No.6: Episode 2 – The Town Clad in Light

Standard

Jumping 4 years into the future, Shion’s now entered the work force. He sends goodbye to Safu who is being sent to No. 5 to continue her studies. In the middle of an awkward confession, Nezumi sends in a pet rat communiqué to interrupt the moment. The fact that Nezumi is shows up again after four years could only mean something big is going down.

In other words, Safu gets the award for best confession of the season and Nezumi just can’t help but jump in to ruffle up Shion’s feathers yet again.

Now working at a park, Shion’s job is to look after the park’s Sampos which clean up litter and reports in any disturbances. The Sampos are in the form of animals, which I find absolutely adorable. I’d probably litter on purpose just so I could get approached by one. The best one is the penguin. Penguins seem to be a recurring character this season and I’m not sure if the lost penguin in New Zealand has something to do with it. The penguin Sampo runs across a deceased man in the park and when Shion and his co-worker went to investigate, they found an old man whose skin has already start to deteriorate and what appeared to be a maggot crawling underneath his skin in the neck area.

After his shift Shion meets up with Safu who he apparently hadn’t been keeping much of a regular contact with since his denial into the Special Program at school. We learned that Shion’s family suffered the consequences following the Nezumi incident. When the police questioned Shion, he doesn’t deny harbouring a VC and chalks up the reason to being that he couldn’t help but pity a wounded kid in his age group. He and his mother were kicked out of Chronos and sent to live in Lost Town, a more humble area and where his mom set up a bakery to earn income. Despite his genius qualifications, he was denied access to the Special Program to his school which meant dropping his Ecology major. He doesn’t regret doing what he did four years ago and despite saying he is jealous of Safu, the girl can tell that Shion harbours no such feelings complete with scientific explain of why.

Safu informs his that she would be leaving for No. 5 the next day catching Shion off-guard. Since they wouldn’t be able to see each other for the next two years, Safu initiates what might end up to being the best confession of the season (maybe even year).

Safu: “Shion. I want something from you.”
Shion: “Oh…Okay. If it something I could give you on such short notice.”
Safu: “Sperm… Did you hear me? I want your sperm. I want to have sex. I… want to have sex with you. Immediately.”

And all the while, Shion is a bumbling mess. When he says he couldn’t Safu is left questioning his answer.

“Why? Do you not have any interest in girls… nor curiosity in sex?”

Oh man, she’s has the best lines. She also said all of that with such a straight face. This sixteen year old has spunk. If she wasn’t leaving, my No. 6 write ups would turn into “What Safu said this week!” To his credit, Shion at least was man enough to say he does have plenty of interest and curiosity but just doesn’t see her that way. He asks her to see to contact him again in two years to see if his views may be different. Nezumi chooses that moment to send in his pet rat, which acts like a walkie-talkie, to Shion telling him that the strange boy hasn’t changed one bit. Shion tries to follow the rat but ends up losing it.

The next day his mom lets him taste a pie she baked and Shion was glad she finally remembered to make them. I’m not sure if this is significant since back when Nezumi was at their house she made the same pie. Did something made her forget? At work, Shion signs into his office by pledging allegiance to the city. At this point I had to look over to my shelf where my worn out copy of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four sits. He finds out from his co-worker that the dead old man from before was actually only 31 years old. His body wasn’t given to his family members and is kept by the police. Shion smells something fishy and starts to question the government to which his co-worker reacts to by telling him to shut his mouth and to not voice aloud any suspicions he may hold. His co-worker suddenly doubles over in pain and literally ages decades right in front of Shion, transforming into what eerily looked like the dead man they found just the other day. He dies and the very same deterioration at the neck forms and the moving lump comes out from under the skin and turns out to be a wasp.

The police question Shion about the events and as they trace his history from his bracelet they hear the doubts he voiced out to his co-worker. He is detained without letting his mother know and as they drive into a secluded forest on the way to a correctional facility, they are stopped at a bridge by a Sampo (penguin!). The distraction lets Nezumi take advantage of the situation to knock out some of the men and get Shion out. When the attempt to get away in the police car goes south, he leaves behind a bomb to finish their enemies off and he and Shion go running into the thickets. He orders Shion to throw away his bracelet, which Shion does so but with much hesitation as it could mean he may never be able to see his family or friends again. Using an escape truck Nezumi prepared, they drive off to the city walls. Along the way Nezumi gloats about his height asking whether Shion eats enough. He also teases him that he was too thin it would be embarrassing to go naked in front of his lover.

Shion: “Who asked you? Have you seen me naked?”
Nezumi (smirking): “If I said I have, what would you do?”

Shion suspects Nezumi has been observing him and knows something but the boy doesn’t give off anything. They drive through the doors of a garbage processing plant and use the water ways to escape into the city’s outer walls. There, Shion sees what appears to be a city, but more of a slum, just outside NO.6’s walls. Nezumi welcomes him to reality.

So that was a really sudden time skip. It’s only episode two after all. But seeing as this series only has 11 episodes, they can’t waste time. Again, I can’t help but enjoy Safu’s straightforwardness and I’m a little bit sad she’s going away and therefore probably not making any appearances for awhile. Nezumi more than makes up for it though as his and Shion’s back and forth banter continue. Nezumi’s older form once again made me think back to the promo posters where I had thought he was a girl. His hair is so long he can use a clump as a hair tie. I can’t even do that with my own hair! He shows off his fighting skills when he knocked out the authorities. And despite the fact he comes from the outside of the city, he has his hands on pretty sophisticated stuff such as bombs and enhanced special fibre that lets him and Shion tumble down a steep path in the forest and remain unscathed at the end. His mother is quite pitiful though; first getting kicked out of Chronos due to her child protecting an escaped criminal, now her kid is taken away from her without notifying her. However, she seemed livelier when she started living in Lost Town. She’s a busy small business owner compared to just lying around lethargically in the big house where cooking for Shion seemed to be her only purpose. The wasp was actually pretty gross. I’m The No. 6 city logo being honeycomb in style is not without reason now. I should have connected it to a bee or wasp right away when BONES used the eye wasp in their credits. I was disillusioned with the honeycomb pattern and thought them to be modern graphical stylistics carried over from Xam’d.

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