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Canaan Review

posted May 21, 2013, 3:41 PM by Golden Knight   [ updated May 21, 2013, 3:57 PM ]


Posted in Television 

By Alex Sy 


 Canaan is an anime television series conceptualized by Type-Moon co-founders Kinoko Nasu, and Takashi Takeuchi. The was animated by P.A. Works. The television series was inspired by a scenario from the visual graphic novel 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de. Canaan spans thirteen episodes each being twenty-five minutes long.

The story centers around the title character, Canaan, who is a female mercenary stationed in Shanghai, China. The story also includes her friend Maria Ōsawa, whom she had previously met. Maria is visiting Shanghai to report the anti-terrorist convention with her friend Minoru “Mino” Minorikawa. During her free time at a festival, Maria is attacked by a group of gunman but is rescued, in heroic fashion, by Canaan. Their reunion sparks the story of the series which leads to the question of why she was attacked. They later realize that the altercation was a terrorist attack to infect people with the Ua Virus and it was up to them to stop the plan orchestrated by the terrorist organization, Snake.

Canaan was produced in 2009. The animation was fluid, concentrated, and enjoyable to watch. The actions scenes never skipped a detailed motion. The battle scenes are also impressively angled and choreographed. The music seems slightly above average but fits the story and played at the correct time. The timing of the music makes the fight scenes more and more eye-catching. The things that very few anime series fail to look at are the dubbed translations. Canaan features dialogue that actually makes sense. The character statements aren’t awkward or unusual, in fact, characters give the impression like they actually are from America. It should be said, however, that some statements aren’t as impressive as the previous. The story of Canaan feels uninteresting initially and at times feels confusing but the creators helps clarify with nice flashbacks that adds another dynamic to the story. However, the idea of Canaan still feels a little uninteresting. It just doesn’t pop out like an interesting topic to be interested about. Even so, it still finds a way to keep you watching.

 The characters of Canaan are abundant in personality and are lovable from start to finish. Canaan is a white-haired, female mercenary who was trained since childhood. She displays physical prowess, as well as combat intuition. Canaan also has the ability of a special kind of synaesthesia which allows her to spot people’s inner feelings by color whether it be fear (green), murderous (blue), or even hunger (grey). The activation of synaesthesia is characterized by powerful red eyes. And red eyes never looked so cool on a protagonist. This helps in identifying enemy combatants. What I also liked was the fact that Canaan was of Arab decent. It’s unique, original, and a fresh-taste instead of the usual and norm. Canaan’s friend, Maria, is an enthusiastic girl who finds a way to make you like her and hate her at the same time. Maria has so much life that it gets on your nerves but her happiness and gullibility find a way to like the character. Her innocence greatly contributes to why she makes such an interesting character. Characters like Mino, Hakko, and Santana provided scenes, funny or emotional, that make the series even more likable then it already is. Even antagonist like Alphard, a female assassin and leader of the terrorist group, Snake, find a way to impress. Alphard is just a unique character to watch. But my favorite character, Yunyun, provides the comedic part of the show. Yunyun is the main source for comic relief in the show and she is definitely the one character to pay attention too. She holds numerous part-time jobs in Shanghai and resolves in “semi-orthodox” methods of attracting customers. That “semi-orthodox” statement probably means you should watch the series if your not already interested.

 The cons about this series are minimal but annoying to have. The biggest con is the character Liang Qi who finds a way to ruin not only segments of the show, but a whole episode. Her demands for “love” get repetitive and annoying. Her slow drive to madness gets harder and harder to watch. Her insanity is dedicated to Episode 11. I highly recommend that if you watch this series and enjoy it, that you, at the most, don’t watch and, at the least, skim past episode 11 if you want to keep your ideal feelings about this series intact. Episode 11 starts off weird and it eventually becomes disturbing. Beware Episode 11. Another con is the somewhat repetitive and unrealistic dialogue that drags on excessively. At first it’s really compassionate but it gets somewhat annoying to watch. I really didn’t like the plot-holes in the show as well. There were many instances where I wonder, “How did that happen?”, “How does that happen?”, and “Why does that happen?” And as good as the flashbacks are, we never really get a sense of who Siam, trainer and mentor of Canaan, really is. A very small con, probably not noticeable, is the decline in quality. The decline is minuscule but at a span of 13 episodes, it really should be unnoticeable. I saw animation not as good as the previous. Dialogue never really seemed as good as it was before, and the story declines in interest toward the final three episodes. Actions scenes were not as spectacular as the ones before. Other than that its still a very good series to watch.  In review, Canaan is nicely, impressively, and amazingly animated. What would have initially become a boring idea was made into an interesting story. If you can get past the weird and disturbing parts, which is very difficult to do, then you will enjoy this anime series. For a mature and violent show, it gets somewhat childish in a equally good and bad way. Even though we never really get a full understanding of synaesthesia, I’m confident that many of us would conclude it to be awesome. Canaan offers a funny, suspenseful, action-packed, creative, original , to an extent, emotional and romantic, and entertaining animated series that keeps you at the edge of your seat. It’s flaws hold it back though, as many of the cons keep you at the back of your seat. Still, Canaan upbringing impresses me and a loyal fan-base. I hope they come out with a second season, the series is set up for one. B+