Shin Sekai Yori Review — A-

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Shin Sekai Yori (SSY) follows a group of children who come of age in a dystopian, post-apocalyptic society in which humans have gained psychic powers.

Shows like this are basically the reason I watch anime. I love epic, imaginative series like this one. Shows that span entire lifetimes. Shows where there isn’t a clear hero and an obvious villain. Shows that don’t end with everything being rainbows and unicorns. Shows that make us explore some uncomfortable ideas. Shows that slowly and inexorably draw you into a mounting state of horror.

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SSY knows how to exploit the power of animation to its fullest. It isn’t constrained by reality. At one point, Saki is fighting some giant monster, then suddenly the moon replaces the sun, she tumbles through the sky and starts talking to a ghost. This and so many other scenes like it completely take your breath away.

There are two reasons I gave SSY an A- and not an A: first of all, the earlier episodes are inconsistent. The majority of them are amazing, but then we get an episode almost entirely focused on depicting Saki’s crotch. Second, I was disappointed by the last few episodes, which essentially amounted to a lengthy chase scene. That would have been cool at the beginning, but wasn’t as effective coming at the end. Fortunately, SSY rallied for an A+-material final episode and conclusion.

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  • Storytelling – A – Epic and imaginative.
  • Voice – A – Great feeling of horror; distinguishes itself with imaginative dreams / crazy Cantus shit.
  • Characters – A – We watch Saki grow and develop from childhood.
  • Attention Grab – A – I was always surprised to discover an episode had ended.
  • Production – A – Beautiful. (except the crotch episode)
  • Overall – A-

Recommendations – Ghost Hound, Higurashi no Naku no Koro ni, Noein, Shiki

11 thoughts on “Shin Sekai Yori Review — A-

  1. Come on Draggle. You should give Saki’s crouch some more love. (LOL)

    Anyway… Shin Sekai was excellent. I’d give it an A. No matter what it may have done wrong, it definitely didn’t do anything conventional.

  2. New to this site and I’ve seen some of your reviews. You’re concise and quite critical on your reviews so if you think this series is an A-, I’m keeping tabs on it :P. Been meaning to watch it actually but haven’t found the time yet.

  3. The A- is well deserved!

    It has been a while since I watched a series where I was really desperate to know what will happen next. Most series are either just random or the premise is so hilarious and full of logical gaps that I can’t really immerse myself in that series’ universe (this applies for PP and R;N, e.g.). SSY, on the other hand, was very consistent imo once you buy the basic Cantus premise. Perhaps it pays off, here, that it was based on a proper novel!

    Also, the atmosphere for most parts was just excellent. You could never be sure what would happen next. Just take ep. 19 when they visit that hospital – I was on the edge of my seat! It adds that there is a sense of imminent doom for most of the time once it turns out that Squealer’s guys are quite resourceful and will turn against the Cantus users sooner or later.

    Production would receive only a B from me, though. There were beautiful pictures, as well (in particular in the village), but there also was way too much badly integrated 3D CGI (in particular, when the Cantus users moved some objects through the air) and episodes 5 and 10 (the crotch episode) just looked awful to me. Why on earth did they save budget on Saki’s crotch?! I also would have liked some more fanservice, in particular re Saki x Maria. But then again, the first ED both visually and musically was close to perfect imo!

    All things being said I think that SSY has been an exceptional series and truly deserves the label “epic”!

    1. It has been a while since I watched a series where I was really desperate to know what will happen next.

      So true. It was actually Code Geass which got me into anime, which absolutely excels at making you want to watch the next episode. I love that kind of show, that puts you on the edge of your seat and never lets you lean back.

      5 and 10 were horrible (esp. 10), probably D level material at best. The rest of the episodes were pretty good though. The CG didn’t bother me that much (I like Noein with all its CG, this is nothing). And as you say, that first ED was perfect. Normally I don’t like music in anime at all. But this is one of the few anime songs I have in my music library, along with the Penguindrum and Tsuritama soundtracks.

  4. no, giving this series an a- is the exact opposite of being critical 🙂

    maybe check out my blog (in a few days, the review is not done yet) to read how I tore this anime a new one. and I too really wanted to like it, it was all right in the beginning before they switched the tone and completely lost focus and everything went straight to hell

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