「少年の顔」 (Shounen no Kao)
“The Face of the Boy”

Tokyo is supposedly hell on earth in Shin Sekai Yori. But honestly, asides from being a very pretty looking wasteland, this statement hardly connected with me until I saw what Tokyo had to offer in the depths of its caverns. As the characters move deeper in, we get that oh-so-effective transition into bizzaro-world, where tiger slugs and giant glowing tapeworms reside, and where a swarm of bloodsucking mites rules at the top of the food chain. Death lurks in every corner of this cave, and as Inui came to learn, the characters only need just slip up once to meet their sudden end.

Again, the atmosphere being set up here is second to none. This really is one of those show where the art is truly free to explore in really creative ways, where we get creatures like the aforementioned tiger slugs and giant sea worms with oni mask faces. It really helps make a post-apocalyptic Tokyo feel as alien as it rightly should be. And somehow, the writing manages to account for these details with the cantus leakage bit. There really is some cosmic irony at work here when we learn Tokyo is only hell on earth because the humans believed it so, and changed the ecology in that manner. A throwback to the explanation regarding cantus leakage that happened nearly an entire cour ago, and it was so simple, so well-tied to the lore and themes, that I have to marvel at the deceptively simple genius of it all.

Thank god the show didn’t beat around the bush on the Kiromaru issue. It’s obvious he had an agenda in following them to Tokyo, and Satoru’s warning in the preview seems to suggest as much, but we can only speculate as to what. I’m guessing the queerats have another objective in Tokyo beside the psychobuster and “fiend” situation. We see how Kiromaru splits the group into two, letting Saki and Inui take the false minoshiro and then letting them walk into a death trap. I’m thinking the psychobuster wasn’t his objective all along, or otherwise Saki wouldn’t have gotten it with all the scheming. I’m starting to wonder if Kiromaru’s former expedition and his goal this time around again, is another prize waiting amidst the ruins of Tokyo. Of course, while the theory that Kiromaru is working with Squealer is still in the running, I just can’t buy the idea of a possible allegiance between the two queerats.

Brought up last episode, this episode also confirmed the “fiend” to not be one at all. I’m really looking forward to hearing the story behind this of how exactly Squealer managed to raise a psychic without the death feedback, and the almost inevitable moral conundrum that’ll result from using the Psychobuster Saki obtained on this “fiend”.

The big moment of the episode was undoubtedly Shun’s reappearance. Gotta admit, it was pretty obvious we would see the guy at least one more time before the series reached it end. And what a scene it was, A1 certainly didn’t disappoint with the moment where Saki finally remembers his name and chased his phantom down amidst the ruin of Tokyo. I definitely got the chills as the music built towards the climatic reveal. So who is this, really? A metaphorical phantom of Saki’s regained memories, or the actual person himself? Or, in Shin Sekai Yori fashion, some psychic afterimage imprinted into Saki’s mind? Whatever this Shun turns out to be, it’s definitely exciting to hear what he has to say next episode.




  1. Shun has made a comeback. Nice. Now I shall wait for the Maria comeback and see Saki weep like a baby to finally be reunited with her numba 1. I shall look forward to that day! Hinthinthint dojins artists.

      1. Hence the hint. Well actually when Shun died in first part of the series we all thought we wouldn’t see him anymore yet he’s here now. Flesh or not. He took over an entire scene. I demand a Maria reuniting with Saki scene. O<

    1. Even if she is alive … you may not wish it to be so. At best she comes along as women driven by revenge, at worst she ends up as a sex slave producing more Mamoria… Death might be preferable…


      1. See, that should work as a reminder for any future Yuri ships, that when you’re force to denied your own sexual preference for the sake of having guilt for being a friend, 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. Maria shall screw the World because of it, but spare Saki cause she is her numba 1. Clearly, this will happen.

    1. im assuming that is because they were trying to conserve their cantus. tokyo is dangerous, so they waited for it to charge earlier because it doesn’t take any energy to do that.

    2. Couldn’t have also just been that to boot it up the first time it needed to be solar-charged? Totally farfetched now that I type it out….but the instructions did say to leave it in the sun.

  2. Indeed, the music at the end really gave me the goosebumps! Though, his image being there kinda feels like, you know, when someone dies, they continue living in memories and are alive in the hearts of those who cared for them. 🙂

    Just curious. When is next season’s preview post coming?? :3

  3. This episode made me realize that Saki has dreamed of Tokyo in her last “Oh God what the Hell” dream in episode 16. It had gigantic carnivores, bat-like creatures, and of course, Shun.

    Speaking of which, I guess it’s only natural that she met a dead person – she’s in Hell, after all.

    1. Yes, it’s been stated a number of times that Cantus leaks out of the subconscious, but they’ve managed to direct it outside of the holy barrier. That’s why there are so many mutants outside of the barrier but not inside. Tokyo’s the worst because people believed it to be a hellish place so their leaked Cantus helps create that reality.

    1. Man, I know right! I wasn’t worried about Shun dying until this episode. Then I was like, frick. WHAT IF SAKI’S THE ONLY SURVIVOR. Uuugh.

      I don’t even like her that much. Having the fortitude to recover from a traumatic event quickly is all well and good, but I think it’s pretty useless when all you’re doing DURING those events is stand in place and panic.

    2. You aren’t the only one thinking that. And now especially since they split into groups of two and Satarou went with Kiromaru, I’m just like, he’s a goner. I feel only Saki will survive all of this, and I really don’t understand why or how but ah well.

  4. Regarding the death feedback, someone pointed out that the fiend disarmed the queerats from Kiroumaru’s colony, which is odd. Why not just kill them? Unless he disarmed them so that Squealer’s men could finish the job.

    Squealer probably reversed the death feedback so that Mamoria gets it when he kills queerats, not humans.

  5. Really awesome episode, my only problem/question is to do with Inui’s death. They said they had to go on foot, because the sub was too big to proceed any further, correct? Then how did that mammoth creature thing make it into that small space, since it was clearly larger than the sub in earlier scenes.

  6. Amazing episode! Seems like I was right last week when I said that the fiend is not a fiend at all! I’m still sticking with my theory that it does have the death feedback its just that it only activates if it tries to kill its fellow queerats…. Think about it if the child perceived its self to be a rat and the death feedback is to stop PK’ers from kill their own kind then that would make perfect sense! It’d also give yakomaru the perfect weapon that cant betray him and cant be killed by the humans.

  7. I really don’t know why but I don’t like this series as much as everybody else. I like it but in here people seem to love it. I really don’t know why it isn’t clicking with me. I guess the suspense isn’t impacting me as much as it is y’all.

    Already know what you are going to say, I might just have bad taste or be jaded.
    I don’t think I’m jaded because I recently really enjoyed Madoka and Bokurano.

    1. I wouldnt say your jaded or have bad taste; the show just isnt vibing with you is all. I personally, while i think this is a great show, its certain flaws are what’s preventing me from labeling it an amazing show (though certain episodes certainly have inched their way towards that title). I love this series; it s a solid 8.5 for me, but it’s missing certain things that would take it past that rating. In my opinion, what makes Shin Sekai Yori a great show to watch isnt exactly because it has superb direction and characterization; its because the source material is just so interesting and well-thought out to the point that it covers all its plot holes, and to me, that’s what distracts me from its certain flaws.

      Its strong source material is what carries this show; not to say the direction is bad, as A-1 pictures is during a fairly great job but i cant help but wonder if it would have been a masterpiece had it been in the hands of a different studio (Bones, Brain Base, P.A works, imagine if Kyoto animation stepped out their moe-phase to animate this…wow..mind…blown), and was helmed by a much more skilled and well-renowned director and screenplay writer. I think then, would this show deserve the title masterpiece, at least in my eyes, and maybe you’d feel like it would be justified getting as much love as it does.

  8. Regarding the death feedback and the “fiend”…wouldn’t it be enough if one sole person sacrificed themselves for the greater good by killing the “fiend”? Sure, giving your own life is no small task, but you’d save countless of others in the process.

  9. Show Spoiler ▼

    1. Show Spoiler ▼

  10. Am I the only one that immediately freaked out at the mention of the bobbit worm? Perma-numbness stings and a strike with enough force to cleave coral in half– those things are terrifying enough in real life, but the mentioning of GIANT bobbit worms was enough to get me typing frantically at my friend through AIM.

  11. That ending with Shun was great! So Tokyo was good for something then right? The Cantus leakage allowed her to remember Shun. It took down the barrier in her mind that made her forget him. Or, his spirit that has always protected Saki was able to break through the barrier in her mind because of the Cantus leakage in Tokyo.

  12. I’m pretty sure that the fiend can kill humans because he thinks of the queer rats as human, not the actual humans. It’s all about perception, which if you think back to the episode where the False Minashiro was killed and displayed a human woman and baby as it was destroyed as a defense mechanism. It doesn’t have to be a real human, the Cantus user just has to believe it is.

  13. Is this thread dead? Well, I guess I found it during my second watch of SSY.

    This time through, I have become more aware and interested in the way “cantus leakage” works, and what I think is its importance to the story and the themes. Goodness knows SSY brings it up enough.

    “There really is some cosmic irony at work here when we learn Tokyo is only hell on earth because the humans believed it so”

    Shun in Ep 23:”Power is the ability to etch our inner thoughts and emotions into the outside world.”

    This would be long if I went over all my thoughts.Why Napoleonic Squera and his progressive colony? Why now?

    1) They keep children away from mutant rats
    2) Everybody completely despises the queerats
    2) The Group One has less programming and controls
    3) Squera was just another queerat, and a fairly weak one, until…Saki saved him from the queen during the camping trip

    Okay, you see where I am going? It was Saki’s respect and affection for Squera, even at a distance, that turned Squera into a Napoleon who thought he was human. Perhaps even more, that Saki’s conscious and unconscious misgivings about her society, helped make Squera an archenemy of humans.

    Cantus leakage, and the human contempt for queerats leaking outside the barrier, keeps them docile and weak. Until Saki.

    And how much did Tomiko know? What did she expect from her experiment?

    Tomiko did not expect the “Ogre,” and that child would, via leakage and acceptance of the queerats, change the queerats and their society. But Squera was “different” before M & M ran away.

    Leakage, I think, is the undiscussed key to SSY.

    bob mcmanus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *