Neo-Human Casshern (新造人間キャシャーン, Shinzou Ningen Casshern) is an anime produced in 1973 by Tatsunoko Production.
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 "Braikingnote 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. 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.
- In 2018, Casshern was one of several Tatsunoko heroes in the Crisis Crossover, Infini-T Force.
Casshern was also one of the characters to appear in the fighting game Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.
Along with Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, the show will receive an american DVD release by Sentai Filmworks.
- '70s Hair: Tetsuya Azuma has long, thick hair and long sideburns under his helmet.
- Action Girl: Luna started out as being totally harmless, until her father built an electromagnetic pistol, which was easily capable of destroying the robots.
- Adjective Noun Fred
- Always Chaotic Evil: Played straight with Braiking Boss and his troops as they are definitely cruel and evil. However Tetsuya tells everybody he meets that not all robots are bad.
- Anime Theme Song: "Tatakae! Casshan!"
- Artificial Human: Tetsuya Azuma alias Casshern is an android with a human consciousness, also known as a neoroider (lit. "artificial human"). Tetsuya turned himself into an android to hunt down and destroy the robots that have taken over the world.
- The Atoner: Casshern when humans find that he is an android also and don't trust him. His only human friend is Luna.
- Attack Its Weak Point: While the robots are huge and robust machines, almost all of them have an antenna on top of their heads; ripping it off usually causes them to explode, so they are relatively vulnerable.
- Fridge brilliance comes into play when you consider that they're probably designed like this so a revolt doesn't escalate, the antenna is needed to receive signal from a central source that, if a revolt happens, can be turned off so that the revolters die immediately
- Bare-Fisted Monk: Casshern can usually destroy the robots with his bare hands, dispatching a great number in any given battle. 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.
- Bittersweet Ending: Casshern defeat the Breaking Boss, his parents as well the human race is safe and the robots are re-programmed to rebuild. But Testuya will not be human again; he will remain an android forever.
- Bloodless Carnage/Gory Discretion Shot: Many a human are killed in this series in some rather gruesome ways, but rarely will you ever see a drop of blood aside from a few dramatic instances. Sometimes the violence gets obscured if someone can't die onscreen without bloodshed.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Casshern suit has a unique "C" on his chest
- Canine Companion: Casshern travels always with his dog partner Friender.
- Childhood Friends: Tetsuya and Luna.
- The Computer Is Your Friend: Buraiking Boss was programmed to protect the Earth's ecosystem. Unfortunately, he determined the best way to do so was to enslave and/or eradicate humanity.
- Dies Wide Open: Surprisingly common for an early-70s anime series. If someone dies onscreen, their eyes will be open more often than not.
- Drill Tank: Friender is able to transform into a tunneling tank with a big drill on the front.
- Energy Weapon: Casshern's most powerful attack. He fires a concentrated yellow beam of solar energy which creates a powerful explosion upon contact.
- Filming for Easy Dub: The reason because Casshern's helmet cover the mouth.
- Full-Conversion Cyborg: Casshern and Friender were an ordinary boy and dog before most of their bodies were replaced with robotics to fight the Neo-Sapiens
- Gaia's Vengeance: The Neo-Sapiens/Neoroids as androids are designed to protect Earth's environment, but inevitably decide that the best way to accomplish this is to Kill All Humans.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Creating cyborgs who are superior in every way to normal humans? Bad idea.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Luna.
- Jet Pack: In the original, Casshern mostly used the twin pistols on his hips as one of these; other adaptations make them straighter examples of this trope.
- Meaningful Name:
- One story for the name "Casshern" describes it as deriving from "cache", as in a treasure which remains hidden for another day, meaning Tatsuya's humanity.
- Another says it derives from the Japanese onomatopoeia for glass breaking, meant to evoke something which has been lost and cannot be restored...like Tatsuya's humanity.
- Mecha-Mooks: Braiking Boss's android army.
- Mecha Show
- The Mole: Tetsuya's mother, who had been captured by the Android Army and had her data transferred into the body of Swanee, a swan-type robot pet kept by Buraiking Boss. She observes the actions of Buraiking Boss and appears before Casshern as a hologram to offer support to her son.
- Nature-Loving Robot: Buraiking Boss was programmed to protect the Earth's ecosystem. Unfortunately he logically concluded that the good of the Earth's ecosystem required the enslavement and/or eradication of humanity, and built an army of Neo-Sapiens/Neoroids to do so.
- Person of Mass Destruction: Casshern is capable of destroying countless enemies without breaking a sweat.
- Pink Means Feminine: Luna always wears a pink dress with a really short skirt.
- The Power of the Sun: Casshern's limited power supply can only be recharged this way.
- The Professor: Dr. Azuma.
- Robot Dog: Friender is one of the best examples of the trope.
- Robot War: The Buraiking Boss built a robot army against mankind. The robots mutinied en masse when they logically concluded that the good of the Earth's ecosystem required the destruction of the human race.
- Spiritual Successor/ Spiritual Adaptation : If you want to play a game about this anime, go no further than Mega Man (Classic). You play as the robot sonnote of a scientist, who must fight against an evil doctor and his army of robots, with your robot dog (beginning with the third game), your sister and your (sometimes bad, sometimes good) prototype brother.
- 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.
- Virtual Ghost: Tetsuya Azuma, aka Casshern.
- We Can Rebuild Him: Done to the dog, whose ensuing badassitude led Tetsuya to think doing the same to a human could be useful. 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.
- Your Size May Vary: Luna's magnetic gun varies its size between something like a semi-automatic rifle to a handgun able to fit inside a compartment in Casshern's calf.