|[C] - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control|
Cover of the first Blu-ray disc featuring Kimimaro Yoga and his Asset, Msyu.
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Kenji Nakamura|
|Written by||Noboru Takagi|
|Music by||Taku Iwasaki|
|Network||Fuji TV (Noitamina)|
|Original run||April 15, 2011 – June 24, 2011|
C aired on Fuji TV's Noitamina programing block between April 14, 2011 and June 23, 2011. Funimation Entertainment simulcasted the anime every Thursday, beginning with April 21, 2011. Funimation has acquired additional home video rights to the series and has been released in 2012.
The anime aired in the United States on the Funimation Channel on January 14, 2013, and aired on Pivot from October 5, 2013, as the channel's 1st anime program. The series has been acquired for distribution on DVD in the UK by MVM Entertainment on October 14, 2013.
The Japanese government was rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens, however, life has not improved and unemployment, crime, suicide, and despair are rampant. Kimimaro, raised by his maternal aunt after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship Economics student whose only dream is to live a stable, ordinary life. One day he meets Masakaki, a man who offers him a large sum of money if he will allow his "future" to be held as collateral. When Kimimaro accepts the money, he becomes an "Entre" (アントレ Antore?) (short for "entrepreneur") and is drawn into the alternate reality of the Financial District (金融街 Kin'yūgai?), where Entres make transactions using the special Midas Money (ミダスマネー Midasu Manē?).
In the Financial District, each Entre is paired with a special creature known as Asset (アセット Asetto?), and they will be summoned there once a week to compete against another Entre and his/her Asset beating his/her money in a battle known as "Deal" (ディール Dīru?). Entres who lose all of their money and become bankrupt are banished from the Financial District with tragic consequences to them or their loved ones in reality. And it is not only individual Entre's future that are at risk. It is said that there is a Financial District at each of the world's main economic centers, and when a district goes bankrupt, its respective center disappears, with negative impacts in reality at other countries whose economies had connections with said center.
- Kimimaro Yoga (余賀 公磨 Yoga Kimimaro?)
- Voiced by: Kōki Uchiyama (Japanese); Todd Haberkorn (English)
- A 19-year-old second year university student who studies economics. He seeks to just have enough money to have a normal life with a home, wife, and children, until he is roped into the Financial District and becomes one of its Entres. He is then scouted by Souichirou to join the Mukudori Guild, as his disinterest in money interests him, and that Souichirou sees his younger self in Kimimaro. He is trying to make sense of the circumstances behind his father's bankruptcy in the Financial District and subsequent suicide, and also trying to win but not hurt others as much as possible. It is unknown as to why Souichirou wants to groom him. Several people have noted that Mashu being a very powerful Asset is a blessing for Kimimaro as she is the reason that he is able to survive in the game even though he is inexperienced. In episode 10, Yoga gains Jennifer's asset, George, and a black card that is able to either begin or stop the process of printing excess Midas money. The other black card belongs to Mikuni, setting up the final duel of the series on an even playing field in which neither character is truly right or wrong.
- Mashu (真朱 Mashyu?, Mshyu in English dub)
- Voiced by: Haruka Tomatsu (Japanese); Brina Palencia (English)
- Kimimaro's Asset, who takes the appearance of a girl with horns and has the ability to conjure up fire based attacks. She is a strange Asset in the sense that she does things that are unusual for an Asset, such as behaving like a normal human does, and even asking Kimimaro to give her some of his instant ramen out of curiosity. Kimimaro views her as a partner rather than a mere Asset/object, and as such, tried to shield her with his own body when he first fought. She is curious about Q, as seen from her reaction when they met for the first time. Kimimaro named her after the unique 4-letter code that appears on the bottom right corner of every Midas Card. Her Flation abilities are "Scorched Earth", a highly destructive Mezzoflation, and her Macroflation, "Overheated Economy". Kimimaro says that she may be modeled after his future daughter, but he is uncertain. He is seen naming a newborn daughter Mashu in a dream/flash forward.
- Souichirou Mikuni (三國 壮一郎 Mikuni Sōichirō?)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Hosomi (Japanese); J. Michael Tatum (English)
- A powerful Entre whose goal is to own Tokyo's Financial District, Souichirou controls three Assets and has great influence over both the Japanese Government and the whole of Japan's finance market. He has taken an interest in Kimimaro's potential. It is said he used to be very similar to Kimimaro, having tried to save Q in his first Deal as well. As the founder of the Mukudori Guild, he aims to control his Deals to win by small margins so that his victories do not greatly affect reality. Born into a wealthy family, Souichiro was a rebel looking to establish himself in the music business on his own; his band broke up just before landing a major record deal, and Souichiro became a personal assistant to his father while caring for his terminally ill sister, Takako. Soon afterwards, the elder Mikuni's corporation started to crumble as a result of the financial crisis. His father chose to pump all his money into the company so as to save it, denying Takako the funds she needed to undergo a rare medical procedure unavailable in Japan. Swearing vengeance on his father after Takako fell into a coma, Souichirou bought out his father's company with the money he earned from his first victory in the Financial District so as to take away the thing that the elder Mikuni held most dear.
- Q (キュー Kyū?)
- Voiced by: Saori Gotō (Japanese); Monica Rial (English)
- Mikuni's main Asset and partner. She, like Mashu, appears to act more human than other Assets, though not to the same extent. She is considered to be the strongest Asset in the Financial District. She has a fondness for money and eats Midas banknotes as snacks. She always appears to be sleepy, and has a guardian called Aurore, which is another of Mikuni's Assets. Her Flation ability, Cannibalism, allows her to eat other Assets and even Entres, and she is capable of acting on her own without Mikuni's instruction. Her Macroflation ability is Economic Blockade which is able to stop an opponent from moving, immobilizing them so that Mikuni can strike the final blow. Her presence seems to have an effect on Mikuni's other Assets in Deals. She is modeled after Mikuni's sister, Takako, as seen at the end of the anime.
- Masakaki (真坂木?)
- Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese); Scott Freeman (English)
- A mysterious figure from the Financial District, with a perpetual leer and a top hat who invites people to become Entres. Masakaki also conducts administrative functions in the Financial District, expelling bankrupt Entres and dispensing advice. Each Financial District has its own Masakaki, each dressed in different colors. It is revealed in Episode 11 that he, like all the other administrators of the other Financial Districts across the globe, is a mirror image of the creator of the Financial District, who is similar in every aspect save clothing.
- Hanabi Ikuta (生田 羽奈日 Ikuta Hanabi?)
- Voiced by: Yui Makino (Japanese); Cherami Leigh (English)
- Kimimaro's best friend and classmate at university. Kimimaro has feelings for her despite the fact that she already has a boyfriend. Her future degenerates because of the effects of C and she becomes an invalid. She is last seen reaching for the light coming in her window as Kimimaro restores the future of everyone in Japan. In the epilogue, Kimimaro sees a smiling preschool teacher who bears a striking resemblance to Hanabi.
- Jennifer Sato (ジェニファー・サトウ Jenifā Satō?)
- Voiced by: Mayumi Asano (Japanese); Martha Harms (English)
- An operative working for the International Monetary Fund who is investigating the Financial District and was somehow invited to become an Entre. She is curious about Mikuni's sudden interest in Kimimaro, and comments that Kimimaro could be an ally or an enemy depending on the choices he makes. She has a voracious appetite for both fast food and sweets, and is often seen with a lollipop in her mouth. Unlike other Entres, she has no interest in Midas Money and makes use of her Asset's incredible strength to control her wins and losses in order to keep her account from fluctuating. She tries to stop Mikuni from using up all his remaining future to print more Midas money and ends up bankrupted, but not before passing her Asset, George, to Kimimaro. After Kimimaro defeats Mikuni she is seen in the street, laughing.
The ideia of a money-themed anime arose after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, a 2008 event that resulted in the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history and is consired one of the key events of the financial crisis of 2007–08 that led to the Great Recession. However, at first, the anime focus was not the money itself; its premise involved economic battles taking place around the world and the plan was do something more lighter than the final result. It changed around January 2010 in the culmination of the recession, when director Kenji Nakamura perceived a common feeling that Japan would not recover from the crash. After starting himself in the history of currency, he conducted over twenty interviews between February and August 2010 with retired politicians from the Central Bank, finance professionals, college professors, NPO members and others. He expected to find a broad consensus but was frustrated to obtain too many divergent opinions and to know that there is no such consensus in economics because it involves human action.
Nakamura was mainly moved by the stories of two interviewees: a trader impressed by how U.S. CEOs were dealing with billions of dollars at the same time the Japanese economy was in a bad condition, showing his concern with his country on the world stage; and the story of the "Future Bank Business Association", a NPO that provided loans to individuals to upgrade their old refrigerators to more efficient models and that received the payment with the difference in energy savings. For Nakamura, both showed the desire to help Japan despite their divergent opinions on how to do it. Even more, they made clear that Japanese people should act and that they could choose between having stability and poverty or chaos and wealth. Nakamura concluded that indecision on wheter path to take led to ruinous consequences so to wait was not an option and people should design the future in the present. At the same time, he was worried about how Japanese were abandoning their concern for the future generation by pushing financial risk to the future. By hearding inspiring stories, Nakamura pondered why people would try to help someone they never met. This question and the necessity to act to build a better future are consired by Nakamaura to be the main themes of C.
In the end, he appointed Naoki Osaka, the editor-in-chief of Toyo Keizai, an economics publisher, to be the anime's advisor and he concluded at once he could not make a "light" economic story. So he purposely made the Financial District setting seem to be something from another world, although it is in fact connected to the real world. This way he can fulfill one of the missions an anime has in his opinion: to bring a difficult and specialized theme in a soft way to an unfamiliar audience. So he kept it as a battle anime as a mean of keeping it entertaining, which also gave him the possiblity of changing it into a more in-depth media, gradually introducing finance and macroeconomics jargon metaphorically through the battles. On portraying the characters and their reasons to battle, the team they tried to avoid depicting money as something that would unequivocally make people crazy because they read the gambling-themed manga Kaiji and felth this path should be avoided.
|April 14, 2011|
|A man with no money uses a certain credit card which grants him access to the surreal Financial District, where he battles against a man named Souichirou Mikuni, fighting with mysterious creatures known as Assets, and is defeated and committes suicide the next day. Meanwhile, a boy named Kimimaro Yoga is working two part-time jobs to raise money for his future. One evening as he is trying to study for a pop quiz, he is approached by a mysterious man named Masakaki, who announces that Kimimaro has been chosen to become an Entrepreneur, or Entre, at Midas Bank. The next day, Kimimaro finds 500,000 yen deposited into his account and, as he withdraws the money, he is once again approached by Masakaki, who places him in a taxi bound for the Financial District.|
|April 21, 2011|
|In the Financial District, Kimimaro must participate in Deals, battles in which money is wagered, using an Asset named Mashu. With Kimimaro not able to understand the situation, Mashu takes a lot of damage defending him. However, Mashu teaches Kimimaro how to use her ability, defeating the opponent, though he passes out soon afterward. Kimimaro returns to the real world, where Masakaki informs him the next Deal will take place in a week's time, and finds he has even more money in his account. Kimimaro starts noticing that some money bills appear black for him, which Mashu explains is money from the Financial District. Kimimaro then encounters Mikuni, who explains about the black bills, known as Midas Money, and hints that he knows of Kimimaro's parents.|
|April 28, 2011|
|Jennifer Sato is an Entre from an organization trying to discover the purpose of the Financial Districts. Meanwhile, Kimimaro goes to visit his aunt to ask about his parents, who mysteriously disappeared one day. While looking for his dad's belongings, he finds a journal pertaining to the Midas Bank and decides to go to the Financial District for answers. Mikuni takes him to meet a strange photographer who tells him that his father was a strong Entre who went 'bankrupt' in a deal and ended up hanging himself. Although Kimimaro is initially annoyed that all his father thought about was money, Mikuni hints that it may have been for the sake of providing for his family, suggesting he should think of something or someone to use his money for. Kimimaro soon enters his second deal, where he encounters a familiar face.|
|May 5, 2011|
|Kimimaro finds himself up against one of his professors, Mr. Ebara, and defeats him, making him bankrupt. The next day, Ebara brings Kimimaro over for a talk, revealing that he entered Deals to support his family, and his punishment for bankruptcy made it so his children never existed in the first place. He also mentions the Starling Guild which Mikuni is part of, supposedly trying to prevent the Financial District's effects on the real world. Mikuni brings Kimimaro to observe one of his duels against another high level Entre, purposely holding back his strength to win by a 1% margin so that he does not affect too much the real world. After witnessing the duel, Kimimaro becomes determined not to lose so he does not have to make anyone else suffer.|
|May 12, 2011|
|Mikuni explains the purpose of Starling Guild, to win by small margins in order to avoid affecting reality, to Kimimaro, though his attempt to put it into practice fails due to Mashu rushing in. Discovering that even those with small losses may have their future affected, Kimimaro is concerned about whether his loss has affected any of his friends or family, though it appears to only affect his test results. Meanwhile, Kimimaro is concerned about the Basho Pharmaceutical corporation, which could affect thousands of people if it rendered bankrupt through Deals. Kimimaro later learns Basho was bought by a company controlled by Mikuni, whoe later explains to Kimimaro that he is trying to maintain a balance between reality and the Financial District, since ridding one of the other would cause chaos. Kimimaro decides to join the Guild.|
|May 19, 2011|
|Kimimaro is approached by his next opponent, the philanthropist Kō Sennoza, who offers him a way to pass on his deal. Later, Jennifer reveals to Kimimaro that Mikuni is using a lot of his own future to help minimize the effects of other's deals. The next day Kimimaro talks with Kō, who says every time the Guild acts more Midas Money appears in the world, also mentioning some of the effects his own loss to Mikuni had on poor children he helps. After a conversation with Mikuni about wheter the future or the present are more important, Kimimaro goes through with his Deal with Kō. Kimimaro emerges victorious in the Deal, defunding Kō's charity foundation in real life. Kimimaro feels guilty for this but Kō keeps his now-lowly donations.|
|May 26, 2011|
|Mikuni's past is detailed; he quit his passion for music to work for his father. When he denials Mikuni's plan of sending his terminally ill daughter Takako overseas to receive a medical procedure, she goes into a permanent coma. After this, Mikuni focuses on business and he is approached by the Midas Bank. Back in the present, Mashu reflects on her relationship with Kimimaro, who becomes curious about the nature of futures which take the form of Assets. When Kimimaro notices an Entre harassing his Asset, he initially holds in his irritation, but after talking with Mashu, he decides to go back and punch the offending Entre. Later, Mashu asks a flustered Kimimaro what kisses are and attempts to place one on him after seeing a TV show. As Kimimaro goes home one night, he starts to notice a few buildings disappearing.|
|June 2, 2011|
|As some of the Financial Districts banks start becoming bankrupt, the country starts rapidly shifting into poverty around the Entres, with people becoming lethargic or disappearing altogether. After stopping Ebara from committing suicide, Yoga tries to convince Masakaki to let him pay a fee in order to return Ebara's future, but is told that it is beyond his power. As Yoga later learns Ebara had died in a car accident, he decides to burn a large amount of his Midas Money. As Mikuni and the Starling Guild plan to put a plan called "C" into action, the Southeast Asian Financial District goes bankrupt and starts disappearing, along with Singapore.|
|June 9, 2011|
|As Singapore disappears, parts of Hong Kong and Shanghai are affected. Mikuni uses his ability ("Darkness") to protect Japan from the effects of the district collapse. In exchange for 20 years of Mikuni's future, Masakaki allows a large quantity of Midas Money to be print and deposited into Mikuni's account. Mikuni and his colleagues use the Midas Money to invest in failing institutions in Japan. Artificially propping up failing banks and enterprises spares the Japanese economy but with that comes unintended consequences. People begin disappearing, poverty increases, birthrates decline, and morale is seen dropping all around.|
|June 16, 2011|
|When the North American Financial District floods the world economy with dollars, which depreciates other currencies and can lead to a financial collapse, Mikuni uses the Midas Money press once more. Jennifer, Kimimaro and Takedasaki plan to stop Mikuni before the transaction is complete. They depreciate the yen to weaken Mikuni, but the plan fails when Mikuni defeats Jennifer in a Deal. In her final action she passes Georges to Kimimaro, who confronts Mikuni when he is about to use the Midas Money press once more in exchange for rest of his future. With the help of Masakaki, Kimimaro realizes he is in possession of a black card, giving him the means to revert the press. This quickly escalates in a struggle for control over the press with Mikuni and Kimimaro engaging in a deal.|
|June 23, 2011|
|In ther Dial, Mikuni puts Kimimaro in a tough spot, but his powers start to weaken thanks to the decreasing value of the yen, with people soon starting to see Midas Money for what it truly is. As Kimimaro continues to fight with Mikuni, Mashu pleas with Q, who is based on Takako and starts taking her form. The battle is concluded when Midas Money disappears from the world along with Mikuni's powers, allowing C to pass through Japan without influence. Declared the winner, Kimimaro orders the reversing of the presses, with the futures returning to their original place. With the Assets disappearing as a result, Mashu gives Kimimaro a kiss before she disappears. Kimimaro returns to reality to find that US dollar has become Japan's official currency, and everyone's futures have been returned to them. However, Masakaki appears and reveals the Financial District can reappear.|
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