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Final Impressions: No. 6

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To be honest, my only viable option to watch the final episode of No. 6 was in 360p quality. Now, I'm a stickler for crisp quality, and others who are may know where I'm coming from after being spoiled by 720p or 1080p streams/downloads for their shows, films and what have you.

All I can say about watching this in 360p is: wow. What a fitting way to watch the finale of a series that lacks severe quality... through a video that lacks severe quality. Things kind of bring themselves full circle, in a way. I found myself having that "Ahhhh" moment, when I realized that not only do I have to worry about watching No. 6 ever again, but also gaining that feeling of safety and finality when realizing that No. 6 will NOT meet past any expectations I had set. In fact, the series actually perfectly fell into my most basic of predictions. This now allows my brain to calm down and focus on better things, like Nichijou and Bunny Drop.

I suggest everyone currently watching No. 6 to watch the final episode this way. Heck, I encourage everyone else to witness the final episode in, at most, 240p quality, just to finally get an idea of the level of pretentiousness that No. 6 has been holding itself to for the past 11 weeks. This ending-- and yes, it's a typical BONES ending-- definitely could be served as a huge insult to it's fans by effectively ruining the tone it once used to separate itself with and giving a giant middle finger to those actually intruiged by the mystery going on behind the scenes. The thing is is that I felt like laughing throughout the entire ordeal, asking myself how I didn't see these twists coming, because in retrospect they are the most obvious, stupid explainations ever given in a TV series. Maybe I was laughing only to hide my shame and disappointment? Ahh, well... I guess it doesn't matter; No. 6 is by far one of the worst attempts as a coherent series I've seen in a long while.

The most criminal thing about No. 6 is that it had once tried. It tried so hard, and it pain me that all of this effort didn't impress me in the end. Compared to other bombs in the recent year, Cardfight Vanguard!, Rio: Rainbow Gate and even Queens Blade, there was this mentality between these titles that they were trying to be all they could be, not everything at once. It's not that No. 6 is terrible because it began with a ridiculous premise that, from the beginning, no one was interested in (like those aforementioned shows before it). The reason I feel so disappointed in the show is because it failed to live to any expectations, as opposed to flops that are destined to never reach anything.

It's a lot like that rich, spoiled kid you knew as a child, who could impress you with his collection of expensive toys, but is also someone you never really want to be hanging around with because he's a dick and is full of himself. Overviewing the entire plot of No. 6 just begs the question: "What went wrong?". Beautiful animation, great music, an OP I never wanted to miss... Little did I know that the real conclusion lingered in the back of my mind, and only revealed itself after finally reaching the end of the series: Nothing really happened in the first place.

Granted, the series is only 11 episodes long, but compared to shows of similar length and themes like, say, Fractale, there was definitely a need for some more action. Here's the breakdown of No. 6 and its story in chronological order:

These first three episodes were actually pretty good. If anything, the pacing was great, seamlessly moving the story along four years after our main characters encounter. Curve-balls like Safu offering sex to Shion and Nezumi grown up kept the somewhat monotonous plot rolling enough to warrant the benefit of the doubt. And then...

...the series jumped into "Repetitive Cycle Shit-Flinging Overtime" mode. Every chance, literally every chance, that Nezumi could discuss No. 6 with Shion, he would spiel about being the strongest, eliminating the weak, destroying No. 6 and not caring for anyone but yourself. What he would not do is explain why he thinks this way. It had to have been a case of trying to conceal Nezumi's past to keep the viewer guessing, but really all that I gathered from it is that he has a double standard and his feelings proving to be ironic... and no, I'm not talking about the literary kind of irony that's intentional, I mean the irony from terrible writing and poor planning. Holding back his motive and backstory from the audience in this situation isn't conveying the mystery that BONES had probably intented. Instead, it's considered withholding key information that we need to know if we ever want to like Nezumi or fully understand why he does what he does. That is, apart from liking him because he's the "tough, strong-headed-yet-emotional guy".

Which brings me to another point: No. 6 doesn't want you to root for individual characters... they want you to root for the archetypes each character represents. Shion himself shouldn't be liked, because his reasoning and judgement is terrible, and he reaches illogical conclusions that happen to somehow work in his favor whenever the plot needs a kick-start again. But the character that Shion represents, the lead-character that never gives up and fights for what's right, is who we need to cheer on.

Nezumi is an unstable bratty child, who happens to be the biggest drama queen, twisting around statements he doesn't like into a long monologue explaining why you must only fight for yourself to survive before going all "GRAHH" and punching something in an intimidating, but annoying, tone. But who he portrays, the tattered, reluctant rebel who slowly begins to value life more after meeting someone he slowly starts to fall in love with, is who the writers of the show wanted us to love. His intentions are good, but all he's known is to fight. This doesn't just apply to characters. No. 6 is the big, evil bad totalitarian city run by the evil people because everything is evil if you feel too safe due to evil things. Let's just put aside proof, reason and explaination on why it's evil, and simply base all we know about the city from whatever Nezumi says, the fighter of good and the ONLY ONE who knows the deep, true secrets of the city. In the end, the reason he hates No. 6 is about as predictable and unspectacular as his personality.

Had No. 6 taken the "untrustworthy narrator" route and simply revealed that Nezumi was overreacting his conspiracy theory, then I would have fallen back in love with No. 6 again. The fact that all we know about the city is entrusted to a spoiled asshole who can't even covey his own emotions for the sake of expanding the plot out is enough reason to have doubts that the city of No. 6 is nearly as bad as he said it is. Had the series ended, simply stating that the situation with No. 6 was blown out of proportion by these two idiots, then that would have immediately been one of the greatest twists I've ever witnessed, bringing me to applaud the series once again. 

Unfortunately...

...the ending is far beyond anything I would have considered successful. Huge mistakes in general storytelling were made, least of all due to the inclusion of Elyurias as... Safu, I suppose. There's nothing but confusion as Safu and Nezumi try to make sense of whether Safu was Elyurias all along, or the reasoning behind killing your own citizens with the dangerous parasites, or who Mother is, or why Mother specifically wants Nezumi, and why the creators just didn't give a shit anymore and suddenly use magical powers to resurrect Shion, who had thankfully been shot and killed. Why couldn't Shion just stay dead? That's how this series should have ended. I would have dealt so much better with an incomprehensible ending had Shion and Nezumi died in their stupid, glorified sacrifice. I could have lived with that kind of ending, because at least it keep in the context of a setting that is still deep and interest, and best of all... doesn't have magic. Instead, my limit was reached as soon as I saw Safu turn into a super bug, hovering over the corpse of Shion and the dying Nezumi before brushing off these fatal wounds that mere mortals would have died from long ago. 

I'm completely resentful over the idea that this series-- which I praised to for its potentially great setting and presentation-- completely gave up logic and reasoning to all of its storylines, save Nezumi and Shion kissing. Everything else was either completely rushed, pulled out of an ass with no warning or explaination, or losing all of its steam after interesting initial thought before eventually being twisted and molded to fit an ever more convoluted and confusing plot. There is no sense of continuity. There seemed to be absolutely zero planning in connecting each episode outside of important things like the Shion/Nezumi relationship. So much so, in fact, that it interfered with important things... you know, really important things. Like details. And resolution. Not some deus ex machina that comes in and suddenly can bring the dead back to life.

Because of this lack of explanation, I can probably safely say that No. 6 is a series about magic (This seems like the kind of series that would be so full of itself that would claim that the ending is up to the audiences interpretation). If that is true, then all along, Nezumi was secretly a wizard, and the reason he is so upset at No. 6 is because technology is like Kryptonite to magic. No bueno. Also, I can claim that Shion never really existed at all. His whole life and background was a subconscious illusion made up by Nezumi to help cope with his emotions and conflicting feelings about life. Cue hilarious scenes with Nezumi talking only to himself.

I could go on, but I think my point is getting across about how incredibly incoherent and mind-boggling this series was structured. It's nothing but sloppy, the entirety of its writing has enough plot-holes and melodrama to barely pass as a poor fan-fiction spin-off of Eureka Seven, and to be frank there is barely enough meaningful content here to warrant half of the episodes in the series. The larger middle portion of the series focuses too much on unessisary stuff like Dogkeeper, Nezumi being an actor and Shion going back and forth with other, asking them why they hate No. 6. Everyone hates No. 6! Why does he keep asking? Why does he intentionally piss people off? And every time, Shion is always surprised when they either hit him, or threaten to hit him, or insult him... and then hit him. There is seemingly a lot of content that's going on in No. 6, but upon careful inspection and after finishing the series, it's all either excess crap that's mildly interesting or apart of yet another plotline that's tossed aside and never explained by the final episode.

Watching No. 6 wasn't just terrible, it was disappointing... a sadness. Something that slowly crumpled from being worth interest into one of the worst productions put out by BONES. It's always hurtful to hear your parents say to you, after doing something wrong or disobeying their orders, that they're "not mad at you... just disappointed". It's a feeling that hurts deeper than a simple slap on the wrists, and my God, doesn't that perfectly sum up this series.


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MARC
MARCContributor   gamer profile

don't even bother calling me out, I go by OxKing now cuz he's the ickest & more + disclosures


 



Filed under... #anime #BONES #Final Impressions #top stories

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