C – Episodes #1~4
A noitaminA series which drew a lot of attention due to its focus on the “financial district”. C, or better known as “C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control”, didn’t have the best start of this season. The plot was messy and lacking direction, the presentation generic, and the worst offender being the seemly lack of budget to spend on the visual department. However, like another beloved NoitaminA series from last year, C has begun to find its own footing and is able to compete in this crowded Spring Season of anime.
If there’s a series this season with the most disappointing first episode, then it has to be C. It was slightly hyped up during the NoitaminA event, with a credible production team (one of them being the screenwriter of Baccano/Durarara), and releasing a highly entertaining OP. The concept and the art looks great and there is a lot going behind it. What was revealed in the first episode was something that can be called as bland and standard shonen. The art wasn’t great, the plot doesn’t really give you anything interesting and there’s just not many things to ponder about. It’s not like there’s no potential, but the execution of the first episode just makes you wonder if the production team can fully grasp what this series could’ve be. It’s not horrible and boring, but even by the 2nd episode it still makes you question if it really deserve the NoitaminA timeslot.
Our protagonist Kimimaro is a university student studying finance. He live by himself, work in 2 part time jobs to sustain his expenditures, and even started preparing on the big exam while ignoring the upcoming test during the early semester. His bank account balance is low and just striving to get through. Then one day a mysterious visitor showed up and offered him a great amount of money in exchange to his “future”.
He has to do fantasy battles in an alternative worlds using his money as the basic HP and so on. Several business strategies were use in metaphorically ways so that it’s both interesting to watch and fun to decipher what it really means. In some way it’s like the witch realm in Umineko in the sense that you have to think a bit of what it actually means. The problem is, they don’t really explain what’s going on during the battles, so it just felt like them throwing out terms after terms and confusing the viewers.
The visuals are still the biggest letdown in this department. The frame rate often low and you can see the characters deform during movements. Sometimes it even resorts to the weird 3D model for characters that just looks out of place. Overall it just yells “low-budget” even if it’s supposed to have the backing from NoitaminA. Maybe it’s because the studio put out their B team or what, but you definitely will not see great still shots from this series.
However, this is also a case where I was so grateful of the 3 episode rule. From this episode onward there’s suddenly a focus on the real life repercussion of the Midas money infiltration, drawing the attention away from just one fantasy battle after another. Episode 4 extends the idea further and shows you the consequences of having your “future” as the mortgage. All of the sudden the plot of this series looks a tonne more appealing than that “shonen card battle” that was presented to use in the first couple of episodes.
We know nothing regarding to each factions at the moment, nor the basis of the alternative world. However, at least we now know that the “other NoitaminA series” will upheld the quality this time. Now let’s see if the crew can deliver an interesting narrative. As long as they don’t delve too much into the battle sections, I think we have a great series coming. I love Shiki from last year despite its eccentric outlook, and I do hope C can provide a similar gripping storyline as well despite its obvious downfalls.