Can you believe it, guys? No.6 is already over! It’s really been a blast reviewing this show and hearing everyone’s different opinions, so it’s going to be hard saying goodbye. This marks my third series completed here at Sekijitsu (why, yes, I am keeping track), and it’s been interesting seeing how the comments/commenters differ per show. It’s given me the opportunity to talk to a lot of different people about a lot of different things, and I’m really grateful to all of you guys who read my posts and, of course, to Bass and the others for letting me blog here.
Anyway, I should really stop talking about myself and get on with this post:
Alright, it’s serious business time. I still have a rant to get out of the way before moving on to my thoughts on the series overall.
As much as it really REALLY pains me to say this, episode 11 was a mess. After such a brilliant climax in episode 10, I was starting to have hope that, despite it being impossible to wrap things up in a satisfying manner at this point, the writers would at least be able to create a somewhat decent finale. This, however, just felt like they pulled a bunch of random nonsense out of nowhere.
First of all, I really didn’t understand the point of Nezumi leaving at the end. Was there any particular reason why he had to leave? It didn’t seem like it. It just seemed like an incredibly cheap way of making the ending more dramatic even though it was unnecessary. “Shion, I love you, but I have to go….somewhere…..I guess…because it just wouldn’t be bittersweet enough if we got to be together!” Where could he possibly have to go, anyway?
The other thing is the resurrection of Shion. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s when I start getting all teary-eyed over a dead character only to have them come back to life five minutes later. Just as I started crying like a bitch for poor little Shion, Elyurias turns into an enormous wasp….thing and brings him back to life. Not only that, but I thought that Shion’s death was one of the few things this episode did right, and it feels like they ruined that by having him just come back to life thanks to Elyurias and her stupid forest fairy magic. The death of Shion was a very emotional and powerful moment that I thought was pretty well-done, and I especially liked the exchange between Nezumi and InuKashi before she inexplicably disappeared from the episode completely. So why bring him back? Instead of making a bittersweet ending where two lovers are forced to be separated for no apparent reason, why not just let it be a tragedy?
And why DID Elyurias save Shion? Elyurias just got done condemning random innocent people of No.6 to death simply for being associated with the city. Oh sure, the city thrives off of genocide and exploitation, but is that the fault of the people? If Elyurias believes it is, then why didn’t she punish everyone in No.6 indiscriminately? Youming, for example, was trying to stop the city, yet in the middle of his speech about the evils of No.6, he was killed. But Karan, who just sat in her shop all day baking bread was spared for some reason they never bother to explain. And Shion was revived from the dead even though he was associated with the city and received the benefits that people’s lives had been sacrificed for his entire life up until recently. Was it the Safu in her that made her deem Shion worthy of life? Who knows!
*Sigh* I somehow don’t even feel like getting into the sheer absurdity of the giant wasp tornadoes or Safu turning into a giant shining wasp creature. Overall, I thought this episode could have and should have been much better. The execution was just terrible, but I will give it credit for eliciting an emotional response for a few minutes at least. It’s always a shame when good shows end on such a lame note, but at least there was some lovely BL to make it better, right?
Despite the fact that I just wrote paragraphs of complaints and ranting, I did not hate No.6. In fact, it’s the opposite: as a whole, I really enjoyed No.6! It had plenty of flaws, but almost every episode prior to episode 11 was rock solid and chock full of some great characterization. Add in a killer soundtrack, well-animated fight scenes, and a surprisingly down-to-earth homosexual relationship and No.6 was a worthwhile watch even if it couldn’t quite fit itself into its allotted time frame. If given 22 episodes or even just 13, this could have been one hell of an epic series. The biggest problem, as is typically the case with shows on this timeslot, is that Noitamina is a double-edged sword. Much like Fractale and Kuragehime, No.6 had a story that was just too big for eleven episodes, and because of that it ended up with such a terrible mess of an ending that did not, by any means, do this series justice.
The highlight of No.6, at least for me, was the characters. Nezumi and Shion are both excellent lead characters that play off of each other nicely. I know a lot of people don’t like Shion, but he serves as the perfect foil to Nezumi, and I honestly found him refreshing as far as male leads go. He doesn’t stay the sniveling male lead- he changes and becomes somebody who can stand as an equal to Nezumi. I especially liked how they handled Shion’s character in the last few episodes, and the destruction of his innocence was well-portrayed. The side characters, too, receive an incredible amount of development and depth considering the short amount of time they had to do it, and the chemistry between them all was just great. The only characters that felt bland to me by the end were Mr. Pedobear Plot Device (that old hobo in the cave) and creepy-ass Lilli whose telepathic child powers seemed forced and stupid, but they were hardly around anyway.
As for the story, it was rushed, but the pacing wasn’t that bad (before episode 11, anyway.) It was, for the most part, executed pretty well. There were some elements of it that just seemed unnecessary *cough* Elyurias *cough*, but I still enjoyed it a lot. Even if the ending was a train wreck, it was still a fun ride getting there.
The animation had it’s dips, but it was pretty decent most of the time. BONES really broke the bank animating some of the fight scenes though. I mean, that fight in episode 10 looked GOOD. The background art was also nicely detailed. As far as production values go, No.6 wasn’t anything ground-breaking, but it remained consistent.
Rating: 8.5/10. That may seem a bit high, but No.6 has been a really interesting character study that was genuinely enjoyable for 10 straight episodes. While I don’t suggest going into it with high expectations, I highly recommend watching No.6. It’s not amazing, but I don’t think you’ll regret it either.