- 1 Season : 11 episodes
- by Atsuko Asano
- based on novel and manga
After a world war, humans are divided into six city states which are supposed to be peaceful and perfect. Shion, a young boy living as an elite in the city state No 6, gives shelter to a boy who names himself ‘Nezumi’ . Nezumi is one of many who lives in the wasteland beyond the supposed utopian city. Indeed, the sheltering and protection of Nezumi degraded Shion and his mom meaning that they have lost their elite status because Shion didn’t know that Nezumi is a fugitive. After some time, Shion and Nezumi meet again and their adventure begins and the secrets of the city of No 6 are revealed.
The anime series has an interesting and fascinating concept: a dystopian society where everything seems to be perfect and peaceful. However, the truth is that the government keeps the criminal and bad things as secret and confidential. The whole city is surveilled by cameras and robots which can be compared to ‘Big Brother is watching you’. Citizens are not allowed to say anything against the government or even questioning its methods. Those who still do this will get eliminated in an kinda ‘intelligent’ way. A fatal illness developed probably by the government is implanted into those who dare to go against the city. A less brutal punishment is the degrading of people such as Shion whose elite status got taken away as he helped a criminal (Nezumi).
Many suspenses and curiosities come up during the anime series. What is the big secret of the city No.6? What is the reason for Nezumi hating the city? Why and what is so special about Shion?
‘No 6’ contains many science fiction and fantasy elements as it takes place in the future. Many high technology stuff are included such as the ID bracelets every citizen has to wear; and the waste management robots which clean the city. Other interesting fantasy aspects are the parasitic wasps which make people growing old very fast. Side Note: It is interesting to see that in many anime series the change of the hair color into white means that something supernatural has happened or happened.
Besides science fiction elements, the anime is filled with many emotional scenes. Emotions such as sadness and hope are strongly present. Seeing Shion suffering a lot because of his body change (scars around his neck, face and body, red eyes) makes you feeling with him. Further sad emotions can be seen in the last episode. Not only sad emotions are shown but also the topic of love plays a role. A romantic relationship between both protagonists Shion and Nezumi can be noticed. Many hints are included such as the so-called ‘goodnight’ kiss. The strong bond is already seen as they were kids. Shion offered Nezumi help even though he was still a stranger. This develops to the point that both have the strong willing to protect and help the other one.
Some funny interactions between characters are also included, especially between Nezumi and Inukashi who seems to dislike each other which always ends up in fights.
One can say that the characters are the highlight. Their contrasting personalities make the anime thrilling and amusing. For instance, Shion is very kind and warm hearted whereas Nezumi has a more rude attitude. Also Inukashi is quick tempered and this creates many funny interactions. We also like the choice of some characters names such as Inukashi which means dog lender in Japanese and she actually loans out dogs. The other character is Nezumi whose name means ‘Rat’ .
Shion has a very kind and gentle personality but seems to be naive as well. However, he is very intelligent and has a high IQ level. He has an extreme protective attitude when one of his beloved is in danger. He usually never shows any anger however he doesn’t hesitate to get violent when his loved ones get hurt.
Nezumi has a rude and rather sarcastic attitude and he avoids speaking about himself and his past life. Even though he lacks of education, he is quite intelligent and has greatly interests in theater plays. Besides his cold and distanced personality, he is very protective of Shion and deeply cares for him.
The relationship between both main protagonist is really interesting because you can see how both seems to change each other. Moreover their close relationship and desire to protect each other makes them best friends or even more (Hint: goodnight kiss scene). Both have done a great character development. Whereas Nezumi starts to show his feelings and emotions, Shion starts to fight and develops a darker side. Also Inukashi has developed a softer side besides her rude and harsh personality.
The art of the anime series is fascinating. We really like the cute and handsome designs of the characters especially those of Nezumi and Shion are very appealing. Besides the characters, the technology elements are also well designed. A further positive point of art is the great depiction of the contrast between the dystopian city and the part beyond the walls. In other words, it represents the wall between rich and poor. Furthermore, the music especially the opening contains dramatical melodies which produces dark and sad emotions. It perfectly fits into the anime.
All in all, we really loved watching ‘No 6’. It is a very good and underrated anime series and we totally recommend it. The only negative aspect is that it is a bit too short but is has a good ending. One can say that it is Shōnen- ai meaning that the anime depicts romantic sides of a relationship between two boys here Shion and Nezumi. (Side Note: shōnen means boy and ai means love).