Posted by psgels on 23 January 2013 with categories: From the New World

This was a very interesting episode. The thing is, that it’s clear that it had hardly any budget, yet it did have a couple of very talented animators and artists. This episode threw away a lot of conventions, looked inconsistent, spent its first half on recycled footage, and yet looked really gorgeous.

The new footage showed the cast when they were young children, which contrasted really well with what they went through later. And then came that incredibly weird dream that Saki had afterwards. I can only imagine the symbolism that was in there for the final half of this series, but the thing that caught my attention the most was how it stated that it was no use to bring Mamoru and Maria back. That they were better off dying. I mean, dreams in anime are always with a purpose. What was that dream trying to tell her?

I really liked Maria’s letter and how it was written. But really: the writing in this entire episode was just excellent, how it was entirely focused on Saki’s worries about the loss of her friends; it really went in-depth there. Saki and Satoru, they have lost three really good friends now, and they’re pretty much alone at this point. This episode wasn’t really clear whether or not they will return to the village, or also run away. Either way, it’s going to be really tough for them.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

29 Responses

  1. Oroboros says:

    This show just keeps getting better week by week, story-wise and character wise. But the end should indicate that neither Saki nor Satoru ran away, cuz it starts 10 years later.

  2. Airies says:

    best episode of the decade.

  3. Kaiserin Emma says:

    That whole dream sequence was wonderfully haunting, creepy and surreal in the best way it could be.

  4. Andmeuths says:

    I wonder whether the lack of budget is due to the abysmal pre-orders. Why isn’t there a market for these works of genius?

    • reverse says:

      Seriously animation budget had nothing to do with pre-orders number, that just not right. just look at EVA tv, TTGL both had mediocre budget yet high number of sale. and compare that to Dennō Coil and Escaflowne*(if i got fact right Escaflowne got it success in oversea)

      the only budget got increase if had high number sale is the advertising

      I thought this episode is ok, and it even had an animated background sequence which pretty awesome in my book, which u rarely see nowadays. however i do hate the recap part, but this nothing compare to the real recap episode, and yet i never see people bitching on it about budget

  5. MCAL says:

    Excellent episode as always. I guess the Japanese people don’t like their anime dark and intellectual. Psycho Pass isn’t doing so well too. (I mean over 5000 volumes is great, but not nearly as good as most other shows.) And didn’t you find the opening/insert song very jarring Psgels? And you’re usually one who likes to comment about those kinds of things too?

    • Kaiserin Emma says:

      New world is a fairly atypical show in my opinion, as is psycho pass, alot of people tend to flock to the familiar to them so a lot of more simplistic/straightforward and/or maybe quieter series will get more attention in terms of sales or viewership.
      Its certainly not my preferred type of show as I go for slice of life, drama and shoujo fantasy mainly though.

  6. Highfinder says:

    Don’t get carried away guys. This show is good, I admit. But is not that good.
    If I had to state as to why it would be this shows problem of tell, don’t show. Notice how it tends to be a journey of saki finding the next exposition device. The false minoshiro, the queerat, karma demon shun, the grandma, Mamoru, the queerat and now a letter. Most annoyingly the revelations the letter and Mamoru gave us would have been better shown to us earlier rather than wait for the characters to explain them. Really what was stopping them from showing Mamoru getting stalked by copycats before he ran off? Why are we only now seeing scenes showing the friendship between Saki and Maria?
    I also say that in all honesty that the past of the show would make a better anime than the show itself. Starting off the anime right at the fall of civilization and showing how things slowly became this way would be far more interesting than Saki finding someone to tell us about it.
    I can’t say the characters are strong either. For the most part I know pretty much nothing about them.

    • Kaiserin Emma says:

      @Highfinder:Oh Don’t get me wrong, I do think this show has its shining moments but it also turns me away more often with the info dumping and plot flow and weak animation. I also agree with you that a more expansive past arc would be interesting.
      That said I do find plenty to enjoy here with whats on offer.

    • Airies says:

      DISAGREE! This show is genius and breaks the current trend! um also we always new maria and saki had a close relationship!

    • Taara535 says:

      @Highfinder – I think you are highly underestimating the fascinating medium that memory is. What makes From the New World so interesting is that the audience is constantly trying to fill in the blanks of how we got from here to there. Not to mention, we are trying to do so through a narrator who has a very strong views on her society given what she has gone through (which we don’t know yet!!). Because of the various perspectives in the show, we are constantly having to guess at the meanings of many different things that happen in the show. This is far more interesting than just a straight telling a story, with an all-knowing, all-present, neutral narrator.

      I am also surprised you just see other aspects of the story as just a plot device for the main arc. You seem to not be interested in any of the side plots at all here. How did the queer-rats come to be? What are the different villages like? We are told they have different methods of control, what are they? What about the different factions of the queer-rats? How did the scientists engineer society? What did they do to the “human” genome? What is the meaning of Shun showing up Saki’s dream?

      Meaning of these questions have far more impact than how Saki relates to them. The side-plots are interesting in themselves, and if you don’t pay attention to them, then I think you are missing out on a great part of the story and this wonderful anime.

      • Taara535 says:

        *Many of these questions..

      • Kaiserin Emma says:

        The thing now however is will this all fit into 26 episodes and answer said questions Taara.

      • Highfinder says:

        Taara, you seem to be mistaking this kind of show for another kind. Namely you feel that this show is a solvable mystery style of show. Examples of such would be Higurashi which gave the viewer hints to it’s mystery and allowed for a great deal of speculation. From the new world is not this kind of story. There is no way to speculate seeing from the information we are fed. The setting is too alien to speculate theories. We know relatively nothing about how these people work, learn or even the nature of society. What do the adults do for example? We have no foundation whatsoever to built theories. As for your questions

        How did the queer-rats come to be?
        It’s god knows how many years in the future, chances are they are a product of evolution.

        What are the different villages like?
        Does it matter? Chances are we shall never learn as it’s is not relevant.

        We are told they have different methods of control, what are they?
        Doesn’t matter.

        What about the different factions of the queer-rats?
        What about them?

        How did the scientists engineer society?
        With science.

        What did they do to the “human” genome?
        How could we ever guess that? Either way I highly doubt this could be satisfactorily explained.

        What is the meaning of Shun showing up Saki’s dream?
        Trauma. Repressed memories.

        • Taara535 says:

          Wow Highfinder, you are just not interested in these aspects at all are you?

          Part of the fun is considering theories, not all questions have to have answers.

          “How did the queer-rats come to be?
          It’s god knows how many years in the future, chances are they are a product of evolution.”

          I have a feeling they are much more interlinked to the story of how this society came to be then you think.

          “What are the different villages like?
          Does it matter? Chances are we shall never learn as it’s is not relevant.”

          It’s not relevant?!? What was just put forth in the episode was an argument – an argument by Maria that the society they live in is not worth saving. This is a very important moral question in this constructed universe – at what point is more suffering and pain caused by continuing this sort of PK human society? Maria says they have reached that point; Saki (I believe) will say they have not. How other villages are run has a direct impact on how we morally justify whether these PK villages are actually worth their own existence. This is a major premise of the show.

          “We are told they have different methods of control, what are they?
          Doesn’t matter.”

          See previous answer

          “How did the scientists engineer society?
          With science.”

          If the scientists used ethically terrible means to engineer the society, then it further impacts how we morally answer the existence of these PK villages. Again, “with science” is a freaking cop-out to a very important question in the series.

          In conclusion, while I would love the series to answer these questions, even if it does not that does not make these questions irrelevant. By simply posing these questions, the series asks us to consider important ethical questions in our own society. We are never going to be able to answer important philosophical/theological questions like “how can evil exist in a world with a Christian God?” or “what is truth?” or “What is an ethical society?” But, that doesn’t mean we should ask those questions!

        • Taara535 says:

          Lastly, I do not see this show as a solvable mystery show. Let’s be honest, this show is not going to leave us with clear answers. What I do see this show as is a very thoughtful/intellectual take on civilizations in precipitous decline and a fundamental questioning going to literally the point of human existence. In short, this show is a philosophical tragedy.

          Can any show answer these questions (of course not), but I will continually praise this show for actually posing these questions and in a very thoughtful, creative manner.

          • Highfinder says:

            I don’t like wasting my time on pointless ventures. I simply don’t find those aspects interesting enough to care about.

            Well, it’s also highly possible that they are a product of a karma demons cantos going out of control.

            As I said. Not relevant. Our guide is Saki. Therefore our only example is Saki’s village. We cannot make judgements unless we see these other villages. However considering the nature of the show the other control methods are likely to be worse or bad in another sense. The nature of whether their lives are worth saving or not is really an issue. Human society has never been perfect. People have always been under a certain degree of control. PK has caused that control to tighten mostly because of fear. In my opinion this is merely a trail and error stage which is to find a system that can help give PK users a degree of freedom while stopping fiends and karma demons. I don’t give this much thought because I find the methods done so far to be highly questionable. I mean these methods are rather…stupid for lack of a better word. Particularly the Bonboros treatment.

            Desperate times call for desperate measures. When you got teenagers ripping people apart, raping and you can’t do anything about it that is not the time to play the morals card. Regardless of the method used the reason for it’s use is probably justified.

            I don’t consider this questions all that important myself. I would find it more intriguing if instead of posing these questions it instead used them within the narrative. You can’t just give something credit for posing ideas. Anyone an have ideas. It’s how those ideas are used is what matters.
            As for those questions. Evil exists because of humans. We are both evil and good and capable of both. We have the free will to choose to be either. I believe that’s what god intended despite what the bible says. Otherwise he would have just eliminated evil altogether but well then life wouldn’t be interesting. Truth is truth. Plain and simple. It’s the plain truth without deception. Ethical society doesn’t exist and shouldn’t exist. It’s like world peace. The idea seems nice but that’s because you don’t think of the consequences.

            Maybe that’s why I don’t find that interesting. I already figured out my own theories on those matters and so far they pan out. Therefore I don’t bother wondering about them anymore.

        • Mass says:

          If you actually pay attention, you can figure out quite a bit about the things they haven’t explicitly told us. For example:

          “Which society are we the descendents of?” ask the kids to the synthetic minoshiro, regarding whether they are the descendants of the technological society or not. The answer: They are probably the descendents of the Holy Cherry Blossom dynasty, the slave dynasty we saw at the beginning of early episodes. How do I know this? Well, in some of their important buildings, you see the Holy Cherry Blossom dynasty’s pink flower symbol.

          What are the different villages like?
          Well, we see the one Tomiko was in a couple hundred years ago. That place looked very European for whatever reason.

          What is the meaning of Shun showing up in Saki’s dream?
          I’m not sure you can jump to conclusions about that yet. I suspect that the dream prediction that Maria has to die has some truth to it, but I’m not sure why or how it will manifest.

          The thing is, you’re the one confusing this kind of show with another.

          See, caring about the characters and setting and background of the world is essentially where the main thrust of the anime is. You may think the set ups and explanations are really just a vehicle for what happens which is how most other shows operate, but I don’t think they are. They’re not really just mumbo jumbo technobabble to make everything sound complex and not so implausible; they’re legitimate series of events and premises that build an actual setting. They’re what everything is about.

          See, this show works a little the opposite from a lot of others. Rather than SAO (just using it as an example. No real reason other than that to pick it specifically), where the whole set up of getting stuck in the game and having the headgear kill you if you try to leave serves to make the plot happen: the story is really about the characters kicking ass in sword battles and the interpersonal drama (or so I’ve detected. I only watched 3 episodes of SAO). In From the New World, however, the fact that things are set up the way they are, the things that the events and set ups imply about the way the universe is fundamentally structured is the point of the show. That it is possible for that ‘alien setting’ to happen, and the consequences of such is the important part.

          Basically, it’s the difference between science fiction and space opera. In space opera (here I’m using the term for a lot of this ‘lighter’ scifi), the technology or physics or explanations serve primarily to allow what the author wants to have happen to happen. This can be done well or poorly. IMO Legend of the Galactic Heroes is amazing. It doesn’t really have much in terms of scifi concepts or deep explanations as to the nature of things, but the character and political interactions are extremely rich and deep. SAO on the other hand to me was just one asspull after another.

          In science fiction, the fact that the Alien Settings are true is what it’s about. It asks “What would happen if X were true?” and (hopefully) casts rich characters and narrative from the logical conclusions of the premises. From the New World is clearly this type of thing, rather than the other.

          • Highfinder says:

            “See, caring about the characters and setting and background of the world is essentially where the main thrust of the anime is.”

            Then there it is failing to me. I need the reason to care about these things. When I jump into a show I am automatically intrigued and want to know what happens. However it’s the shows job to make it that I stay that way. Tell me, why should I care about Saki? I know absolutely nothing about her. I get that she seems to have a good head on her shoulders as she deals with stress and trauma well. But that’s pretty much the same as our main girl from Psycho pass who’s pass doesn’t get clouded no matter what. In fact she sort of reminds me of Madoka. She acts as an observer for the viewer. A bundle of vague traits and reactions we would expect for a typical human being. She’s relatable but not necessarily memorable. Same could be said for our other characters. Shun – cantos genius and dependable. Pretty much all I know about him. Maria – can levitate and likes Mamoru and Saki. Pretty much all I know about her.
            If I can’t care about the characters then that makes it difficult to care about the setting. Even more so if the information is presented in a manner of exposition devices instead of using visuals to convey it. Infodumping is not a good writing technique. It’s a useful one at times but in general it should be used sparingly.

    • Joe says:

      I agree that the presentation of the show is a bit lacking in some ways, but it’s quite good in terms of the art style and cinematography, in my opinion. The content of the story is also interesting enough that I don’t mind the flaws in presentation. This show might not be a masterpiece, but it is very good.

    • Anna says:

      I must say that I agree with Taara.

      Also, i just wanted to comment on something you said:
      “Ethical society doesn’t exist and shouldn’t exist. It’s like world peace. The idea seems nice but that’s because you don’t think of the consequences.”

      I think that what you’re trying to get at here is that if we had a perfectly ethical society, it may be “too perfect” and end up being a dystopia rather than a utopia. In addition, the meaning of ethical is really subjective so there is no way that we would ever be able to satisfy everyone’s idea of being ethical in order to achieve a ‘perfect society’ in the first place. I agree with that.

      But, what you’re ALSO saying is that society shouldn’t really care about trying to be ethical in the first place because ‘being perfectly ethical’ doesn’t exist. In my opinion, that’s just a cop-out. If we just gave up on trying to be ethical “because it doesn’t exist” and let everyone do whatever they wanted, our society would just fall to pieces. For example, criminals would just commit crimes without fear of consequences. Therefore we should always strive to ask ourselves questions like: are we doing the right thing? How should we organize our society in a fair and just manner? What is the ethical amount of control we should exercise over our citizens?

      So my main point is really that just because we can’t ever reach a ‘perfectly ethical society,’ this doesn’t mean we should just give up on trying to do the right thing.

      By the way, If I’m misunderstanding you in some way, I apologize.

  7. Litho says:

    I get where you’re coming from, Highlander. Sometimes get that impression as well. But still, the presentation is decent enough (the uneven animation/character styles notwithstanding). Besides, we can’t really blame the studio for that, since it seems (according to what I’ve read) to follow the original source material closely, though personally I get the feeling it’s been watered down a touch.

  8. Airies says:

    I think the way it has presented all its points is original and it has worked very well. Also can we just take a minute to clap for those kids in that choir singing “aaaaaaaaaah aaaah aaaaaah aaaaaaaaaaaaah aaaah aaahaaaahaaah”

  9. Arno says:

    Why are the Japanese not buying it ?

    Well, probably like others in the world, they work hard and they watch fiction for entertainment.

    They expect shining animation, positive or lovable characters, plots with twists and comedy.

    Here it’s just semi-developed characters, either dying or brooding in front of gloomy landscapes. And a lot of maho-maho-shmaho.

    • Taara535 says:

      Yeah, Saki isn’t that developed. It’s not like anything has happened to her and we haven’t seen her change at all throughout her life. Jeez, all she is doing is just emo-brooding. I wonder what she is so sad about? She should just be more moe so the tired workers can come home and be happy./

      I see your point, but I fundamentally disagree. The best entertainment has sought to challenge the audience rather than pander to them. The hundreds of moeblob shows will be forgotten, but shows that challenge the audience should be remembered as important works.

      There is a reason why Ghost in the Shell will be re-watched in 10 years and K-On! will be ignored.

  10. boa_sting says:

    A large budget isn’t what’s necessary to tell a story, usually. Or even what’s necessary to look good. Sometimes low-budget tricks, stills, etc. can have more impact that some kind of fluid animation, not to mention 3D / CG / postprocessing overload (K lens flares?).

    Pacing, direction, and cinematography were good, at least in my opinion. I wouldn’t call it a masterwork episode, but it was pretty solid and closed this arc well. The plot mostly wrote itself this episode, and not too much actually happened there, but that’s not a problem and not the point.

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 10:31 AM)
    @Emma: it’s unavoidable.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 10:20 AM)
    I was going to try avoid that joke lol
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 10:10 AM)
    That’s probably because of Eden of East XD
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 10:09 AM)
    East of eden sounds familiar.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 09:35 AM)
    @Emma: Viva Zapata!, East of Eden, The Forgotten Village?! The man’s a legend, not much else could be said about him at this point.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 09:30 AM)
    Next on the list is to rewatch blue velvet because a friend likened some of my work to it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 09:29 AM)
    @Bam: You know somethings a good movie when it crosses your mind “Oh no, I hope he/she doesn’t die”.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 09:28 AM)
    I had a place in my heart for of mice and men when I was young =)
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 09:23 AM)
    *no “the”
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 2. 2014 09:20 AM)
    @Emma: well it helps to be based off of a Pulitzer and Nobel prize winning landmark novel written by the John Steinbeck, but yeah, it is also a great film.

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