‘CAUSE I’LL BE DANCING
Let me preface this by saying that this post is not indicative of me having picked up this show for blogging; I haven’t. I simply have stuff to say about this episode, although some of it encompasses earlier items as well.
There’s been a lot of to-do about the dancing scene in the aninerdoloserblogosphere, with the predictable sighs about how “gay” it is. I think this distracts from a more interesting thing to take away from this, which is that Nezumi knows how to dance. This is a rather revealing bit, as it contrasts with his usual coldness and his repeated statements about survival and such. However, it certainly fits with all those books he owns and his acting career. We may keep getting harsh scenes of dead bodies and poverty, but the people who live outside No. 6 have enough of a grip on life that they still seek out and enjoy entertainment. As such, the kind of world they inhabit is very reminiscent of medieval Europe to me.
Actually, medieval Europe is a rather apt comparison, isn’t it? There are walled cities which provide more material comforts to their citizenry if not emotional comforts. There are many “regular” people who live outside those cities, eking out existences which are more tenuous overall but which are fettered less by overarching institutions. There’s a coming plague which begins with marks upon the skin, and which appears to effect the walled city of No. 6 more than it does the “countryside” past it.
My gut reaction to the dancing scene, though, was to think of another famous same-sex dancing scene from anime:
Personally, I think the music in this scene is about 85% more awesome than the music used in No. 6’s similar scene. However, I think the music used in No. 6 works just fine with that scene and that it would’ve been silly and overwrought had it utilized a J-poppy number like Toki ni Ai wa… .
To get back to the dance itself and the larger question as to Nezumi and Shion’s relation to each other; I do not think this is exactly “BL” which we are seeing. Yet, I do think that the fact that we are questioning what is going on is intentional, and that there is a specific reason for why two boys are being used as opposed to a boy and a girl, or even two girls. The relationship which is forming here, regardless of what it is, is rather atypical for both Nezumi and Shion. It may even be uncommon, period, in the world they both know (i.e. No. 6 and the settlement right past its walls; snippets from No. 5 suggest that it may not be so odd elsewhere). How does one further convey such a thing to an audience which does not, by and large, think of close emotional relationships between people as odd? By using secondary aspects to make it stick out more. With a male and a female character we’d just go “Uh huh, romance, big deal”, with two females we wouldn’t necessarily register much (I say “necessarily” because some folks see two girls standing a foot from one another and start thinking “yuri”) (since girls tend to be socialized differently and so do not develop the concerns that boys do about same-sex closeness as being threatening to one’s heterosexuality or femininity), but two boys dancing around together? HMMMM.
On a wholly unintellectual note, by the way, Nezumi as Ophelia? HNNNNNNNNNNNGH.
And, also, why does it seem like anyone in No. 6 who is supposed to be somewhat roughly garbed has uneven pantlegs? Its kind of hilarious.