I give this worthy piece of work...a 83/100!
At first, I thought I was going to have trouble reviewing two Noitamina anime that I grew to really love over this past summer season. But after finally seeing all the episodes, I knew. As for the anime No. 6, I didn't even know of it's existence until I saw the promotional art and video once. It grew on me a little, but I didn't realize how much it'd grow on me until I saw the first episode. This anime reminds me of everything I love in anime and why I love it so much, and why I feel more people should watch anime instead of those stupid cartoons we see nowadays.
This anime's about a boy named Sion who lives an idyllic life in the utopia city of No. 6 with his mother, Karan, and friend, Safu. But his normal life changes when he tends to a fugitive named Nezumi and takes care of him. But then the authorities find out and Sion is stripped of all of his privileges and is forced to live in the lower tiers of No. 6 because of it. Four years pass and as he's working in the park, his co-worker suddenly grows old and dies in a matter of seconds due to being stung and attacked by a rabid bee. Suddenly, Sion meets Nezumi again, and the two of them go on a journey to learn the truth about No. 6 and that it's not the utopia that everyone thinks it is.
The animation is just beautiful. Even in the first episode the animation is great and stays that way throughout the entire series (including a very convincing rain scene in the beginning). There's a lot of movement in this show, and no chibi-fied faces or cartoony spasms. It's just purely human movement, but what else do you expect from Bones, the company behind Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, RahXephon, and currently Gosick? Sure, this anime's no Fullmetal Alchemist, but it does it's own thing with it's animation, and it does it wonderfully. I especially loved how one of the characters, Dogkeeper, was animated in the beginning of episode nine. That's what you call movement right there! Screw Gurren Lagann's craziness!
The soundtrack is awesome. I don't know who composed it, but it's nice and diverse, and a LOT of choirs and opera in the final episode. Awesome! I also LOVE Nezumi's singing voice! I want the OST already! His seiyuu, Hosoya Yoshimasa, is already becoming one of my new favorite seiyuus! I wish he'd get more work already!
The characters are awesome. Sion is sooooo not a Clain (Fractale)! Sure he starts off kinda bland, but he evolves as the series goes on and as he learns more and more about No. 6 and Nezumi. He actually talks back to Nezumi and even punches him in the face once! Awesome! Plus the changes he goes through in the final episodes are just awesome. However, my favorite out of all the characters in the show is Nezumi. He is the awesomest thing I've seen in a while! He's cool, handsome, hard-butt, no nonsense, doesn't take crap from anybody, goes by his own agenda, can be kind and sweet in rather unorthodox ways, has an epic singing voice, and is pretty cute when he's moving his limbs around and acts out stuff like he's in some melodramatic Shakespeare play. Also, yes, this show quotes Shakespeare and his works like Hamlet, and Oscar Wilde and his book The Happy Prince too! Where do you see anime with these nowadays? However, my least favorite of them has to be Safu, the female character, for one sole reason: if you ever try to ask your boyfriend to have intercourse with you, DO NOT DO IT BY ASKING FOR HIS SPERM RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE!!! AND IN PUBLIC TOO!!! I really don't think she was necessary in a show like this. That, or maybe the creators should have given her more character and changed this aspect of her. Jeez, for me, that's pretty much the number one thing to NOT do when trying to ask a guy out. What the freak? But another character surprises me: Karan, Sion's mother. Normally anime doesn't care about the mothers of the main characters and either leaves them out completely or love to kill them off. Karan, however, has a lot of presence in the show and has connections to No. 6. The show makes sure she has a purpose and doesn't leave her in the sidelines. I think that's awesome!
As much as I want to keep on glorifying this series, as a critic I have to acknowledge that yes, No. 6 has it's flaws. One, the episode length. Too short! Two, ending is really weird and stuff comes out of nowhere, but I've seen worse so I can forgive it. Three, doesn't go into detail about certain things. Four, Safu spends the entire series getting kidnapped and trapped in a bunch of science labs and gets used as a lab rat for an experiment. She doesn't even do anything until the end of the show, and even at the end, her presence is rather ham-handed!...but I do love what happened to her in the end, and I refuse to spoil it. Watch the show to see what I mean. That's pretty much all I can think of. I do admit that this series is VERY solid and it develops it's setting really well. It gives it some nice backstory and explains why certain characters and places are the way they are. Fractale spent too much time on it's characters to really develop the setting, but No. 6 does it right. But like Fractale, No. 6 shows us that there's no such thing as a perfect utopia and there's always hardships in life and we have to acknowledge that.
Although No. 6 isn't perfect, it reminds me of why I love anime and why I feel more people should see more of it instead of getting weird ideas in their heads.