Admittedly, I had to rewatch this episode a couple of times, I loved it. It’s rich in detail and crafted very carefully. The story flows like passages from a book. It all weaved in deftly, something that wasn’t quite there in the past few episodes even though they all had redeeming qualities.
No.6 has been fairly consistent. In every episode, mysteries unfold while the characters flourish steadily. It’s not by any means perfect but it’s cohesive enough. Even with a new mystery out of the left field, the episode doesn’t feel disjointed. Instead it mystifies you in the best way possible. In addition, the episode’s setting is split between two worlds: Safu’s No.5 and Nezumi and Shion’s. Given those two challenges, this episode rose above it and even added in a wonderfully animated waltz performance at the end.
I would make this a post about how detractors and fangirls might give you a hard time immersing yourself in this show but I don’t feel that it’s necessary. If a person truly feels connected to the work then all outsiders and their opinions should be considered secondary at best. And that’s how I feel. I hardly talk about No.6 anywhere else other than here, I’m happy staying in this comfortable circle.
With that out of the way, I’m just going to talk about the episode itself.
The episode starts off in the Twilight House where Safu’s grandmother is staying. We get a glimpse of one of the nurses working there who later turns out to be the new victim of the disease. She openly complains about her job to what appears to be her husband and later finds herself infected, rapidly withering away. If the city does control the disease, then we have a real problem at hand here. Even if the disease is stopped, the city will continue to find ways to eliminate ‘heretics’. It’s the system that needs to be stopped. How exactly will Shion and Nezumi overcome that?
We see how much Safu changed over time during her stay in No.5. The little girl who once demystified the human soul writes a poem about it. We see her touring an art museum and her fascination with all these seemingly mystical artifacts. She’s enamored by the things she finds in it. The city of No.5 is so different from No.6 and Safu’s brief stay seems to be changing her. This was a great way to add to her character even though she still has most of her old self in there.
No.5 and No.6 look like completely different worlds. No.5 has an art museum and the schools have creative writing. No.5 also seems to have more people from different nations compared to No.6. The city looks more natural and people there seem more outgoing.
I really feel that this episode showed Nezumi and Safu’s growth . These two represent the two worlds Nezumi finds himself in between. The part where they simultaneously faint is the real highlight of episode. What happened? Who was singing? And notably, as Nezumi sinks into a black puddle the name he calls out is Shion’s. That’s a huge thing, Nezumi is always telling Shion that he needs to become more weary of the world but then he finds himself calling out for Shion to help him. While Safu’s growth is magnified by her tour in the art museum, Nezumi’s growth is magnified by Shion’s existence.
The only lead I can get from this hugely mysterious event is that there’s something about the wind and during the time Nezumi and Safu fainted, it was likely that the grandmother passed away. That’s all. But as much as it was shrouded in mystery, I loved the whole scene.
No.6’s visuals are fantastic and the animation rarely suffers from QUALITY. It’s almost saddening this part of No.6 isn’t being praised enough. The part in which the wind blows was captivating, the lighting in that scene was just divine.
Nezumi being swallowed by darkness sure looks like a metaphor about how deep he’s gone in the dark end of the spectrum. Earlier in the episode we hear about Mr.Rikiga and the Dogkeeper’s respective underground activities. In order to acquire a better way of living, it’s obvious that people need to dirty their hands a bit. In Nezumi’s case, it must be suffocating him.
Nezumi as Ophelia in Hamlet is intriguing. I can’t draw parallels from these two characters yet but it’s still interesting. Also, Nezumi was beautiful. I loved the character design for his Ophelia persona. Compared to the females in the series, the Nezumi blends in just as well.
The waltz in the end (I assume it’s a waltz anyway, no dance expert here.) was breathtaking. The animation there was pretty damn good and the whole transition from their home to the outside world brought me flashbacks of the ED. These two have found something in each other, and through their eyes we see the same broken down world but painted in an otherworldly light.
The episode wraps up by Nezumi realizing that he’s let his guard down in front of Shion. He’s taunted by it and wonders who Shion truly is. There’s probably more to Shion than we think but I also think that Nezumi is in denial of the fact that he let someone get in so close.
The bonds of the people, the feelings that linger, these things in No.6 are never given a definite name. It’s rare to find a show that doesn’t attempt to put things into labeled little boxes. There’s still a chance No.6 can overcome the short time it’s given and deliver satisfying whole. Some shows have done it and it’s not impossible, just very difficult.