I’m not entirely sure where to start on this one. I guess I’ll begin with how I came to hear of this show. A few different things convinced me to check it out. I have a few mangas that advertised it, so there was that. Then I saw some fanart I’d mistaken for Noragami fanart floating around, so I was a bit curious. Then I heard some people get annoyed with the popularity of Yuri on Ice competing with this for a reason I will soon explain.
The immediate win that this anime had was its animation studio: BONES. I love BONES. And you probably do too, as they’ve created such classics as Fullmetal Alchemist, Soul Eater, and Ouran High School Host Club, and the overly popular, My Hero Academia. Hence, they have created a large selection of beautifully animated anime, and this one was no exception. It’s visually very appealing: crisp and colorful. Though it can be dark at times.
The concept was nothing special: government splits up society into walled cities to “protect” their citizens, when in reality the government may not be as innocent as the civilians suspect. A virus is brewing, and will be released full-force on a designated day. Interesting enough, but not anything I haven’t seen before. Though it was more intriguing to me than Guilty Crown, which I honestly forget I ever watched. I apologize to those who enjoyed Guilty Crown. I have my reasons, but now is not the time to explain them.
The characters were engaging enough, though I felt a bit of a lack of development, which I will get into further later. The actual main character was Shion, and the secondary main was Nezumi. (though the subtitles simply say “rat” as that’s what his name translates to. I’m saying “Nezumi” because it’s honestly strange to call a person a rat) As stated before, I will get into the characters later, but I want to address something else first.
Why I heard of this really: the whole Yuri on Ice thing. The Internet has deemed Yuri on Ice the first non BL or yaoi anime with a gay relationship. According to people who have watched No. 6, this was not the case. So I decided to check it out. I wanted to see if they were telling the truth. While yes, there is a portrayal of an underlying romantic relationship between two guys, I don’t know if it’s on the same level as Yuri on Ice. But I will give it the “first” title at the very least. Only if it’s true, since I’m very new to watching and reading things involving LGBT+ characters. Though in this show, there is no real confirmation of what Nezumi and Shion consider their relationship, there are enough indicators that it was beyond friendship.
At first, when I was writing this, I was very angry about the results of Nezumi and Shion’s relationship, but then I scrolled through Google images and remembered a lot of well-done scenes, and I rewrote what was three paragraphs into that paragraph above. I think I was just focusing on two scenes, and forgot about a few others that were very pivotal and sweet.
It was mainly because of the ending scene, which I will probably never get over. I could make an entire post just on that, and it would be just as long as this one, in all honesty. Any of you who’ve seen this know exactly why, but I don’t want to explain what it is for those of you who haven’t seen it.
I’m so off track. I need to get back to the real topic.
The characters were the main focus of driving the plot. The first episode takes place years before the actual show. Shion is a student in middle school, and one stormy day, he finds Nezumi seeking for shelter while running away. It’s not explained where he was running from exactly, but it’s stated that Shion should not be helping the likes of him. No. 6 is against people like him. But he takes Shion inside anyway, providing warm food and clothing for him, hiding him away from Shion’s mother.
After this, we’re brought to the present, where Shion works for No. 6 in surveillance, and discovers a man who died of a mysterious cause. From here, he watches a coworker die of the same cause: the virus I mentioned previously. Shion’s supervisors find him in the room with the coworker, and they assume he murdered him, which leads him to flee. Nezumi finds Shion while he’s running, and helps him with his escape from No. 6. They end up living in a hideout together in an uncivilized area, where the investigate the true meaning behind No. 6’s strict rules.
I found both Shion and Nezumi to be interesting, though Nezumi’s past was much more complex and mysterious than Shion’s. If I were to choose which one to learn more about, Nezumi would be the one I’d choose. Mostly because I’m always partial to the “mysterious dark-haired guy” in almost everything I watch and read.
The animation was gorgeous, as I stated earlier, but the soundtrack was, ah, sorta awful. The ending was pretty, but the opening was, to me, screechy and all over the place. The background music wasn’t anything to remark about, so that disappointed me as well. I think music is a very vital piece of an anime.
All in all, this show is probably a solid 8/10. I generally don’t add a rating at the end of reviews like this, though I probably should start doing that.
I did enjoy this show, though I think to truly understand everything that’s happening, I’ll need to rewatch it or read either the mangas or light novel series. If you’ve read either of those, tell me if it’s worth spending money on. I want some opinions before I decide one way or the other.
Hope you enjoyed this!