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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  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:23 PM)
    The voice of the main character got kind of annoying though, the dub wasn’t all that good either.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:22 PM)
    This was based on/was a homage to a series by the Gigantor creator and having grown up with gigantors 90s reboot this felt like a nice throwback, plot is fairly simple but used effectively. It’s a shame that it feels like there was more to tell but at seven episodes I suppose it avoids outstaying its welcome.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 01:20 PM)
    Decided to marathon Giant Robo, I think this was mentioned by someone on here before. I guess it was fairly entertaining, great action direction, looked good for its time, you don’t notice the hour long episodes go by, adequate characters, nice retro artstyle also, not sure if I got excited over this as big O and Mazinger however but still fun enough nonetheless.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:10 AM)
    Seeing Hoffman in before the devil knows your dead and his character being dependent on drugs, that was another thing that hit me a bit knowing the circumstances of his death. Watching most wanted man I could also see that he was wearing out physically.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 07:00 AM)
    This is not Anno bitching about otakus jacking off to his characters and turning around and selling Rei panties, this isn’t the idiots at Shaft throwing around meaningless camera angles and the oh-so-symbolic teeth brushing scenes, this is a human being looking you in the eye with fear and telling you that he’s dying; morbid, honest, moving and remarkable.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:55 AM)
    Given my rants regarding Birdman it should be clear that I’m a sucker for these rare instances where the line between movie and reality get blurred- when an actor looks at a camera and just bares their heart out. This is the realism that reality tv tried but could never capture. this is art in one of its most sincere forms.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:50 AM)
    Oh yeah Hoffman was a massive talent and a beloved actor, so I don’t take it lightly when I call Synecdoche his greatest role ever. Given his death and knowing the circumstances of his life at the time imbues this performance with a chilling sincerity that just breaks your heart and leaves you in awe.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:42 AM)
    Oh Andrew Niccol, oh how the mighty have fallen.
    Hoffman showed up in Capote and most wanted man, the latter which I especially love and there need to be more thrillers of that vein coming out.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:37 AM)
    It’s funny how they also each have a Nicolas Cage movie. Kaufman has Adaptation and Niccol has Lord of War. Although despite the usual Cage antics neither of those movies is really that bad.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jan 31. 2015 06:33 AM)
    Eternal Sunshine and The Truman Show are the two roles where Jim Carrey really demonstrated his acting chops well outside of his usual comfort zone. But Kaufman moved forward from Sunshine with the superior Synecdoche, while Andrew Niccol went from doing Truman Show and Gattaca to doing young adult garbage like The Host *wretches*

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