Review: Good Smile Company 1/8 Canaan

Finishing the Canaan TV series has conveniently inspired me to finish the review of Good Smile Company’s 1/8 scale Canaan that I started with my previous post on the matter. I’ve dusted off a few of the outdoor shots for this review as well as put Canaan in front of the camera again for some new material.

Gallery

Review

Canaan, the TV series, is a shoot ’em up on its face and a more introspective, psychological endeavor underneath. It’s hard to express the latter in PVC, so GSC wisely chose to emphasize the action-oriented nature of the show with a wonderfully dynamic pose capturing Canaan falling backwards, cape billowing outward, while exchanging gunfire with some unseen adversary–presumably Alphard, who has a figure of her own from GSC. It’s exactly the kind of pose you would expect from a show of this nature and Canaan’s body language seems appropriate for the situation, so no complaints there. The mid-air action freeze does necessitate a visible peg, which I typically find a bit annoying, but the peg is fairly short and gets lost easily enough amidst the rock formations of the detailed terrain base that GSC wisely provides with Canaan.

The paint work is similarly quite good, as we have come to expect from GSC in recent years. Detailed shading adds a nice degree of depth wherever creases and folds appear in Canaan’s clothing. Canaan’s pants–a veritable rarity in the fanservice-oriented figure industry–are a particular high point in this regard. The aforementioned display base is painted with rustic warm tones resembling a desert landscape similar to those seen frequently near the end of the TV series.

Up to now, everything sounds as it should be. Canaan should be another essential, must-have figure from one of the respected names in the industry, right? Not quite. Unfortunately, GSC cursed Canaan with bad hair. Seriously. This is the worst hair sculpt I’ve seen since Clayz’s original blue dress Saber way back in 2006 when I first started collecting figures. Where most figures these days have just one identifiable hair seam–where two pieces of PVC come together–Canaan has three, none of which are very well hidden; a fact that is most evident when viewed from above. To make matters worse, a number of small leftover mold imprints are visible in the strands of her hair. This level of effort might be expected from some of the other manufacturers within the figure industry, but it stands as a baffling and troubling oversight from the same company that delivered the lusciously detailed hair of Rin Tohsaka.

Despite the hair, I don’t hate GSC’s Canaan. I think she’s a good figure and one that I have no regrets in picking up, but I do believe she does fall short of essential status for one very significant lapse in execution. Those interested in Canaan’s particular brand of western gunslinger motif might be better served by looking at Alphard instead. She shares a number of significant design similarities to Canaan, but the respective ratings of both figures over at MyFigureCollection.net suggest that users are more satisfied with Alphard.

Highs

  • Action-packed, mid-air, freeze frame pose
  • Chicks with guns
  • Iconic, TYPE-MOON character design
  • Detailed paint and body sculpt work
  • Three-dimensional, textured display base

Lows

  • Truly dreadful hair sculpt

Other Reviews

As usual, I’m not the first to review this figure, especially this far after release. Check out these other reviews for an alternate take:

Miscellany

Thoughts on the Anime

The Canaan TV series managed to exceed my initial expectations, if only slightly. I was initially draw to the series because of its TYPE-MOON roots, but I had tempered expectations based on a lack of significant buzz from the community. Canaan features lush visuals and plenty of action early on, but I was surprised by how quickly the show transitioned from gun fights to exploring the personal issues of all the major characters. I’m reminded of Evangelion in that respect. Overall, I found Canaan to be quite enjoyable and it held my interest better than most, but the writing is spotty at times and the ending ultimately feels unsatisfying.

Financial Data

  • Purchased from: Hobby Search
  • Order date: 5-Jan-2010
  • Ship date: 8-Apr-2010
  • Receive date: 12-Apr-2010
  • Base price (JPY): ¥7,961
  • Shipping cost (JPY): ¥2,800 (EMS)
  • Discounts (JPY): ¥404, via Hobby Search points
  • Total cost (JPY): ¥10,357
  • Foreign transaction fee (USD): $3.37
  • Total cost (USD): $112.42

Technical Data

  • Package dimensions (width): 210 mm
  • Package dimensions (height): 240 mm
  • Package dimensions (depth): 160 mm
  • Shipping weight (figure + base + accessories): 264 g
  • Shipping weight (packaging): 311 g

6 thoughts on “Review: Good Smile Company 1/8 Canaan

    • Thanks!

      With Canaan, I got the idea to remove the figure from the base for some of the shots, which freed me up to do some stuff that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. I’m thinking this wouldn’t have worked as well as it did if she wasn’t posed the way that she is in this figure.

  1. She looks like a pretty figure, especially her face seems to be nice.
    from your shots I can’t see that she has badly executed hair
    if you haven’t written that in your reviewed I haven’t noticed it at all.

    I also like her outfit, the back revealing red top and the trousers with the heavy shoes are a nice combination.

    Alphard is also a cool figure, her badass face expression probably makes her more interesting.

    • Canaan is damn near perfect except for her hair. It’s hard to see the issues unless you’re looking really closely and only then from certain angles. The hair issue isn’t a deal-breaker for me, but it is pretty disappointing when taken in the context of GSC’s greater body of work.

      I really liked Alphard’s character in the TV series. She’s charmingly enigmatic on top of being the obviously badass gunslinger girl that she is. I’d love to pick up the GSC figure of her, but there are so many other already-released figures in front of her on my wish list that I doubt I’ll ever get the chance.

  2. Hi Adam, first off I have to say I am so jealous of your shots! I love the close up of your Canaan. And some of the poses you have her in I would have never thought of!

    Can I ask what kind of camera and lenses you have?

    • Hi Dinara,

      Thanks! I’m glad you like the shots. I went a little crazy with some of the setups after finding that the way that GSC posed Canaan opened up a bunch of creative possibilities.

      I have a Nikon D90 with a 18-55mm kit lens, 35mm prime lens, and a 60mm macro lens (effective 90mm with the crop factor). I use the macro lens for roughly 95% of my shots and the others only sparingly.

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