Review: No. 6

Review: No. 6

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.

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Shion is on the left and Nezumi is on the right

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.

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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.

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They’re both 12 here, the main story takes place four years later

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.

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A still from the ending credits

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!

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A Silent Voice: Movie or Manga?

A Silent Voice: Movie or Manga?

I had the pleasure of seeing the A Silent Voice movie at a theater near my house on October 23rd. Now, I’ve read the manga twice, and I’ve written two posts based around the manga. Is it surprising you there’s a third post now?

The question here is whether the movie or manga experience is better. So, here’s my opinion on that. If you don’t know anything about A Silent Voice, I’d suggest you read my first post on it, where I describe the premise of the story.

Let’s start with the movie, and I’ll compare differences with the manga. Obviously, there are bits of story left out of the movie since it’s a bit hard to smash seven manga volumes into a two-hour movie. It’s impossible, actually. If they were to include every detail, it’d either be paced horribly or would be an insanely long movie. So, if you need to know the whole story, your best option is the manga, clearly.

But there are benefits of watching the movie. There were scenes and symbols I didn’t catch in either time reading the manga, but when it was right in front of me in the movie, it all made sense. And the ending of the movie took place in the middle of the last manga, since they couldn’t use the real ending in the movie. They took out one part that spanned over most of the manga, and was part of the ending there. But I definitely like the way the manga ended much better, as it felt more complete.

The movie also is stunningly gorgeous. The manga did not have bad art by any means, but the movie did things that just couldn’t be shown in black and white images. The sign language is the biggest thing, I think. It was easier to understand what Shoko was conveying when her signing was animated, since there are no subtitles of what she was saying in either version. It had such a different, fuller feel to it visually.

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“Can we be friends?”

And the music, ugh, was just so pretty. It was mostly piano, and became intense when it needed to be. I think I need the soundtrack like right now. When I saw this movie in theater, I swear I almost cried just from hearing the background music.

I think it’s safe to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching the movie.

The manga, however, gives the full picture. It is more satisfying, I think. And it clarifies a lot of things that could be confusing in the movie. I watched the movie with my dad, and afterwards, I had to answer quite a few questions for him, since I read the manga and he didn’t.

The manga also fleshes out the characters a lot more. There were some characters who were in the movie, but didn’t have much of a solid purpose. Some scenes felt a bit rushed, or glossed over, when in the manga they last two or three chapters. But I feel the things they took out were the right ones.

Like I said in the beginning, this all depends on if you want the meaning of the story, but don’t care much about the specific details, or if you are dedicated enough to read the whole thing. If you just want a simple, two-hour experience, the movie is perfect.

I’m not sure if this really gives much of an answer, but I really just wanted to gush about A Silent Voice again. I have one more post I want to do on this, but I should be finished after that. Just need to express all of my feelings about this series/movie. They’re too great to express in a measly two posts.

A few extra things I just want to say about my movie experience. I had to drag my dad along with me to see this movie, since the theater was almost an hour from my house and it was a school night. And to my surprise, he thoroughly enjoyed it. My dad was really into anime and manga was he was in high school and his early twenties, but hasn’t watched or read any for a while. So I was a bit hesitant to share this with him. He knew very little about it, but he said it was an interesting topic before we went. I was worried he’d think it was too melodramatic or something, but he told me he thought it was deep. We discussed the movie a bit in the car on the way home, and I was beyond ecstatic to see my dad actively talk to me about one of my favorite things. This also really shows that anyone can get something out of it. I genuinely feel that EVERYBODY should experience A Silent Voice at some point, somehow. The topics at hand are relevant now and always will be relevant. Disability, bullying, depression, suicide, friendship, growing up; they’re all heavy topics throughout the movie and manga, and everyone will have to deal with these things one way or another.

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They really nailed this scene, sent shivers up my spine seeing it on the big screen.

The other thing, I mentioned on my Twitter. The minute I walked out of the theater, there were two people, signing to each other. And I was just in awe. What kind of insane coincidence is that? I’ve seen people use sign language before, but really not all that often. So to see that after coming out of a movie so heavy in the deaf community, I nearly cried. And, my favorite thing about seeing the movie was watching Shoko and Shoya talking in sign language. It was a totally different experience from reading the manga, where only still images of the motions were shown. It was really the reason I had to see the movie.

Anyway, this post has gone on long enough. Kyoto Animation did a fantastic job with adapting the manga, no doubt about that. But I think the only true experience you can get is from reading the manga.

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Pretty anime tears for a beautiful film

Hope you enjoyed yet another A Silent Voice post! I meant for this to go up Wednesday and have another post today but I was just having a weird week. So I think you’ll get a bonus post on Monday or Tuesday when I come back from Youmacon!

Follow me on Twitter! @letstalkanime1

FMA: Original vs. Brotherhood

FMA: Original vs. Brotherhood

For those of you who have not watched all of either of these, I will leave the beginning portion spoiler-free.  I will warn you on any major spoilers, so I am not held accountable for your frustration.  Now that we have that covered, I will explain myself.

Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that I enjoyed both of these shows.  But, I do have a favorite, after a year of contemplating it.  You probably have a good guess of which one it is, but I’ll explain why I like each one before getting to that.

Let’s start with the  beginning of the 2003 version.

This one starts the same as the Brotherhood version, but veers off in different directions pretty quickly.  I enjoyed the “filler” episodes that were in the beginning, because it let me get to know the characters before they dove into anything too serious.  By the time things really start to happen, I have a good idea as to how they’ll react.  I could understand the characters feelings and I knew them more personally than the beginning of Brotherhood.

Things don’t start to really kick off until around episode 20, and we all know the devastating loss around episode 25.  It was this time that it became different from Brotherhood.  Although Brotherhood splits off at about episode 11.  The original gave more time for explanation and added some adventure to the beginning, where Brotherhood wasted no time getting to the problem.

I’m not saying that Brotherhood did anything poorly as for the beginning, but I just appreciate the time the creators put into adding character development in the beginning, since there isn’t nearly as much as in Brotherhood.

Now, we know the main goal the two brothers have is returning their bodies back to normal by means of Philosopher’s Stone, but in both versions, there is another goal in mind as well.  In the 2003 version, Scar and Dante were huge villains and the two were after them for most of the second half of the show.  In Brotherhood, the homunculi and the Father were the main villains.  Although the original DOES focus on the homunculi a lot, it just isn’t as much as Brotherhood.

Alright from here on, there WILL be spoilers for both shows.  So exit out if you aren’t to the end of both.

 

 

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