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




For me, the current Summer Season had two series that stood above the others: Penguin Drum and Natsume Yuujinchou. The interesting part was that under that, there were all kinds of awesome series fighting for third place: all shows with amazing concepts, but each of this series has their own HUGE flaw. Number six is one of them, and despite its flaw which I’ll get to below it is worth it for most of its run.

For ten episodes, this is excellent science fiction. It’s set in a dystopian future, but what sets it apart is its cast of characters: the creators try to put as much character development in this series as possible. It’s a bit rushed because of this, but this is one of the rare series that’s just constantly changing and evolving. It’s always interesting to watch and always unpredictable of the direction it sends its characters, and especially the main cast in. The drama and chemistry around them is always delightful to watch with hardly any dull moments.

In terms of production values this series also delivers. Bones do an excellent job on the animation, where it especially excels on the expressiveness of the characters, but also the soundtrack is excellent, and pretty much the best of the season aside from Penguin Drum. The production values perhaps aren’t the best, but they still are very impressive.

But yeah, the big flaw. The thing with this season is that it had so many series that actually could have become classics if these were avoided. Blood-C has its characterization, Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou has the way it acts like it has more episodes than it actually has, and No.6…. has its ending. Oh, the ending.

Oh, with enough suspense of disbelief you might actually not be bothered by what happens, unfortunately for me that did not work. Right from the beginning it was clear that there was no way that No.6’s story would fit into 11 episodes. The ending was bound to be rushed and inconclusive. I did however not expect the amount of stuff that this show pulled out of its ass during the final episode to be as big as it was. The finale of this series is completely inconsequential: its deus ex machina make no sense, are incredibly forced, negate some of the build-up it carefully constructed in the earlier episodes and leave with one hell of a bad taste and even more question marks.

If however you watch until episode 10 you’ll be rewarded with an excellent albeit very inconclusive dystopian adventure series. I really do hope that this was a lesson for future Noitamina series, though: you can’t just pick a story and hope that it’ll work well in Noitamina format!

Storytelling: 7/10 – Excellent build-up, the pacing is rushed, because of that it can stuff a ton of developments in a short time. That ending, though…
Characters: 9/10 – The best part of the series. It’s a bit forced, but nevertheless very interesting with a cast that is constantly changing.
Production-Values: 9/10 – Detailed animation, particularly excellent background art, excellent soundtrack.
Setting: 8/10 – Fairly typical dystopia, but used very well and it forms a good backdrop.

Suggestions:
Ultraviolet: Code 044
Amatsuki
Ergo Proxy

8 Responses

  1. Mushyrulez says:

    Very good review – I do agree that it was an excellent concept and would have been great if fully fleshed out; it being a novel should’ve made more sense than original anime. However, since it was noitaminA, 11 episodes was definitely not enough – you just can’t do characterization /and/ dystopian society in 11 episodes!

    I just have to disagree with you about the background art – they keep on reusing scenes! 8.9/10 at most.

  2. kevin says:

    I completely disagree with you on the final episode. It is without a doubt one of the best conclusions this year. There was no asspulls psgels. Nearly all of the final episode had been foreshadowed early on. The Safu = Elyurias revelation was foreshadowed. The walls destruction was foreshadowed. The plot was clearly heading towards the destruction of the correctional facility and the wall. If you thought it would end in any other way, I can understand your frustrations. But it was clearly landmarked early on that the series would end with the correctional facility invasion and destruction. I’m astounded in the way they managed to tie up so many loose ends. The final moments of the people heading towards the now destroyed wall was both moving and hopeful. It was also left open with a possibility of a sequel or at least a movie sequel. Truly amazing stuff, I don’t understand how you took it another way psgels, but that’s just you I guess haha.

  3. Nichokiu says:

    I keep coming back here every day to read what psgels writes, I love being entertained by psgels and his/her comments!

    I am totally confused by the ending. Really, really confused. Everything seemed to flow well until episode 11. I am still at a loss of what the ending meant. Sion’s alive for a minute, the next minute dead, then one minute later back alive again??!

    I really loved the series overall, it was the series that had me hooked every week, and I was the first to watch it as it came out. Loved the animations, just wished it had enough episodes to show it’s full promise :(

  4. betawatcher says:

    While the plot (especially episode 11) had horrible pacing, I’d consider the relationship between the characters to be one of the best. (even if Shion had to be a little OOC) That + the right soundtrack, makes this even more magical. Not bad really, at least they tried to FOCUS on something.

    I’m still haunted the most by the scene in an earlier episode when Nezumi & Shion danced, with THAT music. I don’t know, I just felt that moment I understood what Shion really felt.

  5. rai says:

    I agree with this so hard. I was completely in love with this series – the setting, characterizations, plot, and everything. I thought I would have a new favorite after a long while. Until I watched the last episode. All that awesome build-up only for Safu to turn to super queen bee and randomly kill No.6’s citizens (seriously, what were her criteria for infecting people?). What a waste.

    I’ll just convince myself that the anime ended at episode 10 and wait around for the novel translations.

  6. Ebod says:

    Right, so the novel translations aren’t that hard to find with a quick google, but as it’s still around volume 2 or so, someone kindly did a detailed summary of volume 9, the last one, here: http://hiriajuu.livejournal.com/7568.html

    I would highly, highly recommend anyone who’s confused over the ending or found it lacklustre (as I did) to read it as the novel explains so much more. (It’s also more gay for the fangirls who’re into that.)

  7. fuzzyninja says:

    thank you Ebod for the lj link!

  8. jzar says:

    Very disappointing. It did not not see how they were going to resolve the story in the time they had left…so they just threw in the god factor x200 called it done.

    A shame since it was going so well. I am rather sorry I watched it for so long.

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  • Ebod
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 08:22 PM)
    V for Vendetta for me has always been a more “literary” work than Watchmen, but Watchmen is spectacular because it’s a story that can only be told in full scope in the comic format. While I feel like many major themes and events from V for Vendetta could easily be adapted into, say, novel format, the same could not be said of Watchmen. Also, the racist whitewashing Hollywood does of Asian characters really has to stop.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:30 AM)
    Watchmen was deemed ‘unadaptable’ for about thirty years, so just getting what Snyder got out of the material is a huge success; it is said that what he did was to write a book version of Ingmar’s Holy Mountain. Watchmen is the only graphic novel to ever win a Hugo award and is easily the most intricate and multilayered Alan Moore comic, so it’s no surprise that it continues to top ‘best comics of all time’ charts to this day.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:20 AM)
    I beg to differ. Doctor Manhatten is the most intriguing character of Watchmen and the comic is a giant in ,not only in the comic world, but the history of literature itself. It is a deconstruction of superheros and Dr. M shows how afraid the world would really be when faced with a ‘superman’ and how a creature in such a higher realm of time and perception would show apathy toward humans and their foolish struggles.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:15 AM)
    GitS just won’t work. Maybe in a world before the Matrix, but not now with so many elements of it borrowed liberally by so many franchises in various mediums. Scarlet Johansson is decent in roles that fit her. She was enjoyable in Lost In Translation, but race aside she has nothing in common with Kusanagi. This is a travesty and the franchise is dear to me so it especially burns my ass.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:10 AM)
    While I am no fan of man of steel, Nolan and Snyder, just about anyone would have a hard time taking a difficult character like superman and making him work on screen.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:08 AM)
    Apart from Veidt and Rorshach I could never get into the characters all that much in watchmen. I also found the film overly long and mediocre acted for the larger part. But to each there own. For Alan moores works I always preferred his Miracleman, swamp thing, V for Vendetta stories.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:06 AM)
    Nolan can produce the action plus personal and dark story that Alita would need, and he also brings talent such as composer Hans Zimmer and Cinematographer Sally Pfister to the table. Him and Snyder have too much combined integrity to make a mockery out of Alita like Spielberg did with the GitS license.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 06:03 AM)
    Well Snyder has respect for his source materials and that is key in anime-to-film adaptations. Hell I’m a big Watchmen fan and I thought his version was (almost painfully) close to the comic. You’re not going to get that anywhere else in Hollywood. Also the combination of Nolan/Snyder is quite different than them individually.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:34 AM)
    And directed it as a co-production with America, using a Japanese cast.
    Yeah…this is impossible…
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Mar 3. 2015 05:32 AM)
    The only way a live action ghost in the shell film would work is if Mamoru oshii directed it.

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