It’s competition time again, just in time for Christmas! This is your chance to win a copy of one of MVM Entertainment’s latest anime titles, C for Control: The Money of Soul and Possibility.
Kimimaro is a hard-working college student, juggling two part time jobs and studying to be a civil servant. His ambition in life? To have just enough money to get by comfortably. One night he is approached by a strange man in a top hat, Masakaki, who makes him an intriguing offer: receive a near-endless supply of money through loans leveraged against one’s future. Intrigued, Kimimaro accepts his new role as an ‘entrepreneur’ and receives a mysterious bank card which, when used, transports him to the otherworldly Financial District. There, he battles alongside his Asset, Mshyu, against other people who have been drawn into the District. Those who win return to the real world to find great amounts of money in the banks. Those who lose go bankrupt and, in many cases, lose much more.
I was intrigued by C for Control because it is quite possibly the only series I have ever come across that deals with the very serious subject of economics. Admittedly, the seriousness disappears when you bring in the otherwordliness and Pokemon-style battles but there are some interesting themes running throughout the series. People’s obsession with and dependence on money, the lengths they are prepared to go to to earn it, and the god-like role money plays in everyone’s lives. Another nice touch is that when people return from the Financial District to the real world, they bring with them tainted Midas money which is then distributed through the entire country’s financial system. To Kimimaro and other entrepreneurs, the money is black but, to everyone else, it looks like regular cash. What affect does the Midas money have on the country? You’ll have to watch to find out.
With just 11 episodes, the cast is quite small but likeable. Kimimaro is your stereotypical regular-guy-who-is-just-trying-to-make-ends-meet-then-suddenly-everything-changes-like-oh-my-gosh-doesn’t-this-sound-familiar but keeps the show as grounded as it can be, given how there’s a magical bank in the background. Mshyu, the Asset, is fiesty and interacts/scolds Kimimaro constantly by talking to him through his bank card in the real world. Jennifer Sato is an International Monetary Fund (IMF) spy investigating the activities of the Midas bank and Soichiro Mikuni is the mysterious handsome stranger who tries to take on Kimimaro as an apprentice. Mshyu and Jennifer were my favourite characters although, as can be appreciated with just 11 episodes, they were quite two-dimensional but likeable all the same.
Other things in this series favour are the soundtrack (particularly the rocking opening theme), bold animation and one of the best English vocal castings I’ve ever come across. I watched the first five episodes in English quite happily and there was little lost in translation when I switched to subtitles. The themes of greed and money are particularly relevant in this day and age (especially when you live in the financial centre that is London) and, whilst the series might not tackle them in a conventional way, it does give you some food for thought.
All in all, this is a very good series and I’d give it a solid 7/10. I really recommend it!
Entering couldn’t be any easier: just like MVM on Facebook and leave a comment below this blog post by midnight Sunday 22 December. A winner will be selected at random and the DVD will be posted to you in the New Year.