ANIME & MANGA - Review
10:00 - 30th November 2013, by NEO Staff

Casshern Sins - Part 2

Casshern is a lonely figure - wandering a barren, apocalyptic landscape, with no memory of his past, or who he really is. Unfortunately for him, his identity is a bit of a downer - one of three assassin cyborgs created by evil overlord Braiking Boss, Casshern was the guy who actually fulfilled his goal and murdered Luna, the potential saviour of the human race. This in turn triggered a series of catastrophic events and plunged the world into chaos.

The series is a remake of Neo-Human Casshern, but there are few similarities between these titles when it comes to the story - good job really, considering that Neo-Human Casshern was an epic disaster, sales-wise.

The first half of Casshern Sins took on a 'story of the week' style, as Casshern came across various people on his travels, and in turn the viewers learnt more about the world he lives in and the burden of knowledge he must carry. These episodes in the initial first set are a real mixed bag - and its fair to say that this collection never really reaches its highs - or lows. In moving into its second half, Casshern Sins slows the pace somewhat, before rushing at a break-neck pace to finish the series in its final few episodes. This pacing problem really haunts the second half, and as good as Sins can be, it can never shake this feeling that the more important aspects of the overall plot were rushed through to give more room to some fairly slow episodes in the middle.

However, fans of slow and deliberate character development and philosophical musings will definitely be at home here, despite the show's lack of a satisfying conclusion at the finale. Many questions are left unanswered here, and some of the show's major characters are left hanging without a true end to their stories. Although this is hardly unheard of in the anime world, it's still disappointing that a show like Casshern Sins, with so much promise and a decent running time, can leave viewers making up their own conclusions.

Visually, Casshern is one of the bravest and most exciting shows in recent years. Whilst the screenshots on this page may look like something ripped right out of the '70s, the show looks truly amazing when it's animated. From the amazing retro character designs of the cast (now, THAT'S anime hair) to the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, it's clear that Madhouse had a great time creating Casshern's world, and completed their task with skill and style. Whilst there is evidence of the odd cost-cutting measure here and there (particularly in some of the fight sequences), it doesn't feel as though anyone could accuse the creative staff of not caring about the look of the show. Retro anime fans will be in their element - as will anyone who fancies a change from the somewhat cookie-cutter style of modern shows. We also have to give a mention to the background music here as well - thoroughly fitting to the look of the show, it adds atmosphere in spades.

Casshern Sins has turned out to be a unique experience in the world of modern anime - a subtle, lingering visit to a post-apocalyptic world; a show which is not content to spoon-feed viewers all the answers at the finale. Despite its somewhat spotty pacing on these discs, and the rushed ending, it's definitely one to watch, especially if you're a sci-fi hound.

Thought provoking and visually arresting, Casshern Sins suffered from poor pacing in its second half, but still remains an intriguing watch for sci-fi fans.
SCORE: 4/5
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