Casshern Sins: The Flower Which Blooms in the Valley of Ruin
June 26, 2009
What is it like to watch Casshern Sins? It’s like listening to a beautiful sound of bell, echoeing through hollow emptiness. It’s like watching sand-covered city painted in white, or singing songs of hope in a world of despair. It’s to watch flower blooming beautifully admist the ruins.
The world of Casshern Sins is in a state of decay, where its inhabitants (robots) have lost their eternal life and begun rusting to death. While countless robots struggle in vain and denies the reality too harsh to submit to, there are others who gracefully accept the Ruin and continue to enjoy and live their remaining lives to their fullest. But this positive energy should not be mistaken for the kind of hope found in most American films. In Lord of the Ring for example, characters are driven by a hope that world (and life) can be saved by stopping the ruin (from orcs, ring). This notion extends further to even romance genre, where a sense of happiness in life is achieved by resolving any conflicts or misunderstandings.
In Casshern Sins, the robots that harbour such hope of stopping the Ruin are portrayed as lifeless and souless machines. The ones that are most full of life are those in graceful resignation, accepting the inevitable, and content to use their remaining life span to do what they truly enjoy, things that give meaning to their existence. In Casshern Sins, there is life and beauty to be found not after defeating the Ruin but within it. Like Dio once said, this is what really means to live, so much more than what mere immortality can offer.
Casshern Sins is the flower which blooms in the valley of ruin. Content to bring beauty and vitality to all around it, before withering away, smiling.
“[…]Episode four of Casshern Sins is visual poetry; evocative; melancholy; beautiful. This is when words are insufficient, it simply must be seen. Like ballet or wuxia, as if on stage, these characters spin, twist and jump, towards and around each other, every movement an indirect, evocative step forward, like feathers carried by winds of fate, blown across red pools and rocky desolation, secretly dancing to the soundtrack, transfixed by an insatiable desire to understand the other. It is emotion in action, confused, joyful, elegant. Have you ever done something, yet felt the exact opposite? That is episode four of Casshern Sins, an animated, beautiful contradiction. Perfectly flawed, just the way I like it.”
– Bateszi on the visual poetry of Casshern Sins