Five Numbers! Review

Rating: 7/10

Plot: Four convicts all with life sentences awaken after being drugged to find themselves in an abandoned prison. It’s a race to get out…if they can.

Breakdown: This is a one-shot OVA that came paired with another OVA called Coicent which I will be reviewing later. Right now, let’s focus on Five Numbers!

Five people, four convicts with life sentences, are stuck in an abandoned prison – no guards, no nothing. All they have is each other and a cat. There’s a woman codenamed R21 or Sting who was a gambler and possibly con artist, a man codenamed N35 or Pinch-Hitter who embezzled money and also holds a secret related to the situation, a young girl codenamed R12 or FlashTradeKiller who is a hacker who purposely caused the financial network to crumble, and a teenage boy codenamed N17 or Pokerface whose reasons for being convicted are not stated and me explaining who he is would be a spoiler.

There’s also an old man in the prison who is actually there of his own free will for also spoilery reasons codenamed Enplein or VO and his cat, Coupier. None of their real names are given and they refer to each other by their numbers which I believe are also supposed to signify their ages.

I can’t give too much away as I don’t feel this is one of those titles I want to go through beat by beat, but I will say that the premise is extremely interesting and the OVA has some very cool ideas. However, this is merely a one-shot which means there’s no real building upon these ideas, and that’s a real shame.

That’s not to say the OVA ends on a cliffhanger or anything. There are several twists thrown in that are pretty shocking, especially the one at the very end.

It’s just very disappointing that there’s not more of this. You can easily extend this premise out further into a very short OVA of like six episodes, but it’s over in one episode.

Bottomline: If you like short stories that are both interesting yet dark at the same time, you’ll probably enjoy this very much but wish there were at least a bit more to it.

Art and Animation: This anime is done entirely in CGI, which is, for the most part, fine. It’s done in that kind of way that looks like it’s only half cel-shaded and outlined, which actually works really well. The character models are decent. They look kinda video-gamey though. Also the animation for the humans is a little stiff sometimes, but overall fine.

Music: The music’s also fine. The ending’s catchy and done in Italian for whatever reason.

Additional Information and Notes: Five Numbers! was written by Dai Sato, who has done writing work on Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex and Wolf’s Rain. It was directed by Hiroaki Ando, CGI director of Steamboy and director of Gambo. It was produced by Sunrise and is currently licensed in the US by Sentai Filmworks.

Runtime: 25 minutes

Year: 2011

Recommended Audience: Eh, the ending is not a happy one. Though you never see anything happen on camera, it’s heavily implied that something intense is about to happen. Other than that, no gore, swearing, nudity, sex, or anything. 10+