Money is a reality, an undeviating feature of our everyday lives, a concept of our minds which materializes from our experiences in the marketplace, and a tool for ‘valuing’ an item or a service. Further, as we exchange and purchase items or services, cash allows us to measure the traded cost or the acquired value in monetary units so we can accept the exchange or purchase as being ‘fair’, ‘legit’, ‘legal’, and ‘relatively objective’.Indeed we can manage our money, however it is only an illusion that we fully control it. In fact, we don’t notice how cunningly and intensively money exercises control over us for it makes us both master and slave. As Mikuni’s father mentioned, indeed “money” is “money,” however, a change in quantity is also a change in quality, and that is the unique power that shakes the world.
A quick overview of C tells us that selected people are invited by Misakaki–a mysterious man who perpetually smirks, and pops out of nowhere–to become Entrepreneur or Entres in The Financial District. Every Entrepreneur receives an Asset who will help him succeed his Deals. Their transactions make use of the Midas money, and it is only through winning a Deal or by information exchange that an Entre profits. Further, the effects of the Midas Money on the reality remains unknown and there’s so much apprehension about what could happen if this black note continues to circulate the real world. If there’s anything confirmed, it is that in every Deal being conducted, the person’s reality is being gambled and his future is being used as the collateral—this also means that the possibility of anyone who’s connected to the Entre is also being ventured and could be impacted by the consequences of the deal.
The most recent episode showed that Mikuni crossed the line. He risked the future’s security by using his Darkness card to imprint a massive amount of Midas Money in order to save Tokyo from C. Indeed, he protected the present by investing lots of Midas Money, but in return the future has to pay for his settlement. As a consequence, they now have a present time of misery and depression.
Moreover, I enjoy how this anime uses lots of references from economics, mythology, and philosophy. For instance, looking at the Greek myth, we can see the similarities between Midas and Mikuni. Midas discovered that from a limited supply of metal coins, one could generate many more coins if one drastically reduced the metal content of each coin. Through this course, he liberated the money supply from its arbitrary limitation by a dead substance and at the same time freed the market from all financial bottlenecks. However, when the long-term users of this “light” money realized that the buying power of their assets no longer grew but diminished in value—exposing this financial progress as “fraud”—and when they rejected Midas’s coins as a store of money assets, the crisis began. Midas’s gold was transformed back into pure water.
Moving in our reality, I believe that C somehow portrays current economic downturn and flaws in our system. Historically, money has usually been some physical items which exist in time and space (gold, silver, copper, zinc, deerskins, beads, nails, paper, etc.). However, today’s money symbols ($, Y, A$, C$, E, etc.) don’t fit this description anymore. They are now derived from our conscious imagination and then distributed in cyber space via our computer technology—at the speed of light, for example we now have a currency unit ($) which is purely imaginary with no actual physical existence in time and space.
That being said, the emergence of ‘fiat’—symbols on paper—system with no backing by any real physical commodity such as gold or silver reveals that these non systems can’t last more than a limited time period. Alterations of ‘value’ are understated and gradual, but occur relentlessly over time and are manifested via monetary inflation, stagflation, and deflation. Eventually, even the debt of a sovereign state will reach levels which are unsustainable—inflation subtly creates ‘value’ distortions on the up side and deflation creates ‘value’ distortions on the down side. Finally, all type of distortions within the economy will cause consumers and investors to lose confidence in the logic of this system—the imaginary symbols used to ‘value’ goods and services. Just like in C, a depression may result—an only way out is to have a new system.
Lastly, another interesting premise in C is the exploration of the possibilities and the projection of the future. Sennoza believed that if there are no possibilities left for the future, there’s no meaning in the present. Here we can see that for him, the purpose of the present is to preserve possibilities for the future use (far-sighted view). While for Mikuni, he considered that if we lost the present, there won’t be no future. Here we can see that for Mikuni, the future is just the continuation of the present, which is the reason why he’s not afraid to gamble the future to attain a better present time (near-sighted view). And as for Kinimaro, he deemed that the present exists for the future. Here, Kinimaro equally cares for the present Msyu–his asset, and for the future Msyu–his daughter. I believe that this is the most balanced view of the three.
- I blamed the Mad Hatter for dragging me into this series, and I’m talking about how Masakaki resembles to Almost Alice’s Mad Hatter.
- Midas is popularly remembered in Greek mythology for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold
- I have a feeling that the Assets are going to die or disappear in order for them to embody the future of their Entrepreneurs