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Shin Sekai Yori – 18

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「紅い花」 (Akai Hana)
“Crimson Flower”

Wow, talk about an explosive episode. I didn’t think the developments would move ahead that quickly as they did with the sudden resolution of the queerat conflict and the subsequent invasion, but the show’s making it increasingly clear they don’t plan on dragging the mystery out any much longer, even if we’ve barely settled into this latest arc. Then again, considering we’ve just about 6 more episodes till the end of this series (doesn’t feel like it. At all.) it’s just about the right time for the story to escalate to its climax, and a war between humans and queerats, possibly against fiend-turned Maria or Mamoru as well, seems like the perfect setup for a provocative conclusion, in the way Shin Sekai Yori has always been.

The episode itself goes out of its away to make it damn clear the queerats’ militeristic actions have been something long in planning, although I doubt it’s a suspicion that escaped most. As was the suspicion that Maria and Mamoru are somehow implicated in the giant hornet’s sudden and disturbingly efficient annihilation. While Tomiko shoots down the very theory raised by Kaburagi, the explanations are all the more reason for suspicion. Yakomaru’s faked remains of the two escapees are far too perfect, something which seems to bother Saki as well. Human shaped and sized bones are somehow reasonable, but to the extent of perfect dental records and DNA matching? It’s easy to certify that somehow, Yakomaru has somehow gained control over of the two humans and incorporated them into his plans. Or if not, it’s equally frightening a thought as to how he came into possession of this information on humans. Conspicuously, Kiromaru has been noted to be missing as well, and I’m fully expecting his return would provide some of the answers on the exact plans of Yakomaru’s.

The queerats invasion itself was a tense, exciting affair, if a little bereave of anything much to expand upon. Those were some really creative and visually entertaining tactics that they employed, especially the suicide bombers’ attack, which featured some of that awesome, stylized action that we saw in the early episodes. Perhaps the most curious thing that can be speculated upon is the reason for the attack itself; no doubt there’s a greater plan in mind with this attack, whether it’s for testing the waters, a pre-emptive strike against the humans before their colonies were to be attacked, or riling up the humans, but there’s far too little of that to go on at the moment. Not to mention this attack practically raised the defcon level of the village to 1 and encouraged an offensive, so how would provoking his enemies figure into Yakomaru’s dastardly schemes? It’ll certainly be an eye opener when we finally learn the extents of his plots, as the queerats’ secret machinations have been building up to be hugely ambitious since the early parts of the show.

But perhaps the most interesting thing I found of the invasion was the human reaction itself to the queerat attack. I figured the human perspective of queerats were that of a lower lifeform, but I don’t think there’s any way to discount the sense of disregard during the attack, or at least during its start. Hino Koufuu’s (Taniyama Kishou) clowning around despite the deaths around him was most representative of this, but Kaburagi’s calm, stoic handling of the situation, and his order that no one interferes just implies how small a threat the attack was to them. And it almost felt like they were taking their time to toy around with the queerats by turning back the gas and guns on them. It wasn’t until Koufuu’s underestimation getting the better of him with a sneak attack, at which point a >raging, double-iris Kaburagi (was he mutated by karma demons?) completely destroys the entire attacking force in a moment. Watching this display reminded me of the flashback shorts from the early episodes, where overpowering psychics completely disregarded and toyed with the non-psychics in their empires. And it seems to parallel the relationship between humans and queerats. We might have come to sympathise with humanity in their struggle for survival, but really, how much has humanity changed in their nature over all that time?

It’s isn’t really much of a complaint though, but I just couldn’t make any sense of that scene when those light beams expelled from a dying Koufuu and an ethereal woman – my guess is an adult Maria – took shape. Another one of those surrealistic, forboding hallucinations, like many of Saki’s dream sequences? Nor can I make any sense of that last scene with Maria restating her love for Saki. Perhaps it’s the show going out of its way to hint at Maria’s almost certified involvement, and her motives probably even has something to do with her love. I admit I have a soft spot for these kind of scenes, as they contribute immensely to that foreboding atmosphere, and are typically pretty creative in their depiction. But honestly, both felt rather out of place with the sequence of events here.

 

Preview

Shin Sekai Yori   18   Preview 01 Shin Sekai Yori   18   Preview 02 Shin Sekai Yori   18   Preview 03
February 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm
55 comments »
  • February 4, 2013 at 6:36 pmNic

    Oh, I interpreted the Maria scene at the end differently. I saw it as Saki saying the goodbyes she never could tell to Maria because the odds are, she and Mamoru were killed by Yakomaru. I mean, the bones are too perfect to be fake, the logical conclusion is that they aren’t. Reality has a way to sometimes hit you like a ton of bricks.

  • February 4, 2013 at 6:38 pmdimasok

    Kaburagi. Was. Badass.

  • February 4, 2013 at 7:08 pmfragb85

    I think this is the part where one kneels on the floor and screams at the sky: “SQUUUEEEEEALEEEEEEEEEERRRR!!!!” (I’m still not calling him Yakomaru). I can take some small comfort that Kiromaru is still alive so I’m hoping that he will find the biggest, sharpest blade around and chop that treacherous rat into pieces.

    Still, I also blame the village for being stupid. They know Squealer is intelligent, has advanced technology and is probably employing a PK user and yet they still didn’t ere on the side of caution. The whole festival celebration might as well have a “WE’RE VULNERABLE! PLEASE KILL US NOW!” sign on top of them. Its sad when hubris is only gone when a lot of people are killed.

    As for Maria and Mamoru, it seems sadly confirmed that they are dead. I don’t think even Squealer could fake details like DNA and dental matches. The last dream scene did give me an idea that didn’t occur to me: The fact that Maria wanted kids but couldn’t have them with Saki. What if the rouge PK user is the child of Maria and Mamoru? It makes perfect sense, a child raised by queerats would not be subject to conditioning of human society and could pretty much kill any human at sight, while any human would be helpless to fight him/her. Its the perfect weapon for Squealer to use.

    • February 7, 2013 at 10:55 amdestiny

      that theory is a bit flawed as the thing for humans attacking humans is instilted in their dna if i remember correctly, only fiends have the ability to negate that anti-something they placed onto them.

  • February 4, 2013 at 7:14 pmAlvik

    I would guess, at first glance, that the ethereal woman was some sort of representation of his cantus.

  • February 4, 2013 at 7:21 pmEmD

    I think the show is making it pretty obvious that the Cantus user aiding the queerats is the child of Maria and Mamoru. Let’s look at the facts.

    1. The episode ends with Maria stating her desire to have children.
    2. Tomiko herself has confirmed that the remains given to them by Yakomaru are indeed those of Maria and Mamoru.
    3. Saki never said that Maria killed people. Just that people wouldn’t have died if she herself had not existed. It has never been directly stated that Maria kills anyone.
    4. A 12-year timeskip makes no sense…unless it was to allow the child to grow to the age it can use Cantus.
    5. Tomiko herself stated a fear of Maria and Mamoru having a child outside of the village because it wouldn’t have the usual limiters placed on it.

    So yeah…to me, it’s looking pretty obvious.

    PS. Shisei Kaburagi is a goddamn badass

    • February 4, 2013 at 7:44 pmShurai

      I followed you up until #5. What episode did Tomiko say she was worried about them having children?

      • February 4, 2013 at 8:03 pmEmD

        I might be remembering wrong, but I believe she made the remark in the episode she convinced Saki to go out and look for them.

      • February 4, 2013 at 10:08 pmFarHorizon

        Yes, it was the episode where Saki & Satorou came back to the village without them the first time. The child was a justifiable fear, I think we’re about to find out. I wonder if it will be a true fiend or just controlled by the rats.

        At this point, I am thinking their current society is doomed .. or at least headed for a huge die off of the established elite with a rebirth under Saki. It will be interesting to see how many humans survive and if any of the rats do as well. Regardless, I’m holding out hope for Kiromaru to a get a chance to off Squealer!

      • February 6, 2013 at 2:07 pmAni_BEE

        Their fear is that a child with Cantus could be used as weapon without the laws to protect and control them.

        I actually have a sicken feeling that Maria and Mamoru organs (reproductive ones) where harvest and the body where disposed of to the in the condition they where in. >__<

    • February 4, 2013 at 8:35 pmqwert

      This is something I really fear…

      All I can imagine is Yakomaru giving Maria and Mamoru the same treatment their queen got so he could get his hands on a cantus weapon.

    • February 5, 2013 at 3:25 amLibelula

      What I dont get is the following: Back when they were searching for Maria and Mamoru, they brought the bones back not very long after all that happened, right? How is Maria supposed to have a child (even if still unborn) in this short interval before being killed? She wasnt pregnant beforehand, was she?

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:38 pmEbisu

        That’s exactly the point that invalidates this theory for me. I suppose they didn’t wait 9 months to give the bones after killing the parents ¬¬

    • February 5, 2013 at 3:32 amUnajuuphile

      For me, #4 really convinced me. time skips aren’t usually a good idea unless there is a good reason behind this….and your claim seems to match this.

      Also, with the ominous air Shin sekai yori gives off, I’d feel bad for Maria and Mamoru had they been really killed by Yakomaru. I’d imagine knowing it is Yakomaru we are talking, it wouldn’t have been instant death, but a painful one.

      Yakomaru, ever since his appearance, just gave me the creeps (though the voice acting by Namikawa is excellent)

    • February 5, 2013 at 9:41 amKnH

      ^this. I agree with this.

      #1 & #3 really hammered to me that maria might have a child and somehow the queerats were able to use that child.

    • February 6, 2013 at 7:53 pmSortedevaras

      The only problem with the bones is that for them to have a child Maria would have had to be pregnant before they escaped the village, since the bones were produced a few days later.

      I think Yakumaru’s plot here was not to kill the village but to make them angry, by making them use their powers for revenge he hopes to create more karma demons and destroy them from within.

  • February 4, 2013 at 8:01 pmK

    Anyone else think that Kaburagi looks a little like Mamoru? Curly, pale brown hair, gold eyes… There’s probably nothing to it, but just a thought.

  • February 4, 2013 at 9:21 pmGermanguy

    Adult Version of Maria? Well, for me it was to common. Perhaps she saw a Image of her “lost” Older Sister

    There was Hints here and there. Perhaps her Older Sister is captured by the Queerrats or “brain washed” by them

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:01 pmsomebody

    Someone stated this on another board: The ethereal woman was actually Koufuu’s dead lover. He projected her image in the air to make his death not seem so sad.

    Don’t know if he is really right though.

  • February 4, 2013 at 11:54 pmdeathtogeneric/formulaicshows

    Hey, there is a spoiler troll here, Asobi & RC writers.

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:03 amName (required)

    Koufuu is dead you are not human queerat

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:19 amUnajuuphile

    Great episode, great review. Every time before I watch this show every week, I get tense as my body seems to prepare itself for all the surprises and shocks (e.g. deaths)that may come. Shin sekai yori just doesn’t let the audience sit back and relax.

    And as someone here pointed out, there’s a friggin spoiler troll here. Please do something about this (if you can).

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:19 ambaseone

    Sad to say but I think Maria is dead. If you recall what Satouru said, the festival was about the parting of the dead and Saki seeing Maria is a way for Maria to say goodbye for the last time.

    About the queerats, what I think is that they are the humans of today – scheming and always looking for something that will make them more superior to others.

    I have a question though, what happened to Koufuu(chinese-looking guy)? the one that suddenly died was he shot? or what I think is he was drugged? I think the sake that was given by those monsters(?) are drugged and remember that Satouru also drank some of that(I’ll just put as a note for maybe it may have an effect for the later episodes.

    About this http://randomc.net/image/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori%20-%2018%20-%20Large%2034.jpg

    I think it’s his lover or something? or maybe his cantus taking form before it releases itself toward the heaven.

    And about Shisei Kaburagi damn his so badass there and those eyes damn it looks cool I think cooler than a sharingan hehehe.

    About the preview what I think is, it’s Mamoru(yeah it seems that we or I thinks that his a general wimp or something but what if he turned to like Shun?). From what I heard in the voices in the preview it seems that someone has lose control of his cantus and I’ guessing it’s Mamoru.

    • April 23, 2013 at 7:06 pmCysta

      took me a while, but I get it.
      Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 5, 2013 at 7:22 amShin Suckit

    Hahahahaha… internet “trolls”

  • February 5, 2013 at 7:56 amk

    Maybe the Koufuu guy is one of the terminals – a false minoshiro in the shape of a human..?

  • February 5, 2013 at 8:08 amGermanguy

    You think, repeating every time the same “Spoiler” will make it more “true”? Nice Trolling Seven

  • February 5, 2013 at 8:14 amNierTevra

    can’t we just get this ‘spoiler’ guy banned?

    lol so kaburagi was also sebastian shaw…

  • February 5, 2013 at 10:24 amwhat a mess

    Since the thread has been abused here’s my conspiracy theory: Maria and Mamoru were lobotomized (like the Queen) Then their teeths were pulled out and they cut a leg and an arm. Those were the “proof” of their death delivered. Then they impregnate Maria (making her the new queen) with queer rat genome to get an PK rat. A human baby won’t kill their kind. So with the time skip and a 9 month gestation period the Queer rat army must have 12~15 Pk to fight the human. Saki is the pround aunt of rats.

    Finally even with the Pk powers all humans die eventually so guess… they all die!

    • February 5, 2013 at 2:54 pmc2710

      ENOUGH!

      One “PsychoPass” per season is enough!

  • February 5, 2013 at 1:08 pmFuu

    The subtle tension in this episode was great! Almost better than the book! Also-to make everyone feel a little better. The jackass spoiler person is only partially correct. Don’t always believe spam posters!

  • February 5, 2013 at 3:08 pmstardust

    the only thing that confused me about this episode was when they were fighting the queerats. wasn’t a huge part of their society all about nonviolence? if i remember correctly back when they explained all about the world they live in i think i remember them talking about all of the mental blocks and restraints on violence. the thing that confused me was that the people seemed eager and excited when the queerats were being killed off and some of the younger kids there looked like they were enjoying watching the fight too. that just struck me as odd

    • February 5, 2013 at 4:09 pmElly

      The mental blocks only apply to violence against humans. Queerats are seen as subhuman by the current society and aren’t included.

      • February 6, 2013 at 11:27 amFuu

        Yep. Although they do get slightly sick if they kill a mass amount. Foreshadowing that queerats are partially human.

      • February 6, 2013 at 7:49 pmEbisu

        More like they can’t avoid seeing the queerats as human beings. They know they aren’t, but they act like human beings, some speak like human beings, they shit like human beings ;P
        The activation of they’re death-feedback is when they have the feeling of killing a human being, it’s not necessary to actually do it. Prove of that is when the monk killed the false minoshiro and it released an image of woman dying. The monk had the thought that he had killed a woman though he also knew he hadn’t. That’s why the death-feedback only activates partially, though it still hurts.

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:57 pmAnanas

    I was wondering why the number of comments skyrocketed all of a sudden.

  • February 5, 2013 at 4:57 pmEntrav

    I don’t think that “ethereal woman” at the end is Maria in adult form. At first, I actually thought it was the result of death feedback like we saw in episode 4. However, others have said that it is put in so Hino’s death seems less grim. After all, not all the people who died had that happen. Great episode, lots of guessing going on but that’s to be expected from an anime like this.

  • February 5, 2013 at 5:49 pmofvgard

    I really dont think Maria and Mamoru would ever attack where Saki and Satoru might be.

    Im suspecting either they are
    1) being controlled by the rats, or like some other people speculate,
    2) Maria and Mamoru had a child (hinted towards the end where Maria talks about pregnancy), got killed, and the child is now being manipulated by Yakoumaru

    Another speculation about the “prepared bones” by Yakoumaru: He said the bones are already similar to human form. Is it possible that the queerrats are some form of humans that “failed” to have any jiroku/powers? Im thinking someting similar to LOTR here where they said Gollum used to be a hobbit but got corrupted and turned into that ugly thing he is now.

    • February 6, 2013 at 11:29 amFuu

      Yeah, that has been the foreshadowing. Since you also get slightly sick when you kill queerats.

    • February 6, 2013 at 7:44 pmKiyone

      I was under the impression from the episode before this that Saki made it pretty clear that the Queerrats are selectively bred mole-rats. See that’s what her office was doing research with and then obviously they are supposed to closely watch the Queeurrats or exospecies. Now the reasoning for doing this I’m not sure or even how it was done.

  • February 5, 2013 at 8:05 pmruirui

    i really feel that “maria” interview at the end could have been handled better.. maybe even as a dream sequence

    D: also the amount of trolls here is suggesting commenters get mandatory accounts to be able to make comments…

  • February 5, 2013 at 8:14 pmKiyone

    Shit just got real…

  • February 6, 2013 at 1:49 amMi-Chan

    this anime is too powerful that I’m too scared to watch it every weak and still do!!

    Anyway my 2 cents in, 10 years have passed since the Maria incident, and Maria in the end saying ‘we couldn’t have a baby’, so I’m always stupid, but I assume Maria and Mamoru had a baby?

    Thanks for you’re review, I’m almost in the same boat!

    • February 6, 2013 at 2:43 amMi-Chan

      I just want a happy ending in the end -_- whenever they show Mamoru, Maria and Shin standing there, it just hurts x.x’ nd it even hurts they don’t remmeber him.. more..

  • February 6, 2013 at 12:18 pmdeathtogeneric/formulaicshows

    RC writers and especially Asobi. You’ve got some major cleaning to do in this post. About a half of the comments here are trolls and spoiler trolls ruining for everyone else. What are you doing? It’s a bit sloppy job, I must say. If Asobi won’t do it, other RC writers, do step in. This would never happen under Stilts and G. Enzo’s posts, you know.

    Probably one or two douches changing his names and thinking he can get away with it; clever, but you do know that the writers can totally see your IP addresses, don’t you?

    • February 6, 2013 at 12:27 pmZephyr

      At the moment only the respective writer can delete/edit comments in their posts. Just replying now to confirm that we are working on it. Apologies for the delay.

      • February 6, 2013 at 2:58 pmdeathtogeneric/formulaicshows

        No need to apology, Zephyr. Just wanted to let you guys know what was going on here.

        Dare I say, so much effort/time spent for so little to show for, these troll(s) :P; I am sure you guys (RC writers) can see how many it actually was. I am almost willing to bet it was either one or two dudes.

      • February 6, 2013 at 3:56 pmVoyager

        @RC writers

        I was fortunate enough not to read any spoiler (it’s my policy not to read posts hidden by downvotes, I trust the community on that), but many people weren’t.

        We all know that there is no way to completely prevent this kind of things, and it becomes worse when the RC writers are busy with their lifes and can’t actively monitor the replies, but, just for the sake of speaking my mind, I think it would be nice for us users to have some mean to __report__ posts that do not belong to this community.

        Of course that feature would be abused, but you may also require to write a reason for the report and even a captcha, to discourage idiots from reporting normal posts. You may ignore the reported posts when you are too busy, still you could check the posts that get a lot of reports for potential offense. I think that if you are planning to actively check and remove spoiler and troll posts, that would actually help you without adding too much maintainance work.

        Anyway I know you all are doing your best, and it shows in the quality of this place, so I didn’t intend any critics. I can’t help you in any other way than making some suggestions.
        I also wish to sincerely thank you all for your time spent on running this place, I barely have time to visit once in a while so I value it a lot.

      • February 6, 2013 at 4:03 pmVoyager

        wait, just after hitting submit I realized that what I said is kind of stupid, if you want you can always prioritize checking the posts that get a lot of downvotes. Well, I can’t delete my post, just disregard it, peace :)

    • February 7, 2013 at 4:06 amAsobi

      First off, my sincerest apologies for letting this mess get out of hand. The Shin Sekai Yori commenters have up until now been a very civil, admirable and generally awesome bunch, especially when dealing with spoilers, and there has been very little need for me to monitor you guys closely. Complacency got the better of me in this case, as I never would’ve thought a problem like this would’ve come up, which was why I never bothered to check back as I tended to my deadlines and plans. This oversight was my fault. I’ll ensure you I’ll keep a watchful eye for such troll comments from here on out.

  • February 6, 2013 at 11:45 pmkanade_

    Oh God… did I just spoiled myself from reading couple of comments at the top?

  • February 7, 2013 at 3:17 amnn

    i still cant get over the quote in earlier episodes of the anime where it said something like

    Show Spoiler ▼

    :( im scared as to why that is still ><

  • February 7, 2013 at 6:41 amboingman

    If Maria and Mamoru are really dead, then that must have been the most anticlimatic off screen deaths I’ve ever seen. Sadly, there novel readers in the a…forum who didn’t leave any hope for speculation regarding Maria and Mamoru’s.

  • February 8, 2013 at 3:07 pmSolara

    My post shall be different from everyone else! Cause everything that I wanted to say and discussed has been already like whoa which leaves me tackling something random for the Hell of it.

    With all the mess and climaxes that are happening now I must admit that my love for Maria and Saki hasn’t died… (Yep. That random.)

    And it sometimes feels like the creators like to troll those who shipped that pair once, from that sad letter to Maria’s comments towards the end of this episode. We get it Maria, we get it, you love Saki, but you had to go, and be a friend, but still hung over your ever lasting love and flame that is Saki, not LOVED, love still, cause that letter must had hurt to write, and you kept telling yourself that you ‘had to’ do what you did because you wanted to be a friend. And now you return to us, in visions, illusions, and troll us once more about loving Saki and wanting kids. Wait what? Maria is a bright girl, which I like to believe anyways, which makes me wish to believe that she didn’t leave Saki because she wanted to be a friend, but because it was more comfortable to date your opposite to bear a child?

    Wait what. -Giggles- SSY seems to have a eerie healthy view of homosexuality that I have never come across to seeing in anime ever, I like to believe that Maria knew that she could had still be with Saki and have someone father her child.

    But for the sake that is SSY that it must do what it has to to continue, I shall ignore all of this and go back to the main debates in this post about what may happen next episode and who is behind this and so on. Great theories, I am anticipating the next episode!

  • February 9, 2013 at 8:28 amkondee

    Things are really picking up!