「光まとう街」 (Hikari matō machi)
“City Adorned in Light”

The time skip happened quickly, as suspected – though even faster than I expected given that most of the OP is given oven to Shion and Rat as 12 year-olds. As episode two opens, Shion is already 16 – though still hopelessly naïve and defenseless. He appears to work managing the Sanpo (sanitation robots) in the city park along with co-worker Yamase. It’s a dull, spirit-crushing job. But a rather ugly incident where a Sanpo finds a prematurely aged corpse – and really, penguins are everywhere this season, I’m surprised it wasn’t picking up a Dr. Pepper can – breaks up their boring routine.

Some rather clumsy exposition from Shion to Safu (now a somewhat hot teenager herself, who still digs sweaters, even if her taste in them has improved) reveals that Shion was questioned after Rat’s escape. He was banned from the gifted program, stripped of all his elite privileges and sent to live in in a studio apartment above a bakery sharing bunkies with his Mum (!), the both of them kicked out of their fancy apartment in the neighborhood where all the good schools are. This is “Lost Town”, what passes for the wrong side of the tracks in No. 6.

The dialogue between Shion and Safu, whom he hasn’t seen for four years, is somewhat stilted – in fact the dialogue isn’t the strength of the show at all so far. But the early scenes are effective at subtly painting a picture of life in this Orwellian nightmare of a paradise. Safu is about to go “abroad” to No. 5 to go to college, and mentions that her grandmother is about to head off to the “Twilight House”, which immediately brought images of “Logan’s Run” to mind for me. It was also interesting to see that Shion had to pledge eternal loyalty to the city at the start of every shift at work. What really struck me, though, was just how much more alive and vibrant things seemed in this supposedly lost neighborhood, and how much happier Shion’s mother seemed than she did in her luxury apartment.

Before heading off to university, Safu offers Shion what may the most refreshingly direct confession I’ve seen in a mainstream anime – “I want your sperm. Let’s have sex right now”. It says something about Shion’s cluelessness that he’s surprised at all. Her follow up question is amusing, and no doubt one many viewers were asking last week – “Don’t you like girls?” But even more amusing is his response – effectively, “When you come back in two years, I’ll look you up and bang you then.” Definitely one of the oddest exchanges I’ve seen for a while.

This is all really setup, of course, for the reunion of Shion and Rat, who briefly makes his presence known via what appears to be a trained rat (an actual one) with a transmitter on it’s collar. Shion dares to raise questions to his co-worker about what the city isn’t telling them about a 31 year-old man whose corpse looks 80 – really, you couldn’t have guessed that the office was bugged? After warning him of just how unwise this is, Yamase promptly ages before Shion’s eyes and dies looking like an old man. A wound opens in his neck, and out emerges what looks like a bee. Shion is arrested for being a malcontent and is on his way to a re-indoctrination center when the 16 year-old Rat finally shows himself (taller than Shion now, he’s quick to point out) and engineers their escape through the sewers after a high-speed chase that could have come from “The Blues Brothers”. But what was that on Shion’s neck…

Whew. Well, we’ve certainly heard this record before – an adaptation of a big, complicated story in 11 episodes is never an easy thing. There was a huge amount of development packed into the episode, even discounting the time skip. But this appears to be a show that handles its plot and pacing well – I had no trouble following what was happening and things never seemed ridiculously rushed or cut short. The setup looks to be a fairly straightforward dystopian nightmare scenario – a Big Brother government which offers creature comforts and demands the surrender of all personal freedoms as payment, and a rag-tag resistance than lives in comparative squalor but enjoys a measure of liberty. The issue with the corpses and the bees – and we can probably assume this is what will turn Shion’s hair white – is an interesting sci-fi twist that adds a nice element of mystery to the proceedings. In terms of plot and premise, this is a promising series.

No. 6 is less successful when the characters are actually talking to each other. The dialogue never achieves a natural feel somehow – it sounds like a script, and not people talking to each other. But of course, the best dialogue in the premiere was between Shion and Rat and there wasn’t much of that this week, so hopefully that relationship will feel more organic than the others in the show. Their chemistry is still evident, though apart from Rat’s tossed-off comment about Shion being too embarrassed to undress in front of a lover (begging the question of whether he’d been secretly observing Shion for years) the undertones that were present in the premiere are toned down considerably.

At this point the series plays very much like what the books are – a boys adventure story for young adults. It’s imaginative and interesting and I expect it will continue to be, though whether it becomes a really good character piece remains to be seen. Judging by the preview – that’s right, an actual preview in a NoitaminA series! – things are going to get rough for Shion next week.




  1. Poor Shion… and Nezumi certainly got hotter. Nice development in this episode.

    I hope they manage it pull off, I mean the novel version is 8 volumes in total so I wouldn’t expect everything to be shown through 11 episodes but a good conclusion would be nice 🙂 I have high expectations towards this anime and I know it’s going to be amazing.

  2. Lets have sex. lol thats a weird dialog if you say that outdoors.

    The place was doubled bugged. Not only where they observe by the bracelet but also they placed a real bug inside the body. I’m still not sure if N0.6 placed everyone with bugs. I’m just assuming. XD

    Lol. Penguins everywhere. 😀
    Dr. Pepper should be in Kamisama no memo alone but i would laugh if they put one as well.

    1. I guess when people are too smart they lack certain amount of EQ. Think sheldon from the big bang. I just hope there is not yaoi in this show. guy rejects girl, guy rescues guy, guy goes with guy…!!! no!!!!!

  3. I’m so excited for next week. 🙂 LOL I thought she was asking about his sperm for a scientific experiment or something…Anyways, I think the splotches on his neck will change his hair color. Next location: the slums. This reminds me of Final Fantasy 7…

  4. After the first episode I read all of what’s been translated of the novel, so I’m afraid my view of the anime is skewed now, haha. But I’m really enjoying the way it’s moving along! Of course – as it always is the case with books vs movies/shows – the novel’s monologues add a lot more depth to the characters. When you boil down the plot, it does seem pretty typical. I think the chemistry between Rat and Sion is what really stood out to me.

    I’m so excited to see how the anime handles things; already a character has been introduced in the preview that I’m not familiar with!

  5. Well aside from the creative cutting in the preview and Nezumi’s offhand comment about himself growing taller its a complete victory for het this ep. Gotta love Safu’s direct approach over stuff.

    Also I might be biased but they sure are bringing in a lot of famous male seiyuus to voice minor? characters (Hirakawa Daisuke and Shinichiro Miki).

  6. @shirayuki75: haha I thought at first she was talking about scientific experiment as well. Then when she said I want to have sex with you I was like Oooohhh… why didn’t you just say that first? XD

    Interesting girl she is

  7. Does this anime turn yaoi-ish? They definitely have some sort of uh closeness… The girl exists but in the end he turned her down.. Just getting that vibe correct me if I’m wrong.

  8. Wow, a lot of content crammed in one episode which is great since there are only 11 episodes.
    Agree that the dialogues don’t sound that natural. Maybe it was because everything happened too quickly or it might be bad translations since it didn’t quite feel that way when I read the manga in Chinese.
    Next week’s going to be a fast paced one as well and we’ll be meeting Inukashi 😀

    Seishun Otoko
  9. My body was not ready for ‘I want your sperm’. Not ready at all.

    Great episode, better than the previous and I like where this is going, I like when Shion and Rat are together in relation to the plot and the undertones are pretty amusing, but I’m not complaining in any way.

    1. Maybe someone who’s read the novels can confirm that, but I can’t. It is suggested – the bit with the recipe for the cherry cakes being forgotten, etc – but it’s nothing I’d feel comfortable saying was a 100% lock based on the episode. Maybe there was some sort of “rehabilitation” process, psychological abuse rather than actual surgery. But I just can’t say for certain.

      1. Ah, that cherry pie line is actually connected to something the first episode left out. In the novel, Sion mentions that his mom always gets cherry pie on his birthday since that’s what his father did on the day he was born (and sounds like it was one of the few nice things he did). So I took that line in episode two to mean that Sion’s mom has really settled into Lost Town, no lobotomies here! (that I know of at least)

  10. huh…that Safu girl is way too straight-forward that it’s strange to think she’s a girl at all. I mean would any girl say something like that to some childhood friend whom she hasn’t seen for four years?! I think it was normal for Shion to reject her under that condition. Sure it makes him appear less as a straight guy, but I would have hated his character if he accepted. Anyways, Nezumi with well-trained, cute little (anime) rats are FTW. Look at this picture -> https://randomc.net/image/NO.6/NO.6%20-%2002%20-%20Large%20Preview%2003.jpg

    random viewer
  11. OH and that comment about Nezumi watching Shion every second of his lifestyle is too exaggerated that it came off as a joke; as stated with “I’m not that bored…”

    random viewer
  12. They sort of butchered the ‘I want to have sex’ part. In the novel, Shion admits that Show Spoiler ▼

    . The following spoiler tag is the novel translation of this scene from http://ninteenpointzerofour.wordpress.com/2011/04/08/no-6-volume-1-chapter-2/

    Show Spoiler ▼

  13. From the novels, I got the impression that Sion and Safu have definitely been hanging out in the past four years, they haven’t seen each other as much since Sion isn’t in the gifted program anymore but still see each other sometimes, the story just used this meeting as a way to explain the timeskip.

  14. Personally I liked the dialogue, as it shows an in-depth look of how the people in this heavily controlled society are taught to act. I’m sure if they had complete freedom of expression there would be more middle ground than, “I want your sperm. Let’s have sex right now.”

    I also came to the conclusion that the white haired boy is Shion having been affected (but not completely) by the bee.

    And as for the BL, I hope it doesn’t happen and that Safu appears more in the plot of the story.

  15. Hum, just a minor point but I would like to point out that the supposed “Bee” is more likely to be a Wasp in that Wasps are the some of the most common form of Parasitoids in the animal kingdom and are known to lay their eggs in animals for them to nurture and devour until adulthood (which usually means the creatures death) where then the process is repeated. Though there are no known Human Wasp Parasitodids this being an anime and in a supposed dystopian future well it’s not hard to make that assertion.

  16. “I want your sperm.”

    “Let’s have sex right now”

    “Don’t you like girls?”
    -.. ..EHHHHHHHHHHHHH!?!?!?!?

    I so want to drop this show simply because I’m tired of seeing male protagonists that aren’t, well.. manly. Why can’t they learn from Haruka Kazugano. Or Hosaka. Or Kujo! I digress.

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