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「冥府の天使」 (Meifu no tenshi)
"Angel of Hades"

Whether it was intentional or not, the fifth episode of NO.6 left me more confused and less sure of my footing than I was going in.  As with so much of this show, I’m never quite sure just whether I’m taking things the way BONES intended.

I appreciate the fact that none of the major characters from the first couple of episodes appear to be tossed aside in the story – not just Shion’s Mum but Safu appears to have a major role to play in the story going forward.  She’s indeed off studying at No. 5, which looks eerily like San Francisco.  It’s a very normal campus experience – Archie ‘n Betty snogging discreetly behind one of the lecture halls, trips to art museums with pompous guides, charmingly earnest student poetry.  Meanwhile, back home, Grandma appears well-settled in the Twilight House where she and all her peers get injections, presumably to keep them from feeling too depressed about their situation.

Meanwhile, Shion seems to be branching out socially.  In addition to reading to the local urchins (one of whom shares his mother’s name, which I suspect can’t be coincidence), he’s spending more time working for Dogkeeper and trading gossip about Nezumi.  Rikiga shows up, fishing for information about a strange disease in No. 6.  Rikaga reveals something about Dogkeeper – that “she” (until further notice) is peddling black market supplies from the correctional facility – and about himself, that he’s deathly afraid of mice for some reason.  Rikiga takes him to see “Eve”, Nezumi’s stage alter ego, as Ophelia in “Hamlet”.  And believe it or not, that’s the normal part of the episode.

What I can’t remotely figure out yet is how the strange events that follow are related.  How is it that Safu hears the same song and feels the same wind as far-away Nezumi, causing them both to faint?  Safu is in front of a stained-glass window depicting wasps, and Nezumi dreams of wasps while unconscious, so there’s clearly more coincidence at play here.  How does the fact that Safu’s Grandmother passes just around this moment play into things?  We’re almost halfway through what’s clearly a very big story, and it seems late in the game to intentionally muddy the waters this much – but again, I’m not sure what’s intentional here and what’s incidental.

I must admire the ability of NO.6 to insert WTF moments, and this ep was really full of them.  I would be lying if I said I expected Nezumi to rise from his sickbed and sweep Shion onto the dance floor, and the extended scene that follows is one of the oddest you’ll see anywhere – eerie, romantic, awkward and frankly quite puzzling.  Shion’s declaration that Nezumi is “the most important person on the world” to him is pretty unambiguous, but he follows that up by grabbing Nezumi’s neck – causing Nezumi to be shocked that he was unable to stop the “attack”, as well-intentioned as it was.  Is Nezumi’s guard down around Shion, or is Shion now some kind of ninja due to his transformation?

I have to say that on balance this episode didn’t quite work for me, though it was certainly memorable.  The composition and pacing felt awkward, and as sometimes happens with this series it’s hard to place all these weird events in context with each other.  The plot remains extremely interesting – the wasps appear to be active in winter, and there are implications that there’s some sort of intelligence acting behind them. There’s a nicely creepy sense of impending doom developing, and I like all the major characters enough to care about them and wonder how they’re all connected with this.  But while I enjoy the general oddness of the series, I really hope things start to fit together pretty soon.  I don’t want NO.6 to become conventional or lose the likeable, quirky weirdness that permeates it, but I would like it to start making a little more sense.  But then, this is a BONES sci-fi – so that may be too much to ask…

 

Preview

NO.6   05   Preview 01 NO.6   05   Preview 02 NO.6   05   Preview 03
August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm
66 comments »
  • August 4, 2011 at 5:17 pmCharles (^_^)

    great review loved the episode

    not the dancing part >.>
    (although he was supposed to be showing Sion that he still has good reflexes it was
    still kinda creepy >.<)

    • August 4, 2011 at 6:02 pmAshen

      I could definitely see this developing into a BL-subplot for the series. I’d love to see that amidst all the rest of the conflicts and mysteries.

      • August 4, 2011 at 6:22 pmKarmafan

        No thanx. If this turns into a BL series that would suck.

      • August 4, 2011 at 9:18 pmAlec

        It’s not a BL yet — Not until we see some consensual kissing by the 2 main characters, that is. Everything other than that is fine. Oh, and CPR is fine too xD

      • August 5, 2011 at 12:22 pmBlakWngz

        Doujin artist are gonna have a Field day with this.

  • August 4, 2011 at 5:27 pmGuardian Enzo

    Yeah – that’s why he was doing it… ;-)

  • August 4, 2011 at 5:29 pmPandAEmiC

    This show leaves me deeply confused in more ways then one. I like were the story is going in all but I just have to question Sion’s sexuality sometimes…

  • August 4, 2011 at 5:33 pmJaney

    Dancing part was awesome!

  • August 4, 2011 at 5:44 pmClick

    Sorry Safu, 5 episodes in and you’ve already lost to Nezumi ;D

    • August 4, 2011 at 9:23 pmAlec

      I hear ya. I was like “Farewell Safu… You’re opponent is just too tough for you”

    • August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pmcklaighe

      But wasn’t that Safu’s status since last week? :3

  • August 4, 2011 at 5:45 pmUnknownVoid

    I can’t help but feel that this strange incident with Nezumi and Safu is somehow related not only to the wasps, but also to the out of body experience Shion did in the very first episode. It seems strangely similar to the one that Nezumi had while unconscious and may also have something to do with why Shion has become a ninja (or that could be just more indication that Nezumi only feels at ease around him, both are equally likely to me).

  • August 4, 2011 at 6:01 pmShadiic

    Well I take the last part of the ep as a confession scene from Shion. Nezumi is so tsun that he doesn’t realise his own feelings XD.

    I must admit that this episode felt a bit disjointed as the first half was relaxed, but then we have Nezumi and Safu doing this weird connection thingy and ending it off with Shion and Nezumi dancing together. The correction facility was mentioned a few times this episode from a number of characters which made me forget about Nezumi and his experience. Hopefully we get some answers about it if Nezumi would stop being tsun about it.

  • August 4, 2011 at 6:02 pmEvercelle

    The pressure point thing was supposed to be some type of Big Clue, I think. Nezumi spends the last couple seconds being shocked that Shion was apparently able to paralyze him by touching some pressure point on his neck, which recalls the first episode–with Shion excitedly asking Nezumi if he disabled him through that method (implying that Shion himself doesn’t know how to do so). Which then either implies that, somewhere during his exile from Chronos, Shion learned pressure points, or that it’s unconscious and there’s some part of him that’s an extended mystery (hence the repeated “Who are you, Shion?”) lines. I’m guessing it’s the latter, though. Maybe being infected had some additional side effects that that scene was meant to foreshadow?

    • August 4, 2011 at 6:26 pmKarmafan

      I’m wondering if Shion was an early experiment years ago (similar to the 2 main characters from Deadman Wonderland being a lab experiment of some kind as 3-5 year olds).

    • August 4, 2011 at 9:35 pmKud

      Pressure points? Paralyze him? I just read that as Shion reaching out to his neck because he was indicating he was afraid the bee was going to come out from that spot. As for Nezumi, he was just shocked that he didn’t notice Shion reaching out and allowing him to basically reach a “vital point.” In the last episode, Dogkeeper’s interaction with Nezumi near the end of the episode seems to indicate that he’s normally totally on his guard. I would think that normally, Nezumi would never allow another person to get so close to his neck (as they might strangle him or something).

      Well, and let’s be honest…the BL or *ahem* “close friendship” of the 2 is the most blatant here. Nezumi doesn’t seem very good at dealing with nice people, so I took his “paralysis” to just be a result of surprise and confusion at this very personal gesture that he’s likely had no experience with.

      • August 13, 2011 at 5:21 pmRagefat

        I think Nezumi’s “Shion, who are you?” means something like “Shion, who are you that makes me be so gay for you?”. XD
        huahuahua

    • August 5, 2011 at 10:53 amFlappy

      I agree with Kud. I believe that Nezumi was shocked that he let someone reach out and touch his neck (a vital point on a human body) where he would be in danger in the case of an attack. From what we’ve seen, it is quite obvious that Nezumi is known to be always on the edge and is ready to guard himself at any point in time (wanna bet that the act of placing his hands in his jacket’s pockets is to hold onto the handle of his knife at all times (‘~’) ).

    • August 5, 2011 at 5:03 pmEvercelle

      I don’t know. Nezumi usually recovers quickly in the face of Shion’s affection/emotional responses, so I thought the prolonged shock was a bit suspect. It might just be a development in their relationship. I just figured the pressure point thing, plus the red snake–which still has yet to be explained in the slightest–along with Nezumi’s “who are you” lines could point to a deeper mystery with Shion. Although I soundly approve of Nezumi defrosting and letting go of the tsundere shtick bit by bit, I’d be way more intrigued with the possibilities the bee infection could present. :>

  • August 4, 2011 at 7:09 pmTinxtin

    Haha, this episode surprised me. A lot.

    I thought the song segment was beautiful, but it did bring up a lot more new mysteries. Why did Nezumi and Safu both hear the song? Why only them? Who was singing? Why did they faint? Why was Nezumi drowning in that puddle of black sludge? Who knows?

    I have a feeling that people who get effected by the B-virus are the ones who feel the want to rebel against the No.6 or are involved with someone who wants to. For example, that women was all like ‘I wish I didn’t work here’ and she died. Just as Shion was doubting No.6 as well, and he got the virus. Hmm, odd theory there, don’t take it too seriously.

    Dat dance scene. I admit I love the BL factor, but that dance scene was as awkward as hell. My mouth was opened and I was thinking: ‘What the hell?’ then I laughed. Because the way it just happened was funny. ‘Oh hey people are dying, let’s dance to celebrate!’and the sudden transition outside. Just. Everything. Too much cheese! lol

    The end bit was interesting though. Nezumi is letting his guard down against Shion…hehe. The way he was so scared was worrying. Kinda. Has Shion really changed?

    Anywho, I liked this episode, despite the awkwardness of it xD

    • August 4, 2011 at 9:39 pmKud

      Haha, I laughed at that dance scene too, especially when they were magically outside. The clueless expression on Shion’s face made me laugh more.

    • August 4, 2011 at 10:22 pmcklaighe

      but isn’t everyone already affected? hehe.. =P wouldn’t the be some kind of citizen tagging?

      anyways.. i also liked the somehow BL part but found the dancing really akward… Though.. the Show Spoiler ▼

      made me smile. :)

  • August 4, 2011 at 9:37 pmCorn

    I just awed at the dance scene. It was very well done.

    And poor Safu… her grandma and Shion saying Nezumi is the most important person…

    Nerveless, great episode.

  • August 4, 2011 at 9:45 pmYuumei

    I think it’s far more likely that Nezumi dropped his guard around Sion, and it shocked him so much because he just let it happen. If you re-watch it, Nezumi has his eyes closed for a second and then Sion touches him. I also think Sion just touched him there because that’s where the bee comes out of people and didn’t realize it was an important spot.

    When the singing started, am I the only one who thought Nezumi could’ve been singing it? I know it was clearly a woman but they said he has a good voice, and there was so much other crazy stuff going on that I thought it may be plausible. Also, it’s interesting that Safu and Nezumi both felt the wind considering they were indoors with no windows and whatnot. I have no idea how they could be connected though.

    I kinda feel like that injection was a lethal injection. That’s the vibe I was getting. Maybe the other ones were to get drugged up and happy but it’s weird that Safu’s grandmother just died like that…

    Anyway, I’m usually pretty good at ignoring the BL vibe this show gives off, but I couldn’t help at laugh a little at that creepy dance scene. There were a lot of things in this episode I didn’t expect, which was great for entertainment purposes, but I feel like it only raised more questions.

    And did anyone hear the music in the preview? It’s so weird!!

  • August 4, 2011 at 10:17 pmZero

    Im only watching for the dog keeper now. At least shes a chick….I think?

    • August 5, 2011 at 9:35 amDon

      Yeah, she’s a chick.

  • August 4, 2011 at 10:32 pmPikachu

    I did think that Nezumi was singing in his performance as Eve/Ophelia too, but realized the second I saw his mouth not moving that he wasn’t. It could be that Nezumi was just happy that he wasn’t performing for the same audience (or “monsters” as Nezumi warns Shion later), and that someone actually genuinely cares about his well-being for once that he expressed some joy in a dance with that person. (I mean won’t it be weirder for him to dance by himself.) Although he says it’s cuz No. 6 citizens will die earlier, but he isn’t cold-hearted since he gave a possession/sweater he got from a friend to someone in more need of it. I think Shion has faster reflexes (like a ninja) since he was sitting a few feet from Nezumi and stand up in front of him. It’s actually the “shock” of that happened that made Nezumi feel like he was paralyzed; I don’t think Shion knows about pressure points, just first aid. Did anyone think that the Nezumi/Safu “coincidental/not” visions are connected because of Shion (having telepathy or something)? I mean how else would Safu know about Nezumi from him? The weird parts are the mysteries not Nezumi and Shion interactions IMO.

  • August 4, 2011 at 11:04 pmShirt

    Nice review Enzo. Killin’ em softly~ hahaa

    I dropped this show at episode 2 after he said no to sex. lol I will watch it when it’s finished. Until then, your reviews are just as entertaining as watching the show and equivalent to reading the manga before watching the show. (In a way.) :D

    • August 4, 2011 at 11:28 pmSilentcid

      Who knows Shirt I’m still waiting to see if he can redeem himself and be with Safu in a much later episode.

      • August 5, 2011 at 11:43 amanna

        Agreed.

    • August 5, 2011 at 4:17 pmShirt

      I’m sure he will.. Hopefully. If not him, then maybe she’d just take it by force. I think she’s just awesome like that.

  • August 4, 2011 at 11:27 pmSilentcid

    The third picture where the girl is dying. I guess Karma wasn’t on her side when she started talking about the old people. She got what she deserved.

    • August 5, 2011 at 12:38 amdeafvader

      That supports me theory. She is openly against the system. “Big brother” must have tapped their phones and when you defy the system you get bees out.
      That or when you get too stressed the body releases a chemical which activates the bee which explains why Sion was not affected his whole life. He is too indifferent to his surroundings. Only when he was chased out of No. 6 and saw the outside world did the stress level reach activation level.

      I’m also guessing that when the police said that they wanted to question the witness, it is more like sending them to a correctional facility to minimize public knowledge.
      Sion, son of someone related to the founding of No. 6. Who is the father, and who is the mother really?

      Is the government testing an anti-bee drug on those people are the “Twilight house”.

      Out of body experience by Safu and Nezomi is just No. 6′s depication of Gundam’s “We understand each other” experience. “We understand we both are after Sion”.

  • August 5, 2011 at 12:31 amLuxorcist

    Hmm, 5 episodes and it’s getting weird. I hope it doesn’t lose steam like Fractale did…

  • August 5, 2011 at 8:06 amAndré

    Gayest episode so far. Yeah, I think that I’m really not into this BL thing. I like Gravitation (the anime version) and that’s all. I won’t stop wacthing it because the plot is pretty interesting and the characters are good too, but, man, these gay parts are really awkward.

    • August 5, 2011 at 9:18 pmZero

      i know what ya mean. -_-

    • August 7, 2011 at 8:08 amSilentcid

      fast forward to non-BL parts.

    • August 7, 2011 at 10:06 amGuardian Enzo

      Anyone bothered by the innocuous bromance here should probably avoid this week’s Tiger & Bunny

  • August 5, 2011 at 8:47 ammomogoldfish

    You know what? Forget Brave New World and 1984, No.6 reminds me much more of The Giver, probably because of the whole old people in Twilight zone thing. Safu’s grandma probably just got ‘released’.

    My gut instincts tells me that the whole synchro thing when the wind blows have something to do with the moondrop thingy that sounded in the storm in ep 1. My gut instincts also tells me that the ‘guard down’ idea is way more plausible but I’m gonna go with the ninja theory because its awesome XD.

    I actually really liked the mood of the dance scene, and the whole outside scenery was beautiful. The other beautiful thing this ep was Nezumi in drag~

  • August 5, 2011 at 8:56 amsomeoneelse

    butt pirates

  • August 5, 2011 at 9:09 amCrii

    I have to admit that my favorite part of the episode was the dance scene. Yes I’m a fangirl, sorry about that.

    Leaving that aside, I think that Sion didn’t “gain” any superhuman/ninja powers. I think its more along the lines that Nezumi feels comfortable and unconciously lets his guard down around Sion. That’s probably what caused him to have a mental breakdown. Nezumi is so used to always distrusting people and being on alert for possibilities of being killed, that even the slightest bit of easy going attitude makes him go ballistic. Its like Sion is breaking down Nezumi’s walls and that scares the crap out of him.

    I also found it extremely endearing how Nezumi called out to Sion when he was “drowning” in his nightmare. I think its speaks volumes of how emotionally dependant Nezumi has become of Sion. He may not accept it himself, but his inner most feelings are certainly showing it.

  • August 5, 2011 at 11:45 amanna

    Dammit BONES, I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here, but I don’t like it one bit.

    • August 5, 2011 at 11:26 pmZero

      You, me, and 80% of the rest of us feel the same way

  • August 5, 2011 at 2:56 pmDanh Nguyen

    every week this is getting really good

  • August 5, 2011 at 3:39 pmlkm

    Dropped this anime. to gay.

  • August 5, 2011 at 4:18 pmmisc.

    No.6′s viewers are too conventional themselves to get past a bit of BL in their animu.

    • August 7, 2011 at 3:13 amDknight

      annnnd that has nothing to do with you. if someone doesnt like BL then what do you fucking care?

      just becuase someone doesnt like what you like doesnt give you the right to bash them.

      so next time just shut the fuck up.

      • August 10, 2011 at 9:41 amLolz

        Dude…No need to get all worked up. It’s just an anime.

  • August 5, 2011 at 9:07 pmsubarufreak

    Shion is starting to seem gay… what happened to wait for Safu?

    • August 5, 2011 at 9:07 pmsubarufreak

      wating*

  • August 5, 2011 at 9:23 pmSeishun Otoko

    Another solid episode but I hope there’s a good explanation for the odd occurrences that happened between Safu and Nezumi.
    Looks like Safu survived for the week and I certainly do hope she doesn’t die a virgin ;P

  • August 5, 2011 at 10:58 pmPikachu

    I’m starting to see this pattern in these comments where one person says it’s BL/gay and then the next is the opposite and another one brings it back to being gay and the cycle continues. Getting repetitive here people.
    That aside, I knew the whole bees/wasps disease was a way to control the No. 6 citizens but the thought that the system of the bees hatching from defiance didn’t come to me (it was too random to be obvious i guess). That’s was cleared up from another site I saw that made sense.

  • August 6, 2011 at 4:18 amkgfj

    If random curiosity decide to have awkward scene of the year later, this one will be a strong contender. I lol-ed uncontrollably during the dance scene, especially when out of nowhere they are suddenly outside.
    I’ll go with the theory that nezumi was surprised he let shion touch his neck
    (It is a vital part of human body) because it seems much more plausible, although the shion is a ninja theory is way awesome too!

  • August 6, 2011 at 7:08 amsaviourshadow

    scaredy cats…..nt lyk u wuld become a gay or someth by watchin tis if it becomes a BL yaoi or nt im prepared for it

  • August 6, 2011 at 11:44 amannon

    too much gay for me..argh..

  • August 7, 2011 at 4:30 amKumakaori

    Wow. I’m seeing lots of “gay, leaving” comments D: y’alls loss. Man. With Eve, er Nezumi being an actor, I wouldn’t put it past him being gay. I kept wondering if Nezumi was just gonna jump Shion’s bones as he was over him waiting for him to wake up.

    mmmn guess not, nezumi’s got too much class for that. Also, Anyone else here that would prefer Nezumi to be tl’d as Mouse, opposed to Rat ? :/? Considering his scouting companions are mice and not rats… Ah dunno, I just like the overall symbolism for Mouse for him much better than Rat ><!

  • August 7, 2011 at 7:12 pmsealouse

    This was quite the set up episode. It got me excited for future episodes.

  • August 8, 2011 at 6:02 amFumizuki

    Why does it seem like all the animes this season have either serious fan service ero-scenes or heavily implied BL? Can you not make a good enjoyable anime without those?! Dance scene was super awkward and Shion’s declaration that Nezumi is the most important person to him just freaked me out…

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against BL. It’s just when it’s not “official”, but just heavily implied (unlike Sekaiichi Hatsukoi, Junjo Romantica, etc.), it just feels awkward.

    And I agree that I’m just completely confused at this episode’s development. Maybe Safu and Nezumi are related?!

    • August 8, 2011 at 10:23 amJaney

      Sion and Nezumi’s relationships are not fanservice, neither there is a “heavily implied” BL. Whats going on between them is a relevant part of the story, they are building an attachment that endanger both, they change each other and change themselves. Pehaps you need to keep in mind that both of them are really Big Weirdos with difficult pasts. No wonder they develop special chemistry. I find it interesting to watch.

      And dance scene was heavy on depressive symbolism, just like many other things in this series.

  • August 8, 2011 at 1:44 pmPablo

    I perdict that Nezumi and Safu will combine into one person therefore solving the gay problem

  • August 8, 2011 at 4:30 pmlane

    @Alec

    They do kiss in the novel. In vol 3, Shion leans over and kisses Nezumi and then says it was a “goodnight kiss” and Nezumi realizes he was lying.

    In fact if you read the novel, it’s wayyy gayer than the anime:

    http://ninteenpointzerofour.wordpress.com/no-6/

    http://shion-no-6.livejournal.com/3464.html

  • August 8, 2011 at 4:31 pmlane

    Also all of you are mistaken about the pressure point. At least in the novel, it specifically states that Shion only lightly touched Nezumi’s neck, but Nezumi felt in shock by the possibility of what he could have done. Shion did NOT paralyze him.

  • August 9, 2011 at 2:15 amLeah

    Yeah, I have to agree with what has been said, this episode was really confusing…the dancing scene was creepy – but only because I am fairly sure that neither main character is gay, if they were than the scene would have been acceptable, or at least made sense. As with almost everything in this show, it was really really random, so I was surprised…but really I suppose I should expect such randomness, after all, in the very first episode Sion just randomly ran out to the porch and screamed at the top of his lungs – for no apparent reason. So by the 5th ep, I’m just going with it ;)

  • August 10, 2011 at 3:40 pmunknown2

    I would be so pissed if I woke from some illness with maybe even a headache and then someone throws math questions forcing you to answer them. Who knows how far shion would have went. 37 X 73 ?! ANSWER ME!!! lol

    • September 12, 2011 at 2:02 pmChloesong

      LOL so true. It was so funny how concerned he was about getting the right answer.

  • August 10, 2011 at 9:07 pmRaindeth

    This whole anime started off okay, then started to turn a little uncomfortably gay for my tastes. Bros are cool, but remember the personal bubble.

    Bring on the Safu plzzzz