Super Heroes by now are a standard part of our lives, being adapted into thousands of films already, we are used to incredibly powerful men and women walking around in weird skintight clothes that are supposed to be their trademark. It has almost been done to death in western media and I myself am not a huge fan of those franchises either, with a few exceptions. In Anime though, while we have quite some superheroes, it is not nearly as much as in the western media and only few of them really rose to popularity in the Otaku Culture. Today I will Review an Anime that is rather unknown to the masses, while still not disappointing in most parts. Casshern Sins is a Spin Off of the original Shinzou Ningen Casshern, which aired in 1974, meaning this show was goddamn old. It aired in 2009 and tells the story of an Alternative Universe.
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!