First Impressions: From the New World

Novel adaptation of Shin Sekai Yori by A1 Pictures
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise: A thousand years into the future, humanity has developed psychic powers. 14 year old Saki has recently finally grown into her powers, allowing her to graduate and join her similarly empowered friends in the ‘Unified Class’. But mystery and intrigue surrounds the whole system and indeed the entire world they live in.

Dragonzigg’s Verdict: New World, New Rules

Kind of predictably, I really liked this. There’s a fascinating atmosphere permeating the show, one that’s equal parts intriguing and unsettling, which makes watching it a slightly uncomfortable experience, but in a good way. Granted, this first episode seems to be deliberately vague on the details, but there’s clearly a heady cocktail here of post-apocalyptic society, weird religion, school drama and Japanese folk tales. On the surface the sort of new-age hippie look might be a little divisive, as might be the excessively cute and colossally eyed character designs, but there’s a menacing dark undercurrent here that channels something that feels much more spiritual and scientific. The barely concealed powers=puberty metaphor seems a touch hamfisted, but there’s definitely potential to be mined there and A1 do a great job in conveying a rich, distinctive looking world to inhabit.  There’s certainly a fear here that all this mystery could just be an empty tease, but as it is the fascinating blend of scifi, fantasy and horror here is a potent mix and one I’m excited to see more of.

Iro’s Verdict: Weird World

This seems to be one of the artsier-looking shows this season, and one of the weirder ones. They’re clearly trying to build a horror vibe here, and it works for the most part, but this first episode amounts to a bunch of strange and unsettling stuff happening with no real context. There isn’t enough that I care enough about here to keep watching.

Jel’s Verdict: Further Exploration Necessary

The most immediately striking thing about From the New World is the setting. The designs of the buildings and character’s clothing is a really cool mix of old and new, I still am not totally clear if the events we saw take place in the past, present, future or all of the above. Beyond that not a lot of details are given, which makes it a little hard to latch on to anything and want to watch more. I could see them working with the whole purity thing and the fact that gaining your powers is basically akin to puberty, that’s a real loaded gun thematically speaking. Other than that here wasn’t a lot to work with in this episode but I really like the presentation and thematic possibilities. Don’t you wanna know what that weird cat thing is? I think I do.

Lifesong’s Verdict: One Word: Atmosphere

From The New World is artistic and edgy. I loved the way it managed to build up a creepy atmosphere that really pulled me in, and made me want to know what exactly is wrong; clearly something is not right. I am also a little concerned simply because of how little else this episode established. There was little connection with the cast, and the magical stuff is largely just mubo jumbo at this point; however, the setting itself feels refreshingly fantastic, and is wonderfully crafted. I’m looking forward to seeing what else this anime has in store for us.

Marlin’s Verdict: Like if David Lynch directed a Miyazaki movie.

I have to say I’m really impressed by this first episode. It does all the right things to pull you into this strange world without giving too much up. If I had to compare it I’d have to I can see a bit of a similarity to Another in how it builds up its dread through its backgrounds and through the bleak character interactions. As Life said, the atmosphere is fantastic, and the constant dark tint really adds an oppressive nature to the entire production. While it would have to do a lot of things right to compete with the amazing horror show that was Another, I still have high hopes that this can be another gem in a fantastic looking season.

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