Let’s Watch – No. 6 (Episode 1)

Hello. This time I’m going to be doing something different for me, which is, I’m going to be posting my summary, thoughts, and experiences while watching an anime.

Characters

Shion – One of the main characters of No. 6, the anime starts with him celebrating his twelfth birthday. As a child with a very high IQ, through various exams and assessment tests, he has been chosen for a Special Course for the elite.

Nezumi – An escaped prisoner of the Correctional Facility, Nezumi finds his way to the Chronos district, where Shion lives.

Safu – She has been Shion’s friend for apparently a long time and his in the same class as him.

Impressions

I’m behind on what I’ve wanted to watch over the years, so I decided to give No. 6 a try. That’s not to say that I’m not watching other anime, but this will be what I’ll focus on right now. As far as how the future is depicted in No. 6–it gave me similar vibes to Psycho Pass, where people are accessed and placed into society accordingly. Unlike the society seen in Psycho Pass however, the government is much more authoritative almost on a disturbing level. Moving ahead a bit, upon arriving at work, Shion must recite an oath, “I swear my loyalty to an unchanging city.” To be a part of a citizenship that requires this kind of servitude is scary to say the least. An unchanging city? Should not a society change according to the technological advances and cultural shifts that define how people live? Change is an inevitability that must be accepted. People cannot bind themselves forever with such oaths as this and stay stagnant or unmoved, rather people must move forward with new ideas and learn to let go of foolish traditions.

Before I go on rant … here we go.

Episode 1

Things start off with Nezumi running through the sewers, being pursued and shot at. The scene cuts away to Shion, who is daydreaming in class, while Safu, his friend, his giving an advanced presentation on the brain and its functions. Shion, like the others in the class, are gifted children who have been selected and placed here to learn by their advanced assessment. The daydream occupying Shion has him imagining himself floating amid the vast space of sky as the wind of a coming storm sweeps him away.

After school, Shion and Safu head over to Safu’s grandmother’s house to celebrate Shion’s birthday. On the way, we get a glimpse of what the city is like, which is has a few technological nuances to what modern cities have now. We also learn that a typhoon will be heading through the city.

After the birthday celebration, it’s strange to see how Shion reacts when Safu kisses him on the cheek before he leaves, because he doesn’t seem to understand where such affection comes from at all. Even Safu’s explanation for why she kissed him is given scientifically, which makes it almost seem like imitation rather than expression. It makes me think that they really aren’t normal at all. As the wind and rain continue to pick up, the structure people are calling the Moondrop begins to ‘cry,’ which has something to do with the storm.

At home now, as if to confront the facade of what this society is, Shion shouts out at the storm unable to truly understand why he does it. He is being led down a predetermined path, controlled by a society who punishes anyone who does not conform to its views.

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This darker side to the apparently peaceful and prosperous city is represented by the appearance of Nezumi, an escaping prisoner of the so called Correctional Facility. From the first moments in episode one  I can clearly think that something is wrong with this society, as I watched Nezumi, who looks to be the same age as Shion, being hunted down by people with guns. A little excessive right? Although there are times when it is hard to tell how to treat youth when making judgments on morality, I can say that such a heavy punishment as death does not belong in any society I would wish to live in. Clearly there is something wrong here.

So, Nezumi breaks in Shion’s room and the two meet for the first time.

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Rather than becoming uneasy or afraid, Shion wants to help him and seeing the injury on Nezumi’s arm asks to help treat the wound. Even Shion is unable to come up with the reason why he decided to help Nezumi, but I think like his yelling, Shion is finding an outlet to disobey the system set out before him. The unnatural way in which his life has been bound acts contrary to his deep down subconscious and  Shion wants to rebel in some way without being fully aware of it. The situation calms down after Shion convinces his mother over a communication channel to be left alone for the night.

When Nezumi asks Shion if he knows how No. 6 came to be, Shion answers, “The Babylon Treaty. In the previous war, a race that lost the greater half of its inhabitable land outlawed all armaments, and created a city state to govern the remaining six areas. And No. 6 is one of those areas.” This explanation by Shion is given laugh by Nezumi, but nothing to show why. In the end I assume that this information was likely fed to Shion hiding the true origin story of these six areas denoted by number.

In the end Nezumi briefly stays there and leaves before Shion wakes up and the episode ends with someone from the Saftey Bureau showing up to the house .

Some additional thoughts

It’s interesting to see how No. 6 divides out its class and how people live in these classes by comparison. Shion, with his high IQ and high assessment, is allowed to live in Chronos, what seems to be the nicest and extravagant living quarters of the city. But as we’ll later see, this can all be taken away by a government that is in complete control of its citizens.

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A picture of Chronos
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