Volume 2 of the Light Novels based on the anime CANAAN is, like the first volume, an exact rendition of the anime to text form. Where that worked well for the first volume, the emphasis on action scenes – specifically one-on-one confrontations – made for some really slow reading in this volume.
It’s not that the author is bad, it’s just that the action scenes are literally descriptions of the action portrayed in the anime. So literal that, after a while, it begins to feel like one is reading an RPG which, if you think about it, you kinda are. ^_^
So, after 350+ pages of “Person A does a thing. Then Person B does a thing. ‘Blah, blah,” Person A said,” I found myself replaying the scenes from the anime in my head to remember the energy and passion contained within them. Painful or awkward scenes were especially slow. Hakko’s final hours and Liang Qi’s fate were rather more excruciating than they were in the anime. To be fair, this is probably because it took *me* so long to make my way through them, and not any particular fault of the scenes themselves.
The few good Yuri scenes we had in the anime remained good in the novel. The night before they enter the destroyed village on the Silk Road, in which Canaan and Maria realize just how much they mean to each other, was quite wonderful. And, in the same way, the moment when Canaan sort of belies that by naming their relationship “friends” is just as disappointing to us. However, I’m more convinced than ever that it was not the death knell for Yuri, but the beginning of Maria and Canaan being able to see each other as equals and from that…who knows. It still seems to me that what they had was far more intimate (in an emotional sense) than a friendship.
At the beginning of the series, Canaan is more like Superdog than anything else. Super-powered, cute, a little alien, a little exotic, a lot “what do you do with this?” Maria is naive and helpless. They have to move past those things to be people who can look each other in the eyes squarely. Now, as the story comes to a close, I can see the two of them learning to love one another in a not-childish way.
But, the pages of the story do come to a close and so must this review.
Art – 8
Story – 8
Characters – 8
Yuri – In my hopeful delusion, I’m going to say 6
Series – 4
Overall – 8
As with the first volume, if you very much enjoyed the anime and wish to level up your reading skills (there is a lot of scientific and military terminology, as well as just adults having adult conversations) you will probably enjoy CANAAN.