Anime Review: Shinsekai Yori

Episodes: 25
Genre: horror, mystery, sci-fi, psychological, supernatural
Related Words: psychokinesis, future, humanity
Rating: 5/5

Following a sudden outbreak of psychokinesis in 0.1% of the population, a rapid sy.jpgtransformation swept the world. The godlike ability to manipulate matter remotely turned many power wielders to violence, inciting a long period of upheaval. Finally, after a chaotic era shaped by the rise and fall of oppressive regimes, the psychic humans were able to achieve a fragile peace by isolating their society, creating a new world bound by complex rules.

In the town of Kamisu 66, 12-year-old Saki Watanabe has just awakened to her powers and is relieved to rejoin her friends—the mischievous Satoru Asahina, the shy Mamoru Itou, the cheerful Maria Akizuki, and Shun Aonuma, a mysterious boy whom Saki admires—at Sage Academy, a special school for psychics. However, unease looms as Saki begins to question the fate of those unable to awaken to their powers, and the children begin to get involved with secretive matters such as the rumored Tainted Cats said to abduct children.

– From My Anime List

j.jpg

General Overview (Without Spoilers)

What can I say about it? It’s a masterpiece, and I loved every single moment of it. Shinsekai Yori, though it doesn’t seem much at first, is weaved and told in such a manner that you can’t look away. The first few episodes are confusing; you won’t know what is going on. But as time passes and their world is slowly becoming unraveled, you realized that there is much more to this anime than what you can see from the surface.

The characters are fantastic, the music amazing, and the plot extraordinary. The ending, especially, was mind blowing, and I had to take a few minutes or hours to just step back and process what I had just watched. It’s truly a tale that needs to be seen and I recommend this to all.

Full Review (*With Spoilers*)

shinsekai-yori-episode-4-screenshot-003.jpg

The anime starts off with a girl named Saki and we see her with another person. They are talking about something called a Cantus and immediately after, we learn that it is some sort of ability that can move and shape objects without touching them.

The story progresses and strange events upon strange events keep happening. One of them being the Queerats, who seem to be servants to mankind and think that man is god. The second being the Minoshiro, the glowing alpaca (as I like to call it) that seems to know everything about everything.

mino.jpg

The entire world is revealed through us through slow and subtle progressions. Nothing is ever dumped on us overwhelmingly, but the little bits of information that they show allow viewers to anticipate what’s going to happen next.

When Karma Demons and Death Feedbacks are introduced, along with Tainted Cats, things get stranger and stranger until you feel like things aren’t as they seem. In the middle of the anime, things begin to pick up. Saki is forced to leave her friends, whose lives are in danger, and face the cold truth of life.

The fiend is introduced towards the end, the Queerats are at war with humankind, and the world is in chaos. Saki and Satoru are pressured to stop this calamity and when they do, they finally discover the harsh truth that the Queerats, who had fought for equal rights, used to be humans.

The build up and subtle progression of the beginning of the anime really make the ending effective. If we look back, we could see that there were hints and ideas that Queerats could possibly be human, from the structure of their bones, to their intellect, to their speech. It was right in front of our faces, yet we never discovered it. That’s what made the anime so great. That it wasn’t all that it seemed and that big dramatic turn made it into a show that no one expected it would be.

8627063_f520.jpg

In the end, the anime was a direct criticism of humankind. How horrible humans could be to one another if someone has an inch in power. How, in the nature of humans, it’s natural for us to form groups and separate one another in accordance to race or authority. The world is ugly, painful, and Shinsekai Yori delivered all those themes and ideas in such a beautiful manner.

The pacing of the anime was perfect. Not rushed, yet not too slow. It gave out the events at appropriate timings and never dumped the information on us all at once. I’d recommend this anime to all since it’s a masterpiece to behold.

Rating

five

 

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Anime Review: Shinsekai Yori

  1. Adam says:

    I definitely appreciate how well this anime uses information management as a plot thread and source of tension. I loved how we first get fables and rhetoric, and then we see the reality. The story does a great job of first criticizing the way things are, and then showing the horrifying alternative. There’s real room for an interesting dialogue of “How would we change things for the better, without risking another calamity?”
    I know many criticize the series for having a weak first half, but in some ways it feels like a natural progression. Each arc engages a more serious and ambiguous aspect of the whole, becoming more complex as time progresses.
    I think my favorite is the karmic arc, that ending was so beautifully tragic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eileen X. says:

      I have heard the beginning be criticised as well for being very flat (and I thought it was a little slow as well since it took me a while to get into it) but it was really a necessary and important beginning and now that I look back, it was incredibly well done since it introduced everything in such a subtle and well paced manner. And yes, the ending was just tragically beauitful. Thanks for reading!

      Like

      • Adam says:

        I think it’s a very interesting question to pose to the critics, “What would you do differently? Is there a way to strengthen the beginning without weakening the rest?” If there is a way I’d be very interested in learning it.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s