[C] tells the story of Kimimaro, a college student who is invited to the Financial District, an underground world where entrepreneurs and their Assets fight one another for money, with their futures as collateral. It’s a unique and creative premise, and one that should have made for an engrossing story: but unfortunately, the setting is never developed fully, resulting in inconsistencies and a crippling reliance on deus ex machina.
[C] makes heavy use of economics jargon, but it doesn’t have much meaning attached. Let’s take the titular C as an example: it ends up being a name for the wave of economic destruction following the collapse of the economy in a financial district. And the creators take the wave part quite literally, as it takes time to travel to its destination. What the wave is or what it does is never really discussed, aside from it destroying the economy. Then when the wave reaches America, the creators decide to give America “super entrepeneurs” so their head clown bounces the wave back to Japan (no I am not making this up). Then when it gets to Japan the second time it has no effect because the Yen is now worthless. If you think this doesn’t make sense because I’m taking it out of context, I can assure you that it will only make less sense once you’ve watched the show.
The second biggest problem I had with [C] is that half the show is dedicated to the main character getting lectured about which is more important: the present or the future. I found this dichotomy mind-boggling: you can choose one or the other? Needless to say, all of this “deep” philosophical discussion was lost on me.
[C] also suffered from a general lack of focus. We started out focusing on Kimimaro’s school life and the girl he had a crush on, but then they more or less forget about her. There are several random side stories about weekly battles and people losing their future, which were some of the best episodes, but they added little to the main characters or the story. There’s lots of Kimimaro getting lectured about the present or the future being better than the other. Kimimaro’s asset begins to become more human. Then she falls in love with him (one of the worst, most underdeveloped romances I’ve seen) and turns out to be his sister. There’s something about his dad once being an entrepreneur too, but that’s swept under the rug. Nothing really ended up coming together. The creators had a bunch of ideas, but didn’t follow through with them or seem to know where they were headed.
The last problem I’ll mention is the characters. The side characters are fine, but the three lead characters— Kimimaro, his asset Mashu, and his mentor / rival Souichiro— are shallow and annoying. Mashu just sits around inside a credit card for three quarters of the show. In the first episode, they focus on Kimimaro’s need for and pride regarding money, and he seems like an interesting character. But then they ditch all that and make him as generic and lifeless as possible. Basically all he does from episode 2-9 is listen to people lecture him, until in the second to last episode he makes a decision and chooses the future (whoo!). As for Souichiro, he’s consistent, but consistently dull. He mostly just lectures Kimimaro about why the present is the best, and walks around handing out bundles of cash to politicians.
I found [C] to be a disappointing addition to the noitaminA timeslot. I’m not alone in my disappointment, but other people loved it (with reservations) so you may still want to give it a shot.
- Plot / Script – 6 / 10 – Lack of depth, total reliance on deus ex machina.
- Characters – 7 / 10 – The three main characters are shallow and annoying- the others are ok (probably since we see less of them).
- Production – 8 / 10 – Unique style in the financial district, but the animation quality is inconsistent.
- Overall – D+
Recommendations – Eden of the East, Stein’s; Gate, Noein
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