Casshan: Robot Hunter - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C-

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B-
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 15 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: ADV Films
  • MSRP: 24.95
  • Running time: 105
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Casshan: Robot Hunter

Casshan: Robot Hunter

By Andrew Tei     October 14, 2003
Release Date: May 13, 2003


Casshan: Robot Hunter
© ADV Films


What They Say
Enslaved by an army of rebellious super-robots originally designed to help civilization avert a complete ecological cataclysm, mankind's only hope is CASSHAN, a legendary hero who wages a solitary war to defeat these NEOROIDS and restore the Earth to its rightful order. Ironically, Casshan's father is the same scientist who engineered the race of super androids now threatening to destroy all of mankind. On a crusade to clear the name of his father, Casshan must sacrifice his own humanity in order to attain the powers he needs to defeat mankind's powerful enemies. But Casshan's power does not come without a price. Haunted by the memories of his murdered mother and forced to deal with a super robot that has absorbed, and now manipulates, the consciousness of his father, Casshan must put aside his own emotions and fight to preserve the survival of the human race. An extraordinary tale of science fantasy and social relevance, CASSHAN is a story of man's best laid plans paving the way to potential destruction. Animation filled with bold action, pure adventure and remarkable depth.

The Review!
ADV releases another title in Harmony Gold?s vault, in what appears to be one long bore fest.

Audio:

The only language provided here is an English stereo soundtrack. There is little use of directionality in it, but the explosions come out rocking. Harmony Gold released this title in 1995, so I?m surprised they didn?t use a more active soundtrack. Music sometimes seems a bit loud when compared to the dialogue track. Nothing really special here. I should probably mention Carl Macek directed this.

Video:

This OVA series was released in Japan in 1993, so the video print quality is good for the most part. Except for a few scratches on the print in various parts of the show, it looked great. The colors are not overly bright, so you don?t get that kiddy feel. Indoor scenes may look a little washed up also. I did not notice any compression related errors though, so a good job to MOFC there.

Packaging:

The cover features Casshan with the leader of the enemy robots, Black King, behind him. Casshan look pretty wimpy compared to his nemesis. The artwork seems very simple for an OVA. We?re got a tagline of ?The Ultimate War, The Ultimate Warrior? on the bottom. Very cheesy. Since this is only a single volume, there?s no need for a volume number. On the back cover, most of the space is taken up by credits, with some space for four screen shots and a one-paragraph description of the show. An insert is included inside featuring Casshan.


Menu:

The main menu is static for the most part, with only the logo being animated for a second while the menu comes up. The only options are play feature and scene select. All the menus feature music.

Extras:

None, since trailers aren?t extras.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)

It?s the Rise of the Machines, but animated. Sadly, except for this idea, this piece of anime really doesn?t do much for the viewer and is very formulaic.

In the near future, a scientist creates a series of robots in order to help save mankind from destroying the environment, but sadly his creation turns. The artificial intelligence created decides that in order to save the environment, it must control humanity. A war breaks out on the earth, man versus machine. The machines are led by the Black King, and eventually take the upper hand in the war. Humans are herded into slave camps where they help build more androids. Only a few pockets of human resistance live on.

One of our human resistance fighters is Luna Kazuki, a young woman who is also searching for the man she loves, Tetsuya Azuma. With the androids, which are called Neoroids, having the upper hand, the remaining humans cling to a story about a hero that will save them. A man called Casshan, who will help them bring about the fall of the Black King. The Black King realizes that in order to finally break the humans? spirit, he must only convince everyone that he has killed Casshan.

Taking Luna prisoner, the Black King sets up an elaborate staging of the execution of Casshan, who is just a human prisoner the Black King?s officers have set up. Of course, during this stage play the real Casshan shows up. For a human being, his powers are amazing. He destroys androids with a single karate chop (yes, I can sadly only describe it as a karate chop) and can perform amazing feats of skill. Assisting Casshan is a robotic dog named Lucky, who can also transform into a glider. Casshan rescues Luna, and destroys one of the Black King?s Neoroid making factories in the process.

Casshan and Luna end up traveling together afterwards on a journey to free humanity, and to discover the relationship between them. A lot of development goes into Casshan?s reason for fighting the robots, and what he went through to become the fighting machine that he is now. He gave up part of his humanity in order to avenge his murdered mother, and to correct the mistakes of his father. With Luna by his side though, perhaps he can gain back part of the humanity he has lost.

Made in 1993, this OVA is a remake of a 70s TV series. The characters designs in this anime feel very reminiscent of the 70s also. They are simple, and every uninspired for a remake. Casshan looks more like a dork walking around in a white suit, then any type of resistance fighter. We?re got the Black King, who of course, rules over everything in a forbidding castle surround by lightning with very fascist overtones. The fighting scenes are very uninspired, and Casshan easily wins every fight in practically a single blow. This is very old school.

Since we are condensing a TV series into four episodes, the story moves extremely fast and the character development is just thrown at the viewer. I?ve heard good things about the TV series, but I don?t see how this OVA series does it any justice at all. With this being dub only, this is one piece of anime that you can pass over easily.

Features
English Language

Review Equipment
Toshiba 3109 to a Toshiba 36? Cinema Series via component, Pioneer VSX-810S receiver via optical, Cerwin Vega front speakers, Pinnacle center and rears


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