Monday, March 16, 2009

Casshern Sins 23: The Meaning of it All

Casshern vs. Dio in their final battle....
EPISODE 23: Those Who Will Return
More Screencaps from Casshern Sins 23

Braiking Boss has gathered an army of robots willing to follow him wherever he goes. Now, he prepares to face Luna and put an end to ruin once and for all. Meanwhile, Luna continues at her self-appointed task of granting second life to those who ask for it, while only a short distance away from her castle, Dio and Casshern engage in a fight to the death.
Lyuze follows them to the place and sees for herself that Casshern has completely healed. Just then, Ohji arrives with more bad news: Ringo is gone. A half-ruined Leda is thrown into the pits with nothing but the threads of her sanity left. She spends a long time hallucinating about her child, but soon snaps out of it when she sees a glimpse of her own reflection.
Ringo soon stumbles upon her and very nearly gets mauled by an enraged Leda, only that something -- Ringo's face, the look in her eyes -- seems to stop the latter. In a gesture of sympathy, Ringo touches the ruined part of Leda's face and asks if it hurts. Looking at her, Leda is reminded of someone but before she could get the name out, Lyuze arrives. Lyuze does not recognize Leda at first but when she does, Leda is so horrified at being seen in that state that she flees. Later, Ringo says that Leda was crying.
At that very moment, Leda faces up to Luna, this time intent on exacting vengeance. Luna insults her by saying that she reeks of death and decay. Meanwhile, Casshern and Dio's battle comes to a close with Dio announcing that he has won this fight.
Leda keeps on advancing towards Luna even as the latter acts all helpless. However, the moment Leda lets her guard down, Luna grabs a sword and stabs her with it, her face settling into a serene smile. With the sword embedded in her chest, Leda says that all she wants is to live but Luna is merciless. At that moment, Casshern arrives, in time to stop Luna. He tells Leda that Dio asked him to protect her. When he says this, Leda realizes how the fight between the two ended.
After Leda goes away to find Dio, Casshern faces Luna once more and once again, Luna persuades him to stay by her side. But Casshern rejects her offer and tells her that she may give eternal life but those who receive it from her do not really live. He adds that the robots like Dio he met during his journey were more; they burn. Luna argues that if they live like that, then there will eventually come a time when they will burn themselves out. But Casshern says, in not so many words, that this is in fact the point of living. It is something that he finally understands during his fight with Dio.
With that, Casshern says goodbye to Luna. She tells him that she feels nothing. Casshern turns away then and finds himself met halfway by both Ringo and Lyuze. Leda discovers Dio's body and with tears of regret, she curls up next to him. Luna watches Casshern and his companions leave but even before the dust has settled she sees someone else coming. He introduces himself as Braiking Boss and declares that he wants to end ruin. Luna opens her arms in welcome.

Another beautiful episode from Casshern Sins. I can't really say much about the script since there were barely any exchanges made but the silences in between these lines were golden. Just the sort of muted drama that Casshern Sins stands for.

Also, we finally find out how ruin came to be: when Casshern killed Luna, he somehow inadvertently let the death inside Luna out into the world. In so doing, he freed himself and Luna from death but doomed the rest of the world to suffer it. How beautiful is that?

Another also, Leda and Dio...tragic couple much. I was liking them these past couple of episodes but it is only now, at their final moments, that I feel like I understand them more, ergo, feel crappier about their fate. And ohmygod, Luna is a bitch! She needs to die. Or get her soul back and soon.

Next episode is the finale. Already??? Granted, this series was dragging for the first half but it picked up somewhere around Episode 14 and now I can't believe we're heading up to the end already. I think maybe I was wrong when I said that there won't be a grand showdown for this series. I guess, it's gonna be Casshern and Braiking Boss in the end after all.