Canaan grabs hold of a familiar action story trope and twists it into something far more meaningful, resulting in an eyegasm of hormone-fueled firefights!
The plot follows three individuals with differing motives. First being our heroine, Canaan, who is a young assassin trained to use her power of Synthesia to fulfill contractual obligations. Synthesia is a mental mutation that blends all five senses into one amalgam of sensory overload. Colors exhude emotions, smells have tastes, sounds have smells, and any other crazy combination that could come to mind. This results in a devastating power for warfare, which she puts to good use fighting off her elder rival, Alphard. Alphard was trained by the same man, but she received her training first (without Synthesia as well) so she feels threatened that Canaan exists, wishing only to defeat her and prove to herself that she has surpassed her deceased master's teachings. Finally, we have Maria, a young photographer that travels to Hong Kong looking for leads with her pal, Minoru, for his gossip column.
Action sequences are beautifully animated, with exuisite attention to detail for all firearms, as well as an emphasis on the environment (moonlit excursions, jaw-dropping sunsets, and going so far as to mix it up with weather changes. People animate well and the fight scenes have an intangible aura of speed, cunning, and manage to get the ol' heart pumping without fail. Generally you'll be seeing firefights, but very frequently Canaan tosses kung fu and close quarters combat sequnces your way to keep the mind stimulated.
Sound was done amazingly, keeping in mind that I watched the dubbed version. Whenever a weapon fired it felt "real" (phenomenal foley artists, I'd hazard a guess that they recorded with the actual weapons) and there was an appropriate amount of "weight" to important details. Footsteps emit a proper thudding "plonk", and all conceivable sounds seemed real, I got the impression that quality was the emphasis here, and the final product reflects that appropriately.
Overall, Canaan was extremely pleasant, it earned a spot on my upper echelon favorites list among its fellow TYPE-MOON anime adaptations (Lunar Legend Tsukihime and Kara No Kyoukai). I would recommend it to any and all action fans, but I'd propose that fans of skillful character development take a look as well. After seeing all thirteen episodes my only complaint was minor, the ending was great and seemingly intentionally made to leave something to your imagination, but I want a sequel! (it was too much fun, like summer does every year, it floated by ever too quickly).
Canaan is licensed by Sentai Filmworks, if you'd like to learn more I suggest visiting Youtube and watching the opening sequence, it effectively illustrates the style and feel of the show quite well.