From the New World / Shin Sekai Yori
Review By: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Supernatural, Future Utopia/Dystopia
First Aired: Fall 2012, 25 episodes
Summary: As the show states, “1000 years from now” a utopia exists in Japan. Saki Watanabe lives in a peaceful village that has no contact with the outside world. Her world is ruled by the people who possess psychokinesis. After being the last in her class to obtain her own powers, Saki leaves her elementary school to enter Zenjin Academy to train with five other children: Satoru Asahina, Maria Akizuki, Mamoru Itou, Shun Aonuma, and Reiko Amano. However, as is usually the case in futuristic utopias, there is more to society than meets the eye. Saki is not in the academy long before she begins to hear murmurings and rumors of a dark side that runs below the happy surface. Strange rumors about a trickster cat that abducts children circulate and students are said to disappear from the academy. The perfect world may not be as perfect as it seems.
From the New World follows the main group of students as they grow up. While there are flashbacks and dream sequences, the main story begins when the students manifest their psychic powers around the age of 12. Various time periods of their lives are covered but as a whole we get to watch them grow up in a society that is heavily controlled by its leaders. Several species are brought in as war and destruction play an increasing part of the utopian world. The character development is interesting to watch as characters grow up, changing as the years pass. The world that is created is complex, as is the story line. I can see this as both a positive and a negative, since it creates a lot of depth to the story, but takes a lot of time to explain. The animation is another interesting aspect of the series. It is smooth during the present, but changes depending on flashbacks or dream sequences that take place. It helps differentiate the past from the present. That being said, the story jumps around a lot, so it is important to pay attention to not get lost as to what is the past and what is the present.
You might enjoy this if: You are ready to sink your teeth into a complex story that starts to make sense about ten episodes in.
You might not like it if: You do not want to feel like you are watching a novel.
Note to the Viewer: Make sure to pay close attention, especially in the first five episodes, otherwise you will get completely lost.