By Randy Thompson / March 8th, 2013
If you’ve been keeping up with my writings of Shin Sekai Yori so far, you know that I’m not super crazy about the show. At most, I felt that it has potential, but has yet to really wow me and live up to what it has been building up to. I’ve even put off watching it for a bit in hopes that it delivers a bit better in larger chunks. I’m not sure if it’s just watching it in bigger doses as opposed to watching it week-to-week is what’s doing it, or if the episodes have really taken a turn for the better.
We last left Satoru and Saki trying desperately to recover Mamoru and Maria safely without the village killing the two runaways. Saki and Satoru meet up with Squeara who volunteers to help in their search. He leads them around, eventually ending up at the new Robber Fly colony where the queen has been subdued, only now able to produce offspring while the colony is ruled by a counsel. While this is most disturbing to the kids, they decide to put that on the back burner and continue their search. Unfortunately the trail runs cold as a note is found begging Saki not to continue their search; Maria and Mamoru wish to live away from the village for the rest of their days. Reassured that the two have their Power to keep them safe, Saki agrees and returns home.
After the close of that mini arc, we are treated to yet another time skip. It’s now been a good few years putting Saki and Satoru into adult life — Saki heads up the Department of Mutant Management (Monster Rat Management works too, but it’s not as catchy) and Satoru pays her a visit to ask about the warring Monster Rats as a strange case has come to light. After a trial and a couple of battles, Squeara, now called Yakomaru, has become the most powerful Monster Rat ruler and is planning something devious. All out war between the Monster Rats, who have gotten a hold of a False Minishiro/Library, is just on the horizon.
Things take an even more drastic turn, though. It’s the night of a festival for the village. Fireworks. Food. Games. Saki sadly reminisces about Maria, wishing she was around for this celebration like when they were kids. Suddenly disaster strikes. Monster Rats start attacking the town using weapons and poison gas. The village staves off the attack, but something far worse is coming — an Ogre.
The village is thrown into turmoil as people run and hide, trying to keep their homes as the Ogre, shrouded in darkness, tears apart the town and its inhabitants. Saki and Satoru are chased by the demonic Power-user, one so strong it even took down Shisei, the strongest Power-user the village had, but they eventually make their way to “safety” at the Purification Temple. What’s worse is that Saki has learned that the unstoppable menace is actually the daughter of Maria and Mamoru who is being used by Yakomaru to eradicate the humans. How can they stop this with what little of the town they have left?
The early Yakomaru stuff along with the continued search for Maria and Mamoru were alright, but the town being attacked by Monster Rats and an Ogre had me on the edge of my seat, unable to stop watching. This is the first time I’ve cursed seeing that CrunchyRoll message after a video of Shin Sekai Yori marathon saying the next episode will be available in a week. These episodes were fantastic with splendid drama and lots of tension. This is what I’ve been waiting for from this series — a good payoff to what we’ve seen and learned. It’s been a lot of build up and now we are finally getting rewarded for it. We’ve got 5 more episodes to go and hopefully the show keeps rolling the way it is. As an honorable mention, episode 19, Darkness, had some gorgeous animation. Absolutely a joy to watch. Congrats, Shin Sekai Yori, I’m actually thoroughly enjoying you now!
Whoa, that’s right! Episode 22 is out now. Gotta go watch. And you should, too!
Shin Sekai Yori is up on CrunchyRoll every Tuesday at about 3:30 PM Eastern Time.
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