By Randy Thompson / November 5th, 2012
In the wake of many revelations in last week’s episode, Shin Sekai Yori’s fifth installment in the series gives us something different…again. Is it good? Is it bad? Might as well just jump in and see, eh?
Where did we leave off last time? Oh yeah, Rijin used his Power to destroy a bunch of Monster Rats to protect himself and the kids before a Balloon Dog shows up from underneath a bunch of corpses. Well, it puffs itself up before exploding, leaving our monk dead, the kids alone, and a platoon of Monster Rats on the edge of the cratered forest. Seems like a pretty good situation, right?
Shun calms the group saying that the Rats are cautions after the display of Rijin’s Power, fearing the kids may be capable of the same should they attack. And they’d be right on the money if our monk friend hadn’t sealed their Power last time. Hooray! Sensing the fear in Maria and Mamoru, the Monster Rats set out on the offensive to kill and/or capture these kids. Shun directs them all to split up. Saki runs off and falls down a hill, hurting her ankle in the process. Luckily she’s not alone long as Satoru slides down the hill and helps Saki up. No time to relax now, kids; the Monster Rats are right behind you! Satoru gets a cut across his forehead, but it was just a scratch. Even with all his bravado and cockiness, both Satoru and Saki are caught by the Monster Rats and taken captive.
Night falls and Saki and Satoru are stuck in a makeshift holding cell at the top of a tree. With stress between the two at an all-time high, they do just what the library had said about the bonobos. Yup, things start to get hot and heavy between these two. Just as it’s about to get seriously R-rated, Saki realizes what’s happening and stops — she defiantly states that she won’t be like those monkeys. Satoru is disappointed as Saki points out that the guard is staring at them, saying it makes her uncomfortable to continue.
Satoru rummages in his bag (Why these prisoners are allowed to keep their belongings is a mystery, but then again why they weren’t killed on the spot is a mystery unto itself.) and pulls out a trap egg that the Monster Rat is unfamiliar with, tossing it toward the guard who greedily eats it right away before getting the worst heartburn of his life.
Taking this opportunity to escape, Satoru takes Saki by the hand as they climb down the tree and sprint off into the woods. The Monster Rats give chase and slowly make their way to recapturing the kids. Just as all hope seems lost, a mysterious figure appears, guiding Saki and Satoru to a cave that the kids fall into. Safe from the attacking Monster Rats, Saki and Satoru are shown their savior: another Monster Rat!
This is Squera, who’s part of the Robber Fly Colony, and he thinks of the humans as gods. Thinking their arrival to be a blessing, he takes them to his queen. Upon arrival Squera seems to have done his queen a disservice and thus she tries to kill him. Saki steps up to intervene, asking her to spare him. She does so and Squera then takes the kids to their lodgings for the night with much appreciation for Saki’s bravery. Squera explains that his colony is in a war with the other Monster Rats, called the Ground Spider Colony, and that much of their forces are out enlisting reinforcements. Squera fears that help won’t arrive in time and begs Saki and Satoru to destroy the other colony, saving the Robber Flies and ending the war. The kids explain that they need permission to kill a Monster Rat, but Squera presses them further. They explain that they don’t have their Power and there is nothing they can do.
Later that night a stealthy group of Ground Spiders show up, spreading poisonous gas through the tunnels of the Robber Flies. Satoru grabs Saki and they make for an exit before Satoru’s torch lights the gas, causing a chain reaction of explosions that cracks and booms throughout the settlement, surely ending the lives of the Robber Flies if not letting them get captured for slavery by the enemy.
Satoru continues trying to escape with the injured Saki, the boy taking a spear and trying to claw through the ceiling to make an exit. Saki encourages him to keep digging faster, but Satoru stops, examining the spearhead to find a white, sticky substance. They mutter in disbelief of this fact. What is that stuff? What does it mean? Hey, look at that! It’s the ending credits!
This was a very interesting and different episode, to say the least. Shin Sekai Yori is a very different show and this WTF train is still rolling. The art makes a pretty drastic change in this episode, not necessarily bad, but different enough that it was a pretty obvious shift. It also seems that this show is really hitting on every part of the human experience. In the past we’ve had glimpses at cruelty, anger, competition, curiosity, murderous intent, and now we’ve hit sexuality. Where else will Shin Sekai Yori take us? The desire for companionship? It certainly seems that we are being shown that there is a closeness between Saki and Satoru in this episode, but what are the fates of Shun and the others? We can only hope we’re shown in the near future. Even though we were handed a ton of answers last episode, I find myself questioning a lot of the events in both Bloody History and Pursuit on a Hot Night and I’m hoping that it really is the style of storytelling and not a lack of ability in the writers to convey what’s happening in their show. Time will tell, so we will have to see where the rollercoaster takes us next week.
Shin Sekai Yori is up on Crunchyroll every Tuesday at about 3:30 PM Eastern Time.
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