One boring day, I was scrolling through an anime streaming website called Aniwatch.me and found a series named Shinsekai Yori that piqued my interest. The characters were good looking and the rating was quite good too. I had nothing to do on my holiday so I decided to give this series a go.
Apparently, Shinsekai Yori is an anime that is based on the Best-Selling Japanese Novel with the same name “Shinsekai Yori”. The story revolved around Watanabe Saki and her four groups of friends in a seemingly utopian town called Kamisu 66th district, roughly a thousand years into the future. Saki and her four friends, as well as the people who lived in that town, had psychokinesis ability. Psychokinesis, oftentimes abbreviated as PK in the series, could be described as the power to actualize the thoughts in their mind. As long as they have strong imagination or vivid visualization, anything could be made into reality. All five children each had power they specialized in, and these power proved to be a blessing, as well as a curse.
Below is the description of the anime series that I quoted from Aniwatch.me:
Following a sudden outbreak of psychokinesis in 0.1% of the population, a rapid transformation swept the world. The godlike ability to manipulate matter remotely turned many power wielders to violence, inciting a long period of upheaval. Finally, after a chaotic era shaped by the rise and fall of oppressive regimes, the psychic humans were able to achieve a fragile peace by isolating their society, creating a new world bound by complex rules.
In the town of Kamisu 66, 12-year-old Saki Watanabe has just awakened to her powers and is relieved to rejoin her friends—the mischievous Satoru Asahina, the shy Mamoru Itou, the cheerful Maria Akizuki, and Shun Aonuma, a mysterious boy whom Saki admires—at Sage Academy, a special school for psychics. However, unease looms as Saki begins to question the fate of those unable to awaken to their powers, and the children begin to get involved with secretive matters such as the rumored Tainted Cats said to abduct children.
Shinsekai yori tells the unique coming-of-age story of Saki and her friends as they journey to grow into their roles in the supposed utopia. Accepting these roles, however, might not come easy when faced with the dark and shocking truths of society, and the impending havoc born from the new world.
There are several aspects that make the story very interesting as they bring about an unexpected twist.
In most cases, there will be an apparent pair that have a romantic relationship in a story. It is one of the most predictable aspects of a story which most audiences could guess the outcome. However, this is not the case with this anime series. When Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun are all 12 years old, they go on a summer camping trip outside the town’s barrier. While the group was having a boat rowing competition one night, Saki and Shun show up a bit of infatuation for each other. From the boat ride to meeting a False Minoshiro. However, when their group was being hunted down by a foreign Monster Rats colony, Satoru and Saki were trapped together and this situation made them closer. There is one of the scenes where the two of them were caught in a kind of prison and showing affection towards one another as a form of comfort. Furthermore, after escaping many near deaths experience, as well as fighting against the Monster Rat, the two of them seemed to grow even closer.
Two years after the incident, the group still appeared together in school, but something had changed between them. Saki still shows interest in Shun, but Shun seemed to ignore her as he was more interested in Satoru who appeared to be dating him around that time. Mamoru was still infatuated with Maria, but Maria seemed to be more interested in Saki. Later on, Saki saw Shun momentarily alone in a field, She wanted to approach him but soon saw Satoru who was following behind him. Saki immediately hid behind a tree and saw the two of them entangled together in a surprising sight; they shared a passionate kiss that certainly caught Saki and me off guard. It was at this moment that I went ‘What the hell???’
Ehem, not only this, later on, Saki ran to seek comfort from Maria and the two of them seemingly became a lover as well. The ups and downs of their love life really make me shocked speechless.
As they grow older, they started to learn more about the truth behind their town and the reason behind the disappearance of the children from their class. It was all triggered when Shun suddenly distanced himself from the group and stopped coming to school for four days straight when they were fourteen years old. The four of them decided they couldn’t just sit still and looked for Shun. Saki, who finally met with Shun, learned of what had happened to him. Shun explained that their conscious mind doesn’t have full control over their power. There’s always a part of their power that subconsciously leaked from every person. People from that town were taught since they were a child that the world outside the barrier was dangerous, thus their subconscious mind directs this power leakage to that world beyond the barrier. One way or another, their power is the source that made the animals undergo such horrid mutation.
However, the children’s minds are too unstable. It is easily affected by fear, stress, and trauma. There are two types of ‘sickness’ that are produced from this mental disturbance. One is ogre, a term used for a child whose conscious mind broke because of a continuous build-up of stress and went on a killing spree with its power. It is said that killing made their brain release a neurotoxin that gives them momentary happiness. Second is a karmic demon, it is a term used for children whose subconscious minds go on a rampage because of their build-up stress and directly changing their surrounding through their sheer power. Because this action is caused by their subconscious mind, they couldn’t consciously control it, and thus children who suffered from this usually choose to end themselves. Shun was the most recent case of children who are turning into a karmic demon. In the end, he couldn’t bear seeing himself hurting more of his loved one and finally decided to kill himself.
Because of these two mental sicknesses, the adults decided to kill any children that show any signs of unstable mentality. This part of the story makes me wonder why wouldn’t the adults just hire a psychiatrist or something to treat the children instead of killing them. Besides that, I also realized how dangerous their power was. It’s like a two edges blade, one wrong move and you could hurt yourself.
There are many other secrets throughout the series that I prefer not to disclose. Discovering it as you go through the episodes while your heart beating in anticipation will be more interesting than me throwing spoiler everywhere. All in all, Shinsekai Yori was truly a roller coaster of action and emotion that proves itself to be worth every minute spent watching it. I highly suggest giving it a watch as the story brings about many shocks and surprises.