Encompasses: Complete Series
Published by: Siren Visual (Australia/New Zealand), Funimation (North America)
Based on: Anime-exclusive Series
Genre: Science Fiction
Audio: Hybrid Dub
Runtime: 300 Minutes
Classification: M for Mature Themes, Animated Violence and Coarse Language
Cost: $49.95 on DVD
Special Thanks: Siren Visual for kindly providing me with a copy of this title for review
The Japanese Government was rescued from the brink of financial collapse by the Sovereign Wealth Fund. For its citizens however, life has not improved with unemployment, crime, suicide and despair all running rampant. Kimimaro is a scholarship student whose only dream is to avoid all this and live a stable life as a civil servant. One day however, he meets a man who offers him the chance to make money fast. From then on, Kimimaro is drawn into a mysterious realm known as “The Financial District” where people engage in supernatural battles for the possibility of money.
While not exclusive by any means to Siren Visual in Australia, the company has set themselves up as a licensor of some of the more unique “noitaminA” titles, anime series aired in Japan during the hour-long television block on Fuji TV. noitaminA series are often more unique, and have brought us the likes of Usagi Drop, anohana and Honey and Clover to name a few several of which have received high scores in reviews on this site. The latest noitaminA series to hit the Australian market is [C] Control: The Money and Soul of Possiblity from Siren Visual featuring an English dub by Funimation Entertainment.
This is not the first time [C] has seen a review on The Otaku’s Study. During a limited period of time in 2011 Siren Visual did simulcasting for a number of series, and after reviewing the first six episodes it walked away with a score of A-. Now that it has been released on DVD does the entire series hold together as well as the first six episodes? Read on to find out in my review of the complete series!
[C] follows a 19 year old university student by the name of Kimimaro Yoga. All he desires in live is to hold a job in civil service and make enough money to live a normal life with a family however at the current time is left balancing studies and two part-time jobs at convenience stores. One day he is “recruited” by a mysterious man named Masakaki who invites him and to some extent lures him to the mysterious “Financial District”, where in return for a collateral of his future the Midas Bank will provide him with money and the prospects of more provided he take part in weekly “Deals”. Armed with a personification of his future “Msyu”, he fights to keep his future in tact but soon gets lured into a more complex side of the district… where peoples futures and the future of mankind may be affected.
To give credit where it is due, [C]’s storyline is interesting and has a well developed concept that is both complex and worked well for the “economics-based” storyline they were evidently trying to deliver. As no doubt people squabbling over money might not have made the best premise for a series, the implementation of the battle scenes were a welcome addition and despite there being better fight scenes in other series it fused the battle and financial aspects well. As an example, whereas in games MP are used to perform skills this is replaced by Funds where to perform skills Entres can use Micro, Messo and Macro flation abilities at a hefty price. Once this has been done a few times, they delve into other concepts such as the impacts of losing a battle and losing ones ‘future’.
The series started off interesting, and while it never truly got dull I feel it was impacted a bit by an overambitious storyline and not enough episodes to deal with it. The storyline is short and sweet, and like many noitaminA series I think it was better off that it was this way – however especially in the final episodes I felt they tried to cram far too much into the episodes which took away from the experience rather than flesh them out. The character development was interesting not only from the viewpoints of the main Entres Kimimaro Yoga and Souichirou Mikuni but from the secondary characters who played their roles for select episodes.
Overall, while there were several concepts left underexplained and underused, [C] is a unique series that holds an interesting concept and an array of different characters. The storyline is very wordy so may however come across as boring depending on a viewers personal preferences in storyline.
[C]’s visuals and design quality are high especially when it comes to the unique design of the Financial Disitrict which makes good use of bright and interesting colour palette. The character designs for the human characters are of a standard quality but while not standing out do go hand-in-hand with the environment designs. On the other hand, the designs of the Assets gave the design team a bit more freedom to work with, with both main and secondary Asset designs often standing out.
I think it is unfortunate that Siren Visual didn’t choose to release a Blu-ray version of [C] as they did recently with Shiki. Despite that, DVD video quality was of a solid standard.
Music / Voice Acting
[C] comes with a single opening sequence (Matoryoshika by NICO Touches the Walls) and a single ending sequence (RPG by School Food Punishment). Both of these feature interesting animation (To quote my original review, the opening sequence can be described with three words – Money! Money! Money!) as well as solid songs. Both were well thought out and suited the series. The rest of the series features an average music backing, with nothing much standing out but at the same time nothing ruining the experience.
As this has been released previously by Funimation Entertainment in North America, unlike many of Siren Visual’s exclusive titles [C] features both a Japanese and English dub. The English voice cast includes Todd Haberkorn (Chaos;Head – Takumi Nishijo), Brina Palencia (Black Butler – Ciel Phantomhive) and J. Michael Tatum (Steins;Gate – Rintaro Okabe) as Kimimaro, Msyu and Soichiro respectively, however the best voiced role in my opinion was by Scott Freeman (Baka and Test – Yuuji Sakamoto) as Masakaki. Either way, both language dubs are of a good quality so it all comes down to personal preference.
This release comes with a small but satisfactory set of bonus on-disc goodies. This includes:
- Commentary for Episodes 5 and 11, which as usual turned out to be very interesting and fun to listen to.
- Clean Opening and Ending Sequences
- US Trailer
While most Australian anime releases retain extra content from the North American release, there seemed to be a number of missing extras in this release. This included promotional videos, original trailers/commercials and C-conomics 101. Unless I completely missed it on the DVD release, it is a real shame Siren Visual chose/had to omit them.
Missing extras aside, while it was not up there with my favorite noitaminA releases it was an enjoyable and interesting watch although I could see this differing between viewers. I would have loved to have seen what they could have done with a few more episodes as it did feel they had a bit too much to include in a small set of eleven episodes.
Storyline / Character Development: B
Music/Voice Acting: B-
Extra Content: C
Personal Preference: B
Overall Score: B