Canaan: Complete Series Episodes 1 - 13† DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 8.5
Video 10
Audio 7.0
Special Features 1.0
Audio 8.0
Distributor: Siren Visual
Running Time: 310
Classification:
 MA15+
Reviewer:
Simon Black

8.0


Canaan: Complete Series Episodes 1 - 13
 

On the eve of an anti-terrorism summit in Shanghai, the lives of three distinctly different young women begin to intersect, with deadly and far-reaching consequences. 

Canaan is a Middle Eastern mercenary; beautiful, dangerous and handy with a sniper rifle.  Her equally leggy nemesis, Alphard, is also a skilled assassin and head of a terrorist organisation called The Snakes.  Completing the trio of female leads is Maria Osawa, an impossibly cheerful reporter who has been sent to China to cover the upcoming anti-terrorism conference. 

Mariaís seemingly vapid countenance hides a desperately dark past, however.  The survivor of a bio-terrorism incident in which she was kidnapped and forcibly infected with the decidedly unpleasant UA virus, Maria was saved just in the nick of time by her scientist father and a hefty dose of an  experimental antivirus vaccine.  Spurned on by this and similar nefarious incidents, the Snakes have decided that the Shanghai summit is the perfect opportunity to infect the local populace, and eventually the rest of humanity, with the lethal UA organism, possibly exacting a little revenge in the process. 

Expertly directed by Masahiro Ando (Full Metal Alchemist, Sword of the Stranger) and animated by P.A. Works, the outfit responsible for Angel Beats! and True Tears, Canaan, as with most of Sirenís anime releases, proves an intense, visceral and eminently worthwhile viewing experience.  Handsomely housed in the usual collectorís slipcase packaging, with a double-sided slick and picture discs, this unrelentingly fast-paced offering proves another well chosen and stunningly presented import. 

A clever pastiche of 1950s noir and 1980s shoot-em-ups, with plenty of Hitchcockian plot twists thrown in for good measure, Canaan is complex without being unnecessarily convoluted, tightly scripted and engrossing yet wary of resorting to melodrama.  Itís one of the more accomplished animated efforts to hit Australian shores of late, with enough of a balance between action and emotionality to appeal to most anime fans, regardless of genre predilection, and boasting some of the most explosive and well-choreographed action sequences of recent memory. 

Fans of ass-kickery, sexy hitwomen, mobsters, espionage, double-crossing and fan service (ie. males) certainly need look no further, but thereís enough substance here to appeal to the fairer sex too.  Plenty of fun, and another visual triumph from Masahiro Ando. 

Audio & Video

Canaanís animation is amongst the best weíve ever seen.  The colour palette is unrivalled and the luminous backgrounds are detailed almost to the point of appearing photographic.  The 1.78:1 transfer is likewise faultless, and picture quality remains first-rate throughout. 

Despite the claims on the box cover that only two-channel soundtracks are on offer, the set actually features English 5.1 and Japanese 2.0 DD audio mixes.  Annoyingly for those who prefer anime in its native tongue the English track is markedly superior, with its somewhat listless Japanese counterpart failing to do justice to the awesome visual and auditory scope of the series.  The series has standard English subs only. 

Special Features

Bonus features are thin on the ground, which is also a little disappointing for a three-disc set.  All thatís on offer are the standard textless opening and closing sequences, and several Siren trailers. 






 
 



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