Short Synopsis: Casshern vs. Luna
Episode Rating: 8/10 (Excellent)
Before I start with the episode, I’m going to have to say some negative things about this series. It’s one of my favourites of the currently airing series, so I’m not happy with it either, but I do want to say a few things about it. If the series had the luck to air half a year earlier, I probably wouldn’t have noticed this, but the past weeks some of the other currently airing shows have reminded me of the difference between an excellent series and a truly outstanding series. Ever since it aired, this series has been on this list of favourites. That creates some expectations, and in the past weeks I realized that in the end the series didn’t live up to it.
In the second half of this series, the show has become much more consistent and predictable when compared to the first half. It merely founds its pace, and consistently went along with it. It never hit any lows, nor did it hit any heights, and that’s the problem I’m getting to. In the end, my favourite episode of this series remains episode seven. In comparison, some of the other shows airing this season have truly surpassed themselves in the past month. For me, Michiko e Hatchin, Shikabane Hime, Clannad After Story, Jigoku Shoujo, Birdy The Mighty Decode, Druaga no Tou and Ride Back have been consistently getting better and better for their own standards, while Casshern’s level of quality has pretty much stayed the same, with the result that quite a few series have already caught up with it. At the end of February, I was fairly certain that my Top 3 of series that started airing in the past Fall Season would contain Casshern Sins, but at this point I’m not so sure anymore. For any regular series, it’s a real achievement to be able to produce an episode that is as good as your average Casshern episode, but this series already showed that it was excellent in its first quarter. For me, it did sort-of fail in meeting the stellar expectations it set in its beginning. I remember Himitsu faced the same problem, but at least that series turned significantly better in its final quarter, and it’s a shame that Casshern couldn’t follow.
But yeah, that doesn’t mean that this series isn’t getting any worse. This episode was yet again really good for a semi-final episode. What I especially liked was how Luna doesn’t have any combat abilities at all. That really prevents the ending from turning into a boring overblown fight between the main character and villain until one of them goes down. I also liked how many story threads were solved in this episode: Luna and Casshern both quit trying to make the other understand and went their own ways, Dio finally considered Leda, which is something which Leda really appreciated and saved her from her own darkness.
And finally we learn the cause of the ruin: when Casshern impaled her, her blood flowed throughout all the oceans of the earth. This transformed Luna from a goddess of destruction into a goddess of life. And indeed it sort-of makes sense that her new blood can be used to heal the effects of her old blood. Casshern then became the first one to experience the effects of her new blood, but as a side-effect he lost his memory.
The next episode is going to be a very interesting one, as it seems to be more centred around Braiking Boss and Luna than Casshern. The potential for an original ending is very good, so let’s hope that it’s not going to screw up. I remember how someone noted that there could be a second season, but I wouldn’t count on it: this is Madhouse, after all. They only very rarely make sequels (the perfect way to prevent you from milking out your own franchises). However, there is no way that that ending is going to wrap every single open thread in the storyline:
– What the heck was the point of the coloured rock anyway?
– What was the point of making Dio, Leda AND Casshern robots who could potentially reproduce? It feels a bit and unimportant to just include it for a small piece of Leda’s background. Apart from that it’s never really been used.
what I want at least in the next episode is the background of Braiking Boss. It would be a darn shame if he’d just impale Luna to make her blood flow across the rivers of the earth again and disappear. In this episode it became clear that he isn’t a bad guy after all, but he had just been searching for Luna as well, and making the right preparations to save the world. The question is however: what caused this change of heart? Wasn’t he the one who ordered to kill Luna? Of course he may have realized the mistakes of his actions, but I’d really like to see that confirmed.