I’ve been asked several times what my favourite anime is. For a long time, I would have answered “Sailor Moon” in an instant. She was my childhood hero. However in September 2012, A-1 Pictures started to air Shin Sekai Yori, an adaption from the novel of the same title. There is no doubt the new favourite, after watching only the first few episodes.
Every Thursday, a new episode would be realised. My housemate Tony would download it, and I would cook dinner on Friday and we would both camp in his room to watch the new episode. I can honestly say those are my fondest memories of back then. Tony likes anime, much much more than me. I’m more of a manga girl. Also the types we went for are very different, so to say we were both hooked on this is showing just how exceptional it really is.
The story takes place in japan, a millennium from now. It’s this really nice place, rolling green hills and fields. No traces of our current urban civilisation. The story takes place in a village, where transport is via canal and there is no technology. We are first introduced to our characters as they are grade school kids; Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun.
It is soon apparent that instead of technology, the future world runs by telekinesis. Saki, our heroine one night has the omen come to her, or rather, her powers awaken. She is taken to a temple where her powers are sealed, then given back to her, and the next day she goes to big school where everyone is taught to control and use their powers.
The animation style, music and scenery is all beautiful. The future seems like a utopia. However we soon start hearing catches of secrets hidden under the perfect life everyone seems to live. Secrets that no one can remember. Their whole way of life is strictly controlled and our heros only start to scratch the surface when they vaguely notice the disappearance of a friend they can’t remember.
The story is original. It looks so simple and yet is insanely complex. Tony and I spent every week trying to guess what was going on, what would happen next, and we never did get it right. There is so much emotion in the entire thing that I both loved and hated the characters.
It’s scary too. There is a lot of suspense, and I would go so far as to say it can be put into the horror category. Not huge gore (although there is some) but classic suspense horror, executed perfectly. There were moments I was hiding under the covers.
Another great aspect of the show is the occasional flashbacks. We see glimpses of how our current world turns into theirs, and it’s amazing because most shows would have focused on the time of the apocalypse, and yet this show is based after all that. When humanity has started to rebuild itself.
After watching this show it made me think a lot about morality and control. This is what the show does, it makes you think something, and then it makes you question why you would think that. It’s so intricate and brilliant.
The ending theme song is also one of my favourite songs. I highly recommend you listen to it, even if you don’t plan on watching it (although you should.)
Finally here are some links in case you wanted to check Shin Sekai Yori out!
The ending song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=59uWltoH9mg