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Casshern Sins back to reviews
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Interesting Though Flawed
Though attempting to answering interesting philosophical questions, a convoluted story and erratic characters holds Casshern Sins back. Casshern Sins is the story of Casshern, an amnesic robot who, as a result of his titular sins, now lives in a world of death and decay occupied by marauding robots. To find answers to the questions that he desperately seeks, namely his own identity and the state of the world, Casshern sets off on a journey to find Luna, who prior to his sins, granted eternal life to the entire world. Casshern's journey can be divided into two halves; the first consists of his wanderings in the dying world, where he meets numerous one-shot characters who impart a lesson about life, and the second half, in which certain recurring characters enter the limelight as a quasi-myth arc begins to form. In terms of characters, much of the first part's characters are far more memorable, each holding a unique perspective on the state of the world and acting thusly, whereas the second part's rosters, though given more time to develop, often suffer from erratic characterization and ill-defined backstories. Protagonist Casshern, though an interesting character in theory, is held back by his melodramatic tendencies and oftentimes conflicting motives. Many of the characters from Casshern's past suffer from similar ill-defined motives, a problem not alleviated in the least by inconclusive backstories. By far the series' best example of character development is Lyuze, a vengeful woman who seeks justice for her fallen sister. The animation is heavily stylized, which contributes to the series' unique fight scenes and overall presentation. The soundtrack perfectly complements the somber yet hopeful tone of the series, a struggle between those that submit to the death of the world around them and those that continue to live their lives. The conclusion however, is the series' biggest failing. Rushed and somewhat inconclusive, the finale provided a fitting end to most of the characters, but was unable to answer many of the questions raised by the series' latter half. Ultimately, Casshern Sins is an ambitious series that seeks to answer many interesting questions, and though unable to articulate itself at times due to an erratic storyline and ill-defined characters, is saved by a unique presentation marked by a complementary art design and soundtrack.

I have to argue that the quick, episodic nature of the plot and the relatively under-developed characters involved in said plot serve to boost the show's quality, in a similar vein to Darker Than Black (albeit with more philosophy and less narrative). The ambiguous motives offer a grand amount of open interpretation, though I understand that ambiguity is not necessarily popular with everyone. Casshern's conflicting motives serve to emphasize his position as The Atoner, as he is constantly trying to make up for a sin he does not recall.
comment #22169 ManInTheMoon 21st Nov 13

I would also like to argue that the ending does very much answer every single question that the series presents, however, as almost everything else in the series, itís done through symbolism and metaphor, and never outright stated, which means that itís very very easy to miss the whole thing. When I first finished it I also thought that the ending was truly inconclusive, and it wasnít until a few days later with the whole thing going around my head that fridge brilliance struck and I realized not only that the answers where there all along, but also how beautiful and touching the whole thing was.

comment #25350 SethKyros 23rd Jul 14
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