Posted 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

Posted on 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)

Posted on 9 September 2011 with categories: No.6



Seriously, ignore the huge holes that will be left in the plot next week, and this was another amazing penultimate episode. Heck, even though it in no way closes off the series, this looks to be an amazing climax. This episode was chock full of strong emotions and bold revelations.

The best of which was the thing that Nezumi warned about, at the end of the previous episode. I mean, we knew by now that Number Six had to be kidnap a huge amount of people: you have doubts and are of a lower class, then you’re out. That had to happen often. Instead of taking the time of burning these dead bodies, they just dump everyone on one huge pile and stop worrying about them. It was disturbing to see to say the least, but what really made that scene was that it indeed changed Shion’s character significantly. It was really well portrayed, and happened before he knew it.

This lead to a really emotional climax at the end when Shion actually kills another human, while Nezumi stands by with shock of how he lost his innocence. Oh, and some excellent animation also helped here. And that wasn’t even the only character development in this episode. Inukashi also got quite an interesting role when that baby suddenly got dumped on her. I think the reason why nobody doubted her gender had a lot to do with that flashback they showed of Nezumi when his tribe got murdered: there he also looked like a girl and nobody found it strange.It probably has a lot to do with cultural values and how women usually dress in these slums.

As for the next episode, I wonder how big of a disaster it’ll be. Knowing Seishi Minakami, it’ll probably just end. We get a nice climax between Safu and learn how overly powerful she has become, combined with a huge hook to a second season that will never arrive. This unfortunately had it coming ever since this show got announced.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 1 September 2011 with categories: No.6



Oh, that’s very cruel. That cliff-hanger I mean. They were about to dive into the core of the correctional facility, and Nezumi said to Shion that he’s very likely going to change after what he sees there. So yeah, we only have two episodes left for that. Don’t promise awesome character development when you know that you’re going to end in less than one hour!

Yeah, I may sound like a broken record and all, but that’s the thing with this series: it just is THAT solid. For the past nine episodes there have been no weaknesses whatsoever aside from the “big one”. Seriously, it’s been a while since I watched a series that was this solid, and whose only single problem was the fact that it was based on a much longer source material that it would never be able to complete. And to be honest, this had it coming right from the beginning with Seishi Minakami: he’s basically pulling another Shigurui here, which also was a rock-solid adaptation from beginning aside from the fact that it just refuses to answer one of the biggest questions of the plot.

What caught my attention the most was the near rape of the dog keeper. Holy crap, that was well portrayed. The acting was excellent throughout this entire episode, but she really stole the show there. How different is that side we got to see of her!
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 25 August 2011 with categories: No.6



Well, so I did not expect No.6 to be this… young. True, everything looks futuristic and there aren’t any real old buildings aside from the slums and all (which probably were built on top of some scrap and ruins), but for this series to be around twenty years old at most They really put in effort to mind-screw everyone within that amount of time. I don’t understand one thing about the background exposition of this episode though: it was mentioned that the six numbers were the only six spots of fertile lands left. So what about Nezumi’s birthplace? That had all kinds of trees growing there and didn’t seem to be a number.

What’s also quite strange: Nezumi wore girls’ clothes even in his flashback. I guess it makes sense for him to pursue his acting career after that and all, but I still find it intriguing that this series acts like it’s the most normal thing in the world. This really is the age where his parents really had to consciously dress him up like that.

In any case, this episode was a great one for the plot. When the show will close off in three weeks with a ton of loose threads, we’ll at least know how No.6 originated and how it so rapidly grew to be such a totalitarian distopia. This really answered the biggest lingering questions, which is good for now. At this point it’s also obvious what the creators are going to intend to end this thing with: Safu’s rescue. That’s the problem with kidnapping, really: the character in question is rendered useless through the entire process. It’s aggravating when said character is such a good one and you don’t have many episodes to really show her off otherwise.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 19 August 2011 with categories: No.6



This episode was great, even for this series’ standards. The script, it left no minute wasted. The dialogue was incredibly meaningful here, but the most amazing thing is that it just kept going: it just kept pushing its characters forward, it just kept developing them, it just kept showing them pour their heart out. Okay, so Safu had to get kidnapped for it to happen. The results were amazing.

I really wish that Fractale would have had the chance to take a look at this series, and take its example, because it does just about everything right where that show went wrong. It’s got a ridiculously strong bond between the characters, a strong story and instead of wanting to goof off or ignore the interesting parts of its story, it fully focuses on them. The drama in this episode was heavy, but it was entirely based on the choices that the characters made for themselves. Instead of dragging this out, the creators analyzed it, and instead made it so that it would also get resolved quickly. Sure, a strange coincidence was needed for that, but within that series it’s just a small detail.

Speaking of small details, there’s something about the animation that I also really appreciate in this series, even though it’s just a small detail: the characters’s faces, and especially their mouths. Nowadays, in just about any anime, mouths are just a bunch of lines pasted on top of a characters’ face that move up and down. Here though, there are these scenes that actually try to animate the fact that the characters have lips, and they actually try to make the characters’ faces stand out. In the past there were quite a few anime who did that too, but lately this has died out nearly completely in anime. It’s a shame to lose such a kind of a detail that can normally do wonders in making your cast come alive.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 11 August 2011 with categories: No.6



Penguin Drum and Blood-C may be on a hiatus, but there still is the sixth episode of Number six that airs regularly. Again, we have an episode with a completely different tone as the previous ones. This time it was all about the friction between Shion and Nezumi. The acting between them was great, and they played wonderfully off each other, making the cliff-hanger about Safu’s capture all the more satisfying.

Kidnappings re of course a dime a dozen, but this episode made it into much more than that when Nezumi is seriously considering not to tell Shion about it. Furthermore, there was no way in which Safu wouldn’t be captured. It wasn’t the villains just going “ah, let’s kidap someone for a change”; instead they have been monitoring Shion’s house and now that Safu came back to him and is starting to search for him, they immediately made use of that. They don’t intend to use her as bait, otherwise they would have kidnapped Shion’s mother already, but it seems that the intention of trying to find Shion was what triggered them. For what reasons? Let’s hope that the part that explains that can still fit in the anime.

Meanwhile, Safu is sharp! She’s not the type of airhead who needs tons of clues to realize what’s going on. She isn’t afraid to show her feelings, and she’s not dodging around the subject of love. A breath of fresh air here!

At the moment, N0.6 is currently contenting with Penguin Drum for my favourite soundtrack of the season. While Penguin Drum probably wins in the use of its soundtrack, I also want to praise No.6 for its sheer versatility. In general I do favor the bombastic soundtracks over the mellow ones, but the soundtrack uses a lot of different instruments to create a very interesting effect. And the interesting thing is that it’s completely different from Dororon Enma-Kun, which also had the same composer. To be honest though, I do consider Enma-kun’s soundtrack to be better than this one, but that show did have one of the best soundtracks of the year, due to the immense amount of references, variety and flavours it put in.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 4 August 2011 with categories: No.6



This episode really grabbed me by surprise. Not only was it exceptionally good and well produced, but also just about everything that happened here was against what you’d expect or came out of left field. This episode built up a ton of questions, it showed the cast in a completely different light, on top of being absolutely gorgeous to watch.

This episode took two completely unrelated characters: Nezumi and Safu, and had them experience the same hallucination at the same time. Erm, why? On top of that, against expectations the bees turn out to be active during the winter, and they seem to be related to these hallucinations in which they could talk. Again: how the hell is that happening? On top of that, Shion’s mom’s friend is suddenly afraid of mice, Then Shion suddenly comes and catches Nezumi unguarded, and then Safu is coming back, of all things. How the hell are the creators going to weave all of that together? And will the show still be running when we get to that point?

On top of that… that dance scene. Holy crap, that was well animated. The characters really came alive and the visual direction was utterly gorgeous. This episode on top of that had poetry and theatre as well, making it artistic in many different ways. It was a bit strange to see Nezumi in women’s clothing, but it does make sense: traditionally in Shakespearean plays, the female parts were all played by men as well.

Also, shock! This episode actually included a kiss that wasn’t overly romanticized.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

Posted on 28 July 2011 with categories: No.6



Okay, so this episode didn’t reveal the secret of Number Six. Instead, it went for character building. And it did that well.

My biggest surprise was at how much detail was put into Shion’s mother: I just thought that she was one of the token parents who was just set to disappear after the second episode. Here though, they went into her past, how she’s doing and had Shion contact her though Nezumi’s mice. Beyond that, we learned that Nezumi refused to talk about himself, but there were tons of hints to his character (and again a ton of hints at how his character change), the dog girl got some depth and overall this series still upholds its standards of pushing its story forward.

What I especially like here is how every episode so far has been significantly different in terms of themes and focus. This episode takes a look at the characters and the setting in a completely different way and it’s consistently changing and pushing its characters into different situations. With 22 episodes this really has the potential to become a classic. With 11 episodes it will probably be a very engaging series with a very open ending.

The animation also was really well done in this episode. There were very little still frames and a ton of movement, the background art was really well drawn, but also the people and dogs in the background were really well designed. Overall the question of the series with the best visuals is a tough one this season, unlike last Spring where the X-Men very convincingly took that award. In terms of fluidity and movement there’s Blood-C, in terms of consistency there’s Penguin-Drum, in terms of extravagance there’s Dantalian no Shoka and in terms of attention to detail and designs there’s this series.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Posted on 21 July 2011 with categories: No.6



So, the obvious question when you start watching No.6 is: who are these people? Even in the second episode, there is this strange brown-haired guy who looks nothing like the guy on the promo material, although it also provided a big hint about what would suddenly cause this change in hair pigmentation. This episode indeed shows what caused it, and I really have to praise the creators for delivering one heck of an intense scene.

The second half of the episode pushed the story forward again, and put a huge emphasis on morals: letting the killer bees hatch will probably lead to the downfall of No.6 if they’re allowed to spread without being noticed during Winter. This will mean the end of a dystopian society, yet also it will lead to the deaths of countless of innocent people who are merely living their lives without knowing anything about the world. the big question right now is what has Nezumi so convinced that those sacrifices should be made?

I like how this series has a very strong concept of foreshadowing: it doesn’t necessarily have huge cliff-hangers, but instead it ends every episode with the promise of new major revelations. The first episode promised a ton of change and intrigue, the second episode promised the change in hair colour, and now this episode is promising that next week, we’ll learn about the truth of No6. After all, there’s no way that Nezumi is going to wait with that.

Also, regarding the soundtrack: it was the soundtrack that I was looking forward to the most after Dororon Enma-Kun (both show share the same composer), and it has definitely delivered. I especially like the kinds of bombastic soundtracks, and this one is both that and subtle and varied.
Rating: ** (Excellent)

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 07:27 AM)
    *In the sense he is a fan of gar anime
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 07:24 AM)
    He did manage to enjoy kill la kill though. And he loved the hell out of Eva.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 07:22 AM)
    Though I can see why he’d have a hard time enjoying persona 4. He’s into things such as perfect blue, Akira, ghost in the shell, legend of the galactic heroes, wants to watch monster along with Gar stuff, he has no time for anime comedies, most shounens bar jojo and full metal or anything girly, romcomish or melodramatic or anything with a lick of moe.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 07:17 AM)
    But then again, he tends to dislike “forced anime archetypal voice acting”
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 07:15 AM)
    @;(: I believe my brother also disliked the English voice acting for the game…and he probably hated Rise in Japanese especially, particularly because she was voiced by Rie Kugimiya.
  • jerkocaust
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 06:27 AM)
    None-sense? Is that what the kids are saying nowadays?
  • ;(
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 06:14 AM)
    @Jerkoff: can you please tell us when you’re done trying to look hardcore because no one in your real life cares to hear about your moronic none-sense? Thanks.
  • ;(
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 06:10 AM)
    @Emma: most of the games aren’t looked poorly upon (though for all my love for the series, it does have flaws), but the whole concept of the series and especially the original two go against Christianity and has a lot of stuff that bother censors. You don’t get much more touchy with judeo-Christian religions than fighting all angels and god. Like our god.
  • ;(
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 06:05 AM)
    @Emma: I actually really disliked persona 4 for the same reasons. It’s got great gameplay, voice work, art…. But the story is very very flawed… Many people love the story because or the cliches and holes in character consistency, it supposedly has a lot of “high emotional points”.
    It’s a case of love it or hate it, and because the focus of that game is the story, that really decides most of it.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Friday, Aug 28. 2015 06:05 AM)
    Y’know I can barely remember much of Urasawa’s Pluto manga but the part with old musician, which is sidestory is the part I seem to always keep in my mind, never forget. There was so much else probably more of a highlight in the manga than that.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Gangsta. – 08

Some focus on Alex this time around as with the drug out of her system she remembered that she had a younger brother. A pretty startling revelation for her as forgot about him the whole time she was under Barry’s control. It was done well on just how much this shocked her but I must […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 08

Itami continues to be a mystery as he is shown not only to be a ranger but also a member of special forces. Its not really confirmed whether he is a genius in hiding or a slacker who was tossed into high profile positions and got through it with minimum effort. The big part of […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 07

This episode has been a weaker episode than those so far. The opening has gone through a number of changes now that we have reached over the halfway point. Megumi’s part of the opening has been replaced by a shot of her grave, the colourful transition after showing the title is now a series of […]

Gangsta. – 07

Now the past has been mostly revealed, Worick’s friendship with Nicholas has become a more complex thing. Worick seems to see him as a good friend yet resent him for going kill crazy and murdering his whole family. Though the murder of his father looked to be an order he himself made to Nicholas and […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 07

I understand that for an anime adaption some character designs need to be simplified in order for an easier time to keep them in proportion in animation. But while the characters who suffer in this episode because of this are indeed minor characters, its really a shame to see them become something unrecognisable. The two […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 06

Well the story continues on from the flashback, showing Miki first joining the club. Right off the bat the episode pushes to answer the question of Megumi’s existence. It’s a answer that was pretty obvious by this point as the foreshadowing was pretty heavy on this particular detail but this episode makes it crystal clear. […]

Gangsta. – 06

When taking into account the show so far, I find that the quiet character moment stand out far more than the over the top fight scenes with knife wielding psychos on rooftops. The dialogue between characters is much more engaging that two characters jumping around like Bleach Soul Reapers. In particular it great seeing Worick […]

Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! – 06

Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” is a fairly iconic piece of music in pop culture. So much so that after Apocalypse Now (1979) whenever there is a helicopter assault in any piece of media, it’s practically obligatory to play Ride of the Valkyries. Even just today when finishing Far Cry 3 and had a […]

Gakkou Gurashi! – 05

As these episodes go on it really is something to wonder about the matter of Yuki being a hindrance or a help. I have said previously that she does push the group in the right direction but it is still a case where her mentality is dangerous. The group need to come up with excuses […]

Latest Reviews

Little Witch Academia The Enchanted Parade – 81/100

I wonder when it was that a film being childish became a flaw. As a medium grows it takes steps to aim to mature itself and seek a more intellectual level of presenting entertainment. Animation did it as Anime aimed to explore terrontry that cartoons refuse to explore and video games only recently broke away […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks Review – 85/100

For a long time now this adaption has been the dreams of many a Fate fan with many believing it would never come to pass, but now that it is here is it everything that we dreamed? Short answer to this is no, long answer is nearly. I feel this show will have many divided […]

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]