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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Initial Thoughts: No. 6

The story is set in No. 6, a future model city in 2013. Raised as a top-ranking elite since the age of 2, a boy named Shion lives in an exclusive area in No. 6. On the night of his 12th birthday, he rescues a boy who calls himself Nezumi (Rat). Nezumi ran away from the city's Special Security Area. From that moment on, Shion's life is changed forever...

This was one of my personal anticipated titles for the season – a Studio BONES science-fiction anime for the noitaminA block is right up my viewing alley. The story itself didn’t matter to me, which is probably for the better, since the summary itself isn’t terrible impressive. But you know what is? No. 6 – the show itself. The first episode is amazing because it is the anti-Fractale when it comes to storytelling: it is in a future setting where humanity has taken drastic measures to create an improved society and the protagonist is a young boy whose life is changed with the literal collision of someone society is not particularly keen on – except that in Fractale, all of this was hampered by the useless chatter of information dumps via dialogue and by the end of the first episode, most of the wonder of how the Fractale system worked on a daily basis was gone. 

Read the rest of the review after the jump!

Not so with No. 6; it limits itself to a typical day in the life of Shion, which means school and a friend’s house and home, where he properly meets Nezumi for the first time. We don’t get a big info dump about the world of No. 6 or why it is like it is or anything beyond the standard First Episode Introduction to the basics of Shion’s world. And that is how it should be. Although, given there will only be eleven episodes, perhaps it shouldn’t go too slow with the information.

And then, of course, we have the artwork. The artwork is gorgeous. For example, the opening sequence is a marvel to watch – and both the opening and ending themes are awesome, as well. The architecture of No. 6 is intricately detailed and well mapped out; the level of precision for the cities reminds me of the mammoth-sized buildings stacked upon buildings that you see in Blue Exorcist. The color palette for most of the scenes is so blue, but a pleasant shadowy sort of blue. Plus, this episode makes a typhoon look like liquid art (and I know I wasn’t the only one terribly amused by Shion’s shouting into the wind, right?). The art overall was clean and clear and vibrant and makes me want to watch more. Which I will!

Then there is, as a last point of discussion, the relationship between Shion and Nezumi, the one that has fans so riled up because god forbid we have two young boys be friends and hold hands without making such a big deal about it. If you don’t like it? Don’t watch it! That settles it, don’t you think? I think it’s sweet; Shion is so open and easy to help people he’s just met and Nezumi is amused by this boy but can’t let himself come out fully because he’s rather closed up about things – he’ll let Shion stitch up his wound but he won’t answer all of his questions. And if it turns into shonen-ai, well, that’s just a bonus for a fujoshi like me. Maybe it’s time that a sci-fi series had a LGBT relationship at the forefront, not on the periphery where everyone uncomfortable with it can safely ignore it. Four for you, No. 6, you go No. 6! I will definitely be watching this series to the very end, no question about it. Unlike Fractale – but that is a tale for another day.