「隠し危険」 (Kakushi Kiken)
Better than halfway through its run, I have less of a handle on No. 6 than any other series this Summer. Both about where the show is going, and just what I feel about it.
For me, the strongest element of the sixth episode was the return to prominence of Safu. I don’t think it’s so much that I like her character any better than the others, but that she makes a nice change of pace from the over-the-top theatricality of Shion and Nezumi, and indeed the entire cast and setting of the West District. Shion and Nezumi speak like characters in a play – fittingly enough given Nezumi’s vocation. But it does get a little exhausting after a while. Safu, by contrast, is refreshingly direct and concise. She says what she thinks and gets it over with. Of course, that makes me wonder how she lasted in No. 6 as long as she did.
Some have speculated on an interesting coincidence – that all the known victims of the parasitic wasps have succumbed while expressing some sort of doubts about the state of affairs in No. 6. We don’t know too much about the first guy who died in the park, but we know Yamase (Shion’s co-worker on garbage bot detail) had voiced some concerns. Shion is obvious, and even the lady from the Twilight House was depressed about her job. Seems like thin reasoning to off someone, but is it possible the city is using the wasps to eliminate potential threats? If so, that certainly places Safu deep in harm’s way. I think it’s safe to assume everything she said in the Twilight House and everything she said to Karan (was I the only one yelling at her to shut the F&#* up?) is known to the authorities.
Speaking of the Twilight House, it seems as if my initial comparisons to “Logan’s Run” might not have been so far off as I initially thought. Safu is certainly convinced that all was not well with Grandma, who was bored and lonely. She’s even more horrified to discover that Shion has been arrested for attempted murder, though she immediately guesses from Karan’s demeanor that the boy has escaped. I was a little shocked at how freely she spoke, but it appears as if all the “number” cities may not be so identical in governing philosophy. Not only was Safu’s Picasso book OK in No. 5 but banned in No. 6 (confiscated at the airport like a Box of Cohiba Robustos) but a passerby (informant?) lamps out the fact that she’s been out of town because of a “wind” that follows her. The stink of freedom, perhaps.
So that leaves things in quite a mess. Karan witnesses Safu – on her way to try and find Shion – being kidnapped by the Public Security Bureau. She gets word to Nezumu via Priority Mouse, but he’s considering withholding the information, not wanting Shion to get himself killed trying to save her. And the coming conflict between the two boys seems inevitable, with Shion still wanting to save the city and Nezumi still hating it. Nezumi may be about as big an ideologue as you’ll find – his world is black and white and shows no room for compromise. He even threatens Shion with a knife, though Shion doesn’t seem too worried.
On the personal side, Safu finds time to confess her love for Shion – to his mother, anyway. That seems pretty fruitless based on Shion’s “most important person” confession last week, not to mention the last shot of the preview. And the translator at CR referred to Dogkeeper as “He” this week – though I have no idea based on what evidence the change occurred, so I’m more confused than ever. I guess that sums up my general take about this odd and interesting series, though I confess the notion of Safu and Nezumi’s paths crossing – and an ensuing battle royale over Shion – is a fascinating prospect I’d quite like to see…