Shin Sekai Yori Episode 9

The Gale Game

Shin Sekai Yori is getting creepy again…in so many awesome ways! It’s been a little while since Saki and the others have heard from Shun, so they go searching for his relatives and friends. It turns out that they’re all missing, and Saki’s parents warn her not to get involved…or rather, to accept that one’s friends suddenly disappearing is a normal side of life. Then Maria brings some startling news to her in the  middle of the night–that she discovered their teacher, among other adults, releasing these giant creatures in the inner yard of the school. What a pity, they say. Shun must be stopped before he turns into a full Karma demon…

Although this isn’t too surprising based off of last week’s episode, it’s still a great plot twist. Those scary stories they read as younger children weren’t meant to just brainwash them, they actually come true in some sorta way. To what extent would Shun become a demon, I wonder? How is Saki going to take care of this all by herself? I don’t see any point of return this time. And for the first time, Saki remembers bits and pieces of her big sister. Now I want a full flashback of what happened to her… Just what kind of person was she?

If you ask me, this is the best episode since their encounter with the False Minoshiro. It’s eerie and imaginative in it’s own special way, reminding me ever so often of The Twilight Zone show from the 1960s. I especially love the creature’s designs. However, I’d actually like to see the private lives of Saki’s friends for once. It feels somewhat unbalanced when Saki gets fleshed out, yet all her friends depend on their interactions at school or in extreme situations to learn about them. Or perhaps the point is to keep them shrouded in mystery… It works well for Shun, at least. Still deeply curious about Maria…

Shin Sekai Yori Episode 6, 7, & 8


Summer Darkness


Let’s see, where did I leave off? Oh, right, the queerats! I really enjoyed that arc for the adventurous side of it, not to mention it was interesting to see Satoru push his powers to the limits as he attacked the enemy queerats. Now that Saki and her friends have reunited and restored their powers, the anime skips a couple years ahead. Everything seems to go back to normal as they continue with their lessons, except one thing seems out of the ordinary: Shun and Satoru French kissing. Woah. This fangirl is pleasantly shocked. ^_^

For a moment there, I felt like I was watching a completely different show. The episode mainly focused on same-sex relationships, love triangles, and drama. Basically, Saki still has feelings for Shun, yet she vents her frustrations by making out with Maria, and poor lonely Mamoru commits all his free time to drawing sand pictures of her. Not only that, but Shun is acting rather cold and distant.

This is quite a bold direction for the series to go into, even though it doesn’t last for very long… Shun reveals that he’s actually pretending to be Satoru’s lover and breaks it off with him (-pout-), and he’s being forced to leave the school at the end. He reminds Saki about that crazy summer two years ago and how their punishments were just being delayed for whatever reason.

As much as I enjoyed the brief yaoi/yuri scenes, I’m glad that we’re getting back to the plot here. I’m curious to see what they intend to do to Shun and eventually the rest of them. Hopefully, Saki will be able to rescue him. I…just can’t wait to see this. No more missing three weeks of anime for me again!

Oh and have a Happy Thanksgiving for those who’re celebrating. ^_^

Sukitte Ii na yo Episode 7

I Really Love You

Oh, I see how it works now. Instead of establishing a main rival for Mae, she will continue to meet new challengers who test their relationship. Aiko and Megumi’s arc lasted much shorter than I expected; however, this formula ensures that the drama/sulking won’t get dragged on for too long. New characters also keep it fresh and interesting!

With this episode, Yamato hangs out with Megumi more than Mei, now that they officially work together. He stupidly promises to eat dinner with her every night, despite how fast rumors fly and how Mae might feel. Some good drama pops up here and there, with Mei’s gradual breakdown, to Aiko yelling at her, to Asami slapping Aiko! But what I actually enjoyed most was to see the three of them hang out and talk about Mei’s feelings. What a nice surprise… Aiko giving friendly advice.

The end result is Mei coming out much stronger than ever, as she confidently walks up to Yamato, pulls him down by the tie, and passionately kisses him in the middle of the hallway. o__o Go Mae!

So, it looks like the next challenger is a very old friend of Yamato’s. It’s about time that someone else takes an intense interest in Mae, so I hope that will be the case. That or a surprise yaoi twist. ^_^!

Shin Sekai Yori Episode 5

A Sweltering Night on the Run

It’s fun to see a show you like drawn in different ways. The new character designs and attention to background detail are nice; however, the animation is nowhere near the quality of the previous episodes, causing the characters to look a little off. Still, I can’t help but appreciate the show’s range of artwork. As long as it doesn’t change too often, it won’t hinder my enjoyment.

So the monk goes down with the blowdog, leaving the children defenseless against the queerats. In their decision to make a run for it, Saki and Satoru get separated from the others and are eventually captured. A very surprising scene here is when Satoru makes a sexual move towards her. Referring back to what the minoshiro said, people will turn to physical intimacy when stress builds up between them. It seems that Satoru doesn’t have it together like we might have thought. Saki is actually willing to give herself to him with that in mind. They don’t get very far, however, as they find an opportunity to escape captivity. A strange voice calls out to them to follow.

Next thing they know, they’re inside of a queerat’s nest with a queerat who can speak their language. Unlike the others, he is very polite. He goes on to explain that his colony is at war with another one, and he introduces them to the grotesque boob monster that is their queen. I…don’t really understand why the queen almost eats him, but thanks to Saki’s intervention, he survives. Then he makes a request for the children to help them win this war. Enemy queerats invade the colony, causing them to run for their lives once more.

I really enjoyed this episode for the adventure and sprinkle of surprises. I certainly wasn’t expecting Saki and Satoru to act so close, considering how much they used to argue. I wonder what became of the others and how they will get their powers back…

Shin Sekai Yori Episode 4

Bloodstained History

The truth hurts, as these children learn something that shatters the peaceful image of their world forever. The minoshiro connects what we’ve seen in the flashbacks, starting with the awakening of PK, in much greater detail. Some of the concepts are completely new to me, but are nonetheless fascinating for a sci-fi fan.

Interestingly, the capability of a human being to kill another human being is completely foreign to Saki’s generation. The minoshiro goes on and on about the brutality of PK users—the massacres, assassinations, and rape, which causes these poor kids to break down. So how is it that the killings stopped? We already know that their education system plays a big role in keeping them obedient, and the bad apples are confirmed to be removed from society, but there’s a whole other level to it. It turns out that Saki’s people are descendants of scientists who programmed a genetic restriction in themselves called “Death Feedback.” If one of them should try to kill a fellow human, then there will be horrible physical consequences. Saki has a flashback of experiencing this pain when she went through the ritual. I assume she wanted to kill the priest to trigger such a reaction.

The info-dump session ends abruptly when the minoshiro becomes engulfed in flames, and a strange image of a woman holding her baby appears. In the next instant, an angry monk shows up, strips them of their powers, and leads them toward the temple. Needless to say, the kids are quite terrified at this point, but their nightmare is far from over. They are soon met with an army of giant queerats that try to attack them. Then the monk unleashes a whirlwind that takes the shape of a naked woman yielding a scythe. Woah. And even after all of that, they’ve still got a freaky blowdog to deal with…

Once again, Saki is very interesting to observe here. Sometimes it seems like she has a violent nature sleeping inside of her, as she was surprisingly aggressive towards the minoshiro and might have wanted to kill the priest. But then again, she went against the rules to save a queerat, and in this episode, yells at the monk to stop his attack. How conflicting…

Shin Sekai Yori has reached a major turning point in the story now that the children’s innocence is gone. Although this episode answers a lot of questions, it raises more interesting ones, especially about the demons. Where it will go for another 21 episodes, I have no clue. But I sure do expect more terrific animation, creativity, and mind-blowing episodes like this one!

Shin Sekai Yori Episode 3

False Minoshiro

Now that the new anime season has finally shown us everything, I can say with confidence that Shin Sekai Yori is my favorite of them all. The advantage of slow development here is that it allows for a gradual immersion into this creatively constructed, enigmatic world of psychic powers and supernatural creatures. The first three episodes have generated so many interesting questions that I’m already hooked to find out all the answers.

Next flashback:  A small group of assassins sacrifice their lives to kill the Emperor of Delight. Although fascinating, it’s surprising that they succeeded without having any powers… And I love the art style of this scene, which is different from the previous two episodes.

What starts as an ordinary camping trip for Saki and her friends turns into something rather extraordinary. Satoru tells of another horror story that if you bump into a creature called “False Minoshiro,” you will die soon after. Somehow, they decide it’s a great idea to research that for their next project! And to do so, they break another rule by venturing too far out of the area. It doesn’t take long for them to actually discover the creature, which looks strangely horrific and beautiful at the same time. It hypnotizes everyone on the spot except for Saki because she is wearing glasses, so she is the only one in the group who can capture it. What is a little surprising to me is that she doesn’t hold back at all, even threatening to rip all its tentacles out. Very aggressive Saki. o_O

So, the False Minoshiro turns out to be a biological library containing 980 petabytes of memory. Woah. The episode leaves off at a cliffhanger where Saki is about to ask it a question. Uh oh. They could find out about anything, it seems. And let’s not forget Satoru’s story. If it’s true, then they might die, leaving Saki to be the sole survivor… This just keeps getting happier and happier, doesn’t it? The next episode might give us some answers (and more questions, probably), so I’m definitely excited for that.

One last thing I’ll mention here is that I like the relationship growing between Saki and Shun. It seems that he also has feelings for her. The boat scene where they’re floating over a sea of stars is really cute. Way to go, Shun! You really know how to be romantic and win a girl’s heart. ^_~


Autumn 2012: Round Two!

Fighto! >o<

In all seriousness, now that we’ve seen almost everything, here’s the finalised version of who’s covering what, with, rather spectacularly, almost every good show being covered this season.

Alex, after removing all his jokes,  is covering Sword Art Online, Magi, Little Busters

Mimi,currently overjoyed with her new headphones, is covering Shin Sekai Yori, K and Sukitte Ii na yo.

Dusk, won her quest for justice, is covering PYSCHO-PASS, Tonari no Kaibutsu-Kun and Jormungand 2

Doofus, recently exposed as a tsundere, is covering Hunter x Hunter, Gintama 2012 and Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure (Triple helping of Doofus, everyone!)

Liam, after baking everyone a nice cake, is covering Zetsuen no Tempest

Justin, living happily ever after in Canadaland, is covering Space Brothers and Code:Breaker

Shin Sekai Yori Episode 2

Vanishing Children

Although the main plot has yet to be revealed, this episode continues to move forward with what the series does best—world-building. It begins with another flashback that takes place 500 years after the first one, in which a crowd of people eagerly anticipate the appearance of the Emperor of Delight. In becoming the fifth ruler, he sacrifices the first hundred people who stop clapping, engulfing their bodies in blue flames. This scene makes me imagine about how a society, once resembling our own, could change so much with the presence of magical powers. So far, it never seems to be a good thing! It is truly fascinating to see how the timeline of horrific events is leading up to the current setting.

The poor kids are still reading about old horror stories in class. This time, it’s about a boy who turns into a karma demon from indulging in pride and selfishness. The lesson of both stories told so far is to not break any rules or engage in immoral behavior. Interestingly, they play a significant role in shaping this world of strict rules, as a horrible fate awaits those who cannot obey them. When the time comes for a main character to break a big rule (or a series of them) that’s meant to shake up the village, I fear what the consequences might be…

Most of the episode focuses on another cool activity to do with their psychic abilities—the team ball tournament. The object of the game is simple; roll the ball safely down a path to reach the opponent’s goal, while the other team tries to defend it. One such strategy is for all team members to push the ball, producing a strong enough force that will break through their opponent’s defense. In Saki’s team, they only have Shun pushing the ball while the others try to defend it along the path. Unfortunately, the tournament ends in a tie because a jerk on the other team cheated. Boo-hoo. The game runs a tad bit long, but nevertheless fun to watch as their powers bring it to a whole new level.

Toward the end is my favorite part, where Saki and her friends stumble across a couple creatures they call “queerats.” We get a flashback of Saki’s father explaining that young children can’t see them because they’re actually being protected from them. The queerats worship humans who have magical powers, but since young children don’t, there’s no telling how they would behave around them. Seriously, the more we learn about this world, the more fascinating it gets! When one of the queerats slips and falls into a lake, Saki breaks a rule to use her powers without permission to save it. That’s nice of her and all, but why do I have a very bad feeling about this? ^_^

The episode concludes with a dark foreboding about Maria. That is—if Maria was never born, then so many people wouldn’t have died. Woah. Now I’m more excited than ever. What on Earth could that sweet little girl have done? This is some very complex storytelling, with hints from the past, present, and future coming together to create the big picture. Of course, we’ve still got a ways to go, but I just love the execution of the story without being too revealing! Not to mention it’s getting creepier, as a couple of children have already disappeared—that boy who cheated in the team ball tournament and the girl who wasn’t good at using magic. It seems that they just disappear from people’s memories? But Saki eventually remembers them again in the future… Hmmm. Well, on with the next episode!

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?