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From the New World

Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman

From the New World (which is known as Shin Sekai Yori in Japan) is an anime series based on a novel by Yusuke Kishi.

The series is set 1000 years in the future, in a world that is ruled by people with the "cursed power" of telekinesis. The protagonist of From the New World is a 12-year-old girl from Harmony Elementary named Saki, who is the last of her friends to be touched by a Blessing Spirit. When a child is touched by a Blessing Spirit, they are no longer seen as a child. The person touched by a Blessing Spirit must go through a purification ceremony, and then start attending an advanced school in order to learn the "cursed power."

During the first episode, Saki and her friends (Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun) share some of the various stories they heard during their time at Harmony Elementary. One of the stories is about the Trickster Cat; according to the story, the children who do not graduate from Harmony Elementary are taken by the Trickster Cat and disappear. Near the end of the first episode, it is revealed that Saki had seen the Trickster Cat before being touched by a Blessing Spirit.

The beginning of the first episode feels a little disjointed, and it was hard for me as a viewer to truly understand what was going on at first. It also didn't help that the very first scene was done in such a way that the image kept going in and out of focus. While I understand that the director was going for a certain effect, I'm not entirely convinced that the going in and out of focus so much really worked in the long run.

Also, much of the episode has a dark look to it. There were some shots where I literally could not see characters' faces and I was unable to tell by their facial expressions what emotions they may have had. This may have been due, in large part, to watching the first episode of this series on a small screen at Crunchyroll. Perhaps if I had been able to see this episode on my television screen, I might have been able to see some of the scenes a little better. It should also be noted that there is some blood onscreen during the opening scene of the first episode.

By the time I finished watching the first episode, I didn't find myself emotionally invested in the characters. I admit that most of the characters really weren't developed in this episode; however, I couldn't even invest myself much into Saki, the character who received the bulk of the development in the first episode. While I wouldn't be adverse to watching more of this series, I don't feel compelled to watch future episodes right away.

Personally, I would recommend From the New World to anime viewers who are 14 or 15 years of age and older.


Title
Episodes
Release Year(s)
Director
Studio
N.A. Licensor
From the New World252012-ongoingMasashi IshihamaA-1 PicturesSentai Filmworks
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Content copyright © 2014 by Lesley Aeschliman. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Lesley Aeschliman. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Brenda Chen for details.

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