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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Canaan 12 - Seasonal Train

Wow. This episode was the one that I was waiting for. Well animated fight scenes, more insight into Alphard's motivations, and an intense (even if cliche) set up that leads to the cliffhanger for the final episode. It had its slow and needlessly dramatic moments as well, but those were few and forgivable.

The episode starts off on the same down note the last one ended in. Some extremely heavy lesbian overtones had me smiling - as has been said many times by anonymous, they should just fuck already. But it picks up the pace quickly once our three female protagonists (Canaan, Maria, and Yunyun) get on a train which Alphard soon hijacks. Long story short, Alphard is bitter at Siam for having chosen Canaan over her, wants to see Canaan's true power, and uses Maria as bait to force her to reveal it. Oh, and because Alphard doesn't want to kill Canaan but rather the concept of Canaan, she's invisible to her synesthesic powers. The episode ends in a cliffhanger with a bomb counting down on a train with an injured and tied up Maria and Canaan facing off against Alphard on it.

Or actually, I'm not too clear on whether or not the car with the bomb on it also has Canaan and Alphard on it. It would make more sense if they weren't, as that would explain why Maria wanted Yunyun to detach the cars. But if they aren't, how is Canaan going to save Maria with less than 30 seconds left and Alphard on top of her? I guess that remains to be seen.

The episode was very Hollywood-esque. And that's what I loved about this episode. The confrontation between Alphard and Canaan was about as intense as anything I've seen so far in this show. The animation was very good for a TV show, and we actually got to see the fight, unlike their previous encounter in the bathroom. The choreography and direction was excellent. It was just a pure joy to watch, and the time bomb was the cliche cherry on top that made the scene that much more intense.

The argument they had throughout the fight was seamlessly integrated and at the same time helped reveal more of Alphard's story and motivation. It's a shame that she only seems to have one tone of voice: condescending and amused. Because I really like the voice of Maaya Sakamoto and she seems underutilized. Still, her unique, slightly boyish/mannish voice fits in perfectly with Alphard's character.

Alphard clearly outclassed Canaan who couldn't use her powers to her advantage against her. It looks like Canaan is going to have to reach deep to beat her next episode, likely involving Maria, who is her "light," after all.

Speaking of which, Maria was a bit useless in this episode, reverting back to her usual damsel-in-distress role. Even though she was coming on to Canaan in the beginning of the episode, she seems to want to detach herself from her (the show makes it a point to show her literally not grasping Canaan's hand when they're holding hands). I thought it was nice seeing her take initiative, having the courage to ask Alphard for permission to take her picture, but after that one scene, she's just mopey and, going with one of the major themes of the show, self-destructive.

Still, perhaps such a role is necessary in a show with a plot like this. As I mentioned above, and as has been hinted at in the OP, there's definitely some more important role Maria will play in the last episode.

Despite all the twists and turns this show had gone through up to now, it has finally regained its focus when it matters. The final showdown has begun, and I'm very much looking forward to the climax in the next episode. I'm hoping that the fighting in this episode was just a small taste of what's to come.

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