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.
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.