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Casshern Sins: Part One [Blu-ray]
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Casshern – a cybernetic assassin with no memory of his past – awakens in a corrosive wasteland where nothing survives for long. A plague known as the Ruin sweeps across this once-vibrant world, reducing everything in its path to rubble and scattering any chance for salvation. Robots and humans alike – or what little remains of them – seek vengeance against Casshern for the life he took and the role he played in their Ruin. A machine built to kill, Casshern murdered the last hope for this world, but now, lost in a future he does not recognize, he will fight to save the dying.
Textless opening song - AOI HANA
Textless closing song - reason
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Shinzo Ningen Kyashan, or translated as Neo-Human Casshan, was an anime series created by animation studio Tatsunoko Productions in 1973. This series was never localized since the Japanese super-hero genre was never really that popular here in America. Years later in 2003, the OVA (titled "Robot Hunter Casshan") was subtitled and released on two DVDs (both of which you can find here on Amazon, at the time of this review of course). In 2007, the live-action version was re-cut, subtitled and officially released by Dreamworks here in America, titled "Casshern." In early 2010, Casshan made an appearance as a playable character in the fighting game "Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom" for the Nintendo Wii. I'm really not sure what's going on with the translation of this character's name; they just can't seem to decide which one to use. But anyway, just know that "Casshan" and "Casshern" are the same character.
Now it's mid-2010 (again, at time of this review), and here we have Casshern Sins. Suffice it to say, FUNimation did a fantastic job of localizing this great anime. If you've never seen it before, you don't need to know any of Casshern's back-story to get into it, but I think it's a lot more fulfilling if you do watch the other Casshern material. I won't go into the story, since that would make this review more lengthy than it already is and that's something you can probably find anywhere on the internet, but rest assured that it's one you won't soon forget. All of the English voice actors sound nearly identical to their Japanese counterparts. There are a few misses if you compare it to the Japanese version, but these differences are negligible. The script was also well translated, and I feel it isn't watered down for U.S. audiences, which can be the case for some translated animes. Also, from what I've noticed, no violence, language or any scenes were cut out from the original, which is greatly appreciated for any kind of fan for anime.
*IN SHORT: If you are a fan of Casshern, or have seen the original Japanese version of this anime, this is well worth the investment. If you've never heard of this franchise or anime, you owe it to yourself to pick this up and experience a story you won't soon forget.
So here's the deal. The animation in this anime is just superb. I mean excellent. I absolutely LOVE the way the filters look and certain colors just pop right out at you while everything still remains dark and sad. If you think there's no place in this type of world for person dressed like a superhero you'd be wrong. Casshern fits perfectly despite his get-up and it works wonderfully.
So the episodes. A lot of them consisting of Casshern roaming the world and discovering what he has done and who's paying the price(i.e. everybody). Many people will find this anime...not exactly to their liking. It's very quiet. Not much music at all. Lots of moments with silence and much contemplating what these people are thinking. The result is a very emotional experience that I enjoy a lot. But while there are the silent despressing moments, there are also the battles. Not as much but there are some battles certainly. The battles are amazing and it's great to watch Casshern dance around ripping robots to shreds. He's a killing machine and nothing can stop him. Even if you think he may be killing the enemy just because they show him doing it onscreen you can't always be fooled. Sometimes what they show could be from what he sees and he could well have just killed a friend. when in a rage he doesn't stop until everything is dead. And this is an excellent point to the anime. Watching Casshern evolve from a mindless killing machine that doesn't know what he's doing by meeting all these different suffering robots and (sometimes) humans. Sure it's quiet and depressing, but it's also well thought out, emotional, and will make you want to see more. The anime really picks up more in the second half but the first half I find myself really loving. I like to see his interactions and changing based on past experiences. This anime is all about the characters. I have been in tears a few times throughout which I can't say for too many anime.
So overall I find this to be an excellent purchase, (both Parts of course. Damn you Funimation for seprating everything now!) and I haven't been so addicted to an anime in a long while. If you don't mind the silence. If you like a great story. If you like character evolution. This is definitely for you. While there is much to think about and not everything is fed to you, whenever a glimmer of light appears to spread hope it will bring a smile to your face knowing that even in a ruined world the sad can smile again.
This series is not a happy cheery anime. There is a lot of death, mostly all of which is robot based so theres not blood splatter everywhere. While there are some quirks with it, you just can't hate Casshern. Really I want to give it 5 stars but in the end I just don't feel the need to watch it again. I've seen what the buzz is, I agree it is good, but I just don't feel the need to see it again. Unfortunately it just isn't a series I'm super into in the end. But I hope for others it will be. It certainly is at least worth a rental.