The year is 2013 in the city of No. 6, the city that embodies the highest ideals of humankind. Shion has been raised here as a high-ranking elite since the age of two, but on the night of his twelfth birthday his fate is turned upside-down when he meets a boy who calls himself Nezumi.
"Why did I open the window that night? If I had not, I'd never have needed to know what it is like to fight, starve, or suffer in anguish...."
This is my first review, but I felt entailed to write a review as there is none and this novel was really spectacular in many aspects. I will start off with a warning - if you are not open-minded of male on male relationships then don't read this. This novel may not be hardcore yaoi but it contains shounen-ai scenes that may not be tolerable for tight-laced male on female enthusiasts.
Story: I will not write a summary as there is already one provided for you on this website. I rated the story a 10. I am not a hardcore sci-fi fan so I am not really qualified to speak on that aspect of the story; but for those in my position that may have indulged in sci-fi novels once every blue moon than you will be fascinated by this story. The whole post-apocalyptic world that No. 6 is based on is magnificent. This story brings out the maliciousness of human nature, and at the same time brings out that human kindness is out there. Not everyone is cold-hearted and greedy. This is what you may call, "regaining hope in humanity."
From the anime, many viewers were turned off by the shounen-ai scenes between the two main protagonists in the story. This is understandable as not everyone has the same likes, but for those of us that enjoy male on male relationships then this novel is for you. I gladly enjoyed indulging myself on the special bond between Sion and Nezumi. Like I mentioned before, this is nothing hardcore - but the relationship doesn't lack anything. The best I can describe this as is an unbreakable bond that traspasses romance.
Characters: I rated this section a 10. The characters in this story were unique and weren't cliched. I enjoyed their personalities and their sarcastic way of communicating with each other. I'm sure you can get a smile or two from reading their conversations in even the most dire situations during the novel. All these characters have unique backgrounds and they're all united by the unfairness and struggle of survival.
Enjoyment: I rated this a 10 as I highly enjoyed this novel. I wished from the moment I started reading this to be able to indulge into it until I was finished - but reality called and I had school the next day. Every chance I got I used for reading this novel. This only happens when I highly enjoy something so of course I was obliged to rate this a 10.
Overall: I rated this a 10 as well (yes I rated everything a 10 - I'm only a human that enjoyed this, give me a break). The only part of this novel I wish was different was the ending. It was not bad don't get me wrong, but I would have hoped for a more detailed explanation of the aftermath.
Well this was it for my first review. I was surprised to find no reviews on here so I decided to give it a go. I hope if you're planning to read this novel that you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
In the "future" of 2013, after a huge war, most of the people around the world live in what they call city states.
Our main character, Shion, is an elite in the city of no.6, and after saving a stranger (Nezumi), he is stripped of his position as an elite, because the boy that he saved was actually pursued by the authorities of the city.
Several years latter, he gets again in trouble and he is sent to the correctional facility of the city, but Nezumi rescues Shion before he is sent there. Now Shion will discover that no.6 is not actually utopia as well as the true reality of the world.
The main story focuses on that, the life of Shion outside the city and his findings about no.6.
There is a sub-plot, which is the relationship between the two MCs, Nezumi and Shion (their friendship and romance). Since it's not the main focus, it would be not fair to label this as shounen ai, due to the fact that the rest of the mangas are not labeled as romance just because there's a relationship. (And I actually think shounen and shojo ai should be just romance, but then again, different mindsets exist) So, if you don't like this issue, you know what to do.
So this gets a 10 because I find that the world the author has created is really amazing, and because the relationship between Nezumi and Shion it's a really special one. It's one of my favorite pairings ever.
Each character is complete and unique, and you get to know some background story about most of them. Did I already say that the two protagonists are amazing? No, right? Well, they are.
The character development of Shion and Nezumi, individually and as a pairing, is also another of the best aspects about the books.
Enjoyment - 10
I enjoyed these books a lot. Proof: I finished all the books in a bit more than one week. The books are short, 150-200 pages each, well written. Some of them are slow-paced while others are intense, but every one of them is truly enjoyable.
Still, I warn you, they are not completely flawless, since they include some unexpected fantasy. (Deus ex machina?)I didn't find it too bad though.
(You'll understand if you read the books)
Summary (TL; DR)
- Story: 10 (It is a fantastic dystopia)
- Characters: 10 (All of them are complete and unique; lovable MCs)
- Overall: 10
- Shion and Nezumi are more than friends, but unless you are an homophobe, you won't mind this/will find this really adorable.
I would recommend this to anyone in general, but specifically to the people who enjoy dystopian-type sci fi.
The last thing I want to say is that this is a hundred times better than the anime (and it was not a bad anime), you don't really need to watch it, go for the books instead. If you liked the anime, you will enjoy the books. There's also a manga, but it's not finished, sadly.
I've been blogging anime for a long time, and there aren't many series about which I can say this but... my experience blogging No. 6 was unique.
**This article contains SPOILERS! Please be forewarned!**