Anime: Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World) – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Chanting in dark places”

(Humans haven’t changed in 1000 years… as usual…)

Studio: A-1 Pictures

Genre: Surreal, Mystery, Fantasy, Horror,  Age: 13+

Released: 28 September 2012 – onwards

Set a thousand years in the future, people are born with telekenetic powers. Saki, is a late bloomer developing her cursed power after all her friends. Her coming-of-age ceremony marks her entrance into a school where she will learn her powers.

However, rumours speak of monsters on the outskirts of her idealic village, and a cat monster prowls looking for children…

Warning! May contain spoilers!

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Saki’s ceremony takes place in a Buddhist-like fashion. The religion has survived through time, and will cleanse Saki’s soul.

(“Pray until you feel cleansed of your powers and feel older…”)

She is reunited with other children who progressed their powers before her.

(“Hi, I’m Saki. Everyone already knows me…”)

Lessons begin to control her powers in group exercises. Saki might be a late bloomer, but she isn’t slow like another student.

(Groupwork is tough, even if you have super powers)

After school the group hang around outside, speaking in hushed rumors about hidden graveyards in school rooms. Children have gradually disappeared through the years, and a cat monster is blamed.

(“Shouldn’t we all be getting home or something…?”)

Saki asks her parents if the monster cat is just a myth, and though her parents laugh it off, Saki claims that she has seen the cat.

Later in the week, the weakest of the students disappear.

(“The Internet worshiped cats which eventually led to the cat monster being created”)

Overall, I wasn’t expecting to like this anime, so it wasn’t a surprise the first episode didn’t wow me.

The animation is nice, the backgrounds are lush, and there’s something entrancing about the Buddhist rituals, but it just didn’t click. Maybe it’s the regular high school trope of children, maybe it’s the annoying traits they all posses, even solemn Saki. I prefer my characters, and colours, a bit more happy and bright.

If you like dark and creepy mystery shows, that definitely watch this. It has high quality productions, and the music is especially atmospheric.

Rated – 3.5/5 Jarringly creepy and dark.

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