Kimimaro is a poor student who works all sorts of odd jobs to make ends meet. He studies hard to take the civil servant entry exam -- his dream is to have a steady job with a steady income. But one day, a mysterious man in a top hat, who says he represents the Midas Bank, offers him a black bank card -- with his future as a collateral, Kimimaro can gain access to The Financial District, where he can make tremendous gains by battling other entrepeneurs.
Kimimaro gets lured into the district, and gets Msyu as his 'Asset'. Msyu lives in his card, and he can summon her to do battle against other entrepeneurs. These battles are like Pokémon battles, with the entrepeneurs ordering their Assets around. They have to invest money from their account for the attacks, though -- and they can join the fracas themselves too. If you get hit, you literally hemmorage money...
But when you go bankrupt, the Midas Bank collects it's collateral! In one of his first fights, Kimimaro is fighting against one of his teachers, and bankrupts him. Suddenly, the man has no children -- never had. What goes on in the Financial District affects reality too! Mikuni, a veteran of the Financial District, has formed an alliance to try to minimise the effects on reality. When they fight (and they have to, every week) they try to win (or lose) by only a narrow margin. That way, nobody gets bankrupt and reality continues unhindered. And just who is behind it all isn't really clear -- that's why the IMF sends spies to infiltrate the District.
But then the South-East Asia Financial District crashes -- taking everyone's Asset and collateral with it! The shockwave simply erases Singapore: it's just as if the city never existed! The wave continues towards Japan, and Mikuni has to shore up the failing economy to prevent Japan from being severely affected too. He does this by 'paying' 20 years of the future of Japan to get the money presses of the Midas Bank rolling. Suddenly, people's minds are dulled and unemployment rises sharply, but at least the large financial institutions are spared a bankruptcy.
It's an interesting premise: a hidden financial world where the owners of large companies make various deals to jockey for position -- and it affects the real world. It's a nice metaphor for how convoluted and interconnected the financial markets have become, how abstracted some of the financial 'products' have become from something real but how that can have severe consequences none the less.
Unfortunately, the series is too short to really explore the idea with any depth. The characters are cardboard cutouts, and lots of potential plot lines remain unexplored. It goes from money-Pokémon to dark conspiracy, but in the end nothing is really explained. The series does have a resolution, though -- but I'm not sure if the makers wanted to give a moral or not, and if so, what that moral exactly is.
The series employs a lot of CGI. Most of the Financial District is done in CGI, with lots of digital effects. But the backgrounds are sparse -- the makers were obviously on a budget. And some scenes of character animation in the 'real world' are done with 3D CGI too -- complete with stilted movements. Not top-notch animation here, but it's not so obviously bad that it detract from the series.
- Interesting premise;
- Reaches a conclusion.
- Animation on a budget;
- Unclear story-telling focus;
- Too short to explore these themes in any depth.
All in all, it was interesting, but nothing else. I'll give it a 7.