There are some stories in anime and manga. Concepts are often repeated but not whole stories. There is one story that seems to endure better than most to go on and create movies and various animes based of the story…. and that story is Casshern (Kyasshan).
The story of Casshern first hit TV screens in Japan in 1973. There have been a few animes to have been released. There was also a stylistically beautiful movie based off of Casshern as well. While the anime kept to the same basic story, the movie was an entity unto itself.
In 2008, Madhouse and Tatsunoko (the people who helped bring the fighting game Tatsunoko vs. Capcom for the Wii) decided to do a reboot of the Casshern series. They titled it Casshern Sins. Casshern Sins has almost finished its current run on Cartoon Network’s Toonami.
Casshern Sins puts the title character in a world where almost all humans are dead and gone and the robots are falling into ruin. There’s no such thing as anything living forever.
And yet, there’s still something very captivating about this story.
The series has been an interesting one to watch. It’s not a happy story. It doesn’t start as a happy story. Everything is dying with the exception of Casshern. The story is largely full of despair. Other robots are convinced if they kill Casshern that they will be able to reverse “the ruin”. They will be able to stop themselves from falling apart and dying.
There’s very little happiness to the story.
So, why would one actually want to watch the story?
Because the story isn’t really one about despair. It’s about hope through the despair. It’s about using that hope to continue on. That hope is personified in the robot girl named Ringo.
She’s a happy young girl who is already falling into ruin and is dying. Her hope to meet another entity by the name of Luna (who is rumored to have the ability to heal robots and help them live longer).
It’s this hope that helps Casshern, Ringo and Lyuze continue this journey.
I admit, it is quite the hard story to watch. There’s little happiness involved in the story. Robots continue to try to kill Casshern. Ringo’s and Lyuze’s bodies continue to breakdown. It’s their hope that keep them moving. It’s also their hope that keeps me watching.