The missing Mamoru has been found, but given what he has to say about the reason for his flight from the town what next for our group of youngsters in this week's Shin Sekai Yori.
Although Maria opts to stay behind with Mamoru, who staunchly refuses to return home for obvious reasons, both Satoru and Saki realise that they have no choice but to go back to the town if only to find out what awaits them - the answer to that quandry is a grilling from the Education Committee, who needless to say are none too happy with either Mamoru's flight or his friends chasing after him. Things only look set to go from bad to worse as Saki makes it clear that she knows this very same committee was all set to have her friend eliminating, but luckily for her she has a powerful ally on her side in the form of Ethics Committee head Tomiko.
Rescuing her from the whims of the Education Committee, and happily chatting with her amongst the Trickster Cats who were all set to put an end to Saki's life until Tomiko's intervention, Tomiko goes some way towards explaning the committee's concerns (and why Saki's group seems to enjoy the freedom of thought that it does) while giving Saki a task to bring Mamoru (and Maria) back home with an assurance that they won't be eliminated. As Saki prepares to set off we also learn a little about the age of this Ethics Committee head and how she has managed to live such a long life - another interesting little vignette within the series as things look set to take another difficult turn for Saki and Satoru as they seek to return their friends to their hometown.
For all of my doubts and its uneven feeling earlier in the series, I have to admit that I'm now hugely invested in Shin Sekai Yori by this point - there are so many fascinating aspects to its world from its organisation through to the various powers and factions which reside within it that it's hard to know where to focus my attention as a viewer, albeit in a good way. Saki is also proving to be a most excellent protagonist - strong, but not overly so, capable of looking after herself but still an impulsive young woman at times. As we set out into the wider world once again for Saki's latest "task", it seems as if even more intriguing developments are afoot to keep me well and truly hooked.