「冷たい日だまり」 (Tsumetai Hidamari)
“Drenched in Cold Sunlight”

You know how in a show, there’s always that one, incredible moment that just completely amazes? To illustrate using a recent, popular example, I cite the insanely ambitious airplane sequence that opened The Dark Knight Rises, which enraptured me with sheer panache. So where am I going with this? Right here, where for Shin Sekai Yori, the entire sequence with giant kamikaze waterslug thingamie is what easily stands as that moment, for me anyway. And that’s supposed to be a queerat? I still don’t know its name, and I’m still going to keep making stupid stabs at it based on the design, but its introduction nothing to scoff at. From the deliberate, suspenseful reveal as Saki and Satoru crossed its path to their slow realization of its morbid purpose, the sense I got was altogether a brilliant mix of dumbfoundedness and creeping tension. Even a slight bit of wonderment, which I’m thinking in part can be attributed to the fantastical, instinctively gross design of the creature, and the twitchy, disturbingly organic animation of this surprisingly detailed creature. It’s a design that kinda reminds me of Evangelion‘s angels, to be honest.

I don’t even know why I’m liking the sequence as much as I am. The animation’s pretty standard and all, so I guess it’s the incredible camerawork of the hasty escape and Saki’s freefall that really had me going. A1 might not be giving Shinsekai staffers the time of their lives with the budget, but damn, they really know how to work what they have into making this look and feel like a proper cinematic experience where it counts. And this was definitely one of those moments, as was the protracted, almost deliberately painful look at the devastated village near the end of the episode.

Alright, enough mad raving. I’ve been writing about the same point on humanity’s arrogance in my last few posts, and I swear I was gonna avoid it this time, but when the episode comes right out and shoves it in my face directly, well, I don’t think there’s any (easy) way to write around it. Though for all our sakes, I’ll keep it brief. This human-queerat war, and the basis of the show by extension, seems to rest on a rather philosophical outlook not just of the arrogance towards the queerats, but of blind arrogance of humankind. I’m sure there are points to critique about this singular perspective, but most ways, I cannot deny that humanity is somewhat defined by its arrogance. After all, we are conquerers not just of land and our environment, but also of the laws of science and nature, subjugators of our reality in our attempts at playing god. Someday, humanity would perhaps have to pay the ultimate price for all that has in wrought in our name. Shin Sekai Yori took us to the tail end of this to watch as humanity struggle on its last legs, performing all sorts of absurdities for their desire – whether or not that’s arrogance in itself is the question – to survive. For the humans of Kamisu 66, it’s looking mighty like their judgement day for this arrogance has arrived, and in the most direct manner. Seeing the downfall of Kamisu 66 from their underestimation of the queerats was like watching a wreck in slow motion: it might be inherently tragic and disturbing, but you just can’t tear your eyes away. Which I guess is a statement that pretty much applies to the entirety of this series. Doesn’t help that they had to make it look all so convincingly devastated, with the village’s destruction strongly eliciting images of the immediate aftermath of a warzone or natural disaster.

What was especially brilliant was the way the episode sets up the unfurling of the queerats’ war stratagem with the puzzling flashbacks. Shin Sekai Yori often favors misdirection and ambiguity in its storytelling, and the sequence of conversations on infrastructure problems played on this tendency very effectively. There definitely was a general sense of disjointedness with the flashback inserts, but I found myself less critical when it later became clear that every point raised by Saki with the village heads figured into some part of Yakomaru’s plans; the aquatic attack forced the village to drain waterways, bringing out the lack of alternative transportation. Lack of communications was exploited by queerats’ guerrilla attacks, and led to the friendly firing of juryoku. And I’m betting that lack of electricity of the library will play out in some manner as well. It’s a simple but brilliant touch of storyboarding detail, that the issues be raised before the consequences play out. Sure, I’m treading close to double standards here, because as it stands it could also be seen as easy justification for the queerats simple tactics. But why I find it works isn’t just because of the typically jumpy pacing in the show, but also because there’s no significant leaps in logic or magic mumbo jumbo, just simple exploitation of the unpreparedness and loopholes in the human’s infrastructure. The one thing about the queerat tactics is that the realism in their cleverness, as if Yakomaru’s merely lifted from some book like Sun Tzu’s Art of War, and it made clear how extensively planned this invasion was. Yakomaru and the queerats must have been very well-informed with their contingencies upon contingencies. Those were weaknesses known and overlooked by the leaders of the village, but whether due to bigger “priorities” or the vain belief in their powers, I can only guess.

This is the show at its very bleakest. The village is a smoldering pile of ruins, most are dead or injured, and along with the queerats, the fiend is also bearing down on the remaining humans. It’s a hell of a time for Saki to pick up the matriarchal baton from an incredibly wounded Tomiko, and now it’s up to our resourceful protagonist to defuse the situation. But you ask me, I just don’t see any clear way out for the villagers, even if Kaburagi’s posse does manage to stamp out the queerat threat; the death-feedback’s pretty much sealed any chance they have about the fiend issue, and I doubt this one will stop in its rampage the way Boy K did. At this point, I honestly don’t have a clue which direction the show might take this in, even if I’m banking on Saki’s survival based on to her recounting narration. There are a couple of interesting speculations to throw out though: the preview hints at the involvement of a karma demon, and I’m half-convinced it was a different individual that threw Saki out of the blast radius during the mutant’s explosion, (plus following up with a surreal recollection of the night Shun died? Take that as you will.) which would throw a single, unpredictable factor into the situation. And is that a red-haired girl I spy in the preview?




  1. All I know is I am enjoying this ride so much! The thing I look forward to the most every week is a new Shinsekai Yori episode. The thing I look forward to second most, are these reviews! Enlightening to say the least!

    1. They meant experimental by not erasing their memories of the truth of their society that they learned from the Minoshiro Modoki. If you remember Saki’s conversation with the boy he had no idea about the death-feedback, and when the other villagers died from accidently people were surprised by it. The town council kept it from the regular villagers…from what I remember. I agree with the free fall sequence. It was great! It was like Shun’s soul came and saved Saki.

      1. Well you’ll be very surprised how close you are..

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Show Spoiler ▼

  2. R.I.P Tomiko. You might have approved of some terrible things for the sake of peace, but you were a brave and wise leader right to the very end. I felt for that man at the end, grieving for her.

    1. I’m thinking that Tomiko intends to martyr herself by taking out the fiend. She’s an eye witness to the resolution of the Boy K incident by exactly such self-sacrifice. For that matter I’m not even sure she has the death-feedback conditioning, since it was instituted after that incident and she was already an adult at that point.

    1. I’m not sure if the general populace knows about death feedback. They aren’t taught that they’ll die if they kill another person, they are only taught not to kill others. While they may also be tested to see if the death feedback kicks in when they are young, I don’t think they are aware of the purpose of this.

      1. If i remember correctly, (from the walking library episode) that the scientists have engineered society and have heavily conditioned (with death feed back added in) not to harm each other, from a very early age, so the though of killing another human being was just not in their mind, death feed back is just a fail save mech.

      2. Right, and we saw flashbacks of Saki when she realized what that test that High Priest Mushin had given her was about, when he was testing her Death Feedback. She didn’t know why she was having that reaction, they were just testing that she did have that reaction. It’s not a general knowledge thing.

    1. My thoughts exactly. I saw the parallels between the atomic bombings and the village’s insistence that each person was like a walking, latent nuclear bomb. And then I saw how the aftermath with burnt buildings and people asking for water was EXACTLY how Barefoot Gen depicted post-bomb Hiroshima.

      And then you realize how much the pro-democracy, technologically/tactically advanced alliance of queerats eerily resembles the Allies…

  3. From bad to worse. Squealer has planned this whole war, from using sneak attacks to start friendly-fire or breeding mutant suicide fish. It probably took him years of planning. The humans are pretty much paralyzed now, they’ve lost their transportation network, their village is burned to the ground and most of their people are dead.

    At this point I have no idea how they’re going to survive , Saki’s narration implies that they did, though at what cost will be the big question. I don’t think Kaburagi will even survive once the Fiend appears.

    1. ..and Squealer has not finished. He let attack the whole night, and attack them in Daylight… What you think will happen, when the “Gods” have 24hours “fear” without any possibility of Sleeping? Right, you will snap. And voila…

    2. But i think, here they giving Squealer to much Credit. In a short time he “grown” so Strong to plan all this… I think there is someone other pulling the Strings from the Shadows…

  4. You have to hand it to Squealer: Even without his ace, he is still crushing the humans. That monster was absolutely terrifying, yet effective and genius. They never even knew what hit them until it was too late.

    RIP Tomiko. I wasn’t expecting her to pass the torch onto Saki this soon, so my heart is heavy after this week once again.

    Animation-wise, well, it’s A-1 Pictures… though at least they put some budget in Saki’s flying through the air scene.

  5. For some reason this was a very hard episode for me to watch, i actually skipped a bit of it as I just wanted the 2 main characters to get to the village to bring the news of the fiend. This idea just came from the top of my head, but does anyone know exactly how the death feedback works? Is it by hypnotism in the same way they could have their powers locked as children? Where I’m getting at is it possible to hypnotize another to remove the death feedback to counter the fiend?

    1. as explained back in the False Minoshiro episode, the death-feedback is in their DNA. both this and the intimate interactions when under stress were put into human DNA to avoid people killing or otherwise hurting each other. further hypnotism and brainwashing is to strenghten these

      1. Actually their DNA was only altered to prevent killing each other not to be more physically intimate. The false minoshiro explained that only two things were added to the villager’s DNA: “a normal attack suppression as seen in wolves,” and the “death-by-shame mechanism.” Bonobo DNA was not added.

        The founders studied ethology and modeled their new human society on the bonobo using social engineering. The villagers are mentally conditioned from birth to generally exhibit certain behaviors to keep them docile. The mantra imparts more individualized behavior patterns tailored to the person based on observations by the elders and the results of psychological tests.

  6. This episode was awesome!!! Can’t believe the entire village was put on their asses because of underestimating the Queer Rats. I can’t wait to see what the sage mode guy does to them next episode.

  7. I honestly have NO idea how this would end. I’ve not yet read the LN but I really do want to. Is it translated? I’d like to have it in hard copy

    At least in PsychoPass, the end can be predicted. But this… How to man???

    1. Few things I predict:

      Kaburagi’s death

      I attribute Kaburagi’s existence in this series as a symbol of the village’s absolute power. He’s had very short screen times throughout the season, and every time he’s shown it’s something related to the absolute authority of the village. Being such a static character, I can only view him as a tool for emphasizing human’s foolishness in governing the queer rats, through his death.

      Maria’s death

      It’s been hinted before that Maria will reappear again. The boy without a face in Saki’s dream says that Maria must die. Now we know that a fiend is on the loose, and in the preview there is a person with long red hair like Maria.

      Revealing Squealer’s plan

      One thing was very suspicious to me. The way the story gave emphasis to Squealer’s plan to fool the education committee that Maria and Mamoru died. He said he prepared remains to make it seem like they died. I still remembered vividly that Saki made a big fuss about how he would get those remains, and Squealer suspiciously said it would be carved from their queer rat remains. That scene leads me to think that they’re breeding humans just like how humans bred the Queer rats. Those bones were not carved Queer Rat bones, they were actual human bones.

      Seeing how Maria may very well be the fiend at large, I think Squealer somehow backed her in a corner with Mamoru (torture?) to break her mind.


      Doubt he will be dead. The story had his involvement for a long time, he deserves a more elaborate death.


      No doubt he should be back in action, maybe supporting the humans once again.

  8. I’m so fascinated by this show. It keeps me intrigued every week about what is going to happen next and I’m craving to know how it will end and if anyone will survive except for Saki (I hope so). Next episode looks awesome with Maria’s? appearance >.<

  9. I’m surprised there isn’t more support for Squealer since considering the circumstances, he is by far the most moralistic and good guy in the entire series.

    Did everyone just forget that human society is fascist and genocidal? Did everyone forget the way the humans treated the Queerats and how even Saki looked down upon them as stupid, worthless creatures with no right to live?

    The Queerats are fighting against tyranny and the genocide of their people. In every measurable way they are actually the good guys.

    I wish Comrade Squealer well in his fight against the Bourgeoisie oppressors!

    1. Squealer isn’t doing anything self-defense, he planned a war aggression from the very beginning and has no value for the lives of his own people. He’s even shown attack neutral colonies who want no part in the war. He’s also an ungrateful sod who betrayed Saki and Kiromaru, people who are responsible for saving his life at one point in time.

      Also that’s a load of s*** about Saki. The very first time we see the queerats has Saki saving the life of one when her friends told her not to. She’s by far the most empathic person of the show.

      1. What? Saki speaks constantly about how she detests Queerats. In Episode 15 she says how stupid they are and how you can’t apply human thought to their behaviour because they are just stupid rodents, Satoru disagreed with her saying that he thinks they actually do think like Humans.

        Also its not so much a war of aggression as a war against tyranny. The Queerats were abused workers for the Humans, the series makes this clear in the first couple episodes, the Queerats entire existence is in the hands of Humans who use them for their own fascist means and any that disagree with Humans are quickly put to death along with their colonies.

        Kiromaru was simply a class traitor. He was the lapdog of the Humans and the Queens.

        From what we have seen in the series, Squealer has come across ancient documents that have instilled ideas of Democracy, Equal Rights and Revolutionary fire within him. He overthrew a tyrannical queen and then quickly industrialized his Colony greatly improving the standard of living (Start getting the parallels between the Robber Fly and the USSR?) to which Satoru comments may be even above that of Human Society since they had obvious access to electricity and manufacturing.

        The reason other Queerats do not join the Robber Fly is they fear the humans will decimate them, this is not the case anymore as we saw many Queerats switch sides when they realized the Robber Fly Colony can actually defeat the Humans.

        About him “throwing his peoples lives away” did the USSR not care for its soldiers in WW2? I can tell you that in fact they most likely did since they were in a complete fight for survival, along with the other countries that fought bravely during WW2 and came out with great, great losses. The Robber Fly colony either wins or faces outright genocide and extermination. They have only their chains to lose and the world to win.
        Squealer has no problem killing his own people? Did you miss the first, what 16 episodes of the show that stated every episode that the Humans will kill any of their own that essentially stand out in any sort of way? Eugenics ftw!

        There is nothing defensible about the Humans in the show. They kill their own young who don’t meet arbitrary standards, they are highly totalitarian, their entire society is based on severe paranoia and brainwashing and they are essentially outright fascist and genocidal.

        The Queerats are in every single way, in the right, unless you support totalitarian, fascist, exploitive, serial killing regimes.

      2. So basically you just compared Squealer to Stalin and then praise it. Way to shoot yourself in the foot. I can’t take you seriously anymore.

        I’ll give you points for at least not resorting to Godwin’s Law.

    2. Humans don’t kill young ones who don’t conform to arbitrary moral principles… have you been watching the same show as I have? Dude, every Cantus user is a potential walking nuclear disaster, you’ve seen how dangerous Karma Demons and Fiends are, that’s a real concern. They are a fatality, yes, it’s unfortunate that they have to exist, but they do, and the only thing people can do about it is preventing it the best they can. It’s better to have some children killed than the freaking entire village and even beyond. That’s not to say they are victims here, but there are no “good guys” in this sort of situation and it’s silly to even think about it.

    3. This has already been pointed out to you , but did you fail to notice that right at the beginning , Saki saved a queerat( Squonk , who later went on to save Mamoru)??
      Fair enough , she didn’t have a good opinion of them , but for one thing , her experiences at age 14 have given her good cause to not trust them , and if you have actually watched the past few episodes , there is even more reason for her to not like them.
      Sure , the queerats can be praised for how incredibly clever they have been , but they are not in the right.
      I am not saying that the society the humans have made is perfect , and I’m not saying that they are the good guys , but they are not as bad as you are making them out to be….they are simply human(for lack of a better term)
      And since when have we all been perfect anyway?

    4. I don’t think Humans are that bad or Queerats were that good, same with Saki and Squealer, but I do agree with @Kiron to a point.Queerats actions can easily be seen as people fighting for their freedom from the Human rule, which is what they are actually doing, IMO anyway.Squealer may have planned and started this war but I don’t see what else he could have done to gain freedom – he can’t try to negotiate with Humans without running the risk being annihilated since the village leaders don’t seem value Queerat lives as much as a Human’s and he can’t use a defensive strategy either because a few humans with their Cantus can overrun them easily.So he took the only option he had which was to try to attack and annihilate the humans.
      I find he’s use of suicide attacks awfully similar to the village leaders killing off kids who can cause problems later on, both of these were done with a greater purpose in mind, namely the survival of their respective species.

      It’s somewhat surprising that none of the village leaders saw this coming – if you try to control a group of sentient and intelligent beings without any regard to their free-will then the most likely outcome would be rebellion, but I guess their Cantus-fueled arrogance and sense of superiority blinded them to that.

      Regarding the village leaders and Squealer: evil by necessity and circumstance, although since the human leaders were the ones in power they are more to blame.

      Regarding Saki: more empathetic than most humans but that empathy is clouded to a extent first by ignorance then by bias formed from experience.

      On a side note, I hope people don’t side with the humans simply because the protagonists are human or because of the physical appearance of Queerats.

  10. “I just don’t see any clear way out for the villagers, even if Kaburagi’s posse does manage to stamp out the queerat threat; the death-feedback’s pretty much sealed any chance they have about the fiend issue”

    Here’s my question though, remember when Tomiko was talking to Saki about how they gave them free will over there thoughts, to breed the new leaders of there society. I am curious if this pertains to the death feedback as well? I am wondering if they were selected at random, or if they also have the least aversion to the death feedback. If so, i am wondering if Kaburagi is the same since he is also a current leader.

    1. I had wondered about that, but we saw a demonstration of Saki’s death feedback in the flashback sequence early with the False Minoshiro. Saki would definitely have that kind of reaction.

      The thing I wonder about is if their lack of super-conditioning would allow them to sacrifice themselves to take out the fiend. Others would be unable to even conceive the idea of killing another human, but perhaps Saki or Satoru could take the step that “I know this will kill me, but I need to do it because it’s the only way.”

  11. Can’t say I understand this whole death feedback thing. How is it even going to trigger if you don’t even know you hurt or killed someone human? The feedback will most likely kill you at the end but it shouldn’t stop you from carrying out the attack in the first place now should it? Sounds like all we need is a suicide squad again the Fiend.

  12. At this point in the story, we don’t know what the narration by Saki means. It could be a text she had written before she had died, a narration as she is the last human, being hunted by queerats, or a “post death” narration like the end of the movie “Bucket List”.

    If Saki has the same ability to manipulate her DNA she may be able to reverse the Death feedback mechanism.

    1. I was also wondering what point in her life Saki is at as she narrates. For soem odd reason though , I always get this image in my head of her sitting at a table next to a window , writing and occasionally looking out of the window at the sun setting , as if lost in memory.
      Which is kind of weird , but I hope we find out wether she is actually alive while narrating or not .

  13. Amazing episode, one of the best so far, the sense of foreboding and despair grows stronger and stronger with every passing episode that i really have no idea how will the humans make it out of this tough pinch.

    Also have to say the scenes with the giant gun-powder spewing monster were otherworldly and fantastic .. and the way it’s true power was revealed (and how Yakomaru brilliantly used it to exploit the weaknesses in the humans defenses was really well done), also the scene with the giant explosion and Saki flying and free falling was fantastically done i held my breath during the whole scene .. but i have to say i was surprised the series completely ignored to clarify the fate of Satoru .. and why did Saki act like he was never there !!? .. like he didn’t push her out of the gun-powder cloud probably getting gravely wounded in the process (if not killed) .. yet once she landed it’s like he never existed .. dhr nrbrt looked back or wandered what happened to him .. that really felt weird.

    Also .. i hope we get to see the battle between double-iris Kaburagi and the Fiend, it will be one hell of a Cantus showdown .. i hope Kaburagi or Saki are smart enough to come up with a way to circumvent the Death-feedback .. no system is perfect .. i’m sure there is some loophole here they can use … a way to indirectly stop him (like freezing him alive) or a way to kill the fiend using cantus (for example a powerful cantus user going berserk with his cantus blind-folded and guided by another human to wreak havoc in the direction of the fiend which might kill it without the user seeing/realizing it).

    I also have to say next episode preview seems to be full of surprises .. red haired girl (Maria .. or a red-herring XD) .. then Saki mentioned a Karma Demon (indirectly by talking about the effects of Cantus leakage), also .. hope we get to know what happened to Satoru.

  14. awsum episode as always.. but there’s still one thing that i dont understand about the deathfeedback relating to a fiend, i know its a terrible thing but for the sake of the village why doesn’t any villager try to kill the fiend and die along with it as a result of deathfeedback…. Considering the destruction, i think its still a considerable act for the courageous ones like tomiko san, or Kaburagi shisei…


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