Canaan Episode 1
I got word that the first episode of Canaan had been subbed today. I apologise if this is old news. Particularly astute readers will have noticed that I only add a new series tag when I decide for sure that I want to follow a series. So why is Canaan getting a tag from the outset, and more importantly why should you care? Because I have a giant boner for anything that is done by Type-Moon and although this is only remotely related to the topic at hand, I should warn you that my posts on Canaan will contain 66% more bullshit pseudo-analysis and fanboying than my regular posts. I also really need to cut down on this whole self-deprecating schtick since it gets really annoying when people keep doing it to me. Treat others as you wish to be treated, right?
With that in mind, let’s talk first impressions. Canaan is pretty beautiful. I think there’s a case to be made for portraying an ordinary world, with slightly less than ordinary people, through anime and aside from a rather conspicuous CGI dragon dance the art felt really natural even when you cut to the rooftop gun battles. Character design-wise I see a little of Fate/stay night’s facial design in Canaan herself and other characters though whether this puts a smile on your face or not is entirely subjective. I have a bit of a nostalgia filter when it comes to FSN character designs since it was one of the first visual novels/animes/etc that I could say with conviction that I liked. Despite being rather late into my anime watching career when I saw it, I hadn’t really been able to sit down, think and say “damn I loved that series”. So, back on point, those who don’t like the “Type-Moon” art style might not like Canaan’s character designs.
As for the characters themselves I see them as being a little…muted…versions of classic characters. Take Maria for example – I can see a bit of a cheerful optimist in her; the type that tend to be the innocent victim in action animes, but at the same time she doesn’t give off the impression of being delicate. I really hope she doesn’t become that innocent victim; Maria has potential for development though in what direction I can’t say at the moment. Canaan herself seems very much like an action protagonist…she reminds me of Jo from Burst Angel sans the emotional deadness and propensity for extreme violence. For now, of course. The narrator at the beginning does mention something about hatred so I think she still has that capacity but at the same time there is a bit of a girly side to her that contrasts the nihilism you see in some action girl-types. So on and so forth. Of course there are other characters who are not so muted – Liang Ji is anything but. Also voiced by Rie Tanaka.
The central theme of this particular episode seems to revolve around truth. How the truth is right there in front of people but they choose not to see it. I didn’t think it was a really thought-provoking or interesting theme and it was presented in a bit of an absurd way, how people believed that all the weird goings on were actually part of the festival, but in a way, I guess it lends a bit of a surreal atmosphere to the otherwise ordinary setting. Not to mention giving Minoru something to be cynical about. By the way, isn’t synesthesia something that happens when you take Ecstasy?
Since this isn’t a moe anime it’s unlikely that there will be moments of zen like there were for K-On. In case you didn’t realise yet the moments of zen are moments that are just so funny, hnnnngh-inducing, or just plain awesome that they cause me to momentarily become one with the universe. There was just nothing like that here.