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Shin Sekai Yori – 08

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「予兆」 (Yocho)
“Omen”

I love me a good time jump, not only in the way it can strongly reinvigorate a narrative but also in the way it can completely change it up. There’s something’s incredibly appealing about taking the foundations that the story’s being built on and completely flipping them over, and that’s what the episode of Shin Sekai Yori tried to deliver. What I can honestly say is that as prepared as I was with the hints and rumors I’ve been exposed to, I don’t think I could’ve ever been prepared for stunning turn of events here.

There really isn’t any way around it, so I’ll address the elephant in the room first in my crackdown of this episode. Specifically, the show’s portrayal of homosexuality. With little preamble about it we’re thrust 2 years into the kids’ future – now aged 14 and unscathed from the camping trip incident – to suddenly find the Shun-Satoru pair (now voiced by Murase Ayumu and Kaji Yuki respectively) and the Saki-Maria pair in open relationships. And it’s not just them; the opening minute of the episode shows the corridors of their school lined with same-sex couples all over, with nary a normal couple in sight. Not a scene you’d typically see, and as we get to the explicit displays of intimacy between characters, to say the episode was shocking would be an understatement: This was going to be a polarizing episode of Shin Sekai Yori.

To be blunt, if you’re looking for a fair and sincere take on the topic of homosexuality in anime, you won’t find it here. I’d agree that the portrayal of the subject was tastefully approached by A1-Picture, and I really appreciate that they didn’t shy away from honest depictions of the characters. Neither did they play it for gags – it wouldn’t be fitting for such a story anyway – or fanservice. (Though some might disagree with me on this.) But Brokeback Mountain this ain’t; the show might not demean the subject, but it doesn’t make it a priority. Instead, like much of the developments in the series it’s well thought-out with regards to the ongoing sci-fi narrative first and foremost. I’ve mentioned before that this was a world with sensibilities very much displaced from ours’, and the events of this episode seem to be hammering down that point. Homosexual relationships are viewed no differently from normative-hetero relationships here, and to these bisexually-orientated people it might just as well be the same thing. It’s a point made acute with the distinct lack of any standard couples in the school, or if there were any, their presence was so minimal I didn’t notice. The very public displays of affection – with butt slapping and lots of soft petting – are striking in the same way, and it’s a behavior that’s pretty alien to us. Now throw in what we’ve learned of the Bonobos conditioning, and apart from what we’ve seen of the main characters we’re finally looking proper at a society that has been twisted by it. The openness to sexual orientation and intimacy shown by the students here seem to stem from the ingrained conditioning.

It’s only contrasted further by how grounded the characters are emotionally, their portrayal not far off from a teen in puberty once you strip away sexual dispositions. And to be honest, the relationships plays out rather simply here. Saki’s still in love with Shun but hasn’t approached him, most likely because of his intimacy with Satoru. (Who seems to take their relationship and subsequent breakup pretty seriously.) So she seeks solace in a relationship with Maria, who seems to truly love her back. Outside of all this sits Mamoru (Takagi Moteki), who carries a torch for Maria one-sidedly and silently follows her with his portraits. Change up the genders here and there, and you’ll won’t arrive too far away from your typical teenage romances. It makes the whole scenario strangely familiar yet hugely unsettling in its partially displaced nature, and if that’s what they were aiming for, they’ve succeeded pretty well on that front.

Keep in mind the characters all knew about the Bonobos conditioning, but still conformed to the norms of their society 2 years on. It seems that under the assumption that their transgressions were kept secret from the adults, they’d largely returned to their normal lives, and I liked that they did. Knowing the truth didn’t change how the kids were brought up to live, and helps further set Shin Sekai Yori’s world stand distinctly apart from ours. The only exception is of course, the one boy that’s been telegraphing all sorts of signs since the start: Shun. While the other characters seem to be emotionally invested in the web of relationships, only Shun seem detached from it, and his relationship with Satoru strike me as a failed attempt at conforming despite the knowledge from the False Minoshiro, especially when breaking up with Satoru he said that he was “fed up of being his little doll”. The top juryoku user Kaburagi is somehow alarmed by Shun as well, who hatches an unknown but disturbing creature out of an egg. It’s a display of incredible but dangerous power, and along with him being pegged as a genius, there are strong parallels to the karma demon tale, asides from A1’s own visual cues.

We then come to the end of the episode, where Saki learns that he’s not only leaving for rehabilitation, but is also warned by Shun that their transgressions were always known and that their punishments was only delayed. He tells her to watch out for the Nekodamashi, and gives her a protection charm. Is this dangerous knowledge what’s affecting him, or is it something biologically-related to the Hasimoto-Appelbaum Syndrome (which results in Karma Demons) that’s driving him off the deep end? I guess the point where they reveal what’s actually affecting Shun is where we’ll get some big answers.

Full-length images: 12, 17, 19.

 

Preview

Shin Sekai Yori   08   Preview 01 Shin Sekai Yori   08   Preview 02 Shin Sekai Yori   08   Preview 03
November 19, 2012 at 1:52 am
134 comments »
  • November 19, 2012 at 2:01 amJustin

    I feel so bad for Mamoru. He’s so innocent. Just a simple boy likes girl, but that girl is stolen away by another girl who has feelings for a guy… Makes me hate Saki at times…

    • November 19, 2012 at 2:23 ameharper256

      Like a chain of dominos, eh? I can’t hate Saki, she’s merely working the reactionary angle in retaliation to the guys she’s interested in hooking up.

      In any case, it was refreshing to see them tackle this in a way that didn’t give into some kind of hardcore pandering BL and Yuri for otaku and fujoshi. It was ~just~ enough for it to feel disturbing for us with modern sensibilities without taking it too far into the ridiculous territory. Well played, sirs.

      • November 19, 2012 at 2:00 pmSortedevaras

        Pandering sells blurays.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:07 amTaylor

    Subtlety flew out the window, but it was still a good episode and a bold move by the A-1 Picture staff that stayed within the storyline conventions.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:11 amDualash

    I’ve never seen a dog have those kind of eyes before I like it! But with Satoru’s feelings for Shun felt a little out of character, when just the previous episode, he drastically changed, and even Saki, who kind of resorted to someone else temporarily because she of what she saw on the hill. Anyway, this episode was really unexpected, but the episode was good.

    • November 19, 2012 at 2:24 amJHN

      The first time I saw that dog I almost though Squeeler got reincarnated. XD

    • November 19, 2012 at 2:26 amAsobi

      The dog’s ADORABLE~

      For some reason it reminded me of Dennou Coil’s Densuke, which was just about the most adorable dog in anime. Ever.
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:15 amKuma Kuma

    What have I just seen… O_O

    • November 19, 2012 at 3:31 amMixed Milkshake

      Whatever’s under Maria’s dress.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:25 amfragb85

    George Takei sums up my reaction to this episode better than I can.

    In context it makes though. They’re 14 years old, at the height of puberty, add the Bonobo genes and a society that freely accepts such behavior and you get one cocktail of teenage hormones. I do appreciate how this was already foreshadowed, and that it doesn’t come of as pandering like other shows. It really drives the point that this is a Sci-Fi series and with that the obligation to show how strange the setting is. “From a New World” is such an appropriate title.

    Only two things really put me off. One is the rather….explicit Frenching between Shun and Satoru. That kind of detail is something I would normally see in hentai (or in my perverted Yuri fantasies). The other one is Satoru’s rebound boyfriend, Homo McStereotype. When everyone else is written tastefully, this guy stands out as an annoying gay caricature. The less I see of him, the better.

    As for the plot itself, the lives of our protagonists haven’t really gone back to normal. This is espeically obvious with Mamoru, who keeps hoping to go back to the days when they were all close friends. And poor Shun, he always struck me as too smart, too nice and too perfect for his own good. I don’t think he could have lived with that kind of pressure when he already knows his society is a lie. And now he pretty much death flagged himself. I don’t think he’s going to live much longer, I have a feeling he’s going to die just to drive how how serious everything is about to become.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:35 amJHN

    I actually don’t believe the relationships are genuine. The same sex pairing ratio is a bit too high to say it just happened naturally. My theory is that becuase of the whole Bonobo conditioning, combined with the difficult phase of puberty, same sex pairings are made to give them some sort of confort without risking anything happening further (like pregnancies and such).

    Mamoru, Saki and even Shun a little all showed interest in the other sex. Now Mamoru is just left over (which matches my earlier point, cuz he seems pretty depressed now) and Saki and Shun tend to be a bit more aware of what’s what to be so easily influenced. And while 2 years can really change a person a lot, I’m not buying it that Satoru became like this naturally.

    But I could also have read things wrong and it’s just poor portrayal of this that made it seem unbelievable to me. XD

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:53 amWatt

    Didnt expect this at all but I could see how it could fit in the story. I didn’t really see any hetero relationships among the students either so is it possible that in order to control the population, they were conditioned to strongly seek out a same sex relationship at this age (them teenage hormones n all). Poor Mamoru for being left out though.

    This show is still a pretty good show in my opinion so it’s a shame that some people will probably drop this series.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:54 amShouhei

    Wow, two years has done a lot to these kids.

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:10 amArisu

    So when everyone is done discussing the homosexuality, could we please talk about how there is someone checking a clock and then broadcasting a record? I have always wondered where the music that tells them to go home came from. This seems like quite an anachronism to me… I’m sure there is so much more to this world we haven’t been told yet.

    • November 19, 2012 at 8:30 pmerichai

      yeah I noticed that too, although it seemed more to signify a curfew rather than anything else. the way it’s presented reminds me of the WW2 concentration camp sound-system speakers that played Nazi anthems and propaganda. creeeepy

      • November 19, 2012 at 8:32 pmerichai

        sorry, misread your comment!! yeah, it seems like the higher-ups of the village have preserved some technologies of the past. I wonder what else they’ve been holding out on :P

      • November 20, 2012 at 6:38 pmSade

        Basically the same thing happens today in Japan, so it’s not actually that weird. I liked the way that they took something so common and everyday and made it creepy because of the society it is in.

    • November 20, 2012 at 4:46 pmTre

      This is not an anachronism at all, since the series takes place 1000 years in the future. It’s not at all surprising to see certain technologies survive throughout those centuries, even if most of society went backwards. We’ve already seen examples of this with electric lighting systems in the buildings and the gas machines the enemy queerats were using.

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:56 amjhpace1

    The two-year time jump didn’t solve any issues, and the Bonobos conditioning is now blatant. We finally see an “inner circle” member in the form of Kaburagi, and the fact that half his face is hidden, much like adult Reji from the False Minoshiro incident, says “hidden enforcer” all over him. Shun is being “sent away”, and thinks they are all being watched. I understand the children trying to become as normal as possible after the False Minoshiro incident, but you can’t do that with the knowledge they have gained.

    Look at the goals of the Cantus class with the students: how to repair shattered glass, how to make things for the village, how to fly, and seeing if they can genetically manipulate chicken embryos still in the egg. Failure is met with disappearances? That’s not positive reinforcement, that’s a governmental testing and screening process. Testing the children until they break or are frustrated is not a good method.

    We still have more questions than answers in this anime. Where are the hidden enforcers? What happens to the disappeared children? Does this winnowing process happen until they are adults and have children of their own? What’s the long-term goal of the scientists: survival, or a functioning society, or something else? Where are those “cats” coming from – are they real, or an illusion from the enforcers? How are the children being watched?

    And yes Arisu, the discrepancy between characters being dressed in Edo-like schoolwear while having wristwatches makes you wonder about the level of technology allowed in the village. It’s not Twentieth Century, more like a modified Nineteenth. Using genetically modified slaves instead of Cantus-wielding workers is also unusual.

    If I had been one of the children during the False Minoshiro incident, I would be making backup Cantus words all over the place, as well as studying the government and library of the village. Someone should have been looking at the village with new eyes, stringing the pieces together.

    So I hope the next few episodes start to accelerate the childrens’ learning. This anime is nothing like what I expected, it’s walking a fine line between “everything you know is wrong” and “use ultimate power to save yourself at the cost of everyone else”.

  • November 19, 2012 at 4:03 amNaske

    Man I’m glad you guys and able to have serious discussion about this episode and aren’t jumping out of your skin because of the homosexual vibes in this episode like everyone over at MAL!
    I ended up posting this comment on there forums XD

    To all the people who are (or are thinking of) dropping this show due to the Yuri/yaoi undertones of this episode I have only two questions for you.
    1.) Did you even watch the entire episode?!! Cause if you did you’d realize that the actual content related to the plot as well as some of the personality of the characters were all presented wonderfully and far outweighed the not even 20 seconds of yaoi kissing that occurred…
    2.) how can you be so closed minded espically when there are some many other controversial topics in anime such as Oreimo(incest), KissXsis(teacheXstudent,loli,ect),and other “genres” of media such as NTR, rape, harem, ect…. that no one seems to b*tch up a storm about??
    Remember guys Fiction is fiction because IT’S NOT REAL!! SO what if in this world due to genetic programming everyone in this society is Bi sexual… it’s not like your all of a sudden gonna become bi just cause you watched a 20 second scene of two girls/guys kissing ಠ_ಠ

    *On a more positive note though, I felt like this episode’s cliff hanger was amazing and i really can’t wait to see what happens next O_O!*
    #a lot can happen in two years >.<

    • November 19, 2012 at 4:03 amNaske

      you guys are*

      • November 19, 2012 at 4:30 amCybersteel

        Ofc they are it’s randomc where most of the commenters, excluding Croos, are civil in their anime discussions.

    • November 19, 2012 at 4:48 amKingofConquerors

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  • November 19, 2012 at 4:47 amGiNoKo

    So it went like this:
    Director 1 : time skip coming up we need something to shock the audience!
    Director 2 : Let’s have them return to the forest and make the killing machines.
    janitor in the corner: *whispering* that’s a gay idea

    Directors : YATTA!!!

    I really hate time skips in most series. Here it didn’t do better. I have to agree with previous posters that the yuri/yaoi must be implanted somehow. At fist I was shocked of our gang going that way. But as I watched the back grounds it was obvious everyone was doing the same. My take is to avoid low caliber PK being born by unfit pairs. Still is something to guess and not clear. Also two of our gang seems to be forced into the relationship which makes the whole thing weird. (I can take a yaoi anyday like no. 6 as the story did bring our two guys together) Here, even with the “fore shadowing” it still feels out of place. Like a hidden force out of nowhere. We are 14 let’s be gay/lesb until we are 17 and are allowed to be paired with someone to have genetically better constructs of our selves (read babies). So even our heroes knowing this bend to conform? Until Shun can’t take it no more and drops the bomb they know about us!
    Also we knew about the plan of our gang restoring their powers. It happened in the shadows of the time skip so we don’t know if there were any after effects in the process. We saw Maria flashing the Kaburagi to get cookie points, I think she did get them. We saw the toll it took on Shu and he seems fine now. So as any good time skip we are let with a void and hope that some of it will be filled later on. Time skip are worse than what they show, even in Fairy Tail the time skip still has me upset. boo and bah!

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:07 amvane

      There will be more time skips so be prepared ;)

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:21 amAsobi

      I’m not sure why you would expect them to do anything else but conform. It’s like, say you’ve been told humans were genetically conditioned to eat meat. Will the truth of this stop you from eating it? It almost the same thing here; knowing the truth won’t change how they were brought up to live in a society that encourages sexual intimacy. Shun’s the obvious exception, and he’s clearly affected by the knowledge to a greater extent than the other kids. (There’s always an anomaly in every group)

      And I don’t think the homosexuality was ever the main point, hence the “sudden yaoi/yuri” thing people are put off by. My gut feeling was for it to really frame the PK society distinctively away from our own by emphasizing on the sexual orientation and intimacy, since the topic is something our own society have very strong opinions about. (Only just gander at the comments here to know it be true.) So it would be a mistake to judge their actions (how they can easily switch from homo to hetero as they age) based on our own preconceptions of what should or shouldn’t be.

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:43 amGiNoKo

      @Vane
      - Thanks for the warning, wishing they bring more light than confusion.

      @Asobi

      I think you answer your own question. I expect a “pariah” reaction from all of them; because they are the main cast. Call me “shonen-fied” but I want them to “rock” the establishment. Not being docile. To rebel! Like Saki did previously when she was jailed with Satoru. She was going to engage bonobo style, but bamb! she rebelled against her “programming” Maybe I’m expecting too much from 14 year old kids, perhaps when they hit 17 they will snap of this lethargic “I want to fit” attitude and do something. Yes I need to drink some patience potions. The good thing is we have more episodes to come and see them spring into action by will or forced by the adults for the “sin” of knowledge. Too much shonen is not good to your health when watching slow drama. :)

      • November 19, 2012 at 7:52 amGiNoKo

        @Asobi

        Did you edit your reply? I could swear there was only one paragraph when I replied to you. Lol I’m going crazy or your PK power are stronger than I thought.

      • November 19, 2012 at 7:58 amAsobi

        Juryoku STRONG! :3

  • November 19, 2012 at 4:56 amScardigne

    Very few animes get have gotten me this amazed over what they have done. This anime is just amazing I love what it did in this episode how it shifted everything that the viewer thought about the characters, without caring about what the viewer thought of homosexuality. This is truly an amazing anime and am very glad I didn’t drop it.

  • November 19, 2012 at 4:58 amk

    Having read novel spoilers and part of the actual novel about the rules of their society about relationships…
    1.Boy-girl relationships are strictly discouraged until they reach full adulthood/age for marriage. There are regular checks to ensure this.
    2. Boy-boy and girl-girl relationships are encouraged in place of boy-girl relationships during their childhood/teenage years
    Therefore, almost all relationships at that age are boy-boy or girl-girl.
    This is why you only see adults having male-female relationships so far.

    I don’t get the fuss over this. I’ve read scifi/fantasy stories with societies just as interesting.

  • November 19, 2012 at 4:59 amBaLdUrIaN

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    • November 19, 2012 at 5:23 amKiseki

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like you’re saying female/female is okay but male/male isn’t. :c

      • November 19, 2012 at 5:24 amBaLdUrIaN

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    • November 19, 2012 at 5:39 amos

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      • November 19, 2012 at 5:41 amBaLdUrIaN

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      • November 19, 2012 at 5:46 amos

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    • November 19, 2012 at 10:25 amN

      Homophobia is disgusting. Yes, my dear, if you need some comparisons to quantify with, it’s just as bad as racism and anti-Semitism.

      The sadder reality is that you probably don’t realise how much of a discriminatory bigot you’re being.

  • November 19, 2012 at 5:23 amEmD

    Mamoru, you fool!

    You’re not allowed to be straight!

    • November 19, 2012 at 6:41 amKF

      Did I detected sarcasm?

      TQ

  • November 19, 2012 at 5:26 amos

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    • November 19, 2012 at 6:33 amAnonymous

      And he has what to do with an anime made in JAPAN?

      But please keep whining, homophobes. Your tears are like wine.

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:44 amTez

      Wow… this statement is the epitome of ignorance

    • November 19, 2012 at 12:36 pmos

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      • November 19, 2012 at 10:29 pmTez

        I’m not trying to discount you beliefs or anything, but to think Obama’s influence caused a gay scene to be put in an anime from Japan is… well… ignorant.

    • November 20, 2012 at 7:15 amdrebner

      What’s wrong? Not enough incest for your banjo?

  • November 19, 2012 at 6:00 amc2710

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    • November 19, 2012 at 6:53 amc2710

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      • November 19, 2012 at 7:11 amvane

        Shin Sekai Yori isn’t yaoi, either yuri. You’re seeing this anime based on your/our current moral concepts. In the world of Shin Sekai Yori, the word homosexuality not exist. I know it’s hard, but try :)

      • November 19, 2012 at 8:47 amc2710

        It’s an intended pun

      • November 20, 2012 at 7:17 amdrebner

        If you can’t tell why yourself, then there is no point explaining it to you.

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:12 amAsobi

      I guess, yes, we as viewers might find their actions rather distasteful, but keep in mind – and I emphasized this quite a bit – that this is a world that’s very much displaced in sensibilities from ours’, and considering the dismal state of society it brings us back to the question of how justified their actions were if it actually brought benefits. (Which it seemed to have.)

      Alternatively, think about our own society and how it came out. The development of civilization progressed in very similar ways, with the prophets (Scientists) laying the groundwork for society and people building on this. Shin Sekai Yori’s world followed different rules and developed distinctively.

      • November 19, 2012 at 8:49 amc2710

        I agree with you and vane…

        This episode somewhat raises the issue of culture difference/shock and our views and opinions when we see them

      • November 19, 2012 at 8:50 amc2710

        Though its these kind of things that makes such shows enjoyable to watch =D

    • November 21, 2012 at 2:51 pmwintermelon

      Haha! I am glad about the fact that people are being very sensitive to whatever others put forward about homosexuality – but in this case it seems more like you were just voicing your own preferences.

      I am a bit curious about it. So we are trying to enforce a positive, open-minded view of all things, but we crush whoever is trying to voice their own orientations and taste (even though it is essentially non-derogatory way towards the other side).

      I agree it is a good thing to make it clear we only welcome non-derogatory/non-homophobic posts, but in this case (with the number of dislikes) it just demonstrates a lack of differentiation between someone voicing their own opinion and someone being homophobic. Hahaha :P That is my own view!

  • November 19, 2012 at 6:26 amunknown2

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  • November 19, 2012 at 6:30 ammegalith

  • November 19, 2012 at 6:36 amiRandom

    “Homosexuality, omg ewwie!”
    A nice example of conditioning within society.

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:03 amjimmy

      Thu i enjoy society been more open minded people very much have a right to dislike or find disgusting male/male female/female pairing i will never stop your right too love the same sex but don’t try stop my right for disliking it

  • November 19, 2012 at 6:52 amdimasok

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  • November 19, 2012 at 7:27 ammac65

    Had a full length of the kissing boys been made, War is Declared… Just sayin´

    It was unsettling to watch, but my real question is, was that the author’s intent?

    I think the shocking point is that the adults do not seem to have the sexual tendencies displayed by the children.
    Then are these tendencies a puberty event that passes as they mature into adulthood; that the most dangerous
    time for the abuse of their cantus is the turbulent teenage years?

    At this point, I don’t know what the author’s view is and how much of it is in his work. I don’t buy the argument that
    same sex is a birth control method. The society the children live in should be smart enough to figure other methods
    to control pregnancy that may happen as a result of the children’s promiscuity.

    Also, it doesn’t follow that their emotional developmental years are spent learning how to behave in a same-sex
    relationship, then at some point in the future, suddenly join with a member of the opposite sex to start a family and
    everything will just work. Those experiences will not transfer because girls and boys are different emotional creatures.

    So, I’m not sure of the value or merit these quirky things bring to a story line, and especially this story. What I wonder
    is the author’s intent. Is he actually making a statement that human sexual behaviour is best served hetro by showing
    his viewers/readership an exaggerated model of a dysfunctional homogeneous society?

    Sadly, in our “open” societies, we sometimes seem too eager to stone someone with The Idea that goes against a
    very small minority because we believe we need to be politically correct.

    I’m interested in seeing how this will turn out in this series, and if there’s any value in continuing to watch.

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:51 amAsobi

      I don’t think he’s trying to make a statement about society, as much as it might appear to be. No, rather, the depiction here strikes me more as an emphasis on how extensive the Bonobos conditioning is. Keep in mind that all manners of aggression or stress is channeled through sexual intimacy, and that the act here is akin to a social activity or greeting in the same way it works with Bonobos communities. In that sense, the development of their emotions already swing wildly away from the norms we should expect, what you said how the emotional developmental years. And it’s not like they suddenly switch once they turn of age. I’m pretty sure there’s a gradual emotional development on that front as well, since we already can already see Saki and Mamoru with the emotional desire.

      I do agree that the restriction on relationships is odd, but hey, it is a foolproof birth control method when there’s no sex to begin with. :D

  • November 19, 2012 at 9:11 amAki-Chan

    Well that was an…interesting episode.
    To be honest , I think I recoiled a little at the beginning of the Shun/Satoru scene…but I wasn’t really expecting something THAT explicit-once I’d got over that , it didn’t really bother me as much- I was just curious that something like Bonobo genes could be used to control a society.
    Even Saki-who still has feelings for Shun , turned to Maria to relieve her feelings of jealousy/unhappiness(?) …
    Either way , it gives viewers something to really think about.

  • November 19, 2012 at 10:35 amMagoiichi

    Welp, apparently bonobo genes make you gay or it’s the combination of those genes and the other conditioning that make you gay.

    None of it makes any sense at all, Satoru, Saki, and Shun are out of character, bad episode is bad.

    Scratch that previous statement, bad writing is bad.

    • November 19, 2012 at 7:39 pml3reezer

      You subtly explained it yourself but decided to deny it.
      It’s not bad writing at all. They’re showing different sides to them now that they’re in a different situation (not immediately life-threatening where you wouldn’t be concerned with gayly interacting with friends). And for this series, a time-skip means a decent amount more than others series in terms of change/growth given how influential their society is, especially when you’re young.

  • November 19, 2012 at 11:41 amCybersteel

    Shin Sekai Yuri+Yaoi = Yori

  • November 19, 2012 at 11:41 amNierTevra

    all the homo stuff aside, they have a very tasteful sense of fashion…

  • November 19, 2012 at 11:58 amSolara

    o______________________o
    I think I just ruin this episode for myself by staring at the CAPs. Haven’t we all been victims of this at least once?
    I actually lost my mind for a second there. Must watch this ASAP.

  • November 19, 2012 at 12:15 pmlivevoid

    You know what? Im pleasantly surprised at how well the majority of the commenters handled this episode. There wasn’t a mass freak out over the homosexuality stuff in this episode as I expected. For that I congratulate you commenters for handling this development in a mature fashion.

    On another note: Satoru’s backup boyfriend creeps me the ^&*% out.

    • November 19, 2012 at 2:35 pmjhpace1

      The “backup boyfriend” appears to be the stereotypical younger, impressionable junior. As in, overwhelmed by attention from a sempai.

  • November 19, 2012 at 12:47 pmSolara

    I personally think that everyone seems affected NEGATIVELY by that scene of Satoru and Shun kissing, and no one seems to have any qualms about Saki and Maria. Base on the caps, they tend to have more ‘intimate’ moments. The removal of clothes, chasing in the water, sitting in the grass, kissing the finger, kissing embrace, face between her breast, and nothing? Really now?

    RandomC seems to be doing that thing were everyone seems okay with Yuri more than Yaoi, not to mention the kissing embrace of them together is also a full cap. RC is subtle about their preferences of Yuri over Yaoi? Hmm. Suspicious indeed. P:

    What I find humorous, is that we all have seen some animes that have unique undertones, where it is incest, homosexuality, harem, etc and YET.. YET we lose our freaken minds when 2 boys kiss. Like that’s 50 billion times worst than rape and incest and so on. Now that right there is a bit upsetting.

    • November 19, 2012 at 2:43 pmshadowalker

      probably because majority of the audience are guys? wen a non-homosexual guy sees two guys kissing it would make him uncomfortable because of the fact hes also a guy and can relate to them through tht but cannot understand(or might even find it repulsive) their tendencies toward the same sex? while not finding it too uncomfortable to watch two girls kiss because they cannot relate to them in the same manner? i assume the opposite would be true for a female audience member?
      these are just my thoughts and assumptions, feel free to disagree.
      personally i hav never been a fan of this show and i’m certainly not a fan of yaoi genre(actually i find it slightly uncomfortable) but hav to love the fact tht this show doesn’t pull punches/deviate from the plot just because it might go against social norms or offend the current fanbase.

      • November 19, 2012 at 3:24 pmSolara

        Or maybe because girls can keep their cool when seeing 2 girls kiss that they don’t go overboard to leave endless comments about girls kissing and how horrible it is?
        I have yet to honestly see girls complain about such things in RC, whenever there is a negative comment it’s always towards yaoi/BL and it’s spams faster than the hatred of Guilty Crown. And that’s saying something.

        I know of many female fans who enjoy this show and they don’t have to be pro-homosexual to be okay with it. They just let it go. I’m fine with anyone who is okay with it and who isn’t, it’s your personal choice whatever floats your boat but the instant a person voices it in a whining immature manner like it’s the end of the World, my respect goes out the window.
        Like.. yes we get it, you don’t like 2 guys kissing, must you voice it like all the other 10 people already have just to make the same point that was already made before you? It’s just utterly amazing the negative feedback it has while the other category (yuri) doesn’t have that back lash.

      • November 19, 2012 at 7:57 pml3reezer

        @Solara
        Maybe girls can keep their cool when seeing two girls kiss that they don’t go overboard to leave endless comments about how horrible it is, but the way you rhetorically asked that made it kind of seem like you’re pushing for some superiority. :P

        Personally, I didn’t find anything wrong with the mentioned scene between Satoru and Shun. It wasn’t my preference at all, but it wasn’t anything that could make me cringe or feel uncomfortable. And yes, I do think the people obnoxiously bagging on it are being idiots.

        But if you’re really surprised that there is such commentary, you shouldn’t really be. It’s not that suspicious either. Or subtle. The odds are just in this favor. Like shadowalker said, it’s likely that the majority of comments are from males. The more in total you have, the more likely it is that there will be really, really, really ignorant people.

        But in terms of gender roles, I think there’s a catch too. You seem to think that because females are fine with yuri for the most part, then males should be fine with yaoi to the same extent, enough to not express disgust at a scene as so. That’s definitely a fine way to think things should be, heck I agree kindheartedly. But just because female and male are both genders, that doesn’t mean they have that kind of conceptual symmetry. That’s just a historical standpoint. Males and females have been raised differently by society. So no, it’s not surprising that males show more discomfort to yaoi scenes than girls do to yuri scenes. Its definitely upsetting, like you said, but no, no, no, no, not surprising. After all, it’s pretty rarer to see guys hugging in public, sleeping in the bed at sleep overs, and all that jazz as opposed to females. But then again, it’s pretty prominently changing for the better. The world is getting more bro-hugs day by day and whatnot.

        tl;dr: The gay bashing. Hell yeah, it’s upsetting. But it’s not surprising. At all.

      • November 20, 2012 at 11:22 amshadowalker

        @Solara
        not to be offensive but your reply is so hypocritical and self-righteous tht i think it negates any arguments you made by itself.

    • November 19, 2012 at 11:59 pmLaughingMan

      Because this series actually had a very interesting premise and to see it degrade itself by showing scenes of homolust prevents me from taking it seriously. And fyi, I thought that the yuri scene was equally retarded. I’m pissed at both scenes since it’s blatant fanservice and ruins any chance of me taking this series seriously anymore.

    • December 13, 2012 at 2:50 pmBear

      Solara is, of course, right. It’s a typical male fantasy to see women engaging in sexual activity. And men kissing can never be worse than rape, for instance. Actually, its not even bad or anything. I’m not gay, but I think the scene was handled very well, including aesthetically. It was true to storyline and the logic of their world, and that’s good writing. I was VERY disturbed by the rape scene in Elfen Lied, but can’t see anything but the storyline in the homosexual moments in Shin Sekai Yori. And, of course, as a examples of their conditioning, these things are no different from their feeling sick at the monk’s death because they were conditioned to abhor violence to humans. It is just making for an engaging and fascinating storyline in the true future society science fiction spirit of great writers like Robert Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke. Anyone who disliked the boys kissing is encouraged to read Heinlein’s “Endless Love” and be thoroughly appalled at Lazarus Long having sex with his twin daughters (the book was written in the sixties and Heinlein has always been a champion of all kinds of free love=sex).
      However, I still point out it’s just a minor detail that has been thoroughly explained by the white slug/walking library-computer. It’s just another part of the big picture, which is – so far – the exploration of their most peculiar society. Don’t recall anyone handling PKs quite that way, as the – apparently – sole survivors of the apocalypse trying to get by in the broken world they created.

      • December 13, 2012 at 3:11 pmDrake

        Personally I wasn’t bothered by the yaoi content and I agree with your points on that but, typical male fantasy? Just because it doesn’t bother most guys it doesn’t mean it’s a fantasy.And you were only disturbed by the rape scene in Elfen Lied?Very bad example.Frankly, I thought that entire show was very disturbing.

  • November 19, 2012 at 12:56 pmSolara

    Whether it’s something that they will grow out of come to age 17 or so on, and return back to straight relationships or anything for procreation purposes, one thing is safe to say, the cast is more likely bisexual. One thing that SSY has taught me is that sexual orientation doesn’t seem to exist, and no one is offended by that nor seem to understand what it means or is besides what sex is itself base on theories and past experiences. I personally find that more healthier for you to come to terms with your own feelings at your time, but SSY, base on what I have seen in this episode, everyone is ‘automatically’ pair with same sex at age 14?

    We have just witness how it’s unfair to some of the cast, Saki, Shun and even Mamoru. I can understand the logic on why they wish to pair them up now for pregnancy purposes but it’s also unfair to them at such an early age. =\

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:21 pmjingoi

    Shin Sekai Yuri (read ch.4 of the manga) FTW!!
    Shin Sekai Yaoi- um, the volcano’s right there, please jump into it.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:34 pmPst

    I’m not sure about how to feel about this episode, but putting that aside I’m kind concerned about what people are thinking. All those people saying SSY is being apologetic towards homossexuality should stop a little and think about the whole story, it’s also possible to say it’s the opposite. Personally, I don’t think homossexuality is something SSY is going for or against and I don’t think it’s what the author wanted us to think about.

    • November 19, 2012 at 2:58 pmshadowalker

      true, it’s not like there’s homosexuality in the show just for the sake of having them rather it’s there because the plot needed it and the producers didn’t shy away from showing it, which i think is a plus point for the show.

  • November 19, 2012 at 2:51 pmDrift

    I understand why some people are shocked but at this age of time you would think people would be more accepting to homosexuality even in animes and such… some people’s reaction is really depressing and I’m glad all the immature ones are getting down-voted.
    Their negative voices may be louder in forums but it just shows a lot more people have an open mind compared to shallow minds of them.

    For me, I would like to see more relationships like this in animes where the couples aren’t portrayed like this just for comedic reason. This may be spoiler ahead but it’s pretty obvious none of the main homosexual couples will be the endgame in this series since the flow from the beginning is pretty much against them being the end-game but for me at least, I wouldn’t mind more homosexual couples like this (and prefers become the endgame) as long as the animes doesn’t shove it right up my face or not just doing it for the fanservice sake of it.

    Homosexuality aside, I have a feeling the story ahead will be really intense. Argh, and Shun… nnoooo…

    • November 19, 2012 at 3:33 pmSolara

      Thank you so much for posting this, exactly my point. I figure it wouldn’t be that much of a big deal considering the day and age that we live in, and we had all seen our share of quite eye openers animes out there once and a while that we let something so simple affect someone so much. Granted, just because we live in todays age not everyone has to be okay with it and I can respect that, but to react in such fashion is upsetting to me.

      SSY presented in a way that the same sex pairing wasn’t exactly ‘fan service’ material but is heavily integrated by the plot. Making it that more meaningful. In all honesty while watching the episode I began to really understand what the writer was going for and it had a more positive affect to me, to go to that level to not just show the same sex pairing up, but to actually interact is a risky move for the fans to see. If anything I think SSY gain more respect from me for being that bold with 14 yr olds. At least that’s my opinion anyways.

    • November 19, 2012 at 3:43 pmBaLdUrIaN

      Why do’t I deserve the right to find two males kissing a disgusting thing to watch? I haven’t told it’s wrong, I’ve just told that I don’t like it. I don’t like spiders either, but if you say so people with the politically-correct syndrome will not hunt you for the rights of the poor arachnids. Oh, I also find disgusting very fat people without shirts, women with furry armpits and hunchbacks but you can almost say it without problems on the net. Probably their fan base is not so populous as the gay one.

      • November 19, 2012 at 6:44 pmcree

        >women with furry armpits
        Because women must conform to society’s standards of beauty and alter the natural state of their body to please others. It’s No Shave November and there’s a double standard when it comes to men and women.

        Likewise, why is it that when two males participate in sexual activity, it’s disgusting to watch, but when two females make out with each other it’s totally fine because you enjoy this kind of fanservice?
        Nothing about it is disgusting in the first place. You’re free to dismiss the quality of the writing and how this was set up and whatnot, but you’re being homophobic and you’re not even realizing it.

      • November 20, 2012 at 2:05 amDrift

        Asobi, I am so sorry this is going off-topic but homosexual relationship creates quite a stir at RC by few people every time it’s shown in an anime between guys and guys (K, No.6 etc.) so I think it needs to be said.

        BaLdUrIaN: I understand what you are saying but you are missing the point of my previous comment. Where in my post did it say you have no right talking about what you think?

        You have much right to speak your mind as much as I have the right to think and express how I think people who is against/ or find homosexuality disgusting are shallow.

        My point on my previous post was how depressing it is regarding how handful of people cannot accept homosexual relationship in animes. I mean don’t you find it sad? Can you come up with 1 good reason why homosexuality should not be accepted or be found disgusted? Every time I hear people making this argument it just comes from their own personal taste and it’s never a logical or a reasonable reason. So for me I’m just in disbelief how there still are people that finds it sick when ever a guyxguy becomes a pairing in anime.

        Especially with you, you seem to have a double standard that girlxgirl is okay but guyxguy aren’t.

        Everyone has a right to say something. Except when your opinion is based on a shallow narrow-minded reason that’s what irks me and I have every right to point it out. I probably wouldn’t of minded your post if you could have mentioned why you found the kiss scene disgusting to the point you almost wanted to puke. But logically speaking, there is nothing disgusting with homosexual relationship. Well that is at least what I and many other people think with good reasoning behind this logic. Few people in society may have made it seem as though it is “unnatural” and “wrong” but what is wrong with 2 people loving each other who are the same sex?

        I do hope my reply does not annoy or anger you. Like I already mentioned, you do have the right to state your thoughts. No one is stopping you. But when there are people like you that claim how disgusting guyxguy relationship is, your voice is actually seen by other people and I did not want such negative voice to appear louder and that is why I had to speak up. I’m not attacking you in any way if it came across that way.

        Never-the-less it is great to see so many people not bothered by this anime because of this episode or focused on other aspects of it.

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:29 pmotlogix

    I’m guessing that many of the commentators don’t read any science-fiction after the 50′s? I was pleasantly surprised to see same-sex couples portrayed in such a realistic manner. It forefronted the ‘bonobo’ aspect of this society without using it as an excuse for fanservice. Even the intimacy displayed between the couples were realistic. If anything the studio did not pander to anyone in this episode.

  • November 19, 2012 at 3:31 pmunknown2

    Just watching the last part of this episode we can assume Shun’s juuroku is getting stronger and stronger that he probably is slowly loosing grip. That must be why he’s asking people to stay away from him, and probably why he was circulating those Zen balls around himself. Im just speculating coz Im greatly concerned why the hell he was circulating those balls for no reason at first lol

  • November 19, 2012 at 4:30 pmr—

    I don’t think the behavior is far from normal teens. In our society though sex is glorified a lot of people still repress sexual feelings. Teens struggle with sexual urges the most because of their physical development and large increase in hormones not to mention natural curiosity. Imagine if our society allowed children to fully express their sexuality with partners of the same sex without any type of ridicule. They would most likely take advantage of it and use it to comfort themselves in all sorts of situations frustration, loneliness, inferiority,excitement, etc.. Also having casual homosexual couples reduces if not eliminates teen pregnancy, who knows how they react to that…O_O. Plus this society probably benefits from not restricting their these emotions, 1. to reduce stress and violence in the village. 2. to keep up the population with all the kids being…(well disappearing). Also we haven’t encountered any families really with multiple children yet which is weird since you’d think each family would have two…a girl and a boy but we don’t know yet…either way they probably go on to form heterosexual couples when they age falling into line with whatever their society dictates.

  • November 19, 2012 at 5:36 pmrh75

    The same sex stuff didn’t bother me because the whole set up for it is fake. The same-sex pairings and relationships do not occur naturally so why be bothered by it. Everyone in that society has been rewired mentally and emotionally to be ignorant/accepting of stuff they should be questioning. But then again, lab rats don’t get a say in how the experiment they are taking part in is run or what the criteria is. And that is more interesting than yaoi/yuri.

    How do they suppress hormones and the urge to mate while allowing them for biological growth? How do they reverse this suppresson once it is time for a hetero relationship?

    How do they rewrite everyone to be romantically involved with someone of the same sex when they grow up seeing hetero couples (Don’t know if there are any same sex couples in the society). Again, how do they reverse this so they can then become romantically involved with the opposite sex?

    How do they manipulate someone into a relationship that has no interest in anyone since there are children/teens/adults who are fine not being in a relationship.

    There are so many interesting questions of how things are done to the people that a fake relationship is boring. Hopefully, future episodes will hint at how this is being done.

  • November 19, 2012 at 5:53 pmPtolemaios00

    This episode was so GAY (and lez). I can say that in a completely non-derogatory manner because it is blatantly true. Well, homosexual is the more politically correct term. Haha

    Shun is pretty awesome from what I can see. I think the 3 floating balls was for jamming spying clairvoyance. I think “Nekodamashi” referred Kaburagi who I think was repulsed by Shun’s crafted collar. I’m thinking he was a shapeshifter species used for spying. Just wildly guessing though…

  • November 19, 2012 at 7:19 pmEntrav

    It’s a shame that some people dropped this anime just because of this episode. Really, within the context of the story it makes perfect sense. Oh well, someone has to make a ruckus when something controversial comes up.

  • November 19, 2012 at 7:37 pmZein

    It was weird watching Satorou acting like that, not because he was with another boy, it’s just that his behavior was totally different from the previous episodes. I like this show and sometimes it feels so similiar to Brave new world.
    anyway what I really didn’t expect was an straight mamoru!

    • November 19, 2012 at 8:02 pml3reezer

      Feel free to specify connections to Brave New World, because I’m not getting the same vibe other than the general story. (No offense intended here.)

      • November 19, 2012 at 8:12 pmSolara

        You’re right when you said that I shouldn’t be surprise, and yet I was. xD I guess what caught my attention the most was the obvious backlash on the yaoi category than the yuri one. I honestly wasn’t expecting anyone to be ‘okay’ with either side cause not everyone will be. But I haven’t really seen any negative feedback on the yuri side that made me wish to make those statements. To me, thats what was surprising, but to some extend. I’m pretty familiar with yaoi not being everyone’s cup of tea, but after seeing it in various animes across time I figure it would be more tolerable.

        I think when a person is going to play a homophobe when it comes to animes, (and I mean all of the blatant gay bashers)be against all types, not just yaoi and spare the yuri cause that makes you more like a douche-bag. Which is actually the case with some commenters here that just blows my mind on the hypocrisy.

      • November 20, 2012 at 11:33 amshadowalker

        @Solara
        of course this doesn’t make it alright but, like i mentioned before, it’s just tht even a homophobe would be more troubled by stuff tht he can relate to than otherwise, which would likely be true for everyone.

  • November 19, 2012 at 8:04 pml3reezer

    I’m really mourning for the animation quality at this point. Hope it gets better, even though it seems to be steadily deteriorating. (They do have some peculiar budget-distribution coordinating with art style decisions though so I can’t say for sure.)

    • November 19, 2012 at 8:16 pmSolara

      I was actually going to say something about that when I first came here but I was caught off guard by the comments. But every episode the art does keep getting worst. This time they appear more ‘stretch’ out, but that’s because they’re older? At least for a brief moment they actually made an effort on the beach chase scene. I actually rolled my eyes some because I somehow expected this. <___<

  • November 19, 2012 at 8:42 pmKaka

    After knowing the truth, I think the five certainly have difficulty conforming to the society. The most obvious is Shun, who starts to isolate himself from other people, like the Gouma story we learned few episodes ago. The second one is Saki. We can see that she clearly struggles, asking herself what the hell they are doing while looking in the mirror. She also shed tears looking at Mamoru’s portrait of Maria. I am not sure why she cried but it definitely has something to do with that emotional conflict she can’t pinpoint. Honestly, my face throughout the episode was this: O_______O. This kind of behavior was already hinted in previous episodes but I did not expect the students to be so explicit about it. Still, it makes total sense given all the conditioning and controls in the society. Gotta give the author a round of applause.

  • November 19, 2012 at 10:01 pmSilver

    From scrolling through the thread of comments, I couldn’t help but notice that a few commenters have noted that the relationships are not ‘genuine’, that it is ‘fake’ in this society because of this bonobo conditioning. As Asobi has mentioned much earlier, just because you’re conditioned doesn’t mean it’ll change anything. By calling all these relationships ‘fake’ and non-’genuine’, it almost sounds like those people believe this conditioning will go away if the characters just figure out a way to fight it, grow up, or leave this dystopia. I have to disagree; I personally think one of the more important point of the detailed depictions of the character relationships we see here is to show the viewers how extremely real everything is to them. Maybe when they grow up/fight back the society and leave this place/etc., the conditioning will be stripped away and they will form “natural” relationships, whatever that is. Maybe that’ll happen, maybe it won’t; one thing’s for sure, they will still think about their then-significant other with some fondness (just like we do ours today – at least, I hope people do. I do.). All I ask is that everyone knows, for the sake of understanding the storyline, that these relationships are very, very real to the characters at hand.

    Admittedly, I read the novels and therefore already know how important these relationships will be in the future. You can argue that my opinion is biased because of this fact alone. However, let me just say this: an author who has won several awards does not throw in random detail. In fact, a friend of mine and I have read a few books by Kishi Yusuke and my goodness is he a genius writer- barely anything gets left behind. Everything that has happened thus far is important and worth taking note of. The bonobo conditioning, the bloody and graphic history (the anime didn’t get into it too much, but oh was it disturbing to read!), the “diseases”, the queerats and their technology/strategies, the “hacchoujime” ropes, the record, clock, the “cats”, the war, Squeeler, Kiromaru, Subaru, the collar, the mirrors, etc. etc. You disturbed by something, bro? Well, get used to it and take it all in, because you’re in for one hell of a ride and you’re only a foot deep! If you can’t handle the tastefulness of how well Kishi Yusuke has intertwined psychology and biology (+human history/nature in general) into this future society already, then I doubt you will be able to fully acknowledge and appreciate what is to come.

    Well with that said, I just want to add that I am very satisfied with how the relationships played out in this episode. What do the rest of you anime-only viewers think if the following little detail was kept in the anime?:

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • November 19, 2012 at 11:38 pmshin

      I think one important aspect is that Shun and Saki have trouble coming to terms with their feelings. How exactly did each of them view their relationships and what did they desire from it. If you say their relationships are real? What does real mean? For example, are they exploring their sexuality, are they soul mates or do they view each other as lifelong partners?

      If we explore this angle, perhaps Shun realizes that these same sex relationships are intended to be a phase that they are supposed to go through before they are form family units to raise children. Perhaps the realization that their feelings are being manipulated and that their relationship can only be temporal is what causes Shun to snap.

      • November 20, 2012 at 6:09 pmSilver

        This is true; if you consider how much difficulty Shun and Saki are probably going through in terms of coming to terms with their feelings, it is inevitable to view their current (or in Shun’s case, past) relationship as something akin to a place-holder and thus non-genuine. However, by “real”, I don’t necessarily intend to mean that the characters believed they were lifelong partners/soulmates/etc, nor did I intend to refer that these same-sex couples were simply part of a developmental stage (maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t). I did want to steer clear from the idea that these characters were in relationships just to explore their sexuality or satisfy curiosity; after all, if this was all it was about, A) they could have been with someone else and B) the intimacy we find throughout the episode would be a little too much. The ‘real’ that I sought to explain was purely the emotions that is involved here – the same ‘real’ that we feel in any of the relationships we might’ve had; neither of the two involved had any idea how long things would last (though there might have been some longing that it would), yet neither of you could deny that there was something more than just skin deep between the two of you. If something were to happen to the relationship (for better or for worse), both parties would feel it. Granted, it definitely does not appear this way in the anime; we lack descriptions of certain character reactions.

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Perhaps the anime directors had deemed these little details unnecessary for future events, in which case perhaps it was wrong of me to believe these emotions/relationships were ‘real’ to the characters at all. Regardless, it just seemed very odd for one to refer to these relationships as ‘fake’ and non-’genuine’ when it’s not as if the characters would come out of these relationships unscathed. … am I making sense?

        I realize my argument comes off as a little weak, as I’m not very good at making arguments. It probably doesn’t help that my main source of argument is from the book… and let’s face it, novels and adaptations almost always end up being different. I would be quite interested to see how this all plays out in the adaptation to watch how ‘real’ the relationships were afterall.

        As for Shun, if I completely ignore the events that are about to take place, this does make a lot of sense; I would be very upset too if I found out that everything I had and felt with a significant other (Satoru in this case) was all just part of a phase + that it was a somewhat controlled event/not out of freewill. And like you said, even more so if that significant other was ‘ok’ with that.

    • November 20, 2012 at 5:58 amyumeruhime

      since you read the novel, can i ask – did the anime play out this episode exactly like the novel? i always felt detached from the characters, and it’s worse now. the personality changes are too jarring for me to watch… i guess one thing this anime really does excel is unease. i have never once watched an episode without feeling uncomfortable (not always in a bad way)

      • November 20, 2012 at 6:29 pmSilver

        I unfortunately don’t actually own the books, so I cannot make exact references… but to answer your question: No, the anime did not play out this episode exactly like the novel. It’s missing several details that might be related to why you’re feeling as though the character’s personalities have changed a considerable/shocking amount during the time jump. In the novel, we also have the added benefit of the fact that its entirety is written in older Saki’s POV, so instead of simply watching and seeing how different a character has become, you get a proper explanation. But then, perhaps something else makes you feel detached from the characters; can you maybe point out exact moments where you felt the characters’ personalities were different from before?

        I will point out that the fact that the anime is making you feel uneasy is a success, in a way; if there’s one thing the novel was very good at, it was to never give you a moment of relief. I will give you two heads-ups: 1) There will be more time-jumps in the future. To be exact, 2.5 more. 2 from a proper time jump, the 0.5 from one in which the characters are dropped into such a different situation that it will appear as though there was a time change- the change that occurs here may be even more jarring. I promise that the 2 other timejumps won’t be as shocking, as far as personality-changes go. (2) There will be more war in the future, and the extent to which it resembles ideologies behind modern-day (and past, real-life) wars, from the involvement of technology, science (eugenics), to religion, can be uncomfortable. The later is what makes the story so fascinating, but some people might not be able to stomache it since the topic can be so sensitive….

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:39 amSilver

      I also want to briefly state that this anime/novel is definitely for mature audience who are interested in looking at the material from several POVs (biological, historical, etc). The same-sex coupling is just a device in the book, and while I realize there are many, many viewers who took offense to it, this story is so much more than just a bunch of characters forming relationships with each other. Heck, romance takes a backseat; it’s best to think of it as a mere device rather than the backbone of the story. It’s really disappointing to hear that so many people are going to quit watching the entire series just because of this one episode, but then again, maybe that’s for the best – maybe the same people won’t be able to handle what’s to come anyway.

  • November 19, 2012 at 10:20 pmNexitus

    After watching and reading some of the comments. I am simply glad that there are studios and writers out there that can and are willing to break out of the norm of writing the atypical story that gets repeated every generation, every year, and every season.

    Whether you agree or not on what happened this episode, it surely sparked discourse into a sensitive topic. And that in itself, is a good thing.

  • November 19, 2012 at 10:59 pmshin

    It seems like Shun was always the sharpest among the five and picked up on signs from the adults. It seems like his relationship with Satoru was mostly for show and unable to subvert him into conformity. It seems that the strain from the knowledge that he cant trust his own feelings vs the conditioning and his sharp senses the observation seem to have twisted him. Being unable to act normally he has had to put up a facade and eventually the disparity seems to have caused him to snap when he realized the gig was up. His breakup with Satoru seems like he is venting off some of these frustrations among which might be how Satoru is content to cluelessly play house. He still seems to share mutual unrequited feelings for Saki despite their respective relationships as we see him blushing after he spots Saki witness his breakup with Satoru and how he talks to her for the last time.

    Satoru and Maria seemed like the most easy going and thus seemed to be able to reintegrate with the community rather easily. Saki was always the most rebellious and resistant to the conditioning, but it seems the conditioning was somewhat effective on the teenage girl part of her. I am guessing the conditioning is all same sex at this stage so she/Mamoru are having some issues in that regard though. I guess it is an interesting twist considering that Satoru seemed the most twisted by the events of two years ago. Shun disappearing will undoubtedly mean that Saki is forced to face the realities of their society once again.

  • November 19, 2012 at 11:48 pmLaughingMan

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • November 20, 2012 at 2:18 amfragb85

      You know what I find ironic? The fact that the outrage for “pandering fujoishi/yuri” is supposed the be some veiled attempt to be intelligent and mature. And yet you ignore facts like how this behavior was already foreshadowed or that it adds to the unsettling atmosphere of this world that they’ve built up since episode one. But nope, it MUST be pandering because you can’t keep your mind of the gutter for one minute and can’t come up with a better conclusion.

      You kids are soft.

    • November 20, 2012 at 5:42 pmThe_Chigger

      Not all gay scenes are automatically ‘fujoshi-pandering’. When people call shows on that at the drop of a hat, it just shows a superficial knee-jerk mentality.

      Suppose it had been Saki and Shun making out, and Maria and Satoru? Would there be the same butthurt over this ep as we’ve seen? No, there wouldn’t. We’d talk about it briefly and then we’d all be talking about the creepy egg. So it’s clearly the homosexuality itself that some viewers have a problem with. They’ll deny it, and pull all kinds of contorted arguments to try to justify it, but the truth is plain as day: homophobia + armchair critic = butthurt over Shinsekai Yori.

  • November 20, 2012 at 1:26 amWTFisThisSHIT?!

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • November 20, 2012 at 1:34 amWTFisThisSHIT?!

    Also spoil me novel readers, but please tell me whether or not Shun is still alive?! I honestly watch this because of the two interesting characters: Saki and Shun, and I think of them as the main guy and main girl, so if one of them dies I might start losing interest already. So let me know whether or not Shun actually did die or not, thank you!

    • November 20, 2012 at 1:55 amBaLdUrIaN

      Show Spoiler ▼

      • November 20, 2012 at 8:21 amAki-Chan

        O.O
        Well , that just shattered my theories about the end song video …unless they decide to do something different with the anime version of the story
        =P

  • November 20, 2012 at 5:53 amyumeruhime

    though unexpected, i wouldn’t have minded this homosexuality thing but it just feels so jarring in contrast to the build-ups of previous episodes.
    shun’s initial hostility to saki at the start of the episode.
    satoru and saki’s supposed closer than normal relationship in last episode almost vanished, except for just one tiny scene. after what they’ve gone through together, i wouldn’t expect their friendship to just revert to normal.
    saki and maria, well, considering that maria had always been closer to mamoru, again it spells weird, but that i am more okay with it since maria has always seemed the type who’s easily swayed.

  • November 20, 2012 at 7:08 amedo

    saki is so hot.. and their clothes are sexy

  • November 20, 2012 at 4:45 pmRyuuzaki21

    i dont care about the gays here, but i really want puke my heart out in those ewwwww scenes.

  • November 20, 2012 at 6:39 pmelmaton04

    Makes me glad I dropped this after episode 1.

    • November 20, 2012 at 8:11 pmvjott

      I’m glad that you dropped it too…go watch some generic harem anime and have fun.

  • November 21, 2012 at 3:49 amShinichick39

    In all Honesty, I didn’t watch this from the very beginning- I saw gifs of them kissing on tumblr and I had to watch for my self to see if it was actually legit…..and once I watched this episode, I finally understand why I had the feeling I would like it in the first place..

    • November 21, 2012 at 3:53 amShinichick39

      *WOULDNT like it in the first place (damn auto correct) I seriously don’t think I will watch anymore after this episode

  • November 21, 2012 at 5:16 pmUran

    Well letting aside the homo stuff, didn’t this episode shatter all they built up till now? Chars had their character completely turn upside down, and not just as a result of the ape genetic conditioning there. There was a time Satoru and Saki were trapped in a net and they were going to give up to their urgencies, just when Saki refused to behave like an animal. At that time I had the feeling those kids were conquering their own fate, but the episode 8 was a big let-down in that very regard. After two years they’re back in being apes like everyone in the school. It was supposed the kids learnt something in their nice trip before. Was it cancelled there? Is that plot advancement?

    It doesn’t also look like that society is based on homosexuality at all, except when it comes to youngsters at school. And if they’re like apes, wouldn’t school life be more something like a never-ending orgy rather than a sum up of homo couples? That’s a bit disturbing and forced even in regards to their own premise.

    Moreover, kids were spirited away for crimes much less worse than what our main chars did formerly in their exciting trip on the river, and there was no consequence for them when they returned alone unscathed and without an escort at the village? Weird. And Shun’s foretelling of trouble to come doesn’t come unexpected at all. We are actually waiting for it, but… The problem is, still, what happened in only 2 years that triggered that turn of events? We don’t know: Fast forward.

    • November 21, 2012 at 6:11 pmMagoiichi

      This is my main problem with it.The characters are acting way out of character.Now they can use the “it’s a time skip” and that bonobo conditioning as an excuse all they want, but bad writing and bullshit fanservice is all this episode was.

      I already didn’t like the idea of Shun and Saki almost having sex when they were a loli and shota.I let it go because of the bonobo conditioning excuse, even though there were no signs of it during the school scenes before the timeskip.

      If there was even a remote hint that Satoru and Shun was gay or bi I wouldn’t be complaining about this.There was at least a hint for Maria, but for Saki, that’s just some bullshit fanservice again, the Saki before the timeskip wouldn’t do that shit.

    • November 21, 2012 at 7:06 pmEmu

      As for the lack of consequences demonstrated through the time skip, I hope that we will be exposed to more regarding how that whole situation was dealt with in the future. Shun’s warning regarding the what happened is probably an opening to explain what happened. I think the more they find out about the corrupt society’s background, the more it will be uncovered?

      In regards to the character development, while I do agree they seem out of character (especially when we do not see how they developed in the past 2 years), the fact that they have blended back into society after 2 years is not surprising to me. As humans, we are excellent at adapting to our environments. Although Saki did stop herself in the past with Satoru, it was mainly because that’s when they were first exposed to the concept of bonobo conditioning. After 2 years, I’d assume they have re-integrated back into society, and therefore, adapted to the norms. Especially in a school setting, social pressures definitely outweigh the knowledge they previously obtained. Students knowing that they purchase certain brand names to impress fellow classmates does not stop them from continuing to do so.

      Furthermore, it is clear that Saki is not entirely okay with how everything is going, and therefore there are remnants of doubt in her mind, when she was in the washroom. Additionally, Shun is clearly not completely mentally integrated either, which does demonstrate that all they have experienced remains in the back of their minds.

      However, I do agree that the homosexuality aspects should have been addressed in greater detail (whether it be the norms of society, or personal preferences), rather than just showing it as is.

  • November 23, 2012 at 8:30 pmdangerism

    They’re pretty much conditioned to be in a homosexual state at this point to avoid the complications that sexual activities might come with with their age (hence we see why it’s encouraged at school). They’d probably then switch back to normal relationship when they are in their adulthood (like all the other adults in their society do). It’s… a rather mean way of social control. :(

  • November 27, 2012 at 8:14 pmIvana

    I’m frankly kind of shocked to see that openly visible same-sex relationships come across as “disturbing” to many folk watching this. If the makers of the anime intended it to be used as a “look how messed up society in this world is!” message, than that says a LOT to me about the actual society of this world, and how far away we are from any kind of acceptance.

    That said, the knowledge that most of these relationships and crushes, regardless of gender, are probably just there because of genetic conditioning IS unsettling. But that’s not because sometimes they’re same-sex. Really.

  • November 27, 2012 at 11:17 pmMeh

    The only thing disturbing in the show is that the main point of this in the story is to have homosexuality as a temporary, childish phase. That’s the entire point, the LN is notorious for being a pretty homophobic canon.

    It’s not meant as a positive portrayal, so straight people butthurt about the gayness here: Don’t worry. All couples will end up straight. This isn’t an anime that is exactly liked or wanted by either the yaoi or yuri community.

    That people here are so homophobic to freak out over this is truly hilarious. Guys: The author is agreeing with your buttpain about homosexuality. No need to freak out.

    • December 2, 2012 at 12:36 pmsadface

      Yes! I’m queer and I found this episode quite insulting. The homophobes are simply grossed-out by the depiction of sexual acts, but I’m grossed-out by the portrayal of same-sex relationships as dystopian population control. It’s so ridiculous. A thousand years into the future and this society of magic-users can’t figure out a more efficient way to stop people from getting pregnant?

      I’m inclined to believe the author just wanted to portray same-sex love as oppressive and wrong.

  • January 7, 2013 at 9:33 pmAshen

    A lot of the comments and your analysis, Asobi, have already covered what I wanted to say regarding this episode, so on a lighter note I must say I’m really loving all the creative outfits the characters wear in this series. I wish there were clearer shots of that at times. XD

    • February 4, 2013 at 3:23 amJustSumGuy

      From my own artistic perspective I think the idea of post-apocalyptic dress for a “”non-violent”” sect carried well in the animation. With the amalgam of old world oriental styles and modern there could have been disappointments but I can appreciate the execution and imagination behind the design. The story developers should get an award in my book. d(^-^)b

  • February 4, 2013 at 3:08 amJustSumGuy

    Commenting on a November post (not to the anime which absolutely is well thought and executed, rather the male vs. female acceptance of the homo-erotizes):

    I strongly believe that this anime is reflective of our own culture more well than we recognize, yet subconsciously the relation strikes us at our chemistry. Undertones of an abandoned culture revolving around the principals of religion and science, (which undoubtedly have variation in its denominations, but fundamentally support each other with a poignancy)and a government leading influence within an “overcast” of several major World power movements (ie. Greco-Roman Empire>British>American)where the shadows of sexual promiscuity braze the long history of a religious morality supported in our own genetics. Pro-creation is no mere proliferation, the intricate selection from DNA naturally and for less than a quarter mill is nothing short of miraculous. The thought that hetero-sex is more efficient in the mind of a primordial pro-creating MAN may sit soundly with every male unbeknownst to them, whereas a WOMAN (scientifically proven in the fact that they nurse a parasite and face near death only to nurture the same creature [and I love babies btw!])is MORE emotionally driven. Our female audience may view a scene of yaoi/yuri and uncover the emotional drive and terms be met while the males subtly feel a contradiction to life set within for a millennia of time. homosexuality is recorded in history as well for a seeming millennia of time but considering the lack of necessity in human development, could it realistically be compared to the “sugar pill” for sexual desires?

    “A society of lost souls and twisted minds, who can know what is straight?” is my personal explanation to this Slice of Life anime.

  • February 16, 2013 at 6:38 pmOtaku

    I think they add this cuz the popularity was dropin…..

  • May 13, 2013 at 7:12 pmPy687

    I’m rather late to the party, but I feel like I need to inform people. Yes, the bonobos are prominent examples of sexuality being used as an outlet for anger, but we even have examples of human societies enforcing homosexuality at certain ages. The bonobo conditioning is insufficient to explain what’s happening in this episode, since at no point are bonobos forced to have homosexual relationships with one another; it’s simply something they do to alleviate tension and anger.

    But how do we explain what appears to be forced homosexuality? It’s really nothing to be surprised about, however: this institutionalization of homosexuality occurs even in the world today. I’d like to point out the Batak ethnic groups, for example, or the Marind-Anim people. For both of these ethnic peoples, homosexuality is greatly encouraged during puberty, and it’s not until they become adults that people develop heterosexual relationships. In some of these cultures (the Batak of Northern Sumatra), boys and girls are even prohibited from social relationships of any sort; you can think of their homosexual experiences as a sort of “test run” for when they become adults and “shed” these pubescent activities.

    For the Batak and Marin-Anim peoples, it’s a cultural norm. As it is for the people of this world.

    As for whether or not it’s meant to be a tool used to control population, well, that’s a different matter entirely.