First Impression: Shin Sekai Yori

From the New World

In this not-so-ordinary rural town, children must go through a ritual to seal their cursed powers and learn how to utilize them in school, ranging from drawing sand pictures to building card pyramids only by using their minds. Rumor has it that if a student fails to graduate, then they simply vanish. Saki Watanabe, a late bloomer who enrolls in the school dead last, fears that the rumor might become a dreadful reality. Cheery, ain’t it?

Given that the original novel won the Nihon SF Taisho Award, which had also been earned by major sci-fi titles such as Evangelion and Denno Coil, I can’t help but have high expectations! I’m already hooked to the mystery surrounding the story, setting, and characters that has an ominous atmosphere similar to Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni. The beginning is especially curious, where a kid went around killing people in a modern setting. Will there be time travel? And how will the demons become part of the story? Along with the fascinating premise comes a good soundtrack and highly detailed animation. I can’t wait to see how the actions scenes will look!

For once, I’m even interested in the school setting. The lessons on psychic powers give it a rather creative and refreshing edge. What are the full capabilities of these children, I wonder?

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One thought on “First Impression: Shin Sekai Yori

  1. “Will there be time travel?” Don’t know about that but “1000 years later” sure is a huge timeskip, didn’t you think so?

    Anyway, this was way different than what I was expecting, actually. Both the setting and the way it was handled were creepier and more convoluted than I thought they would be, though at this early stage that’s a huge plus in my book. Got me hooked. I wonder what the Copycats are… That shadow looked really cool xD

    On the show itself, just what was that ritual? I mean, I understood the ritual but I thought it was rather pointless to take away their powers simply to re-obtain them one minute afterwards. Maybe I didn’t actually caught the real meaning of what’s supposed to be said purification, but I did find it strange. Another thing that strikes me as odd is why people deny the existence of the Copycats, whatever its meaning is, yet are still afraid to go out at night due to them, apparently. Not sure if that only applies to children, though, in which case it’d make some more sense in that the goal would be what we already understood was happening – keeping them in ignorance. Which brings me to the reason all of that girl’s friends changed subject whenever she touched any memory related issue. Quite mysterious. I’m really looking forward to how things will develop.

    On another note, it’s nice to see A1 Pictures finally getting it right with the art and animation, since SAO isn’t the best in that department. I hope they get everything right actually, as I’m starting to create a bit of an animosity towards the studio lately.

    The sound is awesome.

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