|Creator:||written by Atsuko Asano, manga illustrated by Hinoki Kino|
|Date(s):||Light novels: 2003 - 2011; manga: 2011 - 2013; anime: 2011.|
|Medium:||Light novels, manga, anime|
|Country of Origin:||Japan|
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No. 6 is a young adult light novel series in nine parts, written by Atsuko Asano and published by Kodansha. The first novel in the series was published in 2003 and by 2011 when the ninth and final novel was published, the story of No. 6 earned a serialized manga adaptation and an anime series.
"In a near future world after the last great war, most of mankind now lives in a handful of city states. There, for the privileged elite, life should be perfect. But for young Shion, the only thing perfect has been the nightmare his life has become since letting a strange boy called Rat spend the night in his apartment. Banished to the outskirts of the city and stripped of all privileges for helping the mysterious stranger who has since disappeared, Shion now finds himself in even worse danger as his inquiry into a new series of mysterious deaths results in his being arrested on suspicion of murder! But even as Shion is being sent to the city's Correctional Institute, the long missing Rat reappears to rescue him! Now, on the run, the two young men have only one chance at survival: uncover the mysterious secrets that lie at the sinister heart of No. 6!"
No. 6 is noteworthy for including gay representation in anime, while not being labelled as Yaoi or BL. The two main characters, Shion and Nezumi, kiss in the novel, manga and anime adaptation. This was not initially welcomed by those who watched the show, and one anime blogger recorded getting 200 angry comments after reviewing the episode in which Shion and Nezumi kissed.
The anime was controversial for other reasons as well; for example, there was a scene in which a dog nursed a human baby. This, along with the Shion/Nezumi romance led to initial recoil from some viewers.
Despite this, the anime still has a following today with a small but active presence on Tumblr and Archive Of Our Own. Notable blogs on Tumblr include the RestructuralCommittee, a committee-run blog which reblogs fanworks by other tumblr creators, reposts art from other websites with the creators' permission, hosts a fanfic rec list, and runs events such as the annual No. 6 Secret Santa. Established in 2014, the RestructuralCommittee originally used a Createforum webpage to discuss blog affairs and plan events, but switched to Discord in 2017.
The most popular pairing in the fandom is Nezumi/Shion. This ship is canon. There is also a small ship for Shion/Safu, which is usually written as unrequited. Safu has feelings for Shion in canon; however, Shion does not return them. Additionally, there is a small group of fans who ship Safu/Inukashi or "Safukashi". This ship was more popular in the earlier days of the fandom (pre-2014).
Common Tropes & Themes
- Jokes related to bees / wasps
- Fans often complain or speculate about Nezumi's departure at the end of the series
- Fanfic set in the canon universe is very popular, with fans striving to flesh out the relatively short series
The No. 6 fandom on Tumblr produced Reunion Will Come: A No. 6 Zine in 2018. The zine featured art, fanfiction, and cosplay all inspired by a line from the light novels. The zine was offered as a free pdf as well as in print. All proceeds from sales of the print zine were donated to the charity ActionAid, which was voted for by the project's followers.
Aside from the aforementioned negative reactions to the lgbt+ themes in the show and some of the disturbing imagery, the Tumblr fandom also became embroiled in a dispute over art sourcing. Some fans took to reposting art from other websites such as pixiv without asking for permission and crediting their sources. Other fans saw this as art theft, especially in regards to the pixiv artists. A dedicated group of fans attempted to hunt down art reposters and report them, as well as add sources to unsourced art. Several big name fans eventually left the fandom due to frustration brought on by the futility of constantly sourcing and reporting art. Post-2014 this became less of an issue as the fandom shrank and art reposters either left the fandom or no longer saw the appeal of reposting art. Reposted art still crops up on Tumblr occasionally, but generally goes unnoticed.
- No. 6 - All Media Types fanworks at AO3
- Anime/Manga > No. 6 stories and crossovers at FanFiction.Net