Anime Blu-ray Review
Casshern Sins is a *reboot* of the 1973 Tatsunoko anime series. And by reboot we mean where they take the old show, and then change so many things about the characters, plot, and feel of the show, you just wonder why they didn't call it something else in the first place, and sold it as an original idea.
A reboot is rarely cause for celebration as you invariably compare it to the original, and then you are immediately biased, as you interpret all the changes as flaws, so the reboot never comes off as deep or as revolutionary as the original. Watching a reboot usually requires an open mind and significant intestinal fortitude.
However, let me be clear when I say this series BLEW ME AWAY. I mean, holy crap! OMFG! This is the most powerful anime series we've seen in a long time. It re-writes the rules for anime, sets a new standard, raises the bar, whatever damn analogy you wish to use, just... watch... it....
Seriously. Just watch it. And marvel at the amazingly retro, but appealing character designs, the astounding artwork, the intense battle sequences, the gobs and gobs of character development, the superlative scripting, excellent dialog, and the deep, deep plot. This reboot makes the original look like crap. It's so far out there that anime studios will be struggling to top this for the next decade. Whoever wrote this needs to win an award for singlehandedly saving all anime from turning into dreck.
Despite being a Tatsunoko property, this time around, the animation is being handled by Mad House, so, rest assured when we say it's kick-ass in every aspect. No stone was left unturned to bring you what is absolutely one of the best anime series we've seen in quite some time. Oh how it brings us back to the glory days of Harlock, where wavy-haired heroes sit calmly admid nothingness, introspective, and where the music does all the talking.
We don't want to give too much away about the plotline (although it's easy enough to Google spoilers galore), but the series opens *after* Casshern has already destroyed the world. Needless to say, it gets a bit gloomier after that as even the robotic inhabitants of the destroyed Earth are suffering from "the ruin", which is rusting away all machines at an accelerated rate. Casshern, having no memory of what he has done or the consequences of his actions, is forced to fight for his life as the surviving robots have heard a rumor that if they devour him, they will become immune to the ruin and become immortal. So between that and the quest for his memory, he's got his hands full.
We like it. Seriously. Just watch it.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, October 2010
Anime DVD Review
Based on an obscure 1973 Tatsunoko anime TV series of the same name (and a later anime OAV known in the USA as Casshan: Robot Hunter), this live-action sci-fi reimagining was a smash hit in Japan taking audiences by storm with its unique cinematic vision, and now the Director's Cut comes to USA DVD for the very first time! With stunning, jaw-dropping visuals and an exciting tale about a post-Third World War dystopian future, Casshern thrills viewers by using some of the same techniques as those used in the blockbuster film 300.
Filmed entirely using a digital backlot technique similar to Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, Sin City and 300, Casshern allowed the film-makers unlimited imagination and they make full-use of it with outstanding visuals that depict the brutal world the characters inhabit with stunning realism.
Set in a dystopian future in which the planet has been ravaged by a catastrophic Third World War, Casshern follows the story of a young man imbued with superhuman strength who emerges as humanity's last hope in an epic battle against powerful mutant neo-humans and their army of robots. Join the powerful warrior Casshern in his battle as humanity's last hope against the dreaded mutant neo-humans before their robots can annihilate the human race and give rise to a whole new world.
The incredible action sequences are magnificently rendered using state-of-the-art digital technology and the fantastically gripping story comes alive through moving performances set against awe-inspiring digital backgrounds.
Understand that the film is uniquely Japanese; there are no good guys or bad guys, and instead, the horrific future is inevitable, humanity's future hangs in the balance, but, it is shown again and again that perhaps humanity is not really worth saving. Unlocking the layers of history and morality that are infused into the storyline and the way it plays out will leave you pondering the film for some time.
In the end, Casshern stands out as one of the most original film masterpieces to come along in some time. Compared to the mindless eye-candy blockbusters Americans are fed, this film is refreshingly thought-provoking and deliriously dazzling as it is exciting. You simply MUST experience this film.
Below: Scenes from Casshern.
Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, December 2007