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  • Australia
  • Joined Dec 30, 2010
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From the New World

May 4, 2013

Story: [6.5/10]

Shinsekai Yori has an amazing start, the first 7 episodes are magical and intense, beautiful and stunning. While it's drop off point is earlier than others, it too suffers from a problem in anime where the story goes off quite quickly. The story takes several turns and so it's hard to give an overall synposis but since there isn't one provided by AP...

Shinsekai Yori is set in a small village that practices psychic abillities called Cantus, which are taught and studied by everyone who lives there. However when students who underperform or break the rules start disappearing, Saki and her group become suspicious, when they themselves become targets for removal they have no choice but to investigate why children are disappearing and who is the cause. 

I need to vent my frustrations with the anime in this review but its possible people who haven't already watched it won't find it interesting to read, if so just skip this part.

The most frustrating element of this anime is how drawn out the story telling becomes after the first relatively fast-pace episodes. I wouldn't say it's slow paced but many episodes consist of nothing really happening, if anything whats happening is more likely to confuse you than teach you anything. Leaps in time which make no effort to explain anything but have so much new stuff going on that it's very easy to just give up trying to figure out whats going wrong. While there are explanations for why something is happening the HOW DID THIS HAPPEN part is ignored. I'm being vague so i'll just come out with it and say that in the first leap of time there are a few episodes dealing with yaoi/yuri relationships that weren't even hinted at before. I understand and it is explained why these relationships might be desirable but it's hard to care about them for that same reason and without knowing how they came about. 

There were many characters who did not show any character development at all yet we continually went over them, even very minor characters such as Saki's parents. I found these episodes very boring to say the least.

(Queerats are humanoid creatures that are less intelligent and look like rats) The humans dealing with the Queerats also frustrated me, throughout the anime human cruelty is constantly demonstrated - to the point where if humans thought the same way in real life as in this anime, I doubt Japan would even exist as the Allies would have destroyed it or enslaved it after WW2. Yet despite this, Queerat cruelty is always emphasised and characters are horrified by it. In almost every example, the Queerat cruelty is more humane and reasonable than the Human's cruelty. I felt like I had to do justice by the Queerats by consciously acknowledging how stupid and unempathetic most of the characters were when judging the actions of Queerats. I'd like to think that this is purposefully done as it could be a smart plot point but I doubt it.

Animation [6/10]

Sometimes the scenery is quite pretty but otherwise not much to be said, I also liked the Queerats appearence although it's difficult to understand how Kiroumaru is a Queerat when he looks nothing like any of the others. 

Sound: [8.5/10]

Whenever the story line was getting boring, I could always count on the OST to make dull moments seem incredibly epic. While there wasn't an OP, the EDs were fairly nice. Voice acting wasn't that great, but I can't really articulate why, their voices just got annoying after a while. 

Characters: [4.5/10]

"Saki you are strong, you give up easily and you are weak-willed, you aren't phsyically strong and you are easily discouraged, however you are strong because even if you are disheartened, you will stablize quickly and move on". If we exclude suicidals and those suffering from depression, this could description could pretty much fit anyone if you want to interpret it that way. Yet Saki recieves this "compliment" like five times throughout the anime like it's some major character point, I can not understand any of these characters at all. There is nothing special about them, they don't change and their stories aren't particuarly interesting. Their perspectives are boring and they never have anything interesting to say. Every time I learn something new about them, I dislike them more. There is really nothing to say here, this for me was the weakest point in the anime as it's hard to care about any drama when you don't like the characters. After all they went through, some character development was defininetly necessary, even just for the point of realism. 

Overall: [5.5/10]

I haven't made much of an effort in this review, for me there are two kinds of reviews and this was the kind where I vent my frustration. That doesn't mean that I think 5.5 is an unreasonable score because I really did dislike many elements of this anime. Although the twists throughout it are quite clever and thoughtout. For me if the OST wasn't as good as it was, I wouldn't have watched it until the end, I can't really recommend this but unlike most of my other reviews this was more my opinion than an attempt to be objective and analytyical. I think in order for you to enjoy this anime you have to be a big fan of romance and you have to be able to love and relate with the characters. I didn't find any of the romances convicing or moving and that really killed the anime for me, but if you liked some of those more... childish? Romances.. like Kimi ni Todoke or Honey and Clover then I can see you liking this anime a lot.

6.5/10 story
6/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
4.5/10 characters
5.5/10 overall

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Wakasagihime Feb 7, 2017

I understand that your review is a rant and fairly old at this point, but having rewatched this recently I beg to differ. I first watched Shinsekai Yori around the time your wrote this review and did share some of the frustrations. Things like what on earth is going on due to the timeskips and such. I didn't have a good memory of much besides the outcome of a few big plot arc points.

Indeed, I do agree that it is confusing if you're not paying enough attention, but that's partially faulting to the viewer more than the creators I feel. Ergo Proxy is widely praised among those who understand it and hated by those who couldn't get it for example. Knowing that I should be paying attention to what's going on as well as probably borrowing from my vague memories of when I first watched it allowed me to get the full picture of what was going on.

Frankly it is very good and should not be too difficult to understand what's going on. In fact some parts I remember very well because the characters literally voice what you need to know. It's a poor way of story telling, but they do enough hinting before doing so generally to make it reach more audiences. Those who think can infer and figure it out before they spell it out, and those who don't pay attention like my teenage self, can just indulge in pretty colors and fancy dialogue that they don't understand.

The issue with the human cruelty in this anime is that you have to suspend some disbelief since no one in the real world has obtained PK powers. Someone in the anime mentions the strongest PK in their village could split the Earth in half if he wished.

They're showing that the current humanity is very abosrbed in their own power. Even if it doesn't show amongst themselves immediately since they can't have internal conflict, it's shown by how queerats are the former humans. When queerats first came about, all of the living PK knew they were modified humans, and we all know how the Ancient society's PK humans treated the non-PKs. This segregation probably continued until the present where all of the descendants have only ever known to treat them like crap since their ancestors did.

For me the most frustrating thing was how Mamoru and Maria's child was concepted and born in presumably three days. I doubt either of those two had a strong enough PK or the reason to have a child that quickly. This is where the time leap is bull and potentially we've lost out in the adaptation since they may have not had enough time to fit in an explanation that may have been in the original novel.

Squealer killed the child's parents and raised the child as a queerat. He provided not fake bones, but their actual bones with DNA intact. There's no way Maria and Mamoru escaped being found for 9 months and that the Ethics Committee believed Squealer+Saki+Satoru's account if they did escape being found for 9 months either way. The fake bones wouldn't have the right DNA during that time either. Gigantic hole here that ruined a good amount for me.

Then the second big thing that annoys me is agreeably the characters. They don't develop very much and our attachment to them is minimal. This is where I disagree with you that nothing happens. There's always something happening, but it's usually plot related or for the sake of world building. The characters have some motivations and obviously undergo minor changes at the very least by the end, but there is very little down time where we learn more about the characters or see their own personal lives in a meaningful way.

This leads to us the viewers not feeling anything everytime someone dies. We can't give a crap since we didn't bond for jack with them. The most emotional points for me always had to do with Shun and Saki. The only explanation I can attribute this to is how half of an arc is dedicated to just them and even before he passes away, they have natural moments together from the child arc. In some ways the characters being dull could be expected since the whole society is schooled and influenced by mind control from a very young age, but it is nonetheless a minus point for me even if it's fitting with what they're going for.

Saki being "strong" was pretty bull I'll admit. She's only "strong" because the author says she is, it isn't shown very much beyond her solving the large conflicts in the story through arguably deus ex machina solutions. Although I could accept the final resolution being a deus ex machina to an extent because Shun gave a arguably legitimate excuse for him to exist in her mind. I feel like my opinion on that is biased to an extent since the two of them were the only emotional attachments I made in my viewing.

In the end I feel the greatest strength of this anime is it's world building and the overarching plots that show why the world is what it is and what's happening because the world is the way it is. It's greatest weakness are it's plot hole with Maria and Mamoru's kid and it's poor characters who despite the best efforts of not having them infodump us and instead show us things through their experiences, are still poor characters.

I literally finished the finale less than half an hour ago and I couldn't remember the main girl's name or her blonde husbando's name either. All I could remember was Shun and Maria because we're basically seeing the events unfold through Saki's eyes.

chillst1 Nov 28, 2015

Just because you don't have the patience for this anime doesn't make you wrong but I definitely don't agree with your opinion. I think It is important to appreciate the storytelling and the pace at which this anime is told. Like a fine wine it is vital to give this story time to ferment to perfection. Maybe you wouldve preferred a 12 episode anime that got right to the point, but this story gives the viewer the opportunity to ask questions and time to discover the answers with timing that is ultimately much more satisfying in my opinion.

smilieface23 Jul 22, 2013

I understand how the time leaps are frustrating.  However, they took an entire I think Harry Potter lenght book (if not longer) and made it into a show, time leaps are going to be necessary.  That's why I really want to read the book.  I also find if funny how you called out the romance as Kimi ni Todoke like though.  I happen to like almost all romance, and I do quite like Kimi ni Todoke, but I like other stuff too, like right now my favorite manga is Skip Beat.  Anyways, I understand the need to vent!  I hope it helped! :-)

Aiedail Jun 3, 2013

I couldn't agree more! You said everything I thought.