Sunday, 27 September 2009

CANAAN - Episode 13 (Completed)

For all of the rather hit-and-miss elements which CANAAN has thrown our way during the series, the end to the last episode was a pretty compelling one, albeit providing a cliff-hanger that rolled a few well-used cliches from ticking time bombs to tense stand-offs on a train. Still, beggars can't be choosers, and this looked set to offer up some action which fit perfectly with CANAAN's particular formula.

Thankfully, we do get some pretty rip-roaring action out of this episode, as Canaan and Alphard face-off against one another - While it looked as though the latter had the upper hand at the end of the last episode, Canaan's unswerving belief in Maria allows her to find enough strength to take on Alphard, as they take their fight to the roof of the train, and briefly aboard a helicopter's rope ladder. This again leaves this portion of the show to end with a big old cliche, with Alphard hanging from the side of a fast-moving train as Canaan holds on to her for dear life while monologuing her heart out, such as the shifting sands of this pair's relationship.

With all of that over, we're left to close out the series with a lot of deep thinking on Maria's part as she leaves Shanghai, although to be frank most of it seemed pretty uninteresting. This is perhaps CANAAN's biggest failing by far - I've been enlivened by its action sequences (which are really unsurpassed in terms of recent anime I'd say), but rather bored with all of the other machinations that the series tried to offer to explain such sequences (and there were plenty of "excuses" on hand). This show has often felt like one that has nothing that it wants to say, yet tries to make some stuff up anyway in an attempt to sound knowing and interesting. Perhaps there's an important lesson to be learned here - If you have animation staff capable of creating sumptuous artwork and action scenes that are worth of the highest praise, you should stick with those strengths and not try to bad things out or otherwise unnecessarily complicate them. Maybe I wouldn't be saying this had I played the 428 video game which this show spins off from, but without that as a frame of reference CANAAN is little more than a visual feast which has been rather spoiled by someone trying to dump too much story-based seasoning upon it.

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