A shady government lying to the people, forcing blind loyalty and manipulating information?
Nope, that could never happen.
But it does in “No. 6″ (and, well, lots of places), only in the Sentai Filmworks series debuting Tuesday, it happens in the future and gives us a pretty cool drama.
It’s a story of haves and have-nots, a classic clash of Utopia and the Dystopia right outside its walls.
In this case, it’s about 12-year-old Sion, a boy perfectly content in his peaceful bubble city-state of No. 6, whose life is thrown into turmoil by an escaped prisoner known as Rat. Flash forward four years, and a briefly expressed moment of independent thought surrounding a mysterious death in the park where he works lands Sion in the hands of government agents who could very well kill him.
But then Rat returns out of nowhere and rescues him. And off they go to the city outside the walls of No. 6, where life is a lot rougher. It also seems Sion was infected by whatever killed the men in the park — a parasitic bee. He survives, but his hair turns white and he gets a mysterious pink stripe running around his body.
He wants to warn and save the people of No. 6, but Rat is ready to let the city die. Why? You’ll just have to watch. No, really — I only was able to watch the first four episode of the 11-episode series, and they don’t say.
But those first four episodes laid the framework for an intricate, interesting set of conspiracies. Sion was taught that after most of the Earth was made uninhabitable by war, the remaining people created six city states and forbade war from then on. But it looks like that’s not entirely true. And what, if anything, do the people in Sion’s life have to do with things? How did he survive the bee?
The white and black hair aren’t the only opposites with Sion and Rat. Sion wants to know everything about Rat and this new world he finds himself in. Growing up sheltered, he has an innocence that could be liability outside the city. Rat is a loner, a tough guy — a pretty stock character who doesn’t want to answer Sion’s questions about anything. But he saved Sion for a reason. What hidden depth is there?
Yes, after four episodes, there are a lot of questions — and that’s a good thing. It makes me want to watch the other seven.
That feels like a great length for this premise. A movie might cut development short, but at just 11 episodes, it won’t drag. Indeed, the first three episodes move at a fast clip with a bit of a breather for the fourth. It’s a good pace.
The show is also done well on a technical level. Aniplex does its usual crisp work on the animation, and the dub cast by a bunch of regulars (Greg Ayres, Kalob Martinez, Hilary Haag) does a good job.
So far, “No. 6″ is shaping up to be one of the best conspiracies shows in a while. I can’t wait to see the rest.