expensive boat

Categories: anime


Unfortunate analogy that shares a word with an unfortunate meme only makes this post more confusing.

Let me give you a concept. There’s a cool, dead-eyed assassin on a mysterious journey of redemption. Everything about this assassin is veiled in a thick layer of mystery that wants to be melted away. You could write novels, compose operas, or even Twitter about the battles that this assassin has gone through. Top it off, why not make this assassin some hawt female with skin-tight clothes?

It’s not a concept lost on anime. Just, well, maybe it is lost on anime. I couldn’t really describe the syndrome of this female assassin genre that– in theory– should be more appealing than four girls trying to form a band or a moe blob named after “potato” and “mayonnaise,” but why do these shows always leave me wondering if they could be better. Yes, I’m looking at you Bee Train.

Then I read this post on the NYT explaining people’s most expensive purchases and their happiest purchases, and then it looked at the intersecting set of items in both. It’s not surprising. Things like houses, higher education, and travel are high on both lists. I equate them to giant mecha, successful light novels, and successful visual novels– these genres generally deliver. Not always, but enough that if there’s a new Gundam series or a Little Busters anime from Kyoto, I know it’s going to be watchable at the very least.

But the mysterious female assassin genre? Well, after scanning Tierney’s blog post, I realized that they’re the boat (not a nice one, just an expensive one) of anime. Everyone who has ever owned a boat fantasized about owning one before they bought it like how I fantasize about Mikuru and Mio serving me “afternoon tea.” Yet, after they purchase it, a lot of boat owners end up cursing the money sink that their boat becomes. That’s the way I feel about the mysterious female assassin genre. Always more price than pleasure.

I have two problems with this genre. One, all the characters are so dark and cool and mysterious that they all seem boring. Okay, this one chews on Pocky instead of Pixie Stix. Um, fantastic. Characters for drama should have some sort of interesting flaw beyond “missing her memory” or “used to kill people for money”. Two, they’re all dead aims, and there’s only so many action scenes possible with people with dead aim without re-enacting the last fifteen minutes of Commando. I like how Canaan manages to do a Litchi-like pole dance and manage to head shot like five guys while avoid automatic gunfire. Maybe Eins can’t head shot five guys while doing a pole dance, but I’m sure she could manage at least two or three.


(Maybe three problems: when Noir introduced the lesbian overtones, it was cute. By 2009, I want them to stop teasing me. Either give Maria and Canaan a Xia Yu Lan and Xia Yu Fan-type shower scene or just focus on killing people. Stop being half-assed about the lesbian aspect. I’ve seen enough half-assed lesbian mysterious assassins already. Thanks.)

Now, maybe Canaan is different. For one, it’s not Bee Train. It also has Rie Tanaka voicing a completely ape shit crazy character. But, it’s PA Works, which didn’t exactly produce a fantastic plot or story with True Tears (I even wondered why the hell did they scrap the plot from the game to focus on a middling chicken girl). Let’s just say that I have more confidence in PA Works turning into the next Gonzo (maybe technologically good, but soulless… i.e. you don’t want to see their Clannad, even for shits and giggles) than Canaan turning into a solid anime. Maybe it will. And maybe I won’t regret purchasing such a nice boat.

23 Responses to “expensive boat”

  1. Never did hear what you thought of the end of Daughter of 20 Faces. We ever gonna get closure?

  2. Well let see how this show turn out. Then if maybe that Canaan is actually a lesbian chick than I’m all for it.

  3. Kyou got me the first time around. Stupid mirrors.

  4. They still hadn’t answered what’s wrong with those fellows who start hemorrhaging after losing their animal ‘heads’. I’m probably going to watch some more just for that answer and hope that it isn’t something lame.

    And where are those assassin genre anime that features heaps of ‘unfortunate accidents’? People dying from being locked in a boiling sauna or crushed by a falling candelier never gets old. Especially when there’s someone else engineering the whole thing.

  5. I think it could be good. I’m not expecting any amazing deep storylines though. I don’t watch ANY anime for their amazing plot.

    Canaan looks good, sounds good (sawashiro miyuki, mmmmm), and is based on a type moon game, so I’m hoping it’ll come out as a good show. Even if it doesn’t, I’m pretty sure I’ll have seen worse.

  6. Expensive Boats pretty much are every Type Moon game turned anime. FSN and Tsukihime… both suffered from not actually finishing the overall story of the games…

    Yes, I was praying for them to hit Unlimited Blade Works or Heaven’s Feel completely.

    So it’s not just the assassin genre.

    Actually (thinking of Michiko to Hatchin) pretty much every “two girls go on adventure” story feels soulless… Thelma and Louise ripoffs never get anywhere, maybe.

    Now, to watch Full Metal Panic again, ‘cuz you can do a lot with a dead-shot assassin if you surround him with a tsundere and a fleet of giant robots.

  7. Before I choose the series I’m going to pickup this season, I prefer to wait for your thin slicing. But canaan was high on the list though.

  8. Funny, my impression of True Tears was the exact opposite. Usually the whole romance-drama anime niche bores the crap out of me, with bland characters, predictible plots and annoyingly unrealistic characterisation. True Tears was one of the few I actually finished because of how refreshingly interesting the writing was, and how much less trite and more believable the characters felt.

    I also liked Canaan quite a bit, though, so maybe I’m broken. In fact, I’m posting comments on your blog, so the chances are fairly high that that’s the case.

    As an aside, I don’t think it’s fair to hold things up to the fairly lofty standards of the Xia sisters. As far as female assassin yuri goes, twincest is like a tactical nuke.

  9. I think you hit the nail on the head. The “mysterious female assassin” genre is boxed in by those elements, making it predictable and unsympathetic. It’s not just a problem with anime either- think of that spurt of action flicks that came out (Aeon Flux, UltraViolet, couple others I can’t remember)- I think they all bombed?

    Now, where is my clumsy female assassin genre?

  10. “Maybe three problems: when Noir introduced the lesbian overtones, it was cute. By 2009, I want them to stop teasing me. Either give Maria and Canaan a Xia Yu Lan and Xia Yu Fan-type shower scene or just focus on killing people. Stop being half-assed about the lesbian aspect. I’ve seen enough half-assed lesbian mysterious assassins already. Thanks.”

    Amen. I’m still going to check this one out if only because of its pedigree, but the fact that they never go beyond teasing in this genre (with the exception of the end of El Cazador) ticks me off.

  11. Hey at least blonde camerawoman is hot. What was her name?

  12. I, for one, would love to see a clumsy female assassin genre.

  13. >>clumsy female assassin genre.

    Mikuru and Fubuki team up as clumsy meido assassins? Yes please.

  14. At least it looks pretty.

  15. tsukihime and fate/stay night suffered from overly complex source material

  16. At kleast we didn’t get Studio DEEN in the works, I’ll hate another series from Type-Moon did it by them.

  17. Definitely agree with you about female assassins. Also, Canaan has the markings of a trainwreck in the works… already have a token moe disabled girl, over-the-top superhuman acrobatic action, and the juxtaposition of SERIOUS BUSINESS emo spine contortion versus cute stuffed animal heads…

  18. Well, the way I understand this, is the Secret Power is a controllable form of the mental disorder Synesthesia, and, of course, Canaan is most likely an escaped experiment subject from Evil Corporation (the naked chick and the foot guy) that has the Secret Power. The animal heads are failed experiments, and they need the heads so as to not be overwhelmed by the colors. The bloody eyes, of course, is the manifestation of said overwhelming. The guys with the masks are agents of Evil Corp. and also were successful experiment subjects. Also, perhaps Canaan is a super-compatible subject, and the Synesthesia is much more effective in her..?

  19. I actually enjoyed Canaan to a point, but I agree completely about the lesbian tones, do it or stfu. I’m sick of the suggestions. Move on or move out.

    Endless Eight really seems like it’s gonna go 0-14! I can’t wait. It would be the greatest troll of all time.

  20. WAIT WAIT Even though I watched the 1st episode raw, I could have SWORN that Canaan was a dude??? Are those things really boobs? I thought they were pecks??? Can anyone confirm this?

  21. yea apparently synesthesia equals having the friggn sharingan, and hear I thought it was just a weird brain disorder that music composers would get on occasion. I completely agree with you on lesbian overtones either shit or get off the pot. I’m hoping this new blue flower show delivers some goodness in that area.

    @beowulf: they are boobies until proven otherwise. perhaps she’ll take a bath with the crazy office girl some time and we’ll find out.

  22. So let me get this straight, an animation company has only produced one TV Series so far which apparently you didn’t find stellar, although a fair amount of others did, and you are already condemning them as the next Gonzo because they’re adapting a female assassin duo which is usually Bee Train’s shtick? Sorry but I’m not connecting the dots here.

  23. Why is it that if it’s a mysterious male character, he either stays single or gets a love interest (of the opposite sex), but if it’s the female counterpart, it’s always guaranteed that the love interest is of the same sex?

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