No. 6 1 – Dangerous Thrill
I’ve never been much of a thrillseeker, but I find thrillseekers to be kind of interesting. The feeling of toying with danger right on the edge of no return is fascinating to me; it goes against every instinct we have, but the rush from escaping a dangerous situation with one’s life intact is enough to supersede that. There’s a sense of power that comes from it that humans don’t usually get, because in the grand scheme of things, we are quite powerless.
I always thought that sterile dystopias would cultivate thrillseekers. Many folks would just fall in line, because that’s what people do, but given such a flat existence, wouldn’t there be many others who seek something different? Something that would add an edge to everyday existence? Except, of course, would there be any actual danger to seek in the sterile dystopia? Sure, there’s a storm a’brewin’, and Shion throws himself into it when the wind is at its strongest, but is his life ever in any real risk? I never really get the sense that the storm is meant to do any damage in the context of the story. In his mind, there is danger, but in reality, there are tons of safeguards all around him — as a member of the elites, he’s fully protected, so the danger really only exists in his mind.
That is part of why I like the interaction between Nezumi and Shion so much in the latter half of the episode. I think, in the back of his mind, Shion knows there is no real danger (to people like him) in this world, so that is part of why Nezumi’s arrival thrills him so much. Nezumi is from a totally different world and brings a sense of danger along with him; he’s a survivalist, and he absolutely will kill Shion if need be. (He is a bit like a wild animal at this point — wary of his surroundings, always on edge, but easily calmed if handled the correct way.) Shion has to keep on his toes to get through this trial, and unlike the rainy weather, this really is the best possible present he could have asked for: It engages his mind in a way it probably never has been engaged in his life. Shion has to work on instinct rather than knowledge; he doesn’t go through any really super dangerous, but one wrong step, and it really could become something dangerous.
Shion’s reaction to Nezumi taking him down and displaying what he could do if he actually possessed a lethal weapon says it all: Rather than being afraid, his heart is pumping. It’s one of the few moments where he is outside the stifling atmosphere of No. 6 — it’s an event that is uncontrolled by the city. It’s something he doesn’t experience in a book. It’s something where he doesn’t know what will happen afterward.
Shion is precisely the type of person who is dangerous to a place like No. 6 — the type of person who is unsatisfied with its tidy prison. The type of person who wants something a bit more open and free. The end of the episode seems to imply that the Ministry of Peace has somehow learned that Shion harbored Nezumi (not too surprising since the place probably has 1984-level security), so whatever happens, he is probably not long for this structured world. I doubt he’s killed (the promo art implies a time skip), or else there would be no story, but bye bye cushy school, at the very least.
Also some hand holding to piss off everyone going crazy over this shit. Jesus, you’d think they brought out the butt plugs in the first episode with the way some people are going on. BL does nothing for me at all, but neither does it particularly repel me . . . I mean, if these two end up getting together, then it’s just another layer of the story to me. I don’t think people necessarily have to like it, but the level of revulsion is hilariously over-the-top.