C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – 01
「complication （複雑）」 (Fukuzatsu)
Money is power. Money is the root of all evil. That’s the theme in this supernatural finance series. At least, that’s the impression I got seeing a debt-ridden businessman making a deal with devil at a bank ATM, complete with an evil sounding machine voice, 666, and demonic taxi driver. I didn’t really know what exactly I was getting into before this episode, since the subject matter was unusual, but the potential is exciting. Mikuni Souichirou, who looks like some slick salesperson, is introduced along with Q who just seems like a hungry elf girl for now. Not too much is actually explained in the episode, but I’d posture that the “financial district” they are in is some futuristic alternate universe where the invisible hand of the market works and money is manipulated. It also happens to be where the man is sent to “make a deal” with Mikuni, which apparently involves debit card battles and fighting with monsters. It sounds weird (and is weird to watch) but looks something like an analogy for predatory market competition since we all know that bankers have no souls. Fighting each other for money seems fun to me, but the unfortunate anonymous man loses his stake and commits suicide shortly after. Thinking about it, gambling with stocks probably has the same effect when one goes over their means and loses it all.
There’s a lot of showing and not that much talking, so nothing about the setting or background of the story is revealed, though the synopsis Divine wrote in the preview explains some of it. I did enjoy this kind of setup, and after the action-packed beginning scenes, the main character is finally shown: Kimimaro the economics student, who to me seems like the generic poor and down-on-luck but hardworking protagonist. Then there’s also the purple-haired Hanabi who tries to help him pass his classes, but unfortunately for him, she’s going out with a richer guy (for now). And so as Kimimaro lives normally day to day, his life suddenly gets turned upside down (seems like a standard start).
On the other hand, some of these other characters are far from normal. What I assume to be the devil, Masakaki, a creep who looks like a cross between the Mad Hatter and the Joker, comes to his apartment, doing some teleportation tricks then taking Kimimaro to an alternate space. As soon as he showed up, it was clear that whatever deal he’s offering and that Kimimaro shouldn’t take it unless he has no use for his soul. And indeed, Masakaki wants his future in exchange for the position of “entrepreneur” in the Financial District. He is surprisingly calm at what he saw, largely ignoring the clown’s shenanigans, but unfortunately the bait of 500k yen randomly showing up in his bank account is too tempting and he gets whisked away, Back to the Future style. He’s still more honorable than me though, as the thought of having access to unlimited sums of money is probably too alluring for my greed, even given the consequences.
However, I do look forward to seeing what the position of entrepreneur entails for Kimimaro, and it’s probably similar to what Mikuni does (i.e. beating up people for their money). Minor aspects of production are also positive, and there are nice effects such as the fractured sidebars that Masakaki uses to talk, the wacky effects in the fight scenes, and the cash from various countries in the opening sequence. All in all, this should be an interesting show.