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Movie Review: Casshern (2004)

Posted by Sunday on Apr 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm in Apocalypse, Movies

Remember the first time you saw Akira and loved it, and it was fucking awesome, and when it was over you had no idea what the hell happened?

Welcome to Casshern! There are no spoiler warnings for this review because I can’t explain anything that occurs in the movie.


Casshern is based on a 70′s Japanese anime series (Shinzō Ningen Kyashān), but seeing the show won’t help you make any sense of what you’re watching. By the time it was over I felt like I’d been beaten senseless by a robot with a bejeweled peppermint stick and then shocked back into reality with bucket of ice cold whiskey poured over my head.

It helps if you know that the movie was filmed entirely on a green screen, making for what are mostly real actors moving through some very realistic anime. Now add some Cold War propaganda. And some Blade Runner. And some Brazil. And a healthy shake of beautiful Japanese people. And an equal part of battle-bots. Sprinkle with classic anime movement, framing and sound effects. Now, carefully, skim off any non-chaotic character motivation.


In the event that you think it would be ‘cool’ to smoke some Old Took and watch Casshern I say NO. It would be like eating some acid and then going to a clown festival. They are two diametrically opposed events. Be sober during the movie and then drink four gallons of beer after. This is the approved method.

And don’t confuse my blustering with negativity – I adore Casshern. It was fantastic. Poking around the internet, anyone with a single geek hair on their backs was gushing eternal confused love to this movie, and for good reason – sometimes you want someone to put every single great scifi trope into one bowl, stir it all up, and then cook it to see what happens. Out the other end comes a baffling fruitcake, delicious, strange, and impossible to describe. Done without pretense, it can be transformative. Done wrong, you get unwatchable Matrix sequels.

Link to one of many fantastically ridiculous action sequences delivered in classically awful YouTube quality. Note that the video’s poster says “the rest of the movie is pretty boring.” This person has clearly blacked out during major segments of the film.

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April 25th, 2008 | Apocalypse, Movies

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