Having seen what Mikuni Soichiro can do when it comes to manipulating a Deal to suit his interests last week, episode five jumps straight into showing us what his fellow guild members can they do, as they employ similar tactics to eke out small victories over their opponents that keep the real-world impact of any victories or defeats to a minimum.
Impressed by what they are capable of, Kimimaro sets off to try and learn such tricks for himself - something which he soon finds is easier said than done, as what looked set to be a narrow victory turns into both a small defeat and an injury to Mashu, while the aftermath of this Deal reminds Kimimaro that there is potentially a price to pay for failure, no matter how small the margin of defeat.
Away from this however, we get to see just how great the extent of Mikuni's ambitions to protect Japan and its people from the Financial District are, as we learn that he's quite literally propping up its government by buying up their debt, thus allowing them to increase spending. However, even he doesn't have complete control over the Financial District via his guild, and in the wake of a huge Deal featuring Mikuni's opponent last week and another big hitter it looks as though the real world is about to take a massive hit via the collapse of a major pharmaceuticals company... it's Soichiro to the rescue once again then, as Kimimaro finally begins to understand what Mikuni is trying to do (or at least what he appears to be trying to do) and thus signs up to his guild in the hope of making a little difference himself.
If nothing else, this is certainly the most action-oriented episode of [C] thus far - we got to see plenty of Deals being done, which meant quite a lot of imagination on show on the creator's part to the point where we can almost forgive the bad animation. Outside of that, the series continues to fascinate me purely upon its concept alone as it literally sweeps up everything in its socio-economic path before it as literally everything from Japan's birth rate through to its financial position is filed under the list of problems caused by the Financial District. Certainly, the shows machinations as they pertain to Mikuni and the IMF have plenty of room to make things interesting for the second half of the series - the only question is where Kimimaro fits into all this, as it seems that the longer the series has gone on the less of an impact he's making upon... well, anything really. Fine, why Mikuni is so interested in him is explained in this instalment and that's fair enough, but it doesn't really hide the fact that Kimimaro is becoming a duller and duller character who hasn't been afforded enough time to develop as the series has gone on so far, and there's a concern on my part that he might detract from what has been a curiously thought-provoking series to date.