Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World) - Episode 5

If there's any excitement to be had from seeing a so-called Balloon Dog in the flesh, it's certainly short-lived given the group's current dilemma as Shin Sekai Yori reaches its fifth episode.

Indeed, the beast in question arguably surpasses even its legendary status, and the ensuing chaos does away with Rijin to leave the children quite literally powerless and with creatures popping up all around them.  When a little bluffing and bravado doesn't work, it's time for the group to make a run for it and split up in an attempt to evade their pursuers - a split which doesn't last long in Saki and Satoru's case as the former falls and injures herself only to meet the latter.

With Saki unable to run, it isn't too long before this pair are captured, and in their makeshift prison we see some more of the claims of the library from the last episode seemingly verified before an opportunity to escape presents itself, demonstrating Satoru's cunning the process.  On the run again it seems as if their enemies are closing in from all angles before an unlikely rescuer comes to the couple's aid - a Rat Monster, who looks to save Satoru and Saki in the hoping of gaining their assistance in a tribal war.  Unaware that these children are now powerless, events once again contrive to offer up an opportunity of escape - but can they make good on it this time?

After a rather excellent episode last week, this latest instalment of Shin Sekai Yori felt a little odd - for starters its animation style felt different and more heavily stylised than we've seen before (leaving it a little reminiscent of Casshern Sins in places), which in turn left it feeling like it was struggling to pull together its budget quite frequently while also occasionally appearing a little off in depicting character's emotions.  The episode also felt a little disjointed, stuttering and jumping this way and that in a way which was understandable to some degree against the backdrop of a chaotic chase, but nonetheless in a way which wasn't all that satisfying to watch.  It makes me worry that we might be in for a rather uneven ride from this series after the good work of some of its previous episodes, but perhaps now we're on the crux of reaching into the heart of the story this was simply the cusp of something more substantial.

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