Shin Sekai Yori

4.4 out of 5 based on 13 ratings.
Premieres: Saturday, September 29 2012 12:30 AM (+0900)
Status: Licensed


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Mar 24 2013 05:55 PM
What struck me most about Shinsekai Yori is that, at the heart of the story, lies a sole thread: Survival.

Every plot arc, every episode, decisions are made with the mere goal of survival in mind. The adults, fearful of more Akki, created fujouneko to dispose of any "risky" children. The children, fearful of being disposed of, made foolish decisions. The Bakenezumi, fearful of their "gods" deciding to wipe them out, took risks to ensure their survival. Towards the end we even learn what ends the ancient researchers themselves went so far through to ensure their survival.

And through it all, the decisions and consequences create a disturbing and fascinating world. Every time you learn about the actions someone takes to survive, it echoes back to earlier parts of the story. When you see an act undertaken for survival, you can look backwards and usually see it's motivator.

Taking center stage in this, is our heroine, Saki. Saki is unusual by heroine standards- she isn't an action girl, she isn't overly proper, amazingly attractive or gifted, her only special talents are a strong will and the ability to rationalize and stomach almost anything - traits we usually see in an antagonist. And yet it is these traits that make her perfectly suited to be the heroine of a world where only survival matters.

Elaborating or even beginning to explain anything more than top level completely spoils this story, so I'll just say watch it with an open mind and don't. miss. anything.

Preliminary rating: 10/10
-1 for adaptation decay (edit: The added homosexual bits. I appreciate that they were trying to create a mutual "loved and lost" angle, but it didn't really succeed and merely losing childhood friends is traumatic enough by itself.)
-1 for assuming viewers know too much about hypnosis. (edit: I personally enjoyed the depth and accuracy, but it created a "if you don't already know, we aren't telling you" situation in multiple occasions.)
Final rating: 8/10.
Mar 24 2013 03:35 PM
QUOTE (Ausdoerrt @ Mar 23 2013, 01:11 PM)
Still, the show did its job well, and was a lot more engaging and "tight" that its primary competitor this season (IMO) - Shin Sekai Yori. The latter I almost dropped during the agonizingly slow development at the midpoint, neither did it show as strong an ending. This just shows that there's virtue in picking a more concise and linear story and sticking to your formula throughout - like Psyco-Pass did most of the time.
I agree that P-P hooked me to keep watching since ep.1 as quoted in its topic, but SSY didn't do that for me after trying the first 3 eps back then* so i prefered to wait until the end just in case it was going to trainwreck or not -.- ...while checking the last insights (trying to not read any spoilers) I decided to pick this series again and marathon it, which I think isn't very recommendable to do with that kind of story xD anyway I'm glad because I really enjoyed the rest after all

Shin Sekai Yori "The Season of New Leaves" (episode 1) summer 2012 - 7/10
SSY "The Vanishing Children" (episode 2) fall 2012 - 6/10
SSY "The False Minoshiro" (episode 3) fall 2012 - *5/10
SSY year 223 2nd half "war between bakenezumi" arc (eps 4 to 7) fall 2012 - 8/10
SSY year 225 "yuri and yaoi" arc ¬¬ (eps 8 to 16) fall 2012 to winter 2013 - 9/10
SSY year 237 "bakenezumi vs. psychics" arc (eps 17 to 25) winter 2013 - 10/10
Shin Sekai Yori TV series average final score - 9/10
Mar 24 2013 02:47 PM
QUOTE (gdpetti @ Mar 24 2013, 09:14 AM)
I'll have to take a look at Fractale, Shangri-La and Psycho-Pass... on the subject of psychos.... that opens up an whole field of consciousness as they are 'born' that way and until we have a much better understanding of human genetics, nothing can be done but control them, sounds like this series does it not? The problem is that they are the most successful in our civilization because the lack of a conscience helps them reach the top of our greedy society, where 'greed is good'.

I wouldn't bother with the former two if I were you. Fractale has massive pacing issue and ends with a deus ex ending. Shangri-La is generally a bad show *cough*Gonzo*cough* but some people may like it for its generally wacky characters and to some extent its twisted sense of humor. Shinsekai Yori basically does everything Shangri-La wanted to do but infinitely times better.

Psycho-Pass is more like Ghost in the Shell than anything else but has the idea of a dystopia. I have 2 episodes left in this show but can't say I'm really impressed with the storytelling at the moment. It has a couple "wow" moments every now and then but overall it's weak, especially coming from Urobuchi.

Shin Sekai Yori's not a utopian storyline, but rather the opposite, a dystopian one and the rise of the psychopaths is a big part of that control and disfunction as the circle of life/civilization comes to a close and prepares to start all over again. If you know any history, you come to realize, like all do, that there is a cycle of civilization that many ancient cultures refer to... Gold Age, Silver Age, Bronze and then Iron is the classic Hindu reference, which is similar around the world. This 'endtime' theme is common in anime as it is in many films in the USA these days, not to mention the accompanying global cataclysmic destruction, knowledge of which is usually burned along with all the other knowledgeable books in the libraries in the past and not so distant past of our own civilizations.... another word for when republics grow up and turn to empire-building, which is where the USA is currently upon that cycle, and being led by a bunch of psychos leads to the usual rot from within and without as all such empires have experienced... the virus spreads until the host is killed, and doesn't cantus seem like a virus in this storyline?

The novel describes it as a utopia to start with but the story unravels itself to be the complete opposite: a dystopia.

Kishi is a very good author, though I can't say I was particularly impressed with the Crimson Labyrinth, which is available in the US. It had a solid story setup like Shinsekai Yori but that ending just didn't fit in my opinion. I am still very annoyed however that the anime staff changed the gender of Maria's and Mamoru's child. It seems like a minute detail but at the same time an unnecessary deviation. The show emphasized really more of the yuri and yaoi aspects that were original to the manga. There was some in the original novel, mostly between Saki and Maria, but this show really attempted to milk it all the way to the point I think that's the reason why they changed the gender of the child,
Mar 24 2013 01:14 PM
Noein I've seen, and though aimed at kids like almost all of these storylines, it did a great job of using accurate science... accurate for what is currently known or theorized without going into SG material like some tv shows occasionally do such as Fringe here in the States. Noein just gets silly at times near the end, but without more knowledge by the production staff/writers, it is rather hard to depict hyperdimensional space/time etc. As for Haibane Renmei, which is of a different sort of etheric storytelling of the afterlife, though using a few basic symbols such as 'angels' wrongly (which is the norm anyway, as it does seem to be a tradition in manga/anime, though a few authors do seem to understand the archetypal symbolism somewhat and make better use of them)... anyway...where was I? Haibane is just great storytelling and done very well... and yes, the story is, as are our lives, fast in the beginning, slow in the middle and either speeds up in the end or just fades away one day at a time.

I'll have to take a look at Fractale, Shangri-La and Psycho-Pass... on the subject of psychos.... that opens up an whole field of consciousness as they are 'born' that way and until we have a much better understanding of human genetics, nothing can be done but control them, sounds like this series does it not? The problem is that they are the most successful in our civilization because the lack of a conscience helps them reach the top of our greedy society, where 'greed is good'. Shin Sekai Yori's not a utopian storyline, but rather the opposite, a dystopian one and the rise of the psychopaths is a big part of that control and disfunction as the circle of life/civilization comes to a close and prepares to start all over again. If you know any history, you come to realize, like all do, that there is a cycle of civilization that many ancient cultures refer to... Gold Age, Silver Age, Bronze and then Iron is the classic Hindu reference, which is similar around the world. This 'endtime' theme is common in anime as it is in many films in the USA these days, not to mention the accompanying global cataclysmic destruction, knowledge of which is usually burned along with all the other knowledgeable books in the libraries in the past and not so distant past of our own civilizations.... another word for when republics grow up and turn to empire-building, which is where the USA is currently upon that cycle, and being led by a bunch of psychos leads to the usual rot from within and without as all such empires have experienced... the virus spreads until the host is killed, and doesn't cantus seem like a virus in this storyline?

I don't know the creator of this book that the anime and manga is based on, but he has won awards in the horror genre, so that is applicable to our 'end-times' scenario and the aftermath that is portrayed in Shin Sekai Yori... the cycle has restarted and after such 'Flood' type cataclysms, humanity has to start over once again, and that does take an eon or two, as generations pass and the knowledge of their parents is lost and what is left is turned into stories, myths, fables, which tell of many things and warn of many others like in Little Red Riding Hood, but without understanding the symbols, that message/warning gets lost and the lessons in the cycle begin all over again as they did before. That is the same pattern found in all these dsytopian storylines as this one has. The question is asked of every generation: Have they learned? Do they remember? Who am I? WTF is going on and why?! Life itself is the means to the ends, the Grail Quest of those who seek the Truth. A game of hide and seek, once the questions are asked, the answers begin to be found and as the 'grandma' (she really looks too young to be called that IMO ) tells our main character Seki of her life and her lessons and is herself ready to let go and start over again... reincarnation... as 'grandma' didn't seem too knowledgeable herself in that that strike on the sub-humans, Squeler's people, should have been undertaken sooner and much more thoroughly etc. So 'grandma' still has lessons to learn here though I thought that part of the story was weak, as the village seemed to have no security at all and the whole part about 'feedback' I thought weak, as it seemed mostly for crowd control on the part of the elders and as such, wouldn't be put upon themselves for simple security concerns as Squeler's attack well demonstrates. "Do as I say, not as I do". Those in power don't limit themselves along with their 'herd' of followers, they only use such tools on others, the 'sheep' (using the biblical analogy) the rest of their kind. They never use it on themselves, same as laws are for us, the 'herd', the masses etc and not for them... as the WallStreet bailouts, pay a fine and do no 'time', lack of criminal charges, TSA, CIA et al criminal doings, US military taking over the world... all of which is labeled as 'good' because we are doing it. Everyone participating in 'evil' is now a 'hero'. How stupid is that, yet not a word in the mainstream controlled media, religion, schools etc. And the way Squeler is tortured is classic in such CIA torture centers like Gitmo... and always have been, as it was Hitler's Gestapo buddies that came over and taught us how to 'operate' and we've had plenty of Israeli help as well as of late... the whole 'birds of a feather' analogy... all the psychos stick together, protect all the other 'members of the club'. Regarding torture, those doing this are usually a little demented, 'evil' etc to begin with or psychopathic so the goal is not to kill, but to cause as much pain as possible without killing them, as they feed off of their pain, they enjoy watching it... remember those stories of the Bush/Cheney group watching the torture videos at the White House? They do it because they like it, so they have professional psychiatrists and physicians that keep their victims alive so the 'fun and games' can continue. If I remember correctly, the US tv show "Firefly" had a couple of episodes in which they dealt with such an individual.. and the plotline was similar to ShinSekaiYori in that it was a thousand years or whatever later after the human race had to find another solar system to move to... and the empire building began, same as Star Wars, and the human experiments began et al. Control the mind and you control the body analogy.

Same warnings coming from mass consciousness.. the mass mind of humanity warning us about what is going on around us, whether we know it or not does not matter. It is reality, deal with it and this is the situation Seki finds herself trying to understand as her elders in the village practice selective memory control to keep watch and control of their 'herd' of humanity... So, the lessons repeat until learned and grandma seemed to have realized that her people weren't learning them too well, thus the problems repeating from the fiends to the humans needing to kill off their opposition, the sub-humans, be they Querrats or whatever, that challenge them as well as the lack of emotional control that led to the torture of Squeler in the last episode. They really are no better than the sub-human races around them, that their forefathers designed genetically and which we are learning to do again today in our 'reality'. Same lessons repeating and this is said to be the Atlantean lessons again, and look what happened to their civilization and look what happened to all that technology, we can't even figured out how the survivors of those cataclysms built the Pyramids around the world, and when such mental midgits can't control or understand, they destroy so no one else can be better than they see themselves to be... sort of sounds like Squeler, no?

I think if one of these authors knew a little more about such 'secret history', then they could really dig deep into the human situation, but then there are many 'hidden hands' from the SG side of the equation to keep us in the dark... burning the books, the libraries (mentioned early on in this series), rewriting the history books like all ours have been, the 'sacred' as well as the profane, until it becomes the norm and everyone is taught it and then teach it to their children... one generation after the next under mind control, conditioning etc... in our schools, media, religions, music and entertainment especially... the 'beat' changes like our clothes, but the underlying message remains the same, just compare past songs with present ones... same, just a question of how 'profane' they get and they usually get more 'in your face' profane as the civilization approaches its end like we are today.

Most of these stories end with the cataclysm/torture etc as a temporary thing and afterwards things go back to normal, such as Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, and that is a problem if the lessons aren't learned as Seki hopes for at the end of this story. She hopes that in a millennium, that humanity has 'grown up' completely and not just physically as is always the case hoping to get off the Wheel of Life here in Purgatory, and the only way 'out' is to learn and make a choice, which is actually what I was hoping for earlier when the kids first left and found that false mishino thing from the ancient library, full of knowledge from which they could have learned a very lot about the past and the present and perhaps the future, but their elders taught them to look away and forget, reinforced by mind control and memory modification. That wasn't very friendly was it?

I think if this horror writer knew more, this story could have gotten much 'darker' indeed as the truth usually does before one 'wakes up' and sees the 'light' of truth that leads them out of this version of 'Platos Cave'... but the essence is still there because we are all expressions of the archetypes anyway, just a question of how much we can learn and reveal along the way, or if we succumb to the programming and pressure of our civilization and remain asleep in the cave for another spin of the Wheel.... which is where we find these characters at the closing of this story. I don't know if there is much more in the book, but the one chapter of the manga I looked at gave more information along the way, my guess is the book does also and perhaps this anime series would have been better if they did as well.

But still, it is at least a nice look at the real situation... 'the man behind the curtain' here in Oz, and that's always helpful and not found in most stories of any kind. It's like a giant puzzle and we find little pieces along the way and hopefully we later learn to put them together to get a look at the 'big picture', but we realize that our little glimpse is meaningless... 'the more you learn, the more you learn how little you know'... so we have to find others upon the same quest and putting their pieces together and if we continue to seek, we might find someone trying to put everyone's pieces together to get a glimpse of the whole. [ Laura Knight-Jadczyk]

As we approach the final 'curtain' call (which is what the whole Mayan 2012 thing was/is about, only the temporal variables are never locked in place, so the timing is never exact, just estimated and that was from a few thousand years ago as well), the wheel closes in on the Iron Cycle and prepares for the next 'Golden' Age, but to do so requires a 'cleaning'... cataclysm... those 'sheep' that have learned to become shepherds for their own souls move on to the next level of the 'game' or 'school' and the rest recycle to relearn the lessons once again, thus the stories of 'end-times', dystopia, greed, war, death, disease and disorder are mirrored in all of society, in all the arts, politics and religions etc. I think this is why anime seems to have peaked and in decay, same as all the stories in film, tv, theatre.. all reflect the mass consciousness of what's approaching... the end which is the new beginning, after the wheel gets reset through the usual process of death. Usually ~90% dieoff occurs in this part of the grand cycle... ice age, magnetic pole reversal, land shifts, tsunamis that come with the comet cluster, after the companion star passes through, then the usual plagues that follow... the usual Dark Ages, only this time the cluster has been rejuvenated by the binary brown dwarf star as it passed through the Oort Cloud, which is said to occur next year, and who knows what will occur beforehand as the planet prepares for the shift... so as they say, 'something wicked this way comes' and these anime storylines have warned us, haven't they?

Mar 24 2013 07:53 AM
That was certainly an ending. The final episodes were amazing. This show really had some UPS and only downs at the start.

With regards to the art, my opinion. I felt the art was very appropriate for the show. A very clean and fairly simpel artstyle.

I really would have liked it if the show had a faster start. The first few eps were boring and as I mentioned in a previous post I only stuck around because the world they were building was so fascinating.

It is one of the few shows I have watched that managed to make me feel uneasy without anything actually happening in an ep.

Specifically the last ep:
I found the trial and the last interactions with Squaler to be fascinating.
Also, his response to his "Aki" dying. No attempt at escape, he knew at the moment that she was dying that his battle had ended.
Squaler wanting to be called Squaler again and a remark during the trial made it clear that Yakomaru was a name given by the humans. It's also a nice last attempt at defiance. Also the fact that he was naked during trial, just shows how little the cantus users thought of him.
It's also hilarious that the humans were outsmarted by him from start to finish and still think that Queerats are nothing but animals.
His punishment was horrifying.

I did already suspect that the Queerats were once humans, but I thought that it was caused by what Shun told us. Didn't Shun mention that the barrier was created so everyone's subconcious could be focussed there, which in turn caused impossible creatures such as blow dogs to appear. I didn't realise that death feedback would also apply to non cantus humans, which would cause problems with that.
Mar 24 2013 05:15 AM
Well you have to understand, Kit-san, this might be one of those deep psychological series that can be more or less hard to discuss for some, I myself am one of those at times.

In any case like you said Kit-san it did start of rather confusing to begin with here, but then gradually things slowly pieced together as to why in the beginning we saw all these psychics randomly killing people that happen to not have the same ability that they did.

Although I kind of find it rather ironic that in the end the Queerrats were techincally a forced genetic mutation of the non-Cantus users and still they were given the same treatment that thier human counter-parts were given with those initially random cut scenes.

In any case yes the artwork was rather good for this series, and the pacing was good enough for the ammount of episodes they were working wth here. Overall I have to say it started off iffy for me, but it turned out to be a rather okay series in the end here. Nothing big to write home about, but still it was decient for what they did here.
Mar 24 2013 04:11 AM
Welcome to the Winter 2013 reviews. Barring Kingdom and Smile Precure! aside, I thought Shinsekai Yori deserved the first spot this season to be reviewed given the abnormal premise of this show compared with everything else recently. Shinsekai Yori is based off a 3 volume fiction novel by Yusuke Kishi. The series is set a millennium from the present in a utopia-like society. There, a group of friends: Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun are raised with the "god-like" powers known as Cantus. Those with Cantus are considered the "elite" in the society. Little did they know, however, that they were living in a society where "big daddy" was always watching them. It is not long until they begin to come across the secrets of both humanity and the world they are raised in and how different society has become over the last millennium. This marks only the beginning of a life-threatening adventure for the group. Shinsekai Yori premiered during the Fall 2012 season and ran for 25 episodes through Winter 2013. It was simulcasted by CrunchyRoll and licensed by Sentai Filmworks.

Shinsekai Yori started off as a very confusing series. There was no clear direction and very little revelation occurred in the first half of the series. There was definitely an intriguing premise hiding in this series and given the length of the novel, it really is not a surprise that it took a while for stuff to finally flush out. The characters seem rather dull and naive kids in the first few episodes but grow infinitely more interesting as the series progresses. A lot of the elements in this show are a bit out of wack and it doesn't do a good job at explaining a large amount of the terminology in the early episodes. That said, once the ball got rolling and the viewer finally gets a hold of the terminology in this show, it becomes a highly engaging title that will keep you on the edge of your seat. However, that doesn't mean you will understand what is going on in the overarching story, at least not until half way that is. Shinsekai Yori operates in a typical mystery novel fashion: question arc first, answer arc last. Granted that Shinsekai Yori is not classified as a mystery title, it certainly sets itself up as one in the anime adaptation. It constantly throws out all these questions about the society and why it is the way it is early on. The thing is, many of these little questions are actually riddles within themselves that lead to relatively logical conclusions in the series later on. Now the biggest negative to Shinsekai Yori I've heard is mostly from novel readers who have complained about the story not being adapted faithfully. Considering I've read a portion of the novels, I do have a few complaints (mostly on the gender of the fiend) but the staff did what they really could in 25 episodes given how much material is in the novels. Maybe not the most optimal presentation but it certainly got the message across. In fact, you could actually make 3 full length Lord of the Rings like movies with Shinsekai Yori given its content, which I certainly would not mind seeing. Conclusion wise, it's quite solid. It ties many elements presented earlier on in the series in its home stretch though I can't say it was 100% believable given some of the more wacky elements they pulled (i.e. Shun's "return").

Art is gorgeous. The scenery definitely had some thought put into it when presenting the dystopia setting. Characters are a bit plain particularly when the protagonists were younger. As if it wasn't enough for the story alone to confuse me, I recall having a hard time differentiating Shun, Satoru, and Mamoru for a while given their near identical hair color.  Animation is by A-1 Pictures who has generally been solid but Winter 2013 was exceptionally bad. While it wasn't particularly noticeable in Shinsekai Yori, there were some obvious animation dips and inconsistencies about 3/4 into the series. Regardless, it was one of the better titles this season by them and possibly of equal quality as Sword Art Online episode 1.

Music wise the show had no OP theme except episode 16, which ended up being the second ending theme anyways. The first ED theme is okay but the second ED theme is amazing and fits the mood of the show very well. Not to mention a fantastic video to go with it. Sound effects is excellent and fair sound effects. Seiyuu is mostly monotone despite a high quality group. There's really no sense urgency at times from them given the "life-threatening" adventure they go through.

Enjoyment? Slow start but managed to keep me engaged long enough to really praise this show. I had a gut feeling from the get go this show as going to be good and I'm very glad I stuck with it to the point I really want to read the rest of the novels now. The presentation is probably the biggest complaint given it's lack of a hook for the simple-minded viewers. It also does more talking that showing at times though not as convoluted as say Bakemonogatari. However, given the vast amount of terminology and the complexity of the setting, you may as well say it's equivalent. Recommendation wise, Shinsekai Yori is probably the best in class. It's premise at the most basic level is not unique as Haibane Renmei and Shangri-La all have done something similar. Furthermore, you have titles like Fractale, Noein, and same season's Psycho-Pass with similar elements. However, very few of these titles can really hold a candle to Shinsekai Yori's unique concept and strong development.

So, I've probably confused many of you enough with the story paragraph's roundabout answer. Thing is, everything in this show is a spoiler including some of the terminology as they all play a much larger role in the overall show. That said, Shinsekai Yori should be approached with a very open mind. If you come in expecting all answers to be spoon fed to you, you're better off skipping this or gaining some more experience first. The show is a very complex and requires one to think of the elements that goes on. It's not like Steins;Gate where it keeps the audience humored before getting all serious while explaining the smallest details. Shinsekai Yori is highly recommended for more advanced anime viewers as well as those with appreciation for a dystopia and/or complex setting. It's definitely not something one should be watching if you're interested in slice of life unless you have a twisted sense of slice of life. In retrospect, 95% of the things in Shinsekai Yori made sense. It just took a while to unravel as well as some additional outside inferences.

Overall, Shinsekai Yori has become a love/hate show for many this series. It's a show that you really get into and stick with it or you get bored/confused from the get go that it turns you off for the remainder of the series. As said many times, it's not an easy story to comprehend let alone grasp until possibly you're about 20 episodes in the series where everything from prior episodes finally begin to make sense. Without a doubt, however, it is arguably the best title in the last three anime seasons if not more. Chihayafuru 2 may give it a run but the two are really not comparable. It's a gem that I highly recommend giving a chance but, again, requires watching with a clear mind to fully appreciate and stay engaged.

Preliminary Score: 7/10
Final Score: 9/10

On a side note, it's amazing how little discussion this series has
Mar 23 2013 04:45 PM
Yes... just seen the last episode, Ch 25, which is the end of the book it is based on and which is written by a writer who has won awards in the horror genre, and that last episode 25 closes with 'Fin', so I assume that is the end of the series as the Wiki entry put it at 25 episodes from the beginning and it does close like a story not to be picked up for another season.

I like the way the story ended, after some of the previous episodes did get more into the 'horror' genre and out of the psychic/post-apocalyptic world it seemed to begin with. The anime brought all the loose ends together. Judging from the 1 manga chapter I looked at, it does seem the anime director made some different decisions regarding what to tell the audience and when, if at all, such as that barrier being intended for the 'humans with cantus' and not all the other species beyond it.

From an esoteric pov, this is symbolic of the karmic repercussions said to be visiting Earth based humanity yet again as the lessons repeat over and over but within the usual circle of life, as civilization has to reach a certain point before certain lessons can begin... such as is mentioned by Plato about Atlantis vs Athens.... the original Athens which is now the isle of Britain and thereabouts. The story of Odysseus and the Iliad only make sense when placed in their original locale and one sees the turbulent seas as the North Sea and out into the Atlantic... Troy across the Channel etc. When you read about how Edgar Cayce mentioned Atlanteans called lower human beings as 'things', then you really can get a better feel for this story and the 'hope' for change in a thousand years as written in Saki's journal at the series closing scene.

Some things just don't make sense of course and that is always the case and have to be ignored to enjoy the rest of the story... which as always, is one of self-conscious awareness and the tests that allow one to take the next step up the ladder, for better or worse, sooner or later all will learn, and it does seem to be 'humanity' that is having a hard time learning here as this episode demonstrates with the torture inflicted upon Squeler which Saki ends by killing him to end the ignorance of that act that her community has put upon him. The fact that Squeler is just another 'human' race puts this in the Atlantean tradition again, which if you've read any esoteric information, let's you know why certain peoples of our planet keep getting this same treatment. The lesson repeats for both sides., 'as above, so below'. Then the story closes with her hope for that lesson to be learned by succeeding generations who her child and her journey entries represent. Obviously there's room for a sequel/another novel, but I doubt that will occur given that our own civilization is so close to the final 'curtain' call next year... and who knows how much 'adjustment' will be needed before the main event. 

From that short look at a manga chapter, my guess is the book told the reader more about what's going on, and perhaps that would have helped this anime series a little more as well, as it does cover a lot of space and time in the storyline, and I think such hints could add to the density of the storytelling. Oh well, it's over and was worth it as most stories don't even attempt to go this far into the zones of 'reality', a look behind the curtain we call life.
Mar 23 2013 04:22 PM
Oh wow. The finale puts a new spin on EVERYTHING. That was absolutely beautiful and subtly horrifying at the same time.

I'll write more later, when I've had a chance to shuffle thoughts and musings, and rewatch a few episodes that seem to take on secondary meanings with the finale's revelations.
Mar 12 2013 12:00 AM
I haven't read the Harry Potter books, but I agree that the series has an exceptionally rare focus on the realistic mental function of a brain with the capacity for sorcery/psionics. (Shinsekai Yori somehow manages to land neatly between these two concepts, to my mind.) I think the nature of the story is rather unique as the author holds a rather insightful grasp on psychology- to the degree I suspect he is a hypnotherapist or psychiatrist by day job.

I also have not had a chance to read the Shinsekai Yori LN- Bakatsuki JUST added it as a project teaser. Evidently it's a single story spanning 6 volumes. (It's also a candidate for the "LNs finished before they got an adaptation" thread, now that I think about it.) Based on some of the other projects BT picks up after an anime adaptation, I doubt it will be finished or make good progress.

I think you hit on the answer to your own observation. The civilization is built with the realistic belief that its own people are the only realistic threat to each other. Consider the sheer number of bakenezumi slain by Satoru as a young child with just his poor understanding of cantus, consider the sheer level of devastation caused by Shun losing control of his Cantus, consider the apocalyptic transformation of Tokyo and the world outside the holy barriers caused by subconscious cantus leakage. This culture has been the only tangible threat this culture has known for a millennium.

Prior to this incident, the Bakenezumi weren't even on the radar as a threat. Inui's five man team was considered sufficient to annihilate all of the bakenezumi, and there were more teams than just his. They kept the bakenezumi around as they saw the sapient critters as convenient as slave labor for projects nobody wanted to commit their own focus to. And, of note, where did the Bakenezumi come from? The story has indirectly answered that for us - The only two options are cantus leakage or like the fujouneko, deliberately created by village elders.

You say they seem to have a fear of technology, I think they deliberately conceal technology from children and young adults but make widespread use of it in the few places it is actually useful. Saki's mother had a pet False Minoshiro, but it was considered a secret of the librarians' association. The village elders have waterwheel based electric generators setup but deign to use paper lanterns except where consistent light is necessary (recall the discussion between Saki's parents where they debate the merit of switching to electrical lighting.) I think this stems from the stealth threat of cantus leakage. The creepypasta concept of a malevolent force residing in the electricity is a staple of sci-fi, going back to at least black and white movies, imagine living in a society where a child's nightmare could make it real.

For this same reason, the society seems to be deliberately kept "small". (largely a byproduct of the way they kill off at minimum 25% of their children.) Villages live in relative ignorance of each other to protect the denizens from the subconscious corruption of cantus leakage, and the holy barrier and old capital cities serve as forms of heatsink for this corruption.

Lastly, the Naivety is somewhat deliberate. To paraphrase something Tomiko said- "We conducted an experiment on you, using less mind control than usual. Docile sheep manipulated since birth are not useful as leaders". The vast majority of the leadership in the village have been subject to the subtle manipulations as all of the people around our shattered five man band. So I think there are lessons being learned, but the lessons may get lost in committee.
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