PEW PEW, ALL ABROAD THE C TRAIN. GET READY FOR SOME OOHS & AAHS~ Kin’yū-gai de Yōkoso!
Kyokai: I can’t say this was my most anticipated title because there’s Steins;Gate, Ao no Exorcist and Deadman Wonderland but I’ve been definitely looking forward to this original anime. Noitamina being one reason; not that I liked Fractale BUT Kuragehime, Shiki, Tatami Galaxy, Nodame Catabile, Honey & Clover and Eden of the East are just the few gems of this timeslot that have been able to enrapture me. Also, I have this thing for original animation; be it Eden of the East or Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin (which left much to be desired), but I love chasing a mystery when there are no cheat codes and solid guess-work. Of course, I would love to read EVERTHING on the official site, which is swanky as hell; reminds me to hire someone who has a handle on translating Japanese to English. :3 I’m joined by few of my teammates in ending thoughts but before that, let’s do a quick recap of what the hell happened.
The psychedelic world of the Financial District
Meet our man of action and a seasoned dealer, Mikune
I have seen all the available trailers so the possibility of an alternate/virtual world was not a big shock to me. In the first few moments in, you already know nothing is as it seems when the unnamed protagonist uses a special credit card to operate an ATM in making a deal. Pro tip, whenever 666 is involved, usually the result is never good and that is what happens when he zips across to the “Financial District” a virtual realm, where he deals with one Mikuni, who simply destroys all chances of a future ‘deal’ breaking his gamble (read destroying his asset). It all happens rather quickly but we at least get to see and observe the world we will be familiarizing ourselves with as a giant and psychedelic place with a prominent signage, counting down the accumulated capital/equity of the district.
Souichirou Mikuni has a familiar/asset named Q and it seems to be a common thing for all Financial District visitors. Destroying one’s asset seems to finish their points and any chances of further dealing/gambling. The unnamed protagonist gets so upset that he performs suicide and that is when our main protagonist gets under the limelight of the Midas Bank. Losing an entrepreneur means searching for a replacement and as it seems candidates are selected on random basis.
The mundane life of Kimimaro Yoga changes completely from the depressed state of living hand to mouth, working (two jobs) and studying (at Heisei University of Economics) endlessly to support himself without any help from his parents—father disappeared, mother died of illness after which grandmother raised him. Scholarship is what he has and he avoids all social gatherings that stray across spending but after the dubious offer of Masakaki, would everything remain the same?
Masakaki goads and gloats, dangling many promising offers in front of our protagonist, who takes it quite openly without much flinching. You would think the years of hardship made him strong, which is right but he’s still a teenager liking a girl who is someone else’s girlfriend (oh the adolescent trauma!). Seemingly Masakaki is the ‘agent’ with a lot of powers to transport humans from their world to not only Financial District but a parallel world where time is irrelevant. Whatever Kimimaro thinks, he is enrolled as an entrepreneur of Midas Bank when he performs a high transaction finding more than 0.5 million in his bank account.
He is taken to the Financial District with a special pass activation that can only be forwarded by representative of the commercial division of bank(s) residing in the district (it’s still unclear if Midas Bank is only such entity). Of course, like any other ‘credit’ card, you never get it for free but rather Kimimaro’s future becomes collateral for the money lent to him.
Kimimaro’s new friend, Mashu
So, what would you do for money? People sell their souls, assets, belongings just to get some. Not to mention it is the bling that gets most of the stuff done and don’t get me started on the feel-good part of life. Money is important but when you become greedy like that unnamed protagonist, things are handed back to you and in a bad way. Though, it is too early to say much because this is the first episode and Kimimaro has just entered the new domain. How he would meet his asset Mashu, and start dealing is another question altogether for the next episode.
I got DA BLING~
Welcome to the Platform Nine and Three Quarters
Mikuni: So, what do you think of my new hairstyle? – Q: Let me finish my dinner first *pouts*
Random dude from Hetalia
Kimimaro: Look here, it’s the claw… CLAW! – Hanabi: That’s not even funneh!
- From the spring titles released till now, I can easily say that C has the catchiest music. Both the OP/ED sequences are not only well animated but fit the storyline perfectly. Not to mention, BGM is placed exactly in the right places to give you that over the edge feel during action scenes.
- If you get a shounen feel from the OP, you are right, NICO Touches the Wall has scored some of the good OP/EDs of Naruto Shippuden (“Broken Youth” & “Diver”), while for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood “Hologram”. Their “Matoryoshika” is peppy and fitting for the foolishness capitalism and running only after money induces.
- You already should know school food punishment from their brilliant music for Eden of the East. They have done an amazing job with “RPG” as well, catching the theme of the title properly. Like Hato, I’ve been awaiting sfp’s next album quite eagerly.
- Coming from the director of Mononoke and Kuuchuu Buranko: Kenji Nakamura, be ready for some mind twists and amazing animation. I still have to get used to the character designs but the world in itself? A treat to the eyes with the right colouring and a blend of real and 2/3D.
- Also, I should mention Noboru Takagi, who wrote the script, having completed scripting of Baccano! and series composition of Durarara!! Yeah, I know you are thinking about that Takagi of Ashirogi Muto from Bakuman but it’s not that Money and Intelligence.
- Music is by Iwasaki Taku, the dude behind Gurren Lagann, Kuroshitsuji franchise and Persona to name a few. I’m so looking forward to the OST!
- There’s not a lot of characters that you have to familiarize yourself with. It’s not Durarara!!, but a very strong cast and again, that syncing of characters with seiyuu is what has happened with everyone under the skins of characters. Still, how the first ‘challenge’ was showcased between the assets of the dealer and opponent, new characters should be appearing in the upcoming episodes.
- Kimimaro Yoga – Main protagonist: Voiced by Kouki Uchiyama (Natsuno from Shiki, Ichika from Infinite Stratos)
- Hanabi Ikuta – Kimimaro’s crush: Voiced by Yui Makino (Sakura from Tsubasa Chronicles, Aiko from Bokurano)
- Masakaki – Agent from Midas Bank: Voiced by Takahiro Sakurai (If you don’t know this dude, you are not weeaboo enough, whatcha doin’ here?)
- Souichirou Mikuni – Seasoned Dealer in Financial District – Voiced by Daisuke Hosomi (OMG, who is this hottie? His voice has that OD quality, producers, give him more roles!)
- Q – Mikuni’s asset – Voiced by Saori Gotou (Ai from Sayonara Zetsobu sensei and that should be enough for you)
- Itaneda – The Transporter: Voiced by Yuji Mitsuya (Some old fart)
- Mashu – Kimimaro’s asset – Voiced by Haruka Tomatsu (The moe voice of Lala from Motto-to-Love-ru, Hitei from Katanagatari, etc.)
- Jennifer Satou – Not revealed yet; maybe the her Mikuni had a date with?: Voiced by Mayumi Asano (Blue from Wolf’s Rain and many other supporting characters)
End Thoughts – The Against Team:
Hato: I’ll be honest, I was looking forward to ‘C’. Though the first thing that put me off was the stupid-ass name. Offcially it’s ‘The Money of Soul and Possibility Control’. So why is it shortened to ‘C’? I don’t bloody get it. Just ‘Control’? Probably. After actually watching the show, I didn’t exactly hate it. It’s definitely one of the series that goes around and around in circles with its dialogue and it really seems like the creators take themselves way too seriously. It’s just something I’m not really enjoying.
I mean, look at Masakaki, for gods sake. He looks like Johnny Depp from Alice in Wonderland (and I hated that movie). The creators seem to be trying waaaay too hard to create a character that everyone will know and love (It’s silly, because it will probably work…). I really hate to use this again, but its just so anime. I won’t even get into the art and animation, but let’s just say I don’t like it as of yet.
Now it sounds like I’m ragging on C a lot, but I did actually enjoy it. The premise of the show is pretty damn cool and I’m really interested in how they will hand this. Some of the producers who worked on Eden of the East are helping out and while towards the end of Eden things got a little messy, the show overall was awesome. That’s why I have some hope. The weird counters on their back when they fight is for sure interesting and I wanna see how that one kid effs everything up. Because that generally happens in anime. One kid comes in and just wins at everything. Oh, and my favorite part? That would be the goddamn awesome ED from School Food Punishment. RPG, yeah!
Anaaga: But I didn’t expect it to be this way. I did not expect monsters to be called out of credit cards. So yeah, C did meet my expectation; I want C to surprise me with something new and unique, and it is unique. The problem is, I don’t see anything new in here. In here, people are broke. They need money, so they make contract with the Mad Hatter to fight till death for money. People might go all “Ooooh, this looks interesting and new,” but it’s actually not. Basically the story is about bunch of people fighting till death for their own reasons, and in C, their reason is money. How many anime and manga have this kind of storyline? Lots. And this is where C disappoints me. I want the story to be special and new, but in the end it’s not.
Of course, I do think that C is unique in its own way. The way they fight really reminds me of Yu-Gi-Oh or other card games. Probably they were inspired by card games? I don’t care about how they came up with the fighting system, but they did a good job making it special. Using credit cards to fight? How many anime or manga has that? None. The design of the credit card is awesome too. Their “point” system, having the loser’s money taken by the winner, I like that too. Just, their battle system is nice.
But too bad I’m not going to drop this. And funnily, I’ll drop this because of their battle system. Yes, I know I said it’s nice, unique, and all that; but I’m just not into card games. That phase where I was obsessed with battles involved with cards is over. And credit card is still a card. So when I watched the battle, I could’t help but face-palmed myself. I know I’m going to miss something special, which sucks, but I just don’t want to watch something involved with battling with cards.
End Thoughts – The For Team:
Overcooled: Original anime are exciting in the way that everyone is equally in the dark about what happens next. No obnoxious spoilers in forums, just speculation. And I don’t claim to know exactly what is going on here, but I think I like it. It doesn’t make sense to accept money in return for YOUR ENTIRE FUTURE no matter what the amount, because you can be screwed over at any time. The entire money battle system that the Midas Bank uses is still a bit confusing. They use money as MP to power their special attacks? And the more they fight, the more money they get, and the more special abilities they can use?
If they can explain it neatly, it will be quite the original story. As long as things don’t remain as convoluted as they are now. I hope C becomes more than just a cool idea that’s squandered, much like Fractale was. All the potential for greatness is there, it just needs to iron out a few wrinkles and get things on track. Also, more bishounen would be appreciated. I hate it when characters have donuts for lips, it makes me retch. But after all that complaining, I REALLY DO LIKE C, GUYS. It’s one of the spring shows to watch, that’s for sure! :3
Kyokai: Well, truthfully speaking, it’s not Matrix and the centralization on Money is not new as well because we have seen Eden of the East, right? If you haven’t already, run along and watch it now! It’s awesome. Though future as collateral is what intrigues me the most because it’s not set and you never know what would happen unless you have a time machine and don’t even get me started on the possibilities of that. I think I’m saving up all my theories for an editorial on Steins;Gate but that is for later.
I got used to the character designs by the end because they grew on me and please do disregard the nerdy looking ones; pronounced chin and bulging eyes? Not pretty. Though, Masakaki is my favourite. Just look at that pink and purple ensemble and those crazy eyes. He’s the embodiment of Cheshire Cat that made Alice totally nonplussed with his round-robin ways. Also, the whole deal with the assets/demons of the main ‘dealers’ of Financial District because Mikuni can’t possibly be the only one but how come he has multiple ones? Q and that Anubis guy who killed the unnamed protagonist’s demon? Just because he has more ammo/power?
Financial district is too vast, reminds me of OZ from Summer Wars, we’ll just have to see the extent of involvement with this Second Life from reality; a depression facing Japan is quite ideal for this because people are running after money with lack of employment and general social unrest. It’s uniqueness of reality versus virtual along with financial gain is what will drive this anime. The first episode definitely met my expectations and I can only hope that it will continue to do so because hey, Occult Academy started with an awesome first episode but the plot fizzled out before the climax. Will the above seasoned names make this a winner? I sure hope so because we all need some good animu to watch.
Preview: No as such preview except for the episode title on site: “coincidence” and why do I have a feeling that it will shed some light on Kimimaro’s runaway father? Just speculating here. Till next time then, Ja ne~
Credit for the main image: Lion temple