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In a near future world after the last great war, most of mankind now lives in a handful of city states. There, for the privileged elite, life should be perfect. But for young Shion, the only thing perfect has been the nightmare his life has become since letting a strange boy called Rat spend the night in his apartment. Banished to the outskirts of the city and stripped of all privileges for helping the mysterious stranger who has since disappeared, Shion now finds himself in even worse danger as his inquiry into a new series of mysterious deaths results in his being arrested on suspicion of murder! But even as Shion is being sent to the city's Correctional Institute, the long missing Rat reappears to rescue him! Now, on the run, the two young men have only one chance at survival: uncover the mysterious secrets that lie at the sinister heart of No. 6!
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Top Customer Reviews
I have been anxious to write a review of No. 6 since I binge-watched the series two weeks ago on Crunchyroll. Once I had done that however, I quickly purchased the series on Blu-ray as I wanted everything No. 6 that I could get my hands on. This anime and story is just that good! Yes, it has its flaws, but what anime doesn’t, right? Nevertheless, overall, the story, the animation, the acting, the action, the emotion and the music are all here in No. 6. This is the best anime that I have ever seen. This has been the only anime that ever knocked me sideways and had me limping, stumbling, and trying to find my way back out into the real world to rebuild my emotional center!
I know right?! No. 6 draws you in unexpectedly and slowly annihilates your emotions. You fall in love with the characters and fight right along-side them. Right from the beginning, you feel the melancholic tug between the main characters of Nezumi and Shion most powerfully by simplest of actions and then by the most moving of ending anthems – the gorgeously heart-rending, “Rokutousei no Yoru” by a wonderful artist and writer by the name of Aimer. She is truly wonderful and her song fits this piece perfectly. The same can also be said of the opening them by Lama entitled, “Spell”. Once you experience the translations, it makes these works so much more than mere songs – they indeed contribute to the relationship of the main characters and the story.
Let me begin by saying first and foremost that no disrespect whatsoever to the creator, Ms. Asano is intended at all here.
The main problem that I have with the anime, as well as the novels (because, as I said, I had to ‘get my hands on everything No. 6, right?, so I read 2 of the novels – and the story differs quite a bit, but there the ending is basically the same, as I am about to mention here, so read no further if you have not watched the series or read the novels, please!) is that Nezumi and Shion, after saving each other emotionally, physically, and spiritually many times in fact – do not end up together, per se.
We all know this is fiction, but…if two people had found each other the way that these two had, and had gone through as much as these two had, together, and realized how very special and very rare that was, and how precious this all was, there is not the slimmest chance in all of the universe that Nezumi would have walked away from Shion and promised that “they would meet again” one day. In the novel, this promise is made much more of a point than in the anime and you end the reading on a much higher note.
In the anime, with the coupling of the ending theme, you wonder if they will ever see each other again! This is evident by the animation sequence during the ending theme when Nezumi throws the snowball and the sequence turns into a memory where Shion reaches up to catch that snowball, but the season, perhaps even the year, has changed and he reaches up to catch, nothing. It is very sad.
Everyone will have a differing point of view of course. Some will agree with Nezumi that he wanted to see who Shion could become and what he would accomplish on his own. But seriously, you can accomplish great things together even if you are very different. Love, and a very special one at that, does not come along everyday…or for every-one (intentional). One doesn’t simply toss love aside by citing that ‘we are different’. Our differences are exactly what attract us to each other as well as our similarities. And, by the way, Nezumi and Shion are not opposites, they are just different. In the end, especially as emphasized in the novel, Shion continues to wait and says he will always wait for his “perfect partner” to come back and that “when he (Nezumi) does, (he) will not just let him leave”. So, there is a great deal of hope for their future in that speech. Nevertheless, it all really works I suppose, because they do not go off into the sunset together. The reader/viewer ends up with hope beyond hope that these two will somehow, someday be together.
END SPOILER ALERT
Now, there is so much more that I would like to say and will perhaps write more at some point because I find myself discovering more each time re-watch the episodes in both languages and listening /reading the Japanese commentary which is very interesting. In the meantime, I very highly recommend watching and purchasing the Blu-ray version of No. 6.
Without spoiling too much, Sion is a genius young boy raised in the Utopian society known simply as No. 6. On a dark, typhoon stricken night, his easy existence is turned on its head when a mysterious boy breaks into his open window. He learns that the strangers name is Nezumi or "rat" and that he is an escaped VC being hunted down by their government. He treats Nezumi's wounds, and the two discuss the finer points of reality. In the morning, Nezumi has vanished, leaving Sion to deal with the fallout.
Sion is questioned, stripped of his rank for abetting the escape of an outlaw, and forced to live in the Lost Town of No. 6.
Four years pass, and Sion finds himself smack in the middle of conspiracy once more; apprehended for a crime he didn't commit, until Nezumi returns and saves him, whisking Sion away and to the outlying West Block that resides beyond the walls of No. 6.
With a parisitic epidemic looming on the horizon for the unwitting citizens of No. 6, Sion scrambles to find a way to prevent it; while Nezumi stands back, waiting to relish in the hated cities demise.
This anime is dark, posing viable questions of the cruel reality of a Utopian world that thrives on the suffering of citizens who are not worth more than a means to an end to the people who run it.
While at times the plot can be slightly outlandish toward the end, and confusing, the relationship built between Nezumi and Sion is well worth the watch through of the scant 11 episodes.
You can relish in the gorgeous, detailed art and the rich, complex characters.
My only qualm with this anime is the English dub voice actor choices. While I am never one to nit-pick over dubs, I did originally watch this anime in Japanese and find the casting of all the characters to have been ill picked, and piss poor at best. Nezumi sounds awkwardly stiff, not at all charismatic and cynical, and Greg Ayres as Sion just grated against my nerves. That being said, if you don't mind subs, the Japanese voice actors did a stellar job!
This anime is great for all fans of boy love, who are a little sick of what is commonly found in the genre.
Especially at the marked down price, I would buy this as soon as possible. It's worth a watch, and each rewatch brings out new, subtle details in the story. In short, amazing anime!