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Mr. Freeze Reviews [C] - Control

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Mr. Freeze Reviews [C] - Control Empty Mr. Freeze Reviews [C] - Control

Post by Mr. Freeze on Fri May 17, 2013 7:34 pm

(Part of a series of articles I'll be doing for the forum in my spare time. Other M was just the beginning...)

Mr. Freeze Reviews:

[C] - The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

(a.k.a. [C] - Control)

I reckon it was only a matter of time before someone decided to make an anime in response to the failing economic state of the world in recent years. [C] - Control (the shorter title that I will be using due to colloquialism) enters the scene to make its say on the going-ons of our world today. But how well does it hold up when under scrutiny as a work of art?

The Concept in a Nutshell
[C] - Control takes place in a Japan with no financial future outside of government aid and stars the poor college student Kimimaro as he is given an offer to work as an entrepreneur for the mysterious Financial District in exchange for money. When pressed enough by Masakaki, the representative of the Midas Bank, he reluctantly agrees to the opportunity. The next thing he knows, his future is at stake in battles with other entrepreneurs using "Assets" in combat as he bets money in a gamble to make high profits. Soon he begins to learn the harsh reality of the money-making game...

My score is broken up into 4 categories that add up to a potential score of 40. Letter grade is based on percentages akin to standard grading (i.e. 36 out of 40 is the lowest score for an A grade, 32 out of 40 for B, etc).

The Story
Definitely interesting in its portrayal over the course of the show. Major emphasis is thrown on Kimimaro's actions and consequences while the other key characters all serve the plot in their own ways. The antagonists fit entertaining metaphors and symbols for the govt. and its use of introducing more currency in an economy to stimulate it; the metaphors come swinging further into the show as character actions lead to drastic effects on the real world economy outside the Financial District. Hell, a central "Asset" character even eats money.

While there are a few moments that border on disbelief (a battle or two and a bit of the ending come to mind), the plot tends to hit in all the right places and the conceits succeed in giving the intended message of "stop inventing more money or you will suck the economy down the drain." I can safely say that the story and central themes earn a solid 9/10.

The Visual
The artwork jumps between some fantastic, colorful animation and "really? So much CGI?" though in Masakaki's case the CGI is used well to contrast him with real world characters. The Financial District is given special care in the animation department and the most gorgeous visuals in the show tend to occur there (the sky in episode 9 is just gorgeous). It's shows like this I'm left wondering why animators love CGI so much; many viewers find it aggravating and conspicuous, myself included.

Lots of flashing lights and color leaves Mr. Freeze a happy man. The production value is high and a lot of effort was clearly put into it. Visuals earn an 8/10 due to the occasional misuse of CGI.

The Voice Acting
What everyone wants to know, right? Having watched the show both subbed and dubbed, both come with their advantages and disadvantages. Watching the original intended sub is fine and those who prefer subs will find comfort here. Entire lines of dialogue from the beginning of episode 9 in particular are given in straight up English, however, and it starts to sound a bit like a bad dub (lol Americans are stupid). This isn't nearly as much of an issue in the actual dub (helping lend to the serious atmosphere of economic destruction), but listeners are subjected to yet more Todd Haberkorn playing Todd Haberkorn except this time his role is Todd Haberkorn playing Kimimaro.

Besides economic talks that try to be but don't quite succeed at rivaling Spice and Wolf in terms of "what you need to know about economics to get this show", the voice acting is a standard 7/10 with nothing particularly memorable in comparison to other animes.

The Soundtrack
Soundtrack done by Taku Iwasaki. It emphasizes electronic mixes with orchestral sounds mixed in for bigger scenes. Heavy abuse of harmonic minor in a few tracks. While the use of vocals throughout the score bothers me in execution (electronically altered voices running up and down harmonic minor scales? Really Iwasaki?) the instrumental accompaniments in "C" and "The Wealth of Nations" highlight the genre mix perhaps the most out of the twenty or so tracks (though I'm not one to judge the questionable rapping in "C"; I'll leave that to someone else).

All in all the soundtrack serves the scenes well. Unfortunately, the tracks that are the most audibly pleasing tend to lose a lot of potential in the process. The soundtrack gets an 8/10 for "The Wealth of Nations" as a saving grace.

Final Notes before the verdict: That chick who eats money still scares me.

The Verdict
In the end, the anime gets a 32/40, or a B in my book. While it has problems in various areas that keep it from achieving an A grade, [C] - Control is a fun romp down economic nightmare lane that leaves a lasting impression through its metaphors of money printing and colorful visuals. I'd suggest watching it once as a possibility, just to say you have. It's only eleven episodes.

Last edited by Mr. Freeze on Fri May 17, 2013 8:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
Mr. Freeze
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Mr. Freeze Reviews [C] - Control Empty Re: Mr. Freeze Reviews [C] - Control

Post by KENDARRR on Fri May 17, 2013 7:48 pm

I liked it. Although I did think it had quite a few moments where I though it was pretty cheesy.

It kind of reminds me of Shin Megami Tensei for some reason.

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