No. 6

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For other meanings, see Number Six.
No. 6
No. 6 novel vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first bunkobon novel
Genre Science fiction, Dystopia
Novel series
Written by Atsuko Asano
Published by Kodansha
Imprint Ya!Entertainment
Original run October 10, 2003June 14, 2011
Volumes 9
Manga
Written by Atsuko Asano
Illustrated by Hinoki Kino
Published by Kodansha
English publisher
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Aria
Original run March 2011December 2013
Volumes 9
Anime television series
Directed by Kenji Nagasaki
Music by Keiichi Suzuki
Studio Bones
Licensed by
Network Fuji TV (noitamina)
Kansai TV
Original run July 7, 2011September 15, 2011
Episodes 11 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

No. 6 is a nine-volume novel series written by Atsuko Asano and published by Kodansha between October 2003 and June 2011. A manga adaptation drawn by Hinoki Kino began serialization in the March 2011 issue of Kodansha's Aria magazine. An anime TV series adaptation by Bones began airing in Japan in July 2011.[1]

Plot[edit]

The story takes place in the "ideal" and perfect city known as "No.6". Shion, a boy raised in the elite and privileged environment of his home, gives shelter to another boy, who only gives his name as "Rat" on the former's 12th birthday. What Shion soon discovers is how drastically life will change after meeting with the mysterious Rat, whom he had saved one unforgettable, stormy night.

Characters[edit]

Shion (紫苑 (シオン)?)
Voiced by: Yūki Kaji (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English)

Shion is an intelligent, idealistic boy who was on his way to going into the Special Curriculum for gifted students, specializing in Ecology, until his fateful encounter with Nezumi on his twelfth birthday. Although he knew Nezumi was a wanted fugitive, he cared for the bullet wound in his arm (or shoulder in the manga adaptation), fed him, and sheltered him for the night in his room. Following a police investigation, he was punished for taking in a known fugitive and was stripped of his elite status in their caste-based society. He and his mother were forced to move from their elite home in Chronos to Lost Town and he was no longer allowed to enter the Special Curriculum. Four years later, Shion, now 16, works for the Park Maintenance of No.6 where he controls waste management robots. One day, Shion and his coworker discover the body of an apparently old man in the park. When the man's death is not reported in the news, and Shion finds out that the body belonged to a man only 31 years old, he becomes suspicious of a government cover-up. Shion later witnesses his coworker age rapidly and die as a wasp emerge from his neck. Shion is then arrested under the pretense of being suspected for murdering his coworker. Nezumi saves him from the authorities and takes him to West Block, the slums outside the city. Shion nearly dies himself when he is infected with a parasitic wasp, but Nezumi saves him a second time, though Shion is left with white hair and a scar that looks like a red snake curling from his ankle to his neck. Later in the story, he works part-time for Dog Keeper. He is childhood friends with Safu.

Nezumi (ネズミ Nezumi?)
Voiced by: Yoshimasa Hosoya (Japanese), Kalob Martinez (English)

Nezumi is an intelligent, cynical boy around 16 years of age with a dark past. Four years ago, on his desperate run from No.6's police, he by chance found a house with an open window and went inside. Wounded and dripping wet, he met the room's occupant, Shion, a boy roughly his own age. Nezumi was shocked when Shion, despite understanding the danger of helping him and the lack of potential reward, treated his wound and sheltered him for the night. The next day he escaped to safety, and now lives outside of No.6 in the West Block. When he learns that Shion is being forcibly transported to the Correctional Facility, he risks his life to save him. Together they escape to the West Block, where Nezumi lives by himself and allows Shion to stay with him. Nezumi usually hangs out alone and leaves Shion at home, he used to be a loner and Dog Keeper hints to him that he changed because of Shion. Nezumi is a well-known actor/actress under the stage name Eve and is talented in singing, acting and dancing. His home is filled to the brim with books, most of which are classics. He often quotes these books on the spot (specifically Macbeth and Faust). He is a skilled fighter and has very honed 'street smarts'. He despises the City of No.6, calling it a "parasitic city" and has spent years trying to find a way to destroy it. Later in the story, we find out that the government of No.6 perpetrated in the genocide of his people and he is sole survivor of his village.

Dog Keeper (イヌカシ Inukashi?)
Voiced by: Kei Shindō (Japanese), Luci Christian (English)

One of the residents of the West Block outside of No. 6. Dog Keeper is a brash kid who runs a run-down hotel and rents out many dogs as heaters during the winter. Dog Keeper has a number of shady businesses, including collecting items to sell from a contact within No.6's Correctional Facility. Dog Keeper was raised by a dog who they call "Mother", and cares deeply for dogs as a whole. Dog Keeper has a volatile relationship with Nezumi, who often goes to Dog Keeper to buy information. Dog Keeper sometimes asks Nezumi to sing for the dogs when they die to ease their suffering. Dog Keeper's gender is kept ambiguous. While other characters treat Dog Keeper as a boy, there are hints that Dog Keeper is a girl.

Safu ( 沙布 (サフ)?)
Voiced by: Yasuno Kiyono (Japanese), Hilary Haag (English)

Shion's childhood friend and a fellow resident of No.6. Like Shion, she's a child genius - her specialization is neurobiology. Early in the series, she goes to study abroad in the city No.5. Before leaving No.6, she asks Shion to have sex with her, but Shion refuses, saying he always thought of her as a friend, and to wait two years for him. Following the death of her grandmother, she returns to No.6. The time she spent in No.5 has changed her, and she begins to doubt that No. 6 is really the utopia she was brought up to believe. Later in the story she is kidnapped by the authorities and brought to the Correctional Facility to be used as a sample for the city's human experiments.

Karan (火藍 (カラン)?)
Voiced by: Rei Sakuma (Japanese), Lesley Pedersen (English)

Shion's mother. Four years ago, she and Shion were sent to live in Lost Town, where she opened up a bakery. When Shion was declared by the authorities to be imprisoned for the crime of murder, she falls into despair. However, she learns of Shion's escape to West Block through correspondence with Nezumi, who is able to send short messages past the City's surveillance using his mice. Despite her worry for her son, she is determined to continue with her life, holding on to the belief that she and her son will one day be reunited.

Rikiga (力河 (リキガ)?)
Voiced by: Masaki Terasoma (Japanese), Chris Hutchison (English)

One of the residents of West Block. An ex-journalist, he now runs a porn magazine. Behind closed doors, he also runs a prostitution service, pimping out girls for the officials of No.6. It is a lucrative business that allows him a life of luxury. He is a fan of Eve, Nezumi's stage persona, yet is less charitable towards Nezumi himself, who treats him with open disdain. In the past he was in love with Karan, and has a soft spot for her son Shion.

Media[edit]

Novels[edit]

No.6 began as a novel series written by Atsuko Asano. Nine tankōbon volumes were published by Kodansha between October 10, 2003 and June 14, 2011. A special volume No.6 beyond featuring stories from the lives of the characters before or after the main story timeline was published on November 22, 2012. Kodansha began publishing bunkobon versions of the novels on October 13, 2006; as of July 12, 2013, eight bunkobon volumes have been released. The series has not been translated into English.

No. Release date ISBN
1 October 10, 2003[2] ISBN 978-4-06-212065-4
2 February 10, 2004[3] ISBN 978-4-06-212229-0
3 October 8, 2004[4] ISBN 978-4-06-212585-7
4 August 22, 2005[5] ISBN 978-4-06-269358-5
5 September 11, 2006[6] ISBN 978-4-06-269371-4
6 September 21, 2007[7] ISBN 978-4-06-269384-4
7 October 10, 2008[8] ISBN 978-4-06-269397-4
8 July 21, 2009[9] ISBN 978-4-06-269421-6
9 June 14, 2011[10] ISBN 978-4-06-269443-8
Beyond November 22, 2012[11] ISBN 978-4-06-269463-6

Manga[edit]

A manga adaptation drawn by Hinoki Kino began serialization in the March 2011 issue of Kodansha's shōjo manga magazine Aria and finished in the December 2013 issue. Kodansha Comics is currently publishing the series in North America, and released the first volume in June 2013.

No. Release date ISBN
1 June 7, 2011[12] ISBN 978-4-06-380518-5
2 September 7, 2011[13] ISBN 978-4-06-380533-8
3 January 6, 2012[14] ISBN 978-4-06-380556-7
4 June 7, 2012[15] ISBN 978-4-06-380575-8
5 October 5, 2012[16] ISBN 978-4-06-380593-2
6 March 7, 2013[17] ISBN 978-4-06-380617-5
7 August 7, 2013[18] ISBN 978-4-06-380642-7
8 December 6, 2013[19] ISBN 978-4-06-380660-1
9 March 7, 2014[20] ISBN 978-4-06-380680-9

Anime[edit]

An anime TV series adaptation produced by Bones and directed by Kenji Nagasaki began airing in Japan on Fuji TV's noitamina programming block on July 7, 2011. The anime's opening theme is "Spell" by Lama and the ending theme is "Rokutōsei no Yoru" (六等星の夜?) by Aimer. Sentai Filmworks has licensed the anime for American audiences and it was released on both DVD and Blu-ray on August 21, 2012.

No. Title Original airdate
01 "Drowned Rat"
"Bishonure Nezumi" (びしょぬれネズミ) 
July 7, 2011[21]
The episode starts with 12 year-old Shion day dreaming and not paying attention during class. It's his birthday today so after school he heads over to his friend Safu's house to have a party with her and her grandmother. The storm outside starts to turn into a typhoon, so Shion heads home. Once home, he goes out on his balcony and screams. An alarm goes off inside so he heads back in. When he looks back at his window, a strange boy is standing there, who seems to be injured. After gaining the boy's trust, Shion proceeds to treat his wounds. We find out the boy's name is Nezumi ("Rat"). Shion discovers that Nezumi is a wanted fugitive - a VC - but he still aids Nezumi by giving him food and letting him sleep in his bed. The next day, Nezumi is gone and the Security Bureau arrive at Shion's home to question him about the situation. 
02 "City Adorned in Light"
"Hikari Matou Machi" (光まとう街) 
July 14, 2011[22]
After harboring a VC, Shion is stripped of his elite citizen privileges and forced to live in the suburbs with his mother. Four years later, Safu leaves him to go study abroad in No.5. While being with Safu, Shion comes in contact with a rat that had Nezumi's voice. While working at the park security, Shion learns of a mysterious parasite that makes people grow old and die in seconds before a wasp emerges from their necks. Shion questions the authority of the city once again after one of the deaths isn't shown on the news. Shion's co-worker also dies from the parasite shortly after and Shion is arrested. While being taken to the correctional facility, Shion is rescued by Nezumi and has to throw away his ID bracelet. After the duo escape from the city's limits, Nezumi shows Shion what really lies beyond the walls of No.6. 
03 "Life and Death"
"Sei to Shi to" (生と死と) 
July 21, 2011[22]
Soon after escaping from No.6, Shion finds that he is also infected by a parasitic wasp. However, his reaction is much slower than the others, and he screams for Nezumi to remove it from his neck. The parasite is extracted by Nezumi and he survives, but not without taking its toll on his body: his hair is white, his eyes are red, and he has a red, snakelike scar coiling around his body. After recovering, Shion is taken by Nezumi to a hotel whose owner, Dog Keeper, rents dogs to keep the guests warm while sleeping. Shion finds that Nezumi contacted his mother and she sent a message to him. By analyzing the parasite, Shion concludes that when spring comes, a large number of them will emerge and kill their hosts, causing turmoil in the city. He predicts that the Holy Day will be the day all the parasites become active. By learning that such great tragedy will befall the place he loathes, Nezumi rejoices. When Shion states that the inhabitants of No.6 must be warned, Nezumi claims that if he insists in helping them even after he learns the truth, the two will become enemies. 
04 "Good and Evil"
"Ma to Sei" (魔と聖) 
July 28, 2011[22]
Following Shion's mother's instruction, Shion and Nezumi pay a visit to Rikiga, an old friend of hers. When asked how he knew Shion's mother, Rikiga states that Karan had turned him down when he asked her out. Rikiga offers himself to take care of Shion, but Shion himself gets angry on him when he asks Nezumi to work for him as a male prostitute and the two leave. While cleaning Dog Keeper's dogs, Shion is inquired by her about his relationship with Nezumi, and when an angry Nezumi appears before him, she realizes he became attached to Shion. Believing Nezumi became soft because of Shion, Dog Keeper attacks Nezumi with her dogs, but their fight is interrupted when Shion arrives. Shion confesses to Nezumi that despite caring for his mother, he decides to live in the West Block with him, and has one of Nezumi's rats send a farewell message to his mother. 
05 "Angel of Death"
"Meifu no Tenshi" (冥府の天使) 
August 4, 2011[22]
Another person in No.6 has suddenly aged and died, this time a woman who worked at the Twilight House that Safu's grandmother is staying in. Shion hears about this from Rikiga and races to the theater where Nezumi is performing to inform him of the news. But during the play, Nezumi has a vision of a strange wind and song and he faints on stage. Meanwhile, in an art museum in No.5, Safu is looking at a work which displays three wasps when she, like Nezumi, is visited by a strange wind and song, and she also faints. When Safu wakes up, she is told she must immediately return to No.6 because her grandmother has died. 
06 "Hidden Dangers"
"Hisoyakana Kiki" (密やかな危機) 
August 11, 2011[23]
Safu has returned to No.6 because of her grandmothers’ death. After she collects the last of her grandmother's things, she realizes that something is odd when her grandmother's knitting needles are missing. She also observes that the clothes left by her grandmother don't smell like her. While back in No.6, she visits Karan and learns of what has happened to Shion. After leaving Karan's bakery, Safu is abducted by the security bureau. Meanwhile, Shion and Nezumi continue their discussion over the future of No.6 and the parasite wasps. Nezumi receives a notice from Shion's mother informing him that Safu was taken by city officials. Nezumi contemplates whether or not to tell Shion as he would die trying to save her, but in the end, he decides to keep it a secret from Shion. 
07 "True Lies, False Truths"
"Shinjitsu no Uso Kyokō no Shinjitsu" (真実の嘘・虚構の真実) 
August 18, 2011[23]
Nezumi secretly requests that Inukashi obtain information on the correctional facility, giving a large sum of money as payment along with the promise to sing if Dog Keeper were to die. However, unbeknownst to Nezumi, Shion and Rikiga are visiting a used clothing store where Shion discovers Safu's coat that was smuggled from the correctional facility. Meanwhile, Safu is being treated as a "sample" by the researchers at the facility where she was taken. That night when Nezumi comes home, he sees that Shion has made a large supper. The two eat and Shion says he was happy to have met Nezumi before giving him a "goodnight kiss", his way of saying goodbye. The next morning, Shion tries to leave to go to the correctional facility, but Nezumi catches up to him. The two fight before they promise not to lie to each other anymore. Nezumi tells Shion that there's something he needs to show him. 
08 "The reason for that is..."
"Sono Wake wa..." (そのわけは…) 
August 25, 2011[23]
In order to save Safu, Shion and Nezumi head to the edges of the Western District. There, they meet a legless old man who leads a large group of men. The old man, the person who named Nezumi, is actually one of the researchers with the young Karan in Rikiga's picture. The man tells Shion that he was the real first survivor of the parasitic wasps. He also states that Nezumi is the last survivor of the forest folk who were wiped out by No.6. After Nezumi has another vision with the winds and the singing like he had before while he was performing in his play, he repeats the song to the legless man and the water around them begins to glow. The legless man tells them about Elyurias, the reason No.6 destroyed the forest folk. 
09 "Stage of Disaster"
"Saiyaku no Butai" (災厄の舞台) 
September 1, 2011[23]
Rikiga leads a client of his to a young girl, whom he has solicited to the client. The girl is really Inukashi in disguise, as this was a part of a plan devised by Shion, Nezumi, Dog Keeper and Rikiga. Inukashi, unable to deal with the man's advances, disrupts the facade in outrage. Nezumi and Rikiga bind and gag the man in order to get information from him, while Shion consoles Inukashi. The information they receive entails a map of the correctional facility in No.6, as well as word of a "pre-Holy Day cleaning operation." Back at their underground hideout, Shion discusses potential plans of their living conditions when the summer comes, idealizing that his mother and Safu live here together with him and Nezumi. Meanwhile, Karan walks through a festive No.6, as the inhabitants are preparing for the Holy Day. Back in the outskirts of the city, Shion asks Nezumi if he sent a message to his mother because he had finally come up with a plan. Suddenly, the town is attacked by No.6 military tanks, which Shion discovers were part of the "cleaning operation" he had asked Nezumi about earlier. The two flee to seek shelter from the raid, and in an alley, Shion finds an infant whose mother was killed by the blasts. He sends their guard dog off with the baby to Dog Keeper. The army then rounds up all the town's survivors, telling them they will be taken to the correctional facility--which had been Nezumi's plan all along. Meanwhile, Karan frets about Shion's safety, but Yoming assures her that Shion is fighting back and not to worry. He also informs her that the Twilight House was established to kill off all unneeded people of the city's elderly population, and that he will be sending out a message to his comrades to fight back against No.6. Karan then receives a message from one of Nezumi's rats, telling her that she will be reunited with Shion. In the transport trucks, Nezumi sings an old song to raise the hopes of the captured townsfolk, but tells Shion that a song will never save anyone. Meanwhile, Safu is mysteriously contacted by Elyurias right before she wakes up. Shion, Nezumi, and all the townsfolk are then loaded into the facility. 
10 "What Lies in the Abyss"
"Naraku ni aru mono" (奈落にあるもの) 
September 8, 2011[23]
Shion and Nezumi climb the huge pile of bodies where they were dropped in and infiltrate the facility searching for Safu. Meanwhile, Rikiga and Dog Keeper leave the baby Shion saved to one of the dogs and gain entry into the facility by themselves to clear a path for Shion and Nezumi. Somehow, Shion knows exactly where to go and where all the cameras are, and this makes Nezumi a bit suspicious. He and Shion fight their way through the complex until Nezumi is wounded by a security guard. Shion kills him in retaliation, much to Nezumi's grief. When the duo manage to get through Safu's location, they find that she broke herself free and the researchers around her are lying dead on the ground. 
11 "Tell Me The Truth"
"Tsutaetekure, arinomama wo" (伝えてくれ、ありのままを) 
September 15, 2011[24]
Dog Keeper and Rikiga are waiting for Nezumi and Shion to hurry up and meet back up with them, while at the same time, Shion and Nezumi are just now encountering Safu. The fireworks celebration is commencing at No.6 to celebrate the Holy Day, but for some reason, Lili still feels like something dangerous is about to happen, and Karan can only wonder about what's coming next. Yoming is setting up his plans with his other friends, waiting for a perfect time to act. Suddenly, the parasites become active and people start dying very rapidly. The parasitic wasps are everywhere, millions of them. Nezumi asks Safu if she was truly the one who led them there, and when she responds saying that she wanted to see them, Nezumi says that she has "Mother's" voice. Mother is the main computer behind Safu, which controls the entire correctional facility. Safu says that Mother was held in the Moon Drop until four years before when the authorities captured Nezumi and took him to the Moon Drop. She says that the researchers had planned to use Mother to analyze Nezumi so they could learn Elyurias' power and use it to revive the land they had destroyed. She tells them that the researchers had used the information they had received from the legless man to experiment Elyurias' power on the citizens of No.6, thus the parasitic wasps. At this time, Yoming starts to broadcast to the city, though many people are already dead. Shion doesn't understand Safu, so Nezumi tells him that Safu is really Elyurias. Safu admits to it, and tells Shion that she loves him. As Shion starts to lose control of himself, Safu tells Nezumi to destroy Mother. After having to fight back against Shion, Nezumi puts an explosive on Mother and the two escape, leaving Safu behind to die. Shion is hysterical, but Nezumi tells him that she's not Safu anymore. Once Mother explodes, the other computers in the facility start to do the same and all the workers start to evacuate. At this point, Karan and Lili go inside and hide as the parasitic wasps start to become small orbs of light that come together to form giant cyclones. While trying to leave the facility, Nezumi is shot and Shion has to bandage him up in an infirmary and has to carry him. They try to escape through a garbage chute, but Shion is shot in the heart and dies. Inukashi and Rikiga find the two and start to question Nezumi. Dog Keeper says that they have to leave, because the entire building is collapsing. Nezumi won't leave Shion, so Dog Keeper and Rikiga abandon them. Nezumi starts to sing to Shion, while outside the cyclones are starting to destroy the wall around No. 6. Nezumi lays next to Shion, crying, waiting to die, when a glowing, ghost-like version of Safu appears and starts to sing to Shion. Safu then disappears and the true form of Elyurias appears. Elyurias disappears in a large explosion of light and then Nezumi notices that he's healed. Then, remarkably, Shion comes back from the dead, saying he heard Safu singing. Nezumi and Shion leave the facility and stop to look at the destruction. The wall that was once surrounding No.6 is completely gone. At this point we see everyone is looking in awe at the destruction, except for Yoming, who is now dead. Everyone starts to walk to the wall but Karan, who runs, calling Shion's name. Nezumi starts to walk back to the outside of the wall, but Shion doesn't want him to go. Nezumi kisses Shion and tells him that he'll be fine, then he leaves. A dog comes to Shion carrying the baby he had rescued earlier. Shion destroys the chip that the legless man gave him and takes the baby, the dog, and Hamlet and walks back towards the city, telling himself that he'll meet Nezumi again someday. 

References[edit]

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