This week at last we have snow! I don’t think I’ve looked forward to snow more since anytime my age was in double digits. I wasn’t for a while, but getting into December without skiing was making me pretty antsy. Oddly, parts north still have virtually none, so quite a few people from the city are coming down to the trails at Burwalde and Shannondale to ski.
Yesterday was the first day I could make it out, and of course I didn’t go far; in fact, one round of the 1km inner loop (the outer loop isn’t groomed yet) was quite plenty. According to the very clear messages from my feet and ankles, I was not prepared, at all. It’s OK though, I have all winter. My goal by winter’s end is to be able to do a 20km ski without feeling like it’s the last thing I’ll do.
So there still hasn’t been an anime review post – to tell the truth I think I’ll end up leaving that to those who are a great deal better at it than I could hope to be, such as Ghostlightning. However what I will do from time to time is to append a few brief thoughts to the regular posts, and today I’ll mention a few thoughts about Canaan. I wasn’t too sure I wanted to watch this but then I heard that Type-Moon was involved so I had to give it a go, and I’m glad I did. This, on the surface, is a pretty standard girls-with-guns show in the tradition of Noir and others – in fact, it does remind one quite a bit of Noir in some ways, with less Old Europe and more implausible superpowers (which somehow don’t detract from the show at all and in fact blend very seamlessly with a strong plot). There’s a great deal of very well-animated action, but that isn’t what you’ll remember about this show. Indeed it isn’t about the action at all, but about some remarkable characters and, in particular, two unlikely but powerful and superbly written relationships. The characters, despite occasionally requiring a considerable suspension of disbelief (which you are only too happy to grant them, so warm, human, and interesting they are), have a tremendous amount of depth and development. True that the plot occasionally stretches slightly into the realm of the eyebrow-raising, but since you’re seeing it all through the eyes of these very real people, you hardly pay it any mind. The tragic Hakko especially is unlikely to ever be forgotten, even though she speaks perhaps a dozen lines at most throughout the show. While it could easily have been a very dark story, the strength and hope that the characters find in themselves and each other is a shining light. There’s a fair bit of comic relief too, usually well placed and not overdone.
I don’t find a great deal of attraction in flashy animation, huge mecha or magic or the like, but I’m a sucker for a virtuoso performance on the part of the screenwriters, and therefore Canaan gets my enthusiastic recommendation.