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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Casshern Sins Blu-ray Impression

Casshern Sins from FUNimation; a Blu-ray that gamers will have a bit of an interest in checking out and one which anime fans will dig. Beautiful and sharp animation drives a bleak story as mysteries unfold and a cybernetic assassin must face his fate. Sound appealing? Not so much? Let’s see what else Casshern has to offer …

The Story – The Ruin sweeps the land. A plague that reduces to rubble the robotic population, a plague which began with the death of Luna at the hands of the cybernetic assassin Casshern, a death he does not remember. Casshern wanders the land, his memory slowly coming back, attached by those with power as he’s the only one not susceptible to the Ruin. Some are after him for vengeance while others have personal scores to settle. Just who is he, why did he kill Luna, what was Braiking Boss role in his creation and Luna’s death? Lucky for Casshern he gains friends to walk with him in his journey which must end with the salvation of the world or its utter destruction.

Bleak? Yeah, just a bit. Casshern is a tragic figure and the land he wanders sad yet filled with pockets of hope from robots with optimistic outlooks, those who have accepted their fates and even a few remaining humans. The mystery, pieces revealed before each title sequence, keeps the story moving as parts of Casshern’s past catch up with him and he remembers more and more. It’s a journey with an end that viewers will want to sign-up for thanks to the great action and animation. Another nice nugget about the story and Blu-ray is it requires zero prior knowledge of the series or characters.

The Design & Animation – Casshern Sins has a look, a style pulled from earlier days of anime. It’s unique, simple yet sharp and engaging. The action is fluid, land desolate and despair of the Ruin comes off the screen in a most depressive manner. It’s a tasty visual treat that feels made for HD and Blu-ray rather than an upgraded DVD. The style is not average anime fare and it shares more in common with the excellent feature Metropolis than a Spirited Away.

Why Gamers Should Care – While this is a darker Casshern with a different name spelling he is the same core character as seen in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom for the Nintendo Wii. This is one group of gamers who may have more interest in seeing just who this fighter is in one of the best Wii fighters around. Never mind the action and story being dark and engaging, the action being sweet to watch and it looking fantastic on an HD TV, no, gamers should check out Casshern thanks to Capcom’s surprise of a release fighter (and it’s a good anime folks).

Overall, Casshern is a rock solid action anime that looks outstanding in HD on Blu-ray. Great voice work mixes with a style that’s unique even among the plethora of anime on the market. Give Casshern a look, he was one of the few characters in Tatsunoko vs. Capcom that many here in the States may not have been familiar with and while this version is darker it’s nice to have the option to learn more.

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