C – Control: a color analysis and chromatology of the series and the ED

I was very intrigued with the ED, even from the very first episode. It only escalated my curiosity when I discovered that the QR codes differ from episode to episode and actually mean something. When someone posted the first QR code for the fifth episode, I couldn’t help but notice three colors being mentioned: cyan, magenta, and yellow. This was tangentially mentioned in a physics lecture about light. It had been quite some time, but these colors were the colors that established the modern scientific color theory, if I remember correctly.

I immediately recalled that the ED contained these colors primarily. After re-watching the ED, the color combination was indeed intended; I thought that it reflected the antagonism among the three different forces. While I mentioned two in the previous posts, it cannot be denied that Jennifer Satou represents a third party: she is the party who desires revolution. She is the nihilist, especially in regard to the Financial District: she wants the Financial District totally destroyed to obviate the disruption and the future destruction of the world economy, and from the ruins start anew. The colors can be taken as the three primary ideologies and ethics in the show, or the colors can be interpreted as how the author interpreted it:

According to a certain translator on /a/ who kindly provided me the service of translating the first QR code from the fifth episode,

Good evening. Are you feeling well? As you can see right now, the ending theme of TV series [C] mostly uses three colors, and does that on purpose. These three colors are cyan, magenta and yellow, and these colors were chosen to represent Kimimaro, Mashu and the Financial District, respectively. They were deduced by the color of worn clothes and overall visual impression. Basically, cyan = Kimimaro, magenta = Mashu, and yellow = the Financial District. This is why the cube that is the central point of the ending visuals stays cyan for the whole time and without changing its color to magenta, for example.

Moreover, cyan, magenta and yellow become black if you mix them together. This is, in a word, the future. The future, a mental phenomenon that cannot be observed, stays covered in darkness to us who can only live in the present (This is why the words about “bright future” have such a great impact. Because the future is usually dark, and one is relieved when there is hope about it). However, as the future is always the result of your own actions, like when cyan=Kimimaro, cyan=Mashu and yellow=District are mixed together, everyone should not hesitate and mix other colors together. As this theme will get developed in more detail soon, I thought I should take the risk and tell you about it now.

Doesn’t the ED take on a whole new meaning from this?

Kimimaro disintegrates and becomes a comet. The colors of the comet are cyan and magenta, with magenta at the forefront, just like Msyu acting as Kimimaro’s shield during deals.

Their combination breaks through the yellow rays,

but dodges the blue rays, and again breaks the magenta rays.

The blue squares aren’t broken by the comet; they are already broken when the comet moves past them. While it suggests the destruction of the Financial District, the ending also creates a disturbing image for us: the magenta cap is no longer there, and all we see is a blue comet striking at the magenta heart found at the center of the Financial District. I sincerely hope the series does not end in such a tragedy, but it is only rational that he will destroy the foundations of his future if he destroys the Financial District itself.

Let’s look at it from the alternative standpoint, however, one that hermit /a/non and I initially proposed. What if the colors indeed represented the major players in the Financial District? Hermit /a/non insinuated who was who with a simple scene in the sixth episode: the cheeseburgers of Jennifer (pun not intended) showed it. While she was playing eeny-meeny-miny with the cheeseburgers, she was really only willing to part with either the color cyan, or the color yellow. Yellow seems to represent Mikuni in this regard because he lords over the Financial District. Guess what she does? She devours the yellow cheeseburger: it signifies that she also seeks the destruction of the Financial District. The magenta may have represented her stance, as it was really the only burger she did not think of sharing to Kimimaro. I think it’s also apt, as magenta is considered a rather feminine color compared to cyan. Cyan may have represented Sennoza’s stance, and it’s quite telling that even in their chats she is a lot more sympathetic to Sennoza’s stance than Mikuni’s solely because she kept quiet about it, while she disagreed vehemently with what Mikuni was executing. Going back to the suggestion of the QR code, however, it’s also telling how she leaves the cyan and magenta hamburgers alone.

Observe Kimimaro’s gear, too. He often wears a coat which is colored cyan. The tips are tinged with magenta. His bag is yellow but inside the yellow are magenta squares. It reminded me of how Msyu can only really exist within the Financial District. They are important parts of his person, however it is very noticeable that the bag is only an extension of him whereas he truly wears the coat.

The colors of the show tie in with the CMYK color model, by the way.

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5 Responses to “C – Control: a color analysis and chromatology of the series and the ED”

  1. Mira Says:

    I’ve been reading your posts on [C] for a while and I’m constantly amazed. I rewatched the ED and the magenta definitely is for Mysu. As you said, I’d hate to see this end in such a tragedy. But if Kimimaro does end up destroying the Financial District…chances are he’d end up destroying Mysu and all the other assets as well.

  2. Michael Says:

    Mira:

    Thank you very much. And that’s what I’m scared of. We’re only five episodes from the ending, and the series is building up to its climax.

  3. AngeWayne Says:

    C-color, i can’t imagine how a little things in coloring change the whole impact of the anime. The tips on changing that color was very clear. like the above comment, ending with a tragedy is not good. Ed and the Magenda is one of the best series ever.

  4. Sapphire Pyro Says:

    When I read this post, I was speechless.

    I absolutely did not expect for the colors to mean ANYTHING at all. Oh this series keep on amazing me, I thank you for taking notice of these things.

    I really don’t like the possible ending that the comet thing is implying. Sacrificing Mashu and the other Assets…. waaaah ;_;

  5. ayame Says:

    Well… I think he treasures Msyu a lot. I don’t think he’ll go for such a plan. Although it’s pretty certain from the OP how a deal between Mikuni and Kimimaro will occur… we’ll see.

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