Well, it goes to show that there’s a proper way to handle every kind of subject matter. This shows strums on a few of the same chords as a number of series I’ve disliked. This “rat” kid recalls all those amnesiac young assassins who were running from the indistinct, shadowy organization that created them in GUNSLINGER GIRL and REQUIEM FOR THE PHANTOM. There are nigh-bipolar tonal shifts between suburban sitcom and foreboding Apocalypse which make me think of STEINS GATE. Yet it all works, here, somehow. I’m having an experience similar to what I had while watching CLAYMORE in that there are lot of elements here I'd expect to be bad but they somehow end up playing rather well.
While I couldn’t quite articulate what made CLAYMORE work in spite of itself, I’d say the key difference here simply comes down to characterization. Sion and his still-platonic girlfriend feel like real kids, and I can imagine that this plot was extended out of the creators' real experiences. Obviously, they didn’t grow up in some post-cataclysmic society (and the exposition dialog establishing that was one of the episode’s missteps, to be honest,) but I’ll bet somebody involved was in the gifted program in middle school. That’s the solid, real foundation you can successfully through all of these fantastical elements on top of. The other shows I’ve criticized, however, starred characters with little-to-no bearing in reality. That would work fine if they were presented in some totally over-the-top fantasy with some humor but, because they kept trying to harp on how hard and serious and realistic they were, their house of cards falls apart.
I guess I’m waxing a little more theoretical here because there’s not a ton of plot to discuss in NO. 6. However, it does say something that I’ve been enticed to watch more based off of so little.
Watch this episode "Drowned Rat" here and decide for yourself.