Canaan Makes Me Wanna Be a Synesthesist

Synesthesia
Corporate Glasses Dude: “Do you know about synesthesia?
…Vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell.
…A person who can use these independent five senses at the same time is called a Synesthesist.
For examples, they can see colors from letters, and sound takes a definite shape to them.
Well, it differs from person to person.
I was wondering if I could take this further and use it on IFF technology.
Use the other senses to distinguish the information gathered by vision.
That’s an undiscovered field in science…
[fanservice shot of a bare leg in a bath]
“I must purify my body before I welcome my sister.
…Even though I don’t have synesthesia, I can feel my sisters’ pulsation through my purified skin.
A low pulsation makes my abdomens undulate.
And a strong pulsation…
…makes the red inside me flare up.
[orgasm/sexual arousal reference… the redhead comes out of the bath black-haired, dripping wet and naked… and fulfills her function as the secretary of the Corporate Glasses Dude]

canann 01 festival dragon

Canaan is a sensory feast, which I hope excuses me from posting too many images in this essay of first impressions. At the end of the first episode I know very few things about the titular lead character, but I think I know something important: she makes me want to watch more of this show. She makes me want to revise my recently published waifu post; but maybe not yet, since it’s only the first date.

The standout aspect of this show is the superlative production values. I see movie-quality sequences all over the place: from crowd scenes, festival celebrations, people just walking around, and the fast paced action moments. It’s quality stuff all over the place. It looks good, it sounds good. Then it gave me something very interesting:

Corporate Glasses Director Dude: “Do you know about synesthesia?

…Vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell.

…A person who can use these independent five senses at the same time is called a Synesthesist.

For examples, they can see colors from letters, and sound takes a definite shape to them.

Well, it differs from person to person.

I was wondering if I could take this further and use it on IFF technology.

Use the other senses to distinguish the information gathered by vision.

That’s an undiscovered field in science…

[fanservice shot of a bare leg in a bath]

canann 01 woman bath tub feeling her sister's pulsations through her purified skin

“I must purify my body before I welcome my sister.

…Even though I don’t have synesthesia, I can feel my sisters’ pulsation through my purified skin.

A low pulsation makes my abdomens undulate.

And a strong pulsation…

…makes the red inside me flare up.

[orgasm/sexual arousal reference… the woman comes out of the bath, dripping wet and naked… and fulfills her function as the secretary of the Corporate Glasses Director Dude; eyecatch]

canann 01 woman bath effects of strong pulsation

This ‘synesthesis’ concept is further explored in the subsequent scenes, only taking a sinister turn in that the narrative strongly suggests that it is a fatal experience for those who do not have the power to take advantage of it:

canann 01 synesthesis effect high pulsation making red inside flare upcanann 01 synesthesis effect fatal

Death throes even the (naive) photographer Oosawa doesn’t immediately pick up on. The above scene is rather powerful, if you take note of the innocence represented by the revelry of the kids (kitsune mask!) and the naive documentation of the would-be journalist. The composition of the image is superb I think. Now note the purple splotch on the victim after time of death has passed.

canann 01 synesthesis effect fatal 2

This time, Oosawa notices something important — though she won’t be able to make something of it yet. ‘Snakes,’ ‘Cat’s Cradle,’ the narrative introduces a number of words that will have meaning later on. I do hope that the exposition is better handled here compared to Higurashi no Eden, whose narrative I had difficulty following. The well-coordinated action scenes combined with superb animation will make it very easy to forgive or overlook should it falter in that area though.

Throughout the set-piece action scenes, I thought I’d at least capture Canaan in motion. Here she is dancing (through gunfire) with a pole:

canann 01 canaan pole dance 01

Even if I weren’t a synesthesist, I think I had fireworks ‘flare up inside me.’

canann 01 festival fireworks

Episode 01: Crimson Shanghai ends with a bang. I think I can handle a syesthetic experience of this show.

Further Reading

Synesthesia is a real phenomenon yo! (Wikipedia) [->]

Guess who turned out to be a synesthete. I lol’d (animekritik 2009/07/07)

The waifu list I was yammering about at the top of the post (Do you think Canaan herself would end up in yours?) [->]

I like this show so far, but I’m still butthurt about the lack of robot shows this summer [->]

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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24 Responses to Canaan Makes Me Wanna Be a Synesthesist

  1. animekritik says:

    yup, this show is very visually stimulating, although the number of plot hints is so huge that i don’t know how they can wrap it all up neatly in 13 episodes. I’d have to see more of Canaan to know if i’d want her for a waifu (when i say “see more” i mean that literally)…

    • ghostlightning says:

      LOL. The Higurashi no Eden model of having a 3-month anime serve as an advertisement for the movie is a sound one. It’s clearly not meant for the convenience of fansub consumers like myself who want everything neatly wrapped up in a season. However, the model itself has been used successfully by fight sports on TV.

      Boxing, Professional Wrestling, and Mixed Martial Arts; but most effectively by the World Wrestling Entertainment business. The weekly shows are advertisements for the monthly pay-per-view events, where all major ‘story lines’ are initiated and resolved.

      I think it’s a rather clever way to distribute entertainment products.

    • TheBigN says:

      Well, before I make any judgments on how well they can tie things together, I feel like I need a couple more episodes of information to make a decision one way or another (not I like I care too much about that though. :P). But yes, great first episode. :3

      • ghostlightning says:

        Likewise, I’m mightily intrigued though — at the conceit of using this condition/affliction (?) as some kind of super ability. I’m going to follow this.

  2. Joe Jacobs says:

    I have a slight case of synesthesia. Numbers and letters have colors, while the days of the week have a three dimensional form that I visualize in my mind’s eye. This post makes me want to give this show a chance.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thank you. I’m not sure if I understand Synesthesia well enough to get if it’s an affliction or a fun ability to have, so I don’t know if I or the anime were being insensitive.

  3. waffo says:

    Hmm, I’m into neuroscience so it looks like I’ll have to look into Canaan. Synesthesia is what first perked my interest. Though people with synesthesia are called synesthetes, not synesthesists, unless that changed in the last year or two.

    All I’ve got of synesthesia are a very select few sounds having colors. Used to have a really annoying characteristic with weight/pressure when I was a kid but luckily that’s gone.

    • ghostlightning says:

      In the show the term is changed to put a spin and make the condition some kind of special power; it is an action show. I don’t know what to totally make of it yet, but it seems very interesting to me right now.

  4. tj han says:

    Hey if I were a cripple I would be interested in watching shows where cripples beat the shit out of regular people. With their walking sticks.

  5. animewriter says:

    Well, if you want to watch a live action horror movie that has synesthesia as a major theme then get a hold of a copy of the movie “Synesthesia, Japan 2004”, or the ADV Films version 2007.

    • ghostlightning says:

      Thanks for the tip! I’ll consider it the more Canaan holds my interest. If that movie involves giant robots in any way I’m all over it already.

  6. DonKangolJones says:

    Finally got around to your posts. And I finally finished this episode. And I agree with your points. The thing that stands out the most to me is how jaw dropping BEAUTIFUL this episode was. I think this show might fall into the category of shows like Madlax & Gunslinger for me, which I haven’t had much interest in. But if the story doesn’t just confuse and lead me on, then I’ll stick with it. The end of ep 2 definitely confused me though. “A hot cat girl? Uh.. thank you very much, but what are doing here?”

    • ghostlightning says:

      Yeah this episode is quite jaw dropping, all the way to the opening sequence of episode two. I kind of feel that the show went into a weird direction after that, but yes it still looks very good.

  7. Hangmen says:

    Gun porn and delicious flat chest (really, what’s up with TYPE MOON and strong flat-chested women?). This is my fetish.

    • ghostlightning says:

      This show will please you then! Canaan herself is amazing, though disturbing to hear that she hasn’t even started menstruating yet. This is disturbing.

      • animekritik says:

        Disturbing to some, but obviously a piece of fanservice to others.

        • kaiserpingvin says:

          I am rather sure it was merely an insult of a sort, rest assured.

          …or so I would like to say, then I remember that Saber was supposed to be (physically) around fourteen, as incredibly little sense as that made. One can never know with T-M.

        • ghostlightning says:

          Like this guy? [->]

  8. ET says:

    It’s synesthete, not synesthesist. *nitpicking* I’m of mixed feelings about this, though, since I am an actual synesthete—albeit not the color type, even if I do have colors for numbers—and the real thing is not half so glamorous. Or arresting (although I gather that the type Nabokov has can be rather interesting). Or even all that noticeable. I and the other synesthetes I know wouldn’t trade it for the world, but it’s just…there, you know.

    But I’m guessing the realistic portrayal of synesthesia wouldn’t be romantic. Better for it to join the club of Tweaked Anime Science and Phenomena?

    • ghostlightning says:

      I apologize, I followed what would seem to be less than reliable translation. The show after 3 episodes does portray it as some kind of H4xx0rz power, and kind of broken too. However I’m not sure it has sustained my interest. I’m still watching, but not enjoying myself much.

  9. Pingback: Harsh! Consuming Media Not-So-Related to Our Interests « We Remember Love

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