Saturday, July 18, 2009

CANAAN Episodes 1 and 2

My reaction to watching CANAAN:

*Jaw drops and adrenaline rises*
"Why did I wait so long before watching this series!!!!????" ;___;

CANAAN is awesome. Watch it, if you haven't already. Then light some incense and candles in tribute to all of the people who contributed to this series. XD (I'm half-kidding about that last part. ^^;)

CANAAN is the latest series in the "girls with guns" subgenre, a subgenre known by savvy yuri fans for its highly slashable protagonists and frequent, teasing yuri subtext- and sometimes canon! ^^

CANAAN begins with one of my new favorite theme songs,

and the episode proper begins in Shanghai, with a silver-haired girl named Canaan lying in wait to shoot and kill a target, while a young woman in handcuffs, named Alphard (the one to the left in the pic above), exits a boat docked in the city.

A photographer named Maria is traveling with Minoru, the gossip journalist who she works with, to Shanghai via airplane to cover a festival there.

Meanwhile, a group of men who are wandering around Shanghai wearing mascot heads get intercepted when some random guy pulls off one of the heads, causing the guy wearing it to go berserk and jump into a river, which the city people take to be typical festival behavior...I guess. o_o;;

The (dead) guy has a mark that will be really important later on. (Nobody in anime ever has a mark like that just because. It's always due to gang activity/alchemy/disease/magic/scientific experimentation/what-have-you.)

When Maria and Minoru go to the festival at night they get separated, but Maria is having a fabulous time taking photos until she sees another mascot head-wearing guy get his mascot head removed and go berserk before dying on the ground. (Again, nobody notices, aside from Maria.)

Two men in masks show up to shoot Maria, but she gets saved by her uber-cool friend Canaan,

who stops to get Maria a stuffed animal (Awww! ^^) that has hole (bullet hole?) in the back for some reason. Canaan leaves Maria in a safe place (binding her thumbs together with the, ahem, red thread that began their friendship) and takes out the bad guys in a freaking awesome gunfight!! XD (Which the festival-goers still aren't perturbed by.)

Meanwhile, Alphard (the girl in handcuffs in the beginning), who seems to be the leader of a crime syndicate, is sitting in a convoy guarded by American soldiers, smiling hotly ominously.

In the next episode, Alphard escapes, aided by her creepy sister Liang Qi (Edit on 09/29: Yes!! They aren't related! ^.^) and a crony named Cummings.

We get some exposition on the virus that causes people to go berserk and die with blood spurting out of them. (Like the guys wearing the mascot heads.) Apparently, Maria once caught it in a bioterror attack on Shibuya, but survived because her father is the president of a pharmaceutical company and he developed a vaccine for her. But of course, she doesn't remember it due to a mild case of amnesia. Long story short, Maria gets attacked by two assassins (an old man and a kid) while eating at a restaurant with Minoru as he asks her about her relationship with Canaan.

They find a taxi driver who relishes driving like a maniac to get away from the assassins. :)

But when it seems like they're cornered, Canaan shows up and saves Maria (yay! ), leading the assassins away. (However, Maria does something incredibly stupid in this scene, when she shouts her hotel and room number so that Canaan can see her again while she's in town. It's not like the assassins might hear her, or anything... -_-;;)

Canaan and the older assassin finish their fight on top of a moving bus.

(I love the action sequences in this show! ^^ And note the purple mark on the assassin above...) The fight ends when the man jumps into some electrical power lines. Looking on, the surviving kid assassin mutters "Brother..." (Really? o_o;)

Maria and Minoru return to their hotel rooms, which have been broken into and slathered with a blood-red liquid. Maria is dismayed that the white stuffed cat Canaan gave her at the festival is stained red,

and she and Minoru get kicked out of the hotel and wander around town looking for another place to stay before they encounter...someone who I won't describe. I could never predict this episode's ending, I'll tell you that.

If you couldn't tell from the first two episodes that this series is absolutely worth watching, then...are you watching the same series I am? I love heart-tugging romantic dramas like Aoi Hana, but I also love watching some well-done, no-holds-barred bone-crunching action!! XD It's like yin and yang...or cookies and milk. They compliment each other for me. (Hence, part of the reason for my love of Mai Hime. Or my geeking out over the over-the-top power-ups in Sengoku Basara.)

If you want a slick action series that feels more "mature" than a lot of the anime series that air, check this series out! I have 3 completely subjective LFG reasons for watching this show:

  • The actions scenes rock. (Aided by some seriously slick visuals and a perfectly fitting soundtrack. )
  • Canaan and Maria are very cute together, with enough subtext to keep a yuri fan interested. (The recurring red thread imagery, Maria's internal monologue about Canaan's "radiance" in episode 1, and Canaan's incessant devotion to protecting Maria- feel free to read into it as much as you like.)
  • Alphard is a great villain. I want to see more of her and less of the kid. (And this series is chock full of other cool, interesting characters, with or without guns.)
Story: B+
Art: A (Great character designs, great action scenes, eye candy backgrounds.)
Overall: B+

CANAAN is set to air for 13 episodes. Why are my two favorite series this season so short? (Aoi Hana will only have 11 episodes...)

An Overall Run-down of the Summer 2009 Yuri Season:
Aoi Hana brings the heart-achingly sweet, realistic romance, Saki brings the hilariously over-the-top subtext, shounen tournament-style, and Canaan barges in with yuri-ish women with guns. My anime season is complete! :D (There's also Kanamemo's yuri couple, for those who are more bulletproof than I, the Taisho Yakkyuu Musume Taisho-era baseball anime, which I hear has a large and slashable cast, and a faint glimmer of subtext for some in Umi Monogatari.)


Anonymous said...

YAY!! Another Canaan fan! I love the show too for the same reasons!! But trust me, my eyes are still glued to Aoi Hana at the same time!! hehehehe

Katherine said...

@ Sleepy (yasashiisekai)- Yeah, between Aoi Hana and Canaan, this feels like a fantastic season!! ^_^ *crosses fingers for more Maria x Canaan*

Anonymous said...

Look's interesting, thanks for the info!

This is going to sound random, but the old guy with knives reminded me of a scene from JoJo Bizarre Adventure.

Katherine said...

@ Anonymous- You're welcome. ^^ I haven't seen/read JBA, but it looks pretty intriguing. :)

Anonymous said...

You have to go watch episode 3 of Canaan if you haven't already!!!! VERY VERY SQUEAL worthy!!

Katherine said...

@ Sleepy (yasashiisekai)- I've just finished watching episode 3! *squeals* ^^ It's the most yuri-riffic episode yet!! First Canaan and Maria's "date", and then...that ending!! I need episode 4 now!