Monday, February 16, 2009

Casshern Sins 19: Lyuze and Casshern

Lyuze and a cave...doing stuff together. No, it's not as dirty as it sounds.
EPISODE 19: Believe In The Flower That Lives In Your Heart
More Screencaps from Casshern Sins 19

Lyuze nearly falls off a precipice but Casshern catches her in time. Lyuze recoils at his touch but before they can talk it out, a fembot arrives. Sensing danger from the newcomer, Casshern pushes Lyuze away as he attempts to face the fembot. But the fembot is not interested in Casshern as she goes straight for Lyuze. At that moment, the fembot's manbot also arrives, appearing behind Lyuze. Cornered and practically defenseless, Lyuze can only stare in shock.
Fortunately, Casshern comes to her rescue again and while he is busy fighting the manbot, Lyuze gets into a fight of her own against the fembot. The fembot, however, has the element of surprise on her side as she picks through Lyuze's defenses and manages to press her against a stone boulder. Meanwhile, Casshern is also not having much luck with the manbot. The trouble, however, only lasts a short while for both of them as Lyuze lets out her weapon and cuts the fembot while Casshern literally rips apart the manbot. Upon seeing her manbot fall, the fembot calls out his name ("Castor") and jumps after him.
Later, Lyuze, Casshern and Ringo take shelter in a cave. Ringo tells Lyuze of a monster that lives in a cave -- the Hydra and how it has nine heads but only one of it is immortal. The story gets Lyuze thinking about her own situation. The next day, their group discover a field of flowers. While Ringo and Friender frolic, Lyuze hears Casshern wonder how something like this could still exist in their world. Ringo then comes and puts a flower in Lyuze's hair, saying that maybe the monster of the cave is actually fairy. Lyuze then has a psychedelic experience involving butterflies and her rusting hand and the next moment, she wakes up inside a cave.
She tries to walk out but is stopped by Casshern who tells her that it's raining and that they should wait it out. But Lyuze confronts him about whether he is only doing this out of concern for her because the rain would only hasten the ruin in her body. Casshern admits that he is worried about her, and unable to stop herself, Lyuze touches his chest. The touch surprises Casshern but not as much as Lyuze who again recoils from him. Ignoring Casshern's suggestion, Lyuze eventually steps out of the cave, exposing herself to the rain. Casshern follows her silently. After a moment, Lyuze turns on him with murder in her eyes. She urges Casshern to fight her because she would rather die fighting than standing around, waiting for ruin to finally finish her off. Too shocked to argue, Casshern could not put up his defenses fast enough to block Lyuze's attack. He bleeds. Lyuze cries silently but she is relentless.
Lyuze is practically begging: "Fight me. Break me. At the very least, end my suffering."

Finally, Casshern takes a stand and blocks her weapon with his own hand. The blade cuts through flesh. And while he bleeds, he says: "I can't tell you how many times I've thought about the same thing." This gets Lyuze to finally look at him and see what he means. And she stops. Casshern then takes her in his arms and tells her to look for Luna with him so that, while they may not be able to heal what's decayed, Lyuze can live.
And this, in fact, is all that matters, but the funny thing is that Lyuze didn't even know until now that she wanted to live. But one look at Casshern and she realizes that she does want to live (even with ruin). The quiet moment is cut off with the arrival of the fembot who declares that she does not want to be ruined. She attacks Lyuze again but it's too late for her as she slowly fades away. Casshern then steps behind Lyuze and puts his hand on her shoulder. Lyuze places her own hand over his in a gesture of acceptance.

After the weirdness of the previous episode, this one is extremely normal, and yet one of the better episodes from the series. My favorite episode from Casshern Sins is the one with Marco in it. This one comes at a close second.

The romance between Casshern and Lyuze is largely unspoken and I think that's what I love about it. To be sure, it's not the most novel romantic premise out there, but the way the whole thing is executed and the delivery of the lines take it apart from the rest.

Contrast Lyuze's "I want to live" and the fembot's "I don't want to be ruined." They basically sound the same, and yet, when you think about it, they don't really mean the same thing, do they?

This makes me think if whether Casshern and Lyuze are eventually going to find a solution to the ruin. Maybe they won't. Maybe there is no cure, and all that's needed to be changed is the mindset of the people. Instead of thinking, "I don't want to be ruined" maybe they should start thinking "I want to live." There's a big difference between the two. Add to this what Casshern said to Lyuze: "We might not be able to heal what's decayed, but you can live."

So it turns out this series is about hope amid despair? And it looks like Luna might be the personification of that hope, what with everyone looking to her for the answers, and Casshern, her opposite -- despair. But I think that Luna does not even exist anymore and that she really died back when Casshern killed her but that this does not mean that hope is dead because the mere memory of her is enough to get people to realize that they still want to live.

Ah, now I'm looking forward to the next episode.


Shinsen-subs is doing a fantastic job subbing this series. I thought I just had to mention that.