Thursday, 9 June 2011

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control - Episode 8

For all of the fruits members of the Financial District might have seen during the course of this series, episode eight of C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control delivers what is perhaps a much needed reminder of the fragility of such economic systems.

This fragility is demonstrated by the neighbouring South-East Asian Financial District, which sees its value begin to plummet - a state of affairs which has a deleterious effect on the real-world to boot, with the risk growing that an entire country might disappear were its associated Financial District to collapse.  With disaster looming, Mikuni and his Starling Guild look to save the stricken district; a mission which includes a marked shift in tactics as they go from taking a small profit from their Deals to working to make as much money as possible in the hope of effectively "bailing out" the South-East Asian region using the funds they gather.

Meanwhile, Kimimaro is continuing to have a far more personal struggle with the Financial District in more ways than one - unbeknown at this point to him, there are suggestions of a connection between Mashu and both his father and his family, while his more present concern is once again with his teacher Ebara, who is now suicidal in the wake of the disappearance of his children after his defeat to Kimimaro in a Deal.  Kimimaro is determined to find a way to make amends in the hope they will bring these missing children back, but to no avail as Ebara takes his life before he manages to find any way of doing so - in a world where people are simply disappearing without a trace to a greater and greater degree, this episode leaves Kimimaro distraught and burning his Midas money in the middle of the Financial District - a futile gesture against the massed wealth of the powers that be.

As seems to be my regular comment about this series to date, episode eight of [C] is a case of "great concepts, clumsily implemented".  The attempts to show the real world impact of the impending collapse of a Financial District should be powerful and shocking, harrowing even, but instead they feel confusing if anything and shorn of any power by the way they are depicted - even at the end of the episode when we see the Financial District itself fall it's tough to feel anything much for an area and individuals we know nothing off; of course, maybe that's partially the point but regardless it didn't really work for me.  Kimimaro's own journey also continues to feel wishy-washy, as he mooches from one decision to the next with no real path in sight, leaving him looking far from the interesting character he's supposed to be.

Given how red-hot and tantalising its concepts are, this episode should have been the pinnacle of some powerful and thought-provoking drama - instead, I'm left trying to pull the good ideas from the rubble of its poor execution and plot development.  It's a real shame, as the potential of the series to do something special is genuinely tangible.

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