Director: Masahiro Ando
Writer: Mari Okada
Animation Studio: P.A. Works
Version Watched: Dubbed
It’s not often that I watch an anime all the way through without caring about the plot even a little bit, but that’s what happened with Canaan. Usually when I’m writing a review I look up details about the plot to remind myself of what happened so that I can give you guys an unbiased summary. In this case, however, I had to do it in order to give any sort of summary at all. Now, I don’t mean that I don’t remember what happened – it’s more that I don’t trust myself to give an accurate account of it due to the terrible pacing and overall delivery of information in this anime.
In its 13 episodes Canaan attempts to tie together four or five different stories without adequately explaining any of them. There’s a virus that will either kill you or give you special powers (note the lack of the term “super”), some reporters who want to cover an international anti-terrorism summit, some terrorists with no real motivation and a girl with 7 jobs and 2 appendixes. I’d go on, but nothing I say will give you a real idea of what the anime is all about. Within these stories are a number of relationships between people that Canaan tries to develop and explore, but it does about as well with those as it does with the separate plot ideas.
On top of all this the story is just so damned slow. The events occurring in each episode just don’t seem significant, so although things are going on you get the feeling that nothing is actually happening. Adding to this feeling is the fact that information is fed to you through an incredibly undersized straw. To be honest: for most of the anime I really wasn’t aware of what was going on.
The characters really don’t do anything to save the series either. While Canaan, the series’ namesake, is very cool when she’s throwing punches and dodging bullets, she has the personality of a bread roll. The two other main characters (the reporters from earlier in the review) don’t stand out and ultimately do very little at all during the show (well, one of them gets kidnapped a few times…though I’m not sure that counts as doing something). I can’t even remember the names of the other supporting characters, which I don’t view as a loss in the long run. The series does contain one of the best taxi drivers I’ve ever seen in an anime, but he hardly plays a main role.
Now, before you decide that I’m determined to dislike everything about this anime, I should probably tell you that the animation is absolutely gorgeous. Movements are fluid and backgrounds are vibrant, making the action scenes incredibly entertaining. I’d love to say that Canaan makes up for its plot with its action sequences, and you would be forgiven for thinking that’s the case after watching the opening sequence (which I actually enjoyed), but while Canaan does action very well, it doesn’t do it nearly often enough to redeem itself.
Summary – Canaan is one of the worst anime series I’ve seen. Admittedly, trying to tell a story in 13 episodes isn’t ideal, but plenty of other series have produced relative gold compared to Canaan’s meandering excuse for a plot. The beautiful graphics and scarce action sequences just can’t make up for the tedious story. I really wouldn’t recommend this series to anyone – it may be on the better end of bad, but it’s bad nonetheless.
Score: 4/10 – Bad