Posted by psgels on 15 September 2011 with categories: No.6



Wut?

Okay, that was the complete opposite of what I expected.

Let’s start with the good parts: this show actually delivered quite an emotional finale, much more than I expected and I don’t just mean in the way I’m going to rant below. Safu’s death, the gunfires, plus the huge explosions. Everything was very well delivered at least. Plus, some of the best background tracks that the series had showed yet popped up.

But seriously. I’m stunned at just how much crap the creators pulled out of their ass! I mean, what the hell? So many bloody things were introduced from out of nowhere it’s not even funny:
– Safu magically controls the bees to first attack everyone and then form giant twisters that bring down the walls of No.6… where the hell did that come from? I mean, I understand the super powers and all, but super powers should not be an excuse to just pull whatever the hell happens to be the most convenient for the script.
– The entire building blows itself up as soon as the main computer gets destroyed? That’s one pretty big design flaw, isn’t it?
– Why didn’t they take Safu with them before blowing the thing up in the first place? There was no guarantee that she had been changed forever.

And BY FAR the worst of all:
– That was one of the most blatant revival scenes I have seen in a long while. Holy crap, the point where Shion revived was utterly terrible. The creators completely used Safu’s powers to pull whatever they want out of their ass. Nothing was built up or prepared for it. Also, Safu: why the hell did you turn into a giant bee? You seriously wasted the best parts of the soundtrack on THAT!? What a waste!

Seriously, at the start of this week, I was pretty much convinced that No.6, Kamisama Dolls and Kamisama no Memo-Chou would end up fighting for the spot of my third favourite series this season. The only one still standing straight after this is KamiMemo. KamiDolls looks to head into an utterly generic conclusion, while No.6 ended up at the complete other side of the spectrum where it tried to do way too much and therefore negated a ton of what it had been building up to. Heck, Blood-C may even enter my top 5 of the series that debuted during the Summer Season because of this.

So yeah, this season of Noitamina was definitely weaker than during the spring season: I do consider both Usagi Drop and No.6 to be worse than Anohana and C. Especially where C surprised me by having an awesome conclusion, this one surprised me by how utterly forced it was. The difference was that with C, everything was wrapped up, it got to make the points it wanted to make, and it had its awesome action. The reset it pulled made actual sense and delivered a wonderful sense of irony. No.6 meanwhile came completely out of nowhere.
Rating: — (Lacking)

27 Responses

  1. Snowolf says:

    Yuuuuuuuuuuuup. But I can’t deny it; we all saw this coming- 11 episodes and you expect a decent dystopian plot? Uh.

    No 6 had a lot of potential, but its treatment of everyone BUT the main two characters was really off putting and just. This finale was a mess. Pretty much a solid 6/10 in my book, sad as it is to say. And I still don’t even understand why Nezumi just uh, decided to jump out and leave? What. Even.

  2. enevi says:

    Oh, I’m so pissed now. They destroyed such a good book. None of these nonsensical scenes happened in the novel. NONE. It was much more complicated and involved some scientific explanations, which are nowhere to be found here. Why, Bones, why? … One big rant is coming to town…

  3. Anca says:

    I wouldn’t say this season’s Noitamina was worse because, while it lasted. it was far more entertaining than last season’s – at least for me. Even if the finale wasn’t perfect – but nobody expected it to be. It did better than I thought it would.

  4. steelbound says:

    Bones flubbing the end of a series, inconceivable! Actually, I saw that coming after only 4 episodes.

  5. JD says:

    Ugh, that was awful. The only parts I loved were the scenes where Nezumi was singing to Shion and at the end, where Shion’s mother was running out. The rest were just…meh. I would have been sold if Shion were dead and Nezumi becomes a “changed man.”

    Has anyone read the novels? If it has a different ending, then I guess I’ll just read the manga (which, I hope, follows the novel more closely).

  6. Lirael says:

    I knew the ending wouldn’t be good, thre was too much stuff to cram in but…I never expected it to be this bad. Worst parts were:

    -Sion revival. This series is supposed to be sci-fi. I can understand a bit of fantasy mixed in…but enough to bring a person back to life? Hell to the no…
    -Nezumi leaving for no reason and Sion not even wondering why…
    -the baby

  7. Snowolf says:

    I heard that in the novel’s ending it’s almost similar but there’s no huge revival scene, though Safu does die in the end (which continues to enrage me like no other). I mean we didn’t even get closure on the Dogkeeper or the other guy, or the other Districts, even, Inukashi’s backstory, nor an actual solid account of Nezumi’s life when he was confined in No.6, or the history of Elyurias. And that’s just the top.

    I found NO.6 to have a pretty mellow plot, but I don’t know- was it me or was this entire cast (except for Shion’s mom and the Dogkeeper) pretty…basic? I don’t know. I tried to find something exemplary in this show and couldn’t find anything. The animation was great in some parts and I like how they added a spice of Slice-of-life to the episodes, but just- way too rushed. Dystopian plots are way too complicated to be solved in 11 episodes, something I’m hoping Guilty Crown will avoid with it being 2 cour. If No.6 had a couple of more episodes, I think it, for the most part, (plot wise) would have been okay, but they tried to reduce it to a very simple one and it just didn’t work out.

  8. Leigh says:

    So disappointing…why didn’t they just keep the novel ending? I suggest anyone who was interested in this series to check out the ongoing novel translations – so far they are way better than even the best episodes out of the series.

  9. brita says:

    The thing that made it believable to me was that it was not Safu anymore, but Elyrurias, a goddess of some type. So I was actually pretty pleased…

  10. koolkittychick says:

    Even with all of the previously mentioned criticisms (and they were all quite valid), I was still willing to root for this series because I loved the interaction between the characters and how they developed their relationships to one another — especially Sion and Nezumi — until the very end. It’s like the only person who stayed in character to the very end was Sion’s mom. I bought the motivations and reasons for her actions, even when she ran to find Sion.

    But all the others? It’s like the creators looked up, realized this was the last episode and pulled a horrendous series of out-of-character plots out of their asses to tie up the frayed edges of plot line in this story.

    I can deal with sad endings, endings I didn’t want — heck, I can even deal with ambiguous endings (like in Sinoun) if it’s told in a way that at least somewhat reasonable and in line with the characters involved. But this…this just left me pissed and asking why?!? for so many reasons.

    While I still loved the series as a whole immensely, this ending definitely marred my enjoyment of it. As far as I’m concerned, No. 6 deserved so much more. :(

  11. kurini says:

    I don’t like the ending at all! The whole episode is just too rushed and doesn’t has any sense, Sion die and then survive… juts…omg, I’m disappointed, oh and the kiss, I didn’t need that!

  12. m says:

    This show was just bad. Probably not as bad as C or Fractale, but pretty bad. I had to catch up on weeks of it, and the villains are annoyingly one-dimensional. They had a pile of bodies, which was the cherry on that comically-evil turd sundae of burning and assorted nonsense. For serious.

    The ending was actually ‘enjoyable’ in the way bad horror movies can be enjoyable, by being so bad they’re funny.

    Just imagine the scene where Nezumi, who has already been shot twice, jumps in front of Sion to take a bullet for him, and then imagine what should happen after that in any sensible universe, assuming the round didn’t penetrate Nezumi entirely and hit Sion anyway. The person that shot him should shoot Sion immediately afterward, because he certainly didn’t plan on just shooting one of them and then playing some cards in the rec room. However, instead Sion takes Nezumi away and performs surgery on him, and then intends to drop him down a chute, escape a collapsing building, etc. That is hilariously bad right there. That made up for all of the regular bad I sat through to get to this point. But it got better, because hahahahaha Sion gets shot trying to escape down the chute, because the guard decides he’s still actually less interested in escaping the building than shooting the fleeing intruders. There are some very dedicated Storm Troopers on the exploding Death Star. He wavered a little when he was thwarted by door technology, but he came through in the end.

  13. Enna says:

    Is it strange that, even with all of those flaws, I still thoroughly enjoyed this episode and don’t mind the ending at all?

  14. evolstar says:

    Wow, that’s one of the worst endings I’ve seen in a while, I practically had whip lash by the end. I knew this ending was coming but still, it pisses me off especially since this show had two of my favorite characters this season. All that development went down the drain. All of a sudden Sion did a 180 and wanted to destroy No. 6- the person who defended it for the WHOLE series.

    By the way psgels, you review had me crying I was laughing so hard.

  15. qwerty1 says:

    God… I saw this coming and I really hoped it wouldn’t happen. From the beginning of this show I saw Shangri-La coming all over again.

    Take a well developed plot/problem that seemed like it would be gradually expanded on and solved in an even slightly logical manner and then they pull a literal Deus Ex Machina out for the final act.

  16. Taara535 says:

    m’s take on the ending was somewhat more enjoyable than the actual show. Some determined stormtroopers indeed!

  17. Seijin says:

    Awful, awful ending.

    This show started out so promising, but went downhill since mid-season and ended in this trainwreck.

  18. consterhk says:

    I felt I had paid for a very expensive buffet and was served a great appetizer and main dish, but it ended with a sucker for dessert.

    I was under the impression that it would be 12 episodes, and that 11 would be an informative episode to build up to the end.. but after seeing this episode, I doubt another episode can save this one…

    I now have high hopes that the novel will answer those loose ends (and there were many!).

    How does Elyurias select who gets infected and who doesn’t? Did she selectively infect and punish the evildoers of No 6 (inhabitants of main city) sparing the people in the districts and outside the walls.. or was it all random? Where does that put Sion? – What about those dream flashbacks Sion and Nezumi had (I thought those bees were evil.. they’re not?)
    Ugh, I can go on and on about those loose ends…

  19. Firechick says:

    Hey Psgels. Have you seen the Nostalgia Critic’s review of the other animated titanic movie? Because I personally think Shion’s revival is nothing compared to the spit that happens in the movie he reviewed.

  20. P-chan says:

    OMG. The Fail of this episode cannot be exaggerated. SPOILERS / First of all, in the novels, Safu lost her physical body when she merged with the giant bee thing. What Shion and Nzumi saw was merely an illusion caused by the Bee Thing so that Safu could see Shion again one last time and say goodbye. This is why she’s never touching anything in the scenes that were in the novels.

    Nezumi was telling Shion to shut up because he realized Safu was really dead and telling her to come with them was pretty cruel.

    Nezumi set the building’s computer to all explode within a certain time limit using the Mother computer where Safu was. Which is why the building explodes.

    Nezumi was shot. Shion was unable to do the surgery. They escape down the shoot and regroup with Dogkeeper and Rikiga and then get medical help for Nezumi from a hospital that Shion knows.

    After Nezumi is saved and the everything else is wrapped up, Nezumi leaves to go on a journey. It wasn’t really said in the summaries, but I think it had less to do with needing to leave and more with not being able to stay.

    This is just my guess, but someone who hates No. 6 like him couldn’t really stay to rebuild it. And you couldn’t expect him to either. Shion wants to stay with Nezumi but chooses to stay and rebuild the city for Safu and his mom and all the people from West Block and the citizens as well. Nezumi does say they’ll meet again, so I assume that he’ll return when the traces of the old No. 6 are gone. But that’s just my guess.

    Also, Dogkeeper keeps the baby. /

  21. AidanAK47 says:

    My reaction while watching….

    “Well ok, the exposition was pretty bad and the bee tornadoes were stupid but still got to give the writers credit for killing off the main char…(Glowing)…no…No…DON’T YOU DARE…NO!NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!”

    From then it was a downward spiral.

  22. Oersted says:

    Ok, let’s be realistic here about the ending: it was rushed, pulled plot devices out of nowhere, a lot of characters were utterly ignored (we never really learn about this “I want to survive” stuff of the dogkeeper) and there are these ugly plot holes around.

    Now, I won’t say something like “who cares?” because those are valid criticisms, but I don’t. Seriously, perhaps I have an ability for suspense of disbelief, but it is very possible to enjoy No.6 from beggining to end. As a matter of fact, the execution of this episode pretty much rocked.

    So yeah, another excelent show ruined by 11 episodes. I still liked it, but it’s really hard to recomend.

  23. Jérémy says:

    The ending pulled lots of things out of nowhere and the almost everything will be fine end was beyond cheezy but…I still really loved it :S It kind of sucked that Sion came back to life but other then that, I was incredibly entertained and I enjoyed it. Even now, a second season would be nice, to see how things turn out after the destruction of No.6. Oh and lol at that rebel guy who wanted Sion’s mother who failed and got himself killed because of the bees!

  24. Pafiume says:

    There were a few things that just bugged me. I agree they should have taken Safu. I mean… What? She was still there when they were talking to her, I doubt she would be COMPLETELY GONE. But whatever, I accepted that.

    Then the two main characters died! Or at least one of them does, and the other would wait for death with the corpse. I was actually okay with that. I thought it was crazy, but it felt really nice to me. It showed realism, they’re trying to escape, but so are other people, and they’re also freaking out and trying to kill the people that fucked them over. I liked that. I ended up liking that Sion died, it was really emotional.

    And then MAGICAL ALIVE! What? Like, what? THAT’s the superpower I don’t like. Magical life giving songs. It just made me laugh, and then giant bee god appears and explodes the roof. I thought the bee was going to blow up Nezumi and Sion, not bring Sion back…

    Even then, I was like, okay, this could still be good. Nice happy ending, I can be okay with this I suppose. And then Nezumi LEAVES. He has literally no reason to leave. They just destroyed the city he’s been obsessed with destroying like all of his life. He just expressed his connection to Sion by rather staying with him and slowly dying than continuing to live on without him. AND YET he will still go on to live on without him. But ya know, let’s fuck it and have him walk away to live alone like a cool guy. God damn it. That’s fucking bullshit.

    I must say I loved that scene with Sion’s mother, though. I think that is the part that makes me happiest, because it’s just so nice to see her so excited to see her son, to be able to be reunited with him. Ignoring the fact that she’s running in a random direction with no idea where he is, while he could actually have FOUND her. Still, it was a great little emotional scene, even if some things still ended up ruining it. And I mean, if he really had died, that would have just been heartbreaking.

    The ending was disappointing. But I did enjoy the series. Honestly I don’t know if more episodes would have helped it, because if this was where the ending was going to head anyway, with random re-aliving and ditching of lovers I’d still be upset. But. I guess this series should be about the ride, not the destination. For me at least.

  25. Denizen says:

    Truly I didn’t find the finale too terrible, and it had enough clever tricks to cover up some plot points or conclude some storylines, even if it couldn’t take care of all of them.

    Honestly I have seen other endings much more jarring and out of place than this one, not that it does excuse giant magical bee tornadoes.

  26. AKI says:

    OK. That was some stupid ending. Jesus Christ, I can’t believe that I was watching the same anime that I was watching a week ago. Seriously wtf happened?

    Bee tornadoes that can knock dawn huge building sized walls? Ugh. Still, the rest of the episodes were top notch – it’s the bad ending that leaves a bitter aftertaste.

  27. Robert2413 says:

    Yeah, the ending was rushed and ultimately unsatisfying. But it was by no means random. In fact, many of Ep 11’s elements were foreshadowed in Ep. 5. Beware of spoilers in the brain dump below.

    Many people found the haunting waltz scene in Ep. 5 to be random, incomprehensible or comic. However, its payload is symbols and metaphor and it was no wonder that Shion found “dancing” so tiring! I believe that its main purpose (in addition to being ravishingly romantic to those of us fond of the BL genre) was to foreshadow the important events at the end of Ep. 11, rendering these events much less random than most reviewers thought. During the waltz, there was a lonely railroad track going towards the horizon (Nezumi’s leaving at the very end and Shion’s feelings about it, which were made far clearer in the novel than in the anime), a ruined tower with two spires (Nezumi and Shion’s difficult relationship, particularly if one pages Dr. Freud and he replies that sometimes a cigar isn’t just a cigar), dancing at the edge of a precipice (pretty much self-explanatory), and the most enigmatic one – a ruined doll lying at the bottom of a puddle of water. If one accepts that the emotional turning point of the series was Nezumi’s tears (shown for an instant after Nezumi crawled close to Shion’s lifeless body, sang his requiem, and finally, broken and fatally wounded himself, prepared to die at Shion’s side), then the ruined doll represented the dead Shion and the water through which we saw the doll was Nezumi’s tears.

    Character flaws undo antiheroes in classic tragedies. Through most of the series, I expected that Nezumi’s hatred of No. 6 and his obsession with destroying it would lead to his annihilation. But it turned out that No. 6’s government was, in fact, more evil than we imagined it could be – a Pandora’s box that finally exploded in Ep. 9, spewing out the worst horrors of 20th-century totalitarianism. Nezumi’s hatred of No. 6’s government and his determination to destroy it was justified in any moral universe I can imagine. Meanwhile, we found out that in his life, Nezumi had somehow endured the unendurable and his final sacrifice, made only for the sake of singing Shion’s requiem, finally unfroze the rusted karmic wheel and justified Elyurias’ healing him and resurrecting Shion.

    Was this more randomness, as many have claimed? Turning again to Ep. 5, it’s clear that Elyurias was a *diety*, which is why she appeared in the stained glass in Ep. 5. Her presence there among other ancient images implied that she had been worshipped for a very long time. In Ep. 11’s resurrection scene, she appeared as a firebird or phoenix, eternally rising out of her own ashes. A billion or so people in the real world believe that a certain Son of God could raise the dead, so why not Elyurias in this fictional one? Deus ex machina is fine by me if there is an actual Deus involved.

    Finally, here’s something to ponder: I believe that Nezumi is probably most interesting gay male character in anime, ever. (And I only threw in “probably” because I couldn’t seen every anime that exists.) Nezumi is entirely unstereotypical (unlike, for example, the swishing “gay” Hero in Tiger & Bunny – just one of many such execrable examples in anime). Nezumi’s behavior is essentially masculine, yet, as it was always done in Shakespeare’s day, he sometimes plays female roles on stage. Because of his mixture of masculine and feminine attributes, it’s unclear if he would take a seme or uke role offstage. He might even switch, depending on his mood. Like most gay men, he became aware of an unformed attraction toward his own gender while still very young (as we saw in Ep. 1). And most important, he *hides* in a painstakingly constructed metaphorical closet. Indeed, the subtext of hiding to protect oneself from pain or destruction pervades the entire anime; almost all of the major characters do it. Nezumi hides his emotions behind a facade of sarcasm and invective. He lives underground in a hidden place containing precious cultural remnants of the old, destroyed world. He is constantly aware of the danger of revealing too much of himself and his shock at the end of Ep. 5, when Shion touches him, comes mostly from the realization that he unwittingly revealed far more of himself than he ever thought was safe. Terrifyingly, Shion didn’t just touched Nezumi’s neck but somehow worked his way under Nezumi’s skin.

    The destruction of the Forest People by gunfire and flames may have been a metaphor for the holocaust in Germany during World War II, in which gay people were among the many oppressed groups who were rounded up and exterminated. Given that one of the Nazis’ main techniques was burning victims alive (as the Forest People were), this works. Although it’s a stretch, the destruction of the Forest People could also be a metaphor for the holocaust that was AIDS for the 15 years after 1980. when it seemed that the dying would never end.

    Finally, No. 6 has been criticized for being too “theatrical” and “melodramatic.” However, there’s nothing wrong with theatricality and melodrama per-se. Wikipedia, in an article that’s well worth reading, defines melodrama as “a dramatic work that exaggerates plot and characters in order to appeal to the emotions.” Melodrama has an honorable tradition going back to at least the 18th century and opera would not exist without it. Thanks to its artifice and distillation of emotion for dramatic effect, melodrama has often appealed to gay men, who are always in some way “outsiders” existing beyond the periphery of the heterosexual bubble inside which most of the world operates – a bubble so all-pervasive that it is hard for those within it to see its borders or imagine that there might be anything else outside. Hence, No. 6’s theatricality makes total sense to me – I’m a sucker for artistically created melodrama!

    Is No. 6 a great sci-fi anime? Not compared to some of its competition – No. 6’s running time is too short to tell the story that it needed to tell and I’m the first to admit that Ep. 11 should have been twice as long. (Could we dream that the Blu-ray release might offer this, given the criticism that Bones got for the rushed finale?) However, thanks to the subtlety with which it handles the BL themes (blink and you’ll miss the defining scenes) No. 6 is one of my favorite anime with BL elements, second only to “Legend of the Galactic Heroes,” which I believe *is* the greatest sci-fi anime ever. (Compared to the Nezumi/Shion relationship in No. 6, in LOGH one can make a stronger argument that Reinhardt/Siegfried is limited to a very intense “bromance.” Or not. But be sure to watch the gaiden before deciding!)

    As always, your mileage may vary. But somehow, No. 6 has worked its roots deep into my brain. Standing out in a field overloaded with clichés and formulas: shonen tournaments, magical girls, moe, harems, reverse harems, ecchi, teenage detectives, and nothing-ever-happens-here-slice-of-life, the depth of No. 6’s subtext and its willingness to take artistic risks has made No. 6 one of my favorite animes of 2011.

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  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:52 AM)
    @Aidan If the “recent comments” is failing to show up this often, it may be a problem with the plugin or maybe even the theme itself, the site is outdated. If you can do anything on your end you can try.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:39 AM)
    Okay for now, the Featured Posts box will have only 6 thumbnails in it until the next few reviews, since for some reason I can tag helghast’s OST review but not any of the previous episodes.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:33 AM)
    Or not. WordPress make up your mind.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:33 AM)
    Looks like recent comments disappears when we have more than six.
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:30 AM)
    @Aidan I’ll try tagging 6 more to see if it’ll do a similar thing at 9 posts.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:29 AM)
    Ah crap. Almost forgot.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:28 AM)
    If you set it to three then the featured Posts category only shows two for some reason.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:26 AM)
    Weird…
  • K-Off
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:26 AM)
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, May 27. 2016 03:25 AM)
    Like so? Hmm….Might be better to only show three of them though.

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While my fellow bloggers are the ones who more specialize in Games and Manga, I will be the one who cover World Animation (by that I mean anything animated other than anime and American big studio animation – they got way too much coverage already). Like majority of you guys I am not from China, my Chinese is as good as my Japanese (which is to say NONE), so this is actually goddamn difficult to look for titles, and the information I could find are sacred here on top of that find a suitable sub for it, most of them does not even have an English name, thus the title and the synopsis that I give you here are just a rough translation. So behold. This is our very first attempt to cover the animation of china.

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 1: Computer Animated Wuxia shows

If anyone have been followed animation closely for the last few years, they will notice a recent rise of Chinese animation (call it a wave if you like), both in feature and in series. While it does not have much of an impact in any English speaking world like anime has been, they are really popular […]

asagao to kase-san

K-Off’s Ongoing Manga Recommendations (embedded links)

If you frequent the frontpage of Imgur or r/manga often, you may have seen some of my past manga recommendation lists before, but here’s some ongoing manga that I’ll recommend for now. This is in no particular order of best-worst, I’ve also embedded the links to the scanlations into the images for your convenience. 1. […]

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

New Manga Spotlight – Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne, Shoujo Fujuubun and Shimanami Tasogare

Konya wa Tsuki ga Kirei Desu ga, Toriaezu Shi ne Two chapters so far. Ah love, that sweet nectar which all seek to experience. And truly there is nothing more romantic than gathering up your courage, inviting the girl you love up to the roof, taking her by the shoulders and proclaiming with all your […]

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Langrisser Re:Incarnation Tensei video game review- 35/100 (avoid it like the plague)

To preface, I’d call this the poor man’s Fire Emblem if it wasn’t so damn expensive for its quality, not to mention so difficult to find. Here in New York City outside of lower Manhattan, there’s game stores in Brooklyn, Queens, Flatiron, and Newport, to a total count of 12 game stores in a 20 […]

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DanganRonpa 2: Goodbye Despair Video Game Review – 90/100

There may be those of you who know this series more by its anime adaption instead of it’s video games and if you haven’t watched the anime of this I highly recommend that you don’t watch it. Instead play the games which have been recently ported to Steam. The reason I say this is that […]