Archy's "rant" on Shinsekai Yori
a guest Aug 10th, 2018 122 Never
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- *spoilers for Shinsekai Yori*
- I should probably preface this by saying that despite being disappointed with the show it is not terrible by any means, I just had high expectations of something that would later be overly simplistic and have a dragged out unsatisfying conclusion to what was an interesting setting, although it was poorly presented(more to that later). The show had me in its first two scenes, the flashback one with its distinct artistic style to that of the rest of the show and its constant shifting of focused to blurred image, something that would later become nauseating, beautifully transitions, with the sound of the series' most prominent track, to a well done visual exposition of the environment these kids are, and honestly it set a bar that was never quite able to be repeated nor surpassed, that is especially true of the next few episodes to come. The series' first 7 episodes can only be described as insufferable pieces of poorly paced and with little to no substance living hell to watch through that made me want to drop the show entirely, it all comes clashing down in the infamous fourth episode wherein the characters and the audience are spoon-fed crucial information about the world and its mechanics in a exposition cacophony that is, without mincing my words, an offense to writing in general and especially to that previously shown in the show. What is worst of it all is that it's not the only time that it happens, again in episode 12 the anime resorts itself in presenting valuable knowledge trough back and forth dialogue with the most bland shot compositions that were uninteresting at best and downright dreadful at worst.
- With that being said however I think the show's most interesting arc comes next, in episodes 8 through 10. Although, after the time skip the characters have little to no resemblance to that of their younger selves besides the same name and design, all of their personality development happens off-screen, and that would usually not be a problem unless they would do any of that said development in present screen time. Anyways, I cannot praise highly enough the Shun karma demon sequence, their whole surrounding blending as his mental state continues to deteriorate is quite dazzling, it's the show's second and last high point.
- What follows next is unfortunately the show's most boring series of events. I previously mentioned the heavy exposition focused episode 12, but later we follow our 3 remaining leads as they search for Mamoru after his seemingly unexpected disappearance. However, the act of searching actually takes a large portion of 2 episodes and to put it simply, it's really cheap animation in a bland snowy setting that is frankly an affront to the viewer's eyes. And all of that results in Maria deciding to stay behind with Mamoru, which is super predictable and not one less disheartening of a "romance" that only serves as a plot point to spark the anime's final showdown.
- And well let's get to that. It had been previously built up throughout the show how, with the exception of Saki, poorly the humans treat their "ally" servants, the Queerats. Which then comes with no surprise that the cunningest of them all, Squealer, whom the reason why the mains trusts him after numerous backstabbing is beyond me, comes to lead his race in a at first hopeless war against the cantus superior "gods". It starts off with a classic "gunpowder, treason and plot", but then later their ace in the hole is revealed to be a fiend, daughter of Maria and Mamoru, who's been set loose and it's on a rampage. Fighting against her is not possible because of *Death Feedback*, since she's a human and other humans cannot use their cantus on her. It's all fine and good there with some okayish chase sequences, that never really put you on the edge of your seat but aren't entirely bad either. But then comes the last sequence in the anime, which takes place in now "radioactive" wasteland that is Tokyo, and dear lord what a bore that was. The characters pass with ease through all the challenges that this hostile environment has to offer, with only one "red shirt" dying which carried no emotional response whatsoever. Then in the climax final confrontation with Squealer and the Fiend it is shoehorned a solution to defeating their foe, that is a dead character mentally communicates with Saki and lets her know that it actually isn't a fiend all together instead it just doesn't react to human death feedback because she had grown up with Queerats. And so in a suppose act of bravery, Kiroumaru, who's also a queerat, and who's only character trait so far has been that he's composed and somewhat loyal to humans, sacrifices himself letting the fiend kill him, and thus both dying. Later Squealer is put on trial for his war crimes, in which he rightfully proclaims that their race shouldn't be treated in such a manner and that, besides cantus, they as intelligent beings should be equal to humans. He gets laughed at and sentenced to eternal torture. Yadda Yadda, surprise surprise, Satoru (who alongside Saki is the only main character left alive) finds out actually Queerat's DNA are much similar to that of humans, which lead them to conclude that at one point in the past their society, which is suppose to be made of scientist, are actually eugenics cunts that have forcibly mutated rival factions in order to be with a flick of a finger kill them. So Saki then goes to Squealer and in gesture of mercy finally lays him to rest.
- Thematically the show is divided between *World of children* vs the Adult Society that is an ever present threat to their lives and the Politically organisation of the Queerats and their subsequent treatment and place in the human society. Both are interesting in its own merits but they're never given the proper spotlight in which to shine, and they don't escape the norm. They also don't seemingly transition to one another, which makes it quite awkward. The characters all feel extremely one dimensional, and the main character is always a passive observer that doesn't take any meaningful actions, making it very uninteresting to follow her journey.
- I also have to comment on the really bad cg that appears throughout the anime, especially on ships/boats and whenever there is an army of queerats. Also at times they save up by not even animating the character's mouths when they're talking, putting the camera far away so we don't notice it. That and how unenthusiastic all of the action scenes were, I am aware that is not the focus, but I don't I have ever seen a more bland use of telekinesis.
- Well in conclusion, I think the series would greatly benefit in being shorter, 25 episodes are just way too long and with constant callbacks to things the audience are already aware of, most episodes just become a drag. It doesn't help that you get to listen to the same 4 tracks over and over again throughout the anime, this repetitiveness is quite irritating I tell you. Anyway, my feelings towards the show are lukewarm at best, I don't think I would recommend it to anyone although it might be a nice starting point to the whole psychological/thriller genre.
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