I’m not sure why but [C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control will be my favorite show this Spring. Maybe the reason derives from the surrealism of the Financial District or the economic symbolism or the imaginative concept that drives this show to mesmerize me. No, perhaps it’s much simpler than that. Perhaps it’s just that this show is fun. Oh and Masakaki is awesome. But I’m sure you already knew that.
C opens at a bank where a rather troubled-looking man can’t seem to withdrawal money from any of his various accounts. Down to his final option, the man inserts a rather abnormal card into the ATM, which, in turn, shifts the mode from standard to disturbing. Upon finishing with the machine, the man exits the bank only to find a chauffer waiting to transport him to the illusory and uncomfortably red Financial District. Cut to Mikuni, a powerful Entrepreneur, having a casual conversation with his Asset, Q, regarding the philosophy of money before being interrupted by a rather peculiar and unsightly fellow named Masakaki. Informed that a Deal is taking place now, Mikuni leaves his date and faces off against the unlucky gentleman from before. Using their Assets and funds to do battle, Mikuni bankrupts his opponent, thus forcefully removing him from the Financial Distrcit.
Back at Heisei University of Economics, we meet our protagonist, Kimimaro, along with his fellow classmate Hanabi. While enjoying lunch, the two are approached by acquaintances asking if they’d want to come to a party. Kimimaro, not wanting to spend his meager savings unnecessarily, declines and heads to his part-time jobs. While discussing with ideal future life with coworkers, the helpful Hanabi appears with notes on an imminent exam tomorrow. After a short exchange of words, Kimimaro invites Hanabi out for some drinks unaware she already had plans to spend time with her boyfriend.
Feeling isolated, Kimimaro returns home in the dark of the night. While studying for the impending exam, an inconspicuous knock interrupts him from a much-need and probably much-desired nap and summons him to the front door. At first there was nothing. Then, Masakaki spoke, introducing himself as an associate of the Bank of Midas prepared to offer a loan. Unable to get the pesky solicitor away after multiple attempts, Kimimaro finally yields and listens to what the dimensional being has to say. It is explained that there is an opening for a new Entrepreneur in the Financial District and Kimimaro has been selected as the replacement. By entering into this position, Kimimaro can receive wildly large sums of money by using his future as collateral. Adamantly refusing the offer, Masakaki points out to Kimimaro that he would then have the free time to see people and could forget worrying about job security. Upon waking up from that uneasy and unsettling illusion (it requires 2 times to wake up from something that terrifying), Kimimaro goes about the rest of the day considering the offer. At an ATM, he notices his balance is mistakenly high and decides to withdrawal part of it thinking it is merely a banking error. Rather, it’s an advance from Masakaki, who uses this opportunity to slyly hijack Kimimaro and take him to the Financial District.
Like I said before, I think the thing I enjoy the most about C is that it is fun. There are several aspects about the show that please me, from its significant use of symbolism to the personalities of the characters to the setting that is the Financial District and to the vastly improved animation (compared to the PV released weeks ago) and lovely usage of CGI. But above all those aspects, I was entertained. True, the entertainment is derived from many of those aspects and even more, but when the episode was over, the first thought that materialized in my mind was how fun this first episode was. And it wasn’t just amusing when Masakaki and Kimimaro were talking in that dreamscape or the battle between Mikuni and the unnamed failure, but throughout. The small bits were vital, too. The segments where Kimimaro talked with his coworkers not only provided some insight into his character and the world he resides in but mirrored real world conversations between acquaintances. It’s nice to see dialogue that flows naturally like that while also being relevant to the character’s development or the story at hand. I’m pretty interested to see where the plot goes, especially since Kimimaro has yet to meet Mashu, his Asset in the Financial District. Well, whatever happens in the future, I’m sure I will enjoy it.
And since I recently brought up the topic of Assets, I figure I should segue into the other matter I wanted to flesh out in this post and that’s the brilliant use of symbolism in C. The way I see it, the fights in the Financial District are not like those found in Pokémon or Yu-Gi-Oh but involve a much deeper meaning. I see these Deals as corporations warring against each other. The Entrepreneurs are like the CEOs and Assets themselves are the corporations. They brawl, physically, in order to achieve a financial victory, while the real life counterparts do battle in the market itself. The corporation with the larger funds at its disposal is the stronger fighter and the CEOs dump their money into these corporations to win in the economic arena. Just like in the real world, two companies compete and usually the dominant one will win causing the losing company to decline even the point of being bought out or declaring bankruptcy. I’m wondering how far this analogy will go, if there will be partnerships between Entrepreneurs to take down colossal corporations or if monopolies will arise in certain aspects or even just the nature of making money in the Financial District and how it affect Kimimaro. Regardless of the use, the symbolism has been astounding in C.
Lastly, I was surprised to see how improved the animation was in C. Thinking back to the few PVs there were released, I remembered the bland appearance of everything dampening my enthusiasm for this anime. There were choppy kinetics, plain props, and an overall lack of detail in most of the characters. In other words, it was poor as an anime (heh, a pun). But the episode finally aired and, although I had expected there to be corrections, the animation was rather a highlight for the show than an anchor. There were corrections to several aspects, not just the few I mentioned above, which pleased me. But what I thought was significant was the usage of CGI animation. My favorite of these scenes was when Kimimaro and Masakaki were riding that chair through the dream-like fantasy. All those unnecessary movements, both of the entire body and the face, seemed rather realistic. It’s a shame animes don’t have higher budgets, so that every scene we can see all the humanistic motions that would bring the characters to life rather than having a still image where only the eyes blink and the mouth speaks. Maybe Masakaki can approach Tatsunoko Production (the studio behind C) and ask for their future as collateral for a sudden surge in their funds. With a future that involves producing this outstanding anime, I’m sure they could get quite the deal.