Yay, my first review~.
This will be slightly more formal than Retrospectives or Random Thoughts.
Shin Sekai Yori (SSY) of From the New World is a post-apocalyptic Utopian story. It is based on a novel by Kishi Yusuke and the anime adaptation was made by A-1 Pictures in 2012. The series is 25 episodes long, and as of now, there is only 1 season.
Shin Sekai Yori is very different from many of the anime I have seen over the years. For one, there are multiple time skips and it goes over majority of Saki’s life. And the world of SSY is very secretive and twisted .
The story follows Saki (above) from her childhood to teenage years, and adulthood. All humans has a special ability known as Power. These Power never is really explained but they include Telekinesis, Pyrokinesis, detection, and healing.
Squealer is a monster rat, a specie made by humans to labor. He is a coward and sneaky creep. It is hard to know what he is thinking. But he has aided Saki and her friends many times. Is he a villain, his face says yes, but who knows. I do, but that would be spoilery….
For the actual setting, SSY is divided to the human towns and the the wilderness. The human towns are where the psychic people live, and the wilderness is populateed with various creatures. Among them, the most advanced seem to be the Monster Rats, who are practically slaves to the humans. Because humans cannot kill each other (explained later on), Monster Rats are used to deliver punishments.
More than where, when is more interesting story. Although the city looks like beautiful feudal era Japan, the story takes place after some kind of WWIII event, making this a post-apocalyptic. People started developing Powers during our modern time and started to harm another and if I recall correctly, at some point nukes or some other super weapons were used and only a fraction of humanity survived.
To ensure that everyone can live in harmony, the community set various measurements like Death of Shame, and child disappearance.Death of Shame is an unique concept. Essentially, it is an artificial defense mechanism for humans against each other. If a person kill or harms a thing that looks a person, their bodies will suffer greatly, to an extent of death.
SSY’s society based their society on how bonos act, meaning anyone can and should have sex with anyone. It was a little weird to watch since, to me, it looked like bunch of children screwing each other… But very progressive of them! More power to ya.
The story follows the protagonist Saki through her life finding out the secrets behind the society she is living in as well as seeing the damage that have been done to themselves and others. To maintain peace, children have been brainwashed since birth and conditioned to be unable to harm another person, the death of shame. But there has been times where people went berserk or became unable to control their power, and the general population had no idea what to do, similar to one episode from Psycho Pass.
Most of Saki’s childhood is about finding out what lead to the society they are living in today and why their powers are so heavily regulated. Then the monster rats enter the scene. And through out Saki’s teenage and adult years, their relationship with humans start to become hostile. I will stop here so I won’t spoil too much.
I am musically retarded so I can’t say too much here. One thing that stood out was the lack of opening theme song. Unlike most anime, the show would start, cut to the episode title card, then go back to the show. By doing this, the series feels more mature and eerie… On the other hand, I like the ending a lot, it sounded sad but hopeful. The first ED especially, “
Wareta Ringo” by
Risa Taneda, and now I have this on my phone! . Some of the background musics were pretty ominous.
The final battle, especially the last episode was a little lackluster. The battle against the final creature. But to be fair, this was never suppose to be an action anime.
Some of the characters were strangely developed I feel. Shun is a character that had a lot of importance, but became obscure by the end. Other characters talk about him as if he were important, but I just don’t see it.
Another thing is that the main characters are extremely naive. Saki just cannot seem to wrap their mind that Monster Rats are slaves. They think Monster Rats should be happy. If the first arc was suppose to be revelation and disillusionment of their society, shouldn’t Saki and co be a little more cynical? I guess that was a point the show was trying to make…
“The imagination has the power to change everything.”
Was this really the message?
- Will I watch it again? Probably not.
- Will I recommend this? Yes, very highly.
- Overall what did I think of it? I liked it a lot!! Not a favorite, but it was a great experience.
I hope you enjoyed my first review, any advice would be welcome.