No. 6 10 – Rushing the Plot Forward with Awesome Animation

Have to say, whatever I or anyone else may think about No. 6 right now, we can all agree that this brief fight scene is awesome, right? The animation style reminds me a lot of Hironori Tanaka (thanks to Digiboy for jogging my memory with his name), who did several of the big fights in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (Greedling vs. Wrath comes to mind immediately as particularly representative of his style), but looking up the credits at ANN, it doesn’t appear as if he is working on this series. It’s an awesome scene regardless, and far ahead of any other animation I’ve seen in the series thus far. Guess BONES really broke the bank on this episode to hammer down the dramatic impact of that scene.

Did it work for me? Yes and no. The animation absolutely sells the drama. There’s a tension and sense of weight that great animation shows that nothing else can really replicate, so in that sense, I bought into what is being sold by No. 6. But the writing is a bit too hurried, like it’s trying to keep pace with the animation but moves just a bit too quickly for its own good.

I’m pretty sure I get what the episode is going for. The theme of Nezumi being afraid of a change in Shion where he becomes a different person from the man he has grown to care for is hammered home repeatedly throughout the episode. And I don’t believe the scene where Shion shoots the soldier who threatens Nezumi’s life is meant to come out of nowhere — that moment where Shion loses himself is spurred on from Shion coming face-to-face with meaningless mass slaughter twice in succession, which is compounded by a person he cares about greatly coming very close to death. Actually, I didn’t really have a problem with that moment in particular . . .

. . . it’s actually the aftermath with which I have a problem. It feels as if it moves on far too quickly from a traumatizing even that, if No. 6 were a longer series, would probably have concluded the episode. Instead, because there’s so little time left, the reaction afterward does not get the focus it deserves. It feels as if Shion is compartmentalizing the trauma that comes as a result of killing a man, and I don’t think that’s what the story is going for. It’s a shame; the drama almost gets to where it wants to go, but it falls just a bit short.

Ah well. I actually do like this episode for the most part. The pile of corpses might seem like overkill, but I think it’s an effective visual and a decent metaphor. Plus, you can’t be an evil totalitarian entity if you don’t have a pile of corpses somewhere. It’s in the rulebook. Look it up.

The one thing I really don’t like, of course, is the magical bullshit that seems destined to ruin the finale. I swear, almost every time I forget that crap was introduced a few episodes ago, Elyurias shows up to chat with Safu and make me remember how bullshit that bullshit is. Friggin’ magical elf gods have to ruin everything! Gosh!

16 Responses to “No. 6 10 – Rushing the Plot Forward with Awesome Animation”

  1. What you saaaid! So many things happening here that would have had great dramatic impact if they’d been given a proper build-up and room to breathe. If only BONES hadn’t spun their wheels for most of the series…

    I think it was Yoshimichi Kameda who did the bad-ass bits in ep 10. :)

    • Yeah, this is a recurring weakness with noitaminA shows that have some sort of crazy plot concept behind them — they just don’t have the room to do everything needed, so they crash and burn. The exceptions are Eden of the East (which nonetheless needed two movies to finish its story) and Shiki (which had the rare gift of 22 episodes to tell its story).

  2. dez691 Says:

    Yeah, I’m fairly sure it wasn’t Hironori Tanaka(who is also awesome in his own right) but Yoshimichi Kameda who animated the scenes in FMA:Brotherhood, and he worked on this too so it was probably him

  3. This may be from recent memory, but the action scene reminded me of the hydra fight from ep 10 of Macross Frontier; crazy angles of people running with guns, etc. It was lovely at any rate.

    I know this ep had enough plot holes and inconsistencies to sink a ship (I mean what kind of shady dystopian gov. uses a potentially incriminating body landfill that survivors can escape from, rather than an incinerator?), but the atmosphere and tension was spot on. As long as they don’t overplay the magical bs, this could have a really good ending. Positive thinking, positive thinking…

    Also, I must say, I loved the scene of Shion using the knitting needle sticking out of the corpse pile for a grip. Safu’s grandmother??? Noooooooo!!!

  4. I don’t trust Noitamina anymore if it’s something that’s not “slice of life-ey.” Fractale, [C] and now No.6 leaves too much to be desired. I blame you, evil 11 episodes Noitamina.

    Oh, and I decided to quit lurking. God, how many blogs am I going to follow in the end?

    • Cool, I appreciate it!

      I don’t think No. 6 is quite at the Fractale/C level, but if it goes for the full-on magical bullshit ending, it will definitely get there. But, yeah, I definitely agree with you that noitaminA really isn’t made for these shows that require complicated plotting. Eden of the East is the last one that came close to working, and that was still flawed in the end (though still good).

      • If we consider all the loose ties, I’m afraid we in for a magical, rushed and lame ending. Everything will be resolved and they will all live happily together.
        And I actually believe that you can create a great and “big” show with only 11-12 episodes. I mean, look at Madoka Magica. You just need to put the unnecessary things aside, and focus on actual storytelling.

        I have to admit that I haven’t watched Eden. Neither Honey & Clover, Nodome Cantabile and other stuff either. ^^’

        • Definitely true, but unfortunately more often the exception. Even Madoka isn’t really perfect — there’s a lot of shorthand to establish characters in favor of moving the plot along. But I greatly prefer that to the story going to shit at the end, haha.

          Ah, Eden of the East, Honey and Clover and Nodame Cantabile are all great shows. Definitely watch them eventually!

  5. Now, let’s see what you say when the ending is magical and AWESOME. Of course, that’ll never happen, so the result is either it being a magical shit stupid ending or an MAGICAL FUCKING OCCULT ACADEMY ending, which would not resolve any plot holes but FUCKING AWESOME.

    And magical awesome endings have happened at least once, which was with Madoka – it was magical, it was awesome (becoming God? Tell me something that’s more awesome than that), and it made sense, but only because the anime made it make sense. Something like No. 6 pulling that kind of ending will never make sense.

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