Anime of Tomorrow
Shin Sekai Yori Ep. 1
Autumn 2012 (12 episodes) (title literal translation – From the New World) (more info)
Shin Sekai Yori doesn’t have even one second of introduction as to what the heck is going on. Right away we’re tossed into the deep and expected to start traversing dangerous waters. And while I’m definitely interested in the mythos of the setting, the fact that so much of the first episode remains unexplained has left me very confused. But I’m not going to hold it against the anime just yet because it’s only the first episode, the writing and pace are quite good and there’s still plenty of time to get everything sorted out. In a lot of ways I can see the motives of Shin Sekai Yori already taking shape, so I’m fine with not understanding for now.
On a metaphoric level there are some really strong themes about the fear of growing up and the uneasiness of being trapped between the worlds of child and adult, not knowing how to move forward but at the same time being unable to go back. For these young people—heroine Saki Watanabe in particular—it seems the stakes are quite high because if you can’t become an adult properly, bad things can happen. This adds a really tense horror element to the atmosphere that has me excited to see what happens next. With sharp visual and setting designs as well as a strong theme involving Shinto, I know that Shin Sekai Yori is going to be worth a closer look.