Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World) - Episode 20

As if a Monster Rat rebellion wasn't bad enough, Saki and Satoru now finding themselves facing up to what could readily described by their worst nightmare - a nightmare which is currently actively pursuing them across the waters.

Although this apparent Ogre seems to have their number, some calm, rational thought and planning gives them a slim but possible opportunity of escape, and it's one that they grab with both hands - although it seems for a moment as if it's failed, their plan ultimately comes good and saves their lives even if it comes at the loss of their raft.

This isn't the end of the duo's dangerous encounters however, as a night's rest brings with it new horrors the following morning, as they come across another decidedly odd mutant which ultimately seems to have no goal in mind other than Saki and Satoru's extermination.  This leads into revelations as to the true extent of the Monster Rats - and more specifically Yakomaru's - intentions; to fight a guerilla war using Monster Rat soldiers as expendable resources, and with specifically created mutants acting as terrorist weapons of mass destruction.  It's a double whammy that fully exploits the hubris of mankind, and once you throw an Ogre into the mix there seems to be little hope for the remaining human.  Perhaps not the most preferable of times for Saki to be given a weighty position amongst the town's dwindling populace, then...

In places, this was one of those weird episodes of Shin Sekai Yori that takes a little of the sheen away from what it's trying to do - its animation quality was ropey at times, while other elements of the episode were either disjointed, slightly muddled or overly surreal to the point of distraction.  Unlike prior occasions where this heavily impacted the show however, at this juncture Shin Sekai Yori's story is sufficiently strong to get away with such problems to a large degree, and the unfolding plot's obvious links to the 21st century world hubris, terrorism and exploitation included add an interesting dimension to a show that has managed not to be too heavy-handed about such inferences despite not being shy about their inclusion.  Whatever next, now that humanity is up against the wall?

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