It is shown that he once went on a crusade to destroy all life and create universal purification, thinking that life is a weakness, a mistake made by the Creators. He was once the avatar, but was banished when he refused to stand down. After refusing to surrender his seat, he was trapped away in a cage, and was imprisoned through 10,000 years, until Satis loses his role as Avatar.
To gain back his throne, he uses the show's main protagonist, Eva Wei, as his main pawn for some time, killing her mother to give her motivation to participate in the Great Race of Oban, destroying the Whizzing Arrow I and injuring its pilot, Rick Thunderbolt, so that Eva has to race in his place. He knows that when she wins the Great Race, her carelessness would set him free and once again give him the opportunity to be Avatar, and finish what he started.
Canaletto was once the avatar little over 10,000 years ago. During his reign, he began his crusade to destroy different planets, as part of his wretched anarchy to re-shape the universe. When his term ended and Satis had won, he refused to give up his title.
To end the corrupted Avatar and his twisted goal, Satis faced Canaletto and called to O for help, as only he could destroy him. But O refused to do this, and thus Satis was forced to banish the tyrant. And so, he was imprisoned by the Great Beings. From his confinement, Canaletto believes that he was wrongfully removed from his rightful throne, and intends his return as avatar once again when Satis' term would cease.
10 years before the events of the Great Race of Oban, he was responsible for the death of Maya Wei, Eva's mother, during the final race with Spirit. By achieving this, he was able to make the heroine his puppet.
Alwas CycleHis presence is first shown during the Alwas Cycle, the first portion of the Great Race of Oban, in which he sets the next phase of his plan, which he sends his faithful, and possibly last, disciple to sabotage the Whizzing Arrow I, piloted by Rick. After his crash, which has also destroyed his career in star racing, Rick goes on an investigation to learn about who was behind his incident. This leads him to Canaletto's disciple at a rundown shrine, where Rick learns the truth and glimpses the mark of Canaletto, drawn onto the shrine's wall in red ink, and a relic in his shape.
Upon discovering a talisman with the same insigna, Rick seeks the knowledge of a mage, who telepathically reveals him to the great evil. Canaletto, after discussing his past life, teleports Rick back to reality, saying that he is of no further use to him anymore.
Canaletto, bound in chains and trapped in a cage suspended over a pit of a crimson substance, continues to orchestrate his goal by manipulating, from behind the scenes, the Oban Cycle, the second and final portion of the Great Race. He uses his powers to narrow down the strongest racer of the contestants, until it becomes apparent that the 'magician' Sul is the strongest.
During one of the last three races, Canaletto uses his powerful influence to capture Sul from the race, confronting him as a projection to offer him a rare alliance; to combine their powers to bring an age of purity. Sul, however, refuses, and attacks him with a magical blast, seemingly killing him. However, Canaletto executes his backup plan: imprisoning Sul in another dimension.
With Sul gone and before the final race, Canaletto's influence becomes stronger. Even while Sul was being dragged into the trans-dimensional portal, Satis discovered the evil that was slithering its way into the temple. When he reached the fountain within the temple, Satis saw it gushing an evil-looking black substance, knowing it is the work of Canaletto. Out of the fountain, four projections of the dark lord appear before Satis, proclaiming that the "hour is near." Satis, angered by the ill intrustion, slams his staff on the floor, unleashing golden wave rings to destroy the projections. But much to his shock and horror, Satis learns of Sul's defeat when Canaletto mentions that his time has come.Eva, upon winning the Great Race, is summoned by Satis to the enthronement to become the new avatar. She refuses for the moment, returning to the Earth Team's Quarters. Unbeknowst to anyone, this is what Canaletto had been waiting for, as Satis's powers slowly ebbe away, Canaletto is soon unbound from his cage and consumes the entire of Oban in shadows. Canaletto appears before a weakened Satis, and exacts his revenge for his imprisonment by zapping, flailing, and constricting him through a telekinetic power. After he finishes torturing Satis, Canaletto proceeds to the pyramid that the avatar's powers are stored in, preparing to continue his quest to "destroy the old and start a new." But Satis uses the last of his energy to destroy the pyramid. In furied retaliation, Canaletto releases an energy wave upon Satis, catapulting him out of the temple.
After the destruction reaped upon Oban, Canaletto provides a challenge for the Earth Team, Nourasian Prince Aikka, and O by reviving two golems with his dark magic. A battle ensured, which ended in O sacrificing itself to destroy the golems.
Upon entry to the Temple of the Heart, Aikka and Jordan C. Wilde, Eva's partner and love interest, protect her from Canaletto, but to no avail. Jordan's cannon does nothing to the villain, and in retaliation, he releases an energy wave, crippling Jordan's leg. When faced with Aikka's arrows, he merely deflects them back, causing an explosion which badly injures both Aikka and Jordan.With no one in the way of his prize, Canaletto reveals himself before Eva. She quickly charges at him with a dagger, but Canaletto disintergrates it, complementing Eva's inner resources despite the fact that she is not destined not to defeat him. He then reveals to her that she was under his influence since her mother's demise. Using this to his advantage, he takes control of Eva completely, almost making her avatar in his place. However, the Creators refuse and attack him. Each one is struck by Canaletto's evil powers, becoming part of the avatar core. He incantates a spell to grant him access to the core, and reaches out to become the new avatar. But Jordan, who professes his love for Eva, flings himself into the core, becoming part of the avatar core. Crying out "NO!" and screaming in defeat, Canaletto is consumed by the new avatar's energy, obliterating the evil entity and his malice forever.
Abilities and Powers
As demonstrated throughout the series, he controls dark energy powers and black magic, which may have been developed over the millennia of his imprisonment. Indeed, even without his physical body, he is a match for both Sul and Satis. He also displays powers similar to Sul, in regards to altering destiny and controlling people.
In his physical form, he is extremely powerful, even more so than as a projection. He shows great magical strength, enough to defeat Satis and Jordan. He is also able to control objects in his physical form, like deflecting Aikka's arrows and bringing the golems to life. He also possesses great strength, enough to survive cannon blasts from Jordan, and not even getting a single scratch.
- The creators of Oban Star Racers revealed that Canaletto's original design was that of a bird. Even in his final design, he has a head shaped like a raven's, which is symbolized as a bird of bad omen.
- His motive for wanting to become avatar was to create a world of purity, but whether that meant only he existed of whether he meant these words are unclear. Satis spoke against this, saying that it was for the good for himself, which meant bad for the former.
- Canaletto shares his name with a 17 century painter, whom full name is Giovanni Antonio Canal. Whether this is coincidence or not is unknown.