No. 6: Episode 3 – Life and Death

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Crisis strikes as Shion finds himself suffering the same events that caused his co-worker to die. Nezumi attempts to take out the thing wreaking havoc in Shion’s neck despite lack of anaesthesia. In complete agony, Shion begs the other boy to kill him and end the pain. However, Nezumi admonishes him saying how Shion has yet to fully experience life.

In other words, the production company takes this chance to put in innuendos that was clearly missing last week.

Shion finds himself at Nezumi’s place which was full of shelves filled to the brim with books. He picks up Macbeth and starts to read a passage to one of Nezumi’s rats (this line would sound so awkward if I had said Rat’s rat).

“The scent of blood still lingers. Even if everyone here were to sprinkle Arabian perfume about, it would not compare to the sweet smell of your delicate hand. Ah… ah… ah…What a wonderful sigh.”

Ahhhhh. Nezumi critiques his monotone reading. Shion counters with the fact he was discouraged from art (I’m not sure if it’s because of his genius qualifications or the city discourages it) but recalls a time when his mom read him The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. Nezumi then acts out a soliloquy. In this scene we can see his scars on his back, the ones Shion saw four years ago. To be honest, I would have never thought of Nezumi as bookish kind of person.

Unbeknownst to Shion, deterioration at his neck has started to form. He tells Nezumi that he wants to contact his mother but Nezumi advices him against this and to instead forget about her and anyone else from No. 6. Shion tells him that he contradicted himself by saving Shion but the boy says that the only reason he went to save Shion was to repay the debt of four years past. In the middle of the argument Shion remarks how tall Nezumi has gotten (see previous episode) and Nezumi once again backs off and gives up to Shion’s lack of awareness. His rats have gotten close to Shion and he introduces the one which notified him of Shion’s predicament, a robotic rat full of sensors which aside from the eyes looks completely real. Seeing that Nezumi has been sniffing around the city, Shion asks him if he’s heard of wasp-related abnormalities, which Nezumi didn’t. Doubling back Nezumi asks Shion if anything was wrong when he noticed that Shion hands were turning black. Panicking, Shion reaches up at his neck and notices the deterioration. He began reeling due to pain and tells Nezumi to take it out. In the middle of the operation, which was without anaesthesia, Shion begins to give up. Nezumi admonishes him and tells him his mother would cry and he had promised to meet with Safu in two years.

“Even though you don’t know a thing about sex, books, or fighting… you’re fine with not living? Shion!”

I just love how these are what Nezumi chooses as things worth living for and I just couldn’t help but laugh out loud at the sex part despite the seriousness of the situation. For someone who turned down sex from the girl who clearly stated she wants his sperm, I’m sure Shion’s not thinking about that kind of thing while dying. As this was happening, a scar began to form on Shion. Again, I had to laugh at the sexual innuendo. Shion relents and lets Nezumi take off the pupa in his neck after which he collapsed.

Outside, Nezumi looks on at No. 6, amused by the turn of events.

“I will expose the hidden infection within.”

I curious about the analogy the characters use in this series. Shion had referred to the Moondrop as like a blister on skin and now infection/disease. I’m pretty sure that when Nezumi said that line he wasn’t just referring to the pupa he discovered but to something more symbolic. Then there’s also the physical scarring he and Shion have.

Safu is saying her goodbye to her grandmother before she left. Her grandmother immediately notices something off with Safu and immediately deduces the source to be Shion. Telling her that two years will roll on by, the grandmother says she’s completely happy at the retirement building, Twilight House. Just from the name, I’m already getting a bad feeling. Despite being surrounded flowers, it looked to me like a place where people come to die and not due to their age. Which is why I’m willing to bet that her grandmother will be gone by the time Safu returns.

Shion wakes up and in attempt to fetch some water he passes by a mirror. He notices his hair has turned white and his are red (Why hello there Allen Walker). He then takes note of the scar on his face and begins taking off his clothes. There is only one scar, but it runs up coiling around his body. Nezumi walks in seeing Shion’s distress. He tells Shion that he finds the scar alluring (Ohhhhh…) and that it should be viewed as a medal of honour for surviving. Shion sees them as punishment for living when his co-worker died of the same cause. Nezumi tells him to not feel guilty, continue living even if it’s just to remember those who died (a line I found particularly beautiful).

After a meal, Shion identifies the pupa as those of a wasp and when asked, he doesn’t know when or how the egg got into him. It’s a parasitic wasp that matures rapidly and secretes a poison that kills its host at the final stages to be able to come out. Nezumi begins laughing and Shion thinking Nezumi was going into hysterics, splashes him with water. Nezumi angrily explains that he found the situation funny since the wasp was developing in humanity’s newest haven. Shion can’t believe that the other boy found people dying funny. But Nezumi explains that something was wrong with No. 6 which rejects anyone who doesn’t give absolute obedience (maybe I should start rereading Nineteen Eighty-Four). He tells Shion to forget about it as they couldn’t do anything anyways. Not dissuaded, Shion realizes that since he survived his body may have developed anti-bodies to counteract the poison. But once again Nezumi slams the idea down as no one would believe him and advices they should sit back and watch it happen. He also says that he’s never heard of the wasp menace happening in West Block, the area they’re residing in, so it’s probably an isolated disease within the city walls. In his opinion the bees only targeted those inside and the government covers it up as “accidental deaths” according to the information he dug up.

Shion becomes distressed and which made Nezumi feel sorry (and began stroking Shion’s scar… Oh). Since he’s been living within No. 6 he doesn’t understand the whole situation between inside and outside and Nezumi remarked that this was probably due to Shion growing up in an environment where they’re told not to question anything (Wow… Ignorance is Strength). Coming to a realization, Shion wants to understand the truth about the world.

Outside they run into an ordinary wasp and Shion remembers that wasps speed up in growth rate during the spring. Nezumi is once again amused by the thought. In the spring commemorating the city’s founding, the whole population would suffer. When prodded as to why he hates No. 6, Nezumi doesn’t answer. They go into a hotel and get surrounded by snarling dogs. After a while though the dogs turn docile and even began playing with Shion. Nezumi, by the looks of it, never had such reaction from the dogs before. The hotel owner, Dogkeeper shows up and he leads them in. Her business model is to let people stay in the dilapidated hotel cheaply and loans out dogs as a heat source (impressive). In a room she shows them a slip of paper concerning a matter Nezumi had her investigate. It turned out to be from Shion’s mom, the meaning of which I didn’t understand. It could be a description of their house to tell him it was from her and zero confidence meant she was worried. Either way, Shion thanks Nezumi who denied taking part in it, saying it was one the rats. Now seeing a way to contact the inside, Shion begins thinking of notifying the Bureau of Health about the wasp infestation. Nezumi starts to open up on information regarding No. 6 and will tell Shion the truth. However he warns the other boy that if he still wanted to save No. 6 at the end, Nezumi would consider Shion as his enemy.

So, everyone was right in guessing that the wasp disease was the reason Shion turned into an Allen Walker look-a-like. The most surprising thing here is Nezumi’s love of books and acting. It was entertaining to see him quote those classical works even if I have no clue or an inkling of interest in them. I’m a Science major so Safu’s blunt scientific reasoning of how the world works caught my interest more than Nezumi antics. There’s an obvious comparison to the minds of the No. 6 children and those who live outside. Nezumi likes books and acting and Dogkeeper has a creative thought process. Then there’s Shion, an ecology major and Safu who studied the brain. Aside from finally making Shion’s hair turn white and introducing Dogkeeper, there’s not much advancement in the story. I’m going to guess that the story will pick up again in the next episode with a possible rift between Shion and Nezumi and explaining the exact reason as to why Nezumi hates No. 6. With all the similarities the plot is showing with Nineteen Eighty-Four I’m let down by its unoriginality. But I guess nothing is original these days anymore. I’m bracing myself for Big Brother. Or perhaps I should be bracing myself for Queen… wasp… Do wasps have queens?

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