「Conflict (葛藤)」 (Kattou)

Kou Sennoza: smooth-talker, undefeated entre (almost), assets of 10 billion yen, and the prettiest pretty boy I’ve seen in a while. He’s a pretty interesting guy, offering his opponents a chance for a free pass on their deals. From my first impression, he seems like a good guy, as most of the characters do in this show, and is a pretty big humanitarian/philanthropist too. His soft exterior hides insane strength in the Financial District though, so far only losing to Mikuni, and has a pretty crazy-looking asset too (“Angel”) that completely crushes Msyu. That fight was really brutal to watch as Msyu got torn up again and again trying to protect Kimimaro, but all the sudden drama was also a little too melodramatic. After all of that, the way Kimimaro just suddenly won was too much of a stretch as well. He is getting better, but I just don’t see that level of upset happening.

As usual, there is no bitterness from the loser even though the real life losses were probably pretty bad given all the things he’s involved it. Sennoza takes it in stride since he wasn’t a fan of the deals in the first place (which is why he offered the pass). Even though I’m still a bit suspicious of him, I like this kind of cool, fast-paced, no-nonsense character. He’s in some ways similar to Jennifer Satou, the smooth blonde chick with the fast food visual aids, routine fan service, and misuse of the District taxi. Back on topic however, adding Jennifer into the picture makes two people who question the Guild now, and I suspect some of the others who refused to join had similar sentiments. The Guild is pumping Midas money into the real world economy, which I suppose would help with economic recovery (to a limited extent), but there are the unknown effects of Midas money as a possibly more malicious form of currency. I mean, it’s black, has esoteric symbols all over it, and has a name that forebodes disaster; it’s hard to shake the first impression that it’s “devil’s money”. The main issue brought up however is that Mikuni is hedging futures as collateral for stabilizing the current economy. Of course speculation is always risky, and investment backed up by people’s futures even more so could have pretty drastic results. The bigger fish you are in real life, the bigger effects even a small loss would have, as losing your stake causes former possibilities to simply vanish. I wonder if Mikuni has hidden motives, because I doubt he’s ignorant of the whole situation.

Their arguments are complicated, but what I got was two competing theories. Mikuni’s view is to focus on the present situation, to ensure that the future will exist, because the future is simply a continuation of the present. Sennoza and Satou’s view on the other hand is a focus on long range planning: to make sure the future isn’t ruined, or else there is no point in the present. It’s hard to see which is right or wrong in this case, so I’m thinking that there is no clear antagonist here, and instead the system is the real enemy — a kind of necessary evil. Kimimaro of course is caught in the middle of it all, and is leaning on the side of the Guild for now. However, his resolve is really weak and he wavers a lot. Kimimaro chooses to continue making deals, but he doesn’t want to win and apologizes when he does. Since he can’t be defeated if he wants to protect his future, this thing is just a lose-lose situation for him. For the plot’s sake though, I don’t see him pulling out.


  1. Maybe the Financial district will completely crumble when Kimimaro utterly destroys Mikuni in the finale…wonder if they could justify that.

    That Deus ex Machina end of the fight was utter BS. I was hoping they would flashback to it, but they completely just waved over it by saying “oh you threw 2 mezzoflations at me and I lost.” I totally thought Kimimaro would need to sell some Msyu stock.

      1. Every anime is entitled to one “Aizen Moment”, lol.
        Just hope that was it because that simple explanation was still a bit much for me.

        I wanan see if he HITS ON HIS ASSET ALREADY!!

  2. Interesting. The sudden win to Prooof was only “melodramatic”. My opinion? Nerd RAGE! Seriously. After all of the beating MSYU took, after the hopeless situation he was in… to simply skip the final part of that fight and just go strait to the next scene leaving us to wonder what happened…. I almost quit the series right there.

    This show, for me at least, is all about the fights. It’s like a grown up version of Pokemon. The plot is too weak to stand on its own. When they just decided showing the final, what was it, two mezzoflations wasn’t necessary… I just don’t know how else to put it. It sucked. I am very disappointed.

    But, I will continue to watch and hope something happens. Though I side with Mikuni right now, it is only a matter of time before out protagonist will have to fight him… whether we get to see it or not is another matter… >_<

    1. After the sudden win, they discussed how Kimimaro shot off 2 mezzoflations (or w/e) and won, but yeah. Kinda feels weird that he just magically won after Msyu was probably crippled long enough for Angel to take a few hits at Kimimaro.

      I figured Kimimaro had to win (if he didn’t, the series would of had to end), but I was expecting some bs like Scorched Earth again. Not a complete skip. 😡

    2. This show, for me at least, is all about the fights

      It’s not. Given how Mysu lost her arm in this one, I think it’s pretty clear the writers view of the fights.

      If you are interesting in fights, I’d recommend Digimon Xros War, Pokemon Black and White and the new YGO.

      1. Yeah, I think you are right about the writers’ views… sadly. My point was I was hoping this would be more about the fights, and it isn’t. Hence the usage of “for me at least.” I can see they are much more concerned with the ramifications of fighting than with the strategy of the battles themselves. *sigh*

        The list is kid oriented shows, though… >_< I'm not sure if you did that to be funny or if you were being serious.

        I think my fighting show for this season will be Deadman Wonderland then. It's a tad more 'savage' than Pokemon or Digimon. 😉 Though, I do like some of the fights in Naruto and Bleach.

      2. I see. When you say not central, do you mean not showing the battles doesn’t matter to you or that you agree that they aren’t integral to the series? Or both?

        I suppose I could agree on the latter depending on the series. Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase, for example, had fights completely off screen. You could hear them happening, but no animation was done for them. I just laughed it off because I didn’t think it really had any bearing on the plot of the show.

        This, however, is completely reliant on the battles. They are the focal point. I’m not sure how to put it… I could come up with a plethora of analogies, but they all fail to convey what I am trying to interject.

        I feel I am in the minority here, as more people are concerned that Kimimaro had a BS win than the fact that they didn’t show said BS win. So it may be time to just drop it. ^_^

      3. I lost interest in the fights since the attack terms are becoming less related to finance (or if it’s there, it’s hard to pick it out). I do like the bond that’s developing between Kimimaro and Msyu. I initially thought he’d be with Hanabi, but he doesn’t realize her AP offer, although a good opportunity for her, separates them and that is a consequence of losing the deal.

        What really gets me interested in this show is how the economy is depicted. I think it’s spot on with the stimulus and how it’s not working. Dumping money when the fundamental issues like job loss through outsourcing are not examined and resolved. It’s a problem for the Japanese since the bubble and it’s a problem for the rest of the world since the financial crisis.

        I do have a bias in seeing how the show relates to real economic situations. One of my trips to Japan specifically involved determining how to fix Japan’s stagnant growth and reduce its nonperforming loan portfolios (similar to underwater mortgages in the US). But, it’s not like people didn’t know the answer. From the US consulate, to the Toudai profs to the UFJ (this was premerger) execs, the remedies were there and everyone said that they were ‘painful’ short term and suicide for anyone trying to execute them. The same thing is going on now in the US.

        My only disagreement is how the IMF is depicted. The show makes it seem that the IMF is some sort of super organization with enough economic might to change the world. I admit it was created for that purpose from my perspective they hold less power than a TBTF bank or a central bank.

      4. @Ricalloo I mean that the fights aren’t very good, and I don’t consider it to be a “shounen battle series” like Bleach in which the fights are the main point of the show; I see your point, however perhaps it is because the fights aren’t that interesting (and as Gambler said, the attack system is poorly defined) that I don’t care that much about them. Of course, this is an issue that could vary widely depending on point of view.

      5. I’m curious why people here keep referring to financial terms, while this show is about gambling ? In terms of finances, nothing is solved there, nothing at all, it is just about placing “money” from one place to another by gambling (and destroying what they already have by fights if you look at their total “expenses”). As I mentioned it earlier, the authors don’t even understand the things they read in the books, they went the easy way by describing various gambling situations using “financial” terms. It is presented as a gambler’s limited view on finances. Figuring out all that is simple if you consider “the way the food is made”, in which the “food” is the show.

      6. There’s a connection between what happens in the anime Japan in terms of companies and recession and what happens in Japan’s macro level economic situation. If you look at the 3rd ep with the world equity indexes the prices are in the range of this year’s 1st quarter numbers. The financial district and Mikuni are performing a role similar to a central bank or a treasury dept.

        I can see scorched earth, freeze out, and pacman defense being animated. These terms were created so that people can have an image of certain business transactions. Gate keeper, great wall and angel became a stretch.

        What comes next is purely my opinion based on experience and readings. I don’t wanna offend anyone in the industry or dissuade those majoring in finance/economics. Everyone needs to pay the bills.

        On the other hand, trading, dealmaking, investing is gambling. Whenever someone asks me for stock advice I always recommend them to do Texas hold em at a casino as a first step. You’re devoting resources based on an uncertain event. People (usually CFAs, money managers and stockbrokers) will try to make it seem like you’re taking part in the great global industrial system. But you can lay off all those involved in markets and speculation (asset management, hedge funds, mutual funds) and cars and iPods will still be made and planes will still fly.

        Despite all the glorification people hear in B School, finance is usually just money making money with no real substance in between. This is just like the anime deals that happen with the cute (but flat) devil girls and multicolored animals.

      7. In the way you described it, you are still missing one point – that kind of gambling is merely a way to take something you own, by “legal” means. In such transactions, the actual winners are those who make the place for gambling, and regardless who “wins”, they take their share. The gamblers as a whole mass lose their rights of ownership acquired elsewhere in the form of money to those who run the gambling “business”. That is what a pure gambling is.
        Your attempt to extend gambling to trading, dealmaking and investing is not right, because only a small part of such deals can be described as “gambling”, while the primary purpose of them is to transfer the actual ownership and to provide services benefiting the whole goods exchange process. Gambling is not equal to risks involved in property ownership, gambling is about participating in pointless exchange of commodity serving as money with no actual benefit. It is only PLEASANT for the gamblers to deceive themselves about non-existent meaning of their pointless and recurring exchange of whatever serves as money or its substitute – the same way it is presented in the show, the authors base their failing theories on shallow knowledge of financial terms and their self-pleasing thoughts about the gambling they like so much – it is the kind of delusions necessary for the “customers” of the gambling business to feed those who run the business – and they pay for such delusions given to them by the business makers by their own money.

      8. Pointless exchange of a commodity serving as money with no actual benefit. Seen too much of that. The investing/gambling debate is an ongoing one. I’ll agree to disagree.

      9. In exchange of some services/goods you get property rights to some, mostly undetermined set of goods which you can get in exchange for money. Investment means that you sacrifice some share of immediate consumption in exchange of property rights for something you probably don’t need immediately, but you get a share in a collective ownership over such a thing. Your delegated property rights which were made by the means of money investments allow functioning of the thing you invested to – it produces some benefit which is partially yours, also the existence of other market players allows you to convert your ownership rights back to its monetary form, which can be used for immediate consumption – in other words you participate in the production and exchange of collectively owned goods – that is correct in case of actual investments and not always true in case of financial derivatives. Therefore it represents the actual production and goods exchange in contrast to gambling, which doesn’t produce anything. There also exists finance-centered myths which don’t depict the reality and they are just popular because of gambling-related folk and those who are directly interested in taking away the money from those who believe in gambling. And the makers of this show are just like that, simple “clients” of the gambling business who tried to make sense out of their stupid habits, beliefs and myths, which are kind of excuse for them to get involved into such stupid activity. They ultimately failed to understand the relation between production and role of goods serving as money, and instead focused on some gambling-related delusions about “finances”.
        What would you disagree about ?

  3. I really hate kimimaro as the protagonist….. the type of protagonist that waivers everytime there is some sort of moral issue at hand. It is seriously so annoying to watch. He wants to be the “good guy” by making sure everyone is ok and all is well, but that is just so unrealistic. He needs to just man up and accecpt the financial district for what it is. The premise of this show is so amazing, but having a flakey protagonist really kills the excitement. All he is right now is just a reflection of the ideals of other characters…. (mikuni, sennoza and satou…) MAN UP!!

  4. The only thing in my mind after this ep: Msyu and Kimimaro relationship progress GO!
    actually dunno how that’ll even work but LOVE CONQUERS ALL

    also, reading your pov, (and agreeing) I realise the final boss will probs be the creator. Or something like that. A bit like Angel Beats!, no?

  5. Poor Msyu, that was certainly brutal.

    Definitely was too big a stretch to cut to Kimimaro winning that deal just from getting focused against such a strong opponent and after already having Msyu so beat up.

    Still not fond of his character, but he’s starting to come together. At least all his annoying angsting/hormones amounted to something in this deal. I liked how he acknowledged having a cute, female, humanoid-ish asset as opposed to some beast has probably kept him fighting, and then cementing the fact that he wants to protect Msyu as his resolve at the end. Which really is the same thing as protecting his future.

    I think entres who have more “feeling” on the line going into the financial district have more humanoid assets (Mikuni, the teacher, himself) as opposed to those just wrapped up solely in the money and having monsters representing that desire. Kou’s Angel was just crazy…and I think that despite all his smooth talk and humanitarian actions all he could really see was controlling the flow of currency, even if for good deeds.

  6. confirmed: mikuni and Q are an item. they dated. and Q knows what it means.
    perhaps even kimimaro and msyu, when he decides he isnt in love with his friend.

    thats the only good thing I liked this ep.

  7. Maybe I’m just meek, but I cringed a lot when msyu got slashed again and again. That angel is the most brutal asset I’ve seen in the series.
    Is it just me or Kou’s design looks a lot like Lelouch? Actually, I’d rather have him as the protagonist
    The mc’s main weakness in the plot is that he doesn’t have any motivation to fight, and ended up doing anything half-heartedly. Annoying -_-
    Although I still don’t understand the clashing ideology between Kou’s and Mikuni’s. What is the difference? Both of them want to ensure that there still will be bright future. I still don’t get it
    And I’m also confused as why the mc didn’t accept Kou’s offer. Actually, it fits his characteristic more right??

    1. Showing compassion doesn’t make you meek! It makes you strong!

      As for the Mikuni v. Kou clash… I think Prooof has the best explanation of that. Mikuni is concerned with the present so that there is a future, and Kou is concerned with the future so the present isn’t meaningless.

      Mikuni made it a point that Kou probably doesn’t know what it’s like to live day to day, just trying to make the most of it. I think this is how he convinced our protagonist to fight, since he himself and people he knows and cares about live that way.

  8. This is going the way of Fractale. Unfocused.

    Sennoza’s idea only lasts until he he is unable to pay the forfeit fee by having a long run of people willing to forfeit. He only avoids this by winning those who refuse his offer.

    Jennifer idea has no plan reduce the negative effects of a sudden loss of the financial district. That would result in the equivalent of an oil shock or the recent financial crisis. A gradual destruction of the system would instead be more palatable.

    Mikuni’s idea = delaying death, not curing the disease much like Japan’s and US’s current national debt problems with Japan being in the worse scenario with a aging population. He might be trying to buy time to solve fundamental problems but the system is set that if he loses even a little, he will be setback in this.

    Zaku Fan
    1. Very well put.

      But who knows, maybe that is what they wanted in a story. A no win situation. Somewhat of a boring premise, though. That is why I hoped the individual battles would be the cynosure of the series. Instead, they aren’t even completed onscreen.

    2. Mmn, I’d say this was finally the last of the Introduction episodes.

      All the Actors are now assembled and clued in on what they are doing. If the series stays dull and unfocused, then I certainly will agree with you. But, I expect things to start rushing to some sort of conclusion, especially with this only being an 11 episode Noitamina show.

    3. Yeah I didn’t care for this epiosde. They cheated us on the fight and threw some Hax bullshit offscreen. The series in general is getting too bogged down in financial jargon. I was hopping it would let up once a few episodes were past us but each week they still lay on the economic talk with a trowel and the series is becoming quite boring.

      This series reminds me of Yumekui Merry and Fractale in that they started out good and as the series progresses they ramble all over the place and finish poorly.

  9. This show won’t be about the fights. So get use to the fights just being there to explain other things in the plot. I like how the show is written in that regards since there are too many battle heavy series lately, but to each their own. As far as this week’s fight goes, think it was ended appropriately after re-watching it with my cousin and having her point out something.

    Kimimaro instantly won the last time he used one Mezzoflation and it was against a Veteran in his first duel. The assets heal rather quickly and damage only seems to stunt their mobility. I mean the fight ended with them starting to launch their first Mezzoflation. But that’s besides the point since what changed my mind about how it ended was the way Kimimaro and Kou interacted last. It’s clear Kimimaro won that fight by a large margin to the point of not even wanting to know the effect on those pictures. But Kou’s last action makes me think that its possible he went Bankrupt as he vanishes at the end without any footsteps or sign that he was even there besides that cup of Ramen. Possibly wrong, but don’t think we’ll be seeing kou again. Think Sopranos ending.

    As far as the characters, Kimimaro actually is a believable person. I get it that no one likes a person who considers the moral implications of their actions and waivers a lot, but that’s what the majority of people do. I don’t know a single person (despite them saying otherwise to sound “cool”) that would take part in fights that could destroy someone’s entire life without reacting like he does.

    1. Your comments changed my opinion of that episode somewhat. It wasn’t that bad of an episode after all. If they animated the mezzoflations the whole screen would probably be filled with flames since they’re in a tunnel.

  10. all those talks about how the fight got cut…

    anyway, it’s interesting to see the effects of the former entres’ bankruptcy effects, *inserting guess* Show Spoiler ▼


    it’s funny how Kou invested so little midas money into the humanitarian agency (seeing it still existing after the fight)

    one more thing, anyone care to guess when would kimimaro’s going to teach mysu how to hold the chopstick? xD
    …and the obligatory funny caption: ah…that hit the spot

  11. Guess Kimimaro is giving up on his schoolmate girl and is going for Msyu instead…

    Anyway, I wonder if there’s a draw in the deal? Don’t think so since Mikuni settles for winning small instead of not winning and not losing to prevent effects on the real world.

  12. Interesting. I think at this point in the series Kimimaro reached his first true moral dilemma. And he choose to simply care about what is close to him in an existentialist demeanor. However his indecisiveness is getting on my bloody nerves.

  13. Could you explain to me why Kou Sennoza has not been excluded of the financial district since he has loo one fight before.(same for the main character)Did they need to go bankrupt in ordered to be excluded?

  14. When I watched this episode, I was like “huh? Am I watching the right episode? Where did the previous episode cliffhanger go? Where is that crazy old hag and her freakin asset?”. And then I got another fighting scene skipped. To sum it up, I get my WTF moment. But then I remember that the season preview said this show has similar storytelling with Durarara. So, I hope they will bring the flashback later since I do think the fighting scene is a bit necessary to fleshed out kimimaro’s development/growth. With the way things are, I just can’t get any feelings for this show.

  15. Anyone else think Trumpeter of the Judgement Arcana from SMT(P4) when they saw the ANGEL asset? o_O;*meep*…

    … Lol, SMT could -so- make a game about this series XD. (Just realized this.)

  16. Nice way to put it Prooof, I definitely wont know what side to choose as well if i have to take sides with a decision with such huge consequences like use the people’s futures as collateral to help the present by using the “evil” midas money/financial district OR protect the future by removing the system but risk losing the hope for the economy to recover or protect it from getting worse. However, I dont know if this is a spoiler, but just looking at the OP, it might just be that he will have to go against Mikuni, although I believe that would be the right choice, since the financial district IMO is like a devil’s contract that will ruin someone’s future no matter what happens in it, so best thing is to get rid of it. On a side note, I’m liking the fact that Kimimaro is growing fond of MYSU enough to actually keep blushing at her, I definitely would prefer her over that Hanabi.

  17. Kou Sennoza had a great a role role in this episode. I love that the episode ended where he’s not bitter about his loss. Him and the prof help make the series feel very real. This gets reinforced by the fact that the last couple years of their lives get voided after going bankrupt but they still persevere. Instead of other serie’s vanquished opponents childishly raging and vowing revenge upon the hero, C’s opponents take the consequences in stride . . . like adults should.

    Did anyone else like the fact that they glossed over the imminent victory in the Kou vs Kimimaro? We can all imagine the generic events that’d play out in that scene anyways. And instead we’re given the more important and poignant look at the aftermath and consequences. Kou’s response to the pictures question “Do you really want to know?” hit home hard and fast. That line summed the episode up so well.

  18. I have a feeling that the main character will come up with his own theory near the end of the show, which will probably involve beating Mikuni since he is shown fighting him in the opening scene. Would make Kimimaro credible as a main character. Where he starts out undecisive but later finds what he really wants to do and sticks with it.


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