Genre: Action, Philosophy
Score: Very Good
Kimimaro is a poor economics student, working two jobs to get through college and passing up social events. He’s approached one night by a strange man who offers him the chance to participate in a world of great financial opportunity – with his future as collateral.
This story does my head in. In a good way. Bits of it appear to have used financial terms at random: Entrepreneurs (participants) must travel to an alternative world called the Financial District, fight once a week in Deals (duels), assisted by their Asset (a magical embodiment of their future), using attacks called Flations, and losing utterly is called Bankruptcy. At first glance, it makes no sense at all.
But as you get deeper, it’s actually a scarily good metaphor for the way finance works. Winning or losing in a duel is reflected in a change in your fortunes in the real world, and going bankrupt means your future is taken away. What this means is different for different people: for some it means suicide, for others their loved ones suffer or even cease to have ever existed. And this is happening on a scale beyond individuals: the whole country’s economy is affected by the Midas Money that’s artificially injected into the system, and the amount of people’s futures that is traded away.
It does my head in, but in almost the same way that the real financial system does.