Sunday, November 16, 2008

Casshern Sins 07: Or For Whom The Bell Tolls

Lizbell needs something to build a bell and gets down and dirty with Casshern to get what she wants. WOOT?
EPISODE 07: The Woman of the High Tower
More Screencaps from Casshern Sins 07

Against a backdrop of desert landscape, a single structure looms in the distance. In it is a group of robots who do nothing but play poker all day and anyone who passes their way, they invite into their game.

Who do you think happens to pass by? Casshern, of course, but he is in no shape to play games. He is still deep in the pathos of his emo-ness. Just then, a mysterious white-haired girl mechanic comes around. For some reason, she takes an immediate liking to Casshern and brings him to the top of the tower to show him the view. (Yes. Can you believe that?)

Once there, she tells him that she wants to make something beautiful in this ruined world. She wants to make a huge bell, whose ringing shall echo all over the world and make the robots remember what beauty means. However, she has one problem. She does not have enough raw materials to turn her dream into reality. She claims that she needs silver and gold but that these minerals are all but gone. She looks at Casshern, touches him, embraces him, and tells him that he is beautiful. Next, she brings him to her workshop supposedly to show him her work but when they get there, she gets Casshern unconscious (I'm still not sure how she did it) and puts him under the forge.

Her intention is to use Casshern's body as raw material for her bell. But then Casshern wakes up (was he even unconscious? Did he think he could get lucky and get laid by pretending to faint?) and he tells her that while he admires her dream of creating something of beauty, he cannot die yet because as killer of the Sun called Luna he still has many things to do (like emo some more, for instance).

After Casshern leaves, Lizbell (that's her name) decides to finish the bell anyway and puts it up on top of the tower. But instead of awakening the robots' sense of aesthetics, the tolling of the bell merely annoys them to violence. They attack Lizbell, causing her to fall from the tower, and then turn around to destroy her bell. Fortunately, Casshern who is with Friender not far away hears the tolling of the bell and he comes to her aid. When Lizbell asks him why he saved her, he says that the ringing of her bell echoed in his heart, filling him with indescribable beauty and the knowledge that someone in this ruined world is trying to create something new.

Much later, Ringo and Ohji arrive in the area and see the tower. Lizbell hears them talking about it so she invites them to come up with her to the top. Once there, she pulls at an imaginary bell, saying that she does not need a bell any longer as the sound is in her heart.

Actually, this episode is beautiful. Barely no action, but it makes up for it much by the subtlety at which the commentary on aesthetics was delivered. Beautiful. The bell of course -- or rather, the ringing of a bell -- is a literary device to symbolize purity and beauty. It's been used in so many poems, one of which is Shakespeare's famous love sonnet. Casshern's statement in the end is also very poignant and profound. This is really why I watch this series.