Posted on January 20, 2013 AT 02:50pm
A few harsh lessons for any student to learn is that nothing is free, money makes the world go ’round, and of course, your parents can’t pay for your life forever. Sorry kids, but that’s how the world works. [C]: Control – The Money of Soul and Possibility is a short little anime that is all about those life lessons, or at least the part about money controlling everything.
The story stars our hero, Kimimaro Yoga, a broke-ass 19-year-old college student just barely getting by. In addition to being a full-time student at a local economics university, the poor kid has to work two part-time jobs just to keep the lights on and food on the table. He’s a bit over-worked and constantly tired. He needs a break. And he gets that break one fateful night while cramming for a test, when he is visited by the mysterious Masakaki, a banker from The Bank of Midas, a bank in an alternate dimension known as the Financial District.
Masakaki offers the boy a simple deal: work for him and earn more cash then he could ever need or continue to live his mundane life. All he would have to do is offer his “future” as a collateral. Yoga writes the man off as being mentally insane and refuses. The next day, he visits the ATM to make a withdrawal and discovers his account is suddenly flush with cash. At first, he believes it to be a bank error, and being the honest kid he is, considers reporting it. After discussing it with his friends though, and taking careful consideration of his financial situation, he decides to keep the money and take a little more out to splurge. But when he does so, Masakaki visits him once more, explaining that he had placed the money in his account and offers the deal once again. This time, Yoga takes the Devil’s Deal and is thrown head-first into the world of the Financial District.
Masakaki explains that Yoga is now an “Entrepreneur” or “Entré” for short. He is then paired with an “Asset”, which is supposed to be a physical avatar-like being that represents his possible future. Yoga’s Asset is named Mshyu (or “Msyu” if you want to be all otaku about it). In the world of the Financial District, Entres and their Assets engage in weekly brawls known as “Deals”. Win a Deal and you make more money and can continue playing the game. Lose and there are dire consequences in the real world. Lose everything by becoming bankrupt and your future is erased. Even just fighting in a Deal is all about money. Attacks must be bought with your own assets, if hits land, profits are made. If hits are taken, money is lost. Yoga easily wins his first Deal after figuring things out and soon learns that the outcomes of these Deals can have great effects on the real world, from a simple failed test grade, to people being completely erased from reality. He realizes how serious his contract with the Financial District is and finds himself fighting to protect and preserve his and others futures.
Yoga, though, as a character, is quite the interesting young man. Like many kids his age, he is very indecisive, which ends up being a huge handicap for his Deals because he can’t decide how to attack. Attacks he does do end up being out of pure desperation. Mshyu, pronounced “Mashu” in the dubs, by the way, even says later in the series, “My Entre is very strange. Sometimes he will want to do one thing, and he has to do another, but he ends just doing nothing.” In school he barely gets by, and instead of caring about his grades, chooses to study for the Civil Servant Exam, saying he finds school to be boring. In fact, it seems the only real reason he bothers going, is so that he may continue pining for his female friend, Hanabi Ikuta, who frequently gives him test notes for studying. Sadly though, Hanabi has a boyfriend, because that’s how it always with the beautiful women of the world.
The other woman in Yoga’s life, Mshyu is a very odd one. As a representation of Yoga’s possible future she has the appearance of a horned young woman. Go ahead and crack your porn jokes here. Mshyu, though, despite looking like a young girl, is not human. That, of course, doesn’t stop her from trying to act human. For instance, she continually seeks Yoga’s affection, and even eats raman out of pure curiosity because Assets don’t technically require any sustenance to live. Over the course of the series, Yoga and Mshyu develop a tight bond and we already figure out where it might lead within the first few episodes. It’s not hard. She’s a girl…thing and he’s a guy with no girlfriend. Fortunately, for sake of keeping this series free of at least some terrible anime cliches, they hold off on that inevitability until the very bitter end.
As my sister called her, Mshyu is “adorable”. She’s like an alien seeing the world though a small window provided by Yoga’s ATM card. She’s curious about everything, constantly asking Yoga to explain things we would think to be trivial and silly. Things like “eating” and why we eat, or why we kiss, the list goes on. It’s all new and exciting to her. Even after she realizes her feelings for Yoga, she continues maintain her innocence and curiosity of the real world.
As adorable and funny as Mshyu was, she wasn’t really my favorite character. That honor fell to miss Jennifer Sato, an investigator for the International Monetary Fund who is seeking answers in the mystery of the Financial District. Never seen without a lollipop in her mouth she uses her wits and sharp mind to stay alive. Sato believes that the District will lead to the downfall of humanity if left unchecked and continually searching for a way to bring it down for good. She also the first and only IMF operative to gain access to the District, something she takes full advantage of. Something very intriguing about Sato is that she constantly visits the District, having stated at the start she’s made over 60 visits and of those visits, very few were for her required Deals. As is explained, Entres may enter the District at any time to watch matches, and if they want, they can even bet on the matches to gain more profits or lose it all even quicker. It doesn’t take long for Sato to take notice of Kimimaro Yoga. After watching him for a time, she realizes he could be a very powerful ally to have on her side.
Unfortunately for Sato, another player also discovers Yoga, Souichirou Mikuni. Mikuni is a powerful businessman in the real world, and in the Financial District, he is the leader of the Mukudori Guild, a group of players that supposedly represents 30% of the entire District. Mikuni fully understand the impact that Deals have on the real world, and fearing for Japan’s finical future, he and the rest of the Mukudori Guild seek to to control Deals in an effort to minimize the damage done to the real world. They do this by winning all their Deals without bankrupting the opponent, and instead winning by the smallest percent profit margin within the time limit. Mikuni’s ideas are like Communism. They sound good in theory, but in practice, well, we wouldn’t have much of a series if they worked in practice.
Mikuni and the Finical District as a whole are really the closest thing this series has to an “antagonist”. The interesting part is that they do nothing morally wrong, and Mikuni is never made out to be a totally evil man. He just wants to preserve Japan’s future. Too bad he’s doing it wrong. Even at the very end of the series, we discover the Financial District also isn’t “evil” either… it’s something different and I’m not going to spoil it.
Naturally, though, the Financial district constantly remained the center of the story, which was a damn good story too. As explained earlier, the whole thing revolves around money and the power it holds. We see how money affects people, both the good and the bad. Even more abstract concepts of money such as the stock market and the value of “currency” is thrown into the mix and ties everything together smoothly. This is one of the few shorter animes I’ve seen where the story flow was never rushed, and was just about the right length. Sure another episode or two would have been nice, but it wasn’t necessary. Minor elements also had to be cut out for time, such as some fights, but that was okay, because although the series used fights as a plot element, that wasn’t the focus. The focus, again, was money and its power. I did, however, have one major issue. When Entres are in the real world, Assets can communicate with them through their Midas ATM card. When this happens, their voices become garbled. In the dubs, this made the dialogue very hard to understand for these parts, it quickly became a minor pet peeve of mine. Especially, because at these parts, Japanese text showed up on the sides of the screen, giving a text version of the dialogue, but, unfortunately, Funimation decided against subbing the text. Damnit, Funimation I watch the dubs BECAUSE I DON’T FREAKN’ KNOW JAPANESE. Now, I’m sure if you watch the subbed version, you won’t have this minor problem, but still. Stupid thing.
Overall, this was an excellent series to watch. At only 11 episodes, it’s short and sweet. If you’re into fiances, give this a look, you won’t be disappointed.
Summary: A very interesting and unique series to watch. Short, but sweet, and certainly not without flaws.
The Good: The whole concept was just so well done. Especially given the wold’s current economic situation, definitely made things seem more real.
The Bad: As mentioned before, in the dubbed version, dialogue was garbled and sometimes very hard to understand at certain parts.
The Ugly: N/A
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