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