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「Conversion (転換)」 (Tenkan)

Things get real for Kimimaro when he gets into a deal with his professor, who’s “just trying to make money for his family”. It’s even more clear now that these battles are pretty brutal, with the livelihoods of people at stake as they gamble fortunes. The truth of the “future as collateral” provision is still not clear though. His teacher loses his kids when he goes bankrupt, even the very fact that they existed. This makes me think that perhaps what the entre gains thanks to the Midas Money is taken away if he/she goes bankrupt. For example, the children he was able to support thanks to his deals disappeared once he lost that money.

I can see the pain now of losing it all in the Financial District, especially with how the episode opened, with Kimimaro’s battle against his teacher interlaced with shots of his interactions with his kids and pregnant wife. However entres do make deals out of their own free will, understanding the potential consequences. There’s no one to blame but yourself, and he understands that, holding no grudge since he himself showed no mercy. Kimimaro is still rather naive, and I see it as a kind of process of self-realization for him as he learns that life is pretty brutal with its winners and losers.

However I feel that there are still some informed consent violations in that the conditions and consequences aren’t explained clearly before Masakaki ropes in people to make deals. That might not be a problem now as Kimimaro understands the risks having seen them first hand with both his father and teacher, and really he doesn’t have anything personal to lose either. I do take issue with how a person can go bankrupt with just one attack though. Even after what has been revealed, the whole attack system is still very difficult to understand and doesn’t make sense in some parts. Kimimaro nearly loses it all too, and is only saved because entres can sell off the stocks of their assets on the fly to have more credit to fight.

Luckily Mikuni is looking out for Kimimaro, “investing in him” as a mutually beneficial trade (as he put it). As I thought he is indeed trying to control the Financial District with the “Starling Guild”. Their goal seems to be to moderate the swings of fortune caused by the deals (prevent going bankrupt, but not winning big either), and by doing so minimizing the effect on the real world. His fighting style also confirms that, holding back and just winning by a little bit. So far, I’m still not getting any villain vibes and it’s a noble enough idea (win-win), and as a result Kimimaro decides to stay on board too. Still waiting for those hidden motives though…

Side note: Mikuni does indeed have two assets, Q and Kakuzu and possibly even more, or alternatively they are just different parts of a same one.

May 7, 2011 at 3:25 pm
46 comments »
  • May 7, 2011 at 3:33 pmjj

    I do think Asset can have an asset, Q’s asset is Kakuzu prolly

  • May 7, 2011 at 3:35 pmZero

    After Madoka, I’ve begun to believe that all deals in Anime infringe upon the Informed Consent clause.

    Lawyers. Never there when you need ‘em.

    • May 7, 2011 at 6:38 pmqntiria

      Good point. Contracts should only be done after reading all the terms and conditions in size 2 font. Unfortunately, anime contracts doens’t even get the person to sign on the bottom of the page or anything

  • May 7, 2011 at 3:37 pmKTNO

    OMG
    How can this two guys can live with what just happened ?
    It’s so sad…

    Death and suicide are nice compared to that :s

  • May 7, 2011 at 3:59 pmYuumei

    This stuff just got real… I feel so bad for the professor. I can’t believe he lost his kids, though I guess they really are his “future”. Since only he and Kimimaro remembered the kids, I wonder if actually anyone connected to the financial district could remember them (if they had met).

    Mikuni’s battle was really fun to watch…. Mikuni’s goals are really interesting, and I can see Kimimaro following them too, to a point. I’m not really sure how he can improve on the strategy but I feel like that’s where it’s going.

  • May 7, 2011 at 4:05 pmewok40k

    hmm, whole series touch upon the economic problems of the modern world, from the inflation to the lack of children threatening the future of the society…

  • May 7, 2011 at 4:06 pmTofus

    I do think that Kimimaro got off easy with the professor’s ‘I did it out of free will’, since the common reaction would be to explode if something like that happened. That being said, it would have been an eyesore if it was going to turn out that way.
    (to be honest I really thought they would drag with the omgwhathaveidone crap, but luckily they contained it to one episode)

  • May 7, 2011 at 4:07 pmEric

    I am guessing that they give out less midas money than they take in. For instance, when that old guy is cut in half, his destroyed half turns into money. Perhaps, the midas money is actually made from people’s future. So destroying midas would not actually take away a vital flow into human reality. But if I am wrong and humanity in this show has already made enough deals that global economy requires deals, then they are basically living in a world of constant tragedy. The sad thing is that this constant win and lose stuff is not very different than the real world. The only addition is that this foreign supernatural power called midas is investing in humanity.

    • May 7, 2011 at 5:36 pmGambler

      The zero sum aspect of deals is definitely real. However, in the real world it’s not just between 2-3 people. When you get a job offer, you beat out the other 100 or so people who applied. Entire communities have died when a central source of jobs like a car factory gets shut down. In that respect the midas effect of going bankrupt isn’t bad since it’s only one household. However, Mikuni did say Kikuchi’s loss would’ve had a large effect in the real world if he went bankrupt.

      Anyway the attacks are still in the theme of M&A. Pacman defense, white knight, poison pill.

      In the news media regarding fiscal policy, it’s sometimes said that children pay for the mistakes of their parents or by protecting their lifestyles, parents are eating their children or grandchildren. I wonder if the professor’s story was the writer’s way of interpreting that.

      • May 8, 2011 at 5:41 amRicalloo

        I assume by “eating” you mean building up debt with no intention of paying it off to keep their higher lifestyles at the cost of their childrens’ futures. Children then are born burdened with debt they didn’t amass that they’ll have to pay off at the cost of significantly reduced lifestyles.

        The professor seemed to be fighting to protect his children. I’m not sure yet what point the writers are trying to make, except that risks can go either way…

        But back to the point you are trying to make, I think… Those born in the 50s and 60s have absolutely screwed the next generations over by enormous sums.

      • May 8, 2011 at 9:25 pmGambler

        I forgot to put “sleeping beauty” in the attack terms.

        As for my eating children reference, that is correct about the debts. The downside of working in the industry and also reading up on financial news is that it creates a somewhat negative viewpoint in how the world works. Like watching a train wreck in slow motion.

  • May 7, 2011 at 4:54 pmhaseo0408

    I´m a lawyer and belive me, the tricks Masakaki is playing in all of them to push them to make deals are barely legal. He says that the Midas Bank takes your future away, but in fact is taking the most important thing in your life, the reason that makes your future take a clear shape. Money is important in any society but they are playing with something infinitely more precious; with that kind of treasure at play, the midas money have some sort of special effect in the human world.

    • May 7, 2011 at 6:22 pmGrant

      They go to an alternate dimension/world whatever where they fight each other for money and selling stock powers up your Asset. This is one of those Faustian bargain things where the devil figure doesn’t need to reveal all the details.

  • May 7, 2011 at 5:11 pmamado

    I wonder if mikuni has more assets than whats shown? I really like his style of fighting with his assets.

    as shown by other kinds of anime(madoka recently) joining a vague contract can make you win big but also lose big(sometimes even bigger).

  • May 7, 2011 at 5:24 pmZilla

    Is no one else interested in why Q started growling and glowing red at the end there? I’m surprised I’m the first one who’s commenting on this.

    • May 7, 2011 at 5:31 pmamado

      yeah noticed that too.
      I think Q is very dangerous when fighting so mikuni doesnt really use her as much. or Q is controlling those 2 assets from behind mikuni.

    • May 7, 2011 at 6:02 pmNhelraios

      She needs the pink asset beside her or else she’s gonna go berserk. Well that’s what I think since Mikuni said something like “make it quick princess” when Q is glowing red.

      • May 7, 2011 at 9:41 pmLawrenceleong888

        And it’s possible that when she got mad…the opponent will go…bankrupt…
        He might be trying to prevent that…

      • May 7, 2011 at 9:50 pmLawrenceleong888

        Quoting from a user in myanimelist…reference from official site…
        According to the official site, the asset Mikuni summoned with flation “white knight” is named Aurore (spelling unknown). Aurore is his third asset and her flation is “sleeping beauty” that squeezes and nullifies the ability from the opponent. Usually Aurore takes Q’s hand and keeps her dormant so that she doesn’t go berserk and release her mighty power. In the show, Aurore was called “hime (princess)”

    • May 7, 2011 at 9:43 pmLawrenceleong888

      I’m much interested in Q and the other assets…than discussing the impact of going bankrupt because the former is much mysterious…
      I am just reading on to see if anyone will comment about Q…Anubis…and the Sleeping Beauty…

  • May 7, 2011 at 5:24 pmYttrium

    “Money and the possibility of control”

    I think Mikuni’s real goal is hidden right there in the title “control”. Imagine if he got everyone in the Financial district to join his guild by telling them that it’s the only way to protect their futures; their realities. In doing so, or at least by getting them to believe that he is able to do so, he is literally able to hold them at gunpoint/brainwash them with religious fervor- both basically.

    We know that many of the people in the financial district are high-rollers. Imagine what Mikuni could do to the real world if he had them all under his control. It’s likely that his true goal isn’t so much of minimizing the effects on the real world, but rather controlling the real world through means of the financial district.

    Or maybe he’ll claim that he wants to protect the real world, when really his vision of protection is one where he is king- and Kimimaro guts him for it- typical shounen plot.

    In any case, I’m loving the style of this show. Matrixy, but unique. The same cannot be said about the characters however; the main is pretty much useless, and that Interpol woman or whatever has zero development. Mikuni’s the most interesting character at this point, but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll turn out to be awesome or worse than the main…

  • May 7, 2011 at 6:00 pmFallenrock

    Now I get how its the Money of possibility control i.e. controlling the amount you win or lose ==> affecting reality and its possible tragic outcomes. But i still see no way to link it with soul… possibly just a mysterious/cool American word put into the title to make more people watch?

  • May 7, 2011 at 6:19 pmGrant

    It’s weird, when I did a conversion of the money shown on the sign it seems to come to roughly one hundred million dollars. A large sum to be sure but hardly as incredible as I would have thought. Maybe Midas money just uses the same sign as Yen but has a different value or something.
    Right now I wish there was a bit more development of the characters, especially Kimimaro and his not-girlfriend. If they can do that and set down precisely what all the rules are I’d say this is the best currently airing. Sadly since it’s just 11 episodes I really doubt they’d have had the time. Really should have been a game.

  • May 7, 2011 at 7:41 pmDimagus

    The money counter in the Financial District is likely the combined sum owned by all Entres. As people go bankrupt, more people are “recruited” to the Financial District. Their money either goes to the winner or to the District itself, so it is constantly increasing. The only decrease comes from Midas money withdrawn in the real world (the black money) and that gets introduced into the economy.

    The Assets are likely the futures that were taken from bankrupted Entres. Some were favorite pets, some were people, and others were ideas and dreams that were personified.

  • May 7, 2011 at 8:26 pmxcswmboy

    I think Mikuni has just bought the “stock” of a lot of assets and that is how he seems to have at least 4 different ones. I’m guessing the higher stake Deals have people with various assets that they can switch out abilities for. If this is true, then C just turned into Pokemon…

    I agree that the battles are way too arbitrary. It’s hard to comprehend how much money values are being lost. I’m once again reminded of Shangri-La anime where the economic hacking aspect is kind of glossed over for the action scenes.

    What would Kimimaro lose if he became bankrupt now? All he’s done so far with the money is buy lunch.

    • May 7, 2011 at 8:28 pmxcswmboy

      Also, I think Mikuni’s investment in Kimimaro is buying up Mshyu’s stock. I’m almost positive that some event in the anime will involve Kimimaro having to choose to sell off Mshyu.

      • May 7, 2011 at 8:55 pmGambler

        The stock play seems more like a short term loan compared to an IPO. If I’m hearing it right the asset owner purchases back outstanding stock after the deal, probably at a premium, assuming he doesn’t lose and bankrupt. So, the investor would only have rights to the asset if the owner does go bankrupt.

      • May 7, 2011 at 11:00 pmDimagus

        I don’t think the stocks are an ownership deal, because they made the comment “It just means that someone bought stocks from an Entre who had no chance of winning.” Maybe the stocks are like a % return, so now Kimimaro only earns 90% and Mikuni will earn 10% from successful attacks.

  • May 7, 2011 at 10:36 pmReveal

    Mikuni so far is shown to have 3: Q, Sleeping Beauty(?), and Kakuzu.

    Anyways, is it just me or did it seem like Mikuni was trying to win before Q got ready to fight? The other asset, Sleeping Beauty(?), seemed like it had to tell Q that it was over and that she could calm down or something.

  • May 7, 2011 at 10:38 pmLectro Volpi

    The only thing that keeps me from trusting Mikuni 100% is the fact that he is Genkishi.

  • May 7, 2011 at 11:12 pmBROOKLYN otaku

    HAHAHAHAHA!!! DO people with “ideals” like Mikuni live in the real world???? heh, that would be a nice dream. A more realistic character would instead be Testing the very limits of how far he can stretch the system before his A$$ gets caught! LOL, but this is anime, so lets indulge ourselves in this HIGH fantasy.

    • May 7, 2011 at 11:45 pmGrant

      Not really. Everyone can see what Mikuni does, they can see what effects it has on Japan and presumably they all live in Japan so they have a vested interest in keeping things stable*. If Mikuni did start bankrupting everyone his guild would lose members and the other Entrepreneurs would unite against him.

      Think of it like this, do nations usually like it when one state starts ruining a profitable system that keeps them in power? Strong ones like the U.S can get away with it on occasion but only with unpopular enemies and not for very long. That tends to create countervailing coalitions against the rogue state.

      *At least we have no reason to think there are people from anywhere else. So far everyone we’ve seen has been from Japan and Masakaki called it the ‘Far Eastern’ branch. That doesn’t preclude China, Vietnam and the like but that’s another matter.

    • May 8, 2011 at 9:16 amGambler

      The mentality between American and Japanese businessmen are different to say the least. These are generalizations but while regulation arbitrage is pursued in the US the Japanese tend to be very keen on rules. In another life I’ve had a Japanese client that received a tax notice. The client wanted to cut a check and send it out right away. Then I worked for a US/French company that received a notice. The response was negotiate and wiggle out of it as much as you can.
      On the other hand, in Japanese run companies there is an emphasis in maintaining “wa” or harmony. So it’s harder to bring about substantial changes compared to a US company.
      So Mikuni’s goal of creating a group (zaibatsu/keiretsu) in the midas world isn’t too unconventional.

  • May 8, 2011 at 12:02 amNanoNano

    Mikuni’s tactic will turn around and bite him in the ass somewhere down the track, it’s too noble.

  • May 8, 2011 at 12:47 amfrice

    Hearing the stories on child deaths sent shivers down my spine. I imagined the parents were Entres who went bankrupt and murdered their children since they could no longer support them.

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:15 amProoof

      i had that impression too..

  • May 8, 2011 at 1:02 aminfo600

    a few other things:

    - can Mikuni hear Mysu now after he bought one of her stocks? cause it looks like an asset’s stock has a few more influence than what we have seen just now (with that asset “going public” and such)
    -that’s one curve ball overall, with damage shown with cash instead of blood being the funnier of them all…(nevermind the numerous mind screwing in this episode)

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:27 amShirikatsu

      The only blood or blood-like things shown was when Msyu was hit, and she’s an asset, if the entre is hit, the attack would have cost the entre who launched it, and if it landed, depending on the ‘risk’ of how much money was put into the attack, the damage on the other entre or rather the amount of money lost would be different. Didn’t you see the cash disappearing into the air after each one of Kikuchi’s lunges at Mikuni, and it was explained at the beginning that attacks were costly mimicking the business risks that would have been taken to gain in the real world.

  • May 8, 2011 at 10:11 amSerapita

    I still believe the only thing Mikuni wants from Kimimaro is his Asset, since Msyu seems like an extraordinary strong asset to me.

  • May 9, 2011 at 2:09 amYttrium

    People keep on talking about how this show is like Pokemon. Aren’t the more like Magic or Yugi-oh rather than Pokemon? You have your life points and mana pool(Midas money), and your main objective is to reduce your opponent’s health by either attackign them with your creatures (Assets) or dealing Direct Damage.

  • May 9, 2011 at 8:27 amDuqs

    I’ll look at this as an exact business model.

    Hmmm perhaps the “Stored money” that Yoga’s teacher has was already running low due to the “maintenance cost” of his asset. Using an asset requires one to use money aka maintenance cost. By using the asset itself or flations, they spend the amount of money they have stored within them thus making them more vulnerable to bankruptcy. So far there are two ways to gain money in C: the first is obviously by winning (“you have gain”) the second one is putting up their asset’s stock up in the market for people to buy. Right now Yoga has stockholder control since he has 9/10 of Msyu’s stocks while Mikuni has 1/10. We’ll have to see how this plays out near the end.

    I do believe that Mikuni is trying to control the entire midas economy by getting more players (or “shares” of Midas) to be under his guild’s influence. That way they can dictate where the flow of the river would be

    Love this anime, and i love the fact how Q appearing at the last seconds causes Mikuni to worry. Perhaps, Q is an asset that Mikuni doesnt have full control of (and a powerful one capable of dealing one-shot bankruptcy)

  • May 9, 2011 at 4:06 pmanishuma

    Entres are forced to make at least one deal a week, they have no say in that ;/.

    Masakaki said it from the beginning.

    It was f’d up, yet hilarious, how the teacher mentioned the netorare situation that Kimimaro has going on with that purple haired girl lmao.

  • May 10, 2011 at 9:29 amvp

    Mikuni will stab Kimimaro in the back – calling it now.

    • May 10, 2011 at 7:51 pmanishuma

      That’s a given.

  • May 13, 2011 at 2:18 pmomeganx

    I noticed the “Whoah, I find her attractive!” moment when she wanted to be fed ramen.
    WOndering if that will go anywhere, it doesnt looks like she needs anything to live.
    I dont want the “tsundere” vibe between them but interested as to what will happen IF he gets close to Hanabi.

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