Saturday, February 22, 2014

Shinsekai Yori (From The New World) Review

"The power of imagination is what changes everything"

Shinsekai Yori is an anime I have somewhat neglected ever since it started airing in late 2012. Upon first watching it, I found it slightly interesting, but wound up pushing it off to the side, watching only a couple episodes every month. Instead, I took to watching things more comical; I took to watching more joyous things or shows that fell into a genre with any other  adjective that could not possibly be used to describe what was contained within this anime. Well, eventually I decided I would just sit down and finish it all at once, powering through a good fifteen episodes or so. 

And let me tell you this:
Shinsekai Yori has, hands down, the most gripping story out of anything I've ever watched before. And though it seems rather slow-paced in the beginning, it possesses so many important themes that most anime today seem to skip out on. IE: Humanity and its sociological properties, the rising and falling of societies, mortality, etc.

Based on the novel by Yusuke Kishi, Shinsekai Yori throws us into a world where human beings with psychic power called "Cantus" control the land. Normal humans have died out, but other sentient creatures are still wandering the earth. The psychics have created a society in which children are sent to school in order to maintain and strengthen their powers. They are sent to school so they don't wind up dying. However, with limited space in the school and the towns, only the ones that show true promise will wind up living a long life.

But it doesn't end there. The humans are coexisting with an animal race called the "Queerats." These creatures worship those with cantus as if they were gods, but what if the gods were to turn their backs on the queerats? What would happen then?

It is quite hard to describe the complexity of this story. And, to be honest, it only gets harder as it goes on. But that doesn't mean you should put it down like I did. If you truly want to reevaluate what you think about life, what it means to be human, follow this show to the end.

I have dissected the anime into a few key components to better illustrate the different aspects of it.

Music: 8/10
Though repetitive at first, the BGM will become extremely memorable as the series progresses. The music constantly riddles you with somber melodies in times of sorrow and does a fantastic job of taking your heart and squeezing it until it is barely able to beat.

Characters: 9/10
Character development is nothing short of extravagant. Each character is memorable and increasingly different from the rest. Some are meant to be hated, some are meant to be loved. And with the amount of time lapsed inside this anime, it becomes obvious how characters are changing and how said changes are impacting the people around them. You, in a sense, wind up growing with the characters. And that is truly mesmerizing.

Art: 9/10
Though slightly different from most anime today, there is something very alluring about the art of Shinsekai Yori. It's extremely interesting to see how ancient folk/fantasy can fit in with human beings. And the amount of emotion the characters are able to display with their facial expressions is beyond anything I have seen before.

Story: 20/10
Please just watch this and pay close attention to the world enclosed within. It is like nothing you have ever seen. It is so intricate
and so horrifyingly dystopian that you will not be able to look away.

Overall Score: 9/10

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