Special Thanks to Adrian Rae
Karl Marx, a socioeconomic mastermind in the mid 19th century, introduced “Utopia” a place where social, economic, and theological structure was labeled under one system–this was called Marxism. He believed that in order to achieve order in an idealistic world, no mind must stray from the perfect system. Sounds mighty familiar to the ‘beginning of time’. A God who tells his people he is the way and the only way–he created a Utopia in which Adam and Eve were free to do as they wish as long as they were subordinate. In the city of No. 6, all the citizens live comfortably in their perfect world. The rich live in beautiful villas, class workers even live comfortably in occupations they enjoy, and everyone is basically happy. Gifted children study in high class schools and even normal children get a special education–all this calculated by the government. There is nothing to complain about in the city of No. 6. It’s completely, absolutely perfect. Nezumi and Shion, victimized citizens, can say otherwise.
In the beginning, I knew right from the bat this was going to be under the science fiction genre. With political undertones and conspiracy ploys, this elevates the purpose for the characters ten fold. Nezumi and Shion–two guys with totally different agendas are connected to this “Utopia”. Shion was but a normal citizen whose been chased out of the city for harboring doubtful feelings for this ‘perfect’ city. As for Nezumi, he’s been loathing the city of No. 6 for as long as he can remember. His reason for hate is legitimate (the destruction of his land and people). A sort of manifest destiny was put into play and he was the only survivor of his people–revenge is the name of his game.
The show put much self reflection into the characters–the conflict between them and No. 6 showed a side of the characters they did not believe would be there. For Nezumi, if not for the events that played out, he would have not known he had a compassionate side. As for Shion, his innocence cover the fact that he may hide an inner demon. In the end, it is shown that everyone has an inner demon and that only a thing bigger than anyone has the power to judge–a power even bigger than No. 6 itself.
The scenery comparison was just amazing. No. 6 is a Utopia where everyone is technologically advanced–there is an abundance of food, everyone has an education, and every citizen is seen as perfect. Outside the city walls is a completely different story. Think about 3rd world India–there are baazars, second hand shops, and everyone living there is trying to survive. This setting has a role in the interaction between No. 6 and the characters–it is molded well.
[Spell] by LAMA–not exactly the BEST song for this particular story plot, but it is cute. The opening sequence does not share much of the story. In the beginning I was sort of banging my head to figure out what I was trying to watch–I saw honeycomb shapes floating around (this actually alludes to a BIG part of the story plot) It described the two main character’s past a bit. It shows how Shion had a spoiled and comfortable life while Nezumi had to deal with many hardships. Despite the significant different in upbringing, a twist of fate has brought them together. It is beautiful–but sadly the opening does not bring it justice.
As for the background OST–everything fit well, and ask for me the humorous background songs made me giggle. In many action scenes there was thrilling music that did not bring away from the fighting which I appreciated. Over all nothing too eye popping but the music fit.
Character development in the story did not rush–I was impressed at the transition of Nezumi and Shion growing up with obvious yet subtle cues they have changed. The moment they met as children changed their lives forever–Nezumi affected my Shion’s unconditional kindness and Nezumi’s strength shone through Shion had been carried as both protagonists grew up. Coming from complete backgrounds, the chemistry between the duo stay apparent even through hardship within the story. A character I would like to elaborate on would be “Nezumi” whose name directly translates to ‘rat’ in Japanese. His existence to No. 6 is futile. Within the plot, it is discovered by Shion that the deep rooted hatred towards No. 6 is because they have taken his entire family and his land in order to create the “Utopia”. As for Shion, is circumstance that had risen with No. 6 is because of his growing doubt for the city–(mostly regarding Nezumi). If not for their encounter, Shion would have graduated from an elite academy provided by top professors of No. 6. The twist of fate has led these two to become targets of the law. Growing up, a quality they have seen in each other provides a backbone to a superb ending which left the viewer with content. Despite the duo being under the ‘shounen-ai’ genre, they really did care for each other (was lacking in a bit of fan service–but it is good they stuck to the story very well). They were indeed a very sweet couple.
This story isn’t just about to boys attempting to bring down an impervious empire–this is the story of a significant god-complex. We learn throughout the story that an Eden can never be achieved no matter how many amendments come into play. Being in charge of your own destiny no matter what government, school, or person tells you is possible. I believe the story shows that we can find the better side of ourselves within others–it should never be regrettable to befriend someone. For Shion and Nezumi, no matter how evil or pure the intention was, they believed in heart more than anything. Trust and faith within a being larger than ourselves shows the relationship we have with others as well.
Because in the end, we are all pawns to a large chess board. It doesn’t matter where you come from. It’s where you end up.