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!