This anime is something I would like to address as…an awesome concept, that suffers from the classic “Main source bait” syndrome. What do I mean you ask? Read onward to learn more.
Genres: action, mystery
Themes: biological warfare, terrorism
Number of Episodes: 13…only 13.
Two years ago, Shibuya was ravaged by a biological terrorist attack using the deadly Ua virus. Maria Osawa was saved when her father inoculated her against the virus, but is left with partial amnesia from the shock. Now working as a cameraman, she reunited with her friend Canaan in Hong Kong. Canaan is an assassin gifted with synesthesia, and she’s being targeted by the terrorist squad Snake. Meanwhile, numerous groups converge on Hong Kong, all after either Canaan or Maria.
Two years ago, Shibuya was ravaged by a biological terrorist attack using the deadly Ua virus. Maria Osawa was saved when her father inoculated her against the virus, but is left with partial amnesia from the shock. She works as a cameraman when she reunites with a girl named Canaan in Shanghai, China. A gifted assassin with synesthesia, she is under orders from an unknown organization for a yet unspecified mission.
Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
Canaan is the main character of the series, a mercenary currently operating in Shanghai. She was the only survivor of a village destroyed by war in the Middle East before being found and trained by Sham, who has her adopting the name Canaan. She developed a respect for her mentor during the course of her training and later to Alphard as well (Sham’s former student who she saw as an older sister figure). However, due to a past event between the 3, Canaan often gets serious whenever she sees Alphard. As an elite mercenary, Canaan is also a skilled marksman and an expert of combat, her weapon of choice most of the time being a Beretta Px4 Type G semi-automatic handgun. She has the ability to use synesthesia to aid her in combat, viewing the world in different colors to tell enemies from civilians.
Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto
The series’ most prominent villain, Alphard is an attractive young woman who is both the leader of a terrorist organization called Snake (蛇, Hebi?), which is responsible for both the Shinjuku and Shanghai terrorists attacks and Canaan’s arch-enemy. She carries a FN Five-seveN USG as a sidearm.
Voiced by: Yoshino Nanjō
Usually seen smiling, Maria is one of the central characters of the series. Prior to the Shinjuku incident, she befriended Canaan after being saved from hoodlums during a trip somewhere in the Middle East. As her dream is to become a photographer, she became the partner of Minoru Minorikawa before the pair’s assignment in Shanghai and her subsequent reuniting with Canaan.
Several characters make fun of her ahoge hairstyle and her relatively small bust size.
Voiced by: Akio Ohtsuka
An ex-mercenary who mentored both Canaan and Alphard. He rescued the young Canaan from the ruins of her home village, took her under his care, and trained her in the art of combat.
Voiced by: Rie Tanaka
One of Alphard’s top lieutenants who affectionately refers to Alphard as an elder sister, she was hinted to have been with Alphard ever since Alphard and Sham had gone their separate ways. She appears calm and even-tempered, but is in fact unwavering, merciless, and very much obsessed with admiring and idolizing Alphard to the point of being in love with her. To her frustration, however, Alphard does not reciprocate and instead ignores or even proceeds to ridicule her from time to time.
Sorry to not have better character descriptions, but it’s better to watch the anime and see for yourself what secrets most of the characters hide…well, what they reveal at least.
Now then, before I begin explaining my gripes with this show, first up are the pros.
Action packed to the core. This show, like most of the action animes that I’ll review here, deliver in this department in my opinion. Each action scene will have you wanting more pwnage and beatings. the artwork is pretty good and I don’t have much to say about the way the characters and settings are drawn, because they’re awesome to look at. The music is also pretty good, with badass intro and ending songs.
Now for my character highlight: Liang Ji. Sure, Canaan and Alphard are badass, but Laing Ji is the one true superstar of the show. OH…MY…WORD! This woman is FREAKIN’ EPIC! The coolness factor of this chick knows no bounds. Her obsession and love for Alphard makes her so dramatic and insane. This woman is pure psychotic goodness. she’s INSANE! Her seiyuu portrays both her calm and her psychotics natures perfectly. I couldn’t get enough of her looney personality and cuckoo for cocoa puffs demeanor. Yuri wise, one of the most badass psychodyke in anime history, along with Shizuru Fujino from Mai Hime and Tomoe Marguerite from Mai-Otome. All of the psychodyke wannabes in low budget movies have got NOTHING on Liang Ji. Why do I praise her this much you ask? Because she made me laugh. She was so incredibly over the top that I couldn’t stop laughing at how awesomely insane she was. Sure her Alphard fetish went nowhere, but I never got tired of her madness. I have a weakness for well executed madness.
By the way, Tomoe from Mai-Otome is a well recognized psychodyke. That doesn’t mean I like her that much. Personally, Shizuru was much more effective in that regard but I’ll get more into that later on in my Mai-Hime + Mai-Otome review.
After reading a comment by a trusted friend of mine, I feel that there’s something I should address. I haven’t exactly given Alphard the justice she deserved. CANAAN is self explanatory based on what the viewers see in the show, so badass is the definitive one word description for her, but Alphard…I’m ashamed of myself for not giving this woman more recognition. You see, Alphard is one of the most badass, hard hitting, intimidating and effective female antagonists in anime history. Why? Just when you think you’ve got her all figured out, she’ll immediately screw you over and keep you guessing as to what her next move will be. She’s coldblooded, calculative, cunning, an expert at mind games, shows no weakness during combat, is incredibly levelheaded, is undoubtedly the best fighter on the show, she even pulls a “Shuda” at one point. Not to mention she’s drop dead gorgeous. My point is that Alphard is such a brilliantly written and beautiful villain, that she would kill James Bond with no effort and would easily be able to go toe to toe with Batman in both brains and brawn.
Alright, with those out of the way, time for what you’ve all been waiting for.
You see, the meaning of my statement from my introduction is that this show is too short for its own good. now of course there are many good anime that are about 13 episodes long and this is one of them. The problem is that this show has so much to tell, that 13 episodes is not enough to cover it all. You’ll find multiple plot holes, numerous unanswered questions and in my opinion, an unsatisfactory ending that could have been so much better. Others may think differently, but this is my review, so yeah. In short, this anime feels RUSHED! I had a theory and from what I’ve read, it, the theory is dead on. This show is another one of those cash-in anime, where you have to go to the original source if you wish to learn more. In this anime’s case,”428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de”: A Japanese only videogame for the Nintendo Wii.I’m guessing that will be the reason this anime won’t see a US release. I still think it’s unfair though, because this show could have been AWESOME instead of just pretty good.
In conclusion, if you’re expecting a solid storyline with all the answers revealed, then don’t. Just accept the answers that are revealed.
But please, don’t let my complaints stop you from watching this kickass anime. Don’t take this the same way as my Dokuro-chan review, because this anime is REALLY GOOD, despite the rushed flow. So please, if you’re a fan of super cool combat babes, who fight with style and no showing off, then don’t hesitate to watch this show.
P.S.: There’s blood.