What do we expect from the middle of C? With the third episode over, we can safely say we are facing the heart of the series now. But what will it show us? Will there be a constant torrent of Deals from veteran Entrepreneurs (calling them Entres sounds both dumb and delicious) attempting to bankrupt our protagonist? Will a beautiful or fateful relationship develop between Kimimaro and Msyu? Can we expect Masakaki to harass everyone with his puzzling behavior? And what about how cute Q is?
Actually, it might be easier to ask a significant question that can be answered at this time. And that is: what path while this anime take?
The third episode of C budgeted its time developing the backgrounds of three fairly dissimilar Entrepreneurs who all happen to use the Japanese Financial District. Jennifer’s task is report to the IMF what happens in this economic realm while avoiding bankruptcy by competing in Duels. Moreover, she is also trying to investigate the man at the top, Souichirou Mikuni, and his influence on the flux of money between worlds, which she plans to stop. She seems to have her own desires regarding this inquiry that drives her to do this work but not much else is known about her except she likes sweets. Being new, she also got an insight of her personality, too. Outside her role in the story, Jennifer had some amusing moments, mainly with her attitude, and provides some general information to the audience about the Financial District. She’s a rather likable character who is on no one’s side but her own. It’ll be interesting to see how she interacts around the man she’s stalking, Mikuni.
Mikuni’s history is entirely different. While with Kimimaro, Mikuni provided an insight into his past and his philosophies regarding money. It appears Mikuni’s father cared only about his wealth and rather than his family. Mikuni witnessed the suffering of his sister with her dire yet curable disease that could have been mitigated with an affordable medical intervention. Instead, he saw his father invest in his beloved company. When Mikuni matured and earned enough of his wealth, he got back at his father by buying his company and taking it away from him. As this story is Mikuni’s history, it provides an accurate reflection of his monetary philosophy: collect money to use for others. He realizes it is useless to just save money for the sake of having money and that its true purpose is to be used. And listening to this whole story, besides the viewers, was our protagonist, Kimimaro.
Kimimaro brings yet another perspective to the already diverse Financial District. After learning that his father is somehow connected to the Financial District, he begins to search out clues regarding his disappearance, first from his aunt and then from Masakaki. Mikuni, instead, points him to Taketazaki, the local information broker. After an exchange of cash, Taketazaki explains to Kimimaro what his father was like and what happened to him. While feeling disgusted about what he heard, already on top of his dislike for him, Mikuni tells Kimimaro that he was earning this money for his family. Kimimaro then remembers searching through a diary listing only numbers (and likely being connected to the Financial District in some way) a photo of him as a baby being held by his father. That keepsake showed that his father did indeed care about him while earning and losing wealth in the Financial District. This gives Kimimaro a lot to mull about, including his future in the Financial District. We already know what path he’ll take (because it’s only episode 3 out of 11 and he’s not going to quit now) but understanding his motor tells us a more about his character than any background could have.
So now we better understand three of the central figures of the Financial District. Jennifer is out to inform the IMF about the current events of this world while personally trying to understand the effects of the monetary exchange between worlds. Mikuni is out to accumulate more and more wealth for the benefit of others but who exactly is on the receiving end of this gift? And Kimimaro is trying to decide what to do with his future, if he should gamble it in the Financial District, and his purpose, what he would do with the money he earns. There are some rather interesting crossroads going on here from the international consequences of this black money to the intrapersonal outcomes of a university student’s future. Aside from only providing the vital character development of a series, this episode provided us an insight into the path that C plans to take with this anime, seeing what drives these characters toward money
Additionally, we met a much of new Assets in this episode. I anticipated we’d see some Assets interact with each other in this episode and am left with a mixed opinion. Msyu appears interested in Q, gazing at her when Mikuni found Kimimaro bothering Masakaki. One would think there’s a connection between the two but they never spoke to each other, probably because Msyu did not want to interrupt Q’s sleeping. While I was eager to see Assets have conversations on their own separate from their masters, we only saw Assets talk to their Entrepreneurs rather than each other.
But at least they are aware of their existence while still in that semi-visible world of theirs. Msyu was able to see Q without either of them summoned through their cards, so maybe there’s the chance they communicate with each other while their masters are in the real world. There was also a snippet of a scene when Msyu was floating around eye level of a colossal Asset (probably Taketazaki’s) and they both were looking at each other. As at least they acknowledge each other’s existence. So while not the interactions I was hoping for, at least there is a chance it might eventually happen. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll see Msyu and Q have a conversation together, although I have no clue what they’d talk about. About the taste of that black money, perhaps?
Did some of those cuts bother anyone? I’m not sure if they were supposed to be artsy edits or if they reflect the quality of animation but I felt a little irritated with those some of the cuts. Not all were bad, just the ones where it was practically the same shot but showed no animation between the scenes. I don’t get it. The first is when Jennifer summoned George and he began to sit up. The second was after Kimimaro found the notebook and it zoomed out a bit (with two different drawings of Kimimaro). And I didn’t understand why the donut shop changed to a taiyaki shop in front of Jennifer but at least the transition had some special effects to hint at what was going on. But still, I don’t get it. The last example, because it had that animation, will likely be revant to the story and be explained sometime but the others won’t and will only be answered by ideas we formulate in our minds. I’ll give the show the benefit of the doubt that they’re ‘artsy’ but that doesn’t mean I like them.