Posted by psgels on 26 March 2013 with categories: From the New World

So after Psycho Pass I figured that I had already seen the best ending of the season. Tempest and From the New World did have a small chance in being able to match it, but not much, or so I thought.

Shin Sekai Yori just delivered the best ending I have seen since finishing Monster. That just was phenomenal, and it’s really been a while since a series managed to drive me as speechless as in this episode. I really thought that the show was over after Squealer was captured and Maria and Mamoru’s child was killed. But this episode really made its impact when it started with Squealer’s trial. And even the fight itself was pretty damn awesome due to the incredibly fluid animation that they showed there.

The way in which this episode exposed the humans for what they did. It was brilliant. There was all this talk about humans, and being human. And then it turns out that even the main characters just helped slaughter what once were basically just humans. Squealer was an excellent villain, and the ending he got makes it all the more sad, despite the things that he did. This show really knows how to hit hard with its gore.

Shin Sekai Yori was awesome. A-1 Pictures took a huge gamble with it, and it worked! It’s one of the most unique series of the past year. And yeah, there were some parts in which the animation was really wonky, but damn: it just did not care about conventions at all. Those are the series that I really like. I applaud you for it.
Rating: 7/8 (Fantastic)

30 Responses

  1. DmonHiro says:

    I think you mean fanFUCKINGtastic.
    That was brilliant.

  2. MCAL says:

    I still can’t believe how solid that ending was. In the anime world where 90% of them have rushed endings with zero closure, Shin Sekai comes and basically closes almost every plot-hole and those it didn’t can be mostly easily guessed at. Shin Sekai incredible and a shining reminder that Fall 2012 was a damn fine season for anime where the two cour series made Winter 2013 tolerable.

    And Squealer is indeed an excellent antagonist. Hard to believe he is voiced by the same guy who did Waver in F/Z and Hisoka in H x H.

  3. Airies says:

    This anime made me believe again!

  4. boa_sting says:

    Maybe we as viewers have a very unrepresentative and biased Group 1 perspective on their society, but to me something about the trial and reactions therein were a bit over the top. Even if the reactions are to be expected, something about the direction or visuals there didn’t really click for me in terms of message. The space was unusually large and open in the middle, for a courtroom or trial proceedings, not to mention the very sparse lighting.

    Ah well, I guess the point is how sure the people are of their methods and justice. Most everywhere else, I really liked the experimental art styles, whenever used, so it’s not that.

    They’re not really plot holes, but there were some issues with the setting like the condition of Tokyo and so on. Some things don’t add up for making sense 1000 years later, even if you take Cantus leaking out as the explanation for all sorts of weird creatures. I think I’m forgetting some other minor complaints I had too, but these aren’t a big deal considering some of the accomplishments here.

    Anyway, at least by the end we get to hear a little bit more of the Largo from the New World Symphony and not just the main theme they keep using.

  5. AOI says:

    Am I wrong or is this the first time that you give a 7/8 rating for an episode? I fully agree with that rating. This ending was fantastic in every sense. I loved this series despite its varying animation quality and I salivate thinking what this series would have been had all episodes had the animation of episode 25. As a grown-up, in my 30s, this is the kind of series that keep me watching anime: ambitious projects with original scripts or adapted from fascinating novels, such as this one. I now want to read the book so badly…

  6. kero says:

    Squealer is probably one of the best antagonists by far.

    We’ve got a rather ugly character and all along he looks sketchy, he lies, he prevaricates, he’s sneaky, and then we find out all along he’s human.

    I loved it despite some of the flaws.

    Great soundtrack as well, fantastic use of the main theme for the climax, it really moved me.

  7. Blizt says:

    Even though many, including me, have speculated that queerats might be human whose DNA was altered, I gotta say when the show said that is indeed the truth, I’m still stunned and shocked…

    I had a lot of mixing feeling when seeing this episode…

  8. khawlin says:

    One of the most haunting endings I have ever seen in anime.

    I really wish this had been better marketed ( and stylized) as a horror anime because I think that is where the show became most powerful. Particularly in a season with really little competition in the horror genre. Even the revelations at the end left me with more unease than all the horror series of the last season combined.

    It may have at least kept the DVD sales above 900, which is where they currently are.

  9. Ebisu says:

    Great final chapter with excellent final confrontation and even a trial where the truth is imposed by the winner. The only thing that I would have liked to see was what had exactly happened with Shun. Squealer was great, Satoru leaves it clear he is human after all (though a different species), but he was a monster and a villain all the way, sacrificing all his comrades without a moment’s doubt.

    I’m glad to see Saki managed to end the mission with Satoru alive and have a life after that war.

  10. Taara535 says:

    This is a very good anime, but I have to say it lost its brilliance at the end of the second of the three arcs. This is mainly because the major mysteries of the show were pretty much answered by that point. I had predicted that the queer-rats were humans by the second episode I saw them in, and I knew it the moment that Saki and Satoru saw them constructing concrete buildings. So the “big reveal” in the ending, wasn’t surprising to me at all.

    It was still an excellent ending and a very good show (and one I unfortunately think too many people are misinterpreting), but I feel like it could have been a true masterpiece if the mystery element of the first 7-8 or so episodes remained all the way to the end.

  11. boa_sting says:

    Okay, so those with Cantus had the power to change a lot of their own DNA, adding attack inhibition and death feedback and some other features. Cool beans, superpowers.

    They also had enough control and power over the non-Cantus humans to just add a lot of naked molerat genes to all of the remaining ones. No problem. Actually, the sequence of events seems off, if they did the death feedback prior to changing the non-Cantus humans. But let’s ignore that.

    So the reason they didn’t add attack inhibition and death feedback to the non-Cantus humans (or queerat derivatives, making them not able to attack Cantus humans) was…? Durrr?

    • vykr says:

      Because death feedback requires Cantus to function, as was explained in episode 4. Durr.

      • boa_sting says:

        Maybe I should’ve rechecked the facts, my bad.

        I think this is an inherent weakness of conjuring convenient plot devices, though. If the explanations don’t really make that much intuitive sense (altering genes is going to cause the subconscious to commandeer innate pscyhokinetic powers to stop the liver under arbitrary conditions that involve harming humans?), they make it more difficult to accept the rules of the world and maybe more difficult to remember. But I guess it should be obvious that anything with that kind of power to target and change something physical requires Cantus. I could just be dumb though.

        Okay, so maybe not death feedback, but attack inhibition, maybe less aggressive personalities (is it an advantage for queerats to be fighting each other all the time?), something along those lines?

        • Nyangoro says:

          Death feedback is little more than extreme form (required for a power like Cantus) of the “feedback” that we already have in our own society: Guilt. Just like society’s morality is so heavily ingrained into us that we feel bad for breaking it (and even our guilt can lead to pretty drastic results), so too is it with their death feedback. It’s just that it’s far stronger in their society, which uses more potent forms of hypnosis and suggestion.

          • boa_sting says:

            That’s an interesting interpretation and might fit the scenario with respect to fiends (unless I’ve forgotten something else), but still not that satisfying to me.

            There don’t particularly seem to be inhibitions with respect to other actions that might cause guilt. It’s rather narrow, only focused on culpability of hurting one’s own kind.

            Unlike many of the other directives, hypnosis, suggestion that are applied to people at different stages in their lives, death feedback seems to be rooted in just genetics and environment. After all, it worked with the kid. Maybe it’s hard to argue genetics in a show with psychokinesis, but show me the DNA that codes for the involuntary seppuku response with that trigger, seriously.

        • IdiotBoy says:

          I’m with you boa_sting, it’s pretty obvious that the person who wrote this show didn’t really understand the difference between psychological conditioning and inherent genetic programming. Because of that, the finale was a big letdown for me in what was an otherwise excellent show.

  12. Nebula says:

    Overthrowing Holy Cherry Blossom Empire, the revolutionists – “We can change history!”
    Squealer – “We could have changed the history..”
    That was quite brilliant…
    The idea of Cantus is still quite vague, but I think Cantus and mirror symbolized individuality…hence it wouldn’t work in Qeerats’ Marxism community…

    • Arno says:

      “The idea of Cantus is still quite vague”

      Ha ha ha you betcha. Vague vague vague maho maho maho, just anything, whatever provided lots of people die in cruelty and misery.

      That was hardly a story, more like people dying or despairing in front of gloomy backgrounds. The dystopia context was used as an excuse for a lack of fictional structure.

      Ultra-vague superpowers, ugly animal humans and despairing teenagers don’t make a recipe for a good story.

      • HunterWulf says:

        That sounds like poor trolling, and i surely don’t wanna see the recipe of what you might consider a good story.

  13. witchy says:

    Am I the only girl here??

    Anyway, despite its flaws, I appreciate greatly the work of the animators to deliver this thick novel into something memorable. I would, of course, love to read the original work myself because there is just the allure of words that cannot be overtaken by the visuals. I would want to read the developments that the anime might not have shown due to constraints and changes in focus.

    I believe too that Shin Sekai Yori and P-P and, possibly, Tempest are the first in a few years that gave a feeling of need-to-follow-every-week for me. I love a good story even if they’re not perfect (even their makers aren’t perfect, so I forgive them). Shin Sekai Yori was a great ride in between my school work and life, so I’m quite satisfied how it ended.

    I used to hate endings so much, and I still do (95%?). But I wish that future animators will brave adapting a novel as good as this. Perhaps Red Data Girl is a cue for this following, but I really hope more substantial stories will be made into anime. I don’t mind fanservice, but I don’t like them overdone either. It’s the story and their characters that I want to see. I just wish we wouldn’t have to wait another 84 years to have an anime worth debating, discussing, and gushing for. =.=

    • Jay says:

      Why would you assume you’re the only woman here? There are loads of people who read Psgel’s blog, and it’s not as if most people’s screen names are gendered.

      Anyway, apparently there’s a chance that there will be an English language translation of Shin Sekai Yori’s novel. Vertical Inc has said they’ll do it if they get enough expressions of interest. Unfortunately, they only want to hear from people in the US, UK or Canada, so if you’re not from one of those places, you can’t help. There’s a post with details here: http://randomc.net/2013/03/05/potential-translation-of-the-shin-sekai-yori-novel/

      • witchy says:

        I just meant in the comments. Ü I know there are others, and yes, I heard about the novel possibly having a translation. Since Another’s novel will be translated by YenPress, I wish this would too.

  14. Starss says:

    Maybe I missed it, but I couldn’t understand why not a single person thought to sacrifice themselves and attempt to kill the fiend instead of letting it slaughter the entire population of the village. It would only trigger death feedback on one person if it was an individual decision too unlike Saki who almost went through it herself since it was her own plan.
    Or is it that to prevent another fiend from happening, all the villagers other than group 1 were simply too brainwashed to consider it….?

    • Scruffy says:

      Because they couldn’t. Not only is there the death feedback, but a pile of other conditioning that has been put in place to prevent actions that may harm another human

  15. HunterWulf says:

    Kaburagi tried and he ended up squashed, he was barely fending of the direct cantus attacks of the fiend when he got caught off by the cantus leakage and died a horrible death .. and that was the most powerful Cantus user among Saki’s people .. so no .. direct attack using Cantus wouldn’t have worked.

  16. HunterWulf says:

    Amazing show and one hell of an amazing ending, so far the best ending among all the shows that are reaching their conclusions (Psycho Pass, Robotics;Notes), it really gives full closure and sums up all that was great about the series in a single episode.

    It opens up head-on with Kiromaru’s noble sacrifice (rest in peace noble hero) to help Saki and Satoru defeat the fiend .. and i have to say that this scene was really one hell of a way to start the episode … with Kiromaru rushing the fiend head-on without a speck of fear or hesitation knowing very will it’s pure suicide, then it moves on the aftermath of the war and the short but thought-provoking trial and punishment of Squealer (whose performance in this episode particularly was ground-breaking .. and hell .. they made me feel bad for him with that crazy punishment he got and how much he actually believed he was doing what he did for the sake of his people .. and his belief that he is human).

    Followed to the revelation of the truth about Queerats (which was shocking not becasue no one could have guessed it, but because most guesses where about cantus leakage unintentionally turning human outside the barriers into queerats like how cantus leakage deformed many other creatures.. but for humans with cantus to have actually intentionally turned other humans into beastly deformed creatures so they can kill them off when they want without fear of the death-feedback was unbelievably cruel and heart-breaking .. to the point where i thought maybe what squealer did was really the punishment they deserved .. you reap what you sow).

    Then Saki having a one-sided nostalgic -and somewhat bitter- conversation with Squealer before giving him a merciful death, and finally Saki and Satoru marrying and having a child and hoping humanity will change to the better .. it couldn’t have been better IMO.

    The background art, direction and music seriously deserve a ton of praise and are a huge part (besides the story and dialog) that created the amazing atmosphere this series had (damn, the chanting children chorus is so haunting, the OST of this series is really superb), right down to the very last scene the gripping atmosphere never lets you go.

    So far it’s undoubtedly the BEST anime of 2012 (unless Zetsuen pulls off something better than SSY in its ending, if it did i’d be really floored XD)

  17. gsilver says:

    This ending was brilliant. I’ll be writing up my own review for the show, but needless to say, this is one of the best shows to come around in a while.

    One thing I liked a lot about the ending, was that even before the revelation that the monster rats were genetically altered humans, the ending had a very strong feel of “the villain wins” in a horror story. If the appearances and perspectives of the rats and humans were switched, it would be difficult to not side with the rats in their plight. Especially because we’ve seen many instances of outright cruelty from even Saki and Satoru through the course of the series.

    As for Squealer sacrificing his own men, that’s a large part of human warfare, as well. Given the stakes and foes they were facing, a human general would likely make the same decisions, and his soldiers would be viewed as heroes.

    The other very human thing about the ending, is that the victor writes the history. The rats lost, and as such, their uprising was vilified and their leaders butchered.

    • HunterWulf says:

      Totally agree about the Squealer part, he is like any modern military leader throwing his men into the fray for the “greater good” of their nation/s, Squealer wasn’t a tyrant they clearly had voting and democracy implemented in a form of a primitive parliament (and since this is one of the few times when Squealer was actually saying the truth i’ll take his word for it .. after all he didn’t lie about what they did to the queens either or try to hide it from Satoru and Saki).

      The queerat soldiers themselves seemed rather devoted to their orders almost to the point of being suicidal .. and it’s really hard to force someone into a suicidal attack unless they strongly believe in the cause they are fighting for (think Japanese Zero planes pilots).

      Thinking about all this makes the trial of Squealer, his punishment and the revelation that Queerats are deformed humans all the more shocking.

  18. Dippindots says:

    Do you think Shun was really dead? I’m sort of thinking he’s just an immortal karma demon now, acting as a guardian angel of sorts to Saki. He couldn’t die even when he tried to kill himself with a cocktail of lethal poisons, so why would wrapping a tree around himself do the trick? Just my opinion

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 11:36 PM)
    *when playing visual novels
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 11:36 PM)
    @Aidan: Does it give any problems when playing visual novels? Windows 10 I mean, its just I see on the mangagamer site, kara no shoujo 2 for example is compatable with XP, 7, 8, I have windows 7 though. Would windows 10 give you bugs/issues with visual novels?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 11:21 PM)
    @Kaiser: definitely don’t. Windows 10 should be avoided at all costs. You’re not a gamer so you won’t see the full effect of its dysfunctionality, but still it’s buggy, incompatible with a lot of things and very heavy on the CPU. It’s specially weird since it doesn’t even add that much to W8, so who knows where or specifically what they screwed up.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 11:13 PM)
    Jesus, I was actually just think of asking if I should update to windows 10 or not, I’d been thinking about it, my mother was thinking of doing so also. Thanks for that, I’ll wait for a bit then.
  • Shunakuma85
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 10:16 PM)
    This is just a theory, but based on the looks of the baby and the description of the father, I truly believe that the father of hatchin’s baby is that boy who dressed like a girl and showed her his junk, whos father was a male acting like a female, or “dan”
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 09:40 PM)
    After SquareEnix acquired Eidos it also got hold of all it’s subsidiaries, including Crystal Dynamics. A 6th Legacy of Kain game titled Dead Sun was planned for the PS3 and announced around 2013, but unfortunately got axed and it’s corpse formed the now in beta phase Nosgoth multiplayer arena game. To spite the publisher the team (which had both BO and SR veterans) released some of the work they had finished for cancellation backlash:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJqsjJ16EsI
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 08:54 PM)
    @Aidan: you should’ve avoided the W10 upgrade m8, they are dying to throw me a free upgrade so we can do free quality testing for them as they gather info on all the stupid bugs it creates. Also LoK IP is with SquareEnix now of all companies, so who knows what happens.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 08:49 PM)
    @Aidan: That’s probably for the best since even if you follow every game’s plot to the end you’ll just be disappointed with the conclusion and the presumable death of the franchise. LoK:Defiance is a much more finished and refine game than both Soul Reavers tho, and it does include a form of conclusion. SR2 can be skipped if you don’t care about Janus Audron.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 02:57 AM)
    Well I will be moving away from the legacy of Kain series for now. One cause I have found them rather lackluster and two because the steam version of Soul Reaver 2 which I bought does not bloody work. Potentially because I am using windows 10 or maybe my computer is too powerful. Steam ports are all well and good but at least make the thing work guys.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, Sep 3. 2015 02:52 AM)
    @Bam: I know its connected to macross, which is pretty much my favourite anime franchise ever.

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