Casshern Sins, Part Two – Blu-ray Review

Review by: Ai Kano

Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: Blu-ray: $59.98 US; DVD: $44.98 US
Running Time: 288 minutes
Genre: Action
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now

Sometimes it takes a villain to make the world right again.

How do you wash away the sin of having killed the one person who held the world together?

This is a question that Casshern begins to ask himself at the end of the first part of Casshern Sins and now Part Two as the being that cannot die decides what path to take and what he could do to set things right. In this final chapter, Casshern and those that travel with him make a most startling discovery and suddenly the one who was designed to kill becomes the world’s one and true salvation.

Taking place directly after the events of the last episode of Part One, a group of robots believe the rumor that Casshern himself had just heard. The rumor is that Luna (who is known as the Sun called Moon) is still alive. Since his awakening, Casshern believed that he had killed Luna and thus unleashing the Ruin on the world. If the rumors are correct, Luna has the power to end the Ruin and heal all those who go to her.

Traveling with Lyuze (the female robot that wanted desperately to see Casshern dead), the mysterious Ohji and the adorable Ringo (who adores Casshern), the immortal being decides to follow the rumor in a far off land where she is said to heal all those that go to her. What he wasn’t counting on, though, was running into the one that sent him on his assassination mission to take out Luna … the Braiking Boss. It is his meeting with the Braiking Boss that Casshern finally understands his very nature and that he was designed to kill. Oh, and we are revealed the very person who created him and this revelation is actually quite surprising.

Understandably shaken by the Braiking Boss’ words, Casshern runs into Dio and his female companion, Leda. Locked in battle once again, Casshern suddenly comes to the realization that he wants to redeem himself by protecting all robots. He no longer wants to see himself as a killing machine and this declaration leads Lyuze to forgive Casshern and do everything in her power to help him reach Luna.

In fact, Part Two offers a more emotional and “human” side to this story thanks to Lyuze who not only comes to stop hating Casshern for killing her sister but also reveals that she has genuine feelings for the one who is nothing like she imagined. In one episode, she even wrestles with her inner demons and when she finally lets go of the hatred, Lyuze sees that time on the planet is short.

Meanwhile, we learn the truth about Ringo and why she is so special to Ohji. It becomes apparent to her older guardian that Ringo is in need of Luna’s healing touch and has Casshern and Lyuze keep her close while he goes off on his own. We also learn more about the relationship between Dio and Leda but – more importantly – their plans. Leda has her own agenda while it is clear that Dio wants nothing more than to finally beat Casshern. Lured by the same rumor that Luna is alive and healing robots, she drags Dio to the land where flowers still bloom.

Casshern and his companions do encounter proof that Luna is still alive and when they finally reach their destination they encounter a sight that dampens their spirits. As Dio and Leda finally reach the land where flowers still bloom, they try to make sense of what they see as well and the person who they meet isn’t like the person they had come to know through stories. It is here that Dio and Casshern finally fight and it is magnificent, although the outcome is unexpected … as is Casshern’s ultimate fate.

I will say no more since doing so will ruin the many surprises the final episodes of this series has in store for its viewers and I have to say that it’s refreshing to find a series where even the ending has a deeper meaning than the journey of self-discovery. Casshern’s decision at the end is a remarkable turn of events. It’s a truly original and significant anime series that has a wonderful message about life while never really getting preachy.

As a whole, Casshern Sins is a remarkable gem with powerful storytelling that you will not forget. Part Two is a grand closing to this story and a deeply emotional one that won’t fail to keep your eyes glued to the screen from start to finish. Anime this good is a rare thing indeed so you really should pick this up. Trust us when we say that Casshern Sins will be on the top of this year’s beat anime releases here on our side of the pond.

BLU-RAY REVIEW BREAKDOWN

MOVIE/EPISODES: A+
Casshern follows the rumor that Luna might still be alive and travels with fellow companions Lyuze, Ringo and Ohji. The journey is a difficult one but the path becomes clear to Casshern who decides to defend all robots. Yet with Braiking Boss, Dio and Leda targeting Casshern, the final battle and a surprising turn of events at the journey’s end will change everything.

VIDEO QUALITY: A+
The animation is some of the most original and gorgeous work we’ve seen in an anime this year and it’s even better on Blu-ray where this series truly shines.

AUDIO QUALITY: A
Once again, the voice acting is top notch with great performances on both sides so if you like watching it in its original Japanese or the English dub you are in for some amazing voice acting. The music is also just as intense as the acting and the new closing theme song, “Hikari to Kage” sung by Shinji Kano, is simply too beautiful for words.

EXTRAS: C+
The second disc includes the clean opening and closing theme songs as well as the series’ original Japanese commercials. There are also trailers but the best extra comes in the form of a “mini concert” with Color Bottle performing the opening theme song of the series, “Azure Flowers.”

OVERALL: A+
A powerful and impressive finale to a series about a world where even machines desire to live, Part Two of Casshern Sins makes this a series you will not forget anytime soon. As Casshern and his traveling companions reach their destination, the destiny of a killer becomes clear and the world will never be the same again. Now that is a powerful story.

Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment

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