Category Archives: No. 6

No. 6 11 — Drop Dead

Well, this went even worse than I expected.

Let’s Summarize

Shion and Nezumi enter Safu’s room. Safu has become Elyurias. She activates the bee disease and kills everyone in the town square. She tells Shion that No. 6 has done human experimentation and deserves to die (biological weapons are ok though). Shion agrees and tries to destroy No. 6, then and there.

Nezumi is mad that Shion changed. Shion says he was dumb and naive when he wanted to tear down the wall, and gives a ridiculous scream. Elyurias overhears their conversation, and on a whim decides to go with Shion’s plan instead of the one he put years of planning into.

Nezumi plants a bomb on the supercomputer, and Safu stays behind. It’s not clear why. The bomb blows up, and Mother is destroyed. If the Mother is destroyed, all the other computers blow up too. Great security guys. So Shion and Nezumi run through the facility as shit blows up.

Now Shion’s mad that they left Safu behind. He tells Nezumi, “You used me! Your objective was the correctional facility’s destruction!” Nezumi says, “No shit, Sherlock.”

Then Nezumi gets shot, and Shion brings him to the infirmary to perform field surgery. (Shion, what are you unzipping?! That’s not where he got shot!) Then it’s Shion’s turn to get shot in the heart. They fall down a chute and meet up with Dogkeeper and the other guy.

While this is happening, Elyurias uses his rainbow power to make the bees turn into tornadoes and destroy the wall. I’m not making this up.

Back to Shion. He’s dead. Everyone cries. Dogkeeper says that she doesn’t want to die too, and runs off with the other guy in tow. Nezumi is alone with Shion’s corpse. Then Safu comes. She puts Shion’s head in her lap, transforms into the rainbow bee queen and explodes. Nezumi’s wounds are healed and Shion is resurrected.

Shion and Nezumi walk out, kiss, and part. The baby that Dogkeeper ditched finds its way back to Shion, and the cycle of life continues… or something. The people from inside No. 6 and the people from outside No. 6 head towards the broken wall, shuffling along like zombies. Now that the wall is gone everyone will be bestest best friends and live happily ever after.

That’s It

Not much more to say, I think what happened pretty much speaks for itself. A few stray observations.

  • Note how we have the pile of machine parts instead of the pile of corpses now. Oooh, how symbolic!
  • Karan continues to piss me off. I feel like the creators want me to like her, while all she’s done is hide and let other people solve her problems for her.
  • On the same thread, Yoming is dead. Bastard got what he deserved, wanting to make trouble. At least that’s what it seems like I’m supposed to think…
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No. 6 10 — Don’t Change, Shion!

“Ok, I’ll get on it after I kill these small fry.”

They aren’t People!

I really liked the opening scene. Dogkeeper, standing amidst the rubble of the destroyed town, scoffs at Shion’s idea that the people from No. 6 are human too.

Then one of her dogs comes up to her, who found something. The dog found a piece of gold. Dogkeeper tells it to go look for more.

So here Dogkeeper is in a ruined town, surrounded by the dead and the dying, searching for gold in the rubble. Who isn’t human again?

No. 6 is the BIG BAD

After last episode, the creators still hadn’t established the fact that No. 6 was EVIL. So they started the episode by having Shion and Nezumi climb a pile of corpses. How subtle.

When the villains level towns, kill babies, execute old ladies, and pile up mountains of corpses in the basement for no apparent reason, it’s kind of hard to take them seriously.

Bipolar Disorder

What is going on with Shion in this episode? He’s been a pansy for the entire show. This episode, he starts out cowering in the back of the truck, and gets grossed out by corpses.

Then he hears Safu’s voice. Courage reignites in his heart, and a smile lights up his face! He knows the positions of the security cameras and how to avoid them in a building he’s never entered. He even knows the secret passages! He fools doctors with his smooth talk, and outfights soldiers with his cloak. He shoots a soldier from across the room, and then comes in close for the kill, finishing him off from point blank range while the man cries and begs for mercy.

Finally his eyes glaze over, and Shion joins Nezumi in crying. What has he done?!

I appreciate the idea that people can change, but this is just silly. To go from a wuss to a special agent with skills exceeding Nezumi’s in the span of five minutes, and then back again? When the most “reasonable” explanation I can think of is that Elyurias is influencing his mental state, something’s off.

Random Thoughts

  • The baby decides that Dogkeeper is her mother, and then starts suckling from a dog teat? What strong familial bonds.
  • What has this whole pseudo-mystical angle with Elyurias added to the show? I will go ahead and propose nothing at all, except to give me more fodder to laugh at.
  • I thought it was impossible to get inside the correctional facility? And then they go ahead and do it… because spoiled rich people become paralyzed by stinkiness.
  • The fight scenes had a quite noticeable drop in animation quality. I suppose it is the first time anybody’s moved since the second episode.
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No. 6 09 — Let’s Kill Grandma and Some Babies

This is more or less exactly how not to make me hate the bad guys.

Cheap Shots at No. 6

So the show No. 6 forgot about the city No. 6 since the first episode, and the creators seemed to just realize this. I can imagine how the conversation at the studio went.

“Hey, why is No. 6 evil again?”
“They killed the Indians.”
“Yeah, but everyone does that. That’s not too bad.”
“They tried to murder Shion!”
“Well, he was infected with a highly contagious disease. It’s disease control.”
“Hmm, you’re right… I know, let’s make them kill some babies!”
“Great idea! Let’s level a town and kill some old people too!”

This whole episode just screamed of laziness in developing the villains. This is made all the worse because there isn’t even a single face associated with the bad guys. As Mitt Romney would say, governments are people too.

Let’s examine the sins of No. 6 from this episode.

  1. They trick a cute little girl with their propaganda by giving her a balloon.
  2. They level an entire city and indiscriminately kill people with laser tanks.
  3. They kill the manager, who did all of… nothing… in the entire show.
  4. They try to kill a little baby.
  5. The Twilight Home turns out to be an execution chamber. (man, this was obvious)
  6. They dump people down garbage chutes.

No. 6 had the potential to comment on the dangers of totalitarian governments. But this isn’t the problem from the show’s perspective. Totalitarian governments are fine. Surveillance states are great. Second-class citizenship is A-OK. Shion and Nezumi need to overthrow the government because it kills babies, tricks little girls and has evil scientists modifying Safu. They’re simply appealing to the basest emotions pulling strings to elicit pity now. 1984 this is not. Instead of hating the government I’m laughing at how ridiculous it is and at the fact that not a single person in the show opposes it for rational reasons in the first place. Which brings us to…

The Opposition is More Evil

Nezumi also doesn’t particularly care about how No. 6 treats its citizens or the people on the outside. He wants to destroy No. 6 for revenge, since they killed the Indians. He doesn’t want to liberate it from an evil government, he wants to burn it to the ground and loot the place. Shion wants to stop people from dying from the bee disease, but seems perfectly content living in poverty and with people going to the correctional facility as long as he doesn’t know them. Everyone else outside No. 6 just assumes they’re powerless.

The situation inside No. 6 is even more dire. The reporter guy who’s hitting on Karan wants to overthrow No.6, but he’s evil, because… well… he has an evil laugh. He’s exactly like the creators of No. 6! It’s much better to sit around and do nothing than to start a revolution, because, well, we might get our hands dirty! Karan is the most morally bankrupt character in the entire show, and yet the creators seem to be taking her side. Why…?

None of the characters have any vision beyond burning No. 6 to the ground and looting it. The one character who may have such a vision is himself villainized for wishing to fight against No. 6. The message I’m getting from this show is that the best thing to do is submit to tyranny like Shion and his mother do.

Final Thoughts

  • I liked the scene where Nezumi let Dogkeeper be licked, I wasn’t expecting her to be so upset. I always love a good dissin’, and Dogkeeper delivered here. Oh, and it seems confirmed that Dogkeeper is actually a guy.
  • Why did the laser tanks stop their massacre of civilians when Nezumi raised his hands up? If only the rest of the town had thought of that…
  • Where did the reporter’s comrades come from?
  • Long insert song! Whoo hoo! Not.
  • The correctional institute is in the middle of nowhere, how exactly is making it fall supposed to destroy No. 6…?

I seem to be in the minority here (well, among the non-homophobes at least), but I really don’t get it: why do so many people seem to like this show so much? Everything I read talks about how there’s some great relationship between Shion and Nezumi and brilliant dialogue, but I don’t see it at all. Shion and Nezumi annoy me even more together than they do alone, and the lines in the script seem like they’re taken out of a bad play. Someone told me that the bad play vibes are part of the charm, but I just can’t see the appeal.

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No. 6 08 — The Noble Savage Visits the Oracle

We have a visit to the Oracle, rescuing the forest folk… Is this a bad RPG adaptation now? And we still haven’t gotten inside No. 6 yet?

Engaging Storytelling

In this episode we follow Shion and Nezumi’s journey to the center of the earth. They are brought as prisoners to the great hall of Argatha, where they offer a prayer to the Oracle, surrounded by his ascetic sackcloth-clad followers watching from the balconies. The Oracle was one of the chief architects of No. 6, but was exiled after he discovered what the leadership was up to. He gives Shion a USB key with the results of his research on No. 6 and the parasite bees, of which he was the first victim.

So, let’s review what we learned this episode.

  • No. 6 and the other cities were constructed very recently after all but six patches of land were destroyed in war. I thought it had been much longer.
  • The killer bees are not exactly a new phenomenon.
  • No. 6 eliminates all who come in contact with the bees. So the reason they tried to kill Shion was probably not because he was a dissenter.
  • No. 6 has an evil evil plan. It would take too much time to explain. But it’s evil!
  • Shion’s mother was involved in the construction of No. 6.
  • Nezumi is the last of the Mohicans, who were destroyed by No. 6. This explains why he is so noble (and savage) and why he is one with nature (the king of the rats).
  • The leader of the forest folk, Elyurias (I get the feeling it’s a tree or something), is calling out with its song to Nezumi and Safu.

These are probably the most interesting developments the story has had since episode two. So we’re starting to get somewhere. But I still took issue with the way everything was presented. The oracle asks Shion if he wants to know the truth. And then he just blathers everything to Shion. “Show, not tell” is the saying. And No. 6 just literally delivered an entire episode’s worth of exposition from the mouth of an oracle. An oracle who we didn’t even know existed until this episode. What a great way to tell a story, No. 6. You always manage to keep things exciting.

Overacting

The dialogue continues to feel fake to me. The characters are all highly articulate, complete with hand gestures and dramatic pauses. It’s like they’re acting out a play.

As one example, take Nezumi’s insert song. He comes out singing with a beautiful voice, with perfect posture, arms taut at his side. The cavemen scream in pain in the background (why are they afraid of the song…?). A lighting crew and an orchestra join in to accompany him. Then, for no apparent reason, Nezumi dramatically collapses, as Shion catches him. Ok… why?

For a second example, take the scene where the Oracle says “Elyurias… that is her name.” Nezumi’s gasps and his eyes wobble in fear. Right. Such a scaaary name. Sounds like the name of an angel or something.

And then there’s this scene, where the Oracle tells Nezumi what will happen if he kills the people of No. 6:

How could he possibly not have realized this…? The characters reactions’ are so over the top that I have trouble taking them seriously.

 Speculation

What does the future hold for No. 6? Not much, since there are only three episodes left. And for this show to come to a solid conclusion, they are going to need to pack more into those three episodes than they’ve put into the past six. Good luck with that.

No. 6 07 — A Goodnight Kiss

No. 6 is on the verge of picking up as, well, the characters head back to No. 6. Six episodes about nothing but Shion and Nezumi’s love nest in an eleven episode noitaminA series? Enough is enough. This series is doing worse than Fractale with respect to using its time wisely.

I mentioned last week that Dogkeeper was one of the more tolerable characters in this series, but the creators are on the verge of forcing me to revise even this modest piece of praise after this week’s episode. First of all, that opening segment. Shion says “Thank you for the compliment!” while smiling and bathing a dog. Dogkeeper blushes, then scoffs, and shouts “That wasn’t a compliment! Don’t get full of yourself!” while turning away and crossing her arms angrily. Pick any harem show, this scene could have been copy-pasted right out of it.

The other thing which bothered me is the scene where Nezumi blackmailed Dogkeeper to help him. Nezumi used his superior analytic powers to make a stunning psychological revelation that shook Dogkeeper’s very soul— that she fears death. He tells her that if she’s dying slowly, miserably and painfully he won’t help her or sing for her if she doesn’t do what he asks. I guess this is supposed to be a comment on how even basic human decency is something that must be purchased in the ghetto outside No. 6. But really, if you have to bargain over this sort of thing, why would you trust anyone enough to keep their promises in the first place? The fact that Nezumi even proposed this is ridiculous, considering he could have just mentioned Shion’s name and Dogkeeper probably would have helped. But what really bothered me is that Dogkeeper was so affected by this threat. She should have just kicked Nezumi out and sicced her dogs on him.

The root problem that bothers me in both of these scenes is the same. Dogkeeper was initially presented as a loner who learned to be tough to survive, and whose family was a pack of dogs. She tried to kill Nezumi after he gave a slight insult to her mother. And now she’s getting all teary eyed from someone saying thank you, and cowed by the threat of someone she tried to kill the other day not sitting by her death bed? I get that they’re trying to show she is kind and does rely on other people, but with such a dramatic difference in actions, I have to ask, is this the same person?

On to my next complaint… which is, once again, how over dramatic everything is. I’ll point out two major instances of this. The first is from when Shion went clothes shopping and found Safu’s coat and started screaming at the shopkeeper. This guy has anger management problems (not to mention this is a rather far-fetched coincidence). The second instance is the goodnight kiss scene, where Shion says “I’m glad to have known you” and then kisses Nezumi “goodnight”. Nezumi’s accusal of bad acting doesn’t even begin to describe this.

With all that said, I felt that the scene at the end, along with the brief interludes into No. 6 with Shion’s mother, were on the right track. There are some hints of progress in the overarching story. In the scene where Shion tried to make his escape, watching Shion’s counterpunch to Nezumi hit was quite satisfying. Nezumi’s flashback was also nice in explaining why he’s taking care of Shion, since it provided a rare glimpse under his skin and past the front he is acting out.

But seriously, I wish they had condensed the last six episodes into two or three, and focused on the bee plague, social injustice and No. 6′s dystopia instead of Shion and Nezumi’s love nest.