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Shin Sekai Yori – 07 »« Shin Sekai Yori – 05

Shin Sekai Yori – 06

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「逃避行」 (Tohiko)
“Getaway”

It always seems like a fresh experience every time I go into a Shin Sekai Yori episode. Maybe it’s because we’re barely a quarter into the show and there’s still that shiny coat of paint, but I’m continuously fascinated by the amount of content brought to the table every week. In contrast to its disquieting beginnings this is Shin Sekai Yori at its most action-packed yet, a thoroughly enjoyable romp packed with some real visual treats in the PK powers, while still delivering the same enthralling narrative, albeit with the first few noticeable stumbles here.

Guilty as charged is the fantastically trippy scene that opened the episode up, of a naked Shun bursting from the ground and Minoshiros creeping up to a confused Saki. I’d like to think that the production has been pretty water-tight up until now in its narrative and direction, but I’m not entirely sure what I’m supposed to be taking from this scene. Is it a hallucination brought forth by her stress, or an effect of the poisonous gas? Right now, I’m inclined to believe it was a waking dream where Saki evaluated the disparate events of the last few episodes subconsciously, eventually giving her the idea of a hypnosis-induced reboot of Satoru’s juryoku. But it remains a disparate scene with no real narrative connotation, one that strikes me more as “style over substance”. (Well, asides from the implications of her dreaming about Shun naked. No surprises who she wants to “Bonobo” with!)

I know, I know, I’m making a pretty big hoo-hah for only two minutes of the episode, because asides from this incongruent scene it’s business as usual for Shin Sekai Yori. Continuing from last episode, the focus here remains squarely on Saki and Satoru, both who see a number of affirmations and turns to their respective characterizations. We’ve seen Saki time and again display an uncanny perception to the events that occur; she’s the one coming up with unorthodox but highly effective solutions to their problems, and through her brainstorms we’re seeing how individual plot points are connected. This episode brought that intellectual capability to the forefront, where in a particularly clever move she used the mantra she sneakily learned from Satoru – Again, that uncanny resourcefulness on display here – to re-hypnotize his juryoku back. And for most of the episode, she’s the guiding hand to Satoru’s PK sword, directing his attacks and playing the role of strategist as they move on to the offensive against the Ground Spider queerats. Now how’s that for a capable protagonist? She’s really coming into her own in this series, and that’s something I can appreciate.

On the flipside, to see Satoru’s character take a 180 after regaining his PK brings something new for us to consider. We know from last episode that when the situation turns grim, he can become surprisingly level-headed and resourceful, but with his PK restored he only moves further away from that typical bratty front. There’s a clear bloodlust present throughout the episode as he hunts down the Queerats with his overpowering PK while dispelling Saki’s attempts to dissuade him from his spree. It’s an intriguing shift in character, and I can only wonder if he’s on some PK-fueled power trip – like that moment of catharsis you get murdering thousands of innocents in GTA…what? I’m sane! – or if this is some sort of genetic disorder (like the Fiends and Demons) that’s associated with the PK abilities. Regardless, the intended parallels of his rampage to the PKers of times past are obvious, seeing as how Satoru stepped beyond the act of self-defence to actively wage war on the Ground Spiders. The morality of the need to inhibit PK powers is again brought into question, especially since we see Satoru undergoing such a drastic change in personality this quickly.

Speaking of which, I really liked how the fights with the Ground Spiders played out here. There’s a lot of creativity in how the PK abilities are utilized: there’s of course the standard psychic powers like the deflection of projectiles and rocks, but then we get to see some really creative stuff like the bombardment of flaming trees and the zombie-like manipulation of the dead queerats. Equally entertaining to watch were the varied ambushes Ground Spiders prepared and the wildly distinct monsters carrying them out, from this tree bark creature to the frogs and moles. How did the Ground Spider tribe manage to control these disparate species? There’s plenty of questions raised about their army and tactics, not forgetting the fact that they also possess those gas pumps that seem far beyond the technological levels of the tribes. Plus, what of the Robber Fly’s true motive? While appearing subservient to the duo, Saki soon picks up that there’s something off about their actions the way they’re being led into ambush after ambush. The Ground Spiders remain the immediate concern and I’m pretty sure they still want them gone, but there are hints being dropped that Squealer and the Robber Fly tribe might have further goals.

It’s an engrossing episode the way Shin Sekai Yori has been every week, but before I end off there are a couple of nagging inconsistencies to be mentioned. For one, why was it that Saki couldn’t tell her mantra to Satoru to regain her PK? And secondly, why wasn’t there a death feedback for Satoru’s killing spree? After revisiting episode 4, it struck me during Rijin’s act of sealing the kids’ juryoku that his words also imply their mantras were removed, probably sealed from their memories. And it’s possible that the increasing exhaustion of Satoru could’ve been the death feedback instead of the overexertion it seemed to be. If so, the script definitely could’ve expanded on this more clearly, as these were questions I felt could’ve been answered pretty easily within the episode. Still, it’s a good showing from Shin Sekai Yori again, and I’m looking forward to the hook the next episode brings.

Random Thoughts:

  • Apologies for the later than usual post as I was out of town over the weekends. (For the amazing Distant Worlds concert.) Also, no episode preview with the early broadcast this week. I’ll check again during the standard broadcast and if the preview’s there I’ll update this post accordingly. Updated with preview from standard broadcast.

Full-length images: 25

 

Preview

Shin Sekai Yori   06   Preview 01 Shin Sekai Yori   06   Preview 02 Shin Sekai Yori   06   Preview 03
November 5, 2012 at 7:49 pm
28 comments »
  • November 5, 2012 at 7:59 pmdimasok

    I agree that it was weird that Saki couldnt teach Satoru and regain her PK or maybe even self-hypnotize and regain it that way. The way Satoru is right now (low on PK stamina), he won’t be of much help next episode

    • November 5, 2012 at 10:26 pmTez

      I don’t think it’s so easy to self-hypnotise

    • November 6, 2012 at 10:34 amHunterWulf

      She can’t do that cause the monk in ep 4 wiped their individual mantras (the word used to restore PK powers) from their memory (her assumed they followed the rule before and never told anyone about them) .. but becasue Satoru showed his mantra to Saki briefly she was able to use it to restore his powers .. he can’t do the same to her becasue –>

      1.she can’t remember her own mantra (the monk wiped it away in ep4 when he fully sealed their powers)

      2.Satoru didn’t see Saki’s mantra when she tried to persuade him to change mantras in the flash-back, only she saw his mantra (and it didn’t get wiped from her memory because it isn’t her mantra).

  • November 5, 2012 at 8:00 pmJustin

    I don’t want any of the main characters to die! I already know Saki will end up watching one of her friends die, but hopefully my foreshadowing preconceptions are wrong.

  • November 5, 2012 at 8:00 pmMike

    For one, why was it that Saki couldn’t tell her mantra to Satoru to regain her PK? And secondly, why wasn’t there a death feedback for Satoru’s killing spree?

    My take on it is that while Rijin “sealed” their mantra, likely with hypnosis. So while Saki can tell Satoru his mantra(since it isn’t her own, so therefore not subject to the hypnosis), she can’t tell him her own mantra, as she cannot remember due to the hypnosis.

    As for the death feedback, doesn’t that only work when the target is human? I’m not sure queer rats would fall under that category.

    • November 5, 2012 at 8:06 pmAsobi

      You’re right. Like I mentioned, I revisited episode 4 and Rijin specifically mentioned “You will never again remember your Mantra.” Still, they could’ve worked it into the script the way they did in previous episodes. There was little clue a passing statement like this could’ve become something so significant.

      Also, about the queerats, the assumption came from episode 4 as well, where Rijin “appeared” to be suffering from the death feedback during his attacks as well – great strain on his body and exhaustion which were the same symptoms Satoru suffered from. They should’ve cleared this particular bit up.

      • November 6, 2012 at 12:45 amSortedevaras

        Maybe the death feedback only effects you if you THINK the target is human. It can be theorized that the queerats may have developed from the hunter/gatherer non-PKers. If this is true then Rijin (being in a position of authority) would know this and Satoru would not. Rijin used his powers for a far shorter amount of time then Satoru has, and with his profession and experience should be able to endure longer then he did. Thus death feedback is based on perception, a sociopath would be free to do as they please so they are weeded out.

        Or perhaps there was more to the mantra then we have been told so far. It would be hard to have DNA altered specifically to prevent harming others, maybe the mantra (through post hypnotic suggestion) needs to tell the brain to feel a certain emotion when a Pker perceives they are harming humans. This would release of a specific hormone which signals the body to do whatever the scientists engineered. For example, alter society to be borderline diabetic, have the body produce too much insulin when conditions are met. A kind of final fail safe. Saki wouldn’t know to include this in Satoru’s new mantra so no death feedback for him.

  • November 5, 2012 at 8:18 pmEntrav

    Yay! The animation is back to normal… Those with power will almost always abuse it. Somehow, I don’t trust Squealer or the people they’re helping at all. In fact, I don’t even know what to trust.

  • November 5, 2012 at 8:33 pmTeabie

    Don’t like the nagging thought that Squealer is leading our humans to their deaths intentionally. In all honesty, I would have left the minute I got my skills back. But well, life’s not always so straightforward. Saki is an amazing girl for her age – but I guess she had her own demons to deal with as a child, esp knowing what happened to her ‘sibling’ – her parents lost a child, and having seen the ‘bakeneko’. She matured more quickly than the others. I can’t wait for all the eps, and does anyone like the opening tune as I do? Very eerie but adequate.

    • November 6, 2012 at 5:01 amyumeruhime

      YES I ENJOYED THE OPENING TUNE EVERY SINGLE EPISODE, MORE SO THAN ANY SONG (EXCEPT THE ED)!
      saki, i would said, is a naturally distrusting character. she doubts many things. that is probably why she matured the most throughout the show for now.
      could they at least show some glimpses of how the other characters are doing? i’m dying to know.
      i would like to relate to something saki’s dad has once said “the queerats worship humans with Cantus as gods, and would never disobey.” but there is such a thing as “rebelling in secret”.

  • November 5, 2012 at 8:38 pmc2710

    Right from the start where they met the Robber Fly clan, there’s something about them that I find to be weird

    There’s this nagging feeling that they’ve got an ulterior motive and they’re hiding it quite well

    As for “Satoru’s reboot scene (Minoshiro swarming on Saki included)”, NOW that you mentioned it Asobi, I never thought of it that way. Though I had a nagging suspicion when I initially watched it.

    I mean come on… In Fate Stay Night, Shiro’s mana replenishment scene with Saber was “pictured to be a dragon”. So why not “Satoru’s reboot” as well…

  • November 5, 2012 at 8:58 pmfragb85

    I believe Satoru isn’t getting struck by death feedback because he’s not seeing or hearing anything that resembles something human-like. So far, he’s hearing non-human squeals and grunts. If one of the queerats starts screaming in a tone that sounds human like what happened to Rijin, Satoru would be f***ed. They could even make a dummy resembling a human to trigger death feedback if they knew.

    Sartoru’s bloodlust is probably what the Database indicated when a PK like Boy A realizes that they are very powerful. It doesn’t help that he’s only 12 yrs old. At this point he will probably need Saki more than ever to keep him sane and stable. When the time comes I hope he will listen to her.

  • November 5, 2012 at 9:16 pmshin

    What was with the creepy minoshiro version of rainbow and ponies?

  • November 5, 2012 at 10:53 pmEmD

    MY BOY SATORU!!!!!!!

    lol what the hell is ‘Shun’ anyway.

  • November 6, 2012 at 12:07 amKF

    In a world where 12 year olds have the power to use Meteor like in Final Fantasy, I suppose the collapse of the ancient civilization is inevitable. That is some wicked moves! What’s next – a grand scale Meltdown? Mass Meteors? I can’t wait for the next episode.

    Saki is definitely the strategist with Satoru as her sword. Without a doubt she favours Shun over Satoru though and expect conflict between them in the future.

    TQ

    • November 6, 2012 at 2:05 amCybersteel

      Did no one try to be heroes? Like defeating evil PK users with your own PK ability?

      • November 6, 2012 at 3:10 ameharper256

        Unfortunately, the human desire for stability and ease (even at the hands of a tyrant) tends to override our propensity for heroism.

  • November 6, 2012 at 5:33 amunknown2

    Bonding between Saki and Satoru is suprisingly a good match!

  • November 6, 2012 at 5:36 amjhpace1

    A good comeback after the terrible quality of the last episode. Satoru as an overconfident pre-teen as he tried to exterminate the enemy queer-rats. Saki leading Satoru with suggestions and strategy.

    I agree the children are being used by Squealer and the Robber Fly clan against the Ground Spiders. “We found a cleared path with our scouts.” Yeah, sure. More like “let’s use the uber-weapon to clear out our enemies before the uber-weapon leaves us to our interracial squabbling again”. I think the children were led straight through the enemy watchpoints, and now the children are overlooking the enemy camp itself. Not a “cleared” path! Obviously the adults of the village don’t take care of the queer-rats in their nests, and simply use the queer-rats as slave labor. The queer-rats are on their own when not enslaved by the village, so they’re taking advantage of the children’s PK powers because the children are more gullible than the adults.

    Can anybody use the screen image capture to tell us Satoru’s mantra?

    Satoru was right about the Cantus, however. It is more an offensive than a defensive PK. Thus the children are still vulnerable to snipers and traps.

    The Robber Fly clan is going to keep using Satoru’s PK until the Ground Spiders are eliminated. Satoru might not last that long, and Saki has no Cantus on her own, yet.

    • November 7, 2012 at 9:32 pmEkimmu

      Matra = Natsu = Summer

      • November 8, 2012 at 6:12 amjhpace1

        Thanks!

      • November 11, 2012 at 9:19 pmruirui

        actually, im pretty sure his matra is not natsu, and the letters in the screen cap above you see are actually na-u, and when you watch the episode, she was able to pencil out a third letter, possible more below, so his matra is still unknown (unless its exposed in the VN?)

  • November 6, 2012 at 6:49 ammac65

    I like this series. Okay, having said that, I’m wondering how watered down this adaptation will end up being from
    the original novel. In particular, the last episode was key for me. The whole capture/cage sequence didn’t make
    any sense until someone mentioned that the sexual implications were much stronger in the novel (as far as I know,
    the novel hasn’t been translated which makes it doubly hard to understand some things). I think the episode’s
    terrible artistic perspective was done in an attempt to lessen the fact that Saki was petting Satoru to ease their stress.

    IMHO, after Satoru regained his PK, wouldn’t a clear thinking person try to find their companions and return to safety?

    When I read that aspect back into the story line, I wonder if Satoru’s blood thirst isn’t driven by testosterone, and the
    author is leading us down the path that PK is essentially controlled through intimacy? Were the past conflicts fuelled
    by sexual competition among peers? The Bonobos group sex stress relief reference in previous episodes is in stark
    contrast to what is acceptable behaviour in our “modern” society. Is the author teasing us with an alternate premise?

    Dunno.

    But, for now, I feel like this adaptation is almost like baking a cake without yeast – you’ll get a little natural rise and
    it might be digestable, but it ain’t what it’s supposed to be.

  • November 6, 2012 at 10:53 amHunterWulf

    Actually about the “rat people look like humans” part in ep4 when the kids were speculating why the monk was suffering after using his PK powers (i say it was rather the holographic human the false Minoshiro showed him before it “died”, that’s what triggered his kill-switch and the rest was exhaustion from using PK powers to split the earth and cast a tronado).

    Here in ep6 most of the Queerats Satoru Killed he killed from far away .. those he killed face-to-face were transformed into other creatures (like the frogs, insects and moles) so i’m not 100% sure that Satoru’s dearth-feedback activated .. IMO it’s more feels more like he is just exhausted from overusing his fully unshackled PK powers … also if the show is trying to be a Sci-Fi story they must establish that continuous excessive use of PK abilities (i.e like Satoru did this episode) must be exerting on the body even without a kill-switch/Death Feedback .. there is no such thing a limitless power … heck in fantasy series like Magi Aladdin exerted himself and fainted becasue his magic draws energy from his body and he needs rest and food to be able to use it again.

    What i find most interesting are the peculiar transformation ability that’s unique to the Tarantula clan (since the other Queerats can’t use it) .. at least so far our heroes assumed the Queerats from the Tarantula Clan can transform into other monsters (maybe that’s the Fiends Syndrome) … also .. how did the Tarantula Clan get technology to build poison manufacturing pods and build tubes and pumps to spread the poison into the colony they attacked .. they don’t seem that smart .. maybe some non-PK using humans are helping them or something to kill all and any PK users and any slave Queerat clans that server PK users like Squealer’s clan

    Also .. just reminding people that PK using humans are the people inflicted by the Applebaum Syndrome and they were called “Karma Demons” by the false Minoshiro .. we still don’t know who are the “Fiends” (i.e the ones inflicted by the “Fox in the hen house” syndrome) .. it can be the Queerats or those monsters they transformed into or controlled to lay ambush to our heroes this episode.

  • November 6, 2012 at 11:27 pmObsidian

    Is it possible that the queen isn’t safe yet? Maybe the Queerats lied to Saki and Satoru and are using the kids as a way to create safe passage for the queen?

  • November 7, 2012 at 7:32 pmWenike

    Kinda an odd thought, but back in episode 1, we saw Saki lose her initial power and then regain it via that one ceremony. Maybe that ceremony curbs the bloodlust that having so much power can give (like boy A) and that is why Satoru’s personality changed? He didn’t that ceremony again, though Saki definitely took the idea of it to give Satoru his power back.

    • November 8, 2012 at 6:19 amjhpace1

      The fire ceremony (“purification”) is obviously to channel the childrens’ PK powers into a narrow view. Instead of “anything goes” with their PK, they have a “Cantus” and are taught certain words to use with their Cantus. Notice how one boy observed the elder on a floating virtual lily pad and said “So that’s levitation”, indicating that he could not do the same with his Cantus.

      When Saki used Satoru’s secret mantra to give him his Cantus back, it was giving him the same Cantus back, still the one the Buddhist monks “gave” him.

      I don’t think the children “lose” their PK powers at all during the purification ceremony – it hypnotizes the children into thinking their PK powers can be taken, sealed, given back, used within limits, and ordered around by others. That’s how the scientists who created the village control the PK users.

  • November 9, 2012 at 4:53 pmoyoge

    In the novel Satoru stubbornly insisted that escaping and showing their backs was more dangerous than fighting head-on because PK is more effective when used in attacking than protecting.

    It seems Rijin was already doomed when he burned the psuedo-minoshiro and saw the mother and child image the library projected as a way of self-defense and killing the rats only accelerated the process. Satoru’s exhaustion is explained in the novel that even though PK has no limits in its power and quantity, a PK user’s mind has limits in concentration and ability to endure pressure from using PK without breaks and Saki said maybe having retrieved his power the way she did contributed to his quick exhaustion too.

    When their juryoku were sealed, it seems they also all forgot their mantra. Only Shun remembered his mantra on his own later (but somehow just remembering mantra didn’t work and he would need Saki’s help).