Shin Sekai Yori

 
 
 
4.4 out of 5 based on 13 ratings.
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Premieres: Saturday, September 29 2012 12:30 AM (+0900)
Status: Licensed
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Carlita
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May 6 2013 06:06 PM
QUOTE
Did anyone else notice the first ED is the bakenezumi attack on the festival?


I didn't notice this either, and it just adds even more enjoyment of the show for me, thank you for sharing!

To me, I was never lost by the story as many report here. I was more fascinated than anything. I didn't feel forced by it, I felt drawn by it I guess. I think that what happened was that I became accustomed to each detail being connected to the whole, so I found myself looking for each of the hints and trying to guess at what it meant. Normally you don't see that kind of completeness, and if you look too closely you see the holes in what they did, so it's better not to. I would always get upset when that would become clear to me mid-way through a series and it would start to ruin my enjoyment, but not in this one.

One great example of this was when they returned from summer camp, and I thought it was unreasonable for them not to be eliminated, unless they were meant to discover the truth because they would become the leaders of the village someday. I was happy to see I was right later.

I have never watched a series that started out with such mystery and so much to explain that actually succeeded in explaining all of it to my satisfaction while staying true to the pacing and style they started with. I felt like the whole show was cohesive in that way despite jumping around in time so much.
Kit-Tsukasa
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Mar 27 2013 01:34 AM
QUOTE (Norren @ Mar 26 2013, 12:23 AM)
Did anyone else notice the first ED is the bakenezumi attack on the festival?

That's an interesting thing to note. I didn't even realize that until you pointed that out

QUOTE (wedora @ Mar 26 2013, 06:03 AM)

I didnt describe my view clearly i think.  What i was referring to was the temporary short term goals in psycho pass, the missions, the objectives.  They implemented sub-plots and then proceeded to tie them into the main plot down the road.  Shin sekai yori felt aimless inthis sense, everything was for the main plot but you arent allowed to know why because it would spoil the climax.  It works fine and dandy for things we have a familiarity with, but in such a bizarre and unknown world it leaves many feeling lost and confused, including myself.  We're thrown from a school environment to the wilderness without having any idea where its going and if it matters in the big scheme of things.  The first 13 eps of shin sekai yori are almost like a big exposition knowledge dump that gets used later, primarily because their mini arcs felt disconnected and random, and its purely on execution not on the content.  This failure stifled the enjoyment of the first half of the show, in my opinion.


Seems I did misunderstand. I generally didn't like Psycho-Pass's one shot approach though. They were intertwined but at the same time felt pointless. I guess my issue is I didn't need 12 episodes for them to tell me that Makishima was an anomaly when I could figure it that out from the moment he is revealed. I generally like it when the series keeps me in the dark over a hard to guess (yet reasonable) answer. At that point though, it all comes down to personal preference.
gdpetti
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Mar 26 2013 01:52 PM
From the Wiki page, it seems Pyscho-Pass is another PreCrime storyline, which is in development in the USA already, so it's just a fictional extension of the uses new technology are putting upon society... and the whole dues ex machina is just another psychic impulse from the mass consciousness it is said, as the third and final cataclysm of the global Atlantean civilization was said to be when the 'crystals' came alive... became self-aware... think the 'Terminator' series and that's how these ideas come around, and the machines weren't really the problem but how they were used.. as the Atlanteans were, to use the Star Wars analogy, aligned with the 'dark side of the Force', and since their technology was tens of thousands of years ahead of our own today, the degree of destruction reflects the need of Mother Nature to cleanse the scene so the lessons can start over. Cataclysms are just part of this cycle and as we approach the end of this 'Iron Age', they are coming back to reset the stage and allow those very, very, very few who have learned those lessons to move on to the next level of this cosmic 'game'... the 4th density of awareness...

Though most of these dystopian stories have their problems, at least they aren't as banal as most in Hollywood such as "Hunger Games", which reminds me of a few animes from previous years. Their version of dystopia is like going to scout camp with just the power turned off and a few wild animals, most of which turn out to be humans as usual. If historical accuracy was used, the rating would be at least an R, if not an X as the plagues enter the scene brought by the comets/meteorites et al to test the populace on how well they've kept their bodies if not their minds... think of the destruction/pollution of our food supply, water supply etc... just like tobacco, the poisons put in it to make cigarettes give it a bad name and every empire targets them as 'evil', yet it was tobacco that helped many remain well as the ingested smoke created a barrier to transmission in the lungs.

As Norren put it, primal fear is the primary form of interaction in any dystopia and in this anime, that's why some of those guys died, thinking they could handle the problem of the fiend etc... they didn't respect their enemy enough to develop fear... which has to be understood and dealt with so that it doesn't become a problem, but it is there as long as you exist within the body. The mind can overcome it but not the body and most of the humans in this story didn't seem to have much psychic development beyond their genetic abilities. That's said to be the lesson on Atlantis, so much technology but no morality or rather spiritual consideration of others. All the development as one sided, so that those that didn't participate in the crime/rape/pillage, had to leave and setup camp elsewhere. Same today as then. Same history repeating itself, like reading a script.

I do agree that 'direction' is usually the key to adapting a story and it could've been a little better in this anime. Sometimes the anime is better than the manga if necessary corrections are made. I do know that the one chapter of this manga that I looked at, gave the reader more knowledge of things as they were presented and I wonder if the book didn't as well?

I do think it had more potential than most, as the theme was larger, with the basis being their world is based on a lie, or at minimum, none of the children knowing much if anything about the real world(reminds me of Graveyard of the Fireflies, which the author stated himself), either before the cataclysm or their present life, it's as if only those that survive learn anything at all about the "Real World" (if even then) as put well in the film "Matrix", which, like "Dark City", is much closer to reality than most people realize. The change of sex regarding the last fiend seems typical in our male dominated world, as the 'blame it on Eve' game continues... the 'kill the mother' theme so that the 'son' can claim independent god status... that theme has been in practice since after the last major cataclysm at least.

Dystopia and cataclysms seem the norm in entertainment these days, only they do so in rated G version only, as the truth would be rated X at times due to the violence and disease etc... no wonder vampires, psychopaths and zombies are all the rage these days... as the herd of sheeple are prepared for the feast... as the main meal and as usual, 'the know not what they do'... which is better for the dark shepherds herding them over the cliff through endless wars, kidnapping, torture, spying, shaming, poisoning their minds and bodies so that they never wake up and realize the Matrix they are living within in another word for Purgatory, a prison, matrix or maze from which the goal is to wake up and leave, if you don't like it... Plato's Cave analogy again.

Oh well, it does seem like anime has had it's heyday, same as all the other art forms around the world, another sign of the global dystopia to come, another sign that the end of the age is upon us and thus it's no wonder it's the background of so many of these stories about the future, which is but a reflection of the past. Esoterically, it is said we are in a time loop and this story is a good example of that as the lessons repeat and repeat until learned. Saki hopes her descendents have done just that which is what all survivors hope for, but rarely ever happens and so we find ourselves in the same mess our ancestors were faced with only almost all the history has been destroyed, controlled by 'the dark side' so that we remain ignorant like sheep, which are much easier to control than fellow shepherds, especially those of 'the light'. Saki seems to find herself in the same situation 'grandma' found herself in, hoping but not knowing... at least not enough change the paradigm, or so the end of the story lets us believe. We too can hope for a better tomorrow, but tomorrow only changes when we do, and our governments are a reflection of us, and so are their empire-building programs, and given the nature of the universe, the Law of Attraction means you don't want to be near such negative types when TSHTF. Saki's people attempted to hide their negativity instead of dealing with it out in the open, and thus that negative desire brought their lessons to them... you find that which you seek, meaning that to push something away is to pull it closer, a principle that works on both sides of the equation, thus is balance always maintained... sooner or later. Karma isn't completed in a day, unless that 'day' is eternal.

I liked the show, it did get a little boring in the middle as those 'leaps' took place in time and when they brainwashed the kids (no, I won't mention all the mind control programs the intel/SG community is doing, which gets way sicker than anything in anime/tv/film etc, mostly due to the young age that it is begun and continues through their life, mostly to a certain type of human, but it does remind me of this storyline, only the pain/torture aspects to break the mind aren't mentioned here). I personally thought Saki and others would learn to break that pain barrier that is placed on their minds, but then that would really take this story down the Rabbit Hole, wouldn't it? They would have to really deal with their issues/abilities then and confront reality, instead of deluding themselves into thinking they were... this is classic esoteric as well, as most sheeple who think they are awake and aware are just running a program within a program like the Matrix sequels... and getting nowhere but back to Go.... repeat and repeat, same with Saki's community and those under their care and to which they hold responsibility, thus their apparent 'god' status, to which they didn't seem to deserve except by force.. like the US empire today and all empires, which is why they never last, if they don't get destroyed, conquered by another, then Mother Nature will eventually come in to clean house and reset the game so that the lessons can be retaken once again.

These same themes can be found in so many stories because of their archetypal origins, same with ourselves as part of that process. How does Saki respond once she learns the truth of her history and situation? She is one of the few that have learned that much and the same goes in our world today, as the overwhelming majority of the herd have no interest in such things and merely follow the herd to its ultimate destruction... same as always... how many times can you play the same song before you get tired of it? That seems to be the lesson as always.. how many turns of the wheel before we want off? I wished the author would have gone deeper into this, but he might not know enough to do so... but a sequel is possible, though time to do so is getting very limited... thus less and less stories worth watching/reading these days... as the 'end-times' approach and resets the stage.
franzoir
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Mar 26 2013 11:51 AM
Interesting conversation you guys are having. I didnt know Shin Sekai Yori and Psycho pass overlapped so much.

Alot of people have said to me that PP is not that clever for what it should be. I understand that point but I will say that PP's strongest asset is in the direction. I feel it is a bit unfair to say Psycho Pass was aimless. They employed a flash forward in episode one which for me was really effective. I would compare it to Breaking Bad cold openings where you wonder how Walter got into this situation. This allows for slower and more contemplative pacing where viewers can relax and enjoy the minutiae because they know the cold opening is going to happen at some point. If not for that flash forward, knowing myself, I would have dropped PP by ep 4 fearing its aimlessness. That 1 minute flash forward relaxed my anxieties from the get go, as I knew the seemingly standalone cases were to explore facets of the SS world and nuances of the characters in build up to the major conflict. Therefore, I had time to enjoy the characters and setting much more than otherwise. IMO, I feel the producers did everything they could to tell me that they had a plan and your invested time would not be wasted. If you found the early cases boring, fair enough but aimless is harsh.

From how Wedora describes it I can already tell SSY is based on a light novel because light novel adaptions (for me) usually have the endemic problem of doing nothing for the uninitiated leading and piss poor direction. 9 out of 10 times I drop light novel adaptions by ep 3. I feel alot of animes these days dont follow through on their own narrative, due to lack of modern direction techniques and it frustrates me to no end.

So I concur with Wedora, it is all in the execution. For example, I like the premise of Accel World and I had to stick with it all the way to end to realise it would do nothing with it's premise whatsoever.

Ideas and originality are great. Everyone has ideas but more and more in these modern times, it is how you bring those ideas to fruition which separates the wheat from the chaff. And so what really impressed and was also quite refreshing about PP was it's direction more than anythingelse. I thought it was as straight to point as it could be in expressing it's ideas and themes.
wedora
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Mar 26 2013 10:03 AM
QUOTE (Kit-Tsukasa @ Mar 26 2013, 12:09 AM)
Personally, I think Psycho-Pass had the same problems that Shinsekai Yori did in both of their early stages. Completely aimless. Granted that Psycho-Pass explained more of itself, I found it to be quite an uninteresting premise seeing as Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, or Ergo Proxy had literally all done what it did years ago except better. Psycho-Pass had a very roundabout way of doing things and tried to please viewers initially via "gore" and violence. That isn't to say Psycho-Pass isn't good as it has definitely improved over the course of its 22 episode run (still haven't seen the last 2). I should also note that Psycho-Pass's writing was ridiculously poor early on to the point I was falling asleep watching it every time. The season has been a rollercoaster though thus far with a number of surprises and disappointments. Considering the next couple seasons are filled with sequels (along with some much anticipated titles) I'm curious as to how these shows will fall in an overall ranking by the end of the year.

However, it's path was far too obvious at least for me: a society claimed to be perfect with of course the only logical event that could follow is an abnormality and/or the people running the society is corrupt. This is literally the same path with many other titles in its category: To Aru Majutsu no Index, Ghost in the Shell, and even this season's Zetsuen no Tempset. That said, Shinsekai Yori is by no means perfect either despite attempting to take a different approach and I completely agree that over complicating matters only raises more questions.

I didnt describe my view clearly i think. What i was referring to was the temporary short term goals in psycho pass, the missions, the objectives. They implemented sub-plots and then proceeded to tie them into the main plot down the road. Shin sekai yori felt aimless inthis sense, everything was for the main plot but you arent allowed to know why because it would spoil the climax. It works fine and dandy for things we have a familiarity with, but in such a bizarre and unknown world it leaves many feeling lost and confused, including myself. We're thrown from a school environment to the wilderness without having any idea where its going and if it matters in the big scheme of things. The first 13 eps of shin sekai yori are almost like a big exposition knowledge dump that gets used later, primarily because their mini arcs felt disconnected and random, and its purely on execution not on the content. This failure stifled the enjoyment of the first half of the show, in my opinion.

Norren
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Mar 26 2013 04:23 AM
Psycho-pass is on my "marathon later" list, so I can't comment much on it vs Shinsekai Yori, but whitewashed dystopias are one of the central focal points of fiction, so much so that I think it represents an inherent fear in man's psyche. After all, one cannot help but ask "Is there room for me in this world?" when they are uncertain, and when depressed and afraid, it's easy to look at a society that claims to stand for equality and yet all at once seems to be against you.

Taking that sort of primal insecurity, and transforming it into a dystopian world that really is out to get YOU, is one of an author's most reliable tools for putting the reader in the protagonist's shoes.

The world of Shinsekai yori plays off this primal fear by weaving in the fears of Japanese children - If you shame yourself, the adults are out to get you. If you do poorly in school, the adults are out to get you. Western technology is out to get you. (This was the primary reason the humans used traditional japanese architecture, while the rebelling bakenezumi used cement buildings and firearms.) People you've wronged are out to get you. Tokyo is where all the insane radioactive monsters in the world go to die. The list probably goes on, I only know so many from this side of the ocean.

I agree that things were too obscure, but I think that a weakness of the anime conversion. Quite a few people who at least imply they were able to read the books seem to be bagging on it.

Did anyone else notice the first ED is the bakenezumi attack on the festival?
Kit-Tsukasa
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Mar 26 2013 12:09 AM
QUOTE (wedora @ Mar 25 2013, 12:46 PM)
I find it enjoyable because of the discovery, but the show lost a lot of people during its early phases because it seemed aimless.  When you look at the closest series fromthe season, psycho pass, the difference in approach takes a clear toll on enjoyment.

Personally, I think Psycho-Pass had the same problems that Shinsekai Yori did in both of their early stages. Completely aimless. Granted that Psycho-Pass explained more of itself, I found it to be quite an uninteresting premise seeing as Ghost in the Shell, Cowboy Bebop, or Ergo Proxy had literally all done what it did years ago except better. Psycho-Pass had a very roundabout way of doing things and tried to please viewers initially via "gore" and violence. That isn't to say Psycho-Pass isn't good as it has definitely improved over the course of its 22 episode run (still haven't seen the last 2). I should also note that Psycho-Pass's writing was ridiculously poor early on to the point I was falling asleep watching it every time. The season has been a rollercoaster though thus far with a number of surprises and disappointments. Considering the next couple seasons are filled with sequels (along with some much anticipated titles) I'm curious as to how these shows will fall in an overall ranking by the end of the year.

However, it's path was far too obvious at least for me: a society claimed to be perfect with of course the only logical event that could follow is an abnormality and/or the people running the society is corrupt. This is literally the same path with many other titles in its category: To Aru Majutsu no Index, Ghost in the Shell, and even this season's Zetsuen no Tempset. That said, Shinsekai Yori is by no means perfect either despite attempting to take a different approach and I completely agree that over complicating matters only raises more questions.
wedora
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Mar 25 2013 04:46 PM
I mostly agree with the sentiments listed here. This series, while great, decided to use the obscurity method of leading on viewers, partly because of the shocking conclusion. It backfires though because there's a mysterious new world out there, and the plot bounces around from school to wilderness to queerats. We have no idea where the story is going unless we have prior knowledge, and all the hints except one are so subtle that many miss them entirely or write it off as poor storytelling.

I find it enjoyable because of the discovery, but the show lost a lot of people during its early phases because it seemed aimless. When you look at the closest series fromthe season, psycho pass, the difference in approach takes a clear toll on enjoyment.

Obscurity is a double edged sword method of storytelling. It drags viewers past the exposition forcefully and into the crescendo, but is a cop out to more difficult but better overall methods like the one psycho pass used. This could have been a ten if we had some more guidance earlier or even some omniscient point of view excessive foreshadowing, but as is ill give it an 8/10. This is the third best of the season for me, behind 10/10 chihayafuru 2 and 9/10 psychopass.

Norren
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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
Penalties:
-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.
NecroRyu
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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
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