Before Mega Man
there was... Neo-Human Casshern!
"Throwing his irreplacable life away, reborn in an immortal body, to strike and crush the devils of iron. If Casshern doesn't do it, who will?" Neo-Human Casshern
(新造人間キャシャーン, Shinzou Ningen Casshern
) is an anime produced in 1973 by Tatsunoko Productions
Dr. Kotaro Azuma was creating androids when his prototype, BK-1, went out of control, escaped, and created a robot army which he led to conquer the Earth. The doctor's son, Tetsuya, rebuilt himself as "Casshern", an incredibly strong and agile robot who devotes his new existence to hunting down and destroying the Andro Army of BK-1, now styling himself the "Braiking*
Boss". Casshern was distinguished by not usually using weapons in his fights; he literally tore the Braiking Boss' Mecha-Mooks
apart with his bare hands. His companions are Friender
, a robotic dog able to transform itself into various vehicles, and Luna Kozuki
, a plucky young woman whose scientist father gave her an anti-robot pistol.Casshern
has been ReTooled
several times since the original:
- 1993 had a 4-episode OVA rebooting the franchise simply titled Casshern; Streamline Pictures released an English dub under the title Casshan Robot Hunter as a Compilation Movie.
- In 2004, a Live-Action Adaptation titled Casshern was released. This version has Casshern and Braiking Boss — "Burai" here — as Artificial Humans born from Dr. Azuma's research into artificial stem cells to fight the disease caused by the aftermath of a fifty-year war between a Commie Nazi Asian Empire and "Europa". It drew attention for the stylized visuals and impressive action scenes as soon as footage was released. The themes of the futility and dehumanization brought about by war added spice, but the Darker and Edgier tone, shameless use of Deus ex Machina to move the plot, and esoteric ending dimmed enthusiasm once the film was released.
- 2008 brought another reboot called Casshern Sins, which has its own page. This incarnation ReTools everything about the franchise except the Broad Strokes of the character designs and Braiking Boss conquering humanity, and then veers off to examine the nature of life, mortality, and redemption — while providing the audience with beautifully animated robotic dismemberment in the process.
Casshern was also one of the characters to appear in the fighting game Tatsunoko Vs Capcom
Neo Human Casshern contains examples of the following tropes:
- Adjective Noun Fred
- After the End
- Artificial Human: Casshern; it's right in the title.
- Bad Export for You: The English-language release of the live-action movie not only cut twenty minutes, but had liberally rewritten subtitles that frequently didn't synchronize with the dialogue.
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Casshern. Some sources claim that this is because he was a skilled athlete and fighter as a human, and that skill was enhanced when he became an android.
- Diesel Punk: The atmosphere/setting of the live-action adaptation.
- Ghost in the Machine: Tetsuya Azuma, aka Casshern.
- Jet Pack: In the original, Casshern mostly used the twin pistols on his hips as one of these; other adaptations make them into more straight examples of this trope.
- La Résistance: In Casshan Robot Hunter
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Happens to a human prisoner in Casshan Robot Hunter who tries betraying Luna to the robots for his freedom.
- Nice Hat: Braiking Boss's hat.
- The Power of the Sun: Casshern's limited power supply can only be recharged this way.
- Robot Dog: Friender
- Robot War
- Samus Is a Girl: Luna in Casshan Robot Hunter.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: In the live-action movie, Tetsuya joined the Asian Empire military to prove himself, and was killed in action. After being revived as Casshern, he experiences post-traumatic flashbacks to his wartime experiences, including the atrocities he committed.
- Spiritual Successor/ Spiritual Licensee : If you want to play a game about this anime, go no further than Mega Man. You play as the robot son of a scientist, who must fight against an evil doctor and his army of robots, with your robot dog, your sister and your (sometimes bad, sometimes good) prototype brother.
- Shameful Strip: Happens to Luna when she's imprisioned on a crucifix in Casshan Robot Hunter.
- Spell My Name with an S: Casshan or Casshern; Braiking Boss vs Black-King (Boss). (Casshan Robot Hunter takes these into the realm of the Dub Name Change).
- Transforming Mecha: Friender transforms into either a Cool Plane or a tank.
- Urban Legend, Shrouded in Myth: Casshern is a legendary figure at the start of Casshan Robot Hunter; Braiking... excuse me, the "Black King" doesn't even believe he exists until the last act of the first episode.
- We Can Rebuild Him: done to the dog, whose ensuing badassitude led Tetsuya to think "maybe doing the same to a human can level the playing field." Unlike most series like this, Tetsuya's upgrade was not an Emergency Transformation, but quite a sacrifice - he chose to exchange his human body for a mechanical one because he saw it as the only way to fight back.
- X Meets Y: Science Ninja Team Gatchaman meets Kamen Rider.