Posted by psgels on 15 January 2013 with categories: From the New World

And with this episode, we come back to squealer. The Queerat with a surprising intelligence. This episode confirms it: he’s not exactly evil, but he is clearly trying to use the gods for his own gain here. I actually really like his character, and how he’s this guy who on one hand can’t be trusted, yet on the other hand is very useful.

But this episode came with another very interesting revelation here: the queerats are trying to copy human culture. Like, the culture the humans left behind when they started getting the cantus. This episode showed this even more, by showing exactly how much of these queerats there are in one colony (tens of thousands), and by throwing some traditional Japanese armour on them. It might very well be possible that Squealer also caught one of those snails, and if he did, the information he got out of it could prove to be very dangerous. Like, this episode was only the tip of the iceberg. Note that he talked about colonies he “merged with”. Something tells me that he just captured them by force.

Also, the queen story becomes more shocking again. It’s like this bizarre combination between an insect society and a human one. With ants for example the queen also never leaves the nest again, but this really takes it a step further when she’s forcefully kept alive, just to produce offspring. It’s a huge moral dilemma: she’s needed because she is the only one who produces children, but in the meantime she also attaks and kills everyone.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

21 Responses

  1. HunterWulf says:

    Impressive episodes, i never felt comfortable towards Squealer from the start, but i didn’t expect he would go this far in such short time, lobotomizing his queen and arranging a revolution against her then uniting all the other colonies under a form of democracy (as he claims), not to mention use of armor, factories and concrete that even humans don’t use anymore .. heck i wouldn’t be surprised that much if next time we see Squealer he would be wielding a primitive machine gun, riding a make-shift tank and threatening to blow up human settlements with home-made nukes XD

    He definitely found a Minoshiro .. and if those have all the knowledge of the human race then Queerats are going to become a serious threat to all humans very soon.

  2. Scruffy says:

    This was certainly a shocking episode and really does shift my thinkings as to where this show is heading. The elders of the village simply see the queerats as tools to command and have only been focused on internal risks to their society.

    I think probably the most disturbing comment was from Saki as ‘would they do this to a human’. Just imagine if they had a tamed human. It would be like a walking WMD.

    One other comment, I think the previous episode mentioned that in 1000 years the human population of Japan has declined from 125 million to the current 60 thousand. If thats applied world wide that gives a total world population of only 3.5 million (around the total population of New Zealand)

    • boa_sting says:

      Have they ever mentioned human settlements outside of Japan, in their modern time?

      I know you’re probably not offering 3.5 million as an actual estimate but rather a sense of scale, but I’ve got to emphasize that this is an area where you really, really can’t extrapolate. Extrapolating out is bad enough in general. But even just 100 years later, without psychic powers, what would populations be like? More relevantly for this show, there have been multiple paradigm shifts for human civilization. It’s too hard to say. Some other former population centers might be completely devoid of any humans. Or some other regions could have solved all kinds of issues about karma demons and so on, and have millions or billions of people that just choose not to associate with people living in the backwoods like Japan.

      On a completely unrelated note… about that upper-right screenshot. I like the composition there, the asymmetrical balance, how Mamoru is looking away. I’m a believer in artistic liberties, modifications for effect. But the first (nah, second?) thing that jumped out at me: wow, Maria’s hair is not -that- long.

      • Scruffy says:

        I think what would be a better extrapolation would be to compare the population density. I suspect that population density is the issue as it seems that humans cannot live in large groups any more, perhaps because of leakage. That gives us a VERY rough estimate of around 80 million world wide (down from 7 billion current). Of course a large chunk of land is not habitable so that number is high.

        I see no reason why humans would not be living throughout the world unless large chunks have been nuked which is possible.

    • Joe says:

      I don’t think they could control a human like that. Their technology is still not very advanced and we can’t control people with lobotomy. All they did with the queen was put it in a coma or something.

  3. Noxus. says:

    Squeeler is a murderer. And creepy as fuck….

    He clearly hates gods.

  4. Noxus. says:

    Just ask Maria and Satoru

  5. Silty says:

    It’s very intriguing how the series seems to be inspired by various pantheistic mythologies, but the positions are switched, with the humans being god-like and other races being mortals. Perhaps a much later episode will talk about how humans were once in the positions of the queerats, under some ancient Greek gods or something – and then the gods went extinct, while humans remained? Or am I totally off-base here?

  6. Joe says:

    I’m surprised the kids objected to the treatment of the queens so much. It was the only logical thing to do, really.

  7. sato says:

    Is anybody else frustrated with how much time and detail is spent on the queerat story lines? The first time was supposed to be the kids’ research assignment, and this time it’s the hunt for Maria and Mamoru. And yet, we get episodes focused on the “beasts” (who basically take advantage of the characters) instead of the main story line which is rushed through. I just hope this ep was a one-off, and not a new arc. :(

    • Scruffy says:

      And why do you think its a side story? Perhaps the Queerrats are the main antagonists?

      • sato says:

        Because, and this is my opinion of course, then the show would suck.

        There are way more intriguing and mysterious things going on in the human villages than the queerat colonies.

        Also, the whole queerats emulating ancient humanity is just a commentary on our civilization and the messes we create. I can do without that kind of focus in a show about evolved beings with magic powers!

        • nn says:

          Think of queerats as being non-PK humans mutated in such a way as to not cause death upon being murdered by PK humans. Then they become a lot more interesting.

  8. Anna says:

    I think the whole theme behind the queerats trying to emulate the abandoned human culture revolves around the fact that the current human society is stagnate – they haven’t progressed, if anything they have regressed. The queerats are slowly but surely overtaking the humans through innovation. The humans who haven’t been made into sheep are too arrogant about their superiority/power over other races, and the brainwashed humans are just easy targets if the queerats ever turn openly hostile.

    • Joe says:

      I don’t know about that. You have to remember that the old human civilization, which was far more advanced, powerful, and numerous than the queerats, was defeated by the psychics. As Satoru pointed out, he and Saki alone could have killed all 16,000 or so of the queerat colony themselves if they’d wanted to. The queerats would only have a chance if they attacked all of the villages at once and caught all of them by surprise and used weapons that could kill all of the humans quickly and instantly. Even then victory wouldn’t be assured since some humans use their powers subconsciously to protect themselves, such as the karma demons breaking down the suicide pills they ate. Even a relatively feasible WMD like poison gas wouldn’t work for that reason.

      • Anna says:

        “he and Saki alone could have killed all 16,000 or so of the queerat colony themselves if they’d wanted to.”

        The problem is that the queerats are probably too smart to be openly hostile to humans. Instead, as Squealer did in this episode, they are more likely to subtly manipulate humans for their own gain. It’s therefore not likely that humans would ever be provoked enough to use their powers to annihilate the queerats. The scary thing is that humans would probably be ignorant of the fact that they’re being manipulated, or if they do have suspicions, they’re likely to discount them based off the belief that they’re the superior race.

        So now my question is: what if, as Saki suggested, the queerats do the same thing to a human as they did to their queens? They want equal rights, and at the moment, their standing in the world is clearly subordinate to the humans’. It wouldn’t be so hard to do this procedure to a human with powers, given that the queerats are sometimes ordered to dispose of unwanted children.

        • Joe says:

          I’m not really convinced that the queerats are actually capable of controlling someone with brain surgery. Not only is that concept ridiculous even in a fantasy anime, they weren’t able to do it successfully on their queens. I do agree that they will probably manipulate the humans to their advantage whenever possible.

  9. RollingCamel says:

    “Ain’t all intelligent life forms have the right to live equal?”

  10. Blue says:

    While Squealer puts forward valid points about having the right to live equal, and it probably was horrible living under the tyranny of the Queen, I’m wary of how much I believe what he says. When he says that there was no choice but to lobotmize the Queen, I wonder if that was really the case or if it was just the most simple and useful way for him to gain power.

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  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:58 AM)
    @Bam He’d probably find some dumbass way to make it into shonen. Maybe Raskolnikov battles Alyona Ivanovna before he kills her.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:55 AM)
    Whoever made Aku no Hana should totally make a Catcher in the Rye adaptation tho, as they’re both fittingly pretentious and empty.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:52 AM)
    @K-off: and that was the great Tezuka, now imagine whoever’s writing Akame ga Kill attempting that lol
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:49 AM)
    There used to be a long-running and widely internationally syndicated anime series known as World Masterpiece Theater, which adapted many famous stories and novels into anime format. Interesting some stories such as Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs turned into a pretty decent Shoujo.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:49 AM)
    *make that Dostoevsky’s great-grandson.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:48 AM)
    @Bam the famous Osamu Tezuka made one that was so shit that even Dostoevsky’s own grandson called it blasphemous, and Ochiai Naoyuki’s modern adaptation makes me want to kill him.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:43 AM)
    @K-off: how does one go about making a manga adaptation of a Dostoyevsky novel? That guy must’ve been clearly over his head.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:39 AM)
    I’ll probably try it over Christmas if I can, we’ll see. But the title, obviously a reference to Crime and Punishment, reminds me of a conversation I had with Emma concerning the novel where she said she only read the manga. I should make it clear that I absolutely HATE manga adaptation of literary classics. The art style doesn't fit, and they're just mostly awful.
  • k-off
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:35 AM)
    @Bam If someone is a neocon, they usually have a bible open on their desk, a library full of Ayn Rand and Chuck Smith, a picture of Thomas Jefferson on one side of the room, and one of Ronald Reagan on the other.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Nov 23. 2014 11:34 AM)
    @K-off: try it m8, this is genuinely different then most adventure games that I’ve played, and I’ve played a lot. It also helps immensely that the game looks really good and the character models are based off the Granada series’ actors. The new voice-actors take a bit to get used to tho.

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