Posted by psgels on 31 January 2013 with categories: From the New World

And suddenly, the lead characters of this series are older than I am. The more time goes on, the rarer this becomes.

And the change in tone is immediately noticeable. The previous arcs were all about the cast growing up, and it explored what would have been expected of them. This to the point that three members of the main cast couldn’t make it. Here though, the cast has grown up. They have jobs and duties now. And with that sorted out, the series can go back to the conflicts between the Queerats again.

Queerats who have become even more dangerous. They’re already numbering almost a million in total. With this I now really get why children are kept away from them. Without cantus… it’s really easy to just get a child killed like that. This episode showed how ruthless some of the battles went on, and with this, we already have guns and advanced military tactics. Not to mention that Squealer is trying really hard to take advantage of the humans in order to get rid of the Giant Hornet Colony.

I really like the politics of it all. I’m normally a big fan of politics anime, and it has been a while since the last good politics series (Hyouge Mono, if I’m not mistaken), and this series also delivers here. The way it stands out is how it puts humans on the high ground: they are gods with their powers and if they tried, they could just wipe out an entire colony of Queerats. With those restrictions, the Queerats have to do battle. I’m also starting to see now why Saki is special: she and Satoru were the first who realized that the Queerats caught one of those snails.

And here is the thing: why did Cantus appear? It’s not like humans have always had their Cantus. It just appeared in the state in which they were as a really advanced civilization. Take it as symbolism as you’d like: too much growth ended up creating something that really bit them in the back. But here is the thing: who says that the same thing won’t happen with the Queerats if they continue to evolve like that? They are currently at the medieval stage and just continue to improve more and more. What if they get so advanced, that at a certain point they also start to develop these cantus powers?
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

20 Responses

  1. Ricardo says:

    Hi my name is Ricardo, I’ve been following this blog for a couple of years now as the source of anime reviews; although I don’t have the exact same taste as you, I know how to appreciate your talented ability and dedication to review. So first of all I just wanna say: Thanks for the amazing blog, your work is highly appreciated! (I apologize if this comment is not to be placed here) And that brings me to my other points (lol, yep i said point(s)) I think i’m not the only one who would like to know more about who you are? (not personal stuff) just like your credentials XD lol sorry if that’s too forward, I don’t know like: age, I think I read you were dutch, tastes, hobbies, were do you watch your anime, what in the hell is the noitamina time slot?… kind of answered my question there myself but whatevs’ dude. I think you should really add an about section to the blog. That might aid people who come here often and imagine some half tanooki half cyborg guy; that was intended as a joke… My last point is; I think it’s been a while, correct me if i’m wrong but 2009 since you’ve last shared your top 20, i’m really interested to know how your tastes have changed or not after all these years. Thanks in advance and please keep the amazing work going. P.s. can you quickly explain why you don’t enjoy mindless action (occasionally) like Code Geass and Gurren Lagann (yep bottom of the food chain T_T, don’t worry I’ll get to Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu very soon I promise!) ahem, yeah from the new world looks good!

  2. Commenter says:

    When I was watching this, at the time Saki acted like the judge in the queerats’ battle this started to really feel like the first episode of last exile. It was almost the paraphrasing of the conversation with the guild as it watched over the battle.

    Rather than question the source of Cantus, I would question the existence of the queerats themselves. As I see it, cantus’ existence let to the original war that decimated the human population. I think queerats themselves are basically humans that were deformed by cantus. How the false minoshiro’s add to this I’m not certain about. They seem like they’re part of a far greater civilization.
    I think children are kept from them mostly because they’re not capable of practicing cantus when they’re young. They get their cantus sealed off early on through hypnotism, right?

    I’m guessing that the master plan of the queerats will have to do with Mamoru and the girl and the possibility that they had a child in the ten year skip. Given how it grew up outside of society it will not have the same conditioning as regular humans have. And I doubt that they kept banging on about fiends for no reason.

  3. Kaiserin Emma says:

    With regards to where the Cantus came from, I would be content to crop that up to something to do with evolution, I’d apply the same thinking to why the rats are like they are now.

  4. Random says:

    Actually, this episode shows how the queerats came to be. Naked molerats were selected and bred by humans for this specific purpose, then I suppose they evolved to the stage now called Queerats with the influence of Cantus. They are very similar to human beings because they were allowed to evolve in a similar manner, what are we but fancy monkeys anyway? I might be wrong, but I think this is what we were supposed to get from the opening scene.
    Now, with the knowledge acquired from the false minoshiro and possible aid from Maria and Mamoru, Yakomaru turns out to be an incredibly big problem in this series. There’s no way this is ending well.

    • Kaiserin Emma says:

      @Random:Thanks for refreshing me on that, my memory is awful I forgot that bit, that said that episode had a fair bit to take in.

  5. Ricardo says:

    @ thanks for the info guys, I guess I missed a lot of stuff u_u

  6. Taara535 says:

    I find it interesting that you see those with cantus as “more advanced.” I would argue the opposite. Certainly, those with a cantus are more powerful, but has it made their society (emphasis here on society) more advanced. I don’t think so. Instead it has retarded societal progress. It has made societies that are heavily inward focused, horribly paranoid, looking for the next fiend or child with Appelbaum syndrome. Instead of creating, an outward looking, flourishing society, it has forced the civilization into small, conservative, paranoid villages.

    Soon we will see the society of the queerrats outpace that of the “humans” (let’s be honest how human are PKs after five hundred years [give or take] of genetic engineering?)

  7. Gustavo says:

    I would bet the queerats had the red haired girl captured and started studying the cantus power, just like they did with the queen. They’ll probably use her as some kind of weapon… or, the red haired girl could just have become the queerats queen herself and started a war now, aiming to get revenge against the humans.

  8. Loz says:

    RE: Gustavo:

    Maria (Red haired girl) will come into to play shortly I recon. The narrator (Saki) herself says so.

    After revisiting a few eps a few things are quite clear. Episode 2 is particularly quite a key episode now:

    The episode (after the brief history clip) start with shun telling the story of the Karma demon – which is a perfect foreshadowing, as his own story went exactly like that of the boy he talked of in the story (eventually ending his own existence in the bottom of a lake.

    We see the how 1 person uses their cantus to intefere with another and how the village deals with him.

    We have saki saving squonk from drowning, who then plays a part later on in the show.

    And finally we have more foreshadowing at the end of the episode as the narrator (Saki) says something along the lines of ” Maria was born two weeks after me. I guess if Maria wasnt born many people would have been spared”. So thats still to come.

  9. Anna says:

    I honestly think the queerats are going to challenge the humans and maybe even go to war with them soon.

    • Kaiserin Emma says:

      @Anna:Wouldn’t be the only one who thought that, I agree that thats a solid possibility
      @Gustavo:By the sounds of it they should have put you on the writing staff for this. Though that goes for your first idea, using as a weapon.
      Making her the queen, well I don’t see that too much given the efforts that went into them embracing democracy.

      • Gustavo says:

        Using her cantus as a weapon would explain why the Big Hornet was wiped out at the end of the episode. Or maybe they got their hands on some really advanced weapon technology. But with what’s been said in earlier episodes, I really think Maria is being used. I even dreamed about the queerats capturing her. lol

        • Anna says:

          Wow, this show has really gotten into your head Gustavo.

          But I’m not entirely convinced that Maria is the one who used her cantus to wipe out the Big Hornet.

          Doesn’t she have conditioning that makes it difficult for her to kill anything that looks human? This would include the queerats who strongly resemble humans. Therefore, she would suffer extreme backlash if she did indeed wipe out the Big Hornet army, if she even managed to in the first place. I mean, Satoru was having so much trouble just attacking queerats non-fatally let alone fatally a few episodes ago. I feel like there is some human involvement though. I wonder if it would be possible that the queerats somehow obtained a non-conditioned human or something like that… though that sounds far-fetched lol. But I’m just speculating.

          • Gustavo says:

            Thats where science comes: if the queerats know how to manipulate genes, then its possible to take that limit out. And, maybe, she’s being controlled by some kind of machine or drug. We dont know how advanced the queerats have become. That’s why this mistery is so interesting.

          • Anna says:

            Omg, after watching the recent episode, it is confirmed that Maria and Mamoru are dead (DNA confirmation). But Maria was going on about how she couldn’t have kids with Saki if she stayed with her so now I’m thinking Maria and Mamoru had a kid.

        • Anna says:

          Thing is, Gustavo, that the queerats can only become as advanced as the previous human civilization. The way they obtained all their knowledge is probably from a false minoshiro – everything, from the guns to the concrete – has been a human invention in the past. It seems to me that the human civilization collapsed when it was at a similar state of development as we are atm. We don’t have the technology to manipulate another human being that way, so I doubt the queerats will as well.

          Also, in the preview for episode 19, they clearly said to run away from “him.” So I doubt even MORE that it’s Maria doing all this. I feel like she and Mamoru had a son since in episode 18, she brought up how she and Saki could never have kids.

          • Gustavo says:

            Sorry, Anna, I stoped reading when I saw you use the word “preview”, since I never see a preview. I like the surprise of each episode. :)

            About the queerats beeing only so advanced as we are, I think they are quite capable of new discoveries, as they are able to be so deceptful.

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:34 PM)
    @Bam: They’d never allow bringing in toys/games/comics back when I was in school, they thought bringing in such things would make the kids of lower income families feel bad for not being able to afford things.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:31 PM)
    @Mario: He’s actually not a big fan of Iranian cinema, he told me before that he found most of it overly depressing.
    Now what you’re talking about there sounds like my kind of film.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:30 PM)
    @Bam: I’ll get back into the mainstream blockbusters thing as much as I used to be someday. someday….
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:28 PM)
    @Bam: Well, I guess I more brought up the being accused of hipsterism and contrarianism referring to the type of hypothetical person who would never be satisfied with how well you’d defend your opinion.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:25 PM)
    Thats the awkward thing though, when casting a superhero role, its difficult to find someone who can get both identities correct.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 01:23 PM)
    Bah implying toxic avenger and Italian spiderman aren’t the best superhero films OmO hahaha!
  • SuperMario
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 08:50 AM)
    Hey Bam, I remember attended a preview on one of an upcoming Iranian animated feature called The Last Fiction. it was inspired by the poem “Shahnameh” and from what I had seen so far, a very stylish, confident and “bloody” work. Expected to be complete in the end of 2017 thou.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:37 AM)
    Comic books were super rare and expensive in Iran, being banned and all. Rich kids in elementary would bring them to school to show them off, along with their Ninja Turtles action figures; they looked so cool and I was hella jealous. Me and my brother only had the bootleg Toxic Crusader figures lol
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:34 AM)
    @K-off: I didn’t read the comics either. I watched that weird 60s show, and Spiderman and the Amazing Friends, which had Firestar and the ice guy. I know his personality was quippy and kind of a wise-ass, and McGuire looks kinda like a rape victim of sorts. It was a lot better in costume, I admit.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Jun 29. 2016 06:29 AM)
    I mean if we use the term fanboy for whenever someone feels strongly about something, then what’ll we have left for people who LARP and insist to be called by their WoW character names and dress up in gear and persistently speak in fake ‘Ol English?

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