Reviews: Casshern Sins
Sins redeems itself fairly well.
This bizarre little shonen fighting series was my first anime, aside from a few episodes of Eureka 7, (which I quickly found that I despise.) It features absolutely beautiful animation, very little to no obvious CGI, and mostly terrific voice acting. To be brutally honest, there's no plot, but each situation the robot Casshern finds himself in in the post-apocalyptic landscape has a kind of tragic beauty to it. He encounters dying robots, dying humans, all falling victim to a bizarre plague, the "ruin." Special mention goes to the shrill but somehow endearing MoŽ girl, Ringo, her human caretaker, and the robot who believes that she can bring hope by forging a gigantic bell and ringing it. Characters like these make it an intensely human show, considering it's about robots. If you liked "9", you'll like this.
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.