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Aug 7, 2011 12:17 AM

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 886

i havent watch the anime but i've seen so many fan-girls doing amvs on youtube about 'person A' x 'person B'.

I didn't saw any ------- scene so far . I am guessing it to be a shounen AI though .
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Aug 12, 2011 7:31 AM

Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 594
Sebastian333 said:

i havent watch the anime but i've seen so many fan-girls doing amvs on youtube about 'person A' x 'person B'.

I didn't saw any ------- scene so far . I am guessing it to be a shounen AI though .

Fangirls do that kind of videos with every anime nowadays, even those without any kind of BL-undertones whatsoever.
Aug 14, 2011 2:56 PM

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 211
As a heterosexual male romance fan who nearly dropped this series out of fear that the gayness is only subtext, I can only be look on in disgust at all the homophobic hatred this series is getting.
Modified by AceJade, Aug 14, 2011 3:31 PM
Aug 14, 2011 9:48 PM

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 211
Unfortunately, since I find the setting and plot to be a pale and completely uninteresting imitation of Orwell's 1984, the only reason I'm watching this show is for the romance. If my ship gets sunk, that would ruin the series for me.
Aug 15, 2011 8:38 AM

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2671
What's so gay about two guys kissing and saying I love you?

Aug 15, 2011 2:41 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
I f... kneew it! My supposition has confirmed - is 'gaynime'!

DesolateOne said:
What's so gay about two guys kissing and saying I love you?

You're serious? I hope it's a joke or irony!
Aug 15, 2011 5:03 PM

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 38
Ok, guys.
Yes, there IS a kiss in the novels. Not going to say anything else, because it'd be huge spoilers.

The main point is... No.6 is NOT a BL. It is not romance centered. Please focus on the story, and stop thinking about what these two may do with eachother!

If in an adventure manga, the main character hooks up with a girl, does it stop being an adventure manga to start being a shoujo? NO.
Same goes for No.6 not being a BL.
You're not going to be told a story about love between two boys, but a story about how the discover No.6's mystery instead.

tl;dr. They're gay/bicurious/healthy young boys who love eachother, but that's not the point of the series.

Aug 15, 2011 5:32 PM

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2671
The preview for next episode shows them kissing anyways. Whether it's just a kiss on the cheek or mouth-to-mouth... I don't know but there's definitely going to be a kiss.

Not really spoilers.

Aug 19, 2011 10:26 PM

Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 634
So, they just kissed on the lips....yeah...that's not gay at all....
Aug 19, 2011 10:29 PM

Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 5713
Well, I'll have to eat my words.

This is fairly gay. But the homosexuality has a point.
It goes against the conformity that no 6 is placing upon the people.
Aug 24, 2011 6:11 PM

Joined: Jan 2011
Posts: 142
Why are people trying to say its not gay? Just admit it, its gay - you guys/girls act like its admitting peadophilia or something.
Aug 26, 2011 5:10 PM

Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 211
Letitbe said:
Why are people trying to say its not gay? Just admit it, its gay - you guys/girls act like its admitting peadophilia or something.

It's because, unfortunately, it's not. Based on the context, the kiss was not romantic in the slightest.
Aug 29, 2011 1:20 AM
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 58
idk, guys, it's not the KISS really but everything else--

i'll admit i started watching this expecting something like ginji and ban's dynamic in getbackers--profound but clearly platonic

but from the start the feel of the relationship is not your typical buddy-buddy bromance. all of shion's internal poetics about nezumi's beauty and what nezumi means to him, all the non-bro-like touching/caressing/physical contact, waltzing while staring into each others eyes, shion's 'yearning' for nezumi, nezumi running scared of shion's feelings and his own, and yes, the kissing--there are SO MANY things here that invite you to interpret their relationship romantically.

(...yeah the novels have colored my view, but we don't get into shion's head in the anime and since apparently bones doesn't want to change the dynamic of their relationship i assume this thoughts are much the same.)

iirc mean the whole point of the novels is that people's relationships are complicated and can't be put into little labeled boxes. but people uncomfortable with the thought of them being ~together~ will try to explain away every hint and people who want them ~together~ will hang on to them and declare it canon.

and i think this is partly why there's so much ~controversy~ in this series, the romantic elements and the ambiguity aren't just LOL FANSERVICE but a serious and important part of the story.

anyway, as i said, personally i think there's room for both interpretations and i subscribe to the 'there are romantic feelings there but it's not everything' school of thought. o/
Aug 31, 2013 12:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 293
I have not seen this show yet but God loves all his children. I will be getting this show off soon. And then I will post my opinion about it. is this show better than Berserk in any way?

PS I recommend everyone to accept Jesus s your personal lord and savior and do good deeds and go to Church and pray more often. Read the Holy Bible to get healing in your life. Thanks and God Bless
Sep 3, 2013 8:04 AM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 4
I saw Shion and Rat as having a homosexual relationship but I think that's because I WANTED to see them in a relationship. All the acts of 'sexual tension' in No. 6 are just very implicit gestures of friendship but there's nothing to say there isn't an emotional undercurrent of those actions.

I think the developer WANTED it to be that way--if you wanted Shion and Nezumi to be gay then they could be gay, but if you wanted them to be friends theres enough evidence for that, too-- the anime therefore not a 'yaoi' but basically jumping the same hoops if you're holding them.

Therefore if there's anything 'homosexual' to be homophobic about it's all conjured in the mind of the viewer so the show isn't at fault. ...That's how I saw it.
Jan 9, 2014 3:43 PM

Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 12
This has been really bothering me so I thought I'd have a think about it myself.

Is No. 6 a BL?

To answer a question like this, first you have to determine what BL is. BL most often refers to a genre of anime/manga/light novel in which the focus is on an explicitly homosexual relationship with certain tropes aimed at a presumed straight female demographic and produced in Japan for domestic consumption. No. 6 was not originally an anime, manga or light novel, nor does it have the tropes associated with a strict definition of BL even in its anime and manga forms. Often, BL is used as a more general term and in many instances is used in reference to No. 6 on the Japanese internet, but in no case is No. 6 officially categorized as BL.

From this it seems clear that No. 6 is not, strictly speaking, a BL and such a correlation, despite personal feeling, cannot be established as an objective fact.

Is No. 6 gay?

Due to the vagueries of human affection and sexuality and differences in social perception across time and place, as well as the relative importance of different points of view to the asker, this question is too vague in my opinion to have a satisfactory answer.

Obviously for many people the most important point of view is their own, and that seems valid to me. If you perceived Nezumi and Shion's relationship as friendship, or if you perceived it as romantic, or if you perceived it as ambivalent, that is certainly one valid interpretation. For others, a consensus of opinion is more important. Judging from this thread and other comments I have heard, a consensus on No. 6 has been difficult.

For some, like me, intent is more important. Although it is not the end all for a discussion on a work, I, personally, always prefer to know the author's intent if they have expressed it.

Therefore, rather than whether or not No. 6 is gay, I would like to determine whether or not No. 6 was INTENDED to be read as gay.

Assuming that the actions, if not the internal monologues and some dialogue are overall the same between the novels and the anime, I'm assuming that the directors tried to portray the story, including the relationships between Nezumi, Shion, and Safu as closely to the original novels as possible. Working on that assumption, I did some research on Asano Atsuko's commentary and background.

First of all, what has the author said about homosexuality in No. 6 and in what context.
Wikipedia provided me with this quote:


[My translation (possibly incorrect):

"In the November 2007 special Boy's Love edition of the magazine "Da Vinci", Battery and No. 6 were introduced as works of the "BL-smelling type" which give the impression of homosexuality. In this article, the author herself included the following comment: "I would like to continue to write works that express the deep and particular feeling which arises specifically because of an inability to distinguish between friendship and romance."]

From this quote, we can see that Asano Atsuko herself is ambiguous about the relationship. She does not insist that the relationship is romance, nor does she dismiss or discount the notion that it is. We might also note that No. 6 has been perceived by a Japanese audience (the originally intended audience, which may or may not be important) as being significantly “BL-smelling”. It is not recognized as BL with its attendent tropes, but it is not dismissed as an obvious iteration of average friendship in the culture in which it was produced and consumed.

Upon further searching, I found this quote from an author interview in the (admittedly fujoshi-oriented) magazine Pash! (a September issue with an unnoted year):


[My translation (possibly incorrect):
I think what Shion holds toward Nezumi is romantic love.
Nezumi.... I'm not sure (laugh). Does he love Shion or does he fear him...,
I think he has tired of trying to figure it out.]

In this quote the use of “Koigokoro” for Shion's love toward Nezumi, and Aisuru for Nezumi's POSSILBE love toward Shion is important. In Japanese there are many words for affection, and from my own experience reading interviews about potential gay relationships in Japanese media, I can tell you that there are words authors employ to downplay a potential gay relationship, and these are not those words. Koigokoro implies love in a romantic, passionate sense, and aisuru, while more general, implies a very important love, typically between family or lovers though this would be up for debate if we were really going to get into it.

For the sake of this argument I am going to ignore the implication in the quote that Nezumi's love toward Shion may be under more suspect than Shion's love toward Nezumi, though I find it very interesting as a fan of the series. Clearly, though Asano Atsuko has written a relationship that she believes to be ambiguous, she is not at all dismissive of a romantic side to that relationship and uses words associated explicitly with romance to discuss it.

As a side note, I found the Pash quote on a website lamenting Safu's role in the series as someone who not only loses their entire family and freedom but is also in an unrequited romance. The author of the site uses this and other quotes and their own interpretation of the series to dismiss the idea that any gay romance in the series was empty fanservice and comes to the conclusion that Shion, at the very least, is a full homosexual. I only include this as another example of native Japanese reaction that counters any idea that Shion and Nezumi's actions toward each other are acceptable or normal in a friendship in the origin culture.

The final quote that I found regarding author POV is the following, taken from a full interview with Asano Atsuko about her other work “Kujira no Saka”.

 あさの: 同性の関係を描くのが好きです。異性は恋愛や夫婦など一つの形に収まりがちだけど、同性の二人の関係は、友情、あこがれ、それとも疑似恋愛なのか本当によく分からない。書くことで何なのか知ろうとしているんです。

[My translation (possibly incorrect):
Asano: I enjoy writing relationships between people of the same sex. Opposite-sex relationships tend to be pulled into love or marriage, but same-sex relationships are more difficult to pin down – are they friendship? Admiration? Or pseudo-romance? I am trying to figure what they are by writing about them.”]

There are several interesting things about this quote, which is not about No. 6 but about Asano's writing in general. First of all, Asano Atsuko, who is married to a man and has children, draws a distinction between opposite-sex and same-sex relationships in fiction. I can't tell from this quote whether or not she is saying that she tends to corral opposite-sex relationships into romance and marriage or if that is a trend in society, but what is clear is that she draws a distinction which leads her to claim that same-sex relationships are enjoyable to write about because they are more ambiguous. It is also extremely interesting to me that she writes “pseudo-romance”rather than including romance as a possibility for same-sex relationships.

I think it's important when thinking about this to consider that Japan is currently a very conservative country, and that this is reflected in their attitude toward homosexual relationships. I personally think it is hard to compare attitudes in the US and Japan without quite a lot of discussion, but in general I have the impression that currently in Japan opposite-sex love is viewed as fundamentally different, perhaps even “more valid”than same-sex love, though same-sex love is not completely discounted. I think this is a good thing to keep in mind when analyzing both how Shion and Nezumi's relationship is displayed in the canon, and Asano Atsuko's explanation of it.

Personally, I am not surprised to find that the author of No. 6's intention in writing the relationship between Nezumi and Shion is not expressed clearly as either friendship or romance. This is mostly because, while American writers (and assumedly writers from other countries with similar cultural background), paritcularly Young Adult fiction writers, are often concerned about LGBTQI+ rights when they broach the subject of same-sex romance, Japanese authors do not necessarily have the same concerns. This is not to say the same is true for every writer, but considering Asano's background and generation her relegation of same-sex possilibity to an ambiguous “pseudo-romance”is not surprising. Still, regarding No. 6 she never dismisses the possibility of romance and going only on the two No.6-related quotes above, seems to err on the side of a romantic interpretation.

What is very clear to me upon sifting through Japanese google search results is that the originally intended audience did not take Shion and Nezumi's relationship to be a normal expression of friendship, and detected at the very least a strong “smell”of homosexual expression in it.

Why anyone cares also seems to be a recurring question. I certainly asked it of myself while writing this. Several times.

1) Empathy/betrayal: For those of us who do not identify with a heteronormative majority, it is always delightful to see viable representations, particularly positive ones, in media. Why, then, is it a problem to have ambiguous ones that defy labels? It shouldn't be, but when one cannot be reassured by labels, there is always the possibility of betrayal. A return to heteronormativity in the end. Are Shion and Nezumi merely friends, and will they betray my investment in their relationship by acknowledging this? Does their failure to acknowledge a romantic relationship mean that it is necessarily only friendship? It certainly feels that way when others reduce their relationship to friendship based on a purported lack of evidence.

2) Parity/Erasure: a common issue I have noticed with the anime fandom these days seems to be a strange response to increased awareness of LGBTQI+ issues, slash fandom or something. Apparently noticing and identifying homosexual/homoerotic elements in a story and trying to assert that they were intentional or meaningful has become a form of oversexualization of friendship relationships or an inability to recognize platontic relationships at all particularly between males. Females or non-straight male identifying people simply do not understand straight male culture, and thus their opinions are objectifying, shallow or simply invalid. This is a much less salient issue with heterosexual romance subplots, or at the very least I have never heard of a similar discussion regarding them. As a mental exercise I like to imagine whether or not, for instance, anyone would be having this conversation if another story were to include exactly the same gestures Nezumi and Shion display toward each other between opposite-sex characters. Of course these relationships would not be exactly equal due to the ever-present influence of culture/society. But it's something to think about.

3) Significance: For me, while the sci-fi plot was not un-interesting and made the story much more appealing than had it been only about a relationship, the reason I watched and the reason I enjoyed this story was because of the relationship between Nezumi and Shion. That relationship was interesting to me precisely because of its element of romance. However, if we discount that element of romance and insist that this story is primarily sci-fi and contains only a strong friendship, we blur the lines between it and less romantic stories which really do focus only on friendship as a sub-theme to epic sci-fi. For me and those like me, this attitude makes it much harder to find the stories like No. 6 that we will enjoy. Is it less legitimate of me to enjoy the genre of “BL-smelling romance” than to enjoy the genre of sci-fi, despite the fact that both genres got about equal airtime in No.6? It sure seems to be, but I must admit I resent that it is regarded as so.

So! Are you being homphobic over nothing gay?

Gay? The ambiguity was author-intended, but the author supports a view that includes at least a significant component of romance, and the original Japanese audience who may be more alert to cultural implications and the intention in terms of friendship/romance has picked up that ambiguity and neither dismiss the possibility of a homosexual romance, nor do they accept it as unequivocal.

Homophobic? YES! If you vehemently deny the possibility of romance and must try to force a story you like to be straight/friendship in order for you to enjoy it, despite copious evidence to the contrary, you ARE homophobic. Just like slashers (sometimes myself included) are heterophobic every time they try to deny the possibility of a heterosexual romance using one line of dialogue and buckets of denial and willpower in order to create a gay interpretation where the evidence is miniscule.

I'm not going to say it's wrong to try and spin a story your own way in order to better enjoy watching it. What is important to me is that we draw a distinction between what is objective and what is not.
Modified by Chiggy, Jan 9, 2014 3:51 PM
Apr 26, 2014 1:22 PM

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 349
I like the way you view it and was thinking toward similar conclusions. For anime, it's hard to be sure if it's gay or not, realy. It's not yaoi, at least that can be certain. I see it as not being gay, personaly. As for kissing, I don't know if anyone mentioned it here, but the series mentions "Happy prince" tale, which features a kiss on the lips between two "male" characters, which is not gay. But given it's author's scandalous reputation in his time, it can be seen as ambiguous as well. That said, there sure are enough leads for any possibility for this series, I kind of like it. I appreciate the chice I'm given to believe either way and also in some third possibility.
Hell is empty and all the devils are here.
May 6, 2014 6:26 AM

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 783
I really don't know why I'm posting this and I'm going to regret it, but...

Two boys their age kissing -- on the mouth -- pretty much leans towards they are gay or bi. The only people I kiss right on the mouth are people I'm attracted to. Starting to think kissing has not happened to most people on this board...
Not only that, but Shion shows no romantic or base sexual interest in Safu. I guess it's all up to interpretation though.

As for the homophobic thing... really? We are still talking about this in 2014?
Jul 7, 2014 2:54 PM

Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 126
Chiggy said:
This has been really bothering me so I thought I'd have a think about it myself.

Is No. 6 a BL?


I'm not going to say it's wrong to try and spin a story your own way in order to better enjoy watching it. What is important to me is that we draw a distinction between what is objective and what is not.
The only sensible post I bothered to skim, since you supported your view with facts and you don't really take sides.

Does the series have shounen-ai overtones? Yes. If you don't see that you're in denial. What kind of boy talks so honestly from the heart to another? What kind of person doesn't grasp hard truths easily, and instead acts relatively and emotionally soft? Only someone who's sensitive and stereotypically portrayed as homosexual--maybe bisexual.

I always thought No.6 was one kiss short of shounen-ai, and episode seven proved to be the clincher. (Whether or not the actual kiss is romantic might be up for debate, but ... even in France, where kissing is a relatively common greeting among close friends, they don't kiss on the lips. Also, don't forget this is made in a country where indirect kisses are often "important enough" to point out.)

I do agree with Chiggy that the important matter here is whether or not what we've seen should, in the future, be interpreted as gay. Unquestionably, in the modern (or three-years-ago) era, No.6 is recognized to have shounen-ai overtones. But as we look to the future, should we consider a social shift, in creating perhaps a third category, the ironic sexually-platonic, or in altogether distinguishing clear boundaries between the heterosexual and the homosexual?
Aug 22, 2014 10:04 PM

Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 372
When he saw the boy choking on the unbearable tumult of his emotions, there was only one emotion that welled up inside Shion, and it was love. It was neither friendship nor adoration. Neither romance nor awe. Just love.
(Translated by 9ave)

Quite an interesting line from the novel. Just thought I'd leave this here.
Nov 20, 10:06 AM

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 72
noneexistent said:
Sometimes it has to do with culture. Here in the U.S. guy friends do not hold hands. It is considered odd, so do not get mad at people if they seem weirded out, blame culture! I know that it is not queer when guy friends kiss on the cheek or hold hands, because that is the European mindset or culture. So there does need to be the education of different cultures, and how one acts in friendships with the same gender. But yes sometimes that is how immaturity comes across. But a lot of teenagers are experience new things, so give them time, allow them to grow up. I mean we were all immature at some point. Also even though it is the year 2011 that has nothing to do with it. Parents/adults do not educate there kids on certain things until they reach a certain age, which goes back to whole maturity and education bit I was talking about. When I was 12 or 13 I knew about homosexuality. I do not agree with homosexuality, but I do respect that some people choose to live that way. We should be respectful of those around us no matter how they live, whether we disagree or not. That goes on both ends whether you are straight or not. However, I am getting ahead of myself. Sorry if I went on random tangent. But I hope my point came across without offending anyone, or that it was made clearly.

I'm European and European guy friends don't kiss themselves on the cheek, that's disgusting.

As for the anime. I started watching it for the mystery, the secluded city where everyone is obedient and there are outsiders and as per the description, some outsider changes the protagonist's views of the world. I expected to see some fighting, intrigues, eventually leading to breaking the secluded city open and letting everyone being free to live their lives as they please...

But instead I had to watch some unnerving scenes with guys touching each other weirdly and getting too close to the other's face. That's episode 5 where I'm at. I'm afraid to proceed forward.

Watching this makes me feel like watching a paraplegic who fell down on the street struggling to get back on their wheelchair and nobody helping them, pretending nothing wrong is happening. It's borderline disgusting.

Don't get me wrong, I have a gay cousin and we are close, have fun, go places, but I don't talk about my hetero shit in front of him and he doesn't talk about his gay shit in front of me, we just talk about the things we have in common and have fun.

Many years ago I watched that that gay shit show Gravitation, I don't know why I started it or why I even bothered to finish it, but it's one of the dumbest animes I've seen in my life. I can't even fathom what audience it even targets. It's borderline retarded.

As for No. 6, it's a very bad thing that MAL has not listed "Shounen Ai" or whatever this gay shit is called in the anime, because I sure did not come for it.
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