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



Shin Sekai Yori, or From the New World, is a series that set out with a mission. Nowadays most anime adhere to their set of stropes. This is one of those shows that just said “screw conventions!” and it just went with an execution that just took so many different risks, taking almost nothing for granted, and ended up as quite a unique experience because of it.

Where most series that are based on something are based to a manga, visual novel, or things like that, with From the New World they actually set out to adapt an actual novel again, and it shows because the pacing is totally different from any other anime out there, including multiple timeskips that see the main characters grow up from small children to full grown adults. The story… makes use of this really well…

It’s hard to really talk about the story without spoiling, but let’s just say that you should not think that even though there are kids in this series, it’s kid-friendly. Shin Sekai Yori is DARK. It uses a lot of build-up to get to where it’s going, but when it’s there it makes one hell of an impact. It has created this unique setting for itself, and it takes a while to set everything up, but that also makes this series quite varied in its mood. The setting has got a lot of depth to it, and the creators actually managed to pull a ton of potential out of it.

The downside to this series is that it is not the easiest to watch, by far. Some episodes have animation that takes quite a few… “artistic liberties”. On one hand this had some of the best animation of the past half year in any TV-series. It can be absolutely gorgeous when it wants to. For a few shots each episodes. The rest of the airtime is full of inconsistent character-designs, weird camrea angles and jerky direction that makes it really hard to figure out what’s going on. It’s not bad or anything, but this will get jarring on some people.

It’s definitely not a show for everyone. Let alone the dark parts, this is a show for people who are looking for something experimental. A show that isn’t afraid to trip itself up over and over for its vision. And believe me: the vision that this series has is amazing.
One-Sentence Review: Taking a unique setting, along with a “screw conventions!”-mentality, Shin Sekai Yori delivers a storyline with a ton of depth to it for those with an open mind.
Suggestions:
Bokura no
Casshern Sins
Strange Dawn

23 Responses

  1. Airies says:

    this is one of the best animes I’ve ever seen. Shows like these are the reason I continue to watch. truly inspirational. If only the sales werent shit.

  2. chaoslimits says:

    Wow Squealer’s punishment actually made me gasp and recoil in horror.
    Squealer and Kiroumaru were brilliant from start to finish and the story is a real stark reflection of the history of humankind.

  3. Emma-hime says:

    You know when a series effects one on the level that it stays in their mind to the point where they dream of the final episode( I did) the very night after it airs, well thats some kind of message/signal as far as I’m concerned.

  4. JustPlain says:

    A brilliant series, I am actually considering buying it. If only more people would take such an approach to anime like SSY. Definitely my favourtie series of the last 2 years.

  5. Emma-hime says:

    Your in luck justplain because sentai have as far as I recall licensed this series for release.

  6. Starss says:

    I would have loved to hear Kiroumaru’s response to the “favour” Saki asked of him, being probably the most informed and unprejudiced member of the cast.
    The importance of the summer camp really surprised me, every event which happened afterwards referred to an aspect of the summer camp. That, was awesome foreshadowing.

  7. Saevel says:

    Honestly i like the different types of animation used. I think the artistic direction fit well with the psychological concepts of the story, in part that the mind can be a jumble mess, and what we see might actually be what is real.

  8. kei says:

    this is one of the few anime series that i can’t wait to watch, week after week. never did i expect, that within 25 episodes, there is so much growth in the characters: from innocent kids to adults who have witnessed such tragedy; from a servant to the main villain of the show. Love this anime, it is unconventional, it’s thought-provoking.

  9. dm00 says:

    For me, the ending redeemed what had seemed like a mediocre show — a show with a great deal of promise but a lot of problems with its execution (and I’m not complaining about the different animation styles, though I suppose part of my disaffection could stem from a subconscious reaction to that).

    The sum was a lot less than its parts.

    I liked the way the series looked. I liked the premise and the world. (I love the soundtrack.) I liked (most of) the plot. But for me something about the series just failed to gel. I have speculated that it might have been the way episodes would end on cliff-hangers, and then the next episode would be a time-skip (often with the characters having been brainwashed to have forgotten much of the experiences from the past) — this seems to distance the audience from the characters, making it a little hard to be emotionally involved with the characters, their problems, and their choices. But I’m not sure that’s it.

    But the ending doesn’t shy away from a lot of implications of the series, I will give it that.

    I would even hestitate to call Squealer the “villain” — antagonist, yes, but I’m not sure about villain.

    You recommend Casshern Sins, Bokurano and Strange Dawn — what about Now and then, here and there? That’s the series that I think comes closest to this one.

  10. thedude says:

    from your review i can tell you love day time soap operas but in anime form. this series was a disaster and was canned.

  11. Tulip says:

    Fun fact: We heard Dvorak’s Symphony No.9 in this anime over and over again. Dvorak’s Symphony is also called as “From the New World” =)

  12. kawabanga says:

    i tend to wait for shows to finish before starting as i love marathoning anime and of all the big series tat came out in 2012(psycho pass zetsuen jojo and magi hyouka SWORD ART ONLINE AND EVEN SAKURASOU) this was really the hardest to watch i actually started with this and marathoned all the other series inbetween and still had like 8 episodes left but near the end,granted i actually watched all those last 8 epsiodes together so i am really glad i didnt drop it i reckon it would’ve been much easier to watch from week to week,and i would recommend shiki to anyone that liked shinsekai for the horror and the atmosphere since shiki is another brilliant series with the atmosphere

  13. Kokutou says:

    This might just be a guess but I think Squealer might in fact be a reference to Animal Farm by George Orwell. There is a similar character in that book with the same name and if you’ve seen both the show above and read Animal Farm, you might realize some of the similarities. It just seems too perfect.

  14. yamapishy says:

    i dropped this series while at ep 7. the crappy animations and sudden twists just didn’t work for me. It was good at the beginning though. >_<

  15. Rich says:

    Yeah this show was simply brilliant. It was a real treat. But alas I am depressed. there’s nothing else remotely similiar to this show. It’s truly unique and breathtaking

  16. Kamen Grinder says:

    Sometimes I wonder if you’re stupid enough to believe that every anime show airing in Japan is an anime original.

  17. Porque says:

    not even through the first episode and i can tell its a crap show why people like this is beyond me…maybe drugs are involved when others watch idk but i feel sorry for anyone tricked into believing its a good show

  18. Kirro says:

    I agree. Shin Sekai Yori was simply a masterpiece. There are some adaptation hiccups of course, but most was executed splendidly. It seems that the folks at random curiosity also agree unanimously that SSKY deserves the Best Anime of 2013 award.

  19. Audrey Lewis says:

    I could not stop watching this anime as soon as I started. The story is so gripping; you really fall in love with the characters and want to see what happens to them. Great story, unique and believable world, and so many plot twists your head will spin. Overall, one of the best animes I have ever watched.

  20. Joakim says:

    I loved this anime and really glad I decided to watch it. I understand how some people wont like it but for me this is just the kind of shows I love. It really makes you think about what’s important and what things are worth and above everything else it makes you think for yourself. I got so absorbed into this anime and now feeling the impact it had on me.
    cant describe it all in words.

  21. Jedman says:

    Amazing ending to this Anime, made me well up at the end, thinks it’s because the Anime was quite an emotional ride and the last episode tied everything together so well.

    I thought it was a bit inconstant at times, but when it was good, it really was amazing and the character development, setting and story were all excellent.

  22. Dissapointment says:

    the story is unpredictable while it is doing its job fantastically well which make me can’t stop myself to finish it

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  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:42 PM)
    @Bam: There was this bizzaro Joan of arc slide show arthouse erotica anime from the 70s that recently got a re-release, its somewhat tied to Tezuka, really trippy shit, Kanashimi no belladonna.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:35 PM)
    As a book I could see it flowing better. Oshii or Kamiyama could more effectively adapt such density of material to screen.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:32 PM)
    Ultimately I think it got too ambitious and had too much on its plate.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:31 PM)
    I have yet to see genocidal organ, although yes Harmony was pretty below average and that was putting it mildly. I will consider re-evaluating it if it gets dubbed/when the dub comes out.
    Admittedly its a film of big ideas, my problem with it that the movie itself is just so plodding and I found it too overstuffed to properly focus on/fully develop its themes and the exposition was particularly heavy handed.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 05:15 PM)
    @Bam: yeah, heard about the Project Itoh, from what I heard they’re not that good thou, with only Empire of Corpses has a slightly favorable reviews. I believe Kaiser watched Harmony alrready and he gave a very negative rating.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:55 PM)
    For those who have somehow managed to miss the hype for Harmony:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC-6U8HCF8c
    The visuals are intriguing, the palette very sharp, and the CGI relatively well integrated. The early reviews been scathing tho, and given my experience with Empire of Corpses I can guess why.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:49 PM)
    Each piece of the trilogy is handled by a different cast and company. Empire of Corpses was done by Wit Studio, Harmony by Studio 4°C, and Genocidal Organ by Manglobe (or Geno Studio as they are called now).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 03:43 PM)
    Anybody seen Empie of Corpses? I watched it to get primed for that Harmony feature film anime, which is part of Project Itoh trilogy. Studio Wit went all out here. The animation is great, and the premise has potential, but the delivery was just botched.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 01:07 PM)
    @Mario, you were worried that you would be covering too much slice of life style anime this season, at least with this I will likely be taking one off your hands. I don’t want to cover it but hey if the public says so…guess I will have to suffer.
  • SuperMario
    (Monday, Jun 27. 2016 07:15 AM)
    Also it’s nice to see there was heated arguments on EVA even before I start to do any post review. The way I see it thou certain films/ series are classic/ influential for a reason, if they are brilliant I certainly can still see its sparks. Like I can still amazed of Potemkin Battleship on its montahe editing, or It Happens one night fot its influential on romantic comedy. So I really look forward to see how I feel about EVA hahaa

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