「風立ちぬ」 (Kaze Tachinu)
“The Gale Came”

Make no mistake, Shin Sekai Yori hasn’t exactly dropped in its intensity or quality over the last couple of episodes. Neither did it let up on the foreboding narrative and provocative themes – hell, they’ve steadily been ramping it up – even as we came to the action-packed climax of the first act. (And I’m pretty sure that last polarizing episode is still fresh in people’s minds.) But damn, I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this return to its premiere episode form here. Shin Sekai Yori really is at its best when working its creepier side, and this episode magnificently delivers a near-flawless package of suspense and thrills.

Driving much of this episode is the mystery surrounding Shun’s disappearance after his foreboding final message to Saki last episode, and in their quest to uncover the truth behind it and his whereabouts, they’re stepping dangerously close to the secrets of the village, secrets that have been holding a significant background presence in the show up until now. That presence is finally being brought to the forefront, and what we’re seeing here is as disturbing and crytic as it’s been alluded to. In their attempt to get to Pinewood Village where Shun was living in order to investigate, Saki and Satoru find every path into the village blocked by rope cordons. (Which funnily enough, are marked by yellow and black cloths. Old traditions die hard it seems, even in a post-apocalyptic world one thousand years ahead!) And after passing the cordons they come up to a newly strung holy barrier, hiding a very different world behind it. Tree trunks are dyed blood-red, the fauna is dead, and the ground has frosted over. I really loved how the scene played out, disquieting imagery and all; there’s an increasingly sense of wrongness conveyed as Saki and Satoru walked further in, and it all brilliantly builds up to the disturbing reveal of a massive crater that has taken the place of Pinewood Village. Conspicuously, the epicenter seems to be the temple where Shun lived at, further fuel for the audience’s guesswork.

Rounding out the circle was what Maria and Mamoru found out from their poking about; that all Pinewood students were absent, which seems to imply that the entire village was taken out with its inhabitants. But it doesn’t seem like Shun is dead just yet – even though his fate grows dimmer every second – when Maria and Mamoru both find out that the adults are sending a nekodamashi after him before he turns full karma demon. Yes, we’re finally given a good look at the rumored creature, surprisingly kept in the storage area that was mentioned in passing all those episodes ago, and Saki also comes face to face with one at the episode’s close. (How the hell did that pair fly in there? You’d think with a massive safe door like that they would bother making sure that the room was fully enclosed.)

It’s brilliant that the show is finally bringing together its disparate foreshadowing and doing so in a very smart manner, especially when it came to Saki and her parents. I really wished we could see more from the adults’ perspective, because the exchange here stands as one of the show’s best moments thus far. Saki’s desperate questioning drives her mom into a panic, who then lets slip her fear of losing yet another child, and her father tries to placate her best he can but while keeping her from the truth. It’s that teenage belief come to ironic realization here that one’s parents cannot be trusted, as Saki plays back and affirms her many suspicions before the memory of her lost sister, Yoshima, quickly and suddenly returns. It seems likely that foul play at work here with the memory loss, the same way it has been for the other disappearing kids. Once again though, I’d have to reiterate my question of whether or not there’s a coherent plan to what we’ve been watching, especially with the hazy point concerning the kids’ memory of disappearances. This episode was probably Shin Sekai Yori’s best effort on the show’s storytelling, and the gradual refocus on the dormant plot points indicates that they’ve definitely had a clear picture from the start on how the plot is supposed to be coming together, especially with the way events now parallel the stories we saw in early episodes. So the question should probably now be: Will I be satisfied with how it’ll come together? Signs might point to a yes, but with the increasingly complex and branching plot, it’s hard not to be the least bit skeptical about whether or not the revelations will meet the high expectations from all this build-up, the one aspect where so many other series have failed. I’m optimistic though.

But really, holy cow, the team at A1 is on fire. Inconsistent visuals and animation aside (notice how Saki’s clothes magically became clean halfway through the family argument?) the cinematography of this show is on a level where I would compare it to a theatrical production. The imagery and artwork here stands as some of the show’s – and season’s – best yet, and the team displayed some really outstanding directing and audio mixing which gives that cinematic quality to the show. (That intense scene with Saki sneaking past the boat comes to mind.) This was easily the single best episode of Shin Sekai Yori since its stunning premiere, and considering the consistently high quality of this show it’s definitely something when upon finishing the episode I found myself considering if it was the best twenty minutes of the season I’ve been treated to by far.

Interestingly, the preview of the next episode seems to suggest a return of the controversial artstyle which episode 05 was animated in. Whether or not you’re looking forward to it (I can’t say I’m crazily enthused about it either) it’s sure to be an interesting watch regardless.




    1. I 2nd this…
      and out of everything this show does right, I’d have to say Its suspenseful build up using Its mysterious world and likeable characters is what I think truly makes this a “golden” experience. I mean just wow.. O-O

  1. The culling of the children is extreme. Too little ability, gone. Too little emotional control, gone. Too little obedience, gone. Too much knowledge, gone. The threshold seems to be quite low for termination with “extreme prejudice”.

    AFA the clothes becoming clean. Maybe mom cleaned them up with her Cantus while they were arguing. Mom’s do things like that unconsciously even without psychic ability. [smile]

  2. Do you know how many marathons of Perfect Order I had to do after episode 8? Do you!!!

    This episode was great and opened up many questions about what’s going on in their world. You’re right, the exchange
    Saki had with her parents was the best moment so far – to suddenly discover that you have/had a sister has got to rock you.
    But, I’m surprised that Saki’s parents are not able to exert greater control over their second daughter to keep her safe.

    It makes me want to know what the h#LL is going on, and so far, that’s the strength of the series. Also, we’ve invested
    many episodes learning about the querats, so I am very curious what their future role will be. I hope all of the loose
    ends make sense at the end. I like not being able to see through a plot like this – it keeps me interested.

    I like the mystery and intrigue of the series – I think my only complaint is the consistency from episode to episode.

    Also, I not convinced that the sexual undertones make much sense in the overall story line. I think any number of other
    vehicles (religion, nationalism, etc.) could be substituted and achieved the same effect. The Bonobo element is weak
    since the main element of Bonobos, their matriarchal behaviour is missing in Shin Sekai Yori.

    Still, I’m looking to see how it all comes together and where the series will go.

  3. I agree that this episode might be the best so far. It gave me the motivation to continue watching after the camping trip which disappointed me.
    But I fear for the next episode. I cant believe that western fans are the only ones who had issues with the awkward animation & pacing of episode 5.

    1. How would you say they were jarring?

      In fact, I’ve always wanted a chance to say this, the fashion and architecture are some of my favorite aspects of the show, and it shows how much effort is being put into the presentation of the world, a crazy but compelling fusion of contemporary, religious and feudal themes. And the show has them changing outfits ever so often, which is something I can appreciate. :3

      1. It’s not so much this episode but the previous episode. So far we have seen this pseudo-traditional Japanese influenced structures. Large buildings tend to have rounded motifs. You can see the rafters from the inside of buildings. Windows look like shoji dividers. And so on. Yet in the last episode, we see very modern looking houses by the river. We see what appears to be a brick structure that looks like it was could have been a church. It just looks too modern to me. Clothing can change, and fashions can come and go in a blink of an eye. Heck, it can be explained that their personal clothes are simply more appropriate for older kids compared to when they were two years ago. But the buildings take me out of the scene for some reason.

      2. I think they’ve handled the scenery quite well. The more traditional, less contemporary feeling of the architecture seems to reflect the way the society is structured. Its sort of reminiscent of something more amish/insular society /commune. I get the feeling that technology is a threat to the harmony of the society and so modern motifs are shunned in favour of more religious / spiritual symbolism. It could be argued that the presence of disruptive scenery, represents how the POV characters interpretation / understanding of the society is evolving and changing.

        Lest we not forget that this is proposed within the future and not the past.!

  4. The atmosphere of the forest was great and it gave a very creepy vibe as they approached the village. The payoff off the giant crater where Shun’s house used to be was even better. Whatever the implications are, you know something bad happened but its all left to the viewers imagination. The more time passes the more convinced I am that Shun is already dead or soon will be.

    I feel sorry for Saki’s parents. They clearly care for their daughter but the fact is Saki, knows too much. I have to wonder if their lives will be in danger at this rate. Either way their really wasn’t any turning back after the discovery of the library.


      WELL, may I entertain you with spoilers??? Spoiler anyone? Come and get them, folks!!!! (unless you don’t want them, then go away, shoo, shoo!)

      …seriously here we go (For those of you who absolutely believe that knowing few plot points will ruin their experience, I again STRESS THIS: STAY AWAY~~. DO NOT click the spoiler tag.. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn ya!). For those souls who don’t believe in spoilers, click away! Moi? Knowing a few things in advance will not ruin my experience; if the show is good, it’s good. It’s a trade-off, folks, between having stuck with that-not-knowing factors for weeks and being unsatisfied generally vs. knowing things and generally relaxed while losing a few surprise factors. I learned all these at various forums from the folks who read the source material, the novel… Obviously they can always change things in anime, but assuming that mostly they stay the same and I decide to share with those want to KNOW:

      Fact 1. Show Spoiler ▼

      Fact 2. Show Spoiler ▼

      Satisfied yet? There’s more, folks:
      Fact 3. Show Spoiler ▼

      Stop here before it’s too late:
      Fact 4. Show Spoiler ▼

      Fact 5. Show Spoiler ▼

      Fact 6. Show Spoiler ▼

      Well you’re welcome! (and there’s no reason to neg this post since I warned a plenty to not click if you don’t want spoilers!!!)

      1. If those spoilers are true, then damnit, I ruined the series for myself. I couldn’t help it when I see so many spoilers in my face like that. Oh noes. But I blame myself~ But I had similar assumptions so I’m glad to see I wasn’t that far off.

        But since this is beyond the halfway point of the series, I highly doubt I’ll drop it just yet. I’ll finish watching it to honor all its glory it began.

      2. Well, Solara, to be fair, you only know a few major plot points now. I didn’t reveal all the journey to reach those points and that’s where the fun lies and make the show still worth watching for those of us who “knows”. And also I didn’t reveal how the show ends, either. So there’s more to look forward to.

        And besides, you’ll get over it soon like me when I first found all these out. Now I just put my feet up on the table and enjoy the ride. No more cursing at the screen whenever the episode ends short! AH the sweet freedom! ehehehe

      3. @…. , Just read the spoilers , and even though the first one made me a bit sad , they were all pretty interesting. And , as far as I’m concerned , there’s a difference between the event being stated and seeing it being played out in the episode. So personally , my experience of Shin Sekai Yori hasn’t been spoilt.

      4. I agree, the spoilers haven’t ruined the story for me. And thanks, for taking the time to research and post them.

        If you go on the Japanese Shin Sekai Yori Wikipedia and Google Translate the article, it indeed gives you details of the events from ages 12, 14, and another 12 years. The Google translation was choppy at best, but you get the gist of it.

    2. well guess not. I guess It’s up to you, Asobi, then to publish this or not. Perhaps I revealed too many spoilers and the system is censoring me, LOL!

      …But seriously it’s not mean-spirited attempt to ruin everyone else’s experience (and I explicitly said so in that post). There are folks who just want to know, you know? And I’m happy to help them. Besides, I hid ALL spoilers inside of spoiler tags, so the choice is up to individual viewer!

      1. No particular reason to deny you, but just keep in mind (and this is to all those replying to the spoilers as well) that all spoiler conversations should have spoiler tags and noticeable warnings with them, or I’ll take the comments down/edit it. Have the warning as the first thing in the comments and in bold. …. I’ve added it to your post as an example.

  5. > The imagery and artwork here stands as some of the show’s – and season’s – best yet, and the team displayed some really outstanding directing and audio mixing which gives that cinematic quality to the show.

    While I do agree that the artwork is indeed wonderful and very fitting for the show, I think that to really reach theatrical production quality, the animation could use some more frames per second. The show is airing at 23.98 fps, but the character are animated at about 6 frames per seconds in the “action” scenes, and often at a lower rate, not to tell that often only the mouth is animated, with two frames repeated. A bit low, your average non top-notch shows are doing better these days.

    The style of the characters is also very essential, with few traits defining faces and clothes. As much as I like the style, that again is fitting for the show, I can’t convice myself that that choice is not influenced by a budget maybe lower than what the show deserves …

    Well, the strong points of this show are not in the action scenes, and for dialog driven scenes the budget is better spent on creating beautiful backgrounds and a compelling atmosphere, which is done very well, so I’m not unhappy and I’m enjoying the episodes very much …

    It’s just a pity they didn’t do a little more in the animation department … sorry, I can’t be with you comparing it to a theatrical production.

    1. I totally get what you are saying. Animation plays a huge part in defining the cinematic look, and its a shame Shin Sekai Yori can’t compare to the Magi (funny how this is A1 too. Oh man, look at dem budget disparity.) and Chunnibyous of this season with all their glorious sakuga. I guess I’m slighty more forgiving in that I can look past this aspect, because the team has shown a certifiable degree of mastery over the other aspects of the cinematography. For example there’s a lot of variety to how the scenes are drawn and I’ve noticed how they hardly remain static for too long, which helps mask the inconsistent animation for me while, IMO, giving that cinematic quality to it.

      1. I agree with this. This is also the case for Yumekui Merry in my opinion. While the frame rate is indeed low, I thought the cinematography and overall quality of the still frames were really good. I’d rather have that in a low budget series than high frame rate with (more) poorly drawn frames.

    1. Looked like high heels to me. Whatever that might mean.
      But are these really nekodamashi (fake cats)? The adults who released them refer to them as fujouneko (unclean cats). And last episode when Saki asked Shun whether his warning about neko (cats) meant nekodamashi, he just shook his head. I have been thinking they are two different things, like the minoshiro and the false minoshiro.

      Or maybe it’s a pun. “fujoneko” could mean woman-cat, so calling them fujouneko could be black humor inspired by the high-heel looking feet.

    2. After all the speculation about genetic manipulation of the Queerats, maybe it extends even further. Not wanting kids with powers to turn into karma demons, they instead turn them into other things. Would be a mind f@ck if the nekodamashi Saki’s facing off with turned out to be her sister.

  6. You’d think with a massive safe door like that they would bother making sure that the room was fully enclosed.
    Maybe the ability to fly/levitate is so rare that it was assumed kids at the school wouldn’t be able to. Remember back when they met the monk back in episode 4, one of the kids remarks “so that’s levitation, is it?”. I had been thinking Maria’s hovering practice in class was kind of lame compared to what the other kids were working on, but maybe she picked something really hard.

  7. Does anyone notice that the change in episode 5 and episode 8 also coincide with sexual themes? It’s as if there are making it clear which episode focus more on the sexual aspect by purposely making it different than the rest.


  8. So now we know that the sensei (teachers) are some of the actual enforcers. The Impure Cats were kept in containers in the hidden middle yard of the school? Containers = no food, water, or sunlight. So the lion-like Impure Cats have to be genetically manipulated, just like the False Mashino.

    The next episode, Saki has to fight an Impure Cat. Does it have the hypnotic spikes, like the False Mashino? Or is it merely savage? The adults control it somehow.

    I agree with “bear” above. Too little ability, the child is culled. Does not fit the emotional standard, the child is culled. The scientists seem to be aiming for a standard Cantus with obedience to tradition and culture. Notice how Saki’s father is passive while Saki’s mother is close to hysterics. What’s to prevent a bereaved parent from killing all the teachers?

    This might be the case of “everybody has powers, but no one is immune to another’s powers”. The anti-gun mentality. If everyone is armed (Cantus), how do you keep a Karma Demon from flying off the handle randomly and killing everyone? Instead of morality, the scientists went for social controls with hidden enforcement. Bad idea, as we are seeing now. It only takes one Karma Demon to kill a lot of sane people.

    1. To be fair, the paranoia towards the cantus can be vaguely understood given the rise of the Holy Sakura Empire and similar entities.

      I don’t think Saki will have to fight the cat. Shun gave her the plot coupon to ward it off last episode.

    2. What’s to prevent a bereaved parent from killing all the teachers?

      Hmmm, have you been paying attention to the show, they specifically made a “kill-switch” called death-feedback to prevent any human from using Cantus against any other human (becasue it will cause their own death).

      The debatable point here is whether breaking the seal the monk (and teachers) put on the children’s Cantus removed the death-feedback Kill-switch as well as unlocking their PK powers .. that or becoming a Karma demon makes the user immune to the death-feedback effect .. which is why there is strict control over the children to dispose of any child before they become a Karma demon by sending those predator cats after them .. but it seems they slipped this time and Shun’s condition probably developed faster than they expected.

      1. Yes, I know about the death-feedback. But someone in the grip of rage is not thinking about the consequences, and someone with PK can kill quite a few people before the death-feedback affects them.

  9. Amazing episode, Satoru and Saki checking the village of pinewood was done really well and it gave all sorts of creepy vibes as to what might have taken place there … i mean they could have just shown random gore and dismembered limbs like many horror shows do, but no, the subtlety here made the scene more creep, where did the people go !!? .. what force could have twisted the place so much as to have blood-red trees with tortured screaming human faces (with tears in their eyes) implanted on them !!!! .. soooo freaking creeeepy XD –> https://randomc.net/image/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2009.jpg

    Also i think Saki can handle that “cat” just fine, she had her Cantus/PK unlocked (and the creatures are clearly not immune to Cantus nor look human–> https://randomc.net/image/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2028.jpg), she has an anti-cat charm given to her by Shun –> https://randomc.net/image/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori%20-%2008%20-%20Large%2036.jpg, and she finally has her survival kit –> https://randomc.net/image/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2030.jpg … survival kits always help .. Macgyver would be proud of Saki XD

    And mesmerizing sunset scene is beautiful .. specially with the “broadcasted” music (although its a “sad/foreboding” type of beauty) –> https://randomc.net/image/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori/Shin%20Sekai%20Yori%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2016.jpg

      1. If the Cats are capable of hypnotization like the False Minoshiro then i suppose the charm Shun gave Saki was meant to counter that somehow .. but it would have been more appropriate if he gave her a pair of sunglasses if that was the case XD

        I suppose we will have to wait for the next episode to find out XD

  10. Even though I knew before that Saki’s mother had lost other children , for some reason i had assumed that these children had died either before Saki was born or when she’d be too young to remember them anyway.
    However , it looks as if Yoshimi was only 2-3(maybe 4) years older than Saki , and in that flashback , Saki herself looked to be at an age where she should have remembered Yoshimi anyway, even if only faintly…but if she was killed off ,then it makes sense they would have conditioned Saki to forget Yoshimi…which actually makes me kind of sad.
    I wonder what it was that was ‘wrong’ with Yoshimi …wether her powers were too weak , if she was naturally questioing like Saki seems to be , if she was a deliberate rule breaker like Manabu , or if she had a smiliar fate to Shun.
    I kinda hope they’ll go a little more into Yoshimi’s story.

  11. Are the Impure Cats the death-feedback workaround? The murder loophole? As in “We didn’t kill that child, we just gave the bloodhound/cougar animal an article of clothing that the child wore, and it did the job, not us.”

    Murder-by-proxy, then, just like a mobster boss.

    1. Seems to be that they’re the loophole. Maybe the Cats are designed to home in on abnormalities as well as scent so that if the target meets some criteria of normality they’re not killed. That way it’s not murder, just an “unfortunate” occurrence. That way the leaders can convince themselves that the ones killed “weren’t human”, by their definition of humanity. They kill both the incompetent as well as the dangerous so they have a narrow range of what they consider human.

  12. at the risk of being stoned as a heretic, I wish A-1 would direct a little more time/budget into Shin Sekai Yori, as opposed to SAO.

    As for the look, feel and pacing of the stories, Shin Sekai keeps me on the edge of my seat but I cringe at the choppy frames and at times ‘still-o-matic’ animation. SAO is… well, pretty. But the story is not at its high point right now.


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