And now we’re returning to another show that so notably captured my imagination during that long sampling period from a month or two a back. [C] – CONTROL is a first for this column by virtue of how its paint hasn’t even dried yet (so to speak.) It’s only up to the ninth episode in Japan, so we’re talking about a show that’s still coming out spongy fresh from the oven. I actually delayed getting back into it because, eventually, I’m going to catch up to the latest episode and then, I don’t know, this may have to become a weekly feature. Logistics be damned, though, we’ll be picking it up today. No living for tomorrow!
Some of you lunatics have likened this to a more mature take on DIGIMON and I can see where that comparison’s coming from - - I can even get behind it. I don’t share Sora’s fond feelings for that show, but I like a good fantastical riff on gladiatorial bouts. RUNNING MAN, TRON, DEATH RACE 2000, et al. They’ve put a couple of interesting angles on it by making the combatants more like weekend warriors and having a hierarchy of attacks where bigger cash buys nastier weapons. It’s kind-of like playing paintball against those really hardcore tools who’ve invested in high-powered guns and color-coordinated armor.
I don’t know how it works out that devil girl is Yoga’s “asset.” I figure that would refer to his winnings or maybe all the decals of whatever skin he ended up choosing in the online world. She’s actually more like a proxy or an avatar - - though I can imagine why they’d be reluctant to use the latTer term. That aside, I’m genuinely intrigued to discover how this world works. For one, I feel like there’s a lot more to those black bills than them simply being a “variant edition” of your regular tender.
As amazing as the electric fantasia gets, what’s really got me hooked on this show is the authenticity of the characters’ logic and feelings. Most “deals with the devil” shows trying to make a point about greed inevitability force people to act in ways they never realistically would so as to convey a point. Not so, here. Yoga has concern about his asset and he checks up on her, because she looks like a real human being. He’s careful to spend too much of his winnings yet because he’s still adjusting to this head trip. Even Masakaki manages not to BS with Yoga with any of this, even while he’s still having as much fun with his corruptor role as you or I would have.
Just like I said about TATAMI GALAXY, I feel like this show’s just a dub and a timeslot away from breaking out stateside.
Watch this episode “Coincidence" below, decide for yourself and then read my comments on the previous episode here.