Two reporters, Maria and Minoru; arrive in Shanghai to cover an upcoming anti-terrorist summit. While taking in the local festivities, they stumble upon the workings of terrorist group Snake, but also establish relations with a mercenary named Canaan. Canaan is a survivor of a virus which normally kills people, but instead gifted her with the ability of synethesia. Canaan and Maria are good friends, but struggle to close the distance between them as their worlds are so different. As Snake continues to unfold it's plan of unleashing a biological weapon upon the world, the two will have their friendship tested, but also may the catalyst in bridging the gap between them that they needed all along.
Canaan is the kind of title I wanted to grab me, but never really did. It's difficult for me to nail down why this title left me so indifferent, but I think much of this comes down to a story that doesn't get much done, and characters which are fairly weak. This isn't obvious by the beginning, and I only really realized it at the end. I wouldn't say Canaan is bad. It's reminiscent of a Hollywood blockbuster that quickly fades from memory.
Starting with the problems, there is nothing striking about the characters. Canaan is the focus point, but a very flat character. Her friend Maria is a journalist who's ever bubbly and positive, despite having a crisis every other episode. The friendship between these two is a good idea, but where it goes, and how it ties into the story is pretty... dumb. The other "good guys" fair much better. In particular I liked the woman who can't talk and her partner who runs a bar. The relationship between these two is never really clear up until they part ways - and that turned out to be sad, touching, and VERY weird.
Canaan's adversaries take a turn for the worse with the characters. Alphard is bent on destroying Canaan, continuously messes with her, but always lets her live. Worse still is Alfard's sister. She's obsessed with Alfard loving her, and becomes more and more erratic until she transforms into one of those unrealistic insane villains that is painful to watch.
So what about the plot? Taken in small quantities, some of it isn't bad, but the overall plot is a mess and doesn't accomplish much of anything. Most of it revolves around terrorist organization Snake working with the CIA (in China mind you) to harness the power of a super virus which normally kills people, to instead bestow special powers upon them. The more I think about it, the more I'd have to describe how little sense it makes - which would make this one long ass review, so I'll sum it up with: Little is explained, so ignore the details and think of it as "stuff happens". That aside, there is also the rivalry between Canaan and Alfard that also turns out to be them fighting over a bunch of nothing.
While it seems like I'm very down on Canaan, this isn't so different from the average blockbuster movie. Canaan also has those strengths as well though. Character designs are clean and very attractive. At no point does this anime ever give the impression of cutting corners. The stand out feature I would probably go to the action sequences. Canaan isn't a title overflowing with action, but it does have a fair amount of it, and when there is action, it's often spectacular. While the story and characters may be lacking, I'd honestly say the designs and action sequences alone may make this worth watching if you're alright with that.
Indifference is the key term for this one. It's an attractive show, but the story and characters could have improved a lot with a little more thought put into them. I'm not sure I'd label Canaan as fluff, but you'll need to be looking for those kind of attributes to appreciate this one: mainly on merits of action.
Siam: Fighting hatred with hatred has no advantages in the battlefield. You won't be saved unless you fight hatred with duty. Hatred produces nothing but hatred.
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reviewed by archen in 2011