I have just seen one of the most astounding things. Based on an old anime series, Casshern is a lengthy epic with all the trappings of classic anime stylings captured in a steampunk reality. When I say lengthy, I mean some of you may wish to watch this one in sessions, I mean you could very well stretch viewing Casshern into a season. But watch it you should, it will continue to reward you. It’s a really harsh yet hopeful look at Humanity (as the best of them are), delivering a cry for peace amidst the destruction and pain and hatred we so readily heap on each other: that never-ending loop. And it does all this without the feeling of shoving haughty morals down your throat in an abstract black and white reality (cough cough Trigun cough). Even though delivered at times with lengthy montage expositions, it never bores as the lush imaginative gorgeous graphics keep you cussing the subtitles for drawing your eye away from such splendor as I may have yet to see. But the story- so powerful..! I should imagine, as circular paths through time disclose themselves, this is a movie that will reward subsequent viewings with deeper understandings of the ensemble cast’s motivations. Hell, I’d watch it again with the subtitles off, just to not be distracted from the rich imagery. Casshern’s director Kazuaki Kiriya was a photographer in his previous life, and it was his intent to be able to pause it anywhere and have a lovely image. I imagine the previous anime’s content has contributed greatly to the completeness embodied by this project, because it is such a rarity to find a fictional world and its inhabitants and their relationships so thoroughly developed.

For the sake of fairness, I do have one a bit of criticism. One.

A great deal of the events were set off by a giant lightening bolt that struck a military science lab which in turn adversely affected the already questionable science in totally unexpected ways. (As so many whacky zany adventures have begun, mad scientists really should invest like $50 of their billion yen laboratories in a lightening rod.) But THIS lightening bolt solidified itself after striking as a great half-mile long metal rod covered in mystic runes pokin’ straight up out the laboratory, which sits there pretty much the rest of the movie, unquestioned. Granted, I’m no scientist. It’s been a while since high school, I don’t really remember the seven steps of the Scientific Method exactly. I do think, however, if I were a mad scientist, as I sat about the rest of the movie, postulating as to what might have gone wrong with our experiment, what possible variable factors had we not yet analyzed within the scope of our sciences, that it would dawn on me that perhaps the MYSTERIOUS GIANT METAL ROD THRUST THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF MY DAMN LABORATORY might warrant a little further examination. Just saying.



  1. That’s why you’re not a mad scientist. Not enough willingness to ignore sense.

    Steampunk is one of my favorite genres (and Steamboy was a pretty big dissapointment… putting “Steam” in front of everything doesn’t make it Steampunk) so I’ll have to check this one out.