It’s funny watching this after finally getting to see the live-action CASSHERN movie last week. I’ve been going through all these radical reinterpretations of a story (and plenty of rip-offs, remembering the connection to MEGA MAN) without actually experiencing that story for myself...
In the movie, Casshern’s an heir to some science zaibatsu in the movie, and he gets his powers after some Reese’s Peanut Buttercup solution of, basically, dipping into a pool of cadavers and getting a new suit. Here, he was bred to be some hyper-advanced, beautiful bio-mechanoid, and has been wandering after quitting his royal assassin job in moral disgust (right?).
In the movie, Casshern and Luna are just the cutest married couple ever - - normal humans whose love is ripped asunder by war and various machinations of unholy science. Here, she’s this quasi-messianic figure whom Casshern was ordered to murder in some political power play and, after her still-dubious death, she’s largely been an idea (or, more to the point, an ideal) inspiring everything from false hope to homicidal rampages in all these robots. There isn’t an hint of romance between her and Casshern.
And then, Friender? Well, the robo-doggie’s more like an incidental accomplice here, while I imagine he was a more clearly defined sidekick to Casshern in the original series. In the movie, he just shows up in a cute cameo.
I doubt I’ll ever see how this fits together until I watch the original series for myself. Still, much of the time I'm watching this, I’m wondering if characters like Leda, Lyuze, Dio, Dune, Ringo and the all random robots were made up for this show, or if they were brought over from the original series. Likewise, I’m curious if characters in the movie were meant to correspond to them (albeit in a very obfuscating fashion) or if they were just made up for that flick, too.
This time, I’ve probably laid off on the plot discussion because the show was really painting in the most saturated strokes of emotional color. The robo-children are so innocent and Leda gets so cruel to them and the interruption of Casshern’s vengeance is so frustrating… that there’s probably not much more to report here than a list of feelings. I suppose there’s some irony that a show about robots, cyborgs and the artificial life in between would be this emotive-unto-melodramatic, but that's a topic of another time, probably.