C for Control Anime Review

C for Control, also known as [C], [C] - Control and [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, seems to be following a trend in anime of late. A trend which sees a series focus on economics as a part of its storyline, much like Shangri-La. But does economics have any place in things that are supposed to be... fun?

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 grandmother after the disappearance of his father and the death of his mother, is a scholarship student whose only dream is to avoid all this and live a stable life.

One day, however, he meets a man who offers him a large sum of money if he'll agree to pay it back.

From then on his fate is radically altered as he's drawn into a mysterious realm known as "The Financial District." - Siren

It takes in incredibly deft touch to make something as boring as economics exciting, an incredibly deft touch that sadly seems to appear in waves and never seems to stay for long. That said, the focus on economics is actually a ruse! You can quite easily look past that fact to realise that this series is actually like Bakugan for number nerds, C for Control uses money instead of hit points or health. On reflection, it does appear strange that a handful of series would focus on the economy at around the same time. No doubt, this is a reflection of Japanese public sentiment, perhaps their concerns for the Japanese economy post tsunami and the fear of a repeat of the economic recession of the early 90's. Any way that you look at it, the focus on money is a thinly veiled attempt to pass this series off as something new while being completely derivative, a re-badged version of a game series the likes of Bakugan, Beyblade and similar.

The animation quality is a saving grace of C for Control and little known studio Tatsunoko Production absolutely nail it. Everything about the visuals in this series is close to perfect. The varying colour palettes, the delicate line work and top notch CGI all merge to create visual feast. If this were more of a stock standard battle manga type series, it would be an overwhelming success but the storyline doesn't quite allow the series to shine to its fullest extent.

For all my griping over the storyline, it does raise some interesting questions about our connection to money with consideration given to the fact that in this series, being "bankrupt" is akin to death - no money, no life. The rich have enough funds, and enough contacts, to save themselves from harm. They use it as a shield and are able to attack those of a lower economic status. What is the true importance of money?

Overall, C for Control is an intriguing series but doesn't quite manage to become enjoyable. In trying to differentiate itself from many series before it, C for Control falls short of the mark. The storyline never quite meshes with the bold and vivid imagery of its animation leaving for a series that feels disjointed and confusing on more than one level.

C for Control is available on from Siren Visual on DVD now!