Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Shin Sekai Yori (From the New World) - Episode 24

Has Shun really returned, or has all of Saki's recent (and indeed ongoing) trauma come back to haunt her?  That's a question that we'll have to keep on the back burner for the duration of this week's Shin Sekai Yori as other events move on apace.

In fact, Saki's potential reunion with Shun is interrupted by the arrival of Kiroumaru, who has come to find Saki in lieu of Satoru who has some light wounds from the duo's necessitated escape from the Ogre.  Although they not have the Psycho Buster in their possession and could use the opportunity to leave Tokyo, it's decided that there will be no better time to face off against the Ogre than here while it's lightly guarded, and thus plans are put into place to do what needs to be done as soon as possible.  But will Saki and Satoru be capable of killing what is ultimately another human being?

As doubts rage over how best to handle the situation, an opportunity finally presents itself, and after Satoru's attempt to try the "soft option" of provoking the Ogre into realising its humanity fails there's nothing for it but to deploy the Psycho Buster.  However, at the last moment, terrified by the fact that Satoru could be infected and killed by this bio-weapon  Saki burns the weaponised anthrax into nothingness, thus rendering it useless.  With no other cards left to play, it seems like only a matter of time before a grisly fate meets the trio of survivors at the hands of the Ogre and/or Yakomaru.  But are they really out of options?

I'm still not really sure about this use of Shun so late on in the series, as his ethereal presence feels a little out of place with the rest of the series, but that aside this was a largely terrific episode of Shin Sekai Yori - it was good to finally see Saki and Satoru coming to terms with the humanity of their opponent while raising questions of how its nurture may have effected its worldview, and the second half of the episode carried no shortage of tension thanks to its cat and mouse game before taking us on a brief but intense emotional rollercoaster as it seemed as if everything had been resolved, only to have the proverbial rug pulled out from under us at the last minute.  It's going to feel like a long wait for the finale of this series next week now, to see what ultimate fate it has in story for its cast.

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