CANAAN – 02
Although Liang Qi and Cummings are the ones behind the attack on the convoy, Alphard herself takes an active role in taking out her captors and getting free. Back in Shanghai, Minoru is looking at the photo negatives of the pictures he took of Canaan during the previous night’s gun battle, and he’s surprised to see that Maria has a picture of herself with Canaan. He tries to question her about Canaan, and he remembers back to what his boss had told him prior to leaving Japan. Maria had been a victim of the UA Virus terrorism two years ago in Shibuya, and that virus caused bleeding all over the body and led to death. She had been saved though by her father who had administered an anti-viral drug that he had developed. Natsume meanwhile is telling Canaan about how Alphard escaped from the CIA, but Canaan isn’t surprised. Instead, she notes how guns are simple in that they settle things with a pull of the trigger without the complexities between people, and she reveals that she has a friend.
Unaware that they’re being targeted, Maria and Minoru then go out to dinner, and Minoru tries to find out more about Canaan. Their conversation is interrupted though by a car crashing through the restaurant walls, and an old man – the same one Minoru was following earlier – emerges with an Uzi. Minoru and Maria make a run for it and manage to get far enough away to safely get a taxi, but their pursuers give chase. Their driver turns out to be quite good at getting away, and he eventually launches them off an unfinished section of raised highway. Luckily, the taxi lands on a pile of bamboo on top of a building, and everyone is unhurt. Their pursuers don’t make the same jump, but the old man does shoot at them from above until Canaan appears and returns fire. The old man targets her now, and during a lull in the fighting, Maria tells Canaan how to find her because she wants to play. Canaan then tracks down the enemy car and gets the old man to come after her on foot. They end up fighting on top of a bus, and Canaan wins after the old man gets caught and killed by some electrical lines.
Maria and Minoru meanwhile return to their hotel rooms to find them ransacked and covered in a red liquid, and the white stuffed animal Maria got from Canaan is now stained red. Minoru finds that the only things missing though are the photo negatives, and he remembers the pattern on the old man’s head which was similar to a pattern on a dead man in one of the photographs. With nowhere to go, the two of them now find themselves out on the streets at night, and they encounter a beautiful girl in a cat outfit.
I really, really liked this episode, much more than the first one. It was packed full of action and humor, both done well. The animation quality was once again superb, and I especially enjoyed how they did the opening scene where Alphard and company take out the entire convoy. Minoru and Maria have some good banter as well, and I laughed at all the stuff concerning Yunyun’s fake breasts. It was pretty amusing to see that old man being so energetic and crazy too, however, it was that taxi driver (voiced wonderfully by Nakata Jouji) who ended up being the highlight of the episode.
The other plus is that they finally explained some of the stuff concerning Maria and the UA Virus – which I assume is what the guys from last episode died of – and I didn’t really feel confused during this episode like I did at times last week (except maybe at the end with nekomimi Hakko, but that doesn’t count because it served as the cliffhanger). It helps of course that I’ve now read a summary of the original 428 game/primer for this series because, as I mentioned last week, the story here is a lot more connected to the game than first thought. Regardless, this is turning out to be as good a series as I had hoped – good characters, great production quality, and intriguing story – so I’m hooked.