Anime Quick Information
|Average Rating: 4.50|
Raz112 scored this with 8/10. Disagree?
The first half of Casshern Sins introduced us to a world filled with death and despair, where society has collapsed, humanity is now endangered, and once-immortal robots who ruled the world are now rapidly dying to a plague known as 'The Ruin'. The Ruin is said to be caused by the assassination of 'The Sun named the Moon', the 'source of life' Luna, by Casshern. However, Casshern has no recollection of his past and wanders grief-stricken from the burden of the affliction everyone says he has put upon the world, whilst both battling to stay alive amid all the robots who try to kill him to gain his immortality, and fighting to regain his memory.
Along the first half of his journey, Casshern finds out that he is not alone, and that there are people who know of him and his past, all of whom have agendas with him. Dio and Leda are trying to recreate the robot empire once seen under the fearsome Braiking Boss. They are similar in appearance and build save for one thing; Casshern's immortality, which Dio is distraught about as all he desires is to defeat Casshern and claim superiority. Lyuze seeks vengeance from Casshern for killing her sister, but feels she cannot carry this out whilst he is incapable of remembering what he did. Other characters Casshern met were less antagonistic, particularly the beaming little Ringo, her cautious guardian Ohji, and finally Casshern's eventually loyal companion, Friender. As the first half of the series concludes, rumours of Luna being alive and offering salvation from the Ruin spread throughout the land, starting to draw everyone's attention and beginning the search for her.
This second half of the series addresses the main complaint of its predecessor with abundance; the central plot. Replacing its previously episodic format with a more traditional form of storytelling, Braiking Boss's long awaited appearance from the shadows gets the ball rolling as he confronts Casshern and finally reveals the truth regarding the past; from the origins of Casshern, Luna, Braiking Boss and even Ohji, as well as their purposes, to the state of the world at the time and the events leading up to Luna's death. This also sheds light upon Dio and Leda, and their current motivations. All in all the revelations are remarkable and very interesting, finally providing answers whilst posing new questions, and sparking life into the story.
As the truth is uttered to Casshern by Braiking Boss, his voice triggers Casshern's memory, and finally realises that everything everyone had said of him was true - that he did indeed kill Luna and cause the world to fall to ruin - which hits him hard, causing him even more agony. It gets worse for him, however, as he finds out along his new journey searching for Luna that she is not exactly what he had remembered her to be. Meanwhile, the ones he has now come to hold dear and tried to protect start to crumble and fall victim to The Ruin, with him helplessly, desperately trying to find any meaning to life on this cursed planet; as a result being driven to wish for his own death even though he knows it's impossible. Casshern is not alone in his suffering as others struggle with their own issues, with a specific focus given to Lyuze. She becomes his unlikely travelling companion in their search for Luna, torn between exacting vengeance for her dead sister and her increasing affection for him as she realises how much he has suffered as well, particularly after Braiking Boss's revelations.
As the story continues, there are further revelations and observations along the way. All of these are addressed to some extent, but there could have been more time devoted to them; particularly to the back stories of all the characters, which would have further enriched the series and helped it reach its full potential. Furthermore, though the series may be criticised for its slow pace in the first half, the last episode, while adequate, felt a tad rushed. It could have perhaps been lengthened to give the ending that the series deserved.
If anyone was hoping for or expecting a happy ending, or at least a change in tone from the first half of the series, then they're in for a disappointment. While many may be put off by the constantly depressing nature, it is a sign of bravery on the animators' part in maintaining such an approach to get their story and themes across. It may not be delivered in the most succinct manner, with slow, protracted discourses regarding, among other things, the importance of being and feeling alive in a world blinded by immortality. However, to give the series a happy ending would only serve to undermine everything that makes Casshern Sins what it is; a thought-provoking tale of the importance of mortality over immortality.
The visuals of Casshern Sins that Madhouse provided are some of the most stylish and unique you will see currently in anime and no doubt will leave a lasting impression. Though many may feel that the style is overly simplistic, the versatile use of colour as well as the various animation techniques employed sets this series apart from others. Characters are drawn with soft colour and strong, defined line work, often with vivid hair or deeply colourful costumes. The world itself, though bleak and in ruin, is often illuminated in single colours, with the shade differentiation giving the landscapes a mesmerising quality. It also contributes to the fluidity of the animation, particularly during the kinetic action scenes, which are full of fast cuts, earth shattering impacts, and various different kinds of animation styles and choreography. While the show was drawn in high definition and the first volume was available on blu-ray, unfortunately Manga Entertainment pulled the plug on the second blu-ray volume just 36 hours after the first had hit the shelves, stating that sales were too poor to sustain a second volume on that format. It's a real shame, considering that this show was made for blu-ray, and we are the only nation, unlike Japan, the United States, and Australia, who did not receive a complete blu-ray set. It is not the first time this has happened [see Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood], and as long as our market here doesn't grow, this practice will no doubt continue. Thankfully, the DVD transfer is one of the best on offer and allows you to witness the beauty of Casshern Sins as much as the format will allow, which is all we could ever ask of it.
The score by Kaoru Wada (of Inuyasha fame) is truly wonderful, accompanying the animation very well to help create the bleak yet entrancing atmosphere It is also able to accentuate the vast array of emotion that flows throughout the series, giving us a score that is as epic and dramatic as it is melancholic and enchanting. Whilst the OP stays the same throughout the series, two more ED songs are provided in this half, both adequate and filled with meaningful lyrics relating to the show. The dubs are both very good and, as mentioned before, due to the subject matter and the script they can sound melodramatic at times, in whichever language you choose to watch the series. The English dub as always has the advantage of being mixed in 5.1 Dolby Digital, though the Japanese dub does not suffer immensely, allowing you to enjoy either one.
Whilst the American release received some extras - admittedly fairly insignificant ones - this release receives none at all. Although no one ever expects a great amount of extras in any anime release, it is still a glaring omission and it gives an indication of the treatment this series has ended up receiving here in the UK.
It's a shame as Casshern Sins, despite its flaws, is a series worthy of your time. While some may have been put off by the episodic storytelling, the heavy focus on philosophical introspection rather than plot development and the unrelentingly depressing nature of the first half, the second half does much to rectify that by concentrating exclusively on the central plot, telling it in a more conventional, fluid manner. It's not without its flaws either, with many potential avenues for further character development not explored thoroughly, as well as a slightly rushed finale, which may beggar belief considering the general pace of the series. Though it highlights the dazzling heights Casshern Sins could have reached, the series we ended up with by no means a bad one. It can be brutal to watch, and doesn't lend itself well to marathon watching even though it may feel necessary on occasion, taking its time getting to its points and showing how well it all flows together. This results in a series that despite its beautiful art direction and wonderful music score, not everyone will enjoy as it is may not be entertainment in the most traditional sense. Instead it's a unique and interesting take on a classic sci-fi action series, one that focuses on philosophical discussions of various facets of humanity, leaving us with a very dark, depressing and thought-provoking series; one that sets itself apart from others and serves as a fitting tribute to an iconic character in Japanese anime.
Screenshots (click to pop out)
|Score:||8 out of 10|
|Date Published:||Mon, 18 Jul 2011|
|Your rating of "Casshern Sins #2"?:|
|out of 10|
Type the characters you see in the picture above.