Jul 16, 2011
Activelee (All reviews)
[C] The Lack of Responsible Spending and Viewer Sympathy

It’s clear from my reinterpretation of the title that I flat out didn’t like it. I sat through the season hoping it would get better as it went along. It didn’t. So to sum up what this show did wrong: Almost everything… except the central concept and opening/ending scores.

Honestly, this anime didn’t give me anything to justify my watching it. Other than its interesting premise of another world called the Financial District which controls and inevitably destroys the economy of each respective country in the physical world, there’s nothing else to see here. Our protagonist, Yoga, Kimimaro, is a kid with no drive to do anything productive with his life. Right off the bat, we’re presented with the generic “guy with no redeeming qualities” to play with. Mr. Boring here hates his dad, has no girlfriend because he was too much of a wuss to ask out his childhood friend, is an econ major, and works part time at a convenience store to pay for living expenses. His existence is double its original worth once he’s paid a strange visit by a guy named Masakaki.

Masakaki is actually kind of an interesting dude because he represents the law of the Financial District and is a guide to those introduced into this new world. There’s not one of him as each District has their own Masakaki of sorts. Throughout the anime, he pops up several times to inform people of major events going on and announce duels between those involved in the District.

There’s a plethora of supporting characters but I’m getting too long-winded as it is with just the main ones to detail the rest so I’ll tell you now that the show isn’t worth watching for them. Msyu is Kimimaro’s Asset and eventual love interest. Blehh. Jennifer is an exec of IMF, an organization attempting to bring down the Financial District. She, for some reason, is always eating burgers when she’s out investigating. Hanabi is the childhood friend mentioned earlier. Takedazaki is an informant in the District and general creeper with a crazy laugh.

Now, everyone part of this other world uses something called midas money to duel others and spend in the real world which is why it gets screwed over. Apparently, almost all of them are money grubbers who only fight for their own benefit. Of course, bringing “fake” money into circulation in mass quantities throws off the balance of the economy. I won’t delve too deep into the logistics because they don’t matter and I don’t fully understand the system myself. Each person has an Asset which is like… an astral being?... I don’t know, anyway, they represent their respective owner’s future and they fight in battles (duels) against other Assets like their goddamn Pokémon or something. And the whole micro-, mezo-, macro- flation based attacks are just silly. There’s a bunch of other stuff that happens in between the fighting but it’s irrelevant to the overall scheme of things. For example, you don’t find out what C is until the end. The hell?

The show doesn’t do an adequate job of explaining anything in enough detail to really understand what’s going on at any given time. As the story progresses, it gets more convoluted once you see cities digitizing into nothing along with the people inhabiting them. Countries disappear by ways of economic collapse. Organizations inside and outside the Districts have a hand in abusing midas currency, trying to prevent the future loss of nations, or attempting to preserve the present condition of those same nations. The antagonist, Souichirou, is an advocate for the present. He’s a suave businessman who holds a lot of influence in Japan as he’s at the top of the chain in the Far East District. He blames his father for the death of his sister because he prioritized his company over family. Ironically, Souichirou’s ideals become more like his dad’s after the event in that he starts believing money is power. To me though, he’s just a kid with a lot of toys but wants to play with everyone else’s. A stubborn man who pushes his values onto others because that’s the only way he knows to gain control over everything and mold Japan to his liking because he doesn’t believe in a future anymore.

In the art and sound department, [C] tries to blend 3D and 2D animation together, like in the case of duels. However, sometimes they don’t blend too well and it just starts to feel disjointed. The character and Asset designs are pretty ordinary. Although, some of the Assets are definitely more out there than others in both looks and abilities. Now as far as songs go, I enjoyed them both. The rock opening paired with the fluid animation of currency falling from the sky and flythrough into the streets of the Financial District got me pumped up for what was to come but obviously the anime itself fell short of what the songs did to hype it up for. And the endings electronic beats, percussion, and great vocals served as a great way to close each episode as the show was in a way an RPG considering how Yoga and Msyu fought tougher opponents each time to eventually end up going against Mikuni, the BOSS if you will. I think partly why I fancied the ending score was because it reminded me of East of Eden’s ending for some strange reason. The voice acting was sufficient when it was in Japanese and god awful when they started speaking English. Seriously, everything was terrible when it came to the English talk. I’ll leave it at that and you can see for yourself if you still feel the urge to hear it firsthand. Fair warning, you could be audibly raped.

My final grumbles about [C] is that I couldn’t relate to anyone or anything in the show and that made it so every emotional event that was supposed to evoke something out of me just failed miserably. Msyu losing limbs and crying out in agony didn’t even make me blink because I knew that she’d regenerate right once the duel was over. Kimimaro’s attempts to be heroic were not only boring but obvious and as a result I started liking him even less as a character. His existence value started at zero and doubling a zero is still only zero. My indifference towards it all was mostly due to the weak character development as you can tell. Msyu was probably the only one whose character evolved (not a Pokémon joke) within the story and that’s only because she didn’t know anything about being human until Kimimaro came around and ate ramen noodles in front of her. I know, right? Eating?! That’s insane!

Ultimately, what this anime boils down to is its lack of any real flow to the plot and missed attempt at drawing emotion out of the viewers whilst giving us a crash course in finances which to say it didn’t do a good job of that either. Maybe, and I’m being generous here, if they didn’t do such a horrendous job of mimicking English speakers, I’d give it one score higher. Maybe. But if time was currency, I’d definitely spend it on something else worth my attention.