Name: No.6 Beyond
Author: Atsuko Asano
Genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Action and Adventure, Drama, Romance
Setting: No.6, 2017-2020
Opening Lines: “Let me tell you a story. A story that I know. Story? No―it is reality, humans will probably say. They will say it is reality engraved in human history.”
Favorite Quote: “The past tended to get in the way of things. If he kept turning back, he would not be able to move forward.”
Rating: 4 out of 5
Being a huge fan of anime, I watched No.6 because I heard it was a remarkable show. No.6 is about a utopian city, No.6, and the impact it has on two teenagers, Shion and Nezumi. For Shion, the brown-haired, sensitive, caring, elite student, life is painstakingly choreographed. He goes to school every day, studies after school, and talks to his companion and colleague Safu. On a rainy day, Shion opens his window and starts screaming out of nowhere. Little did Shion know that because of that irrational act he would meet Nezumi, the black-haired, wise, skillful convict.
At that time, Nezumi was running for his life from the No.6’s correctional facility guards and when he heard Shion’s screams, he runs to Shion’s house to hide and rest. Shion being a caring guy, takes a misstep, and shelters Nezumi and heals his wounds. When Shion realizes that Nezumi is a fugitive, he helps him escape without a trace. Because of that action, Shion had to leave his affluent neighborhood, Chronos, and live in the suburbs called the Lost Town. Four years later, Shion starts working for the city and one day when he enters his office, he sees his co-worker dead and a wasp coming out of his neck. A few minutes later he gets arrested because he’s alleged of murder and for doubting No.6’s system. When Shion was on his way to the correctional facility, Nezumi rescues him and brings him to the West Block, a place outside of No.6. Not very long after Shion started living with Nezumi, Shion noticed that he was infected by a parasitic wasp that had started tormenting No. 6. He managed to survive on the grounds that Nezumi removed the parasite out of his body in the nick of time; the disease, nonetheless, left perpetual scars and altered his body. Since he survived the full impact of the disease, Shion trusts that he can caution and help heal No.6 of it and in that process discovers horrifying secrets behind the shallow, flawless No.6.
This novel shows readers what happens to No.6 and its civilians, including Shion and Nezumi, after it was destroyed. I will have to be honest that I mostly read this novel to know more about Shion and Nezumi’s relationship and not the reconstruction of No. 6. What I loved about the last book of the No.6 series is that the readers see different sides of Shion and Nezumi. Nezumi is just so realistically celestial. He is human; thusly he is equipped for both great and terrible things and everything in between. He has done both great and awful things throughout the series. I simply get the feeling that his spirit is untainted, that corruption and desire for power are things that can’t live inside of him.
On the other hand, Shion becomes part of the reconstruction committee and we see how different he is now. His development and cunning in this novel says a lot about how smart he is but then regardless he discovers he needs to fall back on craftiness to get a decent finished result. I feel so sorrowful that he must be like this in order to reach his specific end goal, to improve this destroyed city for everybody to live peacefully. Shion was left alone to endure the obligation of two almost unfeasible assignments; to reconstruct a creature of a city into a passive one fitting his principles and for his personality to stay the same while never fleeing from his obligations. I don’t know how citizens of No.6 expect him to do this. I am not astonished he is beginning to see things in high contrast; considering anything that doesn’t fit his goals an impediment and disposing of them by any means. He’s most likely getting frantic notwithstanding the difficulties he’s confronting and is panicked of not having the capacity to satisfy his undertaking. This novel gives more understanding into the characters. Before reading this, I had dependably felt that the reason Nezumi dreaded Shion was on the grounds that he was a threat to his beliefs: No.6 and everything inside of it are insidious, however now I think there is more to it, he was mindful of Shion’s abilities furthermore realized that he was inclined to corruption.
The reasons why I didn’t rate this book a 10/10 are because Shion and Nezumi didn’t meet again and because of the ending of this novel. All I saw was Shion’s longing for Nezumi which is miserable. The author shows this by telling the readers that Shion pictures Nezumi at the table eating with him, his mother, and their friends, Rikiga and Inuyasha. Readers can also sense how Shion appears to smile less now that Nezumi is gone. There’s a part in this book that breaks my heart, which is where Shion suddenly hears the tapping on the window and automatically thinking it was Nezumi even though it was just the wind. But at the same time, I enjoyed it because it showed his old self. The ending left me hanging. There was still so much that the author could’ve talked about such as Shion’s father, the future of No.6, and the relationship between Shion and Nezumi. If the author’s goal was to make us want more, she succeeded.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Atsuko Asano is a Japanese writer. She started composing the children’s novels when she was in college. She wrote the children’s novel series Telepathy Shōjo Ran and the manga series The Manzai Comics. She is famous for writing the No.6 series.