Canaan is a 13-episode anime television series, conceptualized by Type-Moon co-founders Kinoko Nasu and Takashi Takeuchi, based on the scenario that they created for the Nintendo Wii visual novel 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, which is noted for being one of the few games to be have been awarded a perfect score by games publication Famitsu.
A sequel to the 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de game, it centers on three women and how they are connected together to an upcoming anti-terrorism summit in Shanghai, China. One of them is Canaan, a Middle Eastern assassin and mercenary. Another is Alphard, Canaan's rival and also a skilled assassin and mercenary while heading a terrorist organization called the Snakes. The final girl is Maria Ōsawa, a victim of an attempted terrorist attack in the streets of Shinjuku two years ago. Their encounters lead to armed interventions between Canaan and Alphard with a deep and tragic history in common.
The Canaan series has spawned a 13-episode anime TV show with a manga and light novel print series.
Two years after the events of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, Maria Ōsawa and Minoru Minorikawa are dispatched as reporters to Shanghai in order to cover the upcoming Shangai NBCR International Anti-Terrorist Conference. Prior to their current assignment, both Maria and Minoru were survivors of the Shinjuku bio-terrorism incident, where Maria was kidnapped by terrorists and was infected by the Ua virus but was cured by her scientist father using an experimental anti-Ua virus vaccine. Maria is later saved by her friend, a Middle Eastern girl named Canaan after being targeted for death by masked assassins on her first day in Shanghai after she befriended her in the Middle East prior to the events of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de and her Shanghai trip.
Their presence in the city is being overshadowed by a mysterious event being planned by Alphard, Canaan's rival. Unknown to the two, Alphard is preparing a big plot related to the anti-terrorist summit after being rescued by Cummings and Liang Ji, a pair of mercenaries and Alphard's allies. Maria's life was placed in danger once more when Snake assassins were dispatched to harm her, placing Canaan at the forefront of it all in order to protect her friend. Minoru investigates a strange purple mark that he spotted from one of the assassins Canaan had killed recently, tying it back to the events in Shinjuku.
Canaan and Alphard continue to violently confront one another before and after the terrorist attack on the anti-terrorist summit, the latter trying to make Canaan fight her with all of her strength. The reason for their rivalry was Sham, a mercenary and mentor to Canaan, who was gunned down by Alphard during a joint mission together in an attempt to forge her own path without being influenced by Sham as she also was raised by him with the name Canaan once before she discarded it for her current name. Canaan later goes on a journey with Mino, Maria and several others to Western China where a new Ua virus was first used to find out about its origin and track down Alphard.
After Maria and Minoru made their safe return to Japan from their journey in China, Maria opened a photo gallery and reflected on the friendship she and Canaan shared. One of the portraits she had for public display was named Canaan. It consisted of pictures of Alphard, who was formerly known as Canaan, and the Canaan she knew back from her Middle East trip.
- Canaan (カナン Kanan?)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
- Canaan is the main character and protagonist 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). But when Alphard betrayed both her and Sham during a mission and left Sham to die, Canaan was consumed by the quest for revenge. 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. She is always seen with a red halterneck shirt and brown pants. On her left wrist, she wears a black tattoo that possibly completes a whole picture of a snake with the tattoo on Alphard's arm. She covers this tattoo with a layered red armband, which repeatedly gets ripped off during her fights.
- Alphard Alshua (アルファルド Arufarudo?)
- 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. Once Sham's apprentice and known as Canaan, she has since thrown away the identity and adopted her current name. Prior to the events of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, Alphard, Sham and Canaan were hired to hijack an armored military train containing the Ua virus. During the assignment Alphard betrayed her teammates when it was revealed their client ordered her to kill all witnesses, including them. She shot Sham and left him to die while escaping with the virus. She appears easily capable of taking down Canaan even though the latter uses her synesthesia, reasoning that she is no longer manipulated by feelings (unlike Canaan). She carries a FN Five-seveN USG as a sidearm. On her upper left arm, a strange tattoo is worn, and it possibily is a half of a whole picture of a tattoo if combined with the tattoo on Canaan's arm. However, she amputated this arm during the last battle between her and Canaan.
- Maria Ōsawa (大沢 マリア Ōsawa Maria?)
- Voiced by: Yoshino Nanjō
- Usually seen smiling, Maria is one of the central characters of the series. Two years ago during the events of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, she was mistakenly abducted by Snake terrorists who mistook her for her twin sister, Hitomi Ōsawa, their true target as Hitomi's blood was resistance against the Ua virus. Snake later infected Maria with the Ua virus to force her father, Kenji Ōsawa, to make them a cure to the Ua virus to save her life. While her life was saved thanks to her father's anti-virus, the trauma she endured during the Shinjuku incident made her suffer Amnesia. As a result, she can't remember certain events during that incident; including not remembering having meet Alphard before. 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 have make fun of her ahoge hairstyle and her relatively small bust size.
- Sham (シャム Shamu?)
- 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. Prior to the events of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, he, Canaan and Alphard were hired to hijack an armed military train to steal the Ua virus it was carrying. He was shot by Alphard who revealed that their client had ordered her to kill all witnesses on the train; this included him and Canaan. Alphard left him to die while a bomb was place to blow up the train. However, Sham ordered Canaan to stop Alphard from escaping with the Ua virus. He disarmed the bomb before bleeding to death. This event is the main reason of contention between Canaan and Alphard. Even though he is dead, his "spirit" appears to both Canaan and Alphard.
- Minoru Minorikawa (御法川 実 Minorikawa Minoru?)
- Voiced by: Kenji Hamada
- One of the main characters in the original 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de and a surivor of the Shinjuku incident, Minorikawa is a hot-headed reporter who is assigned to Shanghai along with Maria, who (along with Canaan) nicknames him 'Mino-san'. He acts as both Maria's supervisor and friend as he and Maria work to find out more about the strange cases in Shanghai.
- Liang Ji (リャン・チー Ryan Chī?)
- 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. Her obsession with Alphard leads her into a mad desire to kill Canaan, believing that Alphard will then pay more attention to her. Halfway through the series, she eventually does lose her calm demeanor and acts irrationally, resulting to her death at the hands of Cummings, a man she supposedly worked as secretary for, and Alphard herself.
- Yunyun (ユンユン Yunyun?)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu
- This eccentric and energetic young girl is one of the Borners, surviving test subjects of Snake's Ua virus experiment. The Ua mutation did not appear to have granted her any extraordinary ability save for an additional appendix; however, her dependence on anti-viral medicine provided by Liang Ji allowed her to be treated as a disposable pawn. A comic-relief who was also made fun of for her almost-flat chest.
- Cummings (カミングズ Kaminguzu?)
- Voiced by: Tōru Ōkawa
- Cummings is the public head of the private military company Daedala, a front organization of the Snakes, staffed by members of the terrorist organization. Within Snake, however, he serves under Liang Ji as an adviser and is often her primary victim of venting frustrations from being unable to win over Alphard's attention, usually as a BB gun target practice which he does not mind as he is a Masochist. Publicly, Cummings is accompanied by a Snake member named ソッキンソン (Sokkinson?) as his personal bodyguard.
- Santana (サンタナ Santana?)
- Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata
- Santana runs a karaoke cosplay bar in the streets of Shanghai while working with Hacko to assist other Borners and Unblooms to find refuge from the Snakes. In addition, he is an acquaintance of Natsume and is rather protective of Hacko, willing to enter into a physical altercation with Minoru for asking her too many questions. He assists Canaan, Minoru, and Maria to revisit the destroyed hometown village and the factory. He confronts Liang Gi at the factory, is defeated and left for dead at the hands of Hacko, who unwittingly used her deadly voice to kill Liang Gi, but instead, Santana, by accident.
- Hacko (ハッコー Hakko?)
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto
- A Borner with the ability to inflict brain damage with her voice (which can be fatal if wholly unleashed). Usually seen behaving childlike, she works as a cosplay waitress in Santana's bar as well as his assistant, having since developed feelings for him. Unfortunately, since she is unable to speak out without hurting him, he remains under the impression that Hacko has never forgiven him for his role in the destruction of her home village. She accompanies the protagonists on a goal to liberate a factory used for creating Snakes subordinates. There she is tricked by Liang Gi into killing Santana with her voice, causing Hacko to become depressed. At the near of the series, she confesses her love to a dead Santana and remains with him in the factory as it collapses.
- Yuri Natsume (夏目 ユリ Natsume Yuri?)
- Voiced by: Junko Minagawa
- Natsume is a Japanese woman who acts as both a representative of Canaan's employer and her informant, working under an organization known as the NGO. She is calm and punctual, as attested by the way she interacts with Canaan despite initially being very much annoyed by the latter's single-mindedness for avenging Sham's death. She is an acquaintance of Santana and usually gives him advices to treat Hacko well. It is later revealed that she really works for the Defense Intelligence Headquarters, using the Ua virus incidents and manipulating the US and China in order to get Japan to an advantageous position in the international politics arena.
- Kenji Ōsawa (大沢 賢治 Ōsawa Kenji?)
- Voiced by: Atsushi Ono
- A biological researcher and also one of the protagonists of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, he is the man that was able to cure the Ua virus which he uses his knowledge to save his twin daughters, Maria and Hitomi during the Shinjuku incident who were both affected with the Ua virus. He makes a cameo during the terrorist attack on the Shanghai International Conference Hall, bringing in stockpiles of Ua anti-virus medicine after a staged assassination.[Note 1]
- Taxi driver
- Voiced by: Jōji Nakata
- Maria and Minorikawa first encounter him when they are pursued by assassins sent by Snake. Since then, he has met up with them a few more times. He drives like a maniac and idolizes a singer named Nene. He is based on Hachirou Kimizuka, the taxi driver from the original 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de game.
- Snake (蛇 Hebi?): The Snakes are a secret terrorist organization lead by Alphard. The goals of the Snakes are unknown but what is known is they profit from any conflicts they get involved. The organization has many spies around the world from Japanese hoodlums, to scientists and even within the CIA. Officially, many countries are oppose to them but some countries secretly work with them if they gain something from it.
- Ua virus: a biological weapon of mass-destruction that kills its victims within 12 hours, causing parts of their bodies to bleed. It was created by a unknown country and before the events of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de, it was the most dangerous virus in the world as there was no known cure for it. The use of the virus in a bio-terrorist attack in Shibuya forms the background of 428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de as the "Snakes" were trying to steal the newly discovered anti-virus developed by Kenji Ōsawa. Their goal was to keep the secrets of the anti-virus to themselves as the only one with the cure for the Ua virus thus making the Snakes profit from any country that was a victim of the Ua virus. However their mission fails thanks to actions of group of people (the protagonists of "428: Fūsa Sareta Shibuya de"). A second generation Ua virus was later developed by a joint venture between the CIA and the Snakes. Ua is a word from the Swahili language that means flower or death.
- Borner: Borners are individuals infected with the 2nd generation Ua virus but managed to survive. As a result, their bodies mutate and possess unusual abilities, with few exceptions (for example, Yunyun, aside from her extra appendix, does not display anything readily noticeable). When someone becomes a Borner, blood vessels from a random part of his/her body would surface to form a mark with the shape of a flower. In order to suppress the virus, Borners require regular intakes of a special medication, or they will still die. Some are under the employ of Snake for this very reason as assassins against opposing factions and Unblooms who attempt to escape from Snake's control.
- Unbloom: Unblooms are also victims of the 2nd generation Ua virus who survived before the advent of the anti-virus. They, too, have blood vessels from a random part of their bodies surfacing to form a mark with the shape of a flower. Unlike Borners, however, they did not gain any special ability or otherwise mutate, except that they become deadly vulnerable to UV rays and outside noises. Those individuals who venture outside the Factory must wear masks that look like a mascot head costume (and serve to shield the wearers from the aforementioned hazards), the removal of which invariably ends up killing them.
The series was known in its initial planning stages as 428 the animation when it was first announced in Newtype's October 2008 issue and by Sega at the 2008 Tokyo Games Show, where a trailer for the series was aired and announced as an adaptation of Type-Moon's original scenario for the game.
The title was subsequently changed in December of the same year to Canaan, with Sega also announcing that they would host a booth for the series in the 2008 Winter Comiket, where DVDs featuring specials and trailers for the show, packaged with a booklet featuring original character designs by Takashi Takeuchi and completed animation designs by animator Kanami Sekiguchi would be featured, along with CDs of the theme song, "Arousing Soul", performed by Faylan. A seventeen-second promo was subsequently streamed on the series' official website, featuring the dual DVD/CD release at Comiket.
The series was animated by the animation studio P.A. Works, directed by Masahiro Ando, who previously directed the Bones movie Sword of the Stranger, and features series composition by Mari Okada, who previously wrote Vampire Knight and True Tears, and also features animation character designs by Kanami Sekiguchi and original music composed by Hikaru Nanase.
A manga version of CANAAN was released on Kadowaka Shoten's Comp Ace Magazine. It was officially serialized on Comp Ace's August 2009 issue. The first volume was released on January 26, 2010 with a retail price of 609 Yen.
The Canaan Official Fanbook was released by publisher Ichijinsha on February 12, 2010 for 2,415 Yen. It contains character sketches of the various characters in CANAAN with episode commentaries and interviews from the show's cast and crew.
Two volumes of CANAAN Radio DJ CDs, known officially as CANAAN DJCD 上海飯店で会いましょう (CANAAN DJCD Shanghai Hanten de Aimasho?), were released on December 23, 2009 and February 24, 2010 for 2,800 Yen each.
Several CANAAN figures were released, concentrating on Canaan and Alphard. A poseable Figma Canaan figure was made by Miki Asai and released by Max Factory on November 2009 for 2,500 Yen. Three PVC-made figures were released by the Good Smile Company. The first PVC figure was a Nendoroid Canaan, sculpted by Reiichi Ito and released on December 2009 for 3,500 Yen. A regular Canaan figure soon followed, sculpted by Kunihito Iwamoto and released on January 2010 for 8,800 Yen. A regular Alphard figure, also sculpted by Iwamoto, was released on March 2010 for the same price as the Canaan figure. Both of the figures are made on 1/8 scale.
Canaan's DVD Volume # 1 was on the top 30 Japanese Animation DVD Ranking from October 19-25 of 2009. In the Japan Animation Blu-Ray Disc Ranking, Canaan DVD Volume # 1 Limted Edition was 3rd on the top ten list from October 19-25 of 2009, followed by Canaan DVD Volume # 2 Limited edition on 8th place on the top ten. The Limited Edition release of Canaan Blu-Ray #6 was ranked third on the top ten Japan Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking from March 15-21 of 2010.
At the 4th Annual Seiyū Award Winners, Miyuki Sawashiro was announced to be the Best Leading Actress for her role as Canaan. Canaan was awarded at the 13th Japan Media Arts Festival Awards as part of Jury Recommended Works in Long Animation.
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- "Alphard Figure Details". Figure Database. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
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- "Japanese Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, October 19-25 (Updated)". Anime News Network. 2009-10-29. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, November 23-29". Anime News Network. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- "Japan's Animation Blu-ray Disc Ranking, March 15-21". Anime News Network. 2010-04-08. Retrieved 2010-04-19.
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- "Summer Wars, Vinland Saga Win Media Arts Awards (Update 3)". Anime News Network. 2009-12-03. Retrieved 2010-03-06.
- It is unknown as to who staged his fake assassination.
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