The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

Title: C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control aka C – Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility aka [C] – Control
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Tatsunoko Production
Format: 11 episodes
Date: 14 Apr 2011 – 24 Jun 2011

Synopsis: Yoga Kimimaro is a 19-year old student at the Heisei University of Economics who studies hard for the civil servant exam by day, and takes on multiple part-time jobs by night. He yearns to secure a public sector job and live a modest lifestyle, not dependent on others for financial needs. His life gets a rude awakening on one fateful night, when a flamboyant figure named Masakaki shows up in his room. He persistently persuades Yoga to join the “Financial District” where he stands to get anything money can buy, but at the expense of his future as a collateral. Yoga refuses, but eventually takes his offer and learns of an alternate realm that is secretly influencing the economic status of the human world.

The Highlights
Concept: Interesting and promising at first sight…
Product: …But the result and execution are catastrophic.
Fight scenes: Tacky and childish; they make no sense at all.
Characters: Their motivations are poorly explored; romance between Kimimaro and Msyu is hard to swallow.
Dubious honor: Worst noitaminA show by far.

Spice and Wolf is quite a novel show; it uses medieval economics as the overarching theme and it even manages to weave a decent romance between its two protagonists. It isn’t a great show but it illustrates how theories of economics have the potential to make a story thought-provoking and even intelligent. Now, [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control tries to do something similar by using fictional economics with a dash of romance. A story that involves a parallel realm pulling the strings of the world’s economy is quite original, but instead of realizing its full potential and working on battles of wit and ingenuity in the style of Kaiji or at least Death Note, it takes a disastrous route of injecting the story with frilly shounen elements and ham-fisted narrative.

The fight scenes look like a heavily stylized version of a typical Digimon fight. There are plenty of over-the-top action sequences, garish imagery and “Name that Move” moments filled with arbitrary English terms, all of which are bizarre, random and above all, meaningless. While terms like “microflation”, “mezzoflation” and “macroflation” gets hurled across the battlefield, one may wonder if they are simply the more cool substitutes for say, in gamers’ terms, the Light, Medium and Heavy Punch respectively. [C] does become interesting however, when the focus shifts away from the Financial District and depicts observations in real life, showing glimpses of social commentary and instances of elementary economics such as the spillover effect, hyperinflation and asset management. Too bad the show doesn’t seem to recognize this as the winning element, and insists on using the “deals” in the Financial District as deus ex machina resolutions to real-life social problems.

Another major aspect that the show fails to make full use of is the characters. For a show where the theme is driven by human motivations and conflicting interests, it is disappointing to see [C] not discuss them as the main point because the anime would’ve been more credible if they were put under the magnifying glass. Additionally, characterization has several baffling issues: protagonist Yoga is a terribly dull light bulb for a person who is supposed to be well-versed in economics, and antagonist Mikuni’s dismally explored background makes him a weakly sympathetic villain. As for the rest of the cast, they are completely devoid of purpose except to support the two lead characters. To top it all off, poor chemistry between Yoga and Msyu renders their budding romance awkward and difficult to swallow.

Perhaps the most embarrassing part about [C] is the buildup to its climax. A doomsday plot twist suddenly comes into play after the first-half of the series but this isn’t the problem per se; it’s the complete absence of buildup prior to it, which is analogous to watching a nuclear explosion without seeing the preceding tension. And this is only the start of the major flaws: the last few episodes seem to replace common sense with frantic pacing, and proper explanation with more inane fight scenes and butchered English dialogue. In short, it feels like the production crew received news that the show would only be one cour instead of two, and scrambled to pen a climatic finish overnight.

[C]‘s downfall seems to follow a common trend in anime as of late: a strong start, a series of decent episodes in the middle followed by a trainwreck of an ending. An epic disappointment rather than pure garbage right from the start, it occasionally showed some understanding of economics and I honestly wanted to believe that the series knew what it was trying to do. Unfortunately, [C] loses the plot along the way, and without warning, everything crumbles at an exponential rate. It is difficult to believe that it belongs to noitaminA, a programming block known to broadcast titles for discerning viewers. I have no hesitation to declare that this is their worst title by far, and I pray hard that the Tatsunoko Production staff avoids anything similar in the future.

The Rating: 4

Reviewed by: AC

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