[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control Review

This is review number one hundred and nineteen. This is part of the Spring 2011 lineup. I am close to reviewing the Fall 2012 lineup so I can’t wait for that. I’ll try to cover as much Spring 2011 anime as I can in the meantime though. The anime I’ll be reviewing is part of the Noitamina lineup. It’s [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control or just “C”. It’s an anime about money and its importance on people. Its eleven episode long and I think it’s a pretty solid anime. Let’s read on.

Oh, also, the world didn’t end. The Mayans trolled us.

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Story

The anime is about a boy named Kimimaro Yoga who has two part time jobs and basically supports himself. One day, a man named Masasaki knocked on his door and invited him to become an “Entrepreneur” in the “Financial District” so he can make easy money. The idea was inviting but Yoga turned him down. After seeing the money deposited from his account though, he decided to join in. There is one catch though. He must give up his future as collateral before he can enter the Financial District. In order to make money, he must fight other Entrepreneur in a battle called “Deals” along with his “Asset”, a summoned being. He gains big money if he wins but loses some if he is defeat. If he goes bankrupt though, then he is forever banned to enter the Financial District and they will take his future. Yoga now has no choice but to keep on fighting.

Taking the Pants Off

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“C” is an interesting show. Its theme is very realistic and thought provoking. Seriously, what’s more powerful of a theme than money? The anime explores the value of money and its impact on people’s lives. It also imposes a very interesting idea. Would you give up your future just so you can have money today? I know people will go to certain lengths just to feed their wallet but there are limits. The anime has simple realistic themes incorporated with over the top nature of anime and it had all the right fixings to be an incredible anime. It missed the mark though and that’s a damn shame. I’ll explain it all in details but I still enjoyed what the anime had to offer and I hope you do as well.

I love the premise of the anime. You take a bunch of people who is need of money, give them some super powered beings then let them fight it out in an anything goes battle. For your summoned being called “Asset” to attack, you must spend some significant amount of money. If you win then you get a lot of money. If you lose and go bankrupt then it’s game over. It’s a very original concept indeed and the idea that it’s all for money adds a bit of realism to the story. The anime has some terminologies here and there but it was explained nicely by the anime. Yoga has this cute little girl as his Asset and he fights some pretty interesting people along the way. As the anime progresses, he slowly discovers the effect of wagering your future and the different loses the people he beaten took.

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The anime only has eleven episodes but there is so much to tell about the story. It’s basically divided into three plot points. The first one is the rundown of the financial district. When you become an Entrepreneur, you are introduced to “Midas money” that appears as black paper to the Entre but regular currency to normal people. These black papers are being leaked out of the Financial District and being circulated into the real world. The Financial District even has its own printing mill to produce Midas money. A lot of detectives and spies are even tasked to stop the circulation fearing the effect of the Midas money to the real world if left unchecked.

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The second plot point is about the importance of money to people. Yoga is fairly neutral at the beginning of the anime. He envied people with money and he works double shifts to have some but he never really cares if his bank account gets a lot of zeroes. He is uncertain if giving your future as collateral just so you can gain some money is even logical. The effects were never really a problem until Yoga comes across people who have lost their Deals. The effects range from shocking to just plain sad. As he slowly discovers the effect of the deadly game he is playing, he soon wonders if it’s really worth it to fight for money. Yoga must soon make a decision though.

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The third plot point is about the man named Souichirou Mikuni and his relation to Yoga. Mikuni is on a mission to make sure the effect of losing Deals are only minimal in the real world. He doesn’t want people to go bankrupt when they fight so he makes sure he only wins by a small percentage. He even formed a group called the Mukudori Group and has members doing the same. He believes that the present is more important than the future so he makes sure it is protected. Yoga would soon find himself conflicted though after witnessing certain number of people having no future and living in the present as pathetic shells of their former self. Yoga thinks that the future should be protected than living in the moment and believes Mikuni is wrong. Getting Mikuni, a man determined to save people with his ideals, is going to be tough though since he is basically the strongest Entrepreneur in the Financial District.

The anime had a premise of people fighting each other with summoned beings but it’s not the actual content of the anime. The battles were more of a means to an end. The battles enhance and deepen the plot. Most battles often lead to a loss and the anime would explore the events after the battle. There is still a lot the anime could’ve done with the fights though and I think it was a bit underutilized. If the anime was twenty four episodes long then I think we would’ve seen the battles getting a more prominent part in the overall story. This anime was more about the ideals of the characters and the control of money over people.

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The characters in the anime are all pretty impressive. There are four main characters in the anime and they all played their role effectively. I love how the anime was able to give us a point of view of each of the characters while slowly building up the story. Yoga is the typical normal kid turned hero. He starts out as a bit indecisive though about what he wants to do with the current problem the world is facing. The anime gave this character a slow transformation from a normal kid who doesn’t care to a kid who finally gets his answer and fights tooth and nail for it. The anime billed him as “the one” though at the start of the anime but he doesn’t really do anything significant until the second half of the anime.

Mikuni is an interesting character because he has this belief that he can save people. He’s a mega rich dude in the real world and the way he goes out of his way to save the real world from the effect of the Financial District is very admirable. The anime slowly turns his belief upside down though. Yoga slowly formulated his own ideal that looks pretty “right” as well. The fact that both of their ideals are “right” is pretty impressive. You basically have to choose and which one you believe in. The anime has explored Mikuni’s past pretty nicely though to back up his ideals and I love how this man is both good and bad at the same time.

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The anime had a pretty deep story and some intriguing characters that it’s fairly easy to predict that the anime will be a great one from start to finish. I thought so too until this anime sadly fell into the same pitfall as other anime before it. This bastard prostitute we all know too well, the crappy ending. I won’t spoil the events of the anime but the story was able to cover all the bases. All the questions were answered, all the characters had significant development, all the plot points was served pretty strongly so it didn’t deserve a rushed and open ended ending. I believe this is why a lot of people hated the anime. It just suddenly got muddled in the end. It’s a damn shame because this anime was perfectly executed until it hit the ending.

I think this anime just needed a few more episodes. The story is there and it just needed some more episodes to straighten itself out. Who the hell even thought of making an anime with only eleven episodes would work? Even Ano Hana had trouble filling the gaps. I think three or four more episodes and the anime could’ve been awesome. It still had a very thought provoking content though and I think that’s enough to give this anime a try. The value of money was nicely explored in this anime and it explains how the piece of paper can control the world. It’s very nice and the message was told very clearly.  Money does control the world.

Sight and Sound

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The character design is pretty impressive. There is a large range of character design from the normal character types to some flashy ones. There is a wide range in age as well and ethnicity. The summoned beings also have a large range to them. The imagination really runs wild on them. There are small ones and large ones. The design is all unique and the variety of summoned beings is some of the best parts of the anime. I personally love this summoned being that looks like a girl then grows a gun barrel at her chest then a trigger at her stomach. The fight scenes never felt boring because of the interesting characters in the anime.

The background is pretty nice as well. The Financial District is all CG. There are open spaces and the building is all done in CG. The cars, trains and some of the characters are also done in CG. In the real world, I believe they used actual places then animated them. You can tell by the way the scenes look a bit photographic, if that makes sense.

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The animation is sometimes great and sometimes bad. I noticed in the first few episodes that facial features changes a bit when the characters are just standing or talking. Then they mostly lose their features at a distance and there were some scenes a character was talking but his mouth wasn’t moving. Not even the chin which seems a bit of a cop out. The action scenes make up for that though. First of all, I love how a character bleeds Midas money when they get a severe cut to their body. They bleed black stuff though instead of red blood. The action scenes are crazy intense at times and they are always pretty flashy. I especially love the action scene at the later parts of the anime where Mikuni and Yoga battled. The animation was smooth and the camera was moving from different angles. It was awesome.

The anime’s OP is “Matryoshka” by NICO Touches the Walls. It’s an OK song and it nicely reflects the anime’s action elements. The OP sequence had a bit of a spoiler though. It shows Yoga and Msyu about to fight Mikuni and it was a massive spoiler. The OP also had some political statements about the dollar and other currency. I didn’t look too much into it but there is something there. The anime’s ED is “RPG” by school food punishment. It’s a decent song. It’s a missing the flashy kind of ED song and the OP song is like it as well. It’s an OK song. The ED sequence features a full CG scene of Yoga running in the Financial District and it had some flashy scenes and what not. It’s good.

Overall Score

5/10 “A nice anime about money. It’s deep and a little thought provoking.”

This is an awesome anime. I do understand that the ending does ruin the experience but if you can look past that then you’ll enjoy what the anime has to offer. If you love flashy anime with a deep story then this anime will suit you. I recommend it.

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