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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.