Most of the comments on episode three of C: Money of the Soul and Possibility of Control have been about the varying effectiveness of the “infodump” within the episode. I personally do not have a comment on that front. What I do find interesting is a curious (to me) lack of mention for the central resolution between Kimimaro and his estranged (presumed dead) father. No comment has been made about Soichiro’s peculiar rationalization about Kimimaro’s financial habits and how they differ from the two men’s fathers.
When Souchiro remarks that his father “was always working for himself only. Making money for the sake of money.” Kimimaro remarks that his father was the same way. When Soichiro postulates that maybe Kimimaro’s father was “making money for the sake of his family” he goes on to imply that Kimimaro is in fact the one with the wrong beliefs regarding money claiming that Kimimaro is always saying “normal is good, stability is good” and that he is “just making money for [his] own sake.” Soichiro emphasizes the connection between Kimimaro’s and his father by claiming “even though the scale is different, it’s the same as my father” and his belief is “way worse than that father you despise.”
That he doesn’t immediately retort on some level rather than quietly accept is either a weakness in Kimimaro’s character or a sign that his true desire is to become quite financially successful. Personally Souichiro’s image of the proper motivation for making money is distorted at best and cleverly manipulative at worst. How is Kimimaro’s desire to make enough money to support himself while he is in college anything but admirable? In fact I know a few people who would think he had quite a lot of integrity for being satisfied with the middle of the road. Perhaps he isn’t satisfied with the mediocrity but that doesn’t make the concept of striving for it completely amoral as Souchiro seems to be implying here. If Souchiro is being honest with Kimimaro and not trying to rope him further into the depths of the Financial District I might suggest he turn that critical eye on himself. What is it that Souchiro is making so much money for? I have not seen him supporting his ill sister or two kids and a loving wife. He seems like he feeds the money to his asset if anything. This apparent hypocrisy, pending some philanthropic revelation, is what makes me think that Soichiro is actually manipulating Kimimaro.
However Kimimaro and Souchiro’s conversation might also be touching on the subtext and meaning of C. The show could be showing two different beliefs of financial responsibility and the costs or benefits that can occur from striving for more than median income. It is somewhat fitting that when a person joins the Financial District they end up leveraging their future in exchange for wealth. As well as going along with the devil imagery surrounding C, it implies the inherent risk when investing in the stock market, hedge funds, pensions and other such buy and trade style financial institutions. This is not exactly new ground being covered but it takes on an interesting side when the global recession is factored in. One of the worst things you can do in a recession is not spend money. Hoarding money ends up hurting the economy as a whole. Spending on what isn’t necessary can hurt you financially but help to stimulate the economy. Is Kimimaro’s attitude in C warning us about paranoia surrounding money saving practices? Perhaps it’s trying to tell the viewer that striving to make money to provide for the future generations, not just yourself, is the proper way of handling finances.
If so why all the devil imagery for the bank? If Kimimaro’s ideals are shaken by Soichiro’s speech than C becomes a slightly less multi-dimensional show. If Kimimaro becomes just another Entre or even a really good Entre than the devil imagery of this show will be pointless. Without the conflicting morals than C just becomes another monster battle show and the MIDAS bank another Digital World. This show hinges on whether Kimimaro can maintain his beliefs in the face of great financial wealth.