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My Thoughts on: Casshern (2004)

Note: This review is in fulfillment of a Patreon pledge

My apologies for being late with this review, but last night I was finally able to sit down and watch Casshern (2004), a Japanese film based on the 1973 anime of the same name. I’d never heard of this film specifically before being asked to watch it, though I had heard of Casshern Sins, a reboot of the anime that aired in 2008.

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Set in the far future, Casshern begins at the end of a fifty-year war between Europa (which uses robot armies) and the Eastern Federation. The Federation emerges victorious, but is soon fighting again when an uprising begins in Zone 7. Tetsuya Azuma (Yusuke Iseya), the son of a brilliant scientist, enlists in the army and ends up killed in action, only to be resurrected with the help of strange “Neo Cells” and gains incredible abilities as a result. The Neo Cells themselves are allegedly capable of forming new body parts, but it turns out they’re actually something else entirely.

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Having never seen Casshern before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I do my best to give every film I watch a fair chance, but while Casshern does have its moments (more on those in a moment), by and large the film did not impress me. The biggest failing of the film is its special effects. It’s painfully obvious when CGI is being used, so much so that in several scenes it took me right out of the action because of how fake it looked. The plot is also really confusing, though I’m not sure if that’s the fault of the film itself or the subtitles (which I’ve heard aren’t the best in the world). There are multiple scenes that seem like they’re supposed to be big moments, but instead come across as head-scratchers. A good case in point: in one early scene, it seems like we’re building up to an explosion in a secret laboratory, when suddenly a stone thunderbolt crashes through the ceiling and lodges itself into the lab. Said thunderbolt is the most blatant example of a deus ex machina that I’ve seen in years because the main plot doesn’t really get going until it inexplicably arrives.

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That’s not to say that the film is all bad, there is at least one moment that I thought was very well done. In a really creepy moment, the stone thunderbolt seemingly turned the Neo-Cell body parts into whole people. The military inexplicably shows up to slaughter them but a handful escape into the mountains. The bulk of this scene is done with no dialogue (aside from some crying and screaming), only music to give a sense of what is happening. It’s the one moment in the entire film where I was completely engrossed in the story.

I will also say that, having looked at images of the original anime, there are some Easter eggs paying homage to the 1973 series. For one, you can see the helmet that Casshern wears in the anime and Tetsuya later meats a dog named ‘Friender’ which references the cyborg’s canine sidekick in the anime.

Would I recommend Casshern? I’ll put it like this: if you’re a die-hard fan of all things Casshern, then I say go for it, you’ll likely find something to love about this film. But if you’re only a casual viewer then I would recommend avoiding this one, the visual flaws and confusing plot don’t add up to anything meaningful (though you can tell they’re trying).

What did you think of Casshern (if you’ve seen it)? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and have a great day! If you sub to my Patreon for $5 or above, you can also request a film review of your choice 🙂

See also:

Film/TV Reviews

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Film Music Central is on Patreon!

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Official Film Music Central Patreon

Hey everyone! I hope you are having an amazing day. Since there have been a lot of new followers as of late I thought I would share the details of Film Music Central’s Patreon page.

I actually started the Patreon page two years ago, but I’ve only been using it full time for about six months. Patreon is a platform that lets you directly contribute to a content creator (blogger, vlogger, etc.) whose work you like. In the case of Film Music Central, my Patreon operates to fund trips to the movie theater so I can afford to watch and review the newest films as they are released. Later this will expand to covering the expenses of paying for the website domain and later upgrading the site and possibly expanding into other media (video game reviews, book reviews) but that’s in the future for now.

There are three tiers of subscription: Film Friend, Film Lover and Film Maniac.

-Film Friend is the first tier and it’s $2/month. At this tier you receive access to all “patron-only” posts which consist of my reviews of movie trailers, recaps of what I’ve viewed in a given month, etc.

-Film Lover is the second tier and is $5/month. At this tier you have access to all “patron-only” posts as well as the ability to commission a blog article that covers a film or film soundtrack of your choice within reason. You’ll also get a shoutout on the Patreon page 🙂

-Film Maniac is the third and currently highest tier and is $10/month. At this tier you receive all of the above as well as the ability to commission a full-length (10-15 minute) YouTube video where I discuss a film, film soundtrack or film related topic of your choice.

For those who subscribe and become “patrons” of the blog, know that you can cancel at any time, there’s no binding commitment for a year or anything like that.

Any support that can be given means the world to me (please don’t feel like you HAVE to, there’s no obligation) and makes it that much easier to bring you the best film and soundtrack reviews possible.

To check out the page for yourself, click on the link at the top of the article. Thank you again for all the support you’ve given in the last 2 1/2 years and have a great day 🙂

You can become a patron of the blog at patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out the YouTube channel (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook 🙂