Studio: Tatsunoko Production
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Mystery, Thriller
Release: S1 (2011)
Here’s to another show I randomly stumbled upon yet still caught my fancy- its official title is C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, or just [C] for short. This anime is probably the first of its kind that I’ve encountered as the central theme revolves around the various aspects of economics, finance and business management where money is power and the economy’s condition is everything. I guess we can safely call this ‘Economics: The Anime’ lol.
Plot: 19-year old Kimimaro Yoga is a scholar at Heisei University of Economics. His goal in life is simple: to have an ordinary job as a public servant earning just enough money to sustain a home, wife and children. This is mostly due to being orphaned at a very young age, and has lived by himself ever since. He also does two part-time jobs to earn just enough for his basic needs. All things said, he’s a half glass empty type of guy.
Trying to avoid spending more than he needs to, he always orders the cheapest food in the cafeteria and always refuses when his classmates invite him out to party.
One day, whilst studying all night for an upcoming exam, he gets visited by a strange Chesire Cat-like person named Masakaki, claiming that he works at Midas Bank and that Kimimaro has been randomly selected for an entrepreneurial position that was just vacated.
Masakaki explaining to a dumbfounded Yoga: “To put it in words you can understand: you tender us your future and with that as collateral, we lend you money. And we would like you to use that in the Financial District. We ask for nothing more. Also, by future, we mean your future- your possibilities.”
Earning money with the risk of having your life shortened? Any person in their right mind would never accept such an offer. And of course, Kimimaro declined. That night though, he checked his bank account and discovered a deposit of 500,000 yen from an unknown source.
Masakaki appears yet again to give him his Midas Card, granting him the privilege to withdraw money at any bank or ATM machine. Having that amount of money that’s literally accessible everywhere, Kimimaro couldn’t resist but withdraw some of it for his sake. Thus, enabling his contract with Midas Bank. As an Entre (Entrepreneur) of Midas Bank in the Far Eastern Financial District, he is obligated to go there at least once a week to engage in Duels.
Every Entre is given an Asset, which is said to signify the ‘future’ that the they put at stake when entering the District. Deals between Entres last 666 seconds and are represented in a form of supernatural battle where they fight by using money to attack or defend. The various attacks Assets can launch are called Flations: Micro (small), Mezzo (medium) and Macro (large) each having unique traits to eliminate bias on power levels. Entres can use ‘Direct’ where they spend money to create a beam saber from their hand which they can use to attack.
There can be one out of two outcomes after a Duel– one gains and one loses, or one gains and the other goes bankrupt. When one loses, he loses a significant something in the real world, equaling to the amount of money he lost in the District. That said, when one goes bankrupt, he is banned from the District and will lose all that he values most in the real world e.g. life, family, billion dollar company, etc. Midas bank saying as vague a word as ‘future’ makes it easy for the victim to overlook the consequences.
After Kimimaro survives his first Duel in flying colors, one of the strongest Entres in the Far Eastern District, Mikuni Souchirou, takes an interest in him. The next day he visits the boy in the convenience store he works at to explain further about the District, it’s nature, and how it’s affecting the real world. Kimimaro is surprised by the fact that he can see Black Money (issued by Midas Bank) when people see them as ordinary paper cash. These are actually the money from the District that came along flowing in the real world.
If you studied any kind of business course, you’d get the situation right away. The first problem to pose is that Midas Money is actually entering the real world, which meant disrupting the balance and value of money. After considering it an exponentially worsening problem, what would happen to the world’s economy instead if Midas Money were to suddenly stop circulating? A dilemma – the one thing you despise is also the very thing keeping the things you love alive. Pretty much like Sibyl of Psycho-Pass? Hehe.
Things switch to a macro-perspective in the later part of the anime where it is revealed that at every economic center in the world lies its own Financial District. And that when a District goes bankrupt, “its respective center disappears, with negative impacts in reality at other countries whose economies had connections with said center. It can be shown that the collateral’s used for a persons future makes up the structures of the Financial District and can be the reason why it mirrors reality.” In this case, it is a country’s future that is put at stake.