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Casshern Sins: Part One (a J!-ENT Anime Blu-ray Disc Review)

August 11, 2010 by  



Action-packed and one of the best looking anime series on Blu-ray today!  If you are looking for a sci-fi, all-out fighting-driven anime series on Blu-ray…definitely give “Casshern Sins” a try!

Image courtesy of © 2008 Tatsunoku Productions/CASSHERN Sings Project. All Rights Reserved.

TITLE: Casshern Sins: Part One

DURATION: 288 Minutes

BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1, Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0

COMPANY: Tatsunoku/Madhouse Studios/FUNimation Entertainment

RATED: 17+

Release Date: August 17, 2010

 

Originally created by Tatsuo Yoshida

Directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi

Series Composition by Yasuko Kobayashi

Screenplay by Akatsuki Yamatoya, Natsuko Takahashi, Reiko Yoshida, Takashi Yamada, Tsutomu Kamishiro, Yasuko Kobayashi

Music by Kaoru Wada

Character Design by Yoshihiko Umakoshi

Chief Animation Director: Yoshihiko Umakoshi

Art Design by Ryu Sakamoto, Shinzo Yuki

Produced by Tatsunoku

Anime Production: Madhouse Studios

Featuring the following voice talent:

Tohru Furuya as Eric Vale as Casshern

Akiko Yajima/Trina Nishimura as Luna

Cho/Jerry Russell as Ohji

Kenji Utsumi/J. Paul Slavens as Braikingboss

Mami Koyama/Shelley Calene-Black as Leda

Nami Miyahara/Brina Palencia as Lyuze

Tomoko Akiya/Carrie Savage as Sophita

Toshiyuki Morikawa/Jerry Jewell as Dio

Yuko Minaguchi/Monica Rial as Ringo

Yuto Nakano/Jason Douglas as Dune

Casshern, a cybernetic assassin with no memory of his past, awakens in a corrosive wasteland where nothing survives for long. A plague known as the Ruin sweeps across this once-vibrant world, reducing everything in its path to rubble and scattering any chance for salvation. Robots and humans alike – or what little remains of them – seek vengeance against Casshern for the life he took and the role he played in their Ruin. A machine built to kill, Casshern murdered the last hope for this world, but now, lost in a future he does not recognize, he will fight to save the dying.

In 1973, animation studio Tatsunoku Productions created the anime series “Shinzo Ningen Casshern” (Neo-Human Casshern) which was written and directed by Takao Koyama and was an adaptation of the manga serialized on Kodansha’s Terebi Magazine and Akita Shoten’s “Boken Oh”.  The character has sinced appeared in a 1993 OVA and in 2004, a live action film was made.

In 2008, big news was announced that Casshern would be appearing in the video games “Tatsunoku Fight” and “Tatsunoku vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars” but the biggest announcement was that the series would receive a reboot and begin airing on television under the name “Casshern Sins”.  A series that will be released on Blu-ray and DVD courtesy of FUNimation Entertainment and both parts (featuring 12 episodes each) will be released simultaneously on August 17th.

The new series would be directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi (director for “Dragon Ball Z”, “Dragon Ball GT”, “Saint Seiya” and “Xenosaga: The Animation”), the series would feature a screenplay by Yasuko Kobayashi (“Galaxy Angel”, “Claymore”, “Witchblade” and “Yume Tsukai”).  Character designs for the series is by Yoshihiko Umakoshi (“Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor”, “Zipang” and “Marmalade Boy”).

In the original series, the story revolved around a cybernetic neorider named Casshern who turned himself into a Cyborn in order to stop robots from ruling the world.  His father Dr. Kotaru Azuma had created robots to serve mankind but the first android known as Braiking Boss escaped and ended up leading the robots and creating an army to destroy mankind.

In the new reboot titled “Casshern Sins”, the story is much different as the Braiking Boss has ruled the world and a mysterious girl named Luna was the hope of mankind to save the world from the robots.  Because Luna has become a big threat, Braiking Boss sent three cyborg warriors to kill her: Casshern, Dio and Leda.

Casshern ends up killing Luna and ended up creating a catastrophic event which nearly ended the world as the atmosphere was filled with poison, humans were no longer able to reproduce and now humanity is near extinction.  But the poison also caused harm to the robots as the poison had eroded their parts and now in order for the robots to survive, they are told that if they find Casshern, they must devour him for eternal life.

But Casshern has been missing since he killed Luna and now he is back, but with no memory of what he did to the world and now is on a journey to learn more about his past and what he was created for.

“Casshern Sins: Part One” features the first 12 episodes of the series on two Blu-ray discs.  Here is a spoiler-free synopsis of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 1 – At the End of the World – Casshern is not sure about what he is but he fights against robots in an desolate world.  The world is nearly extinct of humanity and Casshern meets a robot girl named Ringo.
  • EPISODE 2 – A World Replete with Death Throes – Casshern meets a robotic couple who seem nice to him, until they realize who he is and now they turn against him.
  • EPISODE 3 – To the Ends of Agony – Casshern meets a human named Akos who teaches him about humanity.
  • EPISODE 4 – The Angel of Ruin – Casshern meets a female robot named Sophita, and together they must fight against a group of killer robots.
  • EPISODE 5 – The Man Who Killed the Sun Named Moon – Casshern asks Lyuze about his past and wants to learn about who is Luna.
  • EPISODE 6 – Reunited with Fate – The cyborg Dio takes on Casshern and for Casshern, he is unsure how there is another cyborg like him.
  • EPISODE 7 – The Woman of the TaH Tower – Casshern meets Lizabel, a worker robot building a tower of robot parts.
  • EPISODE 8 – A Hymn of Hope – Casshern escorts a singing robot named Janice who wants to sing a song of hope for robots in the city of Bazaar.  But other robots want to destroy her before she inspires them.
  • EPISODE 9 – The Flower that Booms in the Valley of Ruin – Casshern plans to find Luna and meets Nico, a former servant of Luna.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 10 – The Man Entrapped by the Past – Dio works to build his robotic army and alongside with Leda, are encountered by Luna’s mourning bodyguard Dune.
  • EPISODE 11 – By One’s Calling – Gido, a hero amongst a group of robots/humans encounter Casshern’s dog, Friender.
  • EPISODE 12 – Turn the Time to Color – Casshern and Friender arrive in a city where they meet a robot painter named Margo. Meanwhile the leader of the robots of that city wants Margo destroyed.

VIDEO:

“Casshern Sins: Part One” looks fantastic on Blu-ray.  Presented in 1080p the animation style features solid colors but there is a dream-like state to the animation and during the fight sequences, you can pause and just frame-by-frame, look at how cool they made those certain scenes look and how much detail they put into Casshern as he goes for the kill or is just leaping all over the place to defeat the enemy.

It’s also important to note of how the animation really pays homage to the original Tatsunoku Productions animation with the look and feel of the characters but then adding the modern spin by the blacks and grungy sequences during the battles.  Very good shadowing and definitely one of the better looking anime TV series to be released on Blu-ray ths far.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Casshern Sins: Part One” is presented in English DolbyTrue HD 5.1 and Japanese DolbyTrue HD 2.0 stereo.  The good news is that the series does take advantage of the surround channels and you can hear the booms, thumps and the metal breaking through the surrounds and also the clear dialogue through the center and the music and other sound effects through the front channels.  I do wish there was more use of the LFE throughout the first 12-episodes.  Of course, the English lossless soundtrack has more utilization of the surrounds, while the Japanese lossless soundtrack effectively uses the front left and right speakers during the action sequences and utilizing the panning of sound between the two speakers.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Casshern Sins: Part One” comes with the following special features presented in 1080p High Definition:

  • Pre-Air Event – (11:57) Featuring the Japanese pre-air event of “Casshern Sins” and the seiyuu and director Yamauchi talking to the audience about the series.
  • Textless Opening Song: Aoi Hana
  • Textless Closing Song: Reason
  • Trailers – Trailers for FUNimation Entertainment titles.

So, far with the first 12-episodes of “Casshern Sins”, the anime sci-fi series definitely showcases quite a bit of action but its important to note that the series is a bit bleak.  If anything, it’s less bleak compared to other series in which humanity is shown suffering, in this case, humanity is shown but with most of the human race extinct, it’s pretty much watching robots and humans both wanting to survive and looking towards Casshern as a way to prolong life after he literally destroyed civilization after killing the world’s savior Luna.

If anything, the first series is more about the writers showing us how Casshern is an amnesiac and trying to learn more about his past, while learning more about his other fellow cyborgs who want to rule the world and know they must defeat Casshern in order to gain power.

Where the original series was for the fight to defend humanity, it’s too early to know where “Casshern Sins” is heading as this reboot so far gives us an idea that all robots are seeking to devour Casshern for eternal life.  And somehow, despite wanting to be destroyed, there is something within Casshern that clicks on and turns him to the ultimate killing machine.

It’s far too early to know where this series is going to be headed but with the second part of “Casshern Sins” released simultaneously on Blu-ray and DVD with the part one, I definitely look forward to seeing where this series wil be headed.

Overall, if you are looking for a beautiful looking anime series on Blu-ray and one that features plenty of action, definitely give “Casshern Sins: Part One” a try!

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