“It’s All In The Numbers” – No. 6 (anime) – 6/10 Notebooks

Perhaps the greatest utopia would be if we could all realize that no utopia is possible; no place to run, no place to hide, just take care of business here and now. ~Jack Carroll

Genre: Sci-fi/Shounen-ai/Action/Josei

Review Status: Complete (11 Episodes/11 Epsiodes)

Licensed: Yes, this anime is licensed for streaming on Crunchyroll.com

Art/Animation: Overall average. The colors are nice and bright, the character designs decently memorable. The animation suffers a bit in the slice-of-life segments where nothing much happens. The action scenes, especially at the end of the series, have wonderfully fluid fights that are a great watch.

Dub Vs. Sub: There is no dub for this title.

Summary: Sion is a bright teenager living a comfortable and promising life inside No. 6, one of this six remaining city-states created by The Babylon Treaty after the last great war devastated the world. On the rainy evening of his twelfth birthday, he meets a savvy adolescent who calls himself “Nezumi” (Rat) and is desperately trying to runaway from the authorities. For helping a fugitive of the state, Sion is stripped of all his privileges. Four years later, they meet once again. For better or for worse, Sion is about to unravel the secrets guarded deep inside No. 6. (ANN decription)

Review: No. 6- a utopia for those who love their city and never question it. A place of exile and terror for those who dare speak a word against it. Created to be a haven after the wars destroyed most of the world, those in power grew too hungry for power, and try to harness the power of a forest to try and revive the world.

This anime has some good ideas, but suffers for its length and attempt to balance character development with plot development. There is great build-up for the first 4 or 5 episodes, with the meeting of Nezumi and Sion, the clues that not everything is as it seems in the city, the way Sion sees life for those around him outside the place and his determination to save the people in the city. Unfortunately, the relationship with Sion and Nezumi gets rushed because they have to move the plot along, and the plot suffers because they spent time on the relationship.

Nezumi, you come to understand, has a deep-seated grudge against the people of No. 6. His family killed off and captured to be experimented on, he wants nothing more than to see the city destroyed. Sion has lived a charmed life within the city… until he helps a boy who has escaped from it. His perceived betrayal of the city casts him into the lowest of jobs and responsibilities, and his questioning of the city when people start dying in suspicious ways. In the peripheral is Safu, a childhood friend of Sion’s, who has a deep crush on him and becomes a key player late in the series. Things that connect her and Sion clue them in that things are very wrong in the city. The first half is where you really get into their characters and their motivations, and they become genuinely likeable people.

The great build up in the beginning all goes to waste in the second half. Unanswered questions and plot holes about. It’s easy to tell that they had expected a second season, and ended up struggling to give a good ending to the season. That still leaves the questions of who or what Elyusia is (and a giant bee? Really?). How was it determined that nothing of Safu remained? After all, there seemed to be enough of her consciousness at the end. Why would anyone program all the computers to destroy themselves if the main computer was gone (by far the dumbest programming mistake ever)?

The finale delivered in terms of action, explosions, emotional punches, and destruction, which is why I’m still rating this over a 5. There are few things I’ve found more horrifying than what was inside the walls of the correction center. The action and fights were beautiful and fluid, and the emotional scenes during it didn’t feel out of place or forced. Unfortunately, it was marred by one of the most overdramatic, obvious, and downright stupid revival scenes I’ve ever seen. Even so, the ending brought back some of the goodwill that it lost during the second half.

Overall, the flaws in execution really bring my opinion down, but the good parts still manage to outweigh the bad- just barely.

Recommended: 16+. There is very little language, perhaps one or two swears but none stronger than the d-word or h-word. There are two kisses between Nezumi and Sion, neither of which last very long. Besides those scenes there really isn’t any sign that they’re more than friends, sometimes even behaving more like brothers. Safu, being a very direct character, admits that she likes Sion and asks him to have sex with her. It is very blunt, but not out of character, and never brought up again.

This does have some scenes that are horrifying- the town of No. 6 outcasts is razed by the military, and lots of people are killed. You do see bodies and blood spatter, though no gore per say. Later, they are dumped in a pit to die, that’s filled with the bodies of outcasts that were thrown there to be forgotten and die. Nezumi and Sion must climb to the top of the pile to escape. No gore, though the thought can be enough to turn some stomachs.

Other titles you might enjoy:

Ergo Proxy (anime)
King of Thorn (manga)
Wolf’s Rain (anime)
Tegami Bachi (manga)


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