Sunday, July 10, 2011

NO.6 01: The flower and the rat.

This is the feeling I'm trying to avoid by only blogging 3
series during my first season.

Deciding on a third series to blog regularly this season was difficult for me. I'm a relatively new blogger and I don't want to scare myself away from the joy of blogging by putting too much on my plate at once. Blogging Mawaru Penguindrum was a choice I made long before it aired, and blogging Idolmaster was a choice I made because normally I don't have much to say about the genre (until now, that is). From the very large list of options this Summer I finally came to the conclusion that I would blog NO.6, because among all the shows airing this season I have the most to say about this Noitamina gem.

Initially I was turned off by the idea of another 11 episode fantasy-adventure series after the flop that was Fractale, but the first episode of NO.6 showed an important aspect of all great short series, and that's a setting that leaves the viewer questioning and a dynamic cast of characters. (and let's not forget the amazing VAs either) If NO.6 can manage to pull off what Fractale didn't, that being anything enjoyable, then it may prove to be the best series of the Summer.

It wasn't the nicest way to say hello, but Shion
didn't seem to mind.

I've always been a huge fan of media and literature based around dystopian societies, so when the setting was revealed I was immediately interested. Books like The Hunger Games show the flaws in controlled societies and I've written plenty of essay's in school about them, so my hope is that NO.6 will convey similar messages through it's story, which I'm sort of clueless about at the moment. The first episode seemed to mainly present the major characters and setting, which it in my opinion it did flawlessly. Proper use of the 23 minutes is especially needed in 11 episode series.

Shion and Nezumi perfectly represent the two sides of the dystopian city, NO.6, Shion being the privileged and elite and Nezumi being the exact opposite, and when they finally met the clash between their personalities played out very well. Another scene that some people may have not thought much about involved Shion's classmate Safu's grandmother. In NO.6 where intelligence and ability means everything, where does an elderly woman who is past the time of working fit into society. "Tomorrow ... and the day after ... I have no idea what to do."

Insulting Safu ... biggest mistake of your life.

As I mentioned before, I have absolutely no clue what the plot is that will carry the show another 10 episodes, so I'm assuming it will be introduced in the next episode. However, the authorities showing up at Shion's house will probably be handled in the opening of episode 2. As long as the show doesn't wait too long to dive into the main aspects of the story and doesn't waste time on fillers (like a certain other dystopian anime *cough* Fractale), then we shouldn't have anything to worry about.

I'd also like to talk about something coming up a lot on forums I visit and other website and that is the relationship between Shion and Nezumi. First off, I've never read the source material, and have no intention to until after the anime or possibly never. What I got from them was a close bond and a growing friendship between two unlikely people. If it turns out they fall in love, good for them, but I'm really upset that some people are judging the show entirely based on two male characters who are 12 years old holding hands. (yes, some people aren't admitted to not watching the show simply for this reason) I've seen at least 50 posts with people throwing around words like "yaoi" or "gay" and all I can say is, if you want to miss out on what may be one of the most interesting series the season has to offer because the two main characters have a close friendship that may or may not turn into something more (which is probably irrelevant to the story anyway), then it's your own damn lose.

How do you feel about the first episode of NO.6, below or above your expectations? How do you feel about the general reaction to Shion and Nezumi?

Oh, and happy birthday Shion. Ignore those haters.


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