No. 6 – EP7: true lies, empty truths

Episode 7 was some and more or less what the novel described it would be – though it did feel a bit jerky in my opinion, but let’s review it first before I get carried away ranting about taibani and put aside those fujoshi glasses if you will!

As of this episode I’ll be maintaining their Japanese names as translations got somewhat more…confusing if they got TL-ed to English especially for Nezumi, since it can mean both Rat and Mouse, but according to novels it’s likely to be Mouse but anywaaay to skip the tl;dr I’m keeping it to Nezumi, Dogkeeper = Inukashi, so on and forth.

We begin with seeing Shion happily washing the dogs again for Inukashi. Initially Inukashi is her typical self, all ‘no nonsense’ about Shion, but after a while softens seeing how our clueless boy is getting along. (Aw, everyone’s getting attached to this kid too much.)After the OP (only gonna hear it for a few more times now) Inukashi returns to her hotel room, only to find Nezumi waiting for her there. There, Nezumi requests for surprisingly difficult information, paying her a gold piece first as deposit. Inukashi is wary, at first – what is so precious that Nezumi, this heartless jerk, would give so much for? She throws back the piece, turning down the offer.

Nezumi then throws a curveball at her, almost like he’s blackmailing her emotionally. He says that she’s afraid of death, and the pain, and because of that she’ll never be able to move on further in anything. Initially Inukashi is very reluctant, but gives in knowing that what Nezumi is saying is a reality she doesn’t like to face, but has to eventually.

Hearing Nezumi’s request fully though clearly shocks her, yet intrigues her – he wants detailed information on the insides of the correctional facility, the guards shifts, etc. And all that is dangerous business. She isn’t gonna do the job unless she gets more money…and Nezumi gives her what looks like a bag of brass pieces, saying that it’s all he has now. Plus added services such as being there when she needs him, is in pain…Nezumi promises to be there to help. Inukashi’s curiosity gets the better of her and then she asks him why he’s sacrificing so much just for this, and asks if it is for Shion – but Nezumi, of course, vehemently denies it.

We then return to No. 6 – and Karan’s at the city center, asking for Safu’s data, only to be told that she doesn’t exist in the database at all. Karan is initially wanting to ask more, only to be put aside with a call for the next person in line. Dejected, Karan heads for a nearby park – which suspiciously looks none other than the same park Shion was working in prior to the events recently – and is thinking to herself when an old lady asks to sit next to her.The old lady initially comes off as this random friendly passerby who says Karan looks sad and wants to talk to her because of that. Old lady is all positive about No.6 and how much she has benefited. This results in Karan going off and nearly blurting about how much she doubts the utopia No.6 is when Yoming appears and saves the day drags her away with some fake appointment. Old lady gives a strange face = you know that isn’t good news.Yoming later tells Karan in the ride back that the old lady could have been faking, and might have been an agent from the authorities to check on whether Karan was a dissenter – much to Karan’s disbelief. (Like mother, like son, I suppose. Ridiculously naive.) Yoming then tells her his background, about how he believes otherwise about the utopia that No.6 is. He decides to continue the conversation back at the shop.

Returning to the West District, Rikiga tells Shion he’s having difficulty getting the equipment he needs, and Shion’s pure-hearted thinking gives Rikiga a chance to create some sort of performance on the streets to find a way to reward Shion. Noting that his clothes suck (as everyone knows by now) Rikiga drags him into a shop. However while looking around, Shion spots something familiar…Safu’s jacket.

The scene suddenly pulls us away to show…Safu, in what is probably an upside down tank of water/liquid. While she’s there though, she hears and sees two people talking about how she’s a perfect sample…their ‘golden egg’. It seems that all the while, the previous samples all had errors, so…what does it mean?

This bodes bad news as Shion starts to dig around and eventually goes to Inukashi, who goes to Nezumi to tell him. Inukashi tells Nezumi that she had to reveal that Safu’s clothes were smuggled out from the correctional facility, resulting in a really angsty Shion who’s planning something on his own. Nezumi seems like he’s totally unconcerned – but you know that’s probably not the case. Inukashi, completely unable to know that, tells him off, thinking that Nezumi has given up on Shion who she guesses is likely to be heading for the facility, alone. She knows that Shion won’t bother Nezumi after everything. Nezumi eventually gets sick of her berating and tells her to shut up, leaving her in the dust. Inukashi tells to his back a few wise words about how if he wants to protect something, he should do it till the end, but Nezumi is wordless as he walks off.

Nezumi spends a few moments thinking to himself about why he’s bothering so much, giving so much, practically all he has, to help Shion on his way back to the hideout. When he reaches, however, he finds Shion already home, with a great feast prepared. Nezumi smiles and plays along – he knows something is up, but plays along quite well. Shion just gives some lousy reasons such as wanting to randomly celebrate every now and then with the money he’s earned from washing dogs.

After a nice meal Nezumi pretty casually asks how progress is going with Shion’s development for a cure. This, by right, should raise suspicions that something isn’t right as this would be likely to help No.6, why isn’t Nezumi raising hell over it? But oblivious Shion just merely replies how Rikiga couldn’t get him the stuff he needed yet, so it isn’t an issue yet.

After a few cute moments with the mice, Nezumi again casually talks about how eventually Shion might be able to return to Karan, Safu and his safe home and everything once he is able to do all he hoped for. Again, so weird from our perspective but anyway. Shion looks for a brief moment quite sad and turns away, agreeing with that.

These few moments in the anime make you wonder if this is how they spend their time in between, that which the anime for obvious reasons doesn’t show. It’s cute and homely, almost like a family. Nezumi and Shion then continue to have some drinks, tea or something, as they casually chat about what it might be like once Shion got back to No.6 and reunited with his family and friends. Silly things like whether he would sleep with Safu, what type of girl Safu is, how Shion knows really little things about girls and life in reality…only sparks a conversation about how Shion was completely ignorant about the truth until he met Nezumi, until he confirmed his doubts.

Shion goes on to talk about how he’d be a different person not knowing the truth. How he’d be apathetic, foolish in some way, not knowing all the emotions he had inside of him…he’s grateful to Nezumi for all that. Nezumi listens. There is a hint of surprise on his face as he watches Shion stand and tell him that he’s glad to have know Nezumi. And then…Shion leans in to gently kiss Nezumi on the lips.

Nezumi calmly smiles, and says that it didn’t feel like a kiss of gratitude. Shion merely smiles and says that it’s a goodnight kiss, before picking up their cups and leaving the hideout to wash them, saying that he needs to turn in as he has a busy day tomorrow. Nezumi’s left to his own thoughts, as he knows the truth, and clearly doubts the meaning behind the kiss as according to Shion’s words, thinking him a liar.

The next day we see Shion waking up before dawn to leave, looking back once, only to be suddenly surprised by a mouse squeaking and crawling up him. Then he hears Nezumi’s voice, telling him that the mouse is telling Shion that he’s going the wrong way, if he were to be heading for Inukashi’s place for work. Shion then tells the approaching Nezumi to leave him alone, and how sick he is about Nezumi meddling in his business.Nezumi merely remarks about how Shion’s acting has gotten better…before throwing him a punch in the face. He then tells Shion off for lying to him, and indirectly looking down on him by thinking he can get away with lying, and the really lousy excuse of some goodnight kiss.  He hands Shion Karan’s message about Safu, to which Shion looks upset a little as Nezumi talks about how he’s gathering info from Inukashi…before leaping at Nezumi and giving him back a punch as well. Nezumi reacts similarly to how Shion did after the punch, questioning it – but Shion merely says that it’s fair when Nezumi hid something so important from him too.

Nezumi’s voice is hoarse as he tells Shion off about how he was actually worried about Shion recklessly running off if he told him, but Shion tells him that it wasn’t a fair reason to hide it even. Shion argues that it isn’t fair that Nezumi treats him so lowly, is sick of being looked down upon all the time, and how Nezumi focuses so much on No.6 that he overlooks who the person Shion really is. Shion wants to be equals.Nezumi, however, reacts differently – he moves forward to grab hold of Shion by his shirt, telling him that Shion doesn’t understand, how impactful it was for him four years ago. When Nezumi was desperate, almost given up any hope to live…Shion’s screaming, the open window and all gave him that hope. And Shion gave him the chance to know that humans are different; they have the capacity to care for one another.End flashback and we see Nezumi and Shion, as Nezumi says about how he could never forget those moments, about how he’s permanently grateful to Shion, and it’s because of Shion that is the reason why he is the Nezumi of today. Shion’s glad, and as Nezumi lets go he apologises for hiding the message, while asking Shion to not ever lie to him again and not to ever have any more goodbye kisses. Shion agrees, and apologises as well.

The sun dawns next to them as they now are back as a team, plotting together to somehow bring the downfall of No.6 and yet save its people. With a word of thanks from Shion, Nezumi smiles momentarily, then only to add that he has something to show Shion…

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Crap, I feel like this episode really just whizzed by. There were many key scenes, each sort of related-unrelated with each other. It was like ‘okay covered plot point one, move on, plot point two done, next – ‘ A bit fast in some way.

The major point of this episode was probably about how Shion and Nezumi test each other’s relationship for the thousandth time ever and how Shion is really wanting to be equals – because if he dared to even lie to Nezumi, who is technically his benefactor, that’s some guts he has to do that. Nezumi, as usual, is dancing along all around Shion in his own tune until Shion whacks him hard for that.

Although the episode was real sweet in a way, some part of me felt like it was sort of overrated because the preview just gave away so much, everything we saw in the preview could be easily deduced and thus you get the episode. Like sure THEY KISSED but er yeah it was pretty sweet but beyond that it felt somewhat flat. I would have liked the build-up a bit more, but being an anime has its limits, unfortunately.

Notably though, after the constant presence of Safu and other character development it felt strange to be seeing just Shion and Nezumi so often through the episode, but it was nice to see them interacting with other people other than each other ie Shion with Rikiga and Nezumi with Inukashi.

Safu’s sort of stuck in stasis so there isn’t much to comment right now on her, but the only things we can do right now if we have no knowledge of the novel is that Safu’s going to be dangerously hot as being the perfect sample, no doubt. How she can affect No.6 while the one she loves is trying to save it is indeed of concern.

Karan’s pretty much going to be in deep shit like Shion if not for Yoming saving her. If it wasn’t obvious enough, who the heck looks sad in No.6 unless they’re on their way to becoming dissidents by chance? I’m trolololing at the secret agent thing, this just makes No.6 a whole lot more of a pretty nutjob dystopian secret society much.

To finally get to the talking point of this episode – the kiss – I must say that fangirls need to chill a little. Like, yeah so what if they kissed? Crikes it doesn’t have to mean love in the BL way that most fangirls want it to be, including part of me honestly but if you’re interested to know, in Vol.5 of the novel, according to some translations on LJ Inukashi describes Nezumi and Shion’s relationship in a very particular yet interesting way that would create many arguments. It is interesting also to note that Bones actually animated the whole kiss scene. I thought they might have veered off by making Shion kiss Nezumi on his forehead or somewhere else on the face instead and thus suffer the rage of many No.6 fangirls, but not me but they actually did it.

Anyway, to cut things short – this whole episode felt like it was just building up, leading to the point of the kiss and final confrontation. It was…an okay episode? Not epic, but okay. Animation was average and not sub-par like that wonderful jelly fingers we saw in EP5. But you gotta note that they’re putting a ridiculous amount of effort into creating woefully and wonderfully rendered backgrounds.

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PREVIEW: With the ‘wind’s’ voice playing in the background, we see Shion and Nezumi head for some caves in search for someone, while Yoming tries to get close to Karan, Rikiga discovers something shocking and Safu’s in the process of understanding how she’s a sample. If anything judging by how we hear Nezumi struggling and that kid that looks like either a young Nezumi or a young Inukashi, we might be in for some backstory…till next week then!

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