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Shin Sekai Yori – 21

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「劫火」 (Gouka)
“Fires of the Apocalypse”

Gods, I can even see the resemblance.

Talking about the abstract art of storytelling always comes down to personal opinion. (Which I seem to have a lot of in this series) But if this episode’s any indication, Shin Sekai Yori’s direction is at once both its greatest strength and, as I’m finding here, one of its biggest weaknesses when it comes to recommending this show.

I think it’s no surprise by now that I have a soft spot for how the show carries itself. The style of direction here feels unique to this show, full of experimental elements like the constant reliance on misdirection and ambiguity to purposefully confuse, such as with the various dream sequences. There’s the complete shifts in animation style to complement episodes like Shun’s death, and a heavy utilization on auditory and visual cues to build interpretative details. And not forgetting the erratic pacing that constantly keeps the audience on their toes. Yet many a times it doesn’t quite work out as intended. How many of those dream sequences or those small, interpretive details really connected meaningfully back to the plot, in retrospect? Were you, like me, wondering just what was going on with Kaburagi’s death in this episode through the vague display of, in the words of Satoru, “cantus leakage” by the fiend? Maybe like me, you also felt a sense of disconnect during the flurry of disjointed scenes when Niimi-san broke off to make his warning. The erratic pacing in the show which would otherwise serves some greater storytelling purpose just becomes simply erratic, making the flow of the episode feel disjointed. It has been getting stronger as of late, this feeling that the story was just too big for them to fit into a 24-odd episodes series, that there obviously were too many minor but essential details in the original story. It felt as if the lack of sufficient exposition between the twitchy pacing of the show is wearing down on it, and the explanations behind events like Kaburagi’s death somewhat lost on me. Another example: I’ve seen many people asking why the humans don’t attempt some self-sacrificial attacks on the fiend, because the death feedback never had clearly laid out rules to it. (My guess is that the death feedback, or some version of it, kicks in at a subconscious level when humans begin to think about attacking.)

But if the way out they sought was through this wild, erratic direction that places so much of the cut content into the background, or otherwise leaving to interpretation; and if they do so in a way that keeps the emotive and philosophical subtexts of the content in, how can I truly fault them? This is a show that rewards your constant engagement with it by actively challenging its audience to understand the breadth of its scope. There are few other shows that encourages interpretative thinking in such a manner, and the lengthy discussions Shin Sekai Yori invites is proof of that. And even doing so the show keeps its emotive side running high, with very effective usage of its visuals and music, kudos to the amazing soundtrack. Watching this episode the first time around, I didn’t know exactly what went down with Niimi-san when he went his separate way, but the poetic music and its abrupt cutoff was more than enough to tell his tragic end, and by extension, the fate of the village itself.

On to to the episode, this is pretty much your standard endgame revelations episode, starting with a proper look at the fiend that’s been hounding the characters. More likely than not, that’s Maria and Mamoru’s child right there, (the show doesn’t even want to give a clear answer on this, but there’s that resemblance to both) who just defeated the biggest badass this side of Kamisu 66 and effectively destroyed the last rays of hope the village has for it. Kaburagi’s unexpectedly swift demise (another thing about this show, it never holds back in offing people with extreme prejudice) came as a bit of a small shock when he went down this easily, without so much as putting up an fight. But the message comes across loud and clear: Kaburagi was the embodiment of their power, and his death signifies that the humans do not have the means to retaliate. Man can only wait for death, be it at the hands of queerats or fiend. Inui’s tense recount of his encounter with the fiend only just reinforced just how terrifying of an existence it was.

Squealer’s grand design was pretty much what we’ve been banging on about, a classic rabble-rousing of the race to break free of their tyrannical human overlords. To be fair, while it didn’t quite nearly have the impact I desired, the show had already been nudging in this direction since the start of the adult arc. What we learn here feels little more than solid affirmation of the themes that’s been fueling this human-queerat war, with little doubt Squealer has kept the extents of his true ambitions to himself. Likewise, the explanation behind the methods of the queerats to control the fiend come as little surprise, but I liked that they tied the explanation of the fiend back to the war tradition of the queerats to raise the young as their slave workforce. I’ already had some inkling of what was going on with Squealer’s plan to control and build a fiend army from the childbirth, but there’s an interesting point to be made here: While I barely felt anything back when the queerats were enslaving their own race, once we bring human babies into the picture, the act takes on a much more disturbing and personal image. Guess I’m not too different from those dastardly humans in the show!

So how do you follow up with this episode when the characters are all facing a completely hopeless situation? The preview seems to hint at Kiromaru’s return which, as the wildcard he supposedly is, should stir up couple of twists alongside the False Minoshiro that shows up.

 

Author’s Note

Interested in the Shin Sekai Yori novels? I recently found there’s a movement calling for Vertical Press to TL and publish an English Localized Version of the novels. They’ve responded but need the interest, and want to know if they’ll be able to sell at least 4.5k copies in the US, UK and Canada. I know we’ll all like to see this happen, so what can we do? Just like/repost this tumblr article or bug the editor-in-chief with your emails to show your interest! Spread the word! Vertical also published another translated work by Shin Sekai Yori author Yusuke Kishi called The Crimson Labyrinth, so checking this out would be another way of showing support! - Thanks Zephyr for the tip!

 

Preview

Shin Sekai Yori   21   Preview 01 Shin Sekai Yori   21   Preview 02 Shin Sekai Yori   21   Preview 03
February 24, 2013 at 6:45 pm
117 comments »
  • February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pmAnnon

    I don’t really understand the cantus leakage part. I thought that karma demons were the result of subconscious cantus leakage, whereas fiends are the result of lacking death feedback. I was disappointed with kaburagi’s swift death as well but it goes to show how powerful fiends really are and why the education board would go to extreme means to ensure fiends don’t arise.

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:23 pmScardigne

      A fiend can already have death feedback and still break threw it, just like the fiend that Tomiko saw. I wasn’t surprised that fiends also have the powers of a Karma Demon. Since they are basically the same thing only thing that Karma Demons are psychologically normal, death feedback still works on them, and is not that they are leaking cantus on purpose is that they cant control the leakage.

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:24 pmEmD

      More likely than not, that’s Maria and Mamoru’s child right there, (the show doesn’t even want to give a clear answer on this, but there’s that resemblance to both)

      Huh? Satoru said the kid was Mamoru and Maria’s son and no one contradicted him, not even Saki.

      What more confirmation could you need? It’s not like Maria and Mamoru can say anything since they’re dead,as stated by Tomiko how many episode ago when she confirmed it with DNA samples, which Squealer never said he could copy. He said he could only copy bone structure, which is why Saki panicked when she heard the DNA results.

      And it’s not like the kid will be like “Yup, they’re my parents.” He was raised by queerats. He doesn’t know his parents.

      • February 24, 2013 at 8:25 pmEmD

        wow, totally meant for this to be its own comment. Sorry about that…

      • February 25, 2013 at 9:00 amharuna

        EmD I don’t believe that Maria is dead. Tomiko might have lied.

      • February 25, 2013 at 1:28 pmGoXDS

        one glaring problem with that is the fact that the fiend exists. either way, it’s implied that the confirmation of Maria/Mamoru’s death was false. if the were killed, they couldn’t have had a child (the village is going to leave them at large for 9 months minimum?).

      • February 26, 2013 at 6:49 pmdxb_blackwolf

        @haruna The only reason you say that is because you want her to be alive, and I completely understand how you feel :(.

        However, I’m completely sure that Maria and Mamoru are both dead. They even came to closure about that in the same episode, where Saki had to accept that Maria died. Tomiko would gain nothing from lying in that situation, and she even hurt Saki and Saturo by confirming Maria and Mamoru’s death, so there’s no way it’s because she wishes to cover their lie.

        Also, I don’t see how the queerats would be able to seperate Maria and Mamoru from their child without killing them.

      • February 27, 2013 at 10:06 amharuna

        @dxb_blackwolf I never believed that Maria died. That ep where Saki came to terms with the death, not poignant to me. I am not emotionally attached to Maria nor am I shipping Maria/Saki. I just don’t take anything for granted in this show.

        I assumed Tomiko may have accepted “evidence” of Maria’s and Mamoru’s death so she wouldn’t have to admit that, hey, I let some kids go free in the wasteland and we couldn’t track them down/kill them. Loose nukes. Out of sight, out of mind. Now Tomiko might have Maria as an ace in the hole.

        Anyway, how would queerats kill Maria and Mamoru and then take the child? That seems like a tall order for queerats.

        This ep makes me think for the first time that _MAYBE_ Maria is dead, but not showing the death beyond the proof of bones that queerats said they could fake, and DNA that Tomiko vouches for, not evidence. ;)

    • February 25, 2013 at 9:21 amTre

      The term fiend isn’t used to describe a person without death feedback, but rather a person who has gone insane due to some side effect of cantus which occurs in some people. Not all cantus users were fiends before the addition of death feedback into the human genome.

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:55 amVane

      Raman-Klogius syndrome (悪鬼) and Hashimoto-Appelbaum syndrome (業魔)

      悪鬼, Akki: It is called “fox in a henhouse syndrome”. You can say it is taken to mean human who is able to use power to harm or kill fellow human = Maria’s son

      業魔, Gouma, is just like the fable story said, a person who “due to his karma” changed from human into something “unhuman” with his power causing undesirable changes in the environment/animals/plants surrounding him. = Shun

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:57 amVane

      All this was explained in episode 4.

      • February 26, 2013 at 10:28 amTre

        Yes, and the explanation I heard in that episode was that “Fiend” referred to a human who loses control of themselves (but doesn’t lose control of their Cantus) and starts killing indiscriminately. It does not simply refer to a human who can kill.

        This distinction is important, or else every Cantus user who existed before the current society would be classified as a Fiend, which is not the case.

      • February 26, 2013 at 10:41 amTre

        And we’re not even sure if Maria’s son is really a Fiend. He certainly acts like one, but whether he medically has “fox in the henhouse syndrome” or not is debatable. We don’t really know how that happens, but from the few clues we heard about, it seems like it happens when Cantus starts interfering with a human’s psychology.

        If he were really a Fiend, he wouldn’t really be able to take orders from anyone since he’s insane. But he’s taking orders from Yakomaru/Squeeler. Note the previous example of a Fiend given by Tomiko, boy K. This boy just went completely insane and lost all logic, which is why he broke the death feedback. When he went to the doctor, he was complaining about being sick, but was clearly psychotic since he didn’t really know what he was saying. The doctor was able to trick him here because the boy no longer had any sense of reason.

        I suppose Maria’s son could be tricked in a similar manner even if he’s a Fiend, but that would put the queerats in a dangerous position as well.

  • February 24, 2013 at 6:59 pmXaffin

    i was hoping you would provide some explanation to kaburagi-san’s death and to nimi-san’s scene…. I guess we are on the same boat lol

    • February 24, 2013 at 9:46 pmR

      The way I understood the Niimi’s scenes was that he split up from Satoru and Saki to announce the warning and play the ‘going home’ record. The shots were of the once idyllic past, which the song is strongly associated with, then the scenes from the present — now destroyed to a point where it’s difficult to believe they were the same locations. The song looped when it shouldn’t have, which records can’t do without an outside force, thus how Saki and Satoru knew he died as the music ended abruptly.

    • February 25, 2013 at 12:02 amScruffy

      I thought it was pretty clear with nimi-san’s scene. What they were showing was that to play the music he had to turn the waterwheel with his power as the water had been drained. The flashbacks showing the original scene with the the working water mill and then the current situation. As soon as the music stopped we knew that he was no longer alive as he could not turn the wheel.

      By the way, I don’t think the child is actually a fiend. It simply does not know that it is human and so has a self image of itself being a queerat. As to how the death feedback works, I think it has already been explained that there is a combination of genetic as well as conditioning used. The conditioning stops them conisidering violence (hence why they cannot suicide to get rid of the ‘fiend’) and the death feedback only is a last resort.

      • February 25, 2013 at 2:42 amCybersteel

        Death Feedback should’ve killed him.

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:04 pmSebby

    If anyone has an idea of how the ‘cantus leakage’ led to Kaburagi’s death, I’d love to hear it!

    • February 24, 2013 at 7:39 pmNatsu

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

    • February 25, 2013 at 2:44 amCybersteel

      Shinsei has cantus leakage > Shinsei can’t use cantus properly > Fiend attacks with cantus > Shinsei cannot defend himself > Shinsei dies

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:09 pmSortedevaras

    In anime you always know you are missing something not reading the novels, but never before has something so critical non been explained. I honestly feel kind of cheated having Kaburagi die like that by what feels like an ass pull so the plot doesn’t get resolved right away. :/

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:16 pmcast

    I had a few ideas actually, since I’ve been thinking about Kaburagi’s death for a while. It requires making a few jumps here and there though.

    I’m going to stick with the assumption that fiends and karma demons are NOT essentially alike, and that fiends don’t necessarily come with the whole Cantus leakage package as well as their lack of attack inhibition and death feedback. Looking at that then, what would be a possible tie between the fiend and Cantus leakage? Well, Cantus leakage has been shown to have unpredictable and uncontrollable (duh) effects before.

    Could it be that the fiend’s untrained primal Cantus resembles Cantus leakage? The fiend would never have gone through the rite shown in episode one where their Cantus is sealed and replaced with a new one. Maybe that rite creates a safer, more predictable Cantus for its user. Additionally everything the fiend has done so far with his/her Cantus has been fairly rough and lacking in subtlety and refinement.

    So here’s the jump – Kaburagi would have found it very difficult to defend against an unpredictable Cantus with similar properties to Cantus leakage. I almost suspect that his double-irises are an effect of his contact with Shun in the classroom that day when he presumably first sensed Shun’s Cantus leakage. The fact that the abomination in the egg is represented by an eye seems to lead credence to this idea.

    There’s also the fact that Shun didn’t bother to explain to Saki at all in episode 10 any way of mitigating the effects of his Cantus leakage on her in the event that he suddenly lost control and wasn’t able to given warning. Shun is a very careful guy. He gave Saki the charm against the black cats, and he’s been doing everything he can to concentrate all his Cantus and not let it leak. So if there was some sort of defense possible against his leaking Cantus, I’m sure he would have explained it to Saki before they began speaking.

    I also think, given the rainbow interference near Kaburagi’s head, that it could simply be that it’s easy to defend against Cantus attacks based on external objects (ex: Saki blocking the thrown rock from the kid or any Cantus user stopping arrows), but defending against Cantus acting directly on your body is near impossible. But then I don’t know how the Cantus leakage ties in.

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:18 pmTaylor

    It seems fairly clear that the fiend is at least Maria’s child. If you remember back to the ending of one of the very first few episodes you hear an adult Saki say that had Maria died back then it would have prevented so many deaths in the future. I assume this to mean if she were not alive in the future then she couldn’t give birth to the fiend.

    Also on the issue of Kaburagi’s death my guess is that while he could defend himself from direct attacks, if the fiend wanted him dead badly enough then it’s subconscious mind could kill him and he would never see it coming.

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:04 pmLogeres

      Asobi seems to have missed it, but it was also all but confirmed by Satoru that the Fiend is Maria’s and Mamoru’s child, during their discussion about Squealer’s grand plan to raise an army of Fiends.

      • February 24, 2013 at 8:37 pmAsobi

        Oh yea, I forgot about that little remark! Though I’m loathe to take it as solid evidence, since the only people who would truly know the identity would be the queerats, and I now have to wonder how Satoru figured it out.

        Then again, it isn’t all that hard to see the family resemblance, I guess.

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:05 pmRavens

      To add to the part about Nimi-san’s death. (thanks iPOND, the water wheel part made sense!) We started seeing scenes of the dried-out canals, which is significant, because, in a few episodes earlier, Saki alluded to the fact that Squealer sent in the water monsters to force humans to drain the canals, which is the main and quickest way for humans to travel. Lacking that, Nimi-san was doomed as being at the townhall made him a sitting duck. And the “going-home” music, is just another more tragic symbolism of Nimi-san’s death, as this was his “going home”, for the last time.

      Regarding the cantus leakage part, I am scratching my head is well. My hunch, like others who have commented, is that the fiend never got the cantus controlled through hypnosis. Remember how Saki first had her Cantus awaken, all the stuff in her room was flying around uncontrolled, but was later sealed by the head priest. I think the fiend has cantus leakage in that sense, as his sub-conscience can release cantus. Why that matters in Kaburagi’s death is that all cantus user were condition by hypnosis to only release cantus using conscience thought, and that it could only control macro-objects. Things like apoptosis, and restoring telomeres, in the micro-level, were rare, with the exception of Tomiko-sama. In Shun’s death and Tomiko’s explanation of a Karma Demon, it was mentioned that cantus leakage can affect the micro-level as well, causing DNA damage and mutation. Thus Kaburagi, although powerful, can defend macro-objects cantus, like the stone boulders, but was helpless in defending micro-level damaging cantus from the fiend.

      Just my 2 cents. Anyways, I really like this show, hard to find thought provoking anime like this.

    • February 24, 2013 at 9:37 pmJack

      The child clearly resembles Maria without speaking, however I still yet to see any port of Mamoru that’s in the kid. It’s not the hair color nor the eyes.

      Opinions?

      • February 24, 2013 at 9:59 pmR

        His hair’s a bit wavy, a trait that thus far is only associated with Mamoru. Also, Mamoru’s eye color is yellow while Maria’s is blue, and this child’s eye color happens to be a mix of those. On the same note, his eye shape is similar to Mamoru’s.

      • February 25, 2013 at 9:02 amharuna

        Yes, the child has Mamoru’s eyes.

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:24 pmSpike

    Cantus Leakage = Subconscious Cantus use.

    A fiend can direct attacks as well as think “I want to kill this target” and the subconscious will also launch attacks. Powerful Cantus users can counter any attacks launched against them but as seen from deaths from sneak attacks by queerats, if they cant ‘see’ or ‘predict’ the attacks – they can’t counter it. Subconcious Cantus attacks are impossible to counter (hence why people also fear Karma demons – they can’t counter the effects) because they are by nature random and unpredicable.

    This was why Sotaru immediately realized Kaburagi was bluffing and going to lose. Cantus Leakage is impossible to counter even if he was showing he could easily counter the Fiend’s Direct attacks. ‘Cantus Leakage’ is another weapon in THIS fiends arsenal because it wasn’t given any of the hypnosis to fully control the subconsciousness in addition to no death feedback.

    • February 24, 2013 at 7:59 pmLogeres

      I think this is pretty much the explanation, right there. We already know that the Holy Barrier is a psychological tool, intended to direct Cantus leakage to the outside, where no humans live (which is also the reason why the flora and fauna is so oddly mutated). Cantus leakage is therefore a natural phenomenon for every PK user. The Fiend wasn’t conditioned to redirect his Cantus, which is why it could affect Shisei.

      • February 24, 2013 at 8:24 pmr3dking

        I came to a different conclusion. Way back in episode 2 we were told that bad things happen when two cantus users focus on the same object. Even in the case where the two people are attempting to cooperate, or at least not interfere, with each other you get those rainbow interference patterns and (I think) “cantus leakage”. Now consider trying to defend yourself against an attacking cantus user who is targeting your body. Even if there is something you might try, and who knows if that’s even the case, you will be concentrating your cantus on the same object (yourself) as the attacker. Bad things will happen. The rainbow bits we saw near Kaburagi when he was attacked were to indicate that. My guess is that cantus attack + cantus defense invariably produces cantus leakage in the area of the attack, so the defender loses.

      • February 24, 2013 at 8:48 pmSpike

        No, it was clearly stated in several episodes that Cantus Leakage = Subconscious Cantus use. Like Logeres says, normal Cantus users have their Subconcious Cantus ‘redirected’ outside of the holy barrier. (FYI, Karma Demons have subconcious Cantus so strong it breaks this redirection hypnosis and effects inside the barrier) THIS fiend does not have the redirection hyponosis so his subconscious can also attack inside the barrier like a karma demon but unlike a karma demon he somewhat has control over what it will ‘do’ as opposed to it just rampaging everything around him.

    • February 27, 2013 at 12:05 pmHunterWulf

      That sounds like a spot on explanation for Kaburagi’s death, well done.

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:26 pmiPONG

    Sorry I may be wrong but the way I interpret Nimi-san’s scene is that water is needed to power the radio he uses to announce the warning. Saki realises that the water has already been drained, so technically there wasn’t suppose to play any music(since there is no more water/cantus power to spin the wheel) after Nimi-san evacuated.

    As for the fiend part, will have to ask those who read the actual novel to give us insight to this.

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:21 pmAsobi

      That’s pretty much what I was thinking as well when I went back to that scene, after I remembered the “electric” issue from last episode, and the constant scene shifting between the waterwheel and the radio. Niimi must’ve been powering it using his own cantus.

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:42 pmTheTLMan

    It is confusing how things went this episode. I will say this, the screams from that fiend was giving me a creep out at the whole scene. It was like I was playing dead space all over again (lights off and surround sound in the living room).

  • February 24, 2013 at 7:44 pmNaske

    As far as I understand, Fiends are something entirely different than karma demons.
    Fiends= mentally disturbed person that can get past the mentally conditioned “death feedback” because they’re already insane ( the also kill everything in sight).
    Karma Demons= No sane person that just can’t control their powers.
    Now as far as the child is concerned, I actually don’t feel like he/she is a fiend. I actually think the child was just mentally conditioned to see its self as a rat so that would imply that it could kill humans. If you consider the fact that the death feedback is simply a result of mental conditioning and that all it does is prevent you from kill your own species, then it wouldn’t be that far fetched to think that if the child thought it was a rat it could kill humans and on the same train of thought it wouldn’t be able to kill the rats thus making squealer an evil bastard and also giving him weapons that can’t betray him!
    I mean I’m probably wrong but that’s just my two cents as I don’t see how squealer could gain the knowledge of how to turn humans into fiends and still be able to control them!

    • February 24, 2013 at 7:45 pmNaske

      slight type! there shouldn’t be a “no” before sane in the karma demon explanation XP

    • February 25, 2013 at 9:03 amharuna

      agree agree agree

    • February 25, 2013 at 8:59 pmBob

      This cannot be the case otherwise the Giant Hornet Colony could not have been wiped out as it was.

  • February 24, 2013 at 8:25 pmNishimura

    Something’s been bother me for awhile now. Why was the blame of this incident placed solely upon Maria when Mamoru is also an equal part of the equation? Was it because mentioning both of their names back in episode two would have made this revelation have less of an impact (though, by this point most of us had already figured the fiend was their child)? Actually, isn’t this all happening because Mamoru ran away? If he hadn’t he might of been killed but Maria would have survived and the fiend crisis we’re witnessing now is completely wiped away. It also can’t be a power issue because no matter who a fiend is born from, their power is automatically more simply because they lack the conscious. So, why is Mamoru given a get out of jail free card while Maria is placed with the entire blame of this situation? There’s got to be something I’m missing.

    • February 24, 2013 at 8:44 pmAsobi

      It’s possible there’s still something about the origin of the fiend that we’ve yet to learn about, which Maria was directly responsible for. We’ve still got a few episodes to go!

    • February 24, 2013 at 10:15 pmR

      Because nobody cares about Mamoru — he hadn’t even been mentioned for quite some time until this episode.

      Joking aside, while I do agree that the full brunt of blame is misplaced on Maria, it’s true that without someone to actually give birth to a child, none of this would be happening. It all started with the committee failing hard at offing Mamoru, then escalated to Mamoru running away, which then escalated to Saki, Satoru and Maria chasing after him, culminating in Maria running away with him. I’m more inclined to lay blame on their entire society, but given this specific situation, Maria was the key component that led to this child.

      I’m of the opinion that Squealer had this plan in mind for quite some time, but it went into full motion once Mamoru and Maria ran away because he had two people capable of producing offspring. I’m assuming he took them in under false pretenses and made sure the committee wouldn’t find them, then offed them once Maria gave birth to a child. (Apparently the novel clarifies it had been 2-3 years until he offered their bones up.)

    • February 24, 2013 at 10:33 pmJack

      I believe the “blame” laid on Maria ia just something you’re latching onto because of the one line Saki-narrator said. The is no wholesale blaming of Maria, at least so far.

      As to why Saki-narrator says what she did has to do with the fact that Saki was very close to Maria and not much to Mamoru. Her narrator self is expressing sorrow that someone so important to her was a cause (not THE cause) of so much pain. Saki-narrator is living with the pain of feeling that the friendship and love she shared with Maria was perhaps not worth the current events. What she said about if Maria had died is Saki’s willingness to trade her dear friend to preserve the village and its people. As already said, who really cares much about Mamoru? Even Maria seemed burdened by him. Suggesting he should have died is not nearly as emotional.

    • February 24, 2013 at 10:43 pmanon

      It can just as easily be argued that Mamoru could have left to save his own life while Maria stayed in the village.Maria had the option of staying or following Mamoru and he didn’t have another option(unless you consider death as a option).Actually it isn’t the fault of the either they were victims of circumstance and Squealer.

    • February 25, 2013 at 1:52 amMeh

      I think that you should take into account what Saki was reminiscing about in Episode two. She says that Maria was born premature, and that her birth had problems. Therefore, there was a chance that Maria could never have been born. Therefore, the fact that Maria wouldn’t have lived, there wouldn’t have been a mass genocide. She wasn’t exactly blaming Maria, but only speculating that if Maria did die during her birth, this event wouldn’t have happened in the first place. Key word is speculate.

      IF she used Mamoru in place of Maria (that Mamoru should never have been born or something like that), I would say that’s directly blaming him. Mamoru didn’t have the same circumstances during his birth, and cursing the fact that he was born would be… mean (for lack of a better word).

      Gah. That was hard to explain xD

    • February 26, 2013 at 3:21 pmU238Willy

      Maria is mostly to blame. Mamoru was to be eradicated, not Maria. When Maria left with him, she opened up the possibility of becoming a ‘nailed and confined [human] queen’. Which is what she became. A male confined by the queerrats is worthless. A female confined by them can produce fiends, cantus-slaves, karma demons, etc. In fact, once the queerrats had a vial of sperm that they could freeze, his life is useless (as if it wasn’t already). Also any human male they could capture and ‘ejaculate’ could make their ‘human queen’ more viable.

      She is majorly the problem here, and in fact, she will need to be found and murdered (along with any children) in order for the rampage to stop.

  • February 24, 2013 at 8:34 pmJack

    Basically the bones that Squealer sent back to the humans WERE indeed Maria and Mamotu’s, he pretty waited for them to conceive their first child, and murdered them so he can raise the child in secret so that it becomes a fiend.

  • February 24, 2013 at 8:47 pmSpike

    No, it was clearly stated in several episodes that Cantus Leakage = Subconscious Cantus use. Like Logeres says, normal Cantus users have their Subconcious Cantus ‘redirected’ outside of the holy barrier. (FYI, Karma Demons have subconcious Cantus so strong it breaks this redirection hypnosis and effects inside the barrier) THIS fiend does not have the redirection hyponosis so his subconscious can also attack inside the barrier like a karma demon but unlike a karma demon he somewhat has control over what it will ‘do’ as opposed to it just rampaging everything around him.

  • February 24, 2013 at 8:56 pmfragb85

    Kaburagi’s death was disappointing. I knew he had no chance so I was hoping for some epic but hopeless struggle to add an even darker and desperate tone. Instead he kind of just died like an afterthought then barely mentioned again.

    Sadly this does confirm that Maria and Mamoru are dead, and their child is now a living weapon by Squealer. The queerats are starting to remind me of North Korea now. There is extensive brainwashing on its populace to blame all their troubles solely on their enemies. It does makes them extremely loyal and fanatical to the cause so Squealer has definitely taking the time to get this troops ready to fuel his ambitions.

    It looks like Kiromaru will finally be back next episode, here’s hoping he’s the trump card our protagonists need because he has as much of a personal vendetta against Squealer as our protagonists do.

  • February 24, 2013 at 9:42 pmG

    I’m not sure why there is any confusion with folks on this episode. It was well directed and straight forward. As iPong nicely explained already, Nimi’s death wasn’t at all confusing. It was on the contrary really beautifully narrated. Saki, as she is walking, realizes that there is no water to drive the waterwheel and thus nothing naturally powering the radio, which means Nimi is himself powering the radio with his cantus by moving the waterwheel himself with his cantus. That’s why there were comparative flashbacks with water in the canal in the past, and the waterwheel driving itself in an empty canal. It was signaling that Saki was putting together the fact that Nimi himself didn’t simply set the radio on and leave, but was powering the radio as she was listening to it, aka that he was not escaping. So when the music from the radio cut off, that was when he was killed by the Fiend. Saki and Satoru were listening to him die. I, for one, thought that this particular scene was done impeccably well.

  • February 24, 2013 at 11:19 pmBanana Furikake

    With an older Saki-chan narrating parts- I’m thinking there may be some queerat barbeeeque in store.

    • February 25, 2013 at 2:57 pmSortedevaras

      I think Kiromaru is gonna make some bodies hit the floor soon. He hates Yakomaru more then ANY other character (they killed his entire colony), is unquestionably loyal to humanity and is the only character that can kill the fiend (since the humans can’t).

  • February 24, 2013 at 11:42 pmknight

    fiend unlikely be control by rat once reach the limit they will become fiend kill anyone on sight no matter you are human or rat so on

  • February 24, 2013 at 11:50 pmintroverte

    I find it strange that queerats can care for a mentally under-developed child fiend without too much apparent trouble, and that the human society has no way of controlling fiends and so needs all these protocols to prevent one from appearing, lest they all be wiped out.

    Are the townspeople conditioned to not even think about killing another human? While they’re all panicking because no one can attack the fiend without suffering from deathfeedback, if a single person were to take one for the team by killing him and then dying, the entire problem would pretty much be solved. It didn’t seem that the child had a particularly strong guard up while facing Shisei.

    Does anyone have an explanation to help me understand a bit better?

    • February 25, 2013 at 12:14 amScruffy

      Because it is NOT a fiend. It is a human that thinks it is a queerat so it can kill humans.

  • February 24, 2013 at 11:52 pmYakomaru

    KEIKAKU DOORI!

  • February 25, 2013 at 12:11 amEntrav

    Shun had cantus leakage and you can see that he didn’t mean to kill the tainted cat but his subconscious did. The Fiend uses this as well and since it cannot be predicted, it cannot be stopped.

    Well, seeing everything unravelling is certainly different from speculating it. I found the impact is there but it’s just that the surprise factor is not there anymore. Fantastic and as suspenseful as ever.

  • February 25, 2013 at 12:36 amflCer

    wow

  • February 25, 2013 at 1:40 amWhee

    and here i thought saki’s narration ended (like an ep or 2 ago) and we were hearing from the actual present.
    nah D:

  • February 25, 2013 at 2:04 amc2710

    The last time I felt miserable while watching anime was Iskandar’s departure.

    At the rate the show’s going, I definitely need something to bring my spirits up again

    • February 25, 2013 at 2:49 amCybersteel

      And yet felt nothing from Kagari’s…

  • February 25, 2013 at 2:10 amwarum

    It might be clearer we treat the cantus leakage as a recollection of past event rather than the cause of Shisei’s death,

    Recall that Shisei’s action when finding out about Shun’s cantus leakage, he left immediately. This could be because Shun’s lack of control over his cantus may cause direct cantus hit, and there are no method of defending against it.

    So when the fiend directly projected cantus onto Shisei..

    • February 25, 2013 at 3:12 amanon

      I agree with this I think there’s no way to defend against a direct cantus attack it’s all about who attacks first or in this case who doesn’t have the death-feedback.

  • February 25, 2013 at 2:45 amAzrayl

    This fiend, cantus leakage and karma demon thing actually doesn’t make sense to me at all.
    The only beings with a cantus are humans which was confirmed a couple of times already.
    So the only thing holding Saki, Satoru and all the other people from the village back from being a fiend is their own education and mind.

    The second thing I don’t understand is the ‘producing of a fiend army’.
    How in the world is Squealer going to produce a fiend army if there are no more humans?
    Also if that child was truly Maria and Mamoru’s child they’d have had a sexual relationship on the day they left the village which is very unlikely.
    If you ask why? How come the fiend is like 10 years old? And if I remember correctly in one scene Saki said she’s 26.

    • February 25, 2013 at 9:22 amAki-Chan

      The reason the child looks younger than what he/she would be if he/she had been born as soon as Maria and Mamoru escaped is probably because the child was not made at that point. Wether they were forced or were willling to have the child , Maria and Mamoru waited for a while before doing so.

    • February 25, 2013 at 9:52 amBear

      It was stated that the whole attack was actually to acquire human babies for his fiend army and wait ten years for their Cantus to emerge. Use those to wipe out humans except for babies that could be used for the next target and so on. A very long term strategy.

    • March 7, 2013 at 5:38 amZzz

      Maria and Mamoru fled when they are 14 years old, Saki is 26 so yeah, the child is around 10 years old. It’s not impossible since Maria and Saki are having yuri sex even at 14 years old, so are the other kids.

  • February 25, 2013 at 3:05 amAnanas

    The obscene abuse of eye close up shots reeks of poor directing and small budget (see BLEACH), not like it’s something new to the show.

  • February 25, 2013 at 3:42 amksatmata

    I still don’t understand with kaburagi’s action.
    He defends himself from the “fiend” but not attack him.
    i know there’s a death feedback but if he kills him it will drop the queerat army morals and will give a little chance to stay alive and stand against the queerat.
    well, sacrifice is needed in war.

    Still hope Saki will find a solution for this chaos.

  • February 25, 2013 at 4:04 amanon

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that they don’t have back-up plan in case of fiends or karma demons.Like a way to temporarily remove the death-feedback or something…..anything at all.It’s like they removed the possibility of a fiend appearing entirely, not a very wise decision.

  • February 25, 2013 at 4:09 amMIT_RON

    just release the fellcats on the fiend already…..werent fellcats supposed to be contigency measures…?

    • February 25, 2013 at 4:17 amMeh

      They did. Saki’s parents went to the temple, and then went back to release em’, remember? Now, we can only hope to see if they succeeded… which I highly, highly doubt.

      • February 25, 2013 at 5:38 amMIT_RON

        Why did shisei bother fighting the fiend, and not just tell somebody to release the fellcats while he engages the fiend, and even though the fiend is an unrestrained cantus user, im sure saki and the others could have used shisei’s distraction to release the fellcats,yet they didnt.If the fellcats surrounded and attacked the fiend, while shisei distracted it, the humans had a shot at victory I believe.

      • February 25, 2013 at 8:00 amGermanguy

        The Queerrats will “protect” his “prophet”. They will Hunt this “Cats” and kill them…

      • February 26, 2013 at 5:56 amMeh

        I had a very good argument earlier, didn’t post the response, and now I forgot about it xD

        Now that I DID forget about it, I’d say, good point, sir.

        I shall try and remember my rebuttal.

  • February 25, 2013 at 6:43 amNierTevra

    …if the fiend could be leashed, why didn’t the we breed a few for countermeasure?

    and will we ever shown how maria and mamoru’s kid came under queerats’ sway?

    what is cantus leakage…exactly…

    for beings praised as gods, the ‘humans’ are woefully underpowered and much too lenient to allow for such a charade…and saki, ffs, stop being surprised by every fucking thing, how are her eyes not bursting out of their sockets…

  • February 25, 2013 at 6:55 amwintermelon

    The fact that the fiend’s eyes look so much like mamoru’s gentle ones, makes it soo much more disturbing!! You could see that he could’ve turned out like mamoru…a gentle child with gentle eyes…but now a psycho killer instead o.O.

    • February 25, 2013 at 9:28 amAki-Chan

      That got to me as well !
      I can’t help wondering though , is the child a boy or girl? Sure , the child is referred to as a “he” in the episode , but from what we’ve seen , the child could just as easily be a she .

  • February 25, 2013 at 7:17 amBear

    My assumption from the way the fiend acted was that Squealer had tortured him and driven him insane turning him into a fiend. Notice how he was bowing to Squealer in the one scene in a very subservient manner. Squealer had him trained like a wlld animal to obey him, which in a sense he was. Of course Squealer is playing a dangerous game. The fiend could go on a rampage and take him out too.

  • February 25, 2013 at 7:19 amWuz

    The use of Dvorak’s symphony during this episode almost made me go teary eyed.

    • February 25, 2013 at 9:11 amharuna

      Dvorak’s symphony called “From the New World.” Probably that’s been discussed here but I’m late to the thread.

  • February 25, 2013 at 7:58 amGermanguy

    Well, somehow they are preparing the “Show” for their Ending… I am not really in good terms, how the Child “kill” him. So this “Genetic Self-destruction” is only for show?. Well, anyway with this they are preparing the Finale

    And i think i know how will “Stop” this Fiend. Saki. Sure, the Feedback will trigger. But Saki, will use….
    Show Spoiler ▼

  • February 25, 2013 at 9:21 amharuna

    I didn’t like the plot here mainly because humans have had to go out of their way to raise children that can control their powers as adults. Untrained cantus-using children are like raw uranium or plutonium and stealing infants is a great way to get the whole queerat colony annihilated in a Chernobyl style disaster in about 10 or 15 years. When PK emerged 2000 years ago half the world got killed just by random people thinking bad thoughts in big cities. Queerats can’t handle that. Of course doesn’t bakanezumi mean idiot-rats anyway?

    I do think that the child isn’t a fiend, instead it doesn’t recognize humans as kin hence it can go crazy on them.

    We saw a glowing purple-black aura on the unseen human in the boat but (maybe I missed it) this kid doesn’t have that. Maybe there’s another fiend out there, a real one.

    • February 25, 2013 at 10:02 amTheNova

      @haruna
      I think it’s bakEnezumi, not baka. Meaning Monster rat.

      • February 25, 2013 at 4:02 pmharuna

        That’s funny. You’re probably right.

    • February 25, 2013 at 6:52 pmAxel

      I believe that the purple aura was an abstraction to give you a visual sense of how terrifying the fiend was. And how it seemed in their minds and to their senses, a mysteriously horrifying monster even though none of them were brave enough to step out and actually get a look at the fiend. Much like how we imagine as kids what the monster under the bed might’ve looked like but never peeked down there to actually try and see it, same sort of idea lol.

      • February 26, 2013 at 8:47 amharuna

        May be. But could that kid have steered a boat? I know it’s on a river hence self-propelled but that kid seems pretty primitive. I still think there’s someone else out there too.

    • February 28, 2013 at 2:25 amHue

      The dark shroud was probably just a gimmick to add atmosphere to the scene. Also.. to hide the identity of the child.

      Fiend is what you call someone who’s deathfeedback doesn’t get triggered by their subconscious mind (people who was never taught that harming human or killing humans is wrong). They are usually insane (can no longer tell right from wrong) or Maria’s child (was never taught)

      The queerats are pretty intelligent. I’m assuming the kid learned how to steer boats and stuff from them.

  • February 25, 2013 at 10:07 amTheNova

    Can someone remind me if the show ever confirmed how Maria and Mamoru actually died and when? I remember the meeting Saki was in where they discussed about faking their bones and stuff but did they mention this?

    Also, the anime hasn’t really explained how Squealer took control over the kid so far, has it?

    • February 25, 2013 at 12:39 pmAki-Chan

      Do you remember a few episodes ago , Tomiko stated that nones had been given to them , and both the DNA as well as the dental records matched up to those of Maria and Mamoru?
      And I’m guessing that Squealer took control of the child by killing his/her parents .

    • February 25, 2013 at 5:55 pmR

      I mentioned it in a comment above, but the anime didn’t specify that Squealer gave the committee Mamoru and Maria’s bones 2-3 years after their disappearance. The anime only specified that their bones were given to them and they confirmed it was theirs.

      I’m under the presumption that they weren’t found in that duration of time because Squealer had them under his care, then killed them once Maria gave birth to a child.

      Saki’s reaction/suspicion to them stating that a few episodes ago suddenly has a completely different feeling now…

  • February 25, 2013 at 10:58 amEduardo

    Am I the only one who see a huge flaw on Yakomaru’s plan? I mean, the japanese humans do live in recluded districts, with death feedback and everything imprinted on them, but what about the rest of the world? What if China still have empires with godly emperors who kill their subjects for fun? It doesn’t matter if Yakomaru have thousands of Fiends, they’d serve no purpose against an enemy with as much power, with the addition of strategy…(or maybe i just didn’t pay attention to the false Minoshiro explanation)

    • February 25, 2013 at 12:42 pmAki-Chan

      But this is a world of ONLY Cantus users , and the death feedback and such was because of the scientists who were studying Cantus – somehow , I don’t think all the scientists were in Japan , so death feedback could be in the DNA of foriegners, but you do have a point. We know very little about the SSY society outside Japan.

  • February 25, 2013 at 11:14 amWherethecowsfly

    This show is intense D:

  • February 25, 2013 at 7:20 pmSolara

    . . . . . I’m just saying that if Maria stayed a lesbian, she wouldn’t have this problem. Saki wouldn’t have this problem. Satoru wouldn’t have this problem. The damn village wouldn’t have this problem. There wouldn’t be a child killing everyone.

    Homosexuality saves lives damnit! It is a central role in this series, and for a better part of it it was. I think Shin Sekai Yori was on to something when they feature that. I was happy with my yuri shipment. With my yaoi shipment, (oddly enough it pissed many off) you know who was happy with the yuri shipment? Maria and Saki were. Now Saki is miserable. Missing Maria always. And Maria was burden to stay back with Mamoru. Thus killing my ship and sinking it faster than Titanic. See what happens when you stop a yuri ship? EVERYONE DIES. YURI SAVES LIVES DAMNIT. Just sayin’. P:

    • February 26, 2013 at 6:02 amMeh

      … I… I approve of this.

      This man speaks the truth.

      Please, continue preaching the blessings of yuri m(__)m

    • February 26, 2013 at 11:18 amranmao

      That’s freaking hilarious.

  • February 26, 2013 at 8:27 amEdios

    Outcome seems rather simple, all humans need to do is raise their children starting now without suppressing their cantus, using hypnotism or enforcement of death feed back on their minds.

    • February 26, 2013 at 8:32 amEdios

      So in 10 years they would have their own army of death feedback free cantus users, queerats stole maybe 5 or 10 infants, humans can have unlimited amount of kids, so eventually they will win back control.

  • February 26, 2013 at 6:38 pmMatroid

    To go along with the logic of the worldview, I think if it were that easy to “grow” fiends as human bombs, then humans would have done so long ago. Countering the “fiend” would be easy– just shoot arrows! The queerats were able to kill human this way. In case surprise attack by shooting doesn’t work, just send in a few suicide attackers to kill the fiend by cantus. When the stake is high enough, someone will ignore the death feedback.

  • February 26, 2013 at 7:04 pmYangbaby

    Just to clarify some thing

    #1 Is Maria’s child even a fiend? This seems very ambiguous since there are claims for both.
    1a He is a fiend, because he bypass the death feedback when killing both Rats and humans.
    2b he isn’t a fiend because fiends are unstable, yet the child was obeying the rats.

    #2 The only thing I’ve learned about the death feedback thus far is that it is supposedly transferred genetically, but some have stated needs to be conditioned? All and all, I think the death feedback kills you if you subconsciously try to harm another human.

    – The question then raises, what if someone doesn’t realize they are killing another human? What if it was an ‘honest mistake’ like what happen between the boy and Saki in the previous episode Wouldn’t that bypass the feedback? I don’t feel like that is suppose to be the case, rather, a plot hole. But we will see.

    • February 28, 2013 at 2:19 amHue

      #1 – Yes, she is. When the deathfeedback is faulty in an individual, regardless of whether or not they are insane, they are ‘fiends’. One thing that everyone seemed to miss is how the deathfeedback works. It is genetic but it is filtered out by the subconscious mind.

      If a person never had the concept of harming another human being or a queerat as ‘wrong’ then the subconscious will not trigger the deathfeedback. Everyone at the village is taught that killing and harming another human is wrong. Their subconscious mind learns this and triggers the deathfeedback – the cantus of a human will activate and destroy the liver, etc. Maria’s child was never taught that killing humans is wrong or queerats even. She must have learned that killing her allies (Yakomaru and his colony) is wrong but everyone else is fair game.

      So basically, it boils down to this: the deathfeedback is genetic. Villagers are taught that killing another human or harming humans is wrong. Their subconscious picks this up and triggers the deathfeedback if necessary. If you never learned it (Maria’s child), your subconscious will be ignorant of when to trigger the deathfeedback… or if you are insane, then your subconscious cannot detect what’s right or wrong anymore.

    • February 28, 2013 at 2:21 amHue

      additional:

      If it was an honest mistake? The deathfeedback would still kill the boy. His subconcious mind was conditioned to trigger the deathfeedback when he harms another human being or kills another human being.

      When the war begins, Saki narrated that many died because they killed another human being. They didn’t die instantly but rather when they realize they just killed a person, they subconscious mind react as conditioned.

  • February 27, 2013 at 3:10 amPeter

    Am I the only one who feels depressed because Maria and Momoru (sorry if that’s wrong) are dead? I don’t get it… Why did the author have to kill everyone… This story is so sad and depressing… But that’s what makes it good.

    • February 27, 2013 at 10:03 amSolara

      Screw that, am I the only one depress that Maria left Saki to be with Mamoru? That itself is a freaken tragedy in immense magnitudes that defies all logic. SSY is a worst type of tragedy in existence.

      • February 27, 2013 at 3:06 pmR

        I find that tragic as well. I thought it was pretty evident that Saki was Maria’s #1, so for her to leave her and then have a fate like that is heartbreaking.

      • February 27, 2013 at 6:16 pmSolara

        You see R, I blocked all of that out. It was that tragic. In my mind, Saki will wait for Maria to return to her, which she will obviously, and they’re reunite and yuri the shit out of each other for eons to come. It is only natural that this must happen, it’s what happens when women like Maria get force to have demon babies with someone they utterly hate from the start, and realize that they have made bad life choices.

        I mean it’s been 12 freaken yrs, and Saki is soo hung over Maria still! She doesn’t really give a rats ass about Satoru, and his all hotness, only friendshipwise. Clearly she didn’t care about him them, and doesn’t care now.

      • February 27, 2013 at 11:08 pmR

        >…yuri the shit out of each other for eons to come.

        Basically how I’m hoping the manga will end.

      • March 1, 2013 at 1:30 pmSolara

        Basically how all the doujins will end. LULZ. Bless theeeee artists. iLuguyzsomuch. <3

    • February 27, 2013 at 10:39 amharuna

      Most unlikely and most satisfying scenario, Maria is still alive.

      If Mamoru was killed by humans: Maria may hate the humans that hunted her and that routinely kill their young, and she may be living with the queerats that hid her. She may even be like a queen, although Squealer probably wouldn’t put up with that but on the other hand he may be seduced by the power that comes from being a God’s right hand man. Maria could have stopped the Giant Hornet Colony’s arrows cold. Maria’s child, raised as a queerat hippie-child, now attacks the humans and Maria is in the underground colony.

      If Mamoru was killed by queerats: Maria has escaped them and is living in the wilderness and will now emerge as a wild woman with no allegiance.

      Had I read the novel, would not need to speculate. But I tell you Maria is alive damn it! She’s all over that ED. And didn’t older-Saki-narrator wish that Maria had died young or something?

  • February 27, 2013 at 6:23 pmfloppity

    Can anyone explain how the queerats are still alive given the insane amounts of cantus leakage they probably experienced?

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  • March 5, 2013 at 4:20 pmsygnl

    Just wondering. In the end credits, Kana Hanazawa was cited in the cast. Where in the episode did she voiced or appeared? Did she voiced the fiend? Maybe it was her all along?

  • March 25, 2013 at 4:09 pmsave

    Even with the end of the serie I still have a question… how could be so stupid to face an other human with cantus if even a dick like Satoru knew that deathfeedback would prevent any damage to the fiend? Was Shiensei so stupid? he was on of the highest personality of the committee… for the god sake.. it has no sense.. fu. he could lift the fiend for upper than 10 miles and then he would die but she aswell with him xD

  • April 6, 2013 at 4:54 pmAkuma

    It seems that Squealer killed Maria and Mamoru ,my question is how? We have seen cantus users throughout the series kill queerats left and right, does the novel say how they where killed or does it leave it ambiguous?