Shin Sekai Yori Episode 1 Thoughts

Posted: October 8, 2012 by Xana in Shin Sekai Yori
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This was originally posted by me here.

Fall is here.  The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing, and the days are getting shorter.  With fall comes another new anime season.  Last fall we were treated to a great season.  To name a few, we had shows such as Fate/Zero, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, and Un-Go.  The 2011 fall season also had some big disappointments, Guilty Crown to name one.  The 2012 fall season is looking very promising, there are already 8 series I want to watch but I probably won’t be able to watch them all right away.  My third pick for the 2012 fall season is Shin Sekai Yori also known as in English “From the New World.”  The Shin Sekai Yori anime is based on a 2008 novel by Yusuke Kishi.  A-1 Pictures is the studio behind the animation.  Here is an abbreviated plot synopsis that only covers things that are known in the first episode.  I spoiled a little of the show for myself by reading Anime News Network and MyAnimeList synopsizes.

“The story is set in Japan a millennium from now. Five children the protagonist Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun have been born and raised in a tranquil town that can be described as a utopia, overflowing with water and green foliage. The world is ruled by people who have the “cursed power” or the “gods’ power” of telekinesis.” (Wikipedia)

30 seconds into this episode and I was already gripping the side of the bed, my eyes glued to my computer screen.  There was blood and more blood before the intro theme song quickly takes its place.  I think it was that Toyko in the past maybe around the time “cursed power” originally awoke.  We are then thrown into a dystopia that made me feel uneasy.  Actually almost everything made me feel uneasy about this episode; everything from the weird religious-cult like ceremonies to the creepy music that was playing at the strangest of times.  I kept getting the sense that something bad was about to go down and it did, to a point.  The weakest link of the class, a girl whose name is escaping me disappears at the end of the episode.

There is a rumor going around Saki’s school that those who are unable to graduate from to the Apotheosis Class will disappear and never be heard from again.  We are left with so many questions that may are may not be answered soon.  What is the history behind the “cursed power” and why has humanity declined so much.  Why do they make children disappear that are not worthy and where do they end up?  Why are Saki’s parents so worried about her?  She seems to have decent control over her power.  How many children did Saki’s parents have before her?  Saki’s mother was very upset, everything made me feel so uneasy.  I have many other questions but I don’t want to make board by listing questions.

One thing that I really liked that set Shin Sekai Yori apart from “typical anime” is the art direction when Akizuki reads to the class from some book.  I love it when shows decided to try something new; it keeps the anime visually appealing.  I don’t want to see the same thing over and over and I feel as if Shin Sekai Yori animation could get boring if more sequences like this one are not used.

Overall episode 1 of Shin Sekai Yori was a “world building” episode, for lack of a better word.  The show will probably take a few episodes to introduce the viewers to everything before the real story is introduced, especially that this based off of a novel.  Despite this it was still a very good first episode.  I will give Shin Sekai Yori 3 episode before I decide if I am going to officially review this series for the whole season.  Thank you for reading.

-Xana

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