C³ – Review

You know, I had a pretty fine time with C³. This may at least in part come down to the fact that I watched it directly after Psycho-Pass 2, which was a legitimately repellent experience. In comparison to that, C³ was a breath of fresh air – sure, the writing might have been crap and the fanservice gags tired as hell, but this show actually liked its characters, and was able to have fun sometimes. C³ adolescent grimdark nonsense was limited to stuff like Fear’s ridiculous set of torture-themed attacks, instead of, you know, stabbing puppies to death and exploding people for no reason. Also, Shin Oonuma kinda rolled his weird-ass visual brand all over this one, which at least gave me plenty of neat stuff to look at. As far as bad shows go, C³ is a perfectly harmless one.

You can check out my full review over at ANN, or my episode notes below!


Episode 1

“Like a graveyard or the bottom of a coffin…”

“I, a lump of iron, continue to whisper…”

Huh, the colors are pretty good

Yachi Haruaki is the lead

Okay, maybe not “good” so much as “all purple”

But I like the texture of the colors – they’re not solid, there’s a nice complexity to the surfaces

Oh dang, a quick match cut transition across several circles. Actual visual personality!

Aaand he runs into her naked already

Decent piano track here

“A naked rice cracker thief?!”

Ah, violence. The classic introduction

Another nice song, this one on a flute

Pretty good faces, too

“How did you go from being that box to this?”

I like how well he’s taking this in stride. We’re moving quickly

Aaand then we get to her being tsun-tsun, great

Ooh, an interesting textured closeup

Yeah, the direction in general is far more interesting than in most shows of this type

“I am a receptacle for people’s negative emotions. I’m cursed and endowed with a will as well.”

“Because of some quirk, I’m resistant to all curses.” Man, they are burning through this story, lol

“You have to do things for the sake of other people to break your curse”

“I guess your talent is making all the nourishment go to your boobs.” Haha, such funny jokes

God, this boob banter is so unfunny

Good cuts to their expressions, though. The visual direction continues to be way more interesting than you usually get in shows like this

Wow, these panty shots. Lol

Konoha’s the other girl

Haha, they’re being bitter rivals about the boy already

God, this writing is soooo bad

Time for a somber moment!

The light and shadow work conveys the mood here nicely

And then a great shot of her stranded in shadowed bars. This show does not deserve this direction

The classic haughty loli character

“I can’t afford to let people take care of me here!”

The show is just BURNING through its premise

She decides to “clean,” and so destroys his house

The comedy certainly is fast-paced. If I were into this style of energetic slapstick, I’d probably find it funny

“Insolent wind!”

Fear is her name

Another nice match cut

And another nice piano track

“Can I really break the curse?”

Episode 2

A menacing blond lady appears from overseas!

“Fear Kubrick”

Getting mad about him not reacting to her uniform

And then we get the classic “she falls on top of him and someone walks in, leading to a misunderstanding” scene

The school principal is a weirdo

The fanservice hits that consistent note of “you’re just barely seeing something you’re not supposed to be seeing”

“What’s her relationship to you, Haruaki-kun?” “YOU LIVE TOGETHER?!?” More very, very tired misunderstanding humor

A food competition! I guess these shows have learned to compress their cliches

Cigarette lady continues to menace

She has a giant claw

The Augzirari, some group that’s watching over her

“This bitch with the Indulgence Disc”

A girl who showers in a bondage outfit. Of course

“I’ll put a curse on you,” maybe twenty times an episode

Yeah, the backgrounds have the consistency of crayon drawings. It’s very nice

“Do you want to know about me?”

The Battlefront Collection Knights

Kinda goofy synth song here

The Worse, cursed instruments – the Knights try to destroy them

The writing does not improve for the fight scenes

“Perhaps those children don’t know any real details about you?”

Fear was used to kill thousands of people

She’s an inquisition-era instrument of torture

These backgrounds are very interesting – they have a layer of screen readouts built in at a low transparency, for some reason

Konoha’s another instrument, apparently

The fight itself isn’t that visually compelling action-wise

Oh goddamnit, Konoha literally becomes his sword

Okay, some decent action exchanges here

“As much as I hate the Worse, I love pain!”

Fear goes into rage mode

Episode 3

“The Antimony of Their Temperatures.” That sure is an episode title

Dang, Fear’s weapons are crazy

And the direction here is still pretty great

“Let out an amusing scream as I crush you, bitch!”

“Regarding the means of enjoying screams, I have hundreds of years more experience.” Haha wow

Time for an evil laugh from Fear

“How dare you rape me like that! Bitch… bitch…” Awesome. Great

It definitely is tough to gauge a sense of space in these fights. But that’s not the style of direction this is

And she runs away, because she can’t be absolved nooo

So are we already at the point where we’re supposed to care about their relationship?

“I think that girl just doesn’t understand common sense.” Well, she is an anime character

More interesting filter choices

And more interesting background textures and alternate art styles

Ueno Kirika, the class president

“The person who wipes up the blood, to prepare for fresh blood.”

The most grimdark

These wipe transitions are pretty nice

Can their bond of two episodes save her?!?!

The frame closing on her as she sinks, another nice trick

Bonding again with talk about her small boobs, ha ha ha

“I’m scared of the screams of someone close to me”

“Do I have the right to have my curse broken and my sins absolved?” That’s actually a fine fear for her character

“I said I’m gonna wash your back!” Woop, time for shenanigans

“I’m going to start living here, too!” Waaaacky

Episode 4

Yeah, you can’t escape the SHAFT reference for many of these visual touches. The use of interpretive foreground objects, the division of the frame, the in-your-face symbolism, the color work

A moment of legitimate closeness between the two “bad guys.” Fine stuff

Also kinda naturally integrating the fanservice

“I am Mummymaker”

Childhood friend attacks Fear

This moment of her getting caught up by the drill’s spin is great

“You’re telling me… not to fight?” Every moment is a cliche. Ah well

“I’m too dangerous. After all, I’m a tool meant for murder.” The show just rushes through these beats. What is it in such a hurry to get to?

Licking the blood off his finger wooo

This show is maximum “a child’s idea of seriousness”

“We’re announcing Dance Time”

Aw dang, she killed the mummy girl

Episode 5

Saying “bitch” a lot is not the most compelling personality

“The Dance of Death is going to continue ‘til the grave.” Alright, there it is. The most perfectly C3 line

These shots are ridiculous/amazing

Of course, bitch lady’s family was destroyed by Killing Goods

This show is actually overdirected, which is amazing

Good sequence of Fear losing it

Oh great, class president is the one who wears the spiky bondage outfit

Ah, she can never take it off, or she dies. Of course

So the whole semi-harem’s arrived

The story is entirely predictable, so the staff just gets to have fun with the visuals, but it doesn’t really elevate the base material, and much of it lacks purpose beyond being visually interesting

Episode 6

Ha ha, the dialogue makes it seem like they’re having sex, but they’re not

Wow, they’re really dragging out this gag, huh

“I… may have… fiddled with her.” Okay, that’s actually kinda funny

So the discs actually make her lose her cursed powers, which is pretty interesting

They find a new cursed item, which is almost certainly a new girl

“The only way the break the curse is to help other people, right?” Oh right, I almost forgot that was the plot

This sure is an arbitrary quest interlude

Time for some evil dolls

“It seems that the foundation of your tyranny is different”

She’s clumsy, and so boobs

Just some girls massaging each other’s boobs to make them get bigger

Most of the “light character moments” are default garbage that don’t make the characters any more human

The doll doesn’t want her curse broken

Episode 7

Another little visual digression, this play with cutout dolls on strings. So much visual inventiveness for such a bland show

“I wouldn’t have minded if it were you, Haruaki-kun.” “What are you talking about?” Ha ha ha

Time for fanservice

These scenes between Fear and Haruaki aren’t romantic – he’s like a dad to her. It’s patronizing Clannad-romance

Wow, Sovereignty’s story sure is ridiculous

“Can two dolls fall in love with each other?”

These characters are certainly more compelling than bitch lady, at least

Episode 8

And now there’s an actual theater stage. So much visual creativity

Sovereignty absorbs love from its owner and then kills them

“Our curse and our love are one and the same!”

Fine conclusion to the Sovereignty arc

Uh, time for an athletic festival, I guess

This episode has its own set of visual style diversions, like these detailed, flowery drawings of the girls

It’s unusual and nice for a show like this to have a happy, healthy couple unrelated to the main character

Episode 9

Kuroe, a new lodger and old friend of the leads

Dang, this new OP is pretty stylish

Alice, a new bad guy

Kuroe’s deadpan lines are pretty funny

Ono, the class rep’s organization is bad

Time for more misunderstanding jokes, and maid outfits

Episode 10

Compelling, shadow-heavy shots mixed with fanservice

A fine fight scene here

The president has a terrible secret

Dang, this bondage scene is intense! And the direction really works to elevate the idea here. Lots of strong visual ideas

Episode 11

Fear’s insecurities and distrust of Kuroe come from a legitimately understandable place. That’s fine writing!

“Think about the meaning of the suffering. That is the struggle to arrive at the truth.”

Each episode has its own visual vocabulary/tricks. This one’s got this ticking clock

The Families actually approve of the Worst, and embrace their curses

Great scene with the class president’s partner

She crashes the car. Damn! Great moment

Episode 12

Wow, this fight is sweet. The show’s animation really is pretty fine

Kuroe being frozen is hilarious

This whole sequence is pretty funny

The show’s definitely better for never leaning too seriously into romance drama. Fear’s conflict is about her identity, not romance