No. 6 2
I would say something here but I can’t because she already ruined the joke
Shion is now 16.
Four years ago, when he was 12, the Safety Bureau found out that he was hiding Nezumi, and promptly stripped him of all his privileges, including the ability to register in the Special Course and rights to living in Chronos. Instead, he now lives in the Lost Town, a section of No. 6 with more normal-like housing (it’s like a small low-middle class home today), without too many extravagant technological advantages.
Shion and his friend Yamase work as park supervisors, and his mother works in her own bakery. Though she’s gotten over her expulsion from Chronos now, she was traumatized at the incident and was unable to remember how to bake cherry cake (the cake she baked on the night of their expulsion) until now. Lili and Youming, her uncle, visit Shion’s mother, and Lili tells her that Renka, her mom, is pregnant. This has a lot to do with the story. I may or may not be sarcastic, depending on what happens in future episodes.
SUDDENLY A DEAD BODY AND OH NO
Shion doesn’t care because dead people are dead, and visits Safu, who’s going to No. 5 (another city-state) to study for two years. Her grandmother went to the Twilight House, where VAMPIRES AND ZOMBIES AND TWILIGHT AND HOUSE
Safu decides to be upfront with Shion, but Shion decides to be a loser and hang out with rats instead. He goes to work the next day and SUDDENLY YAMASE DIES OH MY GOD THAT WAS THE SCARIEST CREEPIEST OH MY GOD I STILL FEEL SICK AND GROSS AND SCARED AND CREEPED OUT
The Safety Bureau decides to be upfront with Shion and ARREST HIM but suddenly NEZUMI APPEARS and KICKS THE CAR INTO THE RIVER AND IT EXPLODES AND THE BRIDGE DIES AND THEN LIKE TREES AND PARK MAINTENANCE VEHICLES AND RUN SUPER FAST AND CRASH WASTE MANAGEMENT FACILITIES AND ACTION AND ADVENTURE AND YEAH
Finally, they get out of the sewer system and reach…
“Also, we’re on Mars and you’re going to die in, wait, sorry, you’re already dead.”
Interesting. If this is the route No. 6 will go on, this might be a really good show (dare I say ‘best of the season’?)
I got a lot of Fractale vibes from here, not only in the escape-from-a-perfect-life but also in their tackling of themes. Whereas Fractale focused on human identity, No. 6 seems to focus more about the gradual desocialization of a socialized person (where socialized means ‘somebody involved with society’. Strangely enough, Fractale didn’t say much of this at all, and was perhaps more about the resocialization of a desocialized person).
First, we have the obvious Shion being demoted from elite society to normal society. Then, we have his rejection of societal norms in his rejection of Safu (btw, what a way to get rid of a useless female character. I hope we’ll see her again, though), even more symbolized by his chasing of a rat (basically declaring: “THIS RAT IS MORE WORTH MY TIME THAN YOU!”), which was more a metaphor about false hopes (he thought he heard Nezumi’s voice through that rat, which was true, but it could have also just been a false hope).
We prepare Shion for gradual desocialization by having him have a different vision of the future than socialized people – whereas others wish to become smarter, earn big bucks, or the like, he merely wishes to… what does he wish to do? I think he just wishes to enjoy life. We can compare him to Safu’s grandmother, who obviously wants to do something more than just enjoy life, perhaps because she hasn’t done enough during her liftime. Perhaps Shion feels he’s done enough by saving Nezumi? Perhaps he’s getting older, because if Safu’s grandmother was telling the truth, and it was just the voice actor having a strained voice at the time, that would mean old people want to just lay back and relax more than children do.
Which is an appropriate foreshadowing of the future – it’s obvious that he’s been infected by the aging bug, and it’s obvious that he’ll age (though only in hair colour, which seems to me pretty stupid). Unless it’s not only in hair colour, and No. 6 is just a way to look through the eyes of an old man at a changing society, while still in the body of a young man.
His final desocializing peak of this episode is his willingness to cast aside all traits of his previous life – that bracelet was not just a bracelet, it represented his past, his city, his mom, Safu, his CITIZENSHIP. And by throwing that aside, the desocialization begins…
A few side remarks:
How does Nezumi train all those rats?
It’s not scuba diving if you just have goggles and go underwater for a while…
You’d expect a cleaner waste disposal facility – it looks so nice from the outside, but man those pipes really need to be cleaned.
In conclusion: Will No. 6 be the next Fractale? Or the first, successful one?
“Now, give us your soul.”
Alternatively: “Welcome to the Financial District.”