From The New World Episode 15

[UTW]_Shinsekai_Yori_-_15_[h264-720p][FD186480].mkv_snapshot_15.41_[2013.01.18_16.13.09]

Recap: In the hunt for Maria and Mamoru, Saki and Satoru encounter Squealer once again. They learn that much has changed in Queerat society since they were last among them.

Zigg‘s thoughts:  Kind of a shorto ne this week, since there’s not really too much to be said about this episode. Again, I’ve got to point out the way the story of New World peaks and dips – this is definitely one of those which has the show on the downward slope. It’s frustrating because this is exactly the kind of show that would benefit from a well structured, horror movie style ratchet-up-the-tension slowly as we go. Instead, we’ve got strong individual arcs but then areas where the narrative dips.

As it is, this episode mostly deals in the Queerat politics that proved so dreary back before the timeskip. There’s some decent thematic meat to chew on here, as Squealer, or Yakomaru as he’s now called, shows the two how Queerat society has ‘progressed’ in the years they’ve been away. The intention here is clearly to parallel the development of humanity – a once feral race which became more militant, embraced democracy and begun to display the trappings of sophistication – and establish the Queerats as a lurking threat to the established order. The problem is, it’s all a little bit too on the nose. Saying ‘They lobotomised X!” is one of the easiest ways to establish a character as ‘morally ambiguous’ and it seems the whole angle with the queen is done mostly for the sake of shock value.

[UTW]_Shinsekai_Yori_-_15_[h264-720p][FD186480].mkv_snapshot_17.58_[2013.01.18_16.13.26]

At the risk of sounding foolish when they inevitably do something super important, I sort of feel the Queerats should have been cut or severely trimmed from this adaptation.  Episodes that focus on them have been by far and away the weakest segments of the show, and they seem a diversion from the important central theme of identity and manipulation among humanity. It’s also still a little unclear to me why searching for Mamoru and Maria involves invading a rival queerat colony – as before, the show seems a little shaky on establishing a solid motivation for its action sequences.

The most meaningful plot development here occurs right at the end, where it’s revealed Mamoru and Maria are a little more genre savvy than one might think, and have moved to a location far, far away. It’s not clear whether the text onscreen at the end ‘Half the world away’ is the contents of the letter or merely part of it, but the general gist is clear. They’re disappearing from this show, at least for a while. What that leaves us in what was an ensemble cast now whittled down to a single reationship – that between Saki and Satoru. We know that very shortly there’ll be a major timeskip, something in the region of a decade, and it’ll be interesting to see how the years and the weight of their actions will wear on these two.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.