I caught a glimpse of a meme for Shin Sekai Yori on Facebook so I decided to watch it and review it. This really did not go the way I had expected it too and I really enjoyed the twists and turns this had in store for me. Ps, the pictures make my post look longer than it is. (^^,)
- Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural, Drama
- Type: Series
- Season: 1
- Seasons in total: 1
- Number of episodes: 25
- Duration to watch:
- Age restriction: R – 17+ (violence & profanity)
- Release date: September 2012
- Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
- Does it have a manga: Yes
- English Title: From the New World
- Kanji: 新世界より
At the age of 12, Saki is the last of her friends to make it to Sage Academy, where she reunites with them. Together they make Group 1. Satoru Asahina is a mischievous boy who likes retelling rumours he has heard, Mamoru Itou is shy and gentle and is attached to the cheerful Maria Akizuki and Shun Aonuma who is considered a genius in their generation. Sage Acadamy is a school for psychics in a world where psychokinesis became a reality and split the world. Due to the godlike ability that those with psychokinesis had the world was thrown into years of war and almost complete annihilation. The psychic humans were able to achieve a fragile peace by isolating their society, creating a new world bound by complex rules and behaviour. Finally developing her psychic powers Saki begins to feel unease as she begins to question the fate of those unable to awaken to their powers.
Are Saki and her friends able to accept the answers to the questions they are asking, and what will the consequences of knowing the answers be?
My Thoughts on Shin Sekai Yori:
I found this to be rather slow to get going with the story even though things started to actually happen around episode four it felt a lot longer. If you are like me and like the plot to get moving sooner rather than later you might drop this one before it gets good. My advice, brace yourself and wait for the story to begin. The first few episodes cover their daily life and activities showing how the world now works and the mysteries that are now present. With the first few episodes, I thought we would be learning ‘lessons’ with each episode and I was gladly proven wrong.
Once the story started to move ahead in a way that felt like it was going somewhere I really got into it. There were some really trippy scenes that really stood out and you were never quite sure why Saki was getting these ‘visions’ and ‘dreams’. So I am just going to think of it as she had really good intuition and learned to trust it.
There were a few parts of the story that took me by surprise. One such aspect was the gay and lesbian relationships that had sprung up while they were at school. More than the actual ‘gay’ aspect of the couples I was surprised at the coupling that had occurred. It had been rather obvious that Shun and Saki liked each other so I had just assumed that they would have naturally become a couple rather than pairing up with others. I still wonder why the two had not naturally started dating one another in the first place.
Their world is really weird and somewhat confusing and at times really harsh and cruel. I was mainly watching this to figure out what the heck was going on and to see if they would somehow manage to change their world. I was often left wondering what would happen next as the story left me guessing and often did not go the way I had originally thought it would.
There are quite a few time gaps that speed the anime along so it covers many years of their lives. In some aspects that is nice as they have not put in random plot lines to fill the gaps but in other aspects it is slightly jarring as you do not expect a time gap and then the very next episode it is suddenly there.
Throughout the entire series, I wondered why was nothing being done about the rate at which the Monster Rats were evolving. The humans just stood by and watched as they started using poison and then building concrete buildings (which the humans themselves no longer had) and then also the development of their war techniques. It was clear that they would pose some form of threat to humans eventually and it would most likely be sooner rather than later.
Also, the Monster Rat’s history and origin did not surprise me. I had always suspected the link. At first, I thought that they came from the children that had gone missing and then I was proven wrong after being shown that the queen of the colony gave birth to the entire colony much like bees. I was surprised to find that the animal they came from was the naked mole-rat. Whenever I think of a naked mole-rat I picture Rufus from Kim Possible (side note – I am a big KP fan).
I am glad to say that the end of this anime was not a letdown and that I will gladly recommend this as one to watch. I was just slightly disappointed that even after everything that had happened there was no clear change in their society or the way thing are done. Having the right to kill a child until they reached the age of 17 is insane even if I can kind of understand their reasoning and fear.
This is not a light anime to watch and should be watched if you enjoy mysteries and drama. It is confusing at times (mysterious, hehe) but emotional at the same time. Characters go missing and characters also die. In fact, a lot of people die in this anime and in horrific ways – you have been warned. Otherwise, I really enjoyed the art of this anime, it was really well done, even the trippy scenes were excellently drawn.
Have you watched From The New World or will you watch it? Here is a fan-made trailer if you are still undecided.