33 CommentsC The Money of Soul and Possibility Control / By Scamp /

[C] The Money of Soul and Possibility Control episode 9

“You’ve heard of the Caribbean Republic in the Caribbean”

Awkward English dialogue as written by a Japanese person. Even though it wasn’t Engrish, I still couldn’t follow what they were saying because it was so incompetently written and confusingly delivered.

Generally I don’t like doing the whole ‘recount the plot of the episode’ thing, but I’m going to try it this time around. There was a lot of crazy shit was happening with very little expositionary dialogue, making this all very difficult to follow.

Singapore’s Financial District went bankrupt and was dragged into the abyss by a scary tentacle monster. Because all the worlds economies are connected, this would result in a wave effect across the world and the collective potential of the population dropped several points. This reformatting of the world is the phenomenon they call [C]. This is what was happening when parts of New York to Shanghai were being wiped away by weird shiny cubes. The wave was about to hit Tokyo, but Mikuni wanted to prevent the effects of [C] by artificially pumping money into the economy. This money he got from ‘borrowing’ from the potential future of the country using the Financial District. That’s why the entire country’s future potential had dropped and the entire country went stagnant. With no future, nobody has any hope and don’t do happy stuff, like make babies and so on. So instead of the one time hit that [C] brings about, Mikuni’s method lessens the hit but sends the country into stagnation.

At least, that’s my interpretation of events. C doesn’t really like explaining things to you.

So what is the real world allegory being drawn here? I’m definitely siding with Chronolynx’s theory that this is a criticism of deficit spending. Now I’m no economist, and most of the stuff on the wikipedia article on the subject flew totally over my head, but the incredibly simplified version is ‘spending more than you earn’, usually in the case of the government. One of the arguments against deficit spending is that it burdens future generations with the debt your generation have collected through their greed. Or not even greed, just the desperation expenditure to fix your economy, or move your dying sister to a hospital that can care for her better. However, the further you sink into deficit spending, the greater burden you put on the future, which is where the [C] comparisons come in the strongest. [C] is saying that deficit spending is like selling away your future to protect the present. But you don’t spend money in a vacuum, so when you go bankrupt it has a much wider effect. The more people that sell away their futures, the less hope there is in the future.

Basically, [C] is saying that deficit spending is Bad because it will result in a hopeless future. Which is a pretty fucking big claim to make, seeing as there probably isn’t a government out there that doesn’t overspend its earnings. But don’t you think the giant golden floating ring in the sky looks an awful lot like one of those US National Debt clocks?

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32 Comments

  1. Posted June 11, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Pretty much sums it up.

  2. Posted June 11, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Oh, don’t bother with the economics technicalities. The show lost all sense of that when it made assets into monsters and futures into collateral. However, I cannot believe that it disobeyed the most fundamental law of economics:

    Business is done for profit.

    The Financial District is like one giant Vegas casino. People wager and play with money. However, there’s one rule that casinos follow: The house always wins. Meaning, whichever guy at the table loses, the casino owners stand to profit. However, in the FD system, the owners (Midas, I guess) doesn’t gain anything. He prints infinite amount of money and if his objective is having fun, then why would he allow districts going bankrupt and ruining fun? Unless you’re suggesting Midas is God, in which case He has a sick outlook on finance. But still, who is the primary benefactor of this District?

    And another thing – On what basis do the financial districts go bankrupt? How does it even lose money?

    When the people lose too much money in FD? When the real world recession becomes steep? When the Assets lose their value?

    In all three of the above, it’s a system designed for failure because all three of those are inevitable, because new members are taken in only if another goes bankrupt – restricted entry = Doom.

    I’m just waiting for the ending where they show Mikuni or what’s-his-face is used as a sacrificial pawn o save the country. And he’ll probably die with a generic speech about futures and how we must live in the present. Blah blah blah.

    • Nebulous
      Posted June 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Midas is obviously the devil.

      It is obviously a allegory for deficit spending, but I never knew it would turn to propaganda like this since previously we have been shown all sides of the argument. Even when you look at it as a argument against deficit spending that you are selling out the future by overburdening them with the debt of your excesses, the point is that you are affecting the future in order to STOP all the things like mass unemployment and NEETs, dilapidated buildings, and bleak outlooks on life.

      Deficit spending is intended to prop up the current comfortableness and get it back via higher taxes and cutbacks “later”. However we see that all the things that deficit spending is supposed to slow down happen immediately. Maybe they have a vastly different view of future? Because currently it makes no sense.

  3. Posted June 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    I actually have an entirely different interpretation to what the series is trying to do. I was going to eventually write a post on it, but simply focusing on deficit spending is just scratching the surface.

  4. romulus
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    As the show progresses, it gets more and more large-scale (–>interesting) but it becomes more illogical as well. Just wtf was the scene when Masakaki opened the golden coin? Was that an angel from Evangelion or what?
    Oh, and it seems there won’t be MashuXKimimaro anytime soon. I don’t know if this is good or bad, but who the heck is that Hanabi?

  5. luffyluffy
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    What was up with Mikuni’s face this episode? Those were some pretty QUALITY contortions.

  6. mcm38
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Kimimaru’s dad did something to make the FD give back a bit of his future, this is why Kimimaru still here. Like lolipop-woman said. It means there is a way to counter the FD.

    I also don’t get how the f*ck the money disappears. Are they retards. I tought the money was coming from the future of the card users. If all the money is gone, this means all the future is used up. But that is not possible. When somebody loses another person gains. No money/future disappears. It only circulates. This is realy stupid.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      The money goes to the Financial District. Also money does disappear. That’s what going bankrupt means

  7. Anonomyous
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Actually a lot of countries do not overspend

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_external_debt

    Note those with low percentage of debt to GDP as well as those with 0 debt. The prevailing idea is that no debt is bad, though for the specifics why this is so, you might want to consult some economics students or lecturers.

    Singapore, the country to go boom that episode, actually has only 11% of GDP in debt though to be fair, as it is a hub within the region, the resulting shockwave as pictured in the anime would have an effect though much smaller in size

    • Scamp
      Posted June 11, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Ireland – % of GDP – 1224%

      lolz

  8. Posted June 11, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m not entirely sure why this is, but C’s interpretation of “the future” seriously gets on my nerves whenever I think about it.

    The series is constantly bemoaning the loss of this supposed future without ever giving us a concrete definition of what is actually being taken away. Entrepreneurs trade away their future for financial gain in the District, everyone else loses theirs as a result of collateral damage (presumably their futures are tied to the success of the Entres), and there’s this picture painted of hopeless, destitute people shambling about, their “futures” stolen wholesale.

    Bollocks. There’s only one way to empirically lose your future, and that’s to stop existing entirely. Regardless of what happens in it, as long as time is still progressing and you are still in existence, you still have a future. If “losing your future” means never accomplishing anything or never being happy, then that’s just having your motivation or wellbeing stolen. You’re still going to continue existing and experiencing things.

    An undesirable misery-filled future still is one, C. A person’s dreams and ambitions do not constitute their future. You can’t expect me to take these comparisons of saving the future versus the present seriously if you’re going to be so pointlessly vague and inconsistent :/.

    • mcm38
      Posted June 11, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      We all are.

      C is just too incomprehendable with it’s messages and thinking. Even an economics student as me can’t make anything out of it.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Yes, someone’s future is more than just their dreams and ambitions, but that’s all C was taking away anyway. What you’re left with is a shadow of a person with no hope to achieve anything, like Kimimaro’s teacher. Take away dreams and ambitions, and suddenly you’re left with rather little to look forward to

      • Posted June 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Well that’s sort of my point – constantly referring to the future being lost, stolen, or traded away is a little silly if it’s not actually the future at all and rather just the positive aspects of the person’s life to come. Basically, “losing your future” is a dumb claim to even make (because it’s impossible to do) when you could just call a spade a spade and refer to people having their “hope” or “ambitions” taken away.

        Kimimaro’s teacher is a good example: C assumes that his future is nothing but doom and unfulfillment since his children have been retroactively erased, but is having children really the lone defining aspect of his life? It’s certainly not fun to have them unmade, but are they the one and only thing he can now and will ever care about? Decades after the fact?

        He still has a loving (if oblivious) wife, a job he presumably likes, and as far as I can tell nothing standing in the way of his working his way back up to having the income to support a family. Even assuming they were made sterile you could make the case that he could adopt a child. That “future” of his is not gone, as C seems to want to stress.

        I don’t see anything stopping this guy from going on to do something meaningful with his life. If C was straight with me and made it clear that losing literally robbed him of all hope ever rather than tossing around vague terms like “the future”, I wouldn’t have this complaint.

  9. Posted June 11, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    i love how the english voice acting doesn’t match their corresponding characters AT ALL. obviously the character looks 60, but his voice actor sounds like he’s in his late 20’s/early 30’s. lolwut indeed.

    EWW GROSS i’m totally getting clamp incest vibes from kimimaro and mysu now. bleagh. good thing i never shipped them.

    ugh my econ class is coming to mind now, but i can barely digest the basic stuff we’re learning right now to even begin to theorize about this anime. okay….so if mikuni saved the GDP of japan, at least, by technically bailing out all the failing companies, then this puts an incredible amount of pressure on the society as they must payback the debt owed AS WELL as wait for said bailed out companies to recuperate and jump start the economy. companies might be sound now, but as taxes have obv been raised and government spending is skyrocketing as unemployment is through the roof (a result of the companies failure), consumption is at an all-time low which affects company revenue which in turn affects household wages, which in turn affects consumption again, and now we’re in a deflation spiral. no idea why babies disappeared as we’re going to have babies no matter what, but standards of living as a whole decreased and people are no longer able to support the way they were living previously. this seems to be over-sensationalized in C with people going crazy and no babies and homeless people everywhere, but the U.S is going through this right now (maybe the rest of the world too, but i wouldn’t know for sure since i’m an ignorant american ;/).

    …okay fine, this anime still makes no sense to me.

    • mcm38
      Posted June 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Baby’s disappeared because the low living standards in city’s pressures the inhabitants. Nobody wants to look after a chump of meat that is only good for creating more poverty.

      The FD is controlling the world by using peoples future. It’s the biggest power in the world now. And that power can only steal peoples future and destroy them, without, eventually, not giving back anything. It’s rubbish.

      • Posted June 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

        Nobody poor wants to look after a child that is only good for making them poorer… or so you would think.

        In reality it’s actually the impoverished who are most likely to have multiple children in spite of the fact that it will only worsen their standard of living. There’s no single concrete explanation for why this happens other than humans being genetically predisposed to do so in times of hardship (at least as far as I know), but it is a well-documented phenominon.

        Not to profile by country or location, but South Africa is a prime example of this in effect: a low standard of living equals a high rate of reproduction and families with lots of children they can’t always support.

      • mcm38
        Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

        Geh! I was hoping nobody would take notice of this, so I wouldn’t have to hassle and explain it. You’re to sharp Naota!

        The reason people in poor country’s (take note, not the people who grow up in modern prospering cities) make lots of children is because of ignorance. Most poor people don’t get a decent education so they are doomed to become ignorant. Especially in countrys such as South Africa, where even the rich are having trouble getting educated. But the common sense level in a modern city such as Tokyo is a lot higher. Thus even if you’re one of the poor you have the necessary knowledge to don’t make a mistake by having children.

        Arrgh… Such a pain in the *ss!

      • Posted June 12, 2011 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        To a degree that’s probably true, but I think you also see it happening in well-educated societies. Birth rates dip during a depression, but I have a feeling it’s the previously wealthy who are responsible for it – people who had a well-ordered plan for raising a child they had to abandon. The unabashedly poor on the other hand don’t have a plan. If a country truly declined into poverty, a low birth rate would almost certainly not be a concern.

        I actually have that cliche “uncle with no job and a bad drinking habit who will do anything for more booze money” in my extended family, and he has at least three children with no way to support them. He had a decent education, grew up with a good family and a high standard of living, and still wound up making this ruinous mistake several times.

      • Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:03 am | Permalink

        ignorance plays some roles, but in different ways. lots of countries and their governments are like EWWW OMG HOW ARE WE GOING TO TEACH THAT TO OUR KIDS about contraception, so lots of people don’t know how to use it properly, so they end up with children. sometimes unwanted. even the “best” educated might not have went through one health class about contraception.

        also we’re human. we make mistakes all the goddamn time. unfortunately i think a lot of people wouldn’t come to the conclusion that bad economic times are not the best times to have children.

    • Posted June 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      What absolutely blows my mind is that most of the actors there were surprisingly adept at speaking their lines English, to the point where you could scarcely say they had an accent. This means that they almost certainly know how to read and write passably in the language, and yet the script writers for C forced them to read lines that you would have a hard time coaxing out of Google translate, let alone a real conversation in English.

      Could they not find one person who speaks the language to proof-read? Did the voice actors not look at the lines they were given and think “Hey, uh… this English is absolutely atrocious. Do you want me to fix it for you? I could just say these things in a way a real person might. Free of charge. No? Okay then…”

      Oh please god let this not have been a case where somebody in charge insisted they read the script as written despite the fact that the VA’s obviously knew it was ill-translated garbage. I don’t think I could retain my faith in humanity if this is what happened.

      It isn’t evn the first time I’ve seen this madness take place either! Senkou no Night Raid had a very similar governing council scene with the same forehead-smitingly terrible script read by what I can only imagine is the same group of suspiciously good English voice actors that C hired.

    • mcm38
      Posted June 11, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Not to mention the way the anime quality suddenly dropped at that meeting scene was amazing.

    • Scamp
      Posted June 12, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Birthrate dropping was I guess a form of people not interacting. They’d lost hope, so had reverted to not even going out, as we saw with Kimimaro’s crush.

      That only works if my theory that Mikuni sold the entire countries futures away for the bailout is true, but I feel I have sufficient evidence to back that up

  10. El
    Posted June 11, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Uhm, there’s much more than a criticism of deficit spending under the surface. This is an interesting read: http://animeotaku.animeblogger.net/2011/06/the-philosophy-of-c-a-mock-dialogue-and-a-titular-analysis-featuring-kierkegaard-and-hegel/

    • Mr. Anon
      Posted June 12, 2011 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      C isn’t nearly so deep as that blog wants to believe. With enough creativity and effort you can construct deep philosophical analyses about anything.

  11. Black Dalek
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    Oh my old ones… all the FD are doors to R’lyeh,Masakaki is another face/body of Nyarlathotep and Cthulhu is printing the black money for midas bank, fhtagn!! so kimi­maro’s father true identity was Warren and Mikuni is Randolph Carter….

  12. Posted June 12, 2011 at 3:25 am | Permalink

    What a arsed scriptwriter, Singapore doesn’t do deficit spending and has one of the strongest economy in asia. He must really dislike Singapore…

  13. Posted June 12, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    ok i googled, singapore does do deficit spending too =(

    • Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:07 am | Permalink

      every country does deficit spending at one point or another. it’s part of the real world economic cycle. it’s not necessarily a bad thing.

  14. Rex
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    The English dialogue wasn’t too bad. Sounds like average pollies talk. The “Chinese” dialogue was entirely incomprehensible. Possibly Shanghainese?

    I lol’d at BUY BUY BUY.

  15. alexvoda
    Posted June 12, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    You know what this show lacks?
    It lacks a proper wiki. Fully understanding this show requires the same level of knowledge PMMM required (Faust quotes in unreadable fonts anyone?) but there is no central resource to gather all this information like wiki.puella-magi.net was for PMMM.
    wikia wikis are superficial and lack speculation, and the WMG on tvtropes is simply no enough.
    At 9 episodes out of 11 it is kinda late to create one now. Oh well….

    • Scamp
      Posted June 12, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      I never read the Madoka wiki and got on fine. If a show needs you to read fanmade material outside of the show itself to understand it, then it’s failed

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