「伝えてくれ、ありのままを」 (Tsutaete kuru, Ari no Mama wo)
“Tell Me the Truth”

Like it’s NoitaminA stablemate Usagi Drop, No. 6 ends on an understated, restrained and reflective note – a quiet and dignified final episode that reflected the nature of the series as a whole.

Oh, wait – no, it didn’t do that at all. It was a gigantic FUBAR.

I picture the inner sanctum at BONES during the planning for this final episode, with one of the staff asking what was left of the novels that they hadn’t used already, and, given the answer, asking what they should use in the finale. Director Nagasaki Kenji’s response must surely have been, “All of it! Use it all!”

Once I again I find myself asking whether the helpless peals of laughter I was emitting after the finale were a good thing or not. In a strange way I think No. 6 was as true to itself in the end as Usagi Drop was – it was overdramatic, confusing, breathlessly sincere and hilariously absurd. And I have to admire that, just as I did all along with this show – it never pulled its punches or worried about believability or restraint (certainly not restraint). It just said “These go up to eleven!” and cranked up the volume of insanity.

So what did happen? As near as I can tell, Elyurias intentionally delivered Safu into the hands of No. 6, which was trying to use Elyurias for their own power, because she was a perfect medium and would allow Elyurias to wipe out the city and reclaim it for nature. The wasps were an experiment No. 6 was conducting on its own citizens as some sort of way to harness Elyurias’ (who appears to be a giant wasp) power, with the help of a supercomputer called “Mother”. Yoming was part of some sort of violent resistance that planned to overthrow the city, but was a casualty when the wasps hatched. Nezumi was shot at least three times and lost twice his own body weight in blood, but because Shion stitched him up he was able to overcome a perfectly healthy Shion and disable him, using a bomb to blow up the correctional facility, which in turn destroyed the city wall. Shion himself was shot in the heart, but when ElyuriaSafu went non-corporeal, she emanated some sort of magic healing dandruff that cured Nezumi’s wounds and resurrected Shion from the dead. Nezumi kissed Shion on the lips again just to remind us this was a bromance, then left for no apparent reason except so the ending would be bittersweet. Did I miss anything? I would have used more punctuation and paragraph breaks, but the show didn’t use any so I figured I shouldn’t either.

I’ll give BONES credit, it was certainly a breathtakingly fast-paced finale. I was a little disappointed that we never saw the reunion between Shion and Karan or learned the identity of Shion’s baby, and I would have liked to have gotten some sort of indication as to just what No. 6 needed those mountains of people for. And Dogkeeper and Rikiga fleeing together because they “wanted to survive” was pretty anticlimactic. But while the novels might be different, I can’t help but feel like trying to make sense of the No. 6 anime is rather beside the point. It was certainly confusing enough and had just enough metaphysics to be BONES, but in the end it was a pretty unique experience, not quite like anything else they’ve done.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「六等星の夜」 (Rokutousei no Yoru) (Full Version) by Aimer

Final Impressions:

NoitaminA couldn’t have found much more of a yin-yang than Usagi Drop and No. 6, could they? Where the one was subtle, low-key and direct, the other was sheer outrageous bombast, full of sound and fury signifying… Well, I don’t know what. But it was a trip. I kind of like this “head/heart” format that NoitaminA has used lately, though it seems as if they’re going in a different direction with two sci-fi accented shows this fall, geared more towards an otaku audience. I think the slice-of-life, emotional series have been the more successful artistically for NoitaminA, so this is a questionable change. We’ll see.

Through no fault of its own I can’t help but compare this show to Fractale and C, its two predecessors in the Brain Block of NoitaminA. While Hourou Musuko, AnoHana and Usagi Drop have all adapted well to the 11-episode schedule, we see with all three sci-fi based series that the format is extremely problematic. C was the most egregious example, and this series was certainly more successful than that one. And while I rank it about level with Fractale on the whole, I don’t think the ending fell apart quite as badly with No. 6. Here, I think the source material was so much bigger than the episode count would accommodate that some tough choices needed to be made, and clearly weren’t. This probably would have been a much better series with 26 episodes.

But for all that, I really do admire No. 6 for sticking to its guns. It really was a throwback to the anime of the 90’s with its over-the-top dialogue, apocalyptic imagery and soaring BGM. I’ve said already that the characters speak as if they’re in a play, and I really do find that to be true – and with this show as much as any I can recall the suspension of disbelief is truly crucial to getting any sort of enjoyment from it. It’s a mess, it’s confusing, it’s preposterous, offtimes silly and (I suspect) unintentionally funny. But it is fun, at least for me, in part because I haven’t seen anything like it for ages. Kamisama Dolls – a much better series than No. 6 – is another one that has strong elements of ‘90s style, so perhaps this heralds a return to a different age in anime – and least for a little slice of the genre pie.

The elements of ‘90s style shounen-ai certainly weren’t for everyone, and they ironically probably generated more discussion than any other element of the show despite being a very small part of it. For me, having cut my teeth on ‘90s anime, the light bromance here was nothing, and even sweet. But we live in a age where anime are pretty much either full-on yaoi or none at all, where everything is targeted at a specific audience. It didn’t always used to be that way, and even now yuri is widely accepted and even applauded by fans of “mainstream” anime. And while I’d certainly rather watch Mahiru tuning in Tokyo with Hibino than see Nezumi and Shion snogging, I also think we can be big enough to accept a little subtext and not lose our lunches. If it bothers you, no one had a gun to your head telling you to watch…

I’m not going to pretend everything worked with this series, or even most of it. Analyzed point by point, I think you’d walk away thinking it was a dismal failure. But viewed as a whole, the experience was mostly pleasant for me. There was a guileless charm to No. 6, a show where people would say and do the most preposterous things without a hint of self-awareness. I don’t think it really belonged on NoitaminA and it probably could have used some serious editing, but I give BONES credit for sticking to their guns and going all in with the craziness.


    1. Im worried that most of the shows audience left like this because they were too insecure about themselves to keep watching a show with yaoi subtext as opposed to yuri. I have to applaud the director to choosing to stick with the original material here for sure, it must have been a hard choice to make a decision like that.

  1. No matter how many plot holes this series ended on, I couldn’t help but find myself completely engrossed in every second of this show (I seriously was holding back tears when Shion “died”!). Sure, it’s not the most ground-breaking show of this season, but still it was a heck of a ride.

    And besides, who can say no to a little Shion & Nezumi bromance?
    Seriously. That last kiss. alksjdflaksjdflasjd <3 :')

    1. Agreed. Obviously it’s not the best series of the world, but it managed to make me feel for the characters, and to get involved in the whole story, so I give credit to that =) And yes, Sion and Nezumi were totally cute in some scenes.

  2. This final episode was really just bizarre. But I do agree that, as a whole, No. 6 was quite a unique experience from what I’ve been watching recently, so it works somehow.

    I just do hope the manga adaptation – which I’ll be following from now on – of the novel is much better than this anime. Maybe BONES might even remake this based on the manga (a la FMA and FMA:B, but I highly doubt it).

  3. I’ve been following this series faithfully and really loved it but I was quite disappointment in the way it ended in the anime. The ending was so unsatisfying and rushed.

    I guess they were able to give us such an unsatisfying ending in the anime because the novel version is the actual ending and there is so much more detail in the novel but still, I really think they didn’t do justice here.

    I’m also annoyed where they did not show the novel version where
    Show Spoiler ▼

    But overall I really enjoyed this show. Too bad anime ended like this but I really think they did the good job. I hope to see more stories like this in the future (but with better ending XD )

  4. Also I nearly cried in the Shion’s death scene XD That was pretty much the only thing was proud of in this episode haha (and the kiss XP haha I swear its more than Bromance)

    Seriously, so much questions. I hope Inukashi and Rikiga is alive and well.

    Oh well. I think I’ll just stick to the novel’s ending.

    Thank you for blogging this Guardian Enzo 🙂

  5. I loved this series up to the end… the last 5 minutes were kind of a let down, I was expecting more than what we got. It feels like something we’ve see too many times before and lost me there. If I had to give the series a rating, it would be 10/10 without the last 5 minutes.. with the last 5, the best I could give it is a 7 or 8 out of 10..

    I will agree, No.6 in itself was quite a gift along with Usagi Drop. They were a lot of fun to watch and at some points I was looking forward to Thursdays when I could watch them. They did not fail to impress me up until the endings when the last 5-7 minutes felt rushed way to fast without a closure on many open ends. I would have been happy with some sort of quick showing of what happened after with all the people. Kind of like a quick 1 minute of the future after No.6 fell. Something HAD to have happened. I feel like its a advertisement to buy the novel or BD when released if you want to get the full experience… Sadly, seems that’s the norm though as a lot of series seem to end up like this… Short end of the stick and rushed.

    1. I can honestly say that I fell for the series’s “advertisement” gimmick as, immediately after the last episode, I googled to find translations of the novel…..

      and now I can’t stop reading it.

  6. Overall I enjoyed the series. However the ending just left a “there is a final episode right?” The show felt ever so slightly rushed throughout the entire thing which is not a bad thing as most anime tends to be incredibly slow. However this last episode was had an EXTREME feeling of “wrap it up” This series didn’t even need a 26 episode run. A single additional episode so that they could take this 20 minutes and put it over 40 would have fixed a lot with this ending.

    I will never forget this series but I will probably never watch it again either. Where as a lot of other shows that aired this season I am hoping get picked up and licensed for state side release so I can invite some friends/family over and enjoy a movie night.

    1. One more thing, I really wish they showed Sion meet his mom again, their separation was one of the driving forces behind why I kept watching hoping they could meet again. I wanted them to meet more than safu who you know early on is being “rescued”. Had it been 12 episodes, spending 2 minutes showing them reunited would have been a good tear jerker.

  7. I more or less enjoyed this series for the same reasons.

    I’m not sure why, but I was really annoyed by Shion dropping the research information on Elyruias he got in the other episode and smashed it. Why was he given it to begin with? Was it just so Shion could smash it at the end? Did he ever use it at all? In any other series, an act like that would be significant and mean something. Here, I kind of forgot about it until that point–and it seemed like Shion did too. “Oh, I still have this? Well I don’t need it now anyway” was what I was thinking must have been going through his head. Well, it just adds to the overall ridiculousness of it all I guess.

  8. Well said “Guardian Enzo”. I’m glad you were able to be gracious about the whole show despite its flaws and obvious shounen-ai subtext. I myself enjoyed the show for what it was, and it really drives me nuts when arrogant, obnoxious otaku feel the need to remind us how “Gay” the show is and how anyone who watches it is a “bunch of fags”. Amongst all of the utter trash anime out there, this show isn’t going to kill anyone.

  9. Wow this ending… I feel like there was enough material in this single episode to cover 12 episodes. Very disappointed with how it was rushed, even if there was no other choice. 🙁 It wasn’t storytelling, it was summary.

    My brain hurts just thinking about all the awkward and unrealistic things that happened in succesion. How Shion repeatedly fixed up Nezumi, Nezumi’s lack of reaction at Shion resurrecting from the dead, that out-of-the-blue kiss at the end. Somehow a kiss makes the murder of a childhood friend suddenly okay?

    The resistance seemed so unnecessary. And what was the point of getting and smashing that purple stick? Did I miss something?

    You are so right about this series not being created to be taken seriously. Once you start, it becomes really frustrating. As someone who hasn’t been following the novel, all I’m left with is a feeling of vague disappointment. :'( If it had been spread out over several episodes, it might have actually been good.

    Anyhow, thanks for covering this series Guardian Enzo. I looked forward to reading your thoughts and the opening teaser was particularly funny.

    1. I think Shion is rational enough to understand that Nezumi isn’t really a childhood friend “murderer” (OK, he might not be really… rational, but he’s certainly got the brains/IQ to get the gist, I think).

      Crushing the little purple data stick made sense to me, but I think they could have explained Shion’s intentions a lot better had they been given more time. Poor purple stick. Its existence and role was pretty much made meaningless.

      I also found Nezumi’s reaction to be quite unnatural – probably because the large chunks that depicted each character’s psychology in the novel disappeared completely. And I agree – everything in this final ep just seemed… so inorganic.

    1. Makes it sound like? Yeah, that’s the issue… 😉

      NoitaminA really needs to realize that these big, high-concept sci-fi epics just can’t work in 11 episodes. The math is hard to argue – character-driven series Wandering Son, AnoHana and Usagi Drop – all total successes artistically. Fractale, C and No. 6? Deeply flawed and cursed by rush endings. At least Guilty Crown is two cour, though I worry for Un-Go a little (though I suspect it may end up being the better series).

      1. I’ve enjoyed many aspects of this show, though I must agree that it was way too rushed. I wouldn’t be upset if they hadn’t covered the complete novel series – good storytelling is always on the top of my list. The cramming of NO.6 is simply terrible. One of the most WTF-worthy elements of this show is probably its awkward pacing.

        …but then, anime is expensive to produce, and there’s rarely anyone out there who’s willing to make risky investments. I don’t think the animated adaptation of NO. 6 is something that promises commercial success. But still… I would have liked to see the story painted in finer detail. Surely sponsoring for 13~20 something eps can’t be thaaaat hard? *grumbles*

        PS> I thought the latter parts of the novels were slightly rushed as well as they somehow abandoned the settings of NO. 6 that were carefully constructed initially. It’s a pity, really. However, they were nowhere as bad as the anime.

  10. This show just leaves me with so much more questions. I felt this episode and show felt rushed at times and that could have been handled better. The animation was excellent from BONES. I enjoyed it none the less.

  11. So in the finale BONES decides to censor that last good-bye kiss between the two of them. What’s the point in that since the prior kiss scenes were shown (not just theirs alone). Anyways, it was horrible to see so many deaths in almost every minute of the story. All I was thinking of was hoping that Nezumi lives through it, but there were so many close calls. I seriously thought they were going to be goners, and I’m in a flux about not seeing Nezumi and Sion anymore. It’s really a closure that’s not a closure for me, even though there is nothing more the protagonists can do together in their journey. And Guardian Enzo’s summary is too straightforward that I felt took away some of the deep meaning (essence of the theme) the story is trying to put forward. In all respect, it would sound ridiculous to me the way it’s written if I hadn’t watched the episode before looking up this post. BTW why wasn’t Karan and the survivors affected my the wasp infection?

    1. I thought the last good-bye kiss wasn’t censored..?

      “In all respect, it would sound ridiculous to me the way it’s written if I hadn’t watched the episode before looking up this post.” That was Enzo’s point. The episode IS ridiculous.

  12. From all the tidbits of the novel I learnt about on the internet, this final episode did seem rushed and amputatated. For example the kiss scene in the novel was accompanied by the the dialogue:
    Shion: Is this a goodbye kiss?
    Nezumi:It’s a kiss of oath
    Nezumi smiled gently.
    Nezumi: We will definitely meet again, Shion

    I will be the first to admit that I enjoy myself a bit of bromance, but not if they keep leaving the development out…

    Really wished they had at least 1 extra episode to wrap everything up and expand on the ending. Why are the Noitamina animes all 11 episodes rather than the regular 12? Though the artistry and music was excellent overall.

  13. BROMANCE: an extremely close friendship amongst heterosexual men. Has no sexual component.

    I have not seen this anime, but if there was anything romantic/sexual implied between the two leads (and it looks like it), then it’s not a bromance. Please stop using the word, it doesn’t mean what you think it means.

    Nothing wrong with shounen ai hints (or more) in any manga/anime, but that is NOT a bromance.

    Harry Tuttle
    1. Well, Nezumi had first gotten angry with Shion for giving him a kiss goodbye (which technically had no sexual implications or love) back way when he first heard about Safu and Nezumi returned the favor here so bromance could be correct. We, the shonen-ai fans, just see beyond friendship all the time so others shouldn’t pay so much mind to us (just like we pay no mind to the haters).

  14. Am I reading a review for Usagi Drop or No. 6? Neither anime have anything in common, and should not be compared. Still This ending was kinda underwhelming and didn’t feel right.

    It started off great and had me waiting for the next episode to come out in anticipation, but as for the ending, personally I’d rather have seen them die together than see that stupid bee
    resurrection crap. I also think that there were a lot of questions that went unanswered.

  15. what an epic fail.
    ep 10 got my hopes all up…just to destroy with this. The novels are SO MUCH better… dunno how someone who hasnt read them know whats going on really. You’ve surpassed yourself once again BONES.

  16. Really disappointing to be honest. It was good up to the middle of episode 11 then it just went downhill.
    The way Nezumi left, what the hell? ‘oh bye sion gtg’ *kisses him* ‘you’ll be find cya in a bit’ *disappears completely* To where? and why the heck did Sion not care?
    fbksdfgkdbg this ending was stupid. I have no idea what other fangirls are going on about…

  17. You know, i’m not against yaoi, i actually am a fan of it, but i HATE it when the forget ecerything else and just figure ‘Well let’s just rush everything and THEN drop the gay bomb’they just figure that if the ravid fangirls have something to freakin’ drool over , then everything’s okay BUT IT ISN”T ! (and this coming from a yaoi fan is just …i can’t even explain it!) That’s the thing that’s bad about adding too many ‘Bishounens’ or ‘Yaoi’ sure it gives everyone something to squeel over but not while screwing everything else. And i didn’t even LIKE the couple (at least if you’re gonn fail at a series but add gays in it- then at least make the couple more appealing, but it’s not like you need to do that, as well. As long as you just give the fanbase SOME sort of hint, they go crazy and stick to it. JEEZ ! I am so f***ing pissed off :@ Sorry for the rant >.<
    Good review though ^^ That's the only thing i can actually smile about -_-''

    1. They dropped that gay bomb a few episodes ago…For a story with boy love in it, it’s done pretty well. It’s not like Sekaiichi Hatsukoi which has clones and clones of characters and plot I don’t care about. (Reason why I’ve never watched it)
      There wasn’t any yaoi in this…so I don’t know what you’re on about.
      Personally, I don’t think it was the Shounen Ai that ruined this series tbh.

      1. Personally, every time I read/watch Sekaiichi I do notice the clones, but it gives me butterflies in my stomach and makes me lol so I completely ignore it.
        The randomness made the series alluring but it also gives you a ‘wtf’ face so it’s like a double edge sword (my opinion though)

  18. WTF… Safu evaporated into magical dandruff and Shion was dumped 🙁
    No close-up bromance kiss in the finale? I don’t think the fujoshis are going to the lining up for this one. Bad move, Bones!!!

    Seishun Otoko
  19. I think Nezumi left so that Shion would care for someone else – starting with a baby he saved (thats by it was brought to him right after Nezumi dissapeared), and than all the people in a mess of what No.6 and west District has become.

  20. Nezumi didn’t really leave Shion. Hamlet’s still with him so Nezumi will always know if Shion ever gets into trouble. I think Nezumi left because he wanted Shion to return to the smiling and idealistic person that he first met. However, since Nezumi is practically in love with him, I doubt he’ll stay away for long.

    1. Yes indeed, I also think he should return sometime, and Shion’s last words “We’ll be reunited again someday” (and preview, and Novel actually) proves it.

      Damn, I knew like from the very beggining of this show that scenes of the last episode would have ending theme on background! And than I learned about final kiss, I really had no doubts. Such a dramatic theme.

    2. That was my read – Nezumi figured Shion would go back to being that happy smiling person if he weren’t around. A bad call, but I think that’s what we’re supposed to think. The other thing is, there’s a title card in the final frame that wasn’t in the subbed version that basically has Shion and Nezumi snuggling and saying “we’ll meet again”, and that sort of changes the tone of the ending…

      1. But Shion himself says at the last seconds of episode that they would meet again, so title card shouldn’t add anything new, especially noting that characters have original look from the past, not future (just a pretty art). And well… in the novel, scene plays like that: Nezumi kisses Shion and says “its a kiss to seal a vow that they will be reunited someday”. And tries to explain his rasons for leaving (none of it sounded reasonable anyway).

        I just looked up summaries for last 2 volumes of novels, so many differences, and a lot more things explained. Shion never got shot. I totally agree with a person above that adding 12th episode would improve a lot of things.And honestly, I wait for OAD announcement. But damn, I still like how anime played it out. I was anticipating this kind of mindf**k from what seemed to be a sweet and a bit mediocre series. Tension was building for too long.

  21. I didn’t realize that the flashbacks were a way to show that Sion was reverting back to his old self. I read on another blog that one of the themes for this anime was to not lose hope. Is that true in some way?

  22. Were the Safu spoilers for the novel true? If so, I could understand, but here it was just:
    Shion: Look! it’s Safu who we came here to rescue, she’s still in one piece, lets grab her and run!
    Nezumi: Nope! she’s possessed, we gotta blow that thing she’s standing beside up and her along with it.

  23. These kinds of series are the reasons why good novels don’t get translated to English. There’s a certain expectation to live up to and not screw up. Ah~ I really want to read the novels now…

  24. Noo, Youming! I’ll miss you. D:

    Anyways, the ONE thing I wanted to see was Karan finally being able to see her son again, but that never happened. Oh, well. Overall, I thought it was one of the better animes of seen in awhile.

    And I thank you, Guardian Enzo, for blogging this series. =3

  25. Man, from the mini quip, I thought you hated the ending and it was horrible. Nope, turns out it was typical No. 6 faire, even if it was super super rushed.

    I think most of the noitamina shows do suffer from not having a 12th or 13th episode. That one extra chunk of time probably would resolve a LOT of how rushed this episode was. But then you could argue that they could’ve sped things up in earlier episodes, *sigh*

    A whirlwind of a show, but well worth it >).

    1. Oh, Dammit! I remembered something: I also dont like the TL for this ep’s title. “Tell me the truth” ?? -_-… “Tell it like it is” ‘like it is’ fitting much better to ありのまま imo.

  26. By the way, the little girl with Shion’s mother…I forget, was she the resistance leader’s daughter (or niece or something)? I couldn’t help but feel sad seeing her all happy at the end with the rat when I knew that guy was dead. With the music and all, it seems like they want you to feel happy, but it just seems…off.

  27. The change in Shion’s way of thinking was so rushed that it appeared that he had some serious mental issues in this episode and the previous one. A 12th episode probably would have fixed that + explained a little better the whole deal about Elyurias. Yeah, she was part of Safu so both died when Mother exploded but I feel I’m missing something there.

    Anyway, not bad for those looking for some bromance + a bit of sci-fi. It was better than Fractale and C at least. Fractale had a similar concept but it was more of a trainwreck. And C had an interesting concept but the way of telling the story was terrible, plus I didn’t care about Kimimaro (was it his name?) at all.

    Thanks for blogging this! I really liked reading your posts.

  28. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show that would have clearly benefitted from being two-cour as much as NO.6. Or at least have 13 episodes or something. Whose brilliant idea was it to adapt a 9-volume novel series into 11 episodes, anyway?

    It’s a bit of a shame since I really liked the setting of NO.6, and think the anime could have been one of my favorites had the story been given more time to unfold itself. I hope there will at least be some sort of extra episode on the DVD that will wrap up things more nicely.

    But despite everything, I still liked the ending, as confusing and rushed as it may been been. It certainly made me even more interested in reading the original novel ending.

    Thanks a lot for blogging this show, the posts were always fun to read!

  29. I actually didn’t mind the cliche ‘revival’ thing but instead just the ending in general…and all I really want to know are; One, is the Dogkeeper female or not? why bring it up otherwise? Two, what was up with the old lady knowing exactly who to go to so she can incriminate them…and lastely it really bothered me that the baby was wrapped around the dog again…let alone it was done magically but what was the point of the ‘momma’ the baby said to the Dogkeeper if it was going to magically wrap itself up and set off with the dog for a thought to be dead person….


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