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No. 6: Complete Collection Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: Japanese & English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo (48kHz/24-bit)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles Color: Yellow/White
  • Region: A (Region-Locked)
  • Rating: TV-14 (V)
  • Run Time: 275 Mins.
  • Discs: 2 (2 x Blu-ray)
  • Studio: Sentai Filmworks
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 21, 2012
  • List Price: $69.98

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

From a series of novels from Atsuko Asano, this anime adaptation of No. 6 from Bones is a beautifully animated and well written, even if brief sci-fi/shōjo (少女). Set in a post-apocalyptic, near-future Earth, the world has experienced a great war, and has now been reformed into six habitable zones. It is in the privileged, elite part of the “utopian” city of No. 6 where we first meet Shion on a stormy night as he has just returned home from school. To his horror, Shion is accosted in his bedroom by another young boy simply calling himself “Rat.” Rat has been injured and he’s bleeding from his arm. Rather than fighting him, Shion treats Rat’s wound and allows Rat to spend the night in his room. The next morning, Shion receives an urgent message on the communication bracelet all citizens are required to wear from the No. 6 security about an escaped prisoner. The prisoner is Rat, but rather than replying to the message as he is required to do by law, and telling the authorities that he saw the boy, Shion lets it go. Later, the authorities come to his home and question him, and Shion and his mother are stripped of their privileged status. They are forced to move into the rundown section of No. 6. The series then skips ahead four years and we find Shion working as a sanitation worker for No. 6 where he is required to pledge his loyalty to the city everyday. Just as he begins to reestablish contact with his childhood friend, the beautiful Safu, Shion becomes involved in a string of strange incidents on his job. People begin dying, quickly aging in an instant due to parasitic bees. When a coworker dies in front of him in the same fashion, Shion is arrested under suspicion of being a “malcontent.” As he is being taken away, his old acquaintance Rat rescues him and takes him away to the world beyond the walls of No. 6. There, he and Rat begin to develop a tight bond and Shion begins learning of a deep conspiracy that threatens the very heart of the false utopia that is No. 6.

The series on the whole is an addictive one with strongly developed characters, especially those of Shion and Rat. It does suffer a bit in that it never manages to firmly establish the relationship between Shion and his friend/girlfriend Safu. That said, there are so many classic elements of sci-fi here from different sources of inspiration it’s difficult not to enjoy this if you enjoy science fiction. Everything from Gattaca, to The Matrix to The Stepford Wives to Escape from New York exists in this plot in some manner. That’s not to say that the series is uninspired or unoriginal, not at all. It’s all done in a very unique way. It’s also helped out a lot by exceptional character designs and gorgeous backgrounds.

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

No. 6 looks just fine in this AVC/MPEG-4 1080p encodement from Sentai Filmworks. There aren’t any major anomalies to speak of and the only visible occurrences of video noise are all from obvious instances of artistic intent. The line art looks crisp and detailed with no aliasing.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The original Japanese track and an English dub are both provided in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 stereo (48kHz/24-bit). I watched with the original Japanese track and literal English subtitles engaged. It offered a good amount of entertainment with decent amount of stereo panning and dynamic range with no clipping in the dialogue. Checking over on the English dub side, despite the vast differences in translations, there wasn’t much difference at all in the sound effects and musical score, but a subtle difference in the tonality of the dialogue. Either one would provide a good listen.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

The supplements are by no means hefty, but the Japanese audio commentaries are interesting.

The supplements:

  • Japanese Audio Commentaries with English Subtitles
  • Japanese Promo Spots (1.78:1; HD; 00:01:36)
  • Clean Opening Animation
  • Clean Closing Animation
  • Sentai Filmworks Trailers
  • Disc Credits

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

A strong anime series that is all too brief, No. 6 is defined by beautiful animation, excellent character design, and a tight story. The Blu-ray has an almost perfect transfer and a more than serviceable audio track in Japanese and English. Recommended.

Additional Screen Captures

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Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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