「魔と聖」 (Ma to Sei)
“Demon and Saint”

So here’s the dilemma I’m facing after the 4th episode of this series. I find myself laughing, repeatedly and uproariously, and not being sure whether I’m supposed to be laughing at all.

Ah, No. 6… Sweet, clumsy, innocent No. 6. You really are a throwback to a simpler time in anime, where “realism” wasn’t so coveted and everything (including the dialogue) tried to be larger than life. The problem is I’ve been conditioned to what anime has become, and while this show would have felt as normal as stink on a monkey ten years ago, watching it now I’m totally aware of just how anachronistic it is.

Thing is, though, that I’m still enjoying the Hell out of it. It’s nice to have a series that feels like something different, as preposterous as it often is. I’m not sure if it’s even intended, but the dialogue is frequently hilarious. It almost has a film noir feel sometimes, like the entire scene in Rikiga’s office. And the prostitute, my goodness, her dialogue to Shion was like Mae West. And then Nezumi comes storming in, “He belongs to me! I’m not interested in picking up girls…” And then he kisses her – “Keep the change.” How can you not laugh at that, for all it’s “undertones”? And Bogart himself would have been proud of that last tine.

I’ve been reading the novel behind the anime – stopping a few scenes before the anime does, so the latter is always fresh – and it’s interesting how the dynamic between Shion and Nezumi plays differently in print even though much of the dialogue is the same. And when I say the same, I mean quite literally – BONES has often translated it word for word, though they are starting to change the order of the scenes. It’s fitting that Nezumi is an actor because in the book the dialogue between the boys is very theatrical and grand, but the same words on screen come off as sweet and absurd to me. Shion’s reactions to Rikiga’s proposition that Nezumi become a danshou (rent-boy) were hilariously over the top – practically strangling the man his Mum sent him to see and then breaking down in tears? And then there’s the conversation between Shion and Nezumi while he was was washing Dogkeeper’s “employees” – it perfectly captured the rhythm and tone of a bickering old married couple.

That scene with Dogkeeper was memorable for many reasons, not least of which was her confession that Nezumi sang her “mother’s” soul away “like flower petals on the wind”. You have to admire the courage to write a line like that, It was pretty shocking to see her turn on Nezumi so violently after that, but it proved the point she made – that attachment was a weakness in this urban jungle they live in, and Shion had become an attachment for Nezumi whether he cared to admit it or not. Pair that with Shion’s closing admission that he wants to stay in No. 6 because he “finds himself drawn” to Nezumi, and the depth of the hold these two have over each other is clear.

In contrast, the relationship between Shion and his mother is refreshingly straightforward and touching in an understated way. I’m glad she isn’t simply tossed aside by the plot as so many similar characters have been – she’s clearly a very good Mom and she and her son have a very deep and abiding love for each other than even Nezumi is coming to respect. There’s more to Karan than that, too – she has at least one friend who has connections and hates the government. She has a connection on the outside in Rikiga, and she appears to have some connection to the founding of the city, too.

And finally, there’s Safu, narrating a rather biblical sounding preview for an episode titled “Angel of Death”. Couldn’t help but get some very negative vibes for her character’s fate from that title paired with those words and images, but that’s absolutely a blind stab in the dark based on initial reactions so please don’t read anything into it.

 

Preview

71 Comments

  1. Heh, you’re not the only one who finds themselves giggling at all the wrong things in this show, although I laughed a lot at the novel translations as well because Sion sounds so much like a heroine in a romance novel (and at how over the top Nezumi is as well, it does make rather good sense that he’s an actor). And I hadn’t thought that Sion’s mother was involved in the founding of No. 6 itself but that sounds like a good guess, we don’t know how old the city is after all, but it sounds like Sion’s mother and Rikige knew each other before that photo was taken (weren’t they both in it?) and he was already writing about how No. 6 felt wrong to him.

    1. You are right I am overreacting to thi….
      *Looks Carefully at username*
      Well Kurisu I am sure that may seem like man love to you women, but Sion is literally reading and acting the part of a heroine in a Romance novel as mentioned before. For example take the scene where he is cooking and waiting for Nezumi and tells him “I want to know more about you”, now imagine Sion was a woman…all of a sudden it becomes cliche romance dialogue.

      Hell, imagine Sion is a woman throughout the whole episode and it will become utterly clear.

      Anon
      1. I agree so much. Specially since in the first episode when I watched the ED I thought that the white haired character was a girl and Sion was just a minor character. Never expected it to be so Yaoi. Well now I know to always expect the worst when watching a Shoujo.

        Everyday Otaku
      2. LOL it is called BL for a reason. Or Shounen Ai, whichever you prefer. But I won’t lie, there are severe BL undertones but don’t compare it to something that is actually yaoi, like Junjun Romantica.

        That said, their relationship is MUCH more than just friendship and I find the absurdity that is the unevenness of Shion’s personality (oh so he can rage but only when his best friend is vulgarly insulted but he won’t do a thing when they are actually in physical danger? OH, okay) along with the uncanny similarities between Shion/Nezumi and the ship that is Allen/Kanda from DGM hilarious. This is more of a comedy than a dramatic love story, tbh.

      3. @kurisu

        Oops sorry about that, just assumed because of the name.
        My point is that the reason this “man love”, or shonen-ai as Snowwolf pointed out, is reacted to in such a way is because the lead acts like a male heroine in both action and word, citing the reaction to being kissed by a whore and saved by Nezumi in a very shoujo like fashion and the whole cooking/want to know about you scene

        For us that have never watched (and likely never will) yaio this is pretty awkward. That being said I don’t see how that reaction warrants needing help, I think saying so is pretty judgmental.

        Regardless, like you said most of us will continue watching until it gets to the point of “kissing” as you mentioned.

        Anon
      4. Ahh ok Anon. I’ve always thought Shounen Ais were mostly always openly homosexual or having it heavily hinted to off-screen.

        I wasn’t aware that the majority of people would refer to this anime as that genre =/

        Anyway if they kiss i’m out of here faster than a bugatti!

      5. I didn’t mean the genre of shonen-ai, I meant the actually meaning of the phrase. I don’t think this anime is shonen-ai, just that it has tones of shonen-ai(the linguistic meaning).

        Anon
  2. LOL I wonder what we will find out first, A confession or the truth about No. 6 XD

    Though Divine you didn’t put in the preview one particular image where Shion is looking up what seems to be Nezumi covered in women’s make up. Now that was raising eyebrows for me. Nezumi was so tsun this entire ep and was secretly happy with what Shion told him at the end XD

    Shadiic
  3. What’s with the yaoi crap going on here?

    First of all, No.6 isn’t Yaoi. I take you guys haven’t seen a single yaoi episode in your entire lives, which is totally understandable. Lol, you guys have yet to be traumatized.

    I got almost traumatized trying to watch a Yaoi anime, which I ultimately dropped

    Alec
    1. Oh please, No.6 revels in its subtext. Its as much a yaoi show as Nanoha is a yuri show.

      There is nothing wrong with seeing the subtext, hell, I think its great! I’m not emotionally invested in yaoi the way I am with yuri, but I certainly have no issues with it, even if its not something I’ll seek out deliberately. But I can tell you, if Sion and Nezumi were girls, it would be right behind Yuru Yuri as my favorite show of the season. As it is its enjoyable, if rather absurd, in the ways Enzo has pointed out.

      Speaking of which, Enzo, have the novels stated one way or another about dogkeeper’s gender? I’m pretty sure he’s a boy, but not 100%.

      Fencedude
      1. But I can tell you, if Sion and Nezumi were girls, it would be right behind Yuru Yuri as my favorite show of the season.

        I’m with you on this, but I’m kinda sad to see there’s a double standard in anime.

      2. I dunno, I really get a male vibe from the character.

        Though looking at Shindou Kei’s roles, there’s not much in the way of male voices (lol Kagami Kuro, now thats a different voice!). Most likely it won’t matter.

        I really don’t get what the point of him/her throwing down with Nezumi like that was though.

        Fencedude
      3. She’s definitely drawn like a girl but obviously that may be a trap. After all, it’s the slums and i’ve only seen guys there so far and we both know what happens in places where guys are surrounded by other guys for a prolonged period of time.

        Don’t drop the soap bro.

  4. I know we only have 4 episodes so far and have many more to come but this was the best episode yet! So many emotions packed into this episode. Sion’s mum missing her son, Sion getting drawn to Nezumi and Nezumi getting attached to Sion. It’s really beautifully done in my opinion.

    haha and Sion and Nezumi, I love their relationship XD When Sion named all of Nezumi’s mice I just loved that look Nezumi gave him.

    Corn
  5. The amount of BL radiating from this anime is suprising xD I like it though, adds a nice touch.
    In the previews, where they slow dancing together..and who was that girl he was on top of? Next week seems so far away ;_;

    Younique
  6. …..some say its gonna be tat way coz the light novels turned out lyk tat some say it wont coz bones is animatin it wateva the outcome im watchin it to the end at least it beats nt knowing the ending at all ppl who watched halfway and drop it dun deserve callin them anime fans

  7. Gracias!! por el resumen, este anime está hecho de una forma tan profunda y la relacion de nezumi/sion es puramente inocencia. tengo ganas de ver el siguiente capitulo ya!!

    varahaty
    1. It looks like that the shivers i got on the spine were not wrong after all. If you girls are going “kyaa” then we men will have a long cold sweat throughout this series.

      banzemanga
  8. Also the totally rad 80s scifi soundtrack.

    I found the scenes with Karan to be really moving, for some reason. I thought those were well done in all of the ridiculousness that was the rest of the episode.

    reminbee
  9. The drama was so over the top this week and I can’t help but LOL when Shion jump off the couch and started strangling Rikiga. I really like the development between Shion and his mom. Parents in such animes were almost always set to disappear after the second episode and it great to see Karan still playing an important role.

    Seishun Otoko
  10. OH MY GOD SO MANY BL VIBES
    “He belongs to me.”
    SO
    MANY
    BL VIBES

    But aside from that, I’m still enjoying No.6. The over-the-top drama is funny, and I have high hopes for the storyline. In the meantime, I’ll just sit back and watch the BL action unfold.

    tika
  11. I honestly don’t think the dialogue has a tendency for being bad or preposterous and think you’re being too hard on the show. I find it pretty well-written on the whole, not stilted or awkward or anything like that. But eh.

    Dr. Casey
  12. all this ‘yaoi’ debate that overshadows this great anime. at least name it properly, this show is shonen-ai at most, nowhere near yaoi genre. that would be like calling Naruto a shoujo ha!

    I just cant wait for Nezumi’s past to be revealed !

    neko
  13. *Am I going to see this debate over what this anime is (yaoi, shonen-ai, BL, gay, homosexual, and the opposites of what I said before) in every post of each episode?*
    Well, seeing how Guardian Enzo is quite ambiguous/leading on this subject matter too I can see why others are like that. As I said in older post comments ‘it’s not too awkward until some scenes go off screen and especially guys imagine the “unthinkable” is going on’. I mean why does anyone of you keep thinking like that and act all homo-phobic. This anime is seriously understated for its plot and character uniqueness, and I would like see more comments on that than the questionable genre of it. Check it out on the anime encyclopedia website and clear that up for yourself before posting it here.

    Pikachu
    1. Pikachu, how am I ambiguous exactly? It’s not like I’ve read ahead in the novel, so I don’t know what’s going to happen… But I’ve already stated my opinion that this is probably shounen-ai, and people should relax about it and stop watching if that makes them uncomfortable.

      1. I can’t find any websites that class the source or the anime as Shounen Ai.

        IMO their relationship is just something out of the ordinary which is always good.

        O’ well, If it does turn out to be that way in later eps i’ll just laugh and drop it.

  14. I’m going to post twice and say that this episode was more melodramatic since it included more of Shion’s mom and her mysterious past is added to the past. I expect more will be revealed about how Nezumi escaped No. 6 and I am there won’t be any loop-holes left by the end since it’s a BONES production.

    Pikachu
  15. @ Guardian Enzo: When I say ambiguous I mean you are open to more than one interpretation and not the other meaning being uncertain. It’s good that you are making yourself clear in your posts.
    @ Kurisu Vi Britannia: Try http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=12399

    Excuse me second comment for errors as I was typing faster out of frustration as stated in my first comment. (add in ‘hoping’ after the “I am…” & scratch out that last ‘past’ for “plot”).

    Pikachu
  16. No that link is to prove that yoai or shonen ai are not themes for this anime. I just think the majority of the viewers are spending too much of their comments on what its genre is and not going into the depth of the story or character developments. I want to hear more mature opinions on this instead that’s all. But if this keeps up I’ll just ignore other peoples comments altogether and get the scoop from Guardian Enzo. BTW thanks Enzo for paying attention to what I have to say. ^_^

    Pikachu
  17. Urrh, this episode shonen ai is heavier than before. I need RKB injection.

    Jokes aside, this is a wonderful episode. The final scene of shion mother reading his note was so touching accompanied by the sone almost bring tear to my eye.

    lkaze
  18. Man, you guys are all sad. Hasn’t anybody /ever/ been able to see a relationship between two guys as only friends instead of lovers?! Has anybody here ever seen/read Wolf’s Rain?! It’s the same thing!!! Gaah! DX of course I’m not saying that sometimes I get some slashy moments, but I wish I could see it as purely friends! I hate it when people go off saying they love each other and will end up as lovers and blah blah blah…It’s annoying 😐 people always take things the wrong way, just to fulfill their annoying lusts over seeing two guys together.

    Me
  19. Oh goodness all the homophobes! :O So what if they do end up being gay? I bet if it where two girls making out none of you would mind.. (Assuming most of you are dudes) I’m a girl and I wouldn’t mind a lesbian couple so why would you make such a big deal if two men where one? Sigh, I’d actually like it if it where to end up that way. Not to fulfill whatever lust as “Me” mentioned but to laugh at the reactions..Nah I wouldn’t laugh, I’d feel bad of how narrowminded some individuals are.

    Somedudette
  20. Is it bad to be biologically sane? There is a time and a place for yaoi and No.6 ain’t it. Yeah animes like Crest of the Stars exercise platonic relationships and non conforming anime formats…but still…you are the one being a little prejudice…some of us like a boy x girl pairing. That makes your the narrow-minded one. And also, I wouldn’t be okay if it was a lesiban couple…I wouldn’t mind if it was a harem though.

    SrrslySomedudette

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