C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Title:C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
C - Control- The Money and Soul of Possibility
Keywords: , , , , ,
Notables: UCHIYAMA Kouki
The Japanese government was rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens, however, life has not improved, and unemployment, crime, suicide, and despair are rampant. Kimimaro, raised by his maternal grandmother after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship student whose only dream is to avoid all this and live a stable life. One day, however, he meets a man who offers him a large sum of money if he'll agree to pay it back. From then on his fate is radically altered as he's drawn into a mysterious realm known as "The Financial District."
(Plot summary courtesy of Anime News Network)

11 episode TV series.
First aired April 14, 2011
Animation by Tatsunoko Production

Streaming rights to the series acquired by Funimation.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent 9 8 9 8 7 8 21 [series:1034#3223]
(All episodes watched)

Pretty good show.

Cons: I think it would've been better if it had more time to play out its story, 13 episodes at least (though I guess noitaminA usually does 11 eps). I felt I'd missed an episode around 8 or 9 when all of a sudden things hit the fan real fast. I'd also complain that the random CGI (not sure if that's what you'd call it) animation at different points looked strange. It would've worked fine if it was only used for Mashu and Masakaki, since they were parts of the Financial District, but at least twice Kimimaro also got randomly animated as such at least twice that I can think of. As far as characters go, most of them were likeable and understandable except Q, who I didn't really understand even after watching the entire series.

Pros: Good OP and great ED, solid animation, interesting premise.

I'm not sure I agree with the economics of the show but I still enjoyed it nonetheless. 8/10

Last updated Tuesday, July 05 2011. Created Tuesday, July 05 2011.
Rent 9 9 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:1034#1552]
C felt like a series that seemed better suited to run for at least two dozen episodes considering the elements it tried to cover with the Financial District. The show introduced a multiple number of characters with differing motivations for their involvement in the Financial District and features an elaborate battle system that involves dwellers of the District battling one another with their futures as collateral and bankruptcy having a huge negative effect on the person's life in reality. Kimimaro, as the central character of C, tries to figure out what purpose he has in his involvement in the Financial District and gaining Asset Mashu who supports him in his battles in the Financial District.

The first half of C was spent covering the various adversaries that Kimimaro would be up against while the second half covered a much darker element to the Financial District that influenced reality, which I felt the quality of both differed quite a bit. The first half was reasonably paced where Kimimaro adjusts to activity in the Financial District and slowly realizes just how much of a radically life-changing influence activity from the Financial District has on reality through the opponents that he fights. The opponents he encounter are fleshed out enough where you get enough sense of how being in the Financial District has influenced their lives, particularly Mikuni who becomes both mentor and rival to Kimimaro as the series progresses.

The second half of the series is where I found things to be a mixed bag and what led me to think the series should have been at a greater number of episodes. The Financial District's influence on reality shows a darker side which results in Mikuni and Kimimaro taking differing views on how to manage things. This could have made for a better half if not for the fact pacing started to advance at a more rapid pace compared to earlier episodes thus preventing any sort of build up with the mounting tensions between the two. It especially doesn't help when there were only 4 to 5 episodes left to build up on such shocking developments and create character tensions that could have been better laid out in a 24-episode series.

Other prominent issues as a result of the show's limited episode count include the series not exploring other elements to the Financial District and plot elements, particularly the higher power that the Masakakis follow, what Mashu represents with Kimimaro's future and the specifics of what led Kimimaro's father to his demise.

Visually, C is one of the best-looking titles I've had a chance of seeing for the year thus far. Scenery and character designs are packed with bright colors and have a good amount of detail to them with the art highlight going to the rendering of the Financial District with its highly colorful and abstract environment, doing well at conveying itself as being a whole different world from our reality. Action scenes are well animated with a good amount of movement and some moments of impressive animations in the battles that occur within the Financial District.

While I did enjoy seeing C, I can't help but nitpick at the fact that the series could have worked out better if given a higher episode count as not everything to it was explored and it had a second half that couldn't click for me due to the lack of proper build-up and rushed pacing that developed thanks to its eleven episode count.

Last updated Friday, June 24 2011. Created Friday, June 24 2011.
Watch Stretch [series:1034#628]
(All episodes watched):

A link between wealth and duels in an alternate reality? Or some sort of demonic element to money? Or the existence of an ability to buy things like 'soul' and 'possibility'? Or something else? This ought to be interesting. That was my first impression of C-Control. On the other hand, I think this story would have begun in a better manner without the confusing opening scene (a freaky magical swordfight), by saving the 'Financial District' for episode two. The combat scene sort of trivialized what would hopefully be much more than a fight-of-the-week show. Also, Kimimaro was strangely unphased by a bizarre clown-like person who clearly has supernatural powers. There's no way I would agree with such a person to use my 'future' as collateral on a strange loan, not even to save my life. But despite these problems, episode one of this strange show definitely piqued my interest and I was eager to see where it would go.

I liked the way that Kimimaro's first 'deal' was kept fairly bizarre instead of being a ho-hum fight with lightsabers or something like that. Dropping giant spheres on a person is clearly dangerous, yet unusual as well. But I know that if I were him, I would have asked my 'asset' a hell of a lot more questions than he did. I was afraid from the start that C-Control might remain confusing and never explain itself very well, and sure enough that turned out to be this shows undoing. For instance, how do you 'investigate' something that is clearly paranormal? That's the theme of episode three, but it doesn't ring true to me. It's hard to describe, but suppose it was discovered that 'reality' might be nothing more than a hyper-complex computer program (this is not what actually happens in the show), which would mean that none of us really exist as individuals, our existence would come to an end if the computer was switched off--and we responded by launching an objective, logical investigation. Wouldn't jumping off a bridge be more likely? I hate it when mind-blowing events happen in shows, yet people just shrug them off and respond as if they were nothing unusual. Realizing that the characters aren't going to act as you or I would really kills the excitement and suspense of a series in a hurry.

Another example: Kimimaro has discovered that some sort of alternate reality exists, people may vanish, exactly what lies in store for reality itself is anyone's guess--and he still goes to work in a convenience store as usual? Wouldn't his day-to-day life be rendered pretty insignificant by such a realization? For the most part I was enjoying this show, but I couldn’t help thinking that it would have been better if the characters hadn't been so disconnected from normal human behavior. Why do high-tech gladiator fights determine who holds power and influence? Is wealth really that crass at its base level--nothing more than something which is gained at someone else's expense? Will the show ever provide an explanation? And where did the Financial District come from? Has it always existed--even before capitalism did?

I get the feeling that, like many others, the originator of this story felt that the only way to explain the mind-boggling power, carelessness, and indifference of big finance was with a fantastic story of conspiracy like this. But it doesn't make a whole lot of sense: for all the fancy talk about 'possibilities' and 'the future', it isn't explained very well. And when I am told that things will be even worse when this bewildering system reaches some sort of crisis, I can only shrug my shoulders and scratch my head. Let me guess: in the end this will all come down to Kimimaro having to fight some sort of super-duel to avert a catastrophe. And on a philosophical level, it's disturbing that simple violence seems to determine everything in the end. Maybe this show wasn't nearly as sophisticated as it seemed at first.

The general impression that C leaves me with is of an intriguing premise which largely went to waste because it was never explained very well. Since I didn't completely understand what the characters were doing or what effects it would have, I couldn't even say who the bad guys were until the climax. What is the moral to the story? That the future is more important than the present? Why is that? What is ‘C’ anyway? How did the depreciation of the Yen undo Midas Money? At the end an attempt is made to put a philosophical spin on everything, but exactly what has happened and whether things are better as a result is still unclear. Furthermore, was the Financial District destroyed or not? Why wasn't much attempt made to develop Kimimaro's romance with Mysu? As long as things are this messed-up, I don't see how making this a two-season series could have made much difference. It just feels as if time after time strange concepts are dealt to us, but the show never goes into much depth to explain them. As is often the case, I am left wondering if I am too dim to get the message to the story, or if the story was just told in a careless manner—or both.

Last updated Thursday, October 20 2011. Created Tuesday, April 19 2011.

Other Sites
Official C Japanese Web Site http://www.noitamina-control.jp/

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