Real Name: Tetsuya Higashi
Occupation: Robot fighter
Affiliations: Luna Kazuki (girlfriend), Friender (robot dog)
Enemies: Black King, Neoroids
Known Relatives: Kotaro Higashi (father), Swanee (mother)
Base of Operations: Unspecified place on Earth in the future, date unknown
First Appearance: Jinzo Ningen Casshan (Android Casshan, anime series 1973)
Powers/Abilities: I don't know what superpowers Casshan had. Friender could transform into a variety of vehicles to transport him.
History: Sometime in the future mankind began to use robots to work for them and protect the environment. Kotaro Higashi was one of the scientists who worked on these robots, until one day one of his creations, the BK-1 android, broke its programming against harming humans after being struck by lightning. It decided the best way to protect the Earth was to eliminate the humans who were damaging it.
Renaming itself the Black King, it led an army of robots, dubbed Neoroids, against their former masters. They captured most of mankind, and placed them in concentration camps, to work for their new owners or die. The machines attacked Kotaro's home town, mortally wounding the scientist's son, Tatsuya. Guilt ridden, Kotaro carried out surgery on his child, turning him into a cyborg, Casshan, able to fight the robots on their own terms. Aided by his shapeshifting robot dog, Friender, Casshan became the nemesis of the Black King.
Tetsuya's angst over the loss of his humanity was only made worse when his dead mother was turned into an electronic being, Swanee, designed to deliver messages to him, and then worse still when his father was absorbed into a super robot that Casshan was forced to fight. In spite of these terrible losses, he eventually prevailed, destroying the Black King. Totsuya's spirit then left his cybernetic form, and went to join his parents in death.
Comments: Casshan first appeared in 1973 in an anime series produced by Tatsunoko. It lasted for 35 episodes. Later, in 1993, the series was revived for four OVA episodes as "New Android Casshan", which served as a continuation of the former show. Casshan re-appeared in the live-action movie "Casshern" in 2004. The movie "updated" and "improved" many aspects of the original, but is recognisably Casshan, much to the chagrin of many original fans.
Images on this page courtesy of Anime Cel.Com. Used with their kind permission.
Thanks to Kelvin Green for information about the live-action movie.
CLARIFICATIONS: Not to be confused with
Magnus, another Robot Fighter
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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