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!