The story of no. 6 is set in a post apocalyptic earth, where humans are divided into 6 cities, and the one that is focused on is number 6, hence the title. So far, so good right? We have a story that occurs outside of a high school for once. Throw a few dystopian elements in, and it immediately looks like something worth watching. Not to mention, no. 6 is animated by studio Bones, the people behind FMA: Brotherhood. So why do I not enjoy this nearly as much as similar animes?
Let"s take a closer look.
Just a fair warning, this is not an anime for people who cannot stand shounen ai. Not that it's a vital piece to the story or anything, but there are still some moments that might turn you off if you don't enjoy that kind of romance.
So here's the story. Sion, our protagonist, was a young, promising student. On the night of his 12th birthday, he met a fleeing fugitive, Nezumi. Despite knowing that he would be punished by the law, hid and helped him escape. Four years later, after witnessing a strange event at work, he was taken away by the police and was rescued by Nezumi and the two of them ran to the outside world that the walls of no. 6 was trying to hide from its inhabitants.
After putting so much of drama in the opening episodes of the show, you would think that the creators would then try to maintain the audience's attention right? Wrong. The remainder of No.6 is then used to explain side characters that you would never care about, raises conflicts that would just disappear not to ever return. Maybe it's because of how short this series is, but that does not cover up for the fact that there are many episodes that just waste time building up to a good development, and then completely forgets about it next week. I've find myself wanting to drop no. 6 because of that. It is not until near the end of the show when things are finally explained and the plot moves on. However, by the time that happens, we're already on the last few episodes and there's no room left to truly establish a good motive or villain.
Although the character design is not very outstanding, Studio Bones does do a very good job of animating No. 6. The few actions scenes are worth watching and they do make the show a lot more enjoyable. Of course, this is not FMA, but it is fun looking at Nezumi beating the crap out of some random grunt.
Music is perhaps No. 6 worst aspect. The op and ed are fine, and I rather enjoyed them, but the BGM is bad to say the least and some tracks just simply fails to deliver a good moment. That is not very annoying in through out most of the anime since nothing really happens, but when things really heat up later on, don't expect shivers to run down your spine because of the epic music.
As I mentions before, the side characters of this show are not very interesting. Although No.6 does try to give the audience something to relate to them, there's not very much to grasp onto as they are only given a few minutes of back story at best before being thrown into the plot device closet again. Where the show really shines is the interaction between Nezumi and Sion and that's what made me stick around. I'm not going to reveal a lot of it here since I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but I'm going to say that through their interactions, they grow a lot together and character development is always very appreciated in my book.
This show was recommended to me by a friend who was praising it a lot, and I could see why. Does that mean I enjoy it as much as she did? Unfortunately no. Despite having potential, No. 6 just falls short of many other brethren of the same genre, and the music did not help a lot either.
If you don't watch a lot of anime in the scifi or dystopia genre, you might find No.6 a refreshing deviation from your typical high school anime. It has a decent plot, and overall solid leads. However, if you're the type that could talk about Ergo Proxy, Psycho Pass, etc. for days on end, this title might be a bit lack luster for you. Despite that however, No. 6 does manage to pull itself through in the end. Is it an anime that you must watch before you kick the bucket? No. But is it a good way to spend a boring Saturday afternoon? Yes.