Casshern Sins is an anime that is all about chaos. The world is literally in ruin and all of this can be blamed on the actions of one robot by the name of Casshern. Casshern is one of three cyborg warriors built by the robotic overlord Braiking Boss and is ordered to assassinate Luna, who is the savior of humanity. Casshern successfully kills Luna, but Luna’s death triggers a series of cataclysmic events that dooms the world for both humans and robots. He’s not even certain if he is a human or a robot. All he knows is that he is remarkably skilled at killing robots, which he does with great strength and agility, ripping out their inner electronics with his bare hands. Like many anime series, Casshern Sins is a brooding and dark sci-fi adventure. The animation is pretty good, though there’s a lot of use of characters speaking off screen to save on lip-synching.
This particular anime series review just so happened to be on Blu-ray as I got my hands on a copy a few days ago. I’ve waited a long time to be able to say this about a Funimation Blu-ray release, so here it goes: Casshern Sins looks really good on Blu-ray! The storylines are hit-or-miss – while most I found uninteresting, every now and then there would be philosophical discussions between Casshern and others that were quite compelling and interesting. Casshern Sins’ main strengths lie not in the actual meat of the plot, but in the assorted one-shot episodes that pepper the overarching narrative. As an anime, Casshern Sins is a rather hard one to categorize, even though I slapped the sci-fi tag on it earlier in this review. Though life goes on while the world dies, Casshern Sins does little to suggest reasons for hope and is morbidly entertaining for it.
I came into this knowing very little about the story and cast, at times it shows when characters come into the story who you have no idea who they are for the next 5 or so episodes till they finally spill the beans. The first half of Casshern Sins is an odd duck when it comes to entertainment value, and if you can get past this odd abnormality, then you will feel comfortable cruising through the rest of the series. But, for the most part, the show keeps things mysterious and vague for much of its run.
I loved how the character’s arms and legs are emphasized. You will notice that they all seem very lanky, I don’t know if this is because they are supposed to be robots or if it is just meant to be that way for the heck of it. Whatever the reason is, I loved it! Like I said earlier in this review the show stands out from an artistic point with Madhouse’s production being exemplary. The fights are beautifully animated and there are plenty of great fights involving individuals and whole armies. I also I consider this anime series’ voice talent to great casting, but a bit of a suprise, as Daisuke Ono was just announced as the voice of Casshern for the upcoming Tatsunoko vs. Capcom game. The soundtrack comprises of a set of masterful tracks by Kaoru Wada, and there isn’t a moment I can recall where the soundtrack missed a step.
All in all, it is not a perfect series and there are a lot of missteps. However, the show has a rich, fascinating atmosphere, that really draws you in at times. Also, to anyone seeking nostalgia through the classic Casshern attacks such as the karate chop which splits an enemy cleanly down the middle, the tearing off of heads and also the impaling of enemies with his arm, will be more than satisfied. Fortunately, despite some problematic elements in the pacing of the series I found enough positives to still make the experience worthwhile. And, for that reason alone, I watch, review, and recommend Casshern Sins as your next anime series to watch. High definition purists should definitely track down the newly released blu-ray as it is on eof the best anime transfers to date. It’s fresh, original and imaginative despite based on a 1970s series.