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C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control Review

July 6, 2011

story 3/10

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control screenshot

I imagine the executive meeting that inspired this dull, jabbering insult to my intelligence went a bit like this.

Director: I’ve been thinking lately we should do something deep and relevant about today’s global financial situation. It’s been all over the news and I think the kids would appreciate someone really bringing it down to their level.

Exec: Uhh, really? But finance is like so BOOOOOORING.

Director: Well, of course we could spice it up a little, you know, give it a representational hook or gimmick. I have one or two ideas that I think would really -

Exec: Oh oh oh! I’ve got it, I’ve got it! MASCOT BATTLES!

Director: What?

Exec: Write this down! It’s not often I get such inspirational flashes. I can see it now - economic conflicts figuratively enacted through pet monsters! ‘Cause everyone likes Pokemon, right??

The result, ladies and gentlemen, is this show, the worst possible marriage of everything that shouldn’t exist in anime. Dry, abstract exposition about money combined with utterly mindless battles between metaphorical creatures that have no real-life relevance. Burrow deep enough and C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control appears to contain a human tale about taking huge financial risks for the sake of loved ones. That this is mere veneer becomes clear the moment we ask why the characters don’t just work overtime, get a second job, or aim for promotion, considering any of these require less effort for more guarantee. The financial battles are vehicles for an impending apocalypse caused by some… thing that gets no explanation. All we know is, at some point, a digitised whatsit begins to sweep through Japan and the hero has to do stuff in the ether to make it go away.

Not that the fights are any good either. Occurring without reason or logic, they generate about as much friction as a limp dick. Just as one combatant summons giant balls of fire, the opponent blocks with an inexplicable beam of sparkling blackness, all the while an electronic voice yells nonsensical financial jargon not even the Wall Street folk would enjoy piecing together (how to counter sensibly when your enemy has just thrown a hail of MACROFLATION!!?). There are no recognisable dimensions to the battles, no identifiable limitations that tell me ‘this person is highly skilled compared to that person’. Thus we must take for granted that Souichiro Mikuni, the cool, mysterious rich guy, is unbeatable because everyone says so; when he fights, I can’t actually tell.

animation 4/10

I’d like to put a message out there for the kids growing up on a diet of C-like atrocities: animated backgrounds full of feeling, atmosphere, and texture do exist. For evidence, look to Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica or Eden of the East. The polygonal edifices we get in C bring to mind the artistic sensibilities of a McDonalds restaurant - cold, garish, and above all cheap. Effects happen, shapes and colours and patterns zoom past but none of it serves any discernible purpose except to distract us for another five seconds.

sound 7.5/10

In moments when the plot wholly eluded me, the score managed to restore some of the potency of the situation. Unfortunately, sandwiched between unmemorable opening and closing themes, and voiced over by a crap script, the courageous cinematic soundtrack gets entirely lost.

characters 3/10

If there’s anything anime needs more of, it’s teenage boys trying to get stronger. I’m being sarcastic, of course. What anime needs more of are characters I can tell apart from all the others. C’s cast melts into a giant pot of tokenism and archetype that effectively abandons the audience to apathy. I’m surprised, for instance, that the bland, pineapple-haired protagonist (had to look up his name, Kimimaro Yoga) was thought qualified to be one when his only notable features are being nice and harbouring angst about his long-lost father. The only vivid performance belongs to Masakaki, the guide of the alternate dimension in which the battles take place; he is a nod to Willy Wonka that strips away all the child-friendly veneer and replaces it with a chilling pitilessness.

overall 3/10

Colour me spoiled if you will, but I like to spend my time watching things that I understand. I like characters for which I feel empathy doing things I could imagine myself doing if I were in their situation. Most of the financial jargon the target audience will struggle to relate to and anyone who does will snooze simply at the banal abstractedness of it. Instead of a poignant metaphor on the dangers of economic risk-taking, we get a discombobulated mess that farts a host of vague concepts. The only emotion this show inspires in the process is boredom.

Anime Info

Kimimaro Yoga could use a break. At nineteen years old, he's not only a student at Heisei College of Economics, he's also a part time employee and flat out broke. So when an eerie man offers the boy a special ATM card and an exorbitant amount of cash, Kimimaro gives in to temptation – but there's a catch. In exchange for his good fortune, Kimimaro's very future is put at stake, held as collateral by the Bank of Midas and tied to the amount of yen in his bank account. In addition, he must participate in a special battle every week in the mysterious 'Financial District' – a battle where losing against one's opponent can mean bankruptcy, a fate that carries an unthinkable cost in the normal world...

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About the Author

VivisQueen's avatar

VivisQueen

I'll review anything as long as there are words in the dictionary to describe it. Disagree with me? Want to leave feedback? Please do, but take a look at my personal rating scale first.

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comments

Tchula avatar Tchula
Feb 25, 2013

I thought this anime was very clever, actually.  The use of "assets" that represented one's "future" was an interesting idea, as was the use of "Midas money" flooding Japan.  The fighting system was really just to simplify the economic concepts for the viewer, and was not the main focus of the show.  I liked the argument I assumed they were making:  that of programs like TARP, where the US Government pumped tax payer money into the banks in order to keep them afloat when Lehman Brothers failed in 2008, was not the best way to manage the financial crisis.  The debate between saving "the present" (as Souchiro wants to) by pumping in massive amounts of money vs. saving "the future" from massive inflation, which would destroy the economy in the long run was a nice use of allegory, imo.  I don't necessarily agree with the political conclusions of the anime's creators, but it was definitely a worthwhile watch for the educated viewer.  This review score is far too low.  I would have given this anime an 8/10, higher if the ending had felt a little less rushed.  One more episode would have been perfect, imo.

HarioSagara avatar HarioSagara
Nov 4, 2012

Two words- MASCOT BATTLES! The anime solution to just about anything! Hmm this show seems to be another controversial anime that's something people either love or hate. Thanks for the review, I won't get my hopes up before I watch this, but nevertheless I think I'll still check it out.

MaatiSan avatar MaatiSan
Nov 3, 2012

While I do not agree that this anime was a 3/10(to me this means the anime itself is frustrating and almost unwatchable), this anime was severely overrated by critics and many viewers.  Tons of flash with no substance.  I will start out by saying the animation is an 8 and the soundtrack an 8 or more as well.  It is because of such quality animation and soundtrack that kept me watching to the end.

As for the rest, honestly Vivis had it right, characters are all sterotypical stock anime characters I could not remember the main guy's name after watching all episodes(that is sad).  The plot, wow was there even a plot before the last like 4 episodes?  To be honest this show built up to nothing and just slapped on an apocalypic save the world main dude ending.

So for the tl;dl group, Story and chars are terrible, animation and soundtrack made it an easy anime to watch.  5/10 would be a fair score for that.

default avatar Kimuere
Oct 29, 2012

your review is bad and you should feed bad!

supermandk avatar supermandk
Sep 1, 2012

yes at least a 9/10.

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