Shin Sekai Yori 19 — Fun at the Hospital

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Whoa, that was intense.

Not much else to say, aside from repeating myself and pointing out that Shin Sekai Yori continues to do wonderfully at ramping up the horror. Every time you think it can’t get any worse it does. Every single time. We start out with the hospital door obviously blown apart by Cantus. There’s a possible Fiend out there, can’t get much worse than that. Oh wait, now we’re surrounded by an entire army of Queerats. Yikes, the hospital is abandoned. Now there are assassins, wonderful. It turns out everyone’s dead except three prisoners. Oh wait, the prisoners are insane. Ah, that’s because the Fiend is still nearby. Oh, there he is on the front law, setting our friends on fire! We’d better escape, oh wait, now he’s at the back door, another one bites the dust. Phew, now we escaped on a boat, although everybody else died. Oh, there he is on the boat behind us. Crap. It keeps getting worse and worse.

Building Throw-Away Characters to Last

I’d also like to praise the way this episode handled the throw-away adult characters. They’re here for less than an episode, but they still have unique personalities and react differently to the horror unfolding before them. Of the people joining Saki’s team, one is only worried about someone back at the hospital. Another is foolhardy and thinks the Queerats aren’t any threat. The team leader is a bit cowardly and wants to just level the hospital. In retrospect, that probably would have been a good idea.

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Then we have the prisoners at the hospital. One goes plain vanilla frothing at the mouth insane. She lives the longest. The second tries to run as far and as fast as he can. The third keeps his wits about him, but is still panicked. Even though these characters aren’t here for long, their different reactions allow the viewer to fully grasp the magnitude of the situation.

Karma Fiends

Well, we knew a karma fiend would have to show up at some point, given how much they were discussed previously. I don’t think anyone really grasped how horrible they were until this point, though. It seemed just like an ordinary serial killer, horrible, for sure, but not something to bring about the destruction of humanity. It turns out the village was right to worry.

However, it seems like all their precautions have actually made them even more vulnerable to karma fiends. They engineered themselves to be unable to kill humans. I guess it could help stop the creation of karma fiends, but when it doesn’t work, they’re screwed. The death feedback should only kick in after killing someone though— can they kill the karma fiend first if they’re going to die anyway?

Regardless, I’m still not convinced that one karma fiend poses an existential threat. An arrow in the back will kill a normal cantus user, and I assume it will work just as well on a karma fiend. He’s got to sleep at some point. Although he’ll certainly do a lot of damage before he does.

The village is woefully unprepared for fighting though. These people greatly overestimate the power of their Cantus. Cantus isn’t going to help you if you’re busy barfing over corpses in the middle of battle. Plus the ordinary people seem to have very little training in combat. And then they are sending these poorly trained people out in groups of five to face armies with no coordination. You’d think they’d all want to stick together for defense instead of wandering around a warzone willy-nilly.

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Even if the users don’t seem to know what they’re doing in a battle, the Cantus powers are powerful. I like how they just went down the line popping the Queerats like bubbles. Can certainly understand barfing then.

25 thoughts on “Shin Sekai Yori 19 — Fun at the Hospital

    1. I think there are four possibilities: 1) Mamoru 2) Maria 3) Some human we’ve never seen before and 4) Some Queerat or other non-human has managed to gain Cantus powers. My bet’s on either 1 or 2. Probably Mamoru.

      1. Also (4) is highly unlikely because the people in the hospital couldn’t fight back, presumably due to death feedback. Or it could just be he’s ridiculously overpowering.

        1. hmm, i came up with a 5th possiblitie: shun, (actully must be dead after becoming a carma demon) but the doctor is saying “he’s back” or something like that

          1. I suspect it is the child of Mamoru and Maria, who were captured, bred, then executed by the Yakomaru. (Though he probably treated them very nicely until the baby finally came out)

          2. Hm, that would be interesting. Maybe he used his Cantus to put himself into another body or something.

          3. @Briff: I like this idea! Then Yakomaru trained the child to be a cold blooded killer… Maybe he trained him to see Queerats as human, and humans as animals, so that his death feedback is only triggered when fighting Queerats.

  1. They’re facing against a fiend*. The psychotic killers.
    A karma demon is when their cantus pollutes everything around them, what Shun was becoming. There’s no karma fiend 🙂

    1. Also, that fiend that attacked last time killed about 1000 that day. So yeah the casualties are pretty high. It would be smart if they high powered man-made weapons (guns) life the queer rats since humans can’t use cantus to harm other humans. I mean, after the extensive lengths they go to prevent fiends, you would think they would come up with a way to combat them..

      1. Seriously. It seems like they’re just sitting ducks. My impression was that the death feedback was for killing humans in general, not just for killing them with Cantus. So I think weapons would have the same problems. Still, maybe if you make traps and don’t kill the fiend directly? Or convince yourselves that fiends aren’t actually human?

  2. Intense! Yep, that just about explains this whole episode. It does seem like the village’s idea of conditioning people to not kill other humans has put them in a tight spot, but while they can’t attack the fiend I still don’t understand why they’d be killed so easily. Taking offensive measures may be difficult, but couldn’t they block the attacks with some kind of…mental force-field or something..? I mean, even if you don’t want to fight someone, sticking your arms up to guard their punches is far from violent. Maybe it has to do with preventing the collision of cantus, I donno. I’m excited to see a proper confrontation though.

    1. Good point, I was wondering the same thing. You’d think they could do *something* short of actually killing the guy. What I gather is that the fiend is so overpowering that they can’t defend themselves. The people who died didn’t exactly seem to be in the most logical states to be worried about collisions of Cantus.

  3. I think that the fiend is maria and mamoru’s child. It would explain the cocoons. It’s like a child playing with its toys.

    1. Oooh I hadn’t thought of that! Now that would be interesting! The oldest he could possibly be at this point is nine I think, so he would be really young. Maybe he hasn’t even seen any humans other than his parents. I’m curious what their kid would look like!

      1. “The oldest he could possibly be at this point is nine I think”

        12, actually. The same age Saki and Satoru were during the first arc of the show…

        1. You’re right, the time jump was twelve years. The same age they started. This theory is becoming more and more plausible…

    2. maybe, i came up with the same idead last episode too 🙂 but the question is, why would the child help the queerats? maybe he was raised by them?

      also i got another guess, in the second episode it was shun who read the story about the carma demon, later he bacome one, in the first episode maria read the story about the fiend so she mind be the fiend, but the haircut and the anatomy don’t match, it looks more like a child

      1. I like Briff’s idea (above in the comments) that Squealer had Maria pop out a baby and, killed the parents, then raised the child himself to be a killer. That would explain why he’s helping them.

        I kind of doubt it would be Maria, she seemed to be one of the most stable of the kids… but anything is possible.

  4. I like the idea of Maria and Mamoru’s child becoming a fiend under Yakomaru’s control, too. As I understood, though, in the preview Maria (read: her ghost) assures Saki of her help. But this wouldn’t necessarily contradict the theory.

    I was surprised when the team leader suggested to level the hospital. The foolhardy guy most likely was still inside the building! Does death feedback only work as long as you actually see the person you are killing? If so, I would lure the fiend in some abandoned building (e.g. with candy in case he’s a child) and than raze the whole place, fiend included.

    1. That team leader was an idiot. Actually, all the adults have come across quite poorly in the last two episodes. When they were kids all the adults seemed unstoppably powerful and clever, but now they reek of bumbling incompetence.

      I always skip the previews and miss things (especially now that the ED is not worth listening through like the old one). If her child became a fiend I imagine Maria would want to help stop it.

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