|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
Shin Sekai Yori
From the New World is set in a post-apocalyptic future where there is an apparent utopian society with psychics until a group of children come to learn that things aren't as they seem on the surface with their so-called utopia. The series delves into corrupt elements of the human condition in regards to the measures that the society in this series go through to maintain their so-called perfect society that involve questionable elements such as genetic manipulation, brainwashing and "purging" children who don't conform to the standards laid out by the village. The series takes its time to unveil more elements to its history and world that lead Saki and her friends to continue further questioning the ethical and moral ramifications in regards to how things came about in their present time through a period of twenty-plus years as events escalate throughout the series. It is effective at building up events and creating suspenseful moments whenever Saki and others get into any dangerous situations involving mutants or other psychics.|
While having a nice amount of plot buildup and world exploration, it does have its issues that keep me from wanting to rate it higher. A number of points in the series rely fairly heavily on exposition in order to reveal more about the true nature of elements to its world and history, which often take up a decent chunk of episode time. While necessary in understanding more about the title's plot and world, it can be taxing to less attentive viewers who hate this style of storytelling and want more "show, not tell" with their anime. Character depth and development is rather limited in the series as it is more focused on its plot and world exploration meaning much of the cast doesn't have much dimension to their personalities nor do we get enough focus at many points on character relationships to connect with them, especially with any romantic developments that Saki gets entangled with during the different time skips in the show. If you're expecting solid character depth with your anime, you might be disappointed with that particular aspect for From the New World.
Visually, From the New World's animation is.... avant-garde, as one way of putting it. The series makes use of different visual styles during tense points in its storytelling to enhance the haunting and dark aspects of its storyline, particularly in exploring the events that led to its present time and a number of the grotesque, horrific creatures that are encountered. During these points, the animation can be at its best showing unique designs with the mentioned creatures and seeing Saki and other psychics show off their powers during heated moments. However, there are points where the animation quality can take a hit with jerky animation and drawing errors in character designs.
While a decent series, I do think From the New World may be a bit overhyped in folks laying claim to it as one of the best titles that came out for 2012 and 2013. The plot buildup and world building are solid in execution, though character focus is limited and there are points where the series can get a little too heavy on exposition from its cast to reveal more to its story. Still, it does do well enough in sticking out from many recent anime offerings with what it has to offer.
Last updated Wednesday, August 13 2014. Created Wednesday, August 13 2014.
Shin Sekai Yori
(One episode watched):|
I guess the most important and revealing indicator of whether a new dramatic show is going to be worth watching is whether the characters immediately start developing interesting, believable personalities. This test isn't 100% accurate, but my experience has been that in the vast majority of cases, if the characters don't hook my interest rightaway, there's not much point in continuing onwards. Paranormal behavior can only be interesting when applied to interesting characters; it isn't intriguing enough in itself to make watching a show with dull, lifeless characters worthwhile. You have to build workable characters before you can add anything else on top of that. And Shinsekai Yori fails this test. I don't give a damn about 'faze cats' when I don't give a damn about the people they threaten. I didn't put it into words until later, but right from the start this show was giving me the wrong vibe. The unwritten message was 'this will not be a show which develops it's characters very well'. I was tempted to drop it immediately, but hung on for an episode in hopes that the characters would spring to life or something genuinely exciting would happen. But neither thing happened, and somehow violence, the supernatural, powerful music, and jumping back and forth between subplots all do nothing but annoy me when I'm not getting a clear and succinct message about what's going on or why I should care.
Last updated Monday, October 08 2012. Created Monday, October 08 2012.
|Official Japanese Series Web Site||http://www.tv-asahi.co.jp/shinsekaiyori/|