Casshern Sins Part 1: Episodes 1 - 12 Blu-ray Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 9.0
Video 10
Audio 7.0
Special Features 4.0
Total 8.5

Distributor: Siren Visual
Running Time: 288 Minutes
Reviewer: Simon Black
Classification
: MA15+

8.5


Casshern Sins Part 1: Episodes 1 - 12

In a futuristic world that’s little more than a post-apocalyptic scrapheap, bands of gigantic, decaying robots hunt the humanlike cyborg Casshern.  They blame Casshern for ‘The Ruin’ that has befallen their planet, and a rumour abounds that to kill and devour him is to be granted eternal life.  Casshern, for his part, is an amnesiac, with no recollection of the part he apparently played in the downfall of his world; all he knows is that each day he has to fight for his life against a series of terrifying, tireless opponents. 

As the series unfolds we discover that, in true Terminator style, robots subjugated humanity after becoming self-aware several centuries prior.  Amidst the chaos and destruction the despotic leader of the machines, Braiking-Boss, discovered that a young girl, Luna, held the key to the salvation of mankind.  In true Terminator style he sent his strongest assassins to hunt Luna and destroy her; the dutiful Casshern fulfilled the objective, though the murder set off a chain of cataclysmic events which brought mankind, and the Earth itself, to the brink of extinction. 

Now both robots and the last tattered remnants of humanity must shuffle about in a poisoned atmosphere, with little aside from death to look forward to.  But wait!  If Casshern, with a little help from his young friend Ringo, can discover his true purpose and identity, he might just be able to pull off a miracle.  If he isn’t destroyed and eaten by a corroded half-crazed android the size of a building, that is. 

This is great stuff.  Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi (Dragonball Z) and animated by Yoshihiko Umakoshi (Fullmetal Alchemist, Cowboy Bebop) the world of Casshern Sins is endlessly imaginative, and a must for mecha fans who haven’t yet checked it out.  The designs of the murderous mechanoids are decidedly retro, and those who grew up watching Astro Boy, Tranzor-Z and the like will find plenty of familiarity in the numerous inventive (and often bizarre) character designs.  The premise is rather deep and the series is by no means frivolous – the first two episodes are entitled ‘At the End of the World’ and ‘The World is Filled With the Cries of Death’ respectively – but the visuals are truly stunning and the storyline clever and multifaceted.  Bring on Part 2! 

Audio & Video

The 1.78 anamorphically enhanced widescreen presentation is a study in animated perfection. Yamauchi and Umakoshi are at the top of their game, and visually Casshern Sins represents the high water mark of their collective canon.  The Japanese two-channel audio is flat as a pancake, TrueHD or no, which is unfortunate given that the voicework is superior in the native dub, but the English TrueHD soundtrack is everything that could be hoped for: big, explosive, resonant, dramatic... oh and the robots sound cool too, with their booming metallic voices rather eerie and intense in 5.1.   

Special Features

The only real extra is a featurette entitled ‘Pre-Air Event,’ which is a 12-minute panel interview with the Director and principal voice cast that throws up a couple of interesting titbits, but mostly consists of the actors waxing lyrical about their characters motivations.  There are textless openings and closings too.






 
 



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