New Anime Season Summer 2009: CANAAN

August 26th, 2009

TYPE-MOON and I are not mortal enemies or anything.

It’s not like I hate their work, nor do I seek it out. I read Gunslinger Girl when I was reading Dengeki Daioh, but was never really grabbed by it. Nor was Fate/Stay Night created for me. I’m not a gamer at all and the anime was based on a visual novel I will never play/read. (And I do want to point out to the commenters who were annoyed that I called this a *game* that I did say I had NEVER played or looked at it. VNs are still pretty much considered “games” not “literature.” Until I can take a VN out at the library – it’s a game.) They aren’t staying up night worrying what I think and I’m not staying up nights thinking about them. :-)

But as you know, I *do* like hypercompetent women with guns, so when I heard about CANAAN, it immediately went onto my “to-watch” list. And I have not been disappointed at all.

In short, CANAAN is a live action series done as an anime.

War has carved a swath of destruction through multiple lives in this series. Loss of lives, of self, of their past, of their future, friends, family, whole villages have been destroyed. At the center of the battle is a virulent virus, and two women with inhuman skills that share a name… Canaan.

The linchpin of this series is a Japanese photographer, Maria, who has ties to a major pharmaceutical firm and to Canaan, the preternaturally gifted assassin whose sole goal appears to be to be a thorn in the side of the terrorist group known as the Snakes. This puts Canaan – and Maria – in the way of the Snakes’ leader, the equally dangerous woman now known as Alphard.

This series is built around the action. There are gun fights and chase scenes and explosions and that mysterious virus that causes people to mutate – always a favorite – and any old reason the writers can find for having Canaan leap off of things onto other things.

The Yuri is mostly for Yuri goggle wearers. Canaan and Maria are friends and instantly we can see where the doujinshi went with them this past summer Comiket. It’s not that much of a challenge though, so, there’s always the sexual tension between Alphard and Canaan, mostly because they are two powerful women-with-guns in the same frame. As you know, that must mean sex. Still not challenging though, so I’m betting that Liang Qi, Alphard’s incestuously inclined sister raped Maria in at least three of the best selling Canaan parody doujinshi at Natsu-Komi. Back in what passes for reality, this is a totally nioi-kei series.

I can’t really compare this to other TYPE MOON animation, I’m just not that familiar with their body of work. But, taken on it’s own, it’s a fun action anime, with a slight Yuri scent and a nice chunky government-military conspiracy. The voice actors and actresses are top notch and I’m really enjoying the heck out of it.


Art – 7
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – 1
Service – 4

Overall – 8

It’s also refreshingly not moe, with more adults characters than I’m used to these days. I approve!

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16 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Kickass women are always nice, especially when they carry guns. I wasn’t expecting this show to be Yuri in any way (TYPE-MOON are involved after all), but I was surprised to see there was even something to take out my Yuri Googles for. I suspect the staff is having fun with the Yuri undertones – just some quick remarks here and there. I know they don’t mean a thing, but I find them funny anyway. (For example, many people noticed Maria at one point uses the same metaphor with the moon and the sun that was mentioned in Kannazuki no Miko.)
    In any case, it’s nice to see a TYPE-MOON girl who isn’t paired up with the wimpy male character for a change.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure I’d call Fate/Stay Night a “game,” as it’s structured like any ordinary visual novel (walls of clicking text with a few decision points). It’s a lot like Tsukihime in that it has some pretty great moments, a lot of blood and gore, and a few wildly unnecessary sex scenes.

  3. Katherine says:

    Whoohoo!! XD I love this series, so I’m glad it got a good review!! (Although I’m not at all surprised. :) ) I’m all for Canaan x Maria (especially after the nighttime scene in episode 8), and I just enjoy watching Alphard. :D But the overall show is a blast to watch.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Definitely a kick-ass series by far and not since the days of Noir/Madlax but with a touch more realism since Canaan actually gets hurt and bested by Alphard.
    And the star gazing scene with a reference to KnM.
    Glad you’re blogging this series.

  5. BruceMcF says:

    Ooh, tres kewle, I love action anime with a strong helping of government-military conspiracy.

    How is Type-Moon’s strike rate for getting picked up and subbed?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well, Canaan and Maria are friends. Maybe if they had a night-scene together, where Maria asks Canaan, blushing, to stay at her side forever, I could understand why people think Yuri.

    But since there totally is no such scene, the Yuri is only for google wearers.

    Wait. There was such a scene. Considerng that this scene was even picked up by those hating Yuri, I think googles aren’t required.

  7. rika says:

    i don’t think it’s right to call Fate a game; visual novel is a medium itself, and IMO countinous clicking to turn the page can’t be called playig a game. ^^;
    i mean, you don’t really play it, you read it; there’s a reason to why it’s called visual novel. XD

    i’m not a gamer person myself but i love VNs, so just felt like ranting ^^;

  8. Motormind says:

    “Qiang Li”

    I think you mean Lian Qi.

    Anywhere, there is one scene in which Maria utters lines toward Canaan which could easily be construed as a declaration of love–and then there’s that almost-kiss between Alphard and Canaan in another. But that’s about all the Yuri we get.

    I also don’t think Lian Qi and Alphard are actually related. I do think though that Yunyun is just too cute.

  9. bec says:

    i don’t think anyone read the part where erica said she doesn’t give a rat’s ass on who doesn’t consider visual novels games. If they’re “played” on a console, it’s a frickin game. There are rules and different outcomes, it’s a frickin game.
    Anyway, been watching canaan lately also and need Yuri goggles, so far only seeing maria and canaan as besties and alphard and canaan as mortal enemies. That scene wasn’t a near kiss, alphard was just making her extremely uncomfortable and goading her. But hell if it ever happens which it probably won’t (unless they become strange bed-fellows like madlax and limelda) i will certainly die of nosebleed.

  10. @bec – I think of VNs as the screen equivalent of “choose your own adventure” novels of the 80s – the stories of a game, without the game. And also as “powerpoint slides with text that you have to click through, instead of reading the 20 pages of text that comprise them, much more quickly.” :-)

  11. bec says:

    The choose your own adventure books were great. I had mario versions of them too, which kinda felt like a game cuz you had to choose which pipes to go through etcetc. I guess they are the equivalent to VN’s :) because the VN’s are to be played with controls and that kinda crap i think they’re games anyway.. About to start the utena VN, so excited. But i digress! Canaan = awesome thus far.

  12. Judy Justice says:

    Come on Erica… Yuri: 1 ????

    Seriously, having just one ep left to watch, I’ll say it’s a 8.

    Hints >> (beware of spoilers)

    – They flirt in ep 4 I think when Canaan says Maria is “Sugoi Bijin”

    – They hold hands *all* the time

    – There are obsessed with each other

    – Maria smells so nice in Canaan’s opinion (ep 12)

    – And overall this whole “you’re my light / I’m your light” thing

    Not Yuri huh? I’ll concede this is the type of Yuri that we used to get a lot before Kannazuki no miko blown up the undertones…

    But still I think I like this better.

    The only missing thing for me is the blushing. I would have loved some blushing… Nya =^_^=

  13. @Judy Justice – It’s not really fair to compare your opinion at the next to last episode to my opinion after the first few episodes. Yes, the Yuri is *much* higher now. Look at the date on the review – it’s a month ago. in the last few episodes, TM significantly upped the Yuri. for the first four episodes or so, it wasn’t that high – and that was what I was reviewing.

    If I were to do an end of season review (and I might do one) the Yuri score would be higher.

  14. Judy Justice says:

    Yeah I know I wasn’t being fair… ^_-

    I just thought I’d come in for an early update so people don’t miss it.

    And I can’t wait for your end of season review. If you do it, that’s it.

    Seriously, apart for the opening which gets on my nerves (so video game type), Canaan is the kind of anime that keeps me watching animes.

    take care

  15. @Judy Justice – BTW, it’s great to see you commenting here. :-)

    Yes, I agree. It’s a gripping storyline and I’m really enjoying it.

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