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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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:29 AM)
    @sonic: That just shows that they have budget issues and problems with asset management. Deen tends to hire a lot of commission contracts so the talen behind each work, and hence the quality, varies greatly.
  • sonicsenryaku
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:06 AM)
    Deen’s art has certainly improved and their cinematography has gotten a slight bump in refinement but their animation still could use some work and they still have trouble keeping their art and animation consistent through their series. All these critiques apoply to their tv series productions by the way; some of the movies they have worked on as well as they co-production works are pretty good
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:49 PM)
    @Emma I think Deen makes some really good looking anime. People tend to give them crap for some of their mid-2000 stuff and justifiably, but their recent stuff and early stuff is really quite visually arresting.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:43 PM)
    Now granted,deens adaptation of sankarea had some pretty neat visuals behind it.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:14 PM)
    Granted that none of those manga had the type of mass appeal that Sankarea has, but they’re some pof the best manga I’ve read within their specific genre (sentimental ecchi comedies/romances). I love his art style too. It just works so well for sappy romantic stuff. Inu Neko Jump will always be one of my favorite manga.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:12 PM)
    On the subject of Sankarea, I’m about as big of a Hattori Mitsuru fanboy as anyone could be and I have to say that Sankarea is my least favorite manga of his. His strengths and weaknesses just don’t lend themselves very well to that type of horror/drama plot. Umisho, Inu Neko Jump, and Otogi no Machi no Rena even were all better manga.
  • k-off
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 08:47 PM)
    To be fair to the series though, I thought that the owl was pretty cool.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:18 PM)
    But I’ve heard complaints about the fanservice of rea not making sense considering her past/background and I’m inclined to agree.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:16 PM)
    Ha, and once again another shounen ruined by not being a seinen manga.
    @Aidan: Sometimes..sometimes I feel its the fans that should be writing these things instead…well the good ones =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 06:05 PM)
    @K-Off, Potentail for Rea to go berserk and starting a zombie apocalypse? Or at least enough to have her slowly lose her mind and chiro having to resort to more and more desperate measures to protect her and stop her from hurting others. There was plently of potentail in the premise, just that the author didn’t have the balls to take it that far.

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