Anime of Tomorrow
No. 6 (review)
Final impression – a grand metaphor 9/10
In a world ravaged by wars that deprived the land and reduced the habitable zones of the planet to only a handful of areas, humanity has constructed utopias in those places to preserve peace, life and knowledge. But here in No. 6, personal freedom has had to give way to policies that quell dissent and unrest to keep the system perfectly in line. When the youthfully naïve Shion sheltered the dark, young fugitive Rat, he was expelled from his prestigious school and his future seemed to be destined to be that of a boring public servant, working for the government. Several years later however, he’s once again unlucky enough to become caught up by the unseen system that is No. 6 when Shion witnesses the bizarre death of one of his coworkers. To keep him from speaking out about what he saw, he’s arrested and accused of crimes he didn’t commit. As he’s taken to the correctional facility, hope seems lost until Rat comes to the rescue. However, as Shion escapes from No. 6, he must now come to terms with a sobering fact. There are big problems in paradise.
No. 6 is probably going to go into my record book as a grossly underappreciated anime. However, that’s probably just my own personal experiences talking. For me, this anime watched like a metaphor for delusion and what a person may go through as they escape that kind of thinking. The plot basically transitions from paradise, to darkness for Shion as his perceptions of reality get turned upside-down. He then must decide if he’s going to follow Rat, the man who saved his life and seeks to destroy No. 6. Or will he simply adapt his opinions on the gilded paradise he lived for his entire life and attempt to save it from itself? This dichotomy plays out well and is capped with a satisfying conclusion. In short, my advice for viewers of No. 6 is to look for deeper meanings than what you’re watching on the surface.