「真実の嘘・虚構の真実」 (Shinjitsu no Uso Kyokō no Shinjitsu)
“True Lies, False Truths”
I’m pretty sure that never in this history of anime – and maybe any other medium – has one boy kissed another full on the lips, then said “I better go to bed. I have to get up early to shave the dogs.” And that exchange tells you pretty much all you need to know about No. 6.
Watching this show immediately after Usagi Drop is certainly an interesting study in contrasts. Even with their usual habit of late in pairing a reality-based human drama with a sci-fi series, I’m not sure the block has ever had two series that were more fundamentally different. Where the former is understatement and subtle emotional shading, this may be the most theatrical show in many a season. I mean, it’s utterly preposterous dialogue is a marvel in the purity of its ridiculousness. I laughed uproariously at the above exchange – though as so often with No. 6 I’m not sure if I was supposed to. But if you’re enjoying it, does it really even matter?
I think at this point we can definitively say the oft-discussed “undertone” is officially a “tone”. The kiss was certainly a defining moment for the series, and as I understand it was also present in the novel – if so, I give kudos to BONES for leaving it in. I’m sure that the viewers that have been obsessing over the BL aspects of the series will only protest more loudly, but for me the kiss is an anti-climax in that it tells me nothing I didn’t already know. Shion and Nezumi have had feelings for each other since their very first scene together and though it was packaged with the requisite code-words like “good-night kiss” and “farewell kiss” we’re fooled no more than the characters are. It’s out in the open now, so let’s deal with it and move on.
This was an episode that was focused very much on the character dynamic between Shion and Nezumi – and to a lesser extent Nezimu and Dogkeeper – but there was still some plot movement. Karan’s reporter friend Yoming (Miki Shinichiro) steps in just as Karan is about to say something she shouldn’t to the same little old lady who spoke with Safu at the airport, and is obviously an informant for the Security Bureau. I was pretty worried for Karan there – not so much that she’d be arrested, but that the wasp theory would prove to be true with her as an example. For now, crisis averted – but she’s clearly under heavy suspicion Meanwhile, Safu is suspended in some sort of tank as the government scientists rave about what a perfect specimen she is for whatever experiments they’re running. She’s been erased from all public records, too, with all that implies.
What immediately struck me about that was the fact that Safu seems to have some kind of psychic link with Nezumi. If she’s perfect for whatever purpose they’re planning, perhaps he is too – and perhaps what he escaped from was a life as a lab rat (hmm…) for their experimentation. It would explain an awful lot – his self-bestowed name, his hatred of No. 6, his association with laboratory mice – but it’s just a theory right now. At the very least, Nezumi was already planning on a rescue mission which he enlists Dogkeeper’s help for. Their scenes are suggestive of a pretty deep and intense relationship between the two of them. Things take a turn when Shion finds out about Safu’s troubles via a coincidence that stretches credulity even by this show’s standard, leading to the climactic exchange of saliva, plus a couple of punches for good measure.
BONES appears to be mixing in material from the later novels, and they certainly have a lot of plates spinning with only 4 eps to go. Shion is trying to make a serum without the tools he needs, Safu is in serious trouble and Karan may be soon to follow, and if the preview is any indication there’s another completely new element to the conspiracy about to be introduced next week along with some sort of semi-wild tribe that captures Shion and Nezumi and speaks of “absolute power”. Yoming has feelings for Karan and I’m even getting a vibe that Dogkeeper has feelings for Shion – or is it Nezumi? – and I’m not even sure of Dogkeeper’s gender. What a mess of trouble for BONES to sort out, with not much time to do it. Wait – that’s actually pretty much every BONES series ever, isn’t it?