Casshan

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Casshan
Casshan.jpg
Casshern DVD cover art
Genre Science fiction
Anime television series
Shinzō Ningen Casshern
Directed by Takao Koyama
Written by Tatsuo Yoshida
Studio Tatsunoko Productions
Licensed by
Network Fuji TV
Original run October 2, 1973June 25, 1974
Episodes 35[1]
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Casshern, also known in Japan as Neo-Human Casshern (新造人間キャシャーン Shinzō Ningen Kyashān?), is an anime series created by Tatsunoko Productions in 1973, which was based on a serialization in Kodansha’s Terebi Magazine and Akita Shoten’s "Boken Oh".[1]

The Casshern franchise also includes a 1993 original video animation simply titled Casshern, and a 2004 live action adaptation of the same name. In October 2008, a reboot of the franchise titled Casshern Sins premiered; in anticipation of the upcoming series, a DVD box set of the original series, titled Neo-Human Casshern Complete DVD-Box "All Episodes of Casshern", was released in Japan on September 24, 2008. Casshern also appears in Tatsunoko Fight and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars as a playable character.[2][3] At Anime Expo 2013, Sentai Filmworks had announced that they signed a deal with Tatsunko to release some of their catalog, with Casshan being confirmed as one of them.[4] The series was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 4, 2014.

Plot[edit]

Tetsuya Azuma (東鉄也 Azuma Tetsuya?), also known as Casshern, is an android with a human consciousness aka a neoroider (人造人間 Jinzō Ningen?, lit. "artificial human"). Tetsuya turned himself into an android for the purpose of hunting down and destroying robots that have taken over the world. His biological father, Dr. Kotaro Azuma, was the inventor of the automatons that were originally intended to serve humankind. However, the first android, BK-1, was struck by lightning, and went out of control. With its great strength, it escaped from the castle despite attempts to stop it. After some time, it renamed itself as Buraiking Boss (often mistranslated in English as "Black King Boss"; derived from 無頼 or burai, meaning rogue or brute using the symbols for "Trust" and "Nothing", but phonetically "Bu Rai" can mean "Lightning Man" or "Lightning Warrior" so it works with his background), and was able to build a robot army against mankind; the robots mutinied en masse when their cold logic concluded that the good of the Earth Ecosystem required the destruction of the human race.[5] [6]

Casshern and his robotic dog, Friender, join forces with a beautiful girl named Luna Kozuki to battle the robots led by the Buraiking Boss.[7] Casshern has great strength and agility, but he is not armed, except for a pair of odd pistols, used more like rockets than weapons. Friender is capable of transforming itself into a tank or a jet aircraft and actively helps Casshern to fight the robot army. While the robots are huge and robust machines, he is usually able to destroy them with his bare hands, dispatching a great number in any battle. Casshern has also some weak points: his body must be re-charged with solar energy and cannot sustain very long battles without risking low battery power. Luna was totally harmless until her father was able to build an electromagnetic pistol, easily capable of destroying the robots. Almost all the robot machines have an antenna on top of their heads; ripping it off usually causes them to explode, so they are relatively vulnerable.

Characters[edit]

Casshern (キャシャーン Kyashān?)
Voiced by: Ikuo Nishikawa
The protagonist of the series, Casshern is an android—the union of Tetsuya Azuma's consciousness with an invincible body. His body features a number of unique android functions, including superhuman speed, agility and strength, an opening and closing facemask, a golden crescent-shaped solar panel on his forehead and waist-mounted pulsar propellers that can also be used as weapons.
Luna Kozuki (上月 ルナ Kōzuki Runa?)
Voiced by: Emiko Tsukada
A beautiful, 15-year-old girl who fights alongside Casshern. Like Tetsuya, her father is a scientist, and she is essential in the battle against the Andro Army, due to her MF Gun.
Midori Azuma (東 みどり Azuma Midori?)
Voiced by: Reiko Mutō
Tetsuya's mother, who had been captured by the Andro Army and had her data transferred into the body of Swanee (スワニー Swanī?), a swan-type robo 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.
Kotaro Azuma (東 光太郎 Azuma Kōtarō?)
Voiced by: Masato Yamanouchi
The genius scientist who invented androids in hopes of helping mankind, and ironically became the architect of mankind's doom.
Friender (フレンダー Furendā?)
Voiced by: Shōji Katō
Originally Tetsuya's pet dog, Lucky (ラッキー Rakkī?), its data was used to revive it as Friender after it was killed. In order to support Casshern, he can transform into a jet, submarine, tank, or a motorcycle, and is even able to breathe flames. Friender is a brave robotic dog capable of standing up to the Andro Army alone.
Braiking Boss (ブライキング・ボス Buraikingu Bosu?)
Voiced by: Kenji Utsumi
The antagonist of the series, originally BK-1, the first android created by Dr. Azuma and designed to help bring the human race & the robots together, but he was struck by lightning and rebelled, renaming himself Buraiking Boss (often mistranslated in English as "Black King Boss"; the name derives from the Japanese 無頼 or burai, meaning rogue or brute). He leads the Andro Army in a plot to conquer the Earth.
Barashin (バラシン?)
Voiced by: Kazuya Tatekabe
A muscular high-ranking member of the Andro Army.
Arkborn (アクボーン?)
Voiced by: Ryuji Nakagi
A lankey high-ranking member of the Andro Army.
Sagrey (サグレー?)
Voiced by: Osamu Kato
A short high-ranking member of the Andro Army.

Episodes[edit]

  1. Immortal Challenger (不死身の挑戦者 Fujimi no Chōsensha?)[8]
  2. Stake Victory on the Moonlight (月光に勝利をかけろ Gekkō ni Shōri wo Kakero?)
  3. Call to the Tomorrow Within the Ruins (廃墟の中に明日を叫べ Haikyo no Naka ni Ashita wo Sakebe?)
  4. Channel Anger into the MF Gun (MF銃に怒りをこめろ Emu Efu Jyū ni Ikari wo Komero?)
  5. Don't Erase the Lantern of Battle (戦いの灯を消すな Tatakai no Tō wo Kesuna?)
  6. Raging Wind Friender (疾風フレンダー Reppū Furendā?)
  7. The Oath for the Hero Kikero (英雄キケロへの誓い Eiyū Kikero he no Chikai?)
  8. The Wild Beast Robot Roars (野獣ロボが吠える Yajū Robo ga Hoeru?)
  9. The Concerto That Shines the Flames of War (戦火に響け協奏曲 Senka ni Kagayake Kyōsōkyoku?)
  10. Stake Life in the Desert of Death (死の砂漠に命をかけろ Shi no sabaku ni inochi wo kakero?)
  11. Evil Virtual Image (悪魔の虚像 Akuma no Kyozō?)
  12. The Villainous Iron Train (鉄の悪党列車 Tetsu no Akutō Ressha?)
  13. Traitorous Robot #5 (裏切りロボット五号 Uragiri Robotto Gogō?)
  14. The Casshern-Proof City (キャシャーン無用の街 Kasshān Muyō no Machi?)
  15. The Puppy Runs in Vengeance (復讐に子犬は駆ける Fukushū ni Koinu wa Kakeru?)
  16. Suwani: Wings of Love (スワニー・愛の翼 Suwanī Ai no Tsubasa?)
  17. Robot Lullaby (ロボット子守歌 Robotto Komoriuta?)
  18. Giant Elephant VS Andro Army (巨象対アンドロ軍団 Kyozō Tai Andoro Gundan?)
  19. The Terrifying Clown Robot (恐怖のピエロロボット Kyōfu no Piero Robotto?)
  20. Casshan's Death Penalty Stand (死刑台のキャシャーン Shikeidai no Kasshān?)
  21. Robot Hijack (ロボット・ハイジャック Robotto Haijakku?)
  22. The Escaping Robot: Romeo (脱走ロボット・ロメオ Dasshū Robotto Romeo?)
  23. Robot Factory's Big Deployment (ロボット工場大脱出 Robotto Kōjō Dai Dasshutsu?)
  24. Bounder: Robo's Challenge (バウンダー・ロボの挑戦 Baundā Robo no Chōsen?)
  25. Immortal Casshan (不死身のキャシャーン" Fujimi no Kasshān?)
  26. Casshan's Secrets (キャシャーンの秘密 Kasshān no Himitsu?)
  27. The MF Gun that Disappeared (消えたMF銃 Kieta Emu Efu Jyū?)
  28. The Cavalry of Anger (怒りの騎馬隊 Ikari no Kibatai?)
  29. Overzealous Robo: Neotaros (高熱ロボ・ネオタロス?)
  30. Robo Withdrawal Number One (ロボ退治ナンバーワン Robo Taiji Nanbā Wan?)
  31. The City That Will Create a Neo-Human (新造人間を造る街 Shinzō ningen wo tsukuru machi?)
  32. Tearful Lightning Punch (涙の電光パンチ Namida no Denkō Panchi?)
  33. Suwani Close Shave (スワニー危機一髪 Suwanī Kiki Ippatsu?)
  34. VS Robot Ace (対ロボットエース Tai Robotto Ēsu?)
  35. The Greatest Decisive Battle on Earth (地球最大の決戦 Chikyū Saidai no Kessen?)

Title romanization[edit]

When Streamline Pictures adapted the OVA remake series to the American market, they romanized title "kyashān" (キャシャーン?) as "Casshan" instead of "Casshern". "Casshern" is the romanization used in Japan and in other countries, and is used as the romanized title of the film adaptation and the American release of Casshern Sins.

Legacy[edit]

The influence of Casshern can be seen in various video games. Starting with the third game, Mega Man featured a dog partner which could transform into different vehicles. The entirety of the Megaman X series story is closely based on Casshern. The design and background of its main antagonist, Sigma, also closely resembles Braiking Boss. Also, In Viewtiful Joe, the protagonist's outfit bears a strong resemblance along with the V shaped headpiece and the retractable mask. M. Bison from Street Fighter II (the character known as "Vega" in Japan) also bears a strong resemblance to Braiking Boss. In Metal Gear Solid 4, Raiden wears a bio-suit and fights with a sword which can discharge electric energy. In the trailer for Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Raiden is also accompanied by a robot dog.

In Vanquish, developed by Platinum Games, the art style is based on Casshern. In one of the boss fights the main character drills through a robot by spinning in place at high speed, similar to Casshern. Concerning the game's development, director Shinji Mikami is quoted as saying: "I was inspired by Casshern, so I wanted to make a game like that. If I went ahead and made the exact game I wanted, it probably would have been like Casshern, where you punch and kick the entire way through. But obviously if it were a game with only punching and kicking, I already did that with God Hand. So, I'm done with that, something else now. So this time he wanted to make a game where you defeat robots with guns. So now, you're going at it with guns, but he wanted to make sure the feeling of speed is still there, that was really important to him, so that's why he introduced the element of the sliding boost."[9] In addition, the protagonist of Vanquish has a facemask that periodically comes off to show his human side, much like Casshern himself. According to one of the game's character modelers, Yoshifumi Hattori, a support robotic companion dog was designed to fight along with the main character, including transforming into ability enhancing armor. Although this dog was successfully modeled, it was cut from the finalized version of the game, along with another female android partner character.[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]