I randomly heard about this while viewing anime forums looking for a specific anime containing an assassin. I don’t know the name of either the character or the anime. I don’t even have an image. It was one of those where I wish I had paid closer attention. Anywho, back to No. 6, this was not what I had expected at all.
- Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Shounen Ai
- Type: Series
- Season: 1
- Seasons in total: 1
- Number of episodes: 11
- Duration to watch: +/- 4 hours 15 Minutes
- Age restriction: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)
- Release date: July 2011
- Animation Studio: Bones
- Kanji: ナンバー・シックス
Sion is an elite resident of the city No. 6. On a stormy night, he meets a mysterious boy who changes his world. By harbouring a criminal Shion and his mother lose their privileged life. Now years later Sion is thrust into the middle of a mysterious case where people are ageing rapidly and dying. Fearing that the city is covering up its secrets he is arrested and sent to the correctional facility. He is forced to flee the city that is a supposed utopia after a sudden reunion with the mysterious boy, Mezumi (Rat).
Will they be able to save themselves and live in a new and better world or will they succumb to shadows of Number 6 when Sion’s childhood friend Safu is captured and also sent to the correctional facility?
I watched this in one sitting and was left wanting more. The first encounter to between the two boys piqued my interest. The way that Sion so calmly took in everything and just rolled with it was incredible and made me want to see how things would progress from that point.
Now in the opening, we saw that Rat had been chased and shot at and that he was desperately trying to escape. Why he was being chased was because he was apparently a convict and thus was being hunted down. Although with his conversation with Sion you quickly come to realise there is a lot more going on behind the scenes. This line right here broke my heart! Why is a child thinking this? What have they gone through where they don’t know the warmth of another’s touch? The anime did a great job of catching my attention during episode one and pulled at my heartstrings. Enough so that I instantly jumped to episode two and that was how it went for the rest of the episodes until before I knew it I had already watched all 11 and was left with a deep desire for more. That is what a compelling story is meant to do. It needs to draw you in and capture your attention and keep it throughout. The story flowed really well. It went from point A to B to C and so on following a smooth course with basically no side plots to distract from the main. It was clear and concise even though the underlying tone of oppression and deceit were rather heavy. The intro song is beautiful and I listened to it quite a few times, although not every episode.
The interaction between Sion and Rat reminded me that sometimes you just ‘click’ with someone without knowing why. I was also reminded that as you grow up this is harder and harder to do. The characters were all colourful with both good and bad parts to them which I liked. Their interaction with each other was also really amusing. Each character had their purpose for moving the story along.
I wish we had been able to see more of Rat’s background and learnt more. Although this kept in tune with his whole mysterious history it was still a little frustrating. Even the small glimpse that we had been shown was not enough to satisfy my curiosity. Rat is my favourite character in the whole show. He is cold and aloof but he could not help watch out for Sion and he took care of others even though he tried hard to hide it and pretended like it was only because it was convenient and mattered little. Plus his singing was really beautiful.
The end felt a little off balance since it had a very sci-fi feel which altered from the feeling of the rest of the anime. But since this is a sci-fi that makes sense. I mean, select characters hearing random songs that no one else could hear, parasitic bees, futuristic weapons etc I should have predicted the end. Yet even with all that mentioned I still found the ending a tad odd.
Sion’s drastic alter-ego took me by surprise, I honestly did not expect it and it really made me wonder what deeper and darker emotions has he been holding back and repressing?
Overall I was impressed with this and got distracted and watched it again when I went back to it just to get screenshots for this review and future posting. For those that are worried, the Shounen Ai was a very subtle undercurrent and there are a total of two kisses that are *spoiler alert* to say goodbye and nothing more.
Would I recommend this? Yes, I would. I think it was really well done and well told and a sadly underappreciated anime.