I know nothing about the game. So CANAAN was one of the summer series that I knew nothing about, but had somewhat higher expectations for, due to some solid general buzz. Did the first episode live up to expectations?
Fansub group: gg
Things I liked:
- I liked CANAAN’s OP and ED quite a bit. The OP song isn’t as good, it’s your standard fast paced J-Rock fare, but it’s accompanied by some fantastic visuals and action sequences. The ED is much more solemn, moody and interesting, but features very little animation accompanying it. Based on the tone of the song and the visuals (Canaan and Maria look dead), I’m guessing this series won’t end on a happy note.
- The animation looked awesome. The action scenes were intense and fluid. Character designs were attractive. The background artwork was great. The festival scene was appropriately crowded. It looks like they went all out for this episode, because I don’t think I noticed any lazy shortcuts. I don’t know what else P.A. Works has done (doesn’t seem like much besides True Tears), but based on their work here, I’d definitely want to see more from them.
- The characters didn’t stand out, since they were mostly running, getting shot and doing the shooting, but I liked what I saw of Canaan and Maria so far. The intro voiceover talking about Canaan being a "victim whose past was taken by war" made me afraid that Canaan was going to be another bore like Setsuna F Seiei, but she seemed to show some personality in her interactions with Maria.
Things I didn’t like:
- I wonder how much this "choosing to see or not see the truth in front of you" theme will carry throughout the season. That’s the only explanation I have for the festival crowd not reacting in abject horror with people getting shot, bullets flying all over the place and blood gushing everywhere. Of all the zany things in this first episode, this was the one nitpick that gnawed at my suspension of disbelief.
Random other thoughts:
Mystery, intrigue, intense action scenes, hot chicks, naked secretaries, this first episode of CANAAN had it all. Pending Tokyo Magnitude, I guess we should consider this our action thriller for the summer season (sans the mechas). Now I just need to get a program to find out who’s who, and what the heck is exactly going on. This isn’t a criticism, per se. I actually like how they threw us into the middle of the action and forced us to follow along. I expect that they’ll take a step back in the next few episodes to fill out all the details. It’s a different set-up than say Umineko, but in this case, worked perfectly, as I’m sufficiently psyched for the series.