Released Year : July 4, 2009 to September 26, 2009
No of Episodes : 13
Genre : Action,Seinen
Plot : Oosawa Maria is a Japanese photographer currently working in Shanghai, China. Along with her partner Mino, she searches for potential newsworthy stories throughout the city. When strange events occur at a local festival, Maria and Mino immediately investigate. Quickly, the two are immersed in a battle between unknown masked men and a strange, white-haired woman. Just when Maria is about to be caught in the crossfire, an old friend by the name of Canaan appears and helps Maria escape. But a sinister plot over a deadly virus soon develops, and Canaan learns she must confront her past if she wants any chance at stopping the perpetrator and saving her friends. [Written by MAL Rewrite]
Our Review : To tell you the truth, I had no interest in CANAAN at all. That all changed when at a local con, they decided to show CANAAN's Opening. Solely from that, my interest in it grew and with it, I set out to find the promised land, CANAAN.
Now let me begin with the story. First of all, it is by no means badly paced. No doubt, it was written in the anime description itself that anime was about all walks of life pulled together by a global conspiracy. A conspiracy in which only start to come together as the story progresses. You'll not figure out everything from the start and by the end, most if not all your questions will be answered. For some it may start off slow, but to tell you the truth, starting up like a Hong Kong action movie (set in Shanghai) is anything but slow. The progression as the action ramps up and the mysteries answered is just perfect, leaving me quite satisfied with the ending. However, they did slip up a bit. The transition is jarring by segregating the last mini arc with Alphard before the conclusion but after the mystery was solved.
What better way to accompany the story than with well-drawn art? To say that it is well drawn is one thing, but most, if not everything, is recreated in great detail. Even with the more intense action scenes, the quality stays well within the boundaries, never dropping too far below the quality of say, more static talking scenes. I'm a minor gun nut as well so I must laud the military equipment on display. Not just objects but characters too. Liang Qi never would have seemed that 'troubled' without the appropriate art to render her neuroses. There are points however, where the animation or the art could be better but that would just be nitpicking now. I would say that overall, it is a solid showing.
The sound on the other hand is not as spectacular. Sure the adrenaline rush inducing opening was indeed quite a treat, but that's just my bias towards rock music. Conversely, it could be said that the ending is merely okay, but again, that is just musical bias. The background music doesn't stand out particularly, it only acts up subtly and even then you have to actually pay attention to it if you really want to listen. But really, that's not the point of background music anyway. It keeps our attention firmly placed on the action, where its supposed to be. There is also the voice acting, which, were it horrible I would comment more on it. I don't follow any voice actors in particular and I find no fault in their delivery, so I'll have to say your mileage may vary. Sound effects aren't extravagant either. They seem realistic sounding enough to convince me they could be real. Not that I'll be comparing the sound of gun fire to actual real guns. Nope, not at all.
Now we get to the characters. Though it may be usual, the characterisation really shines for the big shots. Canaan's maturation, mentally, is well done, seeing her having to face the consequences of her actions whilst she was more naive. Or Maria's insecurities and little wishes, which by the end she seems to have come to terms with. Or Alphard, in the end, trying to banishing the ghosts of the past. Those who tag along for the ride as well are not given the cold shoulder, being treated with realistic conflicts and their ultimate resolution. Whether it is Cummings' impossible love, Santana's guilt, Yun Yun's personality or Natsume's secrets. Which is sort of a shame that some of the minor characters are still quite one sided, but I guess that's more an issue of not having enough screen time or a deliberate choice to have us focus on the main characters.
Enjoyment, well, its hard to say I didn't enjoy this Hong Kong action anime (set in Shanghai). The fight scenes particularly touching me the most, awing me time after time with the fluid animation and choreography. That's the main highlight from me. That is not to say I can't enjoy CANAAN as a whole though. The plot in the end made sense, the characters made sense, and even some things may have made less sense than others, it doesn't detract from the enjoyment at all. In my book, this is what I call a well rounded anime, probably one of the best to watch this season. So to those still on the fence, I heartily recommend you to join me in the promised land, Canaan.