Shin Sekai Yori Ep. 4: Bloody History

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

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Shin Sekai Yori - Saki and Satoru

Why the mean face, Saki?

It’s here! The much anticipated fourth episode of Shin Sekai Yori. As the episode title implies, we finally get a look at what’s happened throughout the past millennium before our current time in the show. How much do we know? Are there any more mysteries left? Let’s talk about Shin Sekai Yori’s bloody history.

I’m going to award Shin Sekai Yori a medal as it had me cursing the episode before at the 30 second mark by quickly making the previous build-up and the episode title a tease. Luckily this all changed. Through some rather violent threatening on Saki’s part, the library overrides identity procedures and begins to really spill the beans.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

Saki and the crew make inquiries to the library, who reveals much of what we’ve been guessing at for the series so far. We learn about the appearance of Power back in 2011, or as it’s described as PK (psychokinesis) and what its users do with it. Finding that they have the power to bend reality at their will, citizens — children — begin going on a murder spree to change the world to their whims.

 Shin Sekai Yori - Boy A

The fear of the populace erupts and casts the world into its bloodiest war, reducing the population to 2% of its peak. The people remaining break off into four different groups: ones with no PK that became hunter-gatherers, ones that have PK and raid surrounding villages, ones with PK that use those without as slaves, and one who had preserved technology from the prior age and continued to spread their knowledge by publishing books. It is here that we are shown what all these flashbacks have been about at the beginning of episode 2 and 3.

After all these years, it became apparent that PK was here to stay, but there needed to be a way to stop users from killing others. Multiple procedures were put in place, starting with genetically engineering a psycho-biological response to thoughts and actions of wanting to hurt/killing another human that could kill its user on the spot — The Death of Shame. The symptoms are described and we see Saki experiencing them, obviously a response to the acts she had done to the library last episode. We are also given a flashback to the ritual Saki took part in back in the first episode, showing us that she intended to harm one of the monks before collapsing from The Death of Shame.

Shin Sekai Yori - Saki

Saki’s feeling what The Death of Shame is like.

Next was education and testing to teach users about their power and how to use it appropriately. This also was part of a process for finding those children who were dangerous and consequently weeding them out. Whether they are killed or exiled is up in the air, but knowing Shin Sekai Yori, I’m pretty sure they’re killed somehow.

 Shin Sekai Yori - Rijin

In the midst of questioning, the library starts up in flames. Saki and the others turn to see they have been caught by what appears to be a monk named Rijin. The monk scolds the children before sealing their Power, explaining that he must take the children to safety and face punishment.

 Shin Sekai Yori - Kids Losing Their Power

On their way the group is attacked by a rogue Monster Rat that Rijin quickly dispatches to keep himself and the children safe. Along their travels they come about a group of these violent, bloodthirsty Monster Rats. Rijin, already hampered by the psycho-biological effects of killing the previous Monster Rat that initially looked human, gathers his strength to take out the group with a mighty display of Power before collapsing, now facing The Death of Shame. The danger isn’t over yet as something is lurking beneath the bodies of the fallen Monster Rats. The kids, with no access to their Power are attacked by what may just be a Balloon Dog that Satoru spoke of last episode. It’s coming right at them! Will they make it? Hey, the episode ends RIGHT there. Man, they are good at this ‘ending at the beginning of something interesting’ gig.

Shin Sekai Yori - Balloon Dog?

Boo.

The first half of this episode is all about answers and they are all welcome. I’m definitely one for exposition so I was heavily intrigued as I watched on, hoping for more and more explanation and I just ate it up. The second half balances things out with some real action and keeps us on our toes, wondering how Saki and the others will come out of this situation. Overall I think that ‘Bloody History’ was the best episode yet with it’s perfect balance between content and action, giving us some much-needed information while also keeping us in the dark about a lot of things and giving us even more questions for the future. I think it’s safe to say my predictions were spot on. What happens in the next episode? I think we are going to get more information on Power/PK and what our protagonists are capable of. Will we get a sense of what these kids are in for? We will see. With our luck they will cut that off at the end of episode 5.

Shin Sekai Yori is up on Crunchyroll every Tuesday at about 3:30 PM Eastern Time.

About Randy Thompson

[Former Staff] Just a normal nerd who loves his computer, video games, anime, manga, and the like. I love to draw and graduated from the Art Institutes for animation so I could bring my drawings to life.

As an author at oprainfall, I write up news articles and such as well as review new and current anime.

I also love Dragon Ball (subbed)—it’s kind of my own pet obsession.




  • I would say this episode was everything it needed to be and more. Never have I seen an episode of something where the first half was literally all tell and no show. That’s usually a rule you try to adhere to in filmmaking, show rather than tell. But in Shin Sekai Yori’s sake, the plot granted such an event where the “library” animal was allowed to disperse as much info as possible. I believe the history this creature presented to be obviously accurate, which solidifies your theories that kids are able to use PK/something of a larger effect is going on here.

    I would say that the main girl there, Saki is it? She’s quite the character to keep an eye on. She doesn’t seem to hesitate to use her power for harming something. I mean, the episode gives a bit of insight that she tried to harm one of the village elders back in the first episode. And I find that she was grasping at her throat not only because she used her powers to harm the library creature earlier in episode 3, but that she was planning on using it again. Notice the tension as she listens to the awful history of her own culture.

    Also, the ending of this episode was interesting indeed. I thought the animation of the monk-like character destroying the monster rats in one swoop to be something well done. And that whole balloon dog scenario makes me question if it only comes out in a field of death as has been presented. Either way, the natural intrigue of the series and the fact that the series’ developers are purposefully holding us back is more than enough for me to find Shin Sekai Yori my favorite series of the Fall season.