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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13 thoughts on “No. 6 09 — Let’s Kill Grandma and Some Babies

  1. Maybe No.6 just isn’t is for everyone. I have the same feelings about Mawaru Penguindrum and yet, even if I do try to say something bad about that show people will jump down my throat because it’s supposed to be a masterpiece.

    I like No.6 because it has a lot of stuff tucked in neatly that goes beyond the LET’S DESTROY THE SYSTEM! storyline, the music is great, the animation is great and yes, I like Shion and Nezumi’s relationship. I don’t think it’s as clean cut as it looks from the surface. The fact that it’s hardly sexual is even more interesting. It’s far from being a classic but I think it’s such a well-rounded show. It’s hard to say why but every time I watch it, I always get something new from the show.

    I just don’t like Nezumi singing, it looked like a waste of five minutes.

    1. WHAT?! You don’t like Penguindrum?! It’s a masterpiece! BLASPHEMY! (I kid, I kid.)

      The animation and music (aside from the insert songs) definitely are great, it is Bones after all. I especially liked the scene in this episode where the laser tanks herded all the people up (there’s a screenshot of it in the post). So much detail.

      The destroy No. 6 story line is definitely the weakest part of the show… and it’s also the part I’m most interested in, which is probably part of my problem.

      1. WHAT?! You don’t like Penguindrum?! It’s a masterpiece! BLASPHEMY! (I kid, I kid.)

        I just unable to grasp its greatness it seems!

        I thought that whole scene was so well directed and animated. Sort of gave me goosebumps even!

        The destroy No. 6 story line is definitely the weakest part of the show… and it’s also the part I’m most interested in, which is probably part of my problem.

        I’m more interested in the characters than the plot itself. So maybe that makes No.6 more enjoyable for me. I wonder if Noitamina will get it right next season, neither of the two are slice of life stories so it should be interesting to see more ambitious undertakings, and maybe one of those shows will be a two cour show. *sigh* One can dream…

    1. Excellent, we should explore the full range of possibilities. :)

      I can see why some people wouldn’t like Penguindrum. They spent the last six or so episodes on Ringo and Shouma and completely neglected Kanba and Himari. Which is great if you’re shipping Shouma and Ringo like me, but otherwise…

  2. I’m was dissapointed for this show not moving fast enough. It would had made more progess if they want to, but instead wasted episodes on reiterating how Nezumi hates No.6 so much and not telling a thing about it until the guy in the underground lake told Sion.

    Also, what happened to the guy who almost raped Dog Keeper? Did they kill him, let him go? If they let him go, I don’t think he won’t tell anybody what happened to him. It would had made sense if those tanks are attacking because of that, but it doesn’t seem so.

    Oh. I think the tanks are shooting microwave beams, not lasers. XD

    1. Lasers, microwave beams, whatever. Neither really fit since it was physically pushing things around… I’d think either lasers or microwaves would be more likely to melt things than to forcefully push over houses.

      Your explanation of the guy who tried to rape Nezumi sounds reasonable.

  3. This show blows. I agree with everyone here. The show sort of promised it would be one thing, but instead it’s a romance themed show with a dystopian backdrop. Hated it with two snaps up in a “z” figure like a gay Zorro.

    1. If it were just that they were focusing on the romance I’d be ok with that, but they haven’t really sold me on the romance either…

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