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NO.6 – 03

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「生と死と」 (Sei to Shi to)
“Life and Death”

NO.6 continues to be a solid, entertaining BONES effort despite not really hitting anything out of the park in three well-produced episodes.

I said last week (not without some disagreement) that the dialogue was somewhat awkward with this show. Well, to be honest I still don’t feel it’s a strength – but I’m beginning to settle into the comfort zone the series invites the viewer to share. This plays like a good YA story, and the dialogue tends towards stating the obvious and dramatic flourish over subtlety. But hey, that’s all right, and in some ways I think this could be viewed as a throwback series in terms of style. In fact, the anime feels very much like one that was produced at the time the first novel of this series was written – 1999. And I’ll give credit to BONES for being true to that.

There’s more than a little of the junior detective in this story, and Shion plays the protagonist role pretty well. Of course the hints laid out in regards to his appearance were confirmed here, as Rat finally noticed (just in time) the signs that Shion had been infected. It was time to return the favor for Shion’s little impromptu surgery in the premiere, except this time there was no anesthetic, and Rat cutting a pupal wasp out of Shion’s neck was one of more grisly moments in the series. When Shion awoke three days later his hair was white, and a ribbon scar ran up his torso to his face as a reminder of how close he came to death (and as an object for Rat to fondle tenderly).

While the underlying sci-fi plotline is a good one, it seems clear NO.6 will stand or fall on the relationship between the two boys at the heart of the story. The elements that made some uncomfortable are still here, but I choose to view them as genuine fraternal affection between two fundamentally lonely people. More importantly, the two make a nice contrast in terms of character. Shion is as naive as they come, though that’s already started chipping away as Rat doles out nuggets of the truth (as he sees it). Shion is analytical and forgiving, as witness his desire to try and find a way to use his own antibodies to save the city from what he sees an an impending annihilation at the hands of the parasitic wasps (translations aside, wasp makes more sense than bee from a behavioral standpoint). Rat, by contrast, seems to take genuine glee in the prospect of the residents of No. 6 screaming in terror as their lives are ripped from them. He even counsels Shion to forget his mother, though he secretly gets a message to her after Shion expresses concern over her worrying. He’s a lover of literature with decidedly old-fashioned tastes in human culture. Rat seems, if you’ll forgive the use of an overused term, tsundere towards the human race generally and Shion specifically.

Of course, what Shion – and we – don’t know yet are the reasons why Rat hates No. 6 so much, and it appears we’ll find those out next week. Several nice seeds were sown in this ep, not least of which is the coming conflict between the boys about helping the city. We also met one new character, Inukashi – known as Dogkeeper (Shindou Kei), with the promise of more next week. Dogkeeper runs a “hotel” where she lets the desperate souls of the West District sleep with only the warmth of a rented dog (interesting entrepreneurial notion) to stave off freezing. She’s an information trafficker too, and from the looks of things an uneasy ally/rival of Rat’s.

I suspect this show is not going to work for everybody. It’s decidedly retro and rather self-serious, with only occasional moments of levity (such as Shion throwing water in Rat’s face, mistaking his laughter for a fit). This is one of those series where suspension of disbelief is necessary, not just because it’s a rather grand fiction but because the characters behave as if they’re part of one. It’s working for me, though, and if you can switch off the cynicism enough to embrace it I think you’ll enjoy the ride.

 

Preview

NO.6   03   Preview 01 NO.6   03   Preview 02 NO.6   03   Preview 03
July 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm
64 comments »
  • July 21, 2011 at 4:30 pmTonameki

    Thanks for the review I just watched the episode and I really like style.

  • July 21, 2011 at 4:33 pmShadiic

    I’m enjoying this ride and it’s hilarious seeing all the different inuendos popping up between the two guys.

    Next week seems really interesting since not only we get to learn more about west town, but we go back to lost town aswell to see how Shion’s mother and her bakery is fairing. In the second ep, we saw a net reporter and his neice enter the bakery and they seem to be good customers. Will he be the catalyst in spreading the news and exposing the lies of No. 6? I’m taking No. 6′s position on the whole matter like 1984 where the government is ochestrating everything.

  • July 21, 2011 at 5:09 pmhaga

    i do hope mosty chicks watch this

    • July 22, 2011 at 8:54 amlkaze

      I’m pretty sure they do. Did you notice the shonen-ai aura? Chicks(fujoshi) dig it.

  • July 21, 2011 at 5:22 pminfinite

    So far this a show I dont need to force myself to watch and also look forward to watching it. Im not going to spoil the show and go on wikipedia but I think I know who is infecting everyone.

  • July 21, 2011 at 5:38 pmkgfj

    This and blood c end up being the only shows of this season I’m looking forward to every week. And perhaps dantalian no shoka :D

    • July 22, 2011 at 2:51 pmJester

      What about Penguindrum? That show is pretty awesome.

  • July 21, 2011 at 7:17 pmUnknownVoid

    Since the last episode I have felt this uneasiness with the way they speak and I really think its exactly what Guardian Enzo mentioned both times. That is pretty much the only qualm I have with this series, but its not enough to keep me from enjoying it.

  • July 21, 2011 at 7:26 pmwandering-dreamer

    The dialogue feels a bit stilted to me as well. I was thinking about that as I was watching the episode but I was wondering if it was just because there’s no much more in the novel/manga that is has a chance to flow more freely and I was making an unfair comparison or if it really was a bit awkward, guess it’s the later. Lol’ed at the idea of Nezumi being tsundere to humanity in general (the anti-Izaya?) because it does seem to fit, he’s plenty tsundere to Sion at least.

    • July 22, 2011 at 8:59 amlkaze

      Now we just wait for him to say:

      “I-I-It’s not like I actually s-s-save you or anything! D-Don’t get the wrong idea!”

      Trying to imagine…..

      …failed. Too ridiculous.

      • July 22, 2011 at 5:04 pmwandering-dreamer

        Nezumi does say something similar to Sion in the novels actually, he’s only saving Sion because Sion saved his life all those years ago. So yeah, Nezumi is a total tsundere, just with less stuttering. XD

  • July 21, 2011 at 8:03 pmrochichan

    I really like this series. I REALLY do.
    It’s just so awkward for me to see some small BL undertones.
    But other than that I am so into this. XD

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:00 pmCorn

    I’m all for the BL undertone XD If you don’t like it just don’t focus on it LOL

    This show just keep getting interesting and interesting as each episodes go by. When watching the ending I did notice they seem to focus a lot about seasons from winter to spring so that sort of makes sense now with this episode.

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:07 pmGuardian Enzo

    Just let go and embrace your inner shounen-ai – trust the force. Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    • July 21, 2011 at 9:36 pmdeafvader

      Since I fear shounen ai i should stay as far away from it as possible. If i get to close to my fear i’ll go down the dark path of Yaoi!

      • July 22, 2011 at 1:28 amAlec

        Weaklings!

        Yaoi is the only path to salvation!
        It is the light at the end of the tunnel!
        It is religion itself!

        Nah, just kidding. Even I’m afraid of watching Yaoi. Heck, I even dared myself to watch the first 3-4 episodes of my first ever Yaoi anime (Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, which ended up being dropped because I just couldn’t stomach the scenes. Oh, and the anime was also getting more and more ridiculous, thanks to the new characters that suddenly showed up, messing up the show as a result. I know it’s good, but the contents just distracted me.

        Anyways, about No.6… It’s just simple bromance. There’s no gay scenes there. I’ve seen a few worse overdone bromance, and No.6 isn’t one of it. Though I’ve to admit that the ED video is a bit gay xD

      • July 22, 2011 at 2:12 amHrmmm

        It’s 2 guys playing around at a park and catching a snowball. I don’t know about you but I don’t see 2 guys catching a ball as homosexual =D

        …Unless you think every baseball player is kinda fruity… =O

        The song is quite nice though.

      • July 22, 2011 at 2:18 amShadiic

        I’ve read different Yaoi mangas and I personally did not enjoy Sekaiichi Hatsukoi and other works of that author as she effectively glorified rape and submission through pleasure and love. There are a more tasteful….. ok scratch that, there are a few yaoi mangakas who’s work have romance in them. Use Sekaiichi Hatsukoi as a bench mark for yaoi mangas, if you can’t stomach it, it’s probably cos it’s pratically being a porn mag for fangirls.

        As for embracing your inner shonen-ai, I would only suggest people to look into it if they are into shoujo manga. Shonen-ai is romance heavy and thats about it. Can’t remember if there are any action or shonen genred shonen-ai manga.

      • July 22, 2011 at 2:47 amAlec

        But it’s not just an ordinary ball — It’s a snowball! xD

      • July 22, 2011 at 5:14 amcx

        ewww

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:04 amlkaze

      Don’t worry, I watch plenty of Mayo Chiki before I watch this. Also for more protection also protected myself with loli power of Rin, 5 ranger from Ro-Kyu-Bu and last but not least YUNE.

      Did you sense a disturbance in the force?

      • July 22, 2011 at 11:18 amAlec

        You’re not alone my friend… We basically did the same thing. Though I’d be dropping Mayo Chiki after this because of it’s stupidity and its increasing number os lame episodes

      • July 22, 2011 at 4:33 pmlkaze

        @Alec

        True enough, Mayo Chiki is a bit plain since all this is done and over with for GOD KNOW HOW MANY TIMES. But sometime I just need an anime that don’t use brain at all so that I can just relax for the evening. Mayo Chiki : no plot to digest, no tragedy to be despair and no real romance or NTR to infatuate about.

        Just a stupid lame anime to enjoy and forget. Just like last season …uhm some harem guy with robot?

      • July 22, 2011 at 6:37 pmAlec

        I agree with you there. Sometimes you just need to watch animes where you don’t have to think, take, for example, The World God Only Knows & Sket Dance xD. But Mayo Chiki is just plain annoying.

    • July 22, 2011 at 12:21 pmhaitechan

      I really think is not that bad. I guess it’s the same from the people that said Madoka was a yurifest and for me, Madoka and Homura were just really close friends. The same pattern could be applied here. Personally I can’t help but see BL everywhere thanks to watching/reading shonen-ai from more than 10 years (not so much anymore, though!). But analyzing it without BL-googles IMO it’s just plain fascination for someone who is entirely different, at least for Shion. For Nezumi, that could be said but there is also the repaying of the favor.

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:20 pmhaitechan

    Nah, this has some BL moments but it’s not such a big issue as others think. Yeah, I find this has more BL hints that Sekaiichi Hatsukoi but it’s probably me seeing BL everywhere. And you are right about Nezumi, he’s such a tsundere but that’s why makes him so awesome.

    I read some of the novel translation and seems they cuted a few things, hope they don’t go for a Bones ending and can give this series a proper ending. I really hope so because this, Penguin Drum and Nyanpire (yes, Nyanpire) are the series I look forward the most.

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:06 amlkaze

      nyanpire?? Don’t you mean Rosario Vampire? or maybe Vampire Knight?

      • July 22, 2011 at 12:03 pmhaitechan

        Nope, Nyanpire. A kitty who happens to be a vampire. It’s only 2-3 minutes long but it’s really cute. And skip the horrible ending song.

      • July 22, 2011 at 4:34 pmlkaze

        @haitechan

        Trying to persuade you otherwise but fail horribly. :)

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:27 pmsin1505

    I find the brushed off too easily that dog keeper girl, i guess she wont be a Major supporting character

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:28 pmsin1505

    I find they brushed off too easily that dog keeper girl, i guess she wont be a Major supporting character

    • July 21, 2011 at 9:37 pmbabawaba

      Was that even a girl? You cant never really tell in this anime tbh

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:32 pmEveryday Otaku

    The term tsundere can never be overused. Just sayin’.

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:11 amlkaze

      Let see: Louise, Shana, Nagi, Aria, Taiga. Am I bored of it? Not for a moment. Now seemly lack of tsundere this season.

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:36 pmbabawaba

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:37 pmdeafvader

    Think the bee only works on people who are rebellious, it activates when you become disloyal

  • July 21, 2011 at 9:54 pmGuardian Enzo

    I hope that’s not a spoiler, because it’s a very feasible theory…

    • July 21, 2011 at 10:04 pmShadiic

      Well, when I was watching the ep and Nezumi inquring about when Shion thinks he got infected, I was thinking it was when he fainted and the bee that came out of the other guy laid an egg into him immediately.

    • July 22, 2011 at 6:12 pmCharles (^-^)

      i dont think it is a spoiler cause i got the same feeling from this episode about that wasp

  • July 21, 2011 at 10:02 pmreminbee

    The music is pretty retro, too, haha.

  • July 22, 2011 at 4:08 amstarblacks

    I don’t really care about gender, if two people should be together, than damn it they should be together. And Rat and Sion fit into the stereotype couple of shoujo so perfectly T_T

    On the plot note-> can’t wait til spring!

    • July 22, 2011 at 9:16 amlkaze

      Then what is your opinion? Shion X Rat or Rat X Shion ?

      I personally like Safu X Shion AND Rat X Shion. Phew,hot!!

      • July 22, 2011 at 9:17 amlkaze

        I mean at the same time.

        :)

  • July 22, 2011 at 4:45 ammaya

    Interesting!!! the anime is skipping bits here and there from novel/manga…plus i think they are going on fast pace .. the promo for next ep was already mentioning the real name of Nezumi!..

    11 eps I wonder what they will cover

  • July 22, 2011 at 6:16 amKurofaise

    Still enjoying it alot, as you say nothing stands out or is drastically ‘new’ but it’s pretty damn enjoyable and as long as you don’t mind hints of shounen-ai (which I like myself, but that’s just my orientation) then this show is really enjoyable.

    :)

  • July 22, 2011 at 7:53 amMi-Mi-Mikuru

    I really like your reviews!
    thanks for the screenshots with the three little nezumi-tachi ^O^

  • July 22, 2011 at 8:53 amlkaze

    Phew, finally gotten around to watch this show. Even though this show been out for days, for some reason I’m watching mayo, mawaru, usagi drop first before this. Haha maybe this is influence by the order of hotness of babe? Obviously a shonen-ai show take the last turn to be watched.

    Anyway solid episode, still in the prologue of things to come. Hopefully action will come by soon and also hopefully Shion will be able to be less naive in thinking of saving the no. 6. Of course when I say no 6. I was referring to the citizen living inside and not the organization.

    Last but not least hopefully Safu grow more sexier for the next time they meet or at least other female. (Hahahahaha, even I don’t put my money on it)

  • July 22, 2011 at 2:44 pmLeticia

    I’ve laughed a lot with all the comments/criticism about this show being a shounen-ai one XD Honestly I don’t think they are going to end up as a pair, it’s simply friendship between men, but if they do, I honestly wouldn’t care hahaha~ And yes, I’m enjoying this series a lot.

    • July 22, 2011 at 3:12 pmAndré

      That’s exactly what I was about to ask. If we’re going to see some real BL or if it will be just this awkward friendship… If it’s just this friendship, it can’t even be considered BL.

      • July 22, 2011 at 4:06 pmGuardian Enzo

        Neither can shounen-ai, technically.

      • July 23, 2011 at 4:59 ammomogoldfish

        I thought the Japanese ideas of BL encompasses all degree of boys love, whether explicit(Yaoi) or non-explicit (shonen ai) and is distinguished from Bara (gay erotica made for gay men).

        Anyway, I haven’t read the novels but have seen the white-hair chapter of the manga and I kept getting the feeling that this episode was pretty rushed. But at least they tried to convey most of the emotions involved with the (over)dramatic visuals (with enough DoesItRemindYouOfAnything? scene to get a seperate TVtropes page as bonus).

        1st sign govt is evil: Snubbing Shakespeare

  • July 22, 2011 at 6:10 pmCharles (^-^)

    the ending song and art is so pretty XD love this show!

  • July 22, 2011 at 9:58 pmPikachu

    YA story? I don’t see it as that with the story going to a darker tone for the plot. I mean I see them as caring for each other that it’s just brotherly love between friends. If that is embarrassing to watch (even in reality) then obviously you are one of those people who aren’t loved enough. No offense but making two guys the protagonists of an anime series is not BL.

  • July 22, 2011 at 11:42 pmKumaKaori

    This show is so relaxed. It has a grand story to tell, so sit back, and enjoy the ride. … This opinion may also have to do with the fact that I just started vacation, so Relaxed is my middle name >>;;;.

    I’m almost disappointed Inukashi/Dogkeeper isn’t voiced by Yamaguchi Mayumi (Detective Conan, Mia of .hack//, Envy of FMA Brotherhood) Shindou Kei’s voice and the role of the character instantly reminded me of Yamaguchi-san.

    Shion is SO innocent. He really still is the bright young boy he was 4 years ago. He thought up that plan to save the city with the antidotes in his own blood in the blink of an eye. Sadly, his naivety also blinds him to the fact that no matter what he does, he probably cannot help the city. This is the experience and knowledge Nezumi brings. With his Library archive he has consumed countless Literary Stories and bouts between “good and evil”. I wouldn’t be surprised to find 1984 somewhere on his shelf ;P. Knowledge, history, experiences, and a serious helping of cynicism. Although, I would say that’s to be expected if you’ve been shunned and nearly killed by society.

    Looking forward to next week ^_^!.

  • July 23, 2011 at 7:00 amsherry

    Could anyone please tell me where do you get the episode that is reviewed?
    In both the raw and fansub I downloaded, not only is there no preview of the next episode, but in this case, I did not see the scene of the last snapshot: http://randomc.net/image/NO.6/NO.6%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2036.jpg
    In the version I watched, the episode ends with both of them staring at each other after Rat declared Shion would become his enemy if he kept protecting no.6 (aka, it ends exactly in the one before last snapshot: http://randomc.net/image/NO.6/NO.6%20-%2003%20-%20Large%2035.jpg )

    • July 23, 2011 at 7:19 amsherry

      Ok, I found a version with both preview and ‘after the ending sequence’ part, I should have looked harder before asking ^^

    • July 23, 2011 at 7:22 amsherry

      Forget it, there is no “after the ending sequence’ part”, it was all the preview of the next eps, I was mislead when I saw a half second scene with the character talking normally, I am really too hasty in commenting, I should have watched the whole thing ;_;

  • July 23, 2011 at 10:34 amtomphile

    Shion’s bound to change (at least I hope he will), but then his naivety and general optimism towards No. 6 annoys me to no end. We all know that he’s a smart lad, but I can’t help but feel that he traded off some things for that intelligence. He’s not well-acquainted with the other aspects of life and his sole stand-out feature was his brilliant mind. Once all that biological know-how goes out the window, what will he be? Still, I may bash on him, but I feel for him as a character. Let’s just hope this transformation into a respectable character doesn’t go awry.

    A middle ground is likely to be reached in the near future. After all, Nezumi’s blinded by a vicious hatred for the “pristine” city of No. 6

    I also have this idea that perhaps No.6 is a human genetic experiment/social experiment. Who knows? Or maybe it’s just a totalitarian government.

  • July 23, 2011 at 3:40 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

    “Just watched the first two eps of this series, definitely added it to my ever-growing pile of shows this season.”

    Yea that’s a repeat of what I just said on Dantalian No Shoka – 2. Its true for both lol.

  • July 23, 2011 at 7:11 pmdustandechoes91

    Im really enjoying the early-2000′s feeling this anime gives me. Reminds me of shows like last exile

    • July 24, 2011 at 3:14 amyuna

      Same here ^o^

  • July 23, 2011 at 10:35 pmYuumei

    Guys… no homo.

    Someone asked me (before this episode) what this show was about and I had a hard time explaining since I feel like there`s been a lot of set up. However, it`s very interesting and I`m enjoying the pace they`re going at thus far.

  • July 24, 2011 at 8:25 pmDana

    What frustrates me is how beautiful the dialogue in the novel is in comparison. I wish they could retain at east some of the novel’s poetic language instead of breaking it up in to sound bites.

  • July 25, 2011 at 7:25 pmsealouse

    I would agree you need to suspend your disbelief quite a bit with this show. I hope they explain more about the city soon.