Shin Sekai Yori Episode 17

Shin Sekai Yori Tomiko, Kaburagi and Hino gathered
The giants are gathered.

Reaching new heights.
Shin Sekai Yori Episode 17: Footsteps of Ruin

Wow. What an incredible episode. This may be one of the best episodes that has aired so far for this anime. Not only has a lot of predictions that you readers have made in the previous episodes (14, 15, 16) came true, but the story is achieving greater heights with increased tension. Let’s get right down to it.

12 Years Later

Watanabe Saki 26 years old

Saki is now twenty-six years old and she is part of the Department of Exospecies Control. Basically, it’s the investigation and regulation of queerats. Why did they get the name of “exospecies?” One can assume that they are becoming more of a threat to humanity. As the Queerats advanced to become even more human-like, their presence gave rise to the need for applications for war and things among those lines.

War and conflict are two things that are found in all parts of human history. Queerats, displaying intelligence that may rival humans, are actively using strategies similar to how humans have fought. Spider Wasps, the supposed allies of the Giant Hornets, were attacked by supposed allies of the Robber Fly Colony. As a result, the “gods” must display its authority or they would be seen as inadequate.

The Queerat Conflict

Watanabe Saki

Immediately, I start to get a strange feeling as Saki and the other participants are sweating and are acting extremely nervous. Unsettled would be an understatement as one can clearly see, the Queerats have gained enormous amounts of power and each of their situations may affect the well-being of the town. What gives me shivers is when Saki announces how the Robber Fly Colony operates as they overthrew their Queen and show signs of development similar to humans. Now, the question is, did that come from them or did it come from the Minoshiro? We all know the vast quantity of knowledge that it contains so it’s feasible that they did not have to invent it but they only had to copy it.

Kiroumaru vs Yakomaru

Kiroumaru and Yakomaru (That’s what I’ll call him from now on) enter and make some intense debates which end up with nothing but bitter resentment. Clearly, the relationship between the two is dire but war is not an option as both sides would suffer heavy casualties. Instead of using head-on combat like beasts would, they use subterfuge to find a means to an end.

Moreover, it seems that Yakomaru is being the same old self and trying to appear sincere but is in fact a devious little snake. Obviously, one would trust Kiroumaru as he is more noble. But in a world such as this, it would be foolish to rush to such a conclusion. Not only that, Yakomaru makes a convincing argument as it does seem logical but frighteningly intelligent. We have to wonder if they were always this keen as in this time skip of twelve years, they have advanced even more quickly than humans.

Advancement of the Queerats

Kiroumaru blood

Armor, gunpowder and narcotics?!?!? It’s gotten to the point where the anime clearly states the parallels between the Queerats and human societies in the past. They are even using military tactics as if they read from Sun Tzu! They seem to love the power they are given and the humans are standing idle as they continue to advance further. When will it become the point that they cannot be ignored? When will it be the point that even those with Cantus cannot stop them? Will it ever get to such a point? Although, for now, the colonies are concerned with extending their area of influence and continually advancing as we do today.

Spider Wasp’s Betrayal

Remember those Spider Wasps that were supposedly on the Giant Hornet’s side? Yeah, well they switched sides and the Goat Moths, a colony associated with the Robber Fly Colony, won. So, what Yakomaru said in the meeting is true but only with their own side instead of Kiroumaru’s. But if that were all, then this episode wouldn’t be as great. What really shocked and made me smile and shiver is Satoru’s announcement.

Ending Analysis

Shin sekai yori ending

Before we look at what Satoru said and the preview, let’s analyze the the for a bit. Sung by Maria, this undoubtedly is the foreshadowing to her importance in the future episodes. For some reason, at the end of the ending, as Maria rises into the sky and is crying, it almost seems like she becomes a martyr. It’s as if she’s sacrificing herself for some purpose. Or, it could be redemption for what she does in later episodes. It makes me think that the series will end on more of a happy note even if it may be bittersweet.

Annihilation

Asahina Satoru

These lines mark the beginning of the probable tragedy that will soon follow. How? How could they possibly fall after seeing their ferocity and abilities in battle? They crushed their enemies in one hour even though they were outnumbered. Silly me, you guys were discussing this in the previous episodes. Why? MARIA.

Episode 18 Preview – Maria is back

Watanabe Saki

I can’t hold back my excitement when I see Maria appear once again. It’s mostly because of all your comments that have made the anime much more enticing to follow. Maria returns and just like the comments said, she sides with Yakomaru. Why? Well, it wouldn’t be far fetched to revisit those episodes and re-read the comments as they may very well be true. Not only are they back, but we also see a… fiend (Or is it a Karma Demon?) at the very end of the preview. As explosions erupt in the town and Saki’s face is covered in blood, the mysterious figure can be only a sign of destruction. Is it Maria hiding herself? What is she after? Why is she doing this? Is it because of the way the town treated the people? Most of all, how will this affect the very foundations of their society?

Shin Sekai Yori Episode 17 Review

All I can say is that this episode is amazing. I found it to be the tensest episode yet as the characters are visibly sweating and under pressure. This creates an atmosphere that weighed heavily on me and made me feel emotionally involved. At its surface, it may seem like a dialogue heavy episode with less “content” than the previous information bombs. However, with this episode, we can draw many assumptions and ideas that we couldn’t have without it. Honestly, I could easily go on for another 1000 words but alas, I must finish this post and get to sleep. So, what do you all think? Do you enjoy it or do you not? What did you find interesting with this episode? What are your speculations as to what will happen in future episodes?

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  • railgun

    “When will it become the point that they cannot be ignored?” it’s obvious – when it’s too late to save anyone.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Ah, humans are always as such. They don’t act unless they have to.

      • Flyboy

        And in a stagnant, controlled society such as this it’s not surprising to me any longer. Even with the truth staring them in the face they disregard it because “it’s hard to believe”. They’ve been trained from childhood to accept whatever is placed immediately in front of them and to think no deeper than that. The thought that the Queerats are operating entirely in a manner inconsistent with their established paradigm is just too hard for them to comprehend. I really don’t think at this point they are even physically capable of it, their brains having been tweaked and massaged their entire lives.

        The next few episodes are going to be difficult for me to watch. I’m really anticipating them, but they will be uncomfortable.

  • safna

    loved this ep , i doubt that maria will return …the person that looked like maria from behind has a small figure for a 26 yrs woman.

    • Daniel

      If it isn’t Maria it could be Maria’s child.

      • Flyboy

        If that’s the case then that adds a deeper meaning to the warning that Saki gave us regarding Maria. Maybe it’s Maria’s child, then, that causes so many deaths? Saki’s statement was misdirection, and well done, at that.

        • Daniel

          If you remember, I had a theory that it could be her child…

          Maybe that’s why it took 12 years for Squealer to attack the humans.

          He waited patiently for the child to grow up.

          • Flyboy

            That guy . . . irritates me.

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Of course, I’m not 100% sure but she looks fine to me as Saki didn’t approach her but saw her from a distance. That could be the reason for the “small” figure.

  • Daniel

    I wonder, what if the “Akki” isn’t REALLY an Akki.

    What if the people of the village will think she/he’s an Akki because she/he could kill them. But what if it’s just a “normal” PK user that somehow turned the Death Feedback system off? Maybe Squealer has the knowledge how to turn it off with the Minoshiro, what if he’ll manipulate//convinced that PK user that killing the people of village is the right thing to do?

    If it’s Maria, what if she saw Mamoru dies but it wasn’t Squealer’s fault? What if the cats got to him and killed him or one of the other villages? What if seeing Mamoru dies didn’t turned Maria into an Akki, but instead, someone – Squealer – for years and years (12 years, to be exact) told/brainwashed her constantly on how it was all the villagers fault because of their stupid system and then told her about all the ugly and horrible things they did (that Saki already knew of, and it’s true that she accepted it and realized it was probably for the best, but will someone else think and feel the same way?).

    Even though she was one of Saki’s best friends – I think she would want to kill Saki if she learned that Saki knew about all of that and that she’s going to be the leader of the village.

    Also… In the end of the new ED, we can see that thing on the moon we see her:

    http://sorasan00.tumblr.com/post/39945647221

    Is that the Akki?

    Also, looks like next episode will see this foreshadowing from the manga:

    http://mangafox.me/manga/shin_sekai_yori/v01/c001/8.html

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      Mamoru’s death can definitely fuel Maria’s hatred and it will only become vengeance as the situation worsens. Although Maria may not be easily manipulated, Yakomaru has his own way of dealing with things that is extremely cunning. However, under the burden of the death of a loved one, Maria can become easily influenced.

      I don’t expect this anime to end happily but at least I hope it’s a bittersweet one.

      • Daniel

        You’re forgetting Maria’s letter.

        By her words it’s clear that she now hates the village and the system because it’s so twisted.

        Even her own parents don’t matter to her anymore because she realized that if she died they will move on quickly and forget about her. That’s how she sees the entire village, for them she isn’t really have any rights and they don’t treat her and the other kids like they’re humans, so why would she treat them any differently?

        With that strain of thought it’ll be easy for Squealer to manipulate her to be on his side and help him and other rats to take the world back from the humans.

        • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

          When I mentioned “Maria’s hatred” I got it from the letter :) Otherwise, we wouldn’t know if she truly hated the village or just ran away to protect Mamoru. Since the letter so clearly states her disdain for her society, she’ll have even more hatred if something happens to Mamoru because of the village.

          I agree that her antipathy towards the town was to the point of her abandoning her own parents. As sad as it may be, it’s not surprising seeing as how they ignore disappearances and the corruption around them.

    • Flyboy

      “Is that the Akki?”

      I believe it’s her hair . . . as to whether or not it’s Maria’s or her child’s hair appears to be debatable at this point.

  • Daniel

    And that scene with Saki and Satoru at the beginning of the episode was so cute!

    It looks like they were together and then they broke up.

    But now they’re together again so… yay! :-)

    • http://www.entravity.com/ Entrav

      The most likely outcome is that they will end up together as there are no potential partners as of yet. I doubt they’ll create another character that will be as influential as the original cast.

      It’s actually interesting that they broke up over a small thing. I wonder what it was…

      • Flyboy

        I think they got into a petty argument about who was the prettiest . . . #B^)

        • Daniel

          LOL!

          …Satoru, of course :X

      • Daniel

        Well, I always predicted that it was gonna be Saki X Satoru since episode 1. Even with her saying that she loves Shun and all the Saki X Shun tease, I never lost confidence that it was gonna be Saki and Satoru in the end, even if Shun somehow came back to life… Their relationship just screams “Yep, its gonna be these two”.

        Then there’s the fact that Satoru just gets a whole lot more screen time and “with Saki” time.

  • Flyboy

    Very interesting to see a glimpse of that hooded individual wearing a similar headpiece to what Kaburagi is wearing. I wonder if it serves any function other than ornamentation? Is it important that the eyes are covered?

    As this series unfolds I find myself taking a fresh look at its title, “Into the New World”. I’ve seen it translated slightly differently but the gist is the same. For me, the setting that was presented since the first episode was that “New World” – its flashbacks and subsequent info dumps have shown me the end of what I perceive as life today and the rise of a new society. However, it’s taken me 17 episodes to consider that possibly Saki is relating her story to us from what is truly her new world. Her narrative is describing how her old world has passed into a new one, and even with the intense buildup of impending calamity that gives me some hope that this story will not end entirely on a depressing note. I am really wishing for some hope, here – with all of the darkness up to this point I wishing for it all to be balanced with some light before it ends.

  • Daniel

    http://i.imgur.com/GZZsRR7.jpg

    Look at the moon!

    It’s the “Akki”!!!