Despite hearing the explosion, Canaan doesn’t let it bother her and instead follows Siam’s advice. The way she stares freaks Alphard out, and Canaan comes out on top in the ensuing firefight. With her arm injured, Alphard decides to try to make her escape via a helicopter that arrives for her, but Canaan sticks with her. When Alphard tries to point out that Canaan should care more about Maria, Canaan affirms her belief that Maria isn’t dead. Indeed, Yunyun had gone back and saved Maria from the train wreckage, but even without knowing that, Canaan believes because Maria is her friend. Regardless, Alphard attempts to escape by helicopter, but Canaan stops her by killing the helicopter’s gunner who then inadvertently kills the helicopter pilot. The two thus go tumbling back onto the train, and Canaan smacks Alphard around until she realizes something. Alphard gets free, but she slips on the side of the train and nearly falls off. Canaan manages to catch her by the arm, and she reveals that she realized that Alphard’s heart died when Siam died. Canaan feels that she herself is different because of the people she’s met, and as someone who is alive, she doesn’t want Alphard to die any more. This causes Alphard to acknowledge to herself that she’s bound to the past, and to free herself from what she considers to be a curse, she shoots her own arm until it breaks off. This causes Alphard to fall into the river below, and Canaan is left holding a bloody arm.
In the aftermath, Maria has a dream about being separated from Canaan, and she wakes up in a Shanghai hospital. Minoru brought her here after finding her and Yunyun on the side of the road, and Yunyun has long since recovered and is working again. He hasn’t been able to contact Canaan though, and he points to how her ultimate goal was to protect Maria. He knows that the girls’ circumstances were too different, but he feels that their hearts can still be close together, and Canaan, who’s keeping her distance from the hospital, indeed feels the same way. While Maria recovers, Minoru wanders around the city and decides to drop the story about the village in favor of the story of Hakko and Santana. He also visits Santana’s old shop and is glad that he’s alive. Later, on the way to the airport with Maria, he hears Maria say sugoi (lit. amazing) like she always used to, and she admits that she had felt that she shouldn’t say it if she wanted to be with Canaan. She knows now that, given how hard every person tries, there’s nothing amazing that’s unreachable, and that’s why she believes what he said about their hearts being close. As her plane flies over the city, Maria vows not to forget what she saw and felt, and upon her return to Japan, she opens up an art exhibit showcasing the photos that she took. At the center of this exhibit are side-by-side photos of Canaan and Alphard, and between them is a single caption that reads “CANAAN.”
Sometime later, in a different city, Canaan gets a call from Natsume about a job targeting a one-armed woman.
I didn’t like this finale episode very much in the beginning, but certain parts of the finale made me appreciate it a bit more. My initial reaction was based partly on how quickly the Alphard and Canaan battle turned around. I understand that Alphard became afraid of Canaan in sort of the same vein that Siam was afraid of super-soldiers, but it’s harder to believe that the tide of the battle would turn that drastically that fast considering how things were going last episode. I was also disappointed at first that Maria and Canaan didn’t end up together (they soooo should have kissed in the dream sequence), but after digesting what Maria and Minoru said, I was content with how Maria was able to do something on her own while still hold Canaan close to her heart, corny as it may sound. The nice insert song of course helped too.
A bigger problem was Alphard and closure regarding what happens to her. I liked seeing that Cumming survived and became a monk, but I really wanted to know how Alphard felt in the aftermath and what she’s up to at the very end. As I’ve said before, she’s a very complex character who’s awesome in many respects, and it felt like they left us hanging by having her survive and not telling us more. Perhaps it’s set-up for a potential sequel or OVA or something.
Coming into this series, I was psyched about how it had a great voice cast, a proven animation production team in P.A.Works, and a TYPE-MOON influenced story. Looking back now, I think the series succeeded on the first two – especially the animation which was everything I had hoped for and then some – but faltered a little on the story part. It was still a solid story and had some good characters, but I think the final payoff wasn’t quite worth how heavy they were at times on certain themes (like friendship). The fact that Alphard is still alive too makes this feel like it’s not a complete story but rather just a chapter of one, particularly since the original 428 game could be considered as the previous chapter. Would I still recommend it? Yes, probably, but mainly on the strengths of the action scenes.