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Casshern Sins

Thursday 5th May 2011


Matt Kamen wanders the philosophical wasteland with Casshern Sins.

Casshern Sins

Casshern Sins is about redemption. The hero – if you can truly call him that – wanders an abandoned wasteland, plagued by amnesia, unaware that his own actions led to the collapse of civilisation. Humanity is all but gone, and their robot heirs are faring little better. Survival is a burden at best, made worse by a plague known as ‘the Ruin’ infecting organic and inorganic alike. Except, that is, for Casshern himself. Clad in gleaming white and seemingly in perfect health, a legend has formed that eating his body will grant rejuvenation and immortality, making him a dark messianic figure in this future wilderness.

Casshern Sins is one of the deepest, most engaging anime series of the year. The art style belies this fact – after all, the superflat designs of the characters and the world they inhabit bring to mind the frantic Gurren Lagann or Dead Leaves, while those who know of its origins as a 1970s kids’ series might be expecting something equally mainstream, full of robot fights and a positive moral at the end of each episode. Well, the ‘robot fights’ part is at least accurate – with a lead character prone to violent, superpowered rages, the series has action to spare, but that’s not really what it’s about.

In the original 1973 series, Casshern was Tetsuya Azuma, forced to modify his body into a cybernetic fighting machine in order to combat the evil robots created by his father. In Sins, Casshern is a robot from the start, human in appearance only, and questioning his outlook on life and reason for existing. His travels give the series an almost picaresque air, each episode encapsulating a different viewpoint on the human experience.

Luckily, Casshern isn’t entirely alone. His loyal canine robot from the original series, Friender, is reimagined here as an mistrustful outcast, who eventually joins forces with Casshern. The innocent girl Ringo and her mysterious guardian Ohji – who seems to know more about the past than he lets on – play pivotal roles in the quest for redemption, as does the female robot Lyuze, tracking Casshern to exact vengeance for another sin of from forgotten days.

Casshern SinsIn Casshern Sins, director Shigeyasu Yamauchi and esteemed animation studio Madhouse have crafted a perfect balance of introspection and action. It’s a series that fans of the earlier incarnations will find enthralling and emotional, while remaining inviting and captivating for newcomers. If you’re tired of action anime with no substance, this is the antidote – powerful, poignant and personal – essential viewing for fans with discerning tastes!

Casshern Sins is out on UK DVD and Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment.

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Casshern Sins Part 1

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RUIN IS THE SALVATION OF MAN AND MACHINE!
CASSHERN SINS is a millennial update of a beloved 1970s classic of Japanese animation, which saw a lone cyborg hero opposing a robot empire that threatened to overthrow the Earth. This darker reimagining mixes frantic action with heartfelt humanity, as Casshern fights to survive a bleak dystopian future – little realising that he caused the end of the world!

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Legacy of the Casshern Sins anti-hero

Matt Kamen hunts down other appearances of the anti-hero Casshern.
Any media property that survives several decades is bound to leave its mark on generations of viewers. Sometimes, those influences are easy to spot – the countless mecha shows that owe a debt to Go Nagai’s Mazinger or Yoshiyuki Tomino’s Mobile Suit Gundam, or the enduring international legacy of Astro Boy and Speed Racer, for example. For other series, the impact they have isn’t as easy to spot but is by no means any less important. Such is the case with Casshern – despite only a handful of appearances since his 1973 debut, his legacy extends much farther.

Meet the voice cast of Casshern Sins

Matt Kamen stalks the voice cast of Casshern Sins
Casshern – Tohru Furuya. Furuya is a voice acting legend, bringing Gundam’s Amuro Ray, Dragonball’s Yamcha and Sailor Moon’s Tuxedo Mask all to life. He has returned to the role of Amuro several times, as well as serving as the narrator of Gundam 00. In the same series, he portrayed Ribbons Almark, though he did so under the pseudonym Noboru Sogetsu. Most recently, Furuya has been voicing the ‘legendary hero’ AkaRed in the live action steampunk superhero series Pirate Task Force Gokaiger – a crimson warrior who embodies the combined powers of the 35-year Super Sentai series: the ultimate Power Ranger!

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