Daydream Sanctuary Features

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

[C] - get Cash through Credit for a Chance to gain Control.. it's your Choice


[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility - Control
of Tatsunoko Production
Directed By Kenji Nakamura; Written By Noboru Takagi
Kimimaro: I need to save money.
Masakaki: Hello Kimimaro! I have come to offer you a wonderful opportunity that will help resolve your money problems! I can lend you money.. any amount that you need IF you agree to become an Entrepreneur in the Financial District. You can become rich!!! So rich that you no longer need to do part time jobs! You can also hang out with friends like other university students, and buy things to impress the girl that you love! And no, there aren't any qualifications. Age, physical traits, and background don't matter. So what are you waiting for? Join us now and make your dreams come true~ We only ask for a small collateral in exchange....
Kimimaro: NO THANKS.

SETTING:
Contemporary. City. Japan. Fictional World.
ELEMENTS:
Control. Money. Future. Collateral. Cards. Deal. Bankrupt. Economics. Midas.
GENRE:
Supernatural. Action. Romance. Drama.
DEMOGRAPHIC:
Shounen and Seinen hybrid.
RATING:
A (EPIC!)

FAVORITISM:
4 Hearts ---> ADORATION

[C] is no masterpiece..... but it got really close

This series appears to be a Yu Gi Oh! show that just happened to have economic references instead of Egyptian ones. The similarities are undeniable, and having the leading character win most of the time makes it even less different from your typical shounen.

But....

Have you thought of looking up those economic terms, and compare the actual definition to what's going on in the battle scene? Have you taken notice of the imageries displayed when those attacks are called out, look up on those symbols and relate it to the character?

The terms used aren't just picked at random, nor are all of them just used only for the sake of sounding "cool".

There's a reason why a character uses and has that sort of attack. There's an explanation on why the attack is in that form (example: The "Scorched Earth" attack uses fire because the original definition has something to do with burning your enemy's territory). There's a reference on the images used when calling out the attack (mostly Tarot references). There's a similarity between the battle scene and what happens in the real world.

Indeed. Majority of the terms used in the series, if not all, do use economic, finance, or corporate jargons. But the references the show makes in general aren't limited to those mentioned fields.


[C] is full of symbolisms. Even something that seems very ordinary can have a meaning, like a certain scene when a character is choosing among the burgers wrapped in the following colors respectively: magenta, cyan, and yellow.

[C] and its elements are also like allegories to the real world. The idea of having your "future" taken as a collateral may seem surreal, but if you don't take it literally, something like that actually occurs in the real world. According to Oosaka Naoki, the supervising director of the series (who mainly checks up on the economic set-up and dialogue), that's the method used by the "Project Finance":
Instead of taking something of equal value to the borrowed money as collateral, the projected profit of the enterprise is calculated, and that is taken as collateral. It’s very common in large scale projects such as oil drilling and infrastructure expansion.
In Project Finance, before the loan the bank examines the possibilities in detail, and the bigger the risk the bigger the attached interests. In exchange, the loan repayment can only come from the cash income generated by the project, and in case the project falls through, the bank can’t touch the borrower’s personal properties.
Therefore, entrusting your future in exchange of cash, and depending on the circumstances having your future taken away is not just a fantasy. Its constantly happening near us.
(If that's true, that's certainly pretty intriguing. If otherwise, that would be quite disappointing, but I find that unlikely since it's from the official site... and it would be a bad image to the staff if they're sharing "fake facts".)

[C], without a doubt, is thought-provoking. A character's line can be so meaningful that can make you reflect on things:
“Make money. Then use it for something. When you spend money, somebody else profits. Saving money will make only you happy. Even if that peaceful happiness makes you satisfied, it won’t bring happiness to those around you.” ~ Souichirou Mikuni
"Saving money" is something commonly considered as "the right thing to do", and that conflicts to what Mikuni just said. It makes you wonder whether he's right, especially when the official site even mentioned that: "Many experts have pointed out that excessive reservation with money can have negative effects on the restoration of the economy. "

Of course I have my own thoughts on that. It's upto you whether to agree with them or not. The series may deal with ethics and morality, but that doesn't necessarily mean that what it's sharing is what you're supposed to follow.

The series has been considered a social commentary. I don't think that's arguable especially when the behavior of the characters in [C] are being compared to the Japanese citizens in the real world. Like with Mikuni's statement regarding Kimimaro's money saving, for instance, a staff member of the series, who is obviously a Japanese citizen, notes that: "... people are carrying doubts over the future of Japan. More than spending and investing, they judge saving as the most appropriate plan. "

Even the difference between the way of thinking of two certain characters' is being paralleled to the real world. Sennoza believes that “If all that’s left is a hopeless future, there’s no meaning for the present.”; while Mikuni thinks that “Even if you call it future, it’s nothing but a continuation of the present. If the 'now' is destroyed, there is no 'later'.” The official site mentions that there's presently a discussion about mass issuing of bonds in Japan.

The series makes references to quite a number of philosophical ideologies and I'm highly amazed with the fans who were able to analyze them.

I really think this series has been well researched and well thought of. The story was nicely written and the cast had good characterizations.

I don't disagree with its flaws; some parts of the story really lack explanation (some parts only make sense if you read the write-ups at the official website.... but as if anyone who watches the series would bother about that), don't make sense (yeah, some things just... happen), or are absolutely unecessary (awkward romance is awkward), while some characters lack background, don't have much role, or are almost unnoticeable.

But it didn't do a bad job at all. Seldom do I see a series who give more priority in fleshing out its setting and characters, rather than provide an audience as many episodic battles as possible. It's also very rare for an anime series to share different perspectives that ALL have a point. Moreover, the ending might've seem like the typical result when the leading character wins against the final boss, but in actuality it wasn't really the main character who did most of the rescuing.

As for the characters, it's not usual for a series to bring back characters who seem so minor or are just "opponents for the day". It's also highly unusual to have characters who lose in a duel to accept defeat and have stupid grudges against the one who had defeated them. And the most impressive character created of all, in my opinion, is the "bland" main character. He appears so "boring", yet he possesses a lot of qualities that deviates from a lot of typical leading characters.


That's what I love the most in [C]. It overflows in uniqueness that it managed to avoid a lot of the things that other shows commonly have. Heck, the directing style is already very different from the usual.

Not many are appealed with how the show is being directed and presented though, but I really find them very creative. Watching scenes from this series had made me surprised, awed, and amused~ It's best during the action or surreal scenes, though weakest on highly emotional scenes (But I think some dramatic scenes have been presented nicely, particularly when a certain sickly character tried her best to speak out what she wishes for the most... and when a certain "dying" female character was about to let go of something important to her).

Speaking of weaknesses, I'm not sure why there are a lot of complains about this series being a poor economics show, when it is not really an economics show in the first place. Yes, there are economic references and how some of those terms are use might contradict to what an economics textbook says, but like what's mentioned in the official site:
[C] is not a textbook with the purpose of “studying” the mechanisms of economics. It was made with the wish that it would serve as a spark for you to begin to think for yourself about the meaning of money.

[C] is about money, and that has been made as obvious as possible since the very beginning. Money is indeed related to economics, but it's not limited to that. It can also be related to a lot of other areas: from philosophy to occult to games and so on.

Thinking about the nature and essence of money, is the main theme of the series.
“In the end, is money just money? More than that? Or less than that? Depending on where you are standing, the way you see it changes as well. It’s a mysterious thing, isn’t it? Money.” ~ Souichirou Mikuni
I think [C] had such great potential that it deserves more credit for that. It may not have turned out to be as awesome as it promises to be, but it had been impressive enough overall to have high ratings despite its numerous flaws. (Besides, it has INCREDIBLE MUSIC! Listening to its soundtrack must've been such a wonderful experience~)

If only this series had more budget for better animation, more episodes to narrate its story even better, less focus on the unneccessary things, and less favoritism on the leading character for sometimes being luckier than usual.... this really could have been a masterpiece.


Notes:
~ Daydream Sanctuary: [C] - consists of my posts related to the series
~ Anime Otaku: C - blogger whose blog post can make you appreciate the series more
~ The Money of Soul Wiki - your [C] Bible
~ SoWL - translator or the one who shares the translations of the goodies at the official website

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