For me, one of the big surprises of the season is that the token 70's remake is so miserable and bleak. As it isn't available in English, I've never watched the original Casshern series, and I skipped the live-action movie altogether. But here's the opening of the TV series. I mean, sure, a guy puts his brain into a robot body, but he seems like he's doing pretty alright knocking the heads off bad-guy robots. Certainly not, in any case, suffering from crushing guilt and depression at all times.
Well, in Casshern Sins, something seems to have happened. At the start of the show, neither we nor Casshern know what exactly that thing was: just that the world lies in post-apocalyptic ruin, and everybody seems to be in agreement that it's all Casshern's fault. On top of that, every robot but Casshern is in an irreversible state of decay: in a likely parallel to the African urban legends about curing AIDS (I will spare you the details), there's a rumor going around that if you eat Casshern, you'll be granted robot immortality. The robots that come after Casshern know it's an insane idea, but they're desperate beyond reason.
This is a running theme: everybody Casshern meets is either desperate to live or praying for death. Casshern himself is a brooding wreck played by Tohru Furuya, who's your go-to man for a "conflicted hero" voice. As he's an apparent amnesiac, he's forgotten absolutely everything about humans, robots, and living: about all he's hung on to is his guilt. Casshern's prone to being taken over by murderous rages when he's cornered: graceful, agile, but brutal in a way that makes the character feel like less a superhero than a simple killer. From Casshern's doomed acquaintances to the oppressively bleak atmosphere to the deep, dark colors, there's really nothing about this show that isn't a total bummer. The catchy, lightly melancholic theme song by Color Bottle is about as high as the mood ever gets. The episode titles are things like "The World Is Filled With The Cries of Death". The execution is great, even if the budget is shoestring, but God, the show makes you feel like shit every week.