Shinsekai Yori was by far the best thing to come out last year. The show was a pure seinen and lived-up to my expectation in every single ways. I’m glad I decided to follow this confusing story and now it is time to see how well the show fared in every aspect.
Art and Animations
Shinsekai Yori’s art was rather unique and it helped make the show what it was. The art looked a bit surreal and undefined, like made from strokes of a brush, instead of the thin line of a pencil. This artistic approach was especially succesful to represent the magical and inexplicable world of Shinsekai Yori. Having said that, the art also had a lot of downside. It just seemed like most of the time the characters expressions and the action scenes were poorly represented because of how the art missed finer details.
There is always a fine line between artistic creativity and the effectiveness of the picture. It is a great thing for a show to have its own style, but it can come back to your face if that uniqueness has flaws that are not normally seen in the mainstream art. Shinsekai Yori was different, but it paid the price of this difference because the show was simply not as beautiful as other AAA shows out there. Having said that, the show was not ugly in the least (except for the dog), this is why Shinsekai Yori gets an 8 out of 10 in term of art and animation.
I’m not sure what to think of Shinsekai Yori’s characters. I absolutely loved Shun, but he barely managed to get any screen time before he died. Meanwhile I hated both Maria and Mamoru and the both of them became a center of the show and they kept shoving them into our faces. I don’t think that Maria and Mamoru were supposed to be hated by the public…to be honest I think maybe I was the only one to hate them so much, but they just never left a strong impression.
Even in the case of Saki, she might have been the main character but it was not until halfway through the show that you realized she was strong and different from the others. Her character was not that impressive until the end, and even then she was not the type of character to especially stand out as a powerful and imposing. Instead she simply seemed mentally stable and wise. Not to say that those aren’t great qualities, but they are quite unusual for a main character. Having said that the character development that undergoes Saki is absolutely incredible. Her adventures goes by so quickly, she went from hating her village to ruling it. She was constantly trying to fight the laws and fight against the injustice of our world and now she represents those laws and injustice. It is simply amazing to see the changes she underwent through all that she lived.
So this is why I am conflicted, I hated most characters, but at the same time the character development was so well done and intense that it is difficult to really hate the characters in the end. This is why I’ll give the show an 8 out of 10 for characters.
Shinsekai Yori was really odd in the way that it had no opening. This is quite unusual for an anime, especially when it runs for 25 episodes and ends up so good. It seems that instead of having an opening and an ending, they decided to simply have an ending…but what ending those where.
Shinsekai Yori first ending was absolutely mind blowing, it was definitively in my top 5 ending of all time. The song was catchier than the flu and the animation was a story in and of itself. That ending alone has made this show so much more awesome, the show could have turned to absolute crap and I would have still loved it if only because of that ending. Meanwhile the second ending might not have been as mind blowing and pants shattering as the first one, but it was still head and shoulder above anything you usually see in an anime.
Not only were the ending theme so good, the show also had an amazing soundtrack. It really made every moment seem so much more epic than they were, it made the show become alive and feel even more powerful than usual. For those reasons the show gets a 10 on 10 for the soundtrack and the ending.
Shinsekai Yori was a show that revolved entirely on the exploration of its universe and the struggle of the characters who lived in it. The story was really confusing and difficult to follow, I would not be surprised if most people abandoned the show after only a few episode because of the way the show is paced. The first few episodes go from slow character development episode to very fast paced action. The constant irregularities between the episodes paced made the show very difficult to follow, especially in the beginning. The story is already quite mysterious, the world is unnerving and with the inconstant story telling it made Shinsekai Yori an overall really difficult show for new comers to watch.
While the show is difficult to follow at first, it makes the show the great show it is in the long run. Shinsekai Yori manages to mix action and discovery by interlacing episode of different speed in between each other. One episode will be really fast paced and action intensive and the next one will be all talk and really slow, where we will learn something crucial about the world.
Meanwhile the story itself is quite interesting, but the story is pretty much the same thing as discovering the character and the universe, more than a story in itself. This is why I’ll talk about it more in detail in the next section, for what comes of storyline, Shinsekai Yori gets an 8 out of 10.
Overall Entertainment Value
The show has an incredibly imaginative universe full of magic and wonders and evil human rats. It is really difficult to fully comprehend the universe of shinsekai yori, the story reveal things in such mysterious ways and it also love to hide every single fact that it makes it difficult to feel at home in their world. If anything throughout the entire show you just spend your time completely mesmerized by the events and supernatural stuff that unfold in front of your eyes.
The show loves to revolve around plot twist and sudden revelation and therefore it always stays quite interesting for the audience. I must admit that I am kind of uncertain of the rewatchability of the show considering that just about every appeal of the show itself is in its element of the unknown and discovery but it made the first watch through the most satisfying thing the anime world had to offer for the two seasons it aired. Every fifth episode you could be certain to have a world shattering discovery that would completely change your view of the world. Everytime Saki grew up you discovered more about her world and learned more about her universe. Over time the small wonders and strict rule of the world of child-Saki became the common facts and reasonable restrictions of the world of adult-Saki. Your perspective of the world changed with hers and this made the show so much more enjoyable, because not only could you see character development in the show, you could develop with the character itself.
For those reasons Shinsekai Yori gets a 9 out of 10 for Overall Entertainment.
Shinsekai Yori was not a show for everyone, it is difficult to get into it, the show is mysterious and difficult to follow so therefore most people would have problem getting into it. Yet if you stick to it and watch it until the end you suddenly realize that all this nonsense and mysteriousness had a wonderful purpose. The ending of Shinsekai Yori alone is enough to make anyone mind explodes from the awesomeness that you discover. The show is a huge build up that releases small bit of information everywhere and throws foreshadowing to your face every 2 episodes, and yet no matter how hard you try to understand you won’t get things until the end because their world is so complicated that it is difficult to keep track with every detail they throw in your face.
Shinsekai Yori is a must watch, the best show of Fall 2012-Winter 2013, I recommend it to any seinen lover or anyone who enjoys the mysterious enough, you won’t be disappointed. Shinsekai Yori is a 9 out of 10 in the awesomeness scale and it deserves that spot.
Final Rating: 9/10
ZeroG signing off