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After having won the big war over world domination, Japan is suffering
greatly from the outcomes, the land being riddled by disease, be it from
pollution, radiation or gen-experiments gone horribly wrong. Only one man seems
to have an answer, professor Azuma (Akira Terao), who has developed the new
cell treatment, which can pretty much bring back severed limbs by an advanced
process of cloning.
But his treatment is only a theory and the only backer
Azuma can find is the military, and he gives in to their demands only because
his own wife Midori (Kanako Higuchi) is terminally ill and can be cured only
by the new cell treatment.
But then, on the same day not only Azuma's son
Tetsuya (Yusuke Iseya) dies on the battlefield but also the new cell experiment
takes a turn to a rather unexpected diretions, as humanoids start to emerge
from the giant vessels of experimental fluid. The military, not really prepared
for anything beyond their expectations, start gunning down these humanoids
(from hereon called Neo Sapiens) in no time ... but as it always happens a few
escape, and make their getaway through the mountains to an old castle where
they find refuge, and with them Azuma's wife Midori, the only human who
showed them compassion ...
Back at his lab, the professor decides to take the
body of his dead son, to revive him as well - which even works, but his body is
very unstable and has to be kept in some experimental armour developed by
Tetsuya's stepfather (Fumiyo Kohinata) at all times ... and the armour (quite
naturally) gives him super powers.
Meanwhile the Neo Sapiens haven't been
idle and have built an army of robots to defeat humanking, and a big war
starts, soon laying ruins to the country. But the humans now have superpowered
Tetsuya (who now calls himself Casshern after an earth spirit), and he fights
fiercer and fiercer battles against the Neo Sapiens (who are, strictly
speaking, his own people).
Eventually though, Casshern grows more and more
repelled about the methods the human soldiers use against the Neo Sapiens
(and sometimes unwanted humans as well), and serious doubts about the
righteousness of his fight grown in him, sulminating in him losing a fight
against one of the Neo Sapiens, Barashin (Jun Kaname) on purpose after he has
seen his own wife Luna (Kumiko Aso) being imprisoned.
The war becomes more and
more dehumanized, having nothing to do with either the humans or the Neo
Sapiens but being a sort of bloody game between the human and the Neo
Sapiens' leader, who in their fascist views resemble each other more and more, making it impossible for Casshern to choose sides.
Eventually the Neo
Sapiens' leadeer treleases a super robot/bomb against the land, and dewspite
his best efforts Casshern is unable to stop it, and its explosion blows away
humans and Neo Sapiens alike ... except for some odd reason Casshern himself,
his wife Luna, and his father professor Azuma ... who decides to use his New
Cell treatment once more to revive his wife Midori, whose corpse he has found
only recently ... but when Casshern won't let him, he cold-bloodedly shoots
Luna, just to show him how much loss can hurt. But Casshern resists the lure of
reviving her, instead he blows himself up to be with her in the next world ...
film does feature quite impressive retro-sci-fi pictures, which use CGI-effects
in great and inventive ways, and the story, while not nearly as original as
it pretends to be, is intelligent and does have its points of inspiration.
outcome of this however results in considerably less than the sum of its parts,
since the pretty pictures do little to support the story they are telling,
instead shifting attention from it, many well staged action sequences
intercut the storytelling process rather than helping it along, while some
horribly cheesy dialogues do cheapen the story to tearjerker-level.
an all-bad film, and Casshern does have its great moments, it just falls
several feet short of its lofty oals.