... impossible to comprehend at first. But once you reach the final episode most of those are cleared. And even in this distorted world, there is a place for family warmth and love. These two transcendental aspects of our nature will have their toll on Casshern, as he changes from ruthless and calm destruction machine into... a human, who no longer needs his past, and no longer needs Luna.
The characters are simply brilliant. Throughout the whole series you won't find a single persona that is boring or useless. Every single one of them is relevant to Casshern's journey towards the light. Every single one of them is a part of this world and adds up to the whole image. Despite all this, Casshern is alone. He may have a cybernetic dog called 'Friender' but it still does not account for a companion, although the dog seems to be more intelligent than its master at times. Likewise with the story, Casshern earns the trust of the two most important people he has met on his journey - the robot-girl I mentioned above - Ringo, and another robot-girl who seeks revenge on Casshern - Lyuze. You can easily guess now, who his family is...
I think I'll just pass through the video and audio aspect. Although both important, they had little influence on me, as the story kept me interested more and more. Of course, in an anime of this level those are splendid. The animation is perfect and smooth, and Casshern's bloody battles are impressive. The same goes for the audio part. If you have a good quality release and a hi-fi you can hear a lot more than you may think. The score is beautiful on the other hand, and I really loved the op and ed sequences.
So to sum it up. Casshern SINS is not an anime for everyone. Those looking for pure action and quick pace will quickly get bored and tossed away, despite the very good quality of art and music. Those longing for heart breaking experience and great story will love it all the way through, and those looking for a title to shed some tears on... it's for you as well.
I'm partially all those types mentioned, and I sincerely loved it. More than most other titles in 2008...
Jul 8, 2009
Despite that, the story at first was very depressing and slow. After watching the series through a few more times, I found it to be a lot more entertaining and has a much more deeper meaning than what I originally thought.
The character development shines in this series. One can see the growth of the characters throughout the series.
One thing that I would not mind seeing is a prequel to the series, just to see what the world was like before the ruin and the different stories of the characters that you meet throughout the series.
Of course, if a prequel was made, I can see it being a lot more faster paced and more action oriented due to the period of time in the story, and the ideas that took place at that time (in the anime)
Overall, an enjoyable series. Probably not what people expect, but with the right mindset, can be a great series. read more
Mar 25, 2009
Art: Now im sure alot of people will agree that this was one of the highlights of this show very beautifully done mixing old school character design making it look new and fresh Yoshihiko Umakoshi did a great job also on backgrounds bringing together a great apocoliptic view of this world it had to be a 10.
Sound: Another fine point in this series was sound the opening and ending theme songs were good i felt they did a good job of keeping it with the theme of the series not to up beat but it was pretty catchy and alot of the music in the show was great as well even a song in english which they did play a few times which helped make the scene seem more emotional and made watching the show that much more enjoyable gave it a 9.
Character: All characters were well put together from Casshern all the way down to Ohji every character had there own demons to face even braking or breaking boss 2 fansubs called him by 2 seperate names so i will use both even though he had a small part at the end he to also was a welcome part to this world i gave it a 10.
Enjoyment: To me maybe a 9 was to much for this catagory yes this show is great but there was some pacing issues like i said earlier some of the episodes in the middle of the series were pretty dull didnt have alot to do with the story or even pushing character development i could almost say that this show could have been cut to about a 12 or 13 episode series without alot of what was in the middle but still once you get to the climax of the show it was well worth the wait.
Overall: Yes this show has flaws but then again all shows do but this show does make up for these flaws by still putting together alot of things that makes this show great the story art characters and music were all well done that is pretty easy to overlook the minor flaws that it has i have never seen any other part of the casshern franchise but im sure that this show is a great additon to it i gave it a 9. read more
Jul 4, 2010
This is a novel of a review. Do not read if you don’t like long explanations.
Do not bitch if you disagree. I am stating my opinion as objectively as I can.
- The series is a remake of a much older series of the 70’s. The original was pretty standard stuff in terms of story. Machines rebel and conquer humanity and the son of the inventor of the machines turns into a powerful cyborg and fights in order to save humanity from extinction. Got the basics? Well, you can now forget them in the remake. This feels more like an entirely different story with a few names and character designs working simply as cameos and tributes to the original. In this one, it’s not good humans versus bad robots and Luna is not the hero’s girlfriend.
- Anyway, if you care for a quick look on the original, there is a set of 4 OVAs, simply titled Casshan that will fill all questions about the source material. It is somewhat of a more dramatic Power Rangers with humans and robots having hints of shades of gray in terms of personality.
ART SECTION: 8/10 [The Horobi is everywhere…]
General Artwork 2/2: Hell, it is so stylized that it feels more like modern art than anime backgrounds. An endless wasteland with water and flowerbeds being contrasts. Initially, it felt like Fist of the North Star but eventually it is very artistic and conveys feelings of fear and unrest much easier.
Character Figures 2/2: Well, they look as if they jumped out of a 70’s series (weird hairdo, huge eyes, simple body lining). This is positive in two ways since it does make them to easily stand out from the norm of recent series and even makes them appealing to retro-lovers. They have a cute-looking design that makes a huge contrast with the bleakness in the story. It is an effect that increases the emotional impact on you by many-fold. It is a neat trick; even the ridiculous Elfen Lied cast felt dramatic because of the kawai way the girls were drawn.
Backgrounds/ Animation/ Visual Effects 4/6: As for the rest of the sub-sections, they are more or less good. The lack of real detail and the repetitive wastelands may tire at times, but the contrast of water and flowers, along with flare and overexposed film effects really break the monotony and bring you back up into watching. The motion in frames is generally good, although it does have its share of huge static pictures.
SOUND SECTION: 8/10 [And now I will explain everything…]
Voice Acting 2/3: Very good in all. There are no too ridiculous pinches in the series. Most of the characters do sound immature and silly like spoiled kids every now and then, but this is done purely in order to point their unawareness during their quest for salvation in a dying world. Plus, it made their youthful way of talking to provide an antithesis with the grim atmosphere and thus increase the emotional impact on the viewer’s ears. What does ruin this fondness are the loooong monologues. Everyone talks for several minutes and anything else he/she does seems to have no effect on the story. So, it is a series of monologues and immature-sounding characters listening quietly and then questioning the talker. It does become tiresome at times, as some things are better to be shown instead of just being told.
Music Themes 3/4: Ok, nice to hear. The opening and ending songs are elegiac to the point of a hate/love relationship but in no case you will not notice them. They convey the feeling they aim to convey, so they are successful. No out of place pop songs. Still, they are not songs I will ever hum when I feel bored…
Sound Effects 3/3: Ok, the sound of rusty metal crumbling in the wind will scar you for good. All the sounds in the series aim to make you feel dread and unrest. And boy, they succeed with flying colors. Water drops on pools, walking on rubble, fabrics flapping on the scorching wind… You name it. They sure made me turn the lights on.
STORY SECTION: 6/10 [The meaning of life, defined by the sight of surrounding death]
General Scenario/Believability/Reasoning/Realism 4/4: Ah, in the piles of trash we are given every year, and with crapish series like Sky Girls gaining more room every day, this one truly is a jewel in the midst of a trash yard. Metaphorically, the hero in the story is the only creature not rotting away like everyone else, so in a way it really makes a parallel.
In the story, the world is overrun by robots but is dying from a decease that slowly rusts robots. The protagonist, Casshan, wakes up with amnesia and is told that everything is his fault, as he killed the source of all life, Luna. Now, everyone wants to kill him, as there is a rumor, which states that the one who devours him will be cured from the decease, and gain eternal life. So, Casshan begins a journey of self-acknowledgement, in order to escape his pursuers and find the missing parts in his memory. Wherever he is going, he encounters death and decay, people who have gotten insane because of the inevitable death or have accepted their doom and await their end.
As you can imagine, the story revolves around death. Death in all its forms and its effects on living creatures, who know that they will soon die. For you see, robots in the series are treated as living. They used to be ageless and not afraid of death and now are facing extinction and have turned into all sorts of madmen and philosophical blabbers. As for humans, well, they are practically extinct; with a few individuals remaining that have a seemingly futile purpose to fulfill; yet it is the only thing that keeps them willing to remain alive.
So, the general idea behind the series is fantastic, as almost no other anime ever bothered dealing with a taboo theme like death in such multi-layered ways. The norm is usually some spunky teenager with high ideals aiming to save the world, become the best in the field and bring peace and happiness to all. Well, forget all that idealistic clichés; this one is truly gloomy and depressing. Yet in the end of the day it tries to shine upon the beauty of life by pointing out its ephemeral duration. You don’t appreciate life if you are not afraid or aware of death.
So sure, the thrill of dealing with the upcoming death and even oblivion makes the story of this anime really something. Every episode features a situation where someone deals with death in his own way and thus giving a meaning to his otherwise fade of existence.
Pacing / Side Stories 1/4: Ok, enough with the good part. Let’s deal with the bad parts. The series is almost entirely episodic. Most episodes feature characters you will never see again. That does give a feeling of pointlessness on the part of the hero’s struggle, as everything he does doesn’t really pay off. Ok, maybe the purpose of the series really is about doing things that don’t pay off in the long term. Still, only 6 out of the 24 episodes feature an on-going story, and even those offer it with a spoon. Meaning, if you don’t fancy really slow plot and seemingly events that have nothing to add to the story then you will most likely get bored with it pretty soon, as I did.
Some may say that the slow plot aims at absorbing you into the world and giving you the time to identify yourself with the tragedy of the characters. Still, 24 episodes were waaaaaaaaay to many for such a thing. And anyway, I never felt that the main lead could be defeated in battle. It is revealed pretty fast that he is immortal and thus, incapable of loosing. Something that all others are not and thus can be defeated if the lead keeps trying to beat them. That made all battles anti-climactic and unnecessary.
Then, there is the thing with repetitiveness on the part of the plot. Almost every episode features the same form of development. Some pretty lady or weak people are attacked by crazed robots, who pretty much kill for fun. Casshan will jump out of thin air, defeat the robots and listen to the worries of the ones he saved. After a long monologue full of existentialism issues, a spar will follow where no matter who wins, the fight ends with more monologues and Casshan going away. Next episode; repeat process…
Well, that kind of makes this anime to feel as repetitive as Pokemon. Although it does give you more insight on the parts of the characters and the tragic fate of the world, it still remains repetitive. If you like twists in the formula, you will not find any. If you expect a character to return in another episode, he pretty much won’t. Thus, in terms of plot, the series is very repetitive and simple with the meaning behind monologues to be the thing that really matters.
So, in other words, forget the action. All the battles offer nothing to the story. They either end with a character sparing with Casshan and leaving “because it’s not the time” or Casshan beating robot mooks in a Fist of the North Star fashion. Also, forget about the plot. It is almost the same in every episode. Just listen to the monologues. It’s the only thing that really matters. If you like this sort of thing, then you will like the series a lot more than I did. I for once expect fast pace and plot twists at every corner. Too much blah, blah, is not my cup of tea.
Conclusion 1/2: Thus, it finally comes to an end in episode 24. Was it fulfilling? I am not sure. Nothing was left unresolved and yet nothing was clear of what was the fate of all the characters who remained alive. Because, duh, many did die so you don’t need to know anything more about them. Although the ending explains what followed the events of the series (in a long monologue as usual) it still didn’t mention what did the characters do. It is bittersweet and fulfilling on an emotional level, yet on a plot-wise level it feels open to interpretation and does leave room for a sequel. So, it is a mixed bag.
CHARACTER SECTION: 7/10 [Luna, I will kill you.]
Personality 1/2: You don’t live if you believe you are immortal. I mean, you don’t really care in series like Dragonball Z or One Piece about the fate of its characters. Because they can never be killed or even if they do, they can simply be resurrected; thus having an unlimited time of trying and empowering they will eventually beat the bad guy and save the day. In this series, everyone who dies, pretty much remains dead. Plus, they will all die very soon if a solution is not found, so they do not have limitless time to do so. This is the basic reason all the characters in the series have very extreme goals that seem ridiculous to people who are not aware of their upcoming doom. Thus, all the characters act in very crazy and extreme ways and for once, it is excused.
You do feel compassion and understanding about them because you know they can die at any moment and their actions are their personal ways of feeling alive and leaving their mark in the world as means of not be forgotten; of not being as if they never existed. It is truly marvelous to see how someone can deal with such issues under the pressure of doom and decay. Something you would never feel about a character like Ash Ketcham and his quest to catch Pokemon / win Badges, as he is ageless and his existence is pretty much a false circle of doing things that he forgets by the next episode and beating Rocket team, which returns on the next episode like nothing happened.
Still, there is a part were most don’t notice in stories. In this series the characters behave more like plot elements rather than living, breathing people. They are more of anthropomorphic personifications (sic) of certain emotions and ideas rather than complicating personalities. They are all fixed on a certain goal, which kind of makes them 2-dimensional. Oh, sure, they usually change opinions when they talk or fight Casshan. Still, it’s more like they are questioning their beliefs before performing a U turn to their initial goals. Or, hell, just keep doing what they were planning on doing anyway. Anyway, it feels too polarized by the end of the day. It’s either left or right. No middle choices. This is kind of excused by the episodic nature of the series. In fact, the general feeling of the series is pretty polarized by default; so it is an accepted fact. Life or death, struggle or acceptance, truth or oblivion… Still, it is an element I dislike in characters.
Presence & Backdrop 3/4: Although the characters show a multitude of emotions that makes them far more than just caricatures with a signature special attack or personality quirk, they are still pretty easy to understand (in a bad way). Especially the mook robot warriors; they were copies of one another. Idiots, smashing things for fun and fighting opponents that are obviously incapable of defeating. Still, this is not a series that tries to confuse you with scheming, multi-faced, multi-layered characters. It offers simple to understand and bind with characters. Even the backdrop stories of everyone are rather simple. They are a mystery at first (which lures you to be curious and pay attention) but through some dialogue it is revealed in a quite simple to understand way; so you immediately know what is what with them.
Development & Catharsis 3/4: Well, the series generally does a good job rounding up the cast. By the end of it, everything there was to be said about them is more or less said and done. No real unfinished business for the main cast. Yet, many secondary characters are present only for one episode, so there is no real catharsis for them. More like stating their reason for being and them letting them keep doing it, while fading in the background. As for the ones who die, they seem to acquire catharsis because they accept thing as they are… just because they are dying. It feels like death is panacea for all your worries in the series; something that contradicts most of the goals in the cast who pretty much struggles in order to survive. Plus, even those who do make it to the end, you are left to imagine through a dialogue what has happened to them.
VALUE SECTION: 6/10 [Value your life by killing others.]
Historical Value 1/3: Nothing much.
Memorability 4/4: It does stand out from the lot. It does make you think. It does leave you with lasting impressions and images and does manage to make you notice/remember its cast.
Rewatchability 1/3: But the chances or rewatching the whole thing are low for me. The theme and plot repeat themselves a lot more than they should, thus nothing much is left to be understood better by a second viewing. Plus, most people stay away from depressing anime so one time will be lasting and enough for the majority.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 5/10 [Hate the book, enjoy the text]
- I did enjoy the aesthetic part of the series. I also loved the messages about the greatness of life by accepting death. Yet, the repetitive plot and the anti-climactic battles really made me feel bored half the time. This is not an action series and should never be watched by action lovers. Still, watching the same things repeating again and again did feel like the scriptwriters just rehashed the storyboard in every episode and simply changed the dialogues. As for the peak of interest, it was more like “and now I will explain everything with another monologue” than some huge confrontation of wits and brawns.
- This is a series of monologues. Everything is told and not shown. You can get what it tries to pass to you without even looking at the screen. Just listening to the monologues and the eerie sounds is enough. So, it misses the balance of mystery/action/revelations I love seeing in anime.
VERDICT: 6.5 / 10
If you don’t fall asleep by listening to the monologues, you will like it. If you expect a twist or a brawling or an epic conclusion, you won’t.
Casshern (the live action movie, one of the few sci-fi movies that outshine their anime version)
Melody of Oblivion
Bounen no Xamdou read more
Dec 2, 2008
Of the nine episodes that I have seen so far, each episode follows a pattern: Casshern is wandering through his seemingly endless journey when he meets a new character. This new character, just like every other being in that world, is suffering in some form from the ruin. But while this pattern detracts from the overall plot of the story (I don't need to provide it, you can read it yourself), it adds new perspectives. It goes to show how one worldwide trauma can separately affect different lives. It adds a new personal tale each episode that serves to constantly remind and torment Casshern of his sin. This increases his need for redemption and his need for finding the answers. One definitely cannot say by the end of this anime that Casshern receives no development.
But there are some recurring characters--particularly Lyuze, Ringo, and Oji--and their consistent interaction with Casshern is realistic, not to mention it provides some development for them as well.
The scenery is horribly lovely. There could honestly be no better way of drawing such a bleak setting than with the animation style that is used in this anime. There's just a quality to the art that makes this anime its own; an art that is both beautiful and upsetting. And the music, while repetitive, is fitting. I only gave Sound a 5 because of its lack of diversity, not because it doesn't work. (Of course, I could just be tone deaf and unable to decipher distinct soundbites.)
If anyone asked for my opinion of this anime, I would definitely recommend it. But I must also warn anyone who tries to watch it to keep a good couple years' supply of antidepressants handy, whether or not you're prone to manic depression. read more
Apr 9, 2013
semester exams i was in pursuit of refreshments. So well, got introduced to this wonderful
series by a friend of mine.
Casshern Sins is not pretty much what it looks like if you’re seeing this picture for the first
time. It is not the usual action adventure shounen-esque series you watch, but a very deep
psychological series. The plot – The world is in ruin. Robots are rusting (dying) everywhere unable to repair
themselves. Signs of Human are rarely seen, which ensure their extinction. As despair
consumes the heart of everyone there is one who is to blame for all the happenings :
Casshern, who killed Luna, the Sun that was named Moon. Struck with amnesia as seen in
the beginning of the series, Casshern walks into a journey remembering the sin he
committed.... Each episode, for the most part, explores a different aspect of humanity, usually regarding
hope and despair. They end up giving away moments of vain hope, enraging emotions
transformed into love, rarely having scenes of unfettered rage. The first fair half of episodes
are quite dull regarding the number count and how long they tried tried dragging it, makes
more reasons to why it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Whereas the second explores a mystery
about how even the most unlikely chance at life can bring out the ugliest in anyone, the emotional impact creates such unrelenting momentum that these roadblocks do nothing to
deter anyone from the end.
Fight scenes, at first it’s not hard to expect a depressing setting with some above average,
albeit grizzly, fight scenes. However in the very next moment it turns into an introspective
piece, symbolical. Just as how the very emotional depth that can be drawn from a single blue
flower (As seen in the series) is uncanny, especially as it becomes an unusual personification of death, and as the glimpse of rust on the cheek of a Robot or the emptiness in their eyes
bring out the terror of death as a monster which devours on every being.
In my personal opinion, this is one series hard to categorize. It is stands in it’s own as a
masterpiece of artistic integrity. But then again tastes may vary, as this definitely is not
everyone’s cup of tea. read more
Jan 26, 2012
Could you blame them? Once someone has had a taste of the good life, it is hard to accustom to anything less.
Since Cashern has forgotten about his past, he sets off on a journey of self-discovery in hopes of finding his purpose in life. Along the way, he meets various robots and people struggling to survive.
Ringo, a young robot girl who befriends Casshern, is a miracle, according to her robot friend named Ouji, because she manages to maintain her innocence despite being born in a destroyed world. Casshern begins to care for this girl as he learns about compassion and love. And through each encounter he comes across, he learns a little more about life.
Even though it is a very depressing anime, the story is very intriguing. I found myself sympathizing with these robots a lot. Especially Casshern. I even held a little grudge toward the humans. I was wondering how cruel it was that the humans gave robots emotions and feelings. I couldn't help but think of the pain and suffering they were going through. It was interesting how these robots didn't take anything for granted, not even the smallest things. To them, a simple song was deeply treasured. This anime is very violent and emotional, but brilliant none the less. I enjoyed the music and the character designs. About half way through, it seemed a bit slow for me, but I really enjoyed the ending. I highly recommend this anime. If you're looking for a deeper, more meaningful story, look no more. read more
Dec 22, 2012
Early in Casshern Sins, a character makes this observation. It wasn't lost on me that Casshern Sins is full of seeming contradictions itself; the series features fast action and snail's-pace plot development, “oldschool” character designs presented with new technology, extreme violence and quiet speculation, and a tone that wavers schizophrenically between “uplifting” and “grim.” The end result is something unique enough to merit a cautious recommendation.
Casshern Sins centers around the titular Casshern—a character who wakes up on a barren futuristic world knowing nothing of his past. The only thing he seems to remember is how to brutally kill others; he only knows his own name because it's what his enemies scream as they attempt to kill him. The world is ravaged by The Ruin, a plague that slowly destroys robots and humans alike. Casshern quickly learns that in the distant past he was responsible for killing Luna, a life-giving savior. Her death caused The Ruin. Burdened by this knowledge, Casshern attempts to navigate the unknown world while gradually learning more about his past, and the sins that he cannot remember.
The story itself is a strong one, with many intricacies that are revealed as time passes. Two stories are actually being told at once; one of the present and, indirectly, one of the past. The parallels between them drive the series forward with the feeling of a classic tragedy. “Complete amnesia” is a plot device that seems to be very popular nowadays, but this series manages to present a pretty original spin on it. It's not used for cheap emotional content. Instead, it's an integral part of establishing the plot. It allows other characters to show Casshern just what he did wrong, but since the explanation is actually a necessary one to get Casshern on the right track, it doesn't feel like needless exposition.
Thematically, Casshern Sins doesn't seem to be about sin/atonement (as the title suggests) but, rather, about life and death. Specifically, whether or not immortality would really be “worth it,” so to speak. In this world, robots and humans have been equalized by The Ruin—robots were once immortal, but now certain death lies on the horizon for both races, and how each party reacts to the looming threat is an integral part of the show. Some fight The Ruin, gratefully embracing any semblance of hope, while others give up entirely and await their end in silence. The series poignantly debates whether it's better to live in a calm eternity, like a placid lake, or to live a short but fulfilling life before succumbing to death, like a fire burning in the night.
Now, while I was a fan of the story and themes, it's tough not to be put off by the pacing of the show. For the first half of its running time Casshern Sins is episodic, meaning that each episode tells a self-contained story that's connected only loosely—if at all—to the overarching plot. The problem with most of these episodes was that, while they connect well to the repeated ideas of life and death, most of them lack any connection to the central storyline. Sometimes it feels like the series is just buying time, and to be honest, there are points where these episodes do drag a little bit. I wouldn't say they're “filler” episodes, but some of them do merit the question: “Did this really need to be here?”
In fairness, Casshern Sins does find its stride around episode 13, when the series switches to a continuous story thread that puts more focus on major plot points. But whether or not you can wait it out until then to see the pacing pick up is a different story. Even after that point, it's still a pretty slow-moving show, with many, many exchanges of dialogue, but the change from “gut-wrenchingly slow” to “slow but deliberate” is noticeable and welcoming once you get there.
To talk about the characters in Casshern Sins, it's necessary to know that the show features two different “sets” of characters: Episodic characters, who exist only in the context of one episode, and the main cast, who persist throughout the show. The episodic characters are generally well-written and given a lot of emotional appeal, but they suffer from the same problem I described above; that is, they connect to the show's themes, but not its story, and therefore some of them can end up feeling a little unnecessary. The main cast, on the other hand, features several memorable characters that get fully fleshed out as the series progresses. Casshern is the central figure for most character development. Whether Casshern is to be hated or sympathized with is a running argument throughout the show, and you can tell a lot about a character based on which side they take. As Casshern grows to learn more about his past and present, and develop thoughts of his own, this creates a sort of ripple effect in which the other characters change along with him. The central cast are all given appropriate backstories that are revealed at strategic points in the show, adding a sense of depth and believability to their personalities.
When it comes to visuals...man, I really need to stop reviewing Madhouse shows, because they're always great looking. Casshern Sins features extremely detailed background art that turns the world of robots and humans into a beautiful dystopia of vast deserts, barren mountains, and shining seas. When there is an oasis in the middle of this hellish world—a spot of pink and blue flowers, perhaps—it looks even more gorgeous by contrast. The art seems to echo the show's themes; everything that's still alive seems to be encircled by the empty land, besieged by death from every direction.
As mentioned earlier, the character designs in Casshern Sins are decidedly more “oldschool” than what most of us are probably used to. Most of the characters have sharper, thinner, more angular bodies than what's common nowadays, and in truly classic style, everyone seems to have ridiculously massive and spiky hair in every color of the rainbow. All gentle mockery aside, these designs look great; I always welcome a unique departure from the norm. Casshern himself seems almost iconic, a spot of white and red in a world that's completely black and brown.
Needless to say that Casshern Sins also has some great action sequences, which are lovingly animated. Casshern is an elegant killing machine who seems to almost dance while he's fighting, bringing a strange sort of beautiful brutality to the table. He pirouettes and spins, all while violently dismembering his opponents, splitting them in half, or ripping out pieces of their inner workings with his bare hands. The scenes of action are well-choreographed, a real treat to watch, and there's no shortage of them in the series.
Casshern Sins also shines in the sound department, where a beautiful orchestral soundtrack is used to great effect. Most of the songs feature string and wind instruments as the lead sounds, with an occasional chanted or choir element of background vocals. Despite the high quality of the soundtrack in general, I took some slight issues with two songs that occasionally play in the show: They have English lyrics, and pretty hammy ones, at that. While the singer (Nami Miyahara, who also voices a main character) has a great voice and puts in an admirable effort, she still sings with a noticeable Japanese accent. This, combined with the cheesiness of the lyrics, means that these songs will probably not have the intended effect on an audience of native English speakers. This is a relatively small complaint, and since English speakers were (obviously) not the originally intended audience of the show, it's really not anyone's fault, but it's there nonetheless.
Casshern Sins has a lot going for it—it boasts a great plot, mature themes, memorable characters, refreshing art, and a top-notch soundtrack. When it comes right down to it, I'd say that the only thing holding Casshern Sins back from true greatness is its pacing; it's the biggest flaw in an otherwise excellent series. Whether or not you're capable of enjoying this series is completely up to how patient you are. If you're the type that doesn't like to wait, and wants a story that's always in high gear, watching this would be a nightmare. But those with a high degree of tolerance for things that are slow to develop might find Casshern Sins to be well worth their time.
Sep 5, 2013
Casshern Sins is one of those few.Casshern Sins plays in a futuristic world mostly overflown by wastelands and deserts and instead of humans the main popularity consists of robots, which all slowly decay. Now we, the audience just follow the main protagonist on his journey around this country meeting different types of robots and how they work with their fate.
What really makes this anime so special is the deeper meaing behind it. This is one of the most profound anime out there with many philosophical questions. The few fighting scenes in this anime are hold very short to focus more about the story and its, maybe for some long pacing, but only for those people this anime might not be for any use anyway.
The soundtrack and artstyle is pretty good as well. With very calm violin- and pianoplays it also creats many emotinal moments. And with their artstyle they really managed to make a creative and beautiful scenery out of the normaly boring desert.
So in conclusion is Casshern not an anime that primary focus is to entertain you, it is there to facinate you with its ideas and it representation. For those of you who give a shit about deeper meanings in anime : "Go back to your plain SAO shit" read more
Jul 31, 2013
The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where robots rust and humans are nearly extinct. Casshern Sins follows a robot named Casshern who's immortal, he travels the land in search of answers as to how the world came to be in ruins and who he really is. The plot's pretty straightforward and episodic as well with some symbolism that makes the story unique and the fact that no one, not even the main characters are safe, makes the story interesting to watch. Though, the show can be slow paced at times which could throw some viewers off.
The animation is solid done by studio Madhouse who's always shown their A game from other great shows in the past. It's a unique design that blends in well with the overall tone and setting of the story.
The OST is very good that goes well with the different scenes throughout the course of the story that fits with well with the show's tone. I watched this anime during its run on the new Toonami block on Adult Swim so I will only be talking about the dub for the show. It's a very good dub with the voice actors giving it their all and giving a good performance, though Funimation usually brings out good, quality dubs.
The characters for the most part are likeable. Casshern usually meets different people on his journey and a couple of them either join him right away or eventually. Everybody else is the supporting cast that meet Casshern who show, in their respective roles, how the world has evolved and how they have adjusted to their environment. At points they do drastic things due to how desperate and dangerous the situation has become.
This was a surprise as I literally had to expectations going into it. I always find shows that are set to be in a post-apocalyptic world interesting, with some symbolism thrown in there if it serves a purpose. They tend to show a what if scenario if the world was on its last stand and what you would do in that situation. Though the show can be depressing at times which isn't for everyone and I'm not sure if I would watch it more than once.
Overall, despite my gripes with the show I still enjoyed it and am glad I checked it out. The show may not be spectacular, but it should be watched at least once before you decide if this is the kind of show that's for you. You can watch it on Funimation or Hulu for those of you who want to check it out. Well that's it for me. Thank you for reading my review. You guys take care.
Oct 29, 2011
This anime is a slow paced show, most of the episodes are episodic as Casshern journey through the wasteland to find Lunar and recover what he has forgotten and his purpose for his existence.
As the show goes on, lots of questions surrounding Casshern will reveal itself as you go along and that it is what kept me watching till the very end.
The artwork is really unique and the style is beautiful, and the colour scheme matches the theme that the anime is portraying to the viewer.As well as that, the character design that Madhouse Studios produced is great but a bit less robotic compared to 1993's Casshern and the animation is fluid even on the fighting scenes.
I love the Jazzy intro opening and the moving ending, it fits well with the show.
The characters are mediocre, most of the cast's history seem a bit basic and it is shown in flashbacks, in my opinion they should of revealed more other than Casshern's history and it seemed that it didn't reach my expectations.
Overall I enjoyed it! I would recommend it to viewers who like action, random situations, fans of the old Casshern show and finally reoccurring "what if" questions about death,robots and the meaning of living. read more
Apr 24, 2009
Casshern Sins is like nothing I've ever watched (and belive me I've watched tons) It's unique in every way. Each episode has is like its own story that all adds onto each other. The overall plot of the series is very simple. It's not very hard to understand and yet has a lot of depth and meaning.
And it is dome completely beautifully. The animimation is truely beautiful. Even as it's set in a seemingly dead world where everything is dieing, there is still the beauty found in unexpected places. The characters and done wonderfully and everyway.
Really, I have absolutely NOTHING bad to say about this show. BUT! I will say one thing. It did take a little getting used to hearing Casshern's name. It messes with me a litle bit. It sounds French.... Very strange.
But dis[ite that there's nothing bad about this anime. It's intreaging. It's unique. People who like a slow paced anime will love it and people who like action packed stuff (like me) will love it as well. It's a show that has a bit of everything for everyone.
Overall, you shouold definatly try it out and watch it. A true masterpeice. read more
Jun 29, 2009
Now, at some level I can understand why one might not like Casshern. You might say the character designs are old fashioned (they're actually quite beautiful, though, old in style but with modern colors and animation). You might say that it's slow (rather, it's like a flower blossoming in front of you, slowly, but surely). You could conceivably say that it's full of clichés (really, it just builds upon the best elements of pre-millennial anime).
See, even listing the things that could be considered defects, I can't help but see them as positive.
Casshern is a show that pushes all of my buttons, without even trying. It has amazing art and animation that falls well outside the mainstream, a post apocalyptic setting, and robots galore. It has a deep plot, and characters that rise and fall, only to rise again. It pushes change in a static world, and life in a dying one.
The show was "based" on Casshern, but you won't really see much to connect it to the old series and movie. It forges its own path, and you can tell that it was carried forward by a strong artistic vision. Like many anime (and media in general) which have this feature, it can sometimes be pretentious, or overbearing. It's worth it, though, because the show is able to deliver on all the promises that it builds up.
So, unapologetically, I strongly recommend this anime. If it isn't for you, then my description will probably have already turned you off to it. But if you find yourself a bit lost amid the meandering moe that has filled the new century, maybe, just maybe, this anime is for you. read more
Aug 27, 2010
Now this story moves slow, I mean VERY slow, and this is the first noticable flaw of Casshern Sins. This is supposed to serve as dramatic build up, but the schitck wears thin after five episodes, and establishes nothing outside of what the audience already knows. The trick to telling a competent story is to offer mood and then deliver the plot, from there you move on to climax, as opposed to the 12 episode circle jerk the first DVD boxset provides. Calling it a story gives it too much credit, because it implys that anything thats taking place is going to lead somewhere. Humpty Dumpty has more plot cohesion then Casshern Sins because even this nursery rhyme managed to tell a decent plot offering a character (the Egg), the situation (a wall he wanted to sit on), the predicament (he fell), and a conclusion (he died). In Casshern, we get the egg beating up a bunch of rotten eggs and other eggs talking.
There's lots of dialouge, but I lost interest in anything ANY of these characters had to say by episode nine.
Which is Cassherns' other problem: Bland as hell, one demonsional lead characters. Casshern himself is a six page rant in itself, so I'll just summarize the point of my angst in regards to this character and others written like him: I HATE AMNESIA-STRICKEN ANIME LEADS! This is a cliche that's been done to death and I am sick of seeing every other title being bogged down by a main character with a gimmick thats been used to death by Hannah-Barbera in the sixties. Writing a character that doesn't remember anything excuses the author of having to make their hero develop in a chronological sense with the rest of the stroy because everything has to grind to a halt until he says, "OH YEAH, now I remember!" It's insipid and five out of every ten shows is almost guaranteed to use this stunt. As for Lyuze, she's even more worthless than Casshern himself. Her grief against him seems simple enough, but becomes insufferable as time goes on. How do have complex emotions about a guy who allegedly destroyed your past that borders outside genocidal rage?! It's ricidulousluy stupid character writing and diving into her psyche only shows just how egotistical and self-deluded this writing staff really was into thinking they were creating a philosophical masterpiece. The villians Leda and Dio add nothing at all besides generic obstacles who, from what I could piece together, fail as antagonists, and Ringo's only driven purpose is to chew up as much scenery as possible before the Ruin hits. The characters in this show are episodic.
The animation is impressive at first, but gets hammered into your brain with as many cluttered, over-choreographed fight scenes as any given episode of Bleach, and the fights are just as meaningless. If this show isn't talking your ear off, it's showing Casshern laying waste to every rejected Mega Man robot master fans submitted in to be put into a video game and nobody can lay a hand on him! This guy no-sells damage worse than John Cena!!
IN CLOSING: Not since RaXephon have I made it all the way through an anime that could've been promising if it had direction, likable characters, and wasn't so pretentious and long-winded in it's own bullcrap writing. Characters talk, dialogue goes nowhere, then they fight and fight and fight, then stop for more talking. Intrigue was lost halfway through and the climax was God-awful. I'm sorely disappointed that I spent money on this. I'm gonna go turn myself into a robot bell.
OVERALL: 3 out of 10
PROS: English dub isn't bad
CONS: Lackadasical writing, boring characters, repetitive BGM, everything else read more