Casshan, Shinzo Ningen

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“Shinzo Ningen Kyashaan” (“Neo-Human Casshan”) was created by Tatsunoko Studios. It ran on TV in Japan from 1973 through ’74, and featured immortal character designs by a young Yoshitaka Amano, with many episodes directed by its storyboarder, the man who would be Gundam, Yoshiyuki Tomino. This character spawned innumerable imitators as well as an OVA in 1993, "Casshan: Robot Hunter", and a 2004 live-action movie remake; his most recent appearance was in the 2008 TV series “Casshern Sins”*, which vastly departs from its predecessors’ plotlines.

After a lightning strike, Dr. Kotaro Azuma’s android creation, BK-1, has come to life! With the machine’s primary command receiver destroyed by the electrical storm, it is no longer subordinate to the commands of mankind. Free to follow its own will, it rechristens itself Black King (sometimes transliterated Braiking) Boss; and builds a robot army to seize and liberate the planet from humanity. To combat Black King’s generals, Akubon, Barashin, and Sagure, and their advancing armies; Dr. Azuma’s own son, Tetsuya, is voluntarily transformed by his father into the hybrid, man-machine, Neo-Human Casshan! With the aid of his faithful pet dog, Lucky, reborn as the vehicle transforming dog robot, Frenda (or Frienda, Frender, Friender or Flender); and Tetsuya’s childhood friend Luna, the daughter of magnetic field weapons scientist Dr. Kozuki; he must fight to save humanity.

My favorite of the classic Tatsunoko hero shows. Casshan is very evocative in look and theme of the great Silver Age American action comics. An evergreen cartoon of classic heroes who sacrifice themselves in order to defeat maniacal villains!

*Though first appearing in the US as “Casshan” (and in Latin America as “Kyashan”, giant “C”, notwithstanding), since the 2004 live action movie, this character’s name has been retroactively re-Romanized to “Casshern” (“Harlock” as “Herlock”, also, btw). This is due to a sound substitution that happens when transferring Foreign words into Japanese. Japanese does not have all the sounds found in English. To compensate for these missing sounds, other sounds are used, such as replacing a final “r” sound with a held vowel. I can use my name as an example: “Christopher” becomes “Kurisutofaa” (クリストファー) . However, unlike my name, “Kyashaan” (キャシャーン) is not an English word or name. It’s the name of a Japanese Superhero with a giant “C” on his chest. With the older Romanization of “Casshan”, an average English speaker, just by looking at it, will pronounce it as “Ka-Shawn”, which sounds very close to “Kyashaan”. But, if translators are translating with their eyes instead of their ears, an interestingly unfortunate reversal of phonetics can occur. English speakers will have to look at “Casshern”, and just instinctively know how to pronounce it. Casshern: a more standard though less phonetically accurate transliteration of his name, or, an evil plot promoted by know-it-all-weeaboos to uncover and mock noobies who, reading as written, will say, “Cash-Earn” ?
You decide.

 Casshan 01

 Casshan 02

 Casshan 03

 Casshan 04
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Curator: guyvariii
Gallery Created: 1/21/2004

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