[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (also known as [C] – Control or C for Control internationally) is a 2011 Japanese anime television series produced by Tatsunoko Production under the direction of Kenji Nakamura with Noboru Takagi as script supervisor. The Japanese government was rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens, however, life has not improved and unemployment, crime, suicide, and despair are rampant. Kimimaro, raised by his maternal aunt after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship student whose only dream is to live a stable, ordinary life. One day he meets a man who offers him a large sum of money if he will allow his “future” to be held as collateral. From then on his fate is radically altered as he’s drawn into a mysterious realm known as the Financial District, where he must compete in weekly tournaments called “deals” in order to keep his money and avoid losing his future. If there’s anything that should tell you to watch this anime, it’s probably that it’s one of the few anime in the last couple of years or so that have involved the main character(s) being older than the overused high schoolers. We’re finally getting characters that are dealing with their own lives.
Unlike a lot of anime nowadays with too many characters to count, C has a good amount of characters but only focuses on the ones who are truly relevant to the entire show. It doesn’t take a lot of economic know-how to draw the lines from C’s metaphors to real world economics. The only people who can get any real messages out of [C] are economics majors/teachers, but honestly, it can make an impact on anyone who keeps in open mind. This is mostly challenged by the fact that rather than choosing a set few concepts and ideas, and building up upon them very well, we got a ton of developed ideas that are mostly disregarded by the end of the series.
Additionally, characterization has several baffling issues: protagonist Yoga is a terribly dull and [C]‘s downfall seems to follow a common trend in anime as of late: a strong start. If you have a strong start, it is difficult to carry through it seems. Despite that fact I was disappointed with that last point, still, the only highlight that I appreciate and enjoy watching of the series is how our male protagonist Kimimaro Yoga finally be able to become the boyfriend of Hanabi Ikuta even though, according to the official website, Hanabi only consider Kimimaro as a good friend and currently has a boyfriend.
So, without confusing you even more, the anime is GOOD. But why all the negative points? Well, I should clarify that this anime is not about finance and the economy. In fact, there’s little actual economics in it. The few terms that are used are something everyone should know, and that are taught in school. It’s mainly about time and the relationship between present and future, wrapped in a financial backgrounds story. It’s indeed a very abstract, yet beautiful, story. This series wasn’t about “taking financial risks at the cost of family”. It was about risking your future and considering if you should live for today or tomorrow. The animation was outstanding and the music was as well. My only complain about the anime was it was only 11 episodes long. Around the end it felt like they’d taken a huge leap to the point that I though I might have missed an episode. The story would have been better flushed out if it had some more episodes to work with and have a steadier increase in pace.
This is the only anime I have seen that uses the financial crises as an apocalyptic ending for this world. Not only was the idea extremely creative, it had depth to it. To sum it up, [C] was just fun to watch. Perhaps I’m missing context from Japanese politics that would make things clearer, but as just a student of life (and not economics), I got the gist of it. It would be interesting to see what would happen if there was more, but I feel pretty satisfied with the series as a whole. This is one to check out, so I suggest you do.