|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 CreateAForum 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
No. 6 Zine
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 the famous line spoken by Nezumi in the light novels: "Reunion will come, Shion." The zine was offered as a free pdf as well as in print. Sales of the print zine and associated merchandise garnered 694.97$ USD in profits, which were donated to the charity ActionAid. This charity was chosen because it won a poll hosted on the zine blog, beating out Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, the Trevor Project, and Direct Relief. It is still possible to download the zine or donate to ActionAid on the zine's behalf through the Tumblr blog.
The following year, a sequel zine entitled "Myths And Legends of No. 6" was produced. This time, proceeds were pledged to Pollinator Partnership, a charity which conserves bees, due to the importance of bees and the bee goddess Elyurias to the plot of No. 6. Ultimately, 1,475$ USD were donated to Pollinator Partnership, while an additional 400$ USD was again donated to Action Aid due to Action Aid's COVID-19 relief activities. As well as the previously accepted work types, the 2019 zine also accepted crafts.
Reunion Will Con
From September 4th to September 7th, the RestructuralCommittee held a free, online, unofficial No. 6-themed convention through Discord. The first three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) featured five events each, including games, contests, and panels. There was also a virtual artist alley and dealer's room, represented by 2 different channels on the event's discord server. The fourth day (Monday, Shion's birthday) wrapped up the convention with a stream of the No. 6 anime. There were around 100 attendees to the convention.
No. 6 Secret Santa
The No. 6 Secret Santa, which is hosted by members of the RestructuralCommittee, began in 2014, the same year the blog was founded. It was first held on the RestructuralCommittee's CreateAForum page, and gifts were posted to the RestructuralCommittee blog. The following year, the event was held on tumblr and the separate No. 6 Secret Santa blog was created. From then on, the event has been held through the No. 6 Secret Santa blog.
The event always garners many recurring participants as well as new ones. Unlike many other online secret santas, the No. 6 Secret Santa accepts playlists, gifs, edits, videos, cosplay photos, and moodboards as gift types, rather than only fanfiction and fanart. However, the majority of the gifts every year end up being the traditional art and fics.
No. 6 fandom calendar
As with many fandoms, No. 6 fans celebrate major holidays such as Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Halloween with No. 6-themed fanworks. Additionally, Shion's birthday is the 7th of September, and Safu's birthday is the 12th of June, and some fans will produce works to celebrate these characters' birthdays. Lastly, the 6th day of every month is said to be "No. 6 Day", and there used to be a tradition of posting No. 6-themed works on this day which has largely died out as the fandom has diminished.
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
- Sentai Film Works - Product description for the No. 6 DVD collection (Accessed 17 December 2018)
- Shion and Nezumi kiss - Youtube
- A kiss is not just a kiss - My Anime List
- "What is the ultimate meaning of "Reunion will come"? This is the question that we asked ourselves as we set out to make this zine." From the foreword of Reunion Will Come: A No. 6 Zine. Digital pdf. (Accessed December 16, 2019.)
- No. 6 Volume 9, Chapter 4, Part C, English translation of the No. 6 novels at 9th-ave.blogspot.com. (Accessed December 16, 2019.)
- 2018 No. 6 Zine's sales announcement post, Tumblr. Posted June 25, 2018. (Accessed December 16, 2019).
- 2018 No. 6 Zine breakdown of income and expenses, plus donation receipts, Tumblr. Posted May 16, 2019. (Accessed December 16, 2019).
- 2018 No. 6 Zine charity poll result, Tumblr. Posted April 23, 2018. (Accessed December 16, 2019.)
- 2019 No. 6 Zine donation receipts, Twitter. Posted August 2, 2020. (Accessed September 15, 2020).
- 2019 No. 6 Zine crafter application advertisement post, Tumblr. Posted May 4, 2019. (Accessed December 16, 2019.)
- 2020 Reunion Will Con schedule, Tumblr. Posted September 2, 2020. (Accessed September 15, 2020.)
- Tweet by the RestructuralCommittee, Twitter. Posted November 8, 2019. (Accessed December 2, 2019.)