In our Judo Boy review we told you about its creator: Tatsuo Yoshida. Despite the success of the judoka’s adventures, we are convinced that Yoshida’s most famous work is Kyashan – The android boy. Tetsuya, son of the scientist Azuma, he undergoes a body modification to become a super android to deal with Bryking, a replicant created by Azuma to cleanse the Earth of pollution, but who has rebelled against mankind and now wants to subdue it with an army of machines. The only hope, therefore, is the young Tetsuya, who after the transformation took the name of Kyashan. Kyashan – The android boy was a cult of the 70s, but he arrived in Italy only in 1980 on local television stations.
It is currently possible to retrieve it streaming on Amazon Prime Video, along with Kyashan sins, a 2008 reboot born from the collaboration between the Tatsunoko studio (founded by Tatsuo Yoshida) and Madhouse. The series debuted in Italy in 2019 on the Sky Man-Ga channel with Italian dubbing, distributed by Yamato Video. Before starting our analysis, we invite all those who have seen the original product to temporarily put it aside, because Kyashan Sins is a completely different story.
The last hope
Can one individual be both the end of the world and its salvation?
The Earth as we already know it was collapsing when robots got rid of humans and Bryking took control of the world: the planet was now populated only by immortal beings. Yet even that life was destined to end at the android’s hand Kyashan: after he has killed Luna, the one who could have been a new hope for the planet, automata and mankind, spread the deterioration, an evil that has hit robots causing them to rust until they go out completely. For the first time, the immortals understood the meaning of life and death. After the disease has spread, Kyashan ha perso la memoria, remembering only his name, because it is constantly repeated by the machines that try to kill him: in fact, the rumor has spread that the only cure for deterioration is to devour Kyashan. Now the boy wanders alone in a desolate world where the few mechanical survivors struggle every day to survive, looking for answers that will help him understand who Luna is and why he killed her. Little by little he realizes that he is different from his peers, he feels neither human nor cyborg and that he possesses the ability to regenerate: perhaps this is why it could be the cure for deterioration.
During his journey to find an answer to his questions, Kyashan meets both humans, at least those few still alive, and his fellows, who have accepted the idea of dying or who have not yet done so but who still hope for a world. best.
Some of the people met return frequently to the scene like Lyuze who wants to kill Kyashan to avenge his sister who died of deterioration, and the little one Ringo, who always travels in the company of Oji and that she has a deep admiration for the boy. In one of the stops, our also runs into the dog Flender (this time he does not transform into any vehicle), a faithful hound who helps him in the most difficult moments. Everyone will help the android boy understand who he really is, accept his pain and try to make amends for his sins.
After the introductory episodes that allow us to become familiar with the universe set up by the authors, a not very evocative story unfolds; but the desire to find out what exactly happened between Kyashan and Luna, encouraged by the presence of short fragments of their meeting at the beginning of some episodes, manages to stimulate curiosity just enough to continue the vision in order to have a complete picture of the events behind Kyashan Sins.
At a first approach, one gets the feeling that Kyashan Sins does not have an actual narrative development, but this emerges after the first episodes, with two key events: the introduction of the antagonist Gave, Kyashan’s companion involved in Luna’s murder, and hope that salvation for robots and for mankind is still alive. In the long run the first problems of the warp emerge, which develops slowly and turns out to be unclear in some situations, not answering all the questions and with an ending that is a simple fan service for those who have appreciated the original series; on the other hand, the story boasts some interesting twists. Yet we are convinced that a more linear plot and with a tighter writing would have been a significant added value for what the authors have managed to achieve with Kyashan Sins: a long and troubled story of atonement. Even if the preliminary stages do not present an intriguing plot, they allow us to gradually get to know the protagonist, the secondary roles and the various surrounding characters that somehow have a strong impact on the growth of the android. Kyashan is worn out with guilt for having brought the world to ruin and for not remembering why he killed the only hope of salvation: he would be willing to make amends for his mistakes, even sacrificing his own life. Unfortunately, he is unable to die and when he is at the end of his life he becomes a machine that eliminates anyone close to him.
This uncontrollable state causes him further torment, because he feels like a bringer of death. Following the memory loss, Kyashan loses his true self and begins to have human feelings, finding himself forced to live with the consequences of his actions. The journey that Kyashan undertakes among the wastelands of the Earth becomes an experience of redemption and inner growth, which leads him to find himself and the reason for his very existence.
We have noticed, however, that the moods of the hero are not well studied, as they have not been able to transmit that emotional impact that would have helped us to perceive his inner wear. Certainly, a fundamental role in the evolution of the cyborg is played by the numerous characters he meets on his path, which help him open his eyes to the world as it once was and to the future that lies ahead. What certainly fascinated us was seeing automata endowed with human emotions.
When the machines realized that they were no longer immortal, they became aware of themselves and began to experience for the first time feelings such as fear for the awareness of having to die, hatred towards our own that condemned them to a slow and inexorable death, and even love for others like you to spend the last moments with.
Perhaps it is precisely for this reason that the humans encountered are very few, so as to make the concept of cyborg able to have a soul even more marked. Giving emotions to those who shouldn’t have them makes the individual extras well characterized and able to leave a strong impact in Kyashan’s path of redemption, even in cases where they appear only in one episode: like that of Lizbell who doesn’t want to die without doing nothing and wants to build a bell just to make it the world a better place. In the face of this, we believe that it would have been better if the series had not shown a horizontal plot, to focus more on the slow path of salvation of the boy with the help of the various people he meets: in fact, when it takes shape little by little the story, the supporting roles decrease drastically, to give more space to the other supporting actors, who are not less outlined than the protagonist.
Like Lyuze who initially wants to kill Kyashan to avenge her sister’s death, but then realizes that he is no longer the same individual who condemned the planet. The antagonists are not secondary to the rest of the cast, even if their ideals could be trivial: for example, God is envious of the fame that Kyashan has obtained for what he has done and this has led him to lose his mind, so much so that want to kill him. His desire to eliminate his former partner prompted him to follow in Bryking’s footsteps and found a new kingdom dominated by robots.
Kyashan Sins’ artistic sector is fascinating, with a deliberately pale photograph and a long-limbed and at times stylized drawing, with well-kept close-ups, but which in too many situations shows the side of some unpleasant errors. The stroke is well suited to the character design of the automata which is both original and inspired by that of the series of the 70s.
Instead, the design of the main actors is very simple, with the exception of that of the hero which may initially be out of place, but which approaches well to that of other performers such as God and Moon; the latter is very similar to its original counterpart.
We would like to focus, however, on the character design of Kyashan which is an alternative version of that of the main title, giving the hero a more youthful and less muscular, but leaner and more athletic appearance. This also reflects the performance of the fights that do not want to be impressive, but based more on the speed of the contenders, still being appreciable, net of some unclear sequences.
In conclusion, we can say that on the whole the stretch is clean and pleasant to the eye, especially in the rendering of landscape views in which the bright shades that dominate “color” to a now gray and desolate planet.