[C] has been one hell of a ride that’s been rough and almost painful in some places, and smooth and exhilarating in others. So how does the finale stack up in comparison with everything that’s led to it? Was the finale of [C] a heart stopping experience worthy of being written in the annals of time, remembered for an eternity? In short, no, but it was a good try. For the long answer, may I direct your attention below the cut?
To catch those up who have forgotten for whatever reason, in the prior episode Mikuni and Jennifer battled it out for Mikuni’s black card, which was the only thing that could reverse the presses and ultimately take back all the Midas Money that Mikuni was planning on unleashing into the system. It wouldn’t be much of a final episode if she didn’t fail, so she failed. And she failed hard, to the point of her body turning into Midas Money and slowly drifting away into the stratosphere.
Yoga arrives in time to accept her asset and begin his fight against Mikuni, after swiping his black card. The two charged each other before the end of the episode and… Boom! Credits.
Now this episode resumes where the previous one left off, with no diversions until the very end. Yoga and Mikuni fight it out for the fate of Japan, while the wave of C, appropriately showing up as a C on radar apparently, lumbers back to Japan at a frightening pace. It’s a battle against time as the two’s ideals clash in the form of their assets: The determined, stubborn and collected Q, and the determined, stubborn, fiery Mashyu.
The fight quickly turns against Yoga as Mashyu is bombarded by the sheer force of Q, before the plans to crash the value of the Yen come to fruition by Mr. Gold Tooth, leaving both assets incapacitated as Yoga and Mikuni fight each other personally. With Yoga winning, of course. This wouldn’t be a very happy ending if the effects of C weren’t curtailed by a Deus Ex Machina ending.
So at the end of the day, Yoga triumphs, reverses the flow of Midas Money, and thus makes Japan safe for another day by taking away the purpose that the Financial District had to exist. Masakaki is temporarily defeated, with Yoga learning that he’s part of some giant supernatural organization bigger than the Midas Bank. With Japan saved and returned to a fairly normal if imbalanced state, Yoga admires his handiwork despite all he’s lost before being visited by Masakaki, in an attempt to leave the ending open ended and up to interpretation.
[C] was a risky idea from the get-go. The concept of cramming something as intricate and complex as economics into an 11 episode anime series centered around Yugioh-like battle sequences and symbolic jargon was an ambitious proposal that, in all likelihood, didn’t have a chance of working out with the limited budget that was allotted. Feel free to persecute me for that run-on sentence.
And that prediction is proven mostly correct. By focusing more on the overall concept at the beginning rather than one person’s role in it, it could’ve been better at explaining the whole situation while getting its message across. But by focusing on Yoga at the beginning, it opened up subplots that ended up mostly unresolved, both on his front and with the big picture. We never learned anything about Jennifer Satou’s organization, other than the fact that it was concentrating on learning more about the Financial District and ultimately bringing it down. An epilogue wouldn’t be out of place to wrap things up.
There’s also Hanabi, who we were informed was Yoga’s love interest. We also learned that she had a promising teaching career that was cut down by the hard economic times. And rather than resolving her plot in an appropriate fashion, it was given a sloppy finish by engulfing her in white light and making everything magically better. By opening this up and subsequently dropping it, the show did no favors for itself and ultimately proved a somewhat scattered affair when not focusing on the happenings in and around the Financial District.
I won’t cite the often derpy character models, since most of the other art design was done pretty well considering the budget, often laughable CGI aside. The music was also appropriate, especially the high energy chanting that’d begin during particularly interesting or important deals, which there really should’ve been more of.
The plot moved along at a good pace as well, being a fantastic example of world building in the first half and a solid example of follow through afterward. It would’ve been great if it didn’t fizzle out at the very end, but it ended up a disappointment as a result of the aforementioned fizzling.
Again, this ending left a lot open for interpretation, for better or for worse. I won’t go into what I thought it was, beyond my taking it as a jab against deficit spending and the tendency of such reckless loans to cause backlash.
So in the end, was following [C] really worth it? If only to see how an esoteric concept could be pulled off in such a format, I say yes, it must be seen to be believed. Sadly, it isn’t really a classic and failed to cash in (Pardon the pun) on its concept. I put it into the camp of shows, a camp populated by the likes of Umineko, that tried to tell an unconventional and ambitious story, but came out the worse for trying to be completely off the beaten path.
If your curiosity hasn’t been piqued about [C] at all, I can’t recommend it. But if you’re interested, there are enough fun episodes to keep that interest going strong. And more flamboyant Willy Wonkas than you can shake a restraining order at.