Anime Review: C - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
C aims to manipulate our emotions around the economic crisis and does not bother to tell a good story. It’s not hard to see why many were mesmerized by its initial hook and not by its internal logic (or lack of it). Casual viewers who have money problems or study economics loved its artistic overtones. The colors are pretty and fool the superficial mind to believe what he is watching is far more important that what it actually is.
Also, the battles have a very complicated terminology based on stock market terms (), again fooling the plebian brain to think what is going on is very elaborate, when in practice the names are just for flavor, and the battles feel like you are playing Pokemon. The monster with the bigger energy beam wins; that is all. The result is more comical and childish, instead of tactical and exciting. Add to that how the cards speak out their special attacks, most of which is in terrible Engrish, and you think you are watching a bad Kamen Rider season.
The concept is indeed interesting as it appears to be about how money affects the world and how the haves are forming it any way they like, while the not-haves are thrown to the side and take down with them all their supporters, friends and relatives. In theory, the show manages to get its message across. Making money the normal way is very hard, and many are desperate enough to do anything it takes to make lots of them. So they don’t think twice when they find an indirect way to get rich by taking part in fights in some pocket dimension created by a demonic bank. If you win, you get a shitload of money you can use in your life. Its center theme is a bright future, formed through wealth, and shown through how every monster in the series is a depiction of the favored future of its master. But if you lose… well, aside from being broke, reality itself changes to your disfavor and you end up losing your own life, loving relatives, or your company gets bankrupt and the whole world becomes a harsher place for all those you affect.
The presentation of this cool idea sucks royally for many reasons, one of which is the very slow pacing. It is spending a lot of time in slice of nothing ever happens, while going over the important parts in a hurry; namely the resolution to problems and the showdowns with important opponents.
Also, there is no balance of power amongst the monsters since some are clearly far more powerful than others. Oh and what a coincidence, the strongest ones are in the hands of the main characters and thus they win all the time regardless of how much damage they have received.
Also, as much as the artstyle looks nice, the same can’t be said about the animation. The pocket dimension has a very interesting artwork but the animation is usually bad, especially when it comes to 3D models.
Also, although the characters appear interesting at first, they end up being distant and you are given very little reason to care about them. Their human drama feels completely hollow and rushed.
The main lead Kimimaro for example is a typical self-insert teenager, which nothing special about him. He is the walking archetype of the underdog, overlooked by everybody, works hard, and wants to help people. It’s impossible to care about his money problems when most of the time is spent on passively taking part in battles, then listening to other players talking about their life issues rather than doing something about it, before he goes to have silly romcom moments with his loli monster and a random chick agent. As for that girl in his class he is so in love with? Beats me what he has done to win her affection. But of course we couldn’t have an average in everything protagonist, so for the sake of plot convenience, he is given the most powerful Pokemon fighter and the most broken credit card that makes him another Jesus-kun for no good reason. Oh, and he also looks like a girl.
His monster companion Msyu is nothing more than the archetypical tsundere loli that is there purely as otaku bait. Her personality starts with her edgy temper and ends with her has-the-hots-for-the-main-lead-at-first-sight. She lacks characterization completely with the only thing that defines her is the constant depictions of her looking all cute, perky and naive, a thing commonplace in all anime girls that share her archetype, and again the reason you will forget her fast.
The third important character is Mikuni, a man who tries to use money as power and as means to control the pocket dimension. He is not power hungry, as he really wants to negate the negative effects of the losers on reality. He is the most interesting character, especially because he is slowly turning into what he hates the most. He could easily make an ideal protagonist, if the writers weren’t idiots who chose to focus on those two boring ones. Even as such, Mikuni’s backdrop wasn’t known up until a flashback came out of nowhere late in the show. It felt out of place and as a poor attempt to flesh him out because we are running out of episodes. Also, his monster is another loli, one that likes to sniff and eat stuff. Again more otaku-bait for furry-lovers.
All other characters are completely useless. They have no importance in the plot and are not developed or given enough focus for you to care. They end up being defined by minor quirks, like having golden teeth or eating hamburgers, instead of an actual personality or purpose in the story. The girl Kimimaro loves has absolutely no reason to exist, and the other players are shown for only one episode each, before losing in a battle and getting removed from the show, without ever complaining about the unfairness of the battles, since their monsters were clearly inferior. Why are they even becoming friends with Kimimaro afterwards for cheating and ruining their future? They should be furious, filled with murderous intent! Not only they don’t care, they also don’t give a shit when entire countries disappear forever. They are all drones who don’t try to make a stand. Only Kimimaro cares and he has the personality of a wooden plank.
It would be far more interesting if it was focused on showing money being just printed paper and not actual wealth, and how capitalism is now based on something that has no actual value, since the banks can make money out of plain paper and demand more than they offer, thus in the longrun leading to bankruptcy. Yet all we see is the Midas Bank using them as hit points in some videogame that magically affects the lives of those making transactions with them. Boring! And it doesn’t even matter in the end since the protagonist wins all the time and has broken powers that can undo the plot. Which by the way is what happens in the finale; we get a reset ending. Bullshit!
So down to it, this is not a good proxy battle series (since the battles are unfair), not a good social commentary (since the conflict is a superficial videogame), not a good romcom show (since the main duo is completely boring), and doesn’t even feel like something significant was achieved in the end (since everything was magically undone and nobody remembers a thing). That C in the title ends up meaning C production; far lower than B movies.
If the whole series was half as interesting as this Disturbed song, I could have given it some credit.
GAR hero, action, shameful politics, a shadow leadership, mass rebellion, havoc, death, destruction and rebirth! Why doesn’t C have any of that and it’s just retarded otaku-bait for brainless watchers? Plain horrible and for that mater NOT RECOMMENDED.