‘Shinsekai Yori’, which means ‘From the New World’ is a Seinen anime produced between 2012 and 2013 by the Studio A-1 Pictures, is based on the novels by Yusuke Kishi.
The story begins with the acceptance of Saki to the Academy of the Sages, the school for children who can manipulate the cursed power, and later on showcases a school trip by boat.
The group on this boat trip breaks a rule and land on a forbidden shore, discovering the presence of a Minoshiro Evil, a creature considered mythical.
That meeting will forever change their destiny, leading them to live a dangerous adventure and above all, to acquire the knowledge of facts and situations kept under the strictest of confidence from the leaders of the Village.
In an age that we could identify as ours but is a thousand years away from now, people have developed the ‘Juryoku’ better known as telekinesis and telepathy powers; these people can impose their will on others. The high price of this cursed power is a drastic reduction of the world population falling to 250 million.
Humanity has moved forward in the evolution, and the few survivors organise themselves to peaceful coexistence based on strict rules and self-control. In the ‘New World’ that has been created, the man now is similar to a ‘God’.
Thanks to the benefits of its powers, lives in bucolic villages governed by a Buddhist ethics committee.
Through the use of the cursed power, man doesn’t need technology. To do the ‘dirty work’ for humans are the monster-rat creatures lacking the Cursed Power. This rat-monster looks like hairless moles.
Their nature is violent, immoral and ignorant, but they worship man as a divinity, and therefore they obey any order without question; this is because otherwise their colonies will be destroyed.
The audio element offers excellent soundtrack, a mix of modern and traditional Japanese instruments, which can create the right spooky atmosphere.
Through a narrative structure that brings the characters to compose the pieces of an intricate puzzle, episode after episode it’s possible to find out, with a certain amount of apprehension and with a growing pathos, that the very idea of good and evil are subjective.
Through the various phases of the life of Saki, from youth to adult life, she will assist the collapse of the idea of utopia, direct from fear and suspicion, managed by adults already anaesthetised by their omnipotence, incapable of any independent action in a time of crisis.
Most important is the final message.
Is it possible to create a utopian society, one that does not sacrifice anyone and he does not press someone else? Is it possible to limit the violence inherent in man? Can a community equipped with mortal power, can survive without self-destructing?
Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash