Casshan, also known as Casshern. This 1973 series is the original show that would later inspire an OVA, live action film, and anime series about the cyborg Casshern. The show, consisting of 35 episodes, comes hot off the heels of a long run with another Tatsunoko show, Gatchaman.
The show follows Tetsuya Azuma, son of Dr. Azuma, a leading researcher in robotics. One night, lighting strikes their home, messing with the memory of robot BK-1. Instead of serving humans, BK-1 decides humanity is evil and begins forming an army of other robots to wipe out humanity and rule the planet, changing his name to Braiking Boss. Tetsuya,s dog, Lucky, is killed by Braiking Boss, but is reborn as the robot dog Friender. Tatsuya decides he wants to fight the robot army Andro Force, and begs his father to turn him into an android. he is reborn as Casshern- not Casshan- and fights alongside his friend Luna to free the world of the robot menace.
I’ll address this now: the subtitles are a bit off with names. Casshern is called Casshan, and Friender is called Flender. Annoying, yes. The animation is average 70’s action anime. nothing too amazing, though some instances when stock animation is not used, stuff looks rather cool. The voice acting is not bad. Acting is not campy, though sometimes minor characters sound uninspired. The audio’s degraded along with the visuals over the years, and it’s been restored as much as possible. Music is alright. Nothing too memorable. The pacing is rather slow, with much of the epsidoes resorting to robot or gimmick of the week.
The show gets a 6/10. It’s a fun watch, but hard to marathon. If you can’t stand a lot of it, look up episode summaries to see which episodes are actually crucial to the overall story. Much of the final dozen episodes are really good and must be watched.
Sentai released the series subtitle-only on both DVD and Blu-ray. Because the cost difference was very minimal, I got the BD version. It should be rather easy to aquire.