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In a world with an alternate history, a great war finally comes to an end leaving the earth diseased and polluted. The geneticist Dr. Azuma vies for support from the government for his neo-cell treatment that he claims can rejuvenate the body and regenerate humankind. The government leaders, guarding their own deeply entrenched powers, turn down the professor. Driven to complete his work, Dr. Azuma accepts a secret offer from a sinister faction of the powerful military. After an incident occurs in Dr. Azuma’s lab, a race of mutant humans known as the Shinzo Ningen are unleashed upon the world. Now, Dr. Azuma’s son, reincarnated into the warrior, Casshern, with an invincible body, stands between the Shinzo Ningen, and a world on the brink of annihilation.
Today’s Film Of The Week comes by way of the recent report of Jun Kaname’s starring role in the upcoming film Time Scoop Hunters. Now, unfortunately I do not get to watch a lot of Japanese cinema. But back many years ago, I took note of a unique and bold trailer for a live-action remake of an old Japanese cartoon series from the 1970’s. And more than three decades later, director Kaz Kiriya would begin envisioning a new take for a film of epic proprotions. This film was called Casshern, starring actor Yusuke Iseya in the lead role of the armored superhuman warrior. And just by looking at this movie, you can instantly tell that Kiriya meant business. Granted, there have been attempts to achieve putting anime properties into live-action production, both before and after this film was made. However, to date, the only one that does it for me is Casshern. The film is emotionally captivating with great visuals and set pieces, dynamic and well-toned with a kick ass soundtrack and spectacular battle scenes that look as if they were litterally ripped straight from an anime clip. The film is also centered around themes involving war, life and death, romance and faith in humanity, all made to present a vision bigger than just a tokusatsu action thriller, making this not just another sci-fi film, but one that gets you caring about the characters enough to make you think.
Now, some people are picky about films like this and might even have lesser upward criticisms about this particular movie. But this movie is clearly aimed at something entirely different from a lot of films like it. Personally, I enjoy what this film provides, even if it was confusing at times. As an action fan, it gets the blood boiling, and is a way better adaptation of an anime than some people choose to see it.
Maybe we will see this same formula in a Japanese live-action Dragonball reboot or something. Who knows?
Native New Yorker. Lover of all things pizza, chocolate, pets, and good friends. Karaoke hero. Left of center. Survivor. Fond supporter of cult, obscure and independent cinema - especially fond of Asian movies and global action cinema. Author of the bi-weekly Hit List. Founder and editor of Film Combat Syndicate. Still, very much, only human.