C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – 5

C is a truly fascinating series, if only sporadically really engaging. Maybe it pales in comparison to it’s NoitaminA stable-mate, AnoHana, but it shouldn’t be dismissed as a result of that. Every episode sparks serious consideration of what’s happening and what the implications are, and there aren’t many shows I can say that about.

We continue to muse on the impacts of FiDi deals on the real world this week. I’m beginning to get a real sense of the urgency of what Mikuni is trying to do with the Starling Guild. When a deal between two major players goes down, if one of them is crushed it can leads to billions of dollars in losses, failed corporations – or as Mikuni puts it, “10,000 people lose all hope of a future”. That’s collateral damage, basically – and it puts me in mind of two nations going to war without consideration for the impact it will have on innocent civilians. Or to use another analogy, the nuclear weapons testing that went on for decades after WW II. It isn’t just vanity for Mikuni – there are huge stakes to what he’s trying to do, up to and including the fate of nations.

The matter of personal implications isn’t lost in the episode either. Still not very good at all this, Kimimaro loses a battle he (or really Mashu) could easily have won, while trying to win by a small margin per the guild’s practice. Though there’s only a tiny loss, apparently even those have an impact on your “future”. The limo driver tells him that one player’s house burned down after a tiny loss, and Kimimaro finds that his Aunt is going in for an appendectomy and that he’s failed a class. As well, Hanabi is leaving to do her teaching internship at another school. This shows what a dangerous game the Guild members are playing by trying to win by small margins – if they slip up and lose even by a little, they don’t escape unscathed.

As I mused on the fascinating permutations of all this, it occurred to me to wonder what – if any – larger point Kenji Nakamura was going for here. And as I listened to Mikuni try and teach Kimimaro just how vital the Midas money was to the real world, I couldn’t help but think of China – most especially as it relates to the US economy. All the deals in the FiDi, all the games, provide the money the real world needs to survive – the economy of that world couldn’t survive without it. Yet, being totally dependent on that cash obviously puts the so-called “real” world in an incredibly vulnerable position – subject to both the whims and the risks of everything that happens in the FiDi. If all that money were pulled out, the economy would collapse – effectively, it’s surviving on debt owed to the FiDi. If there’s a political statement being made here, I think that’s it.

In terms of the conventional dramatic development, well – things are fine, though it’s clearly still the weak point of this show. Kimimaro remains kind of a flat lead – they managed to milk a few laughs out of Mashu and her sudden interest in cup ramen, but that’s mostly due to her character being somewhat entertaining (and Haruka Tomatsu) than him. Still – for NoitaminA this remains an excellent pairing, as it was with House of Five Leaves and Tatami Galaxy. One show for the heart, and one for the brain – though in both cases, the “heart” series is plenty smart, too…


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