In contrast to so many shows of late, Shin Sekai Yori continues to power ahead with the unstoppable momentum of a runaway train.
Well, From the New World did it again – another of those 22-minute episodes that felt like it ended just as the opening credits would be finishing up in an average series. More than any recent series this one has impeccable pacing – there are no fits and starts with SSY. Every episode follows in logical progression from the one before, and advances the plot in a way that’s right in the sweet spot – not too rushed, not too patient. Once again I’m struck by the sense that we’re watching a story play out in a world that really exists, one that’s been handed down over the generations in its complete form and is being told to the audience around a campfire. The thematic importance of remembrance and storytelling in the series is no coincidence – it suits the mood perfectly.
Yakomaru”, thank you very much). Over the last year Daisuke-san has played Waver Velvet in F/Z, Hisoka in Hunter X Hunter, and Squealer in SSY among other parts. It would be hard to imagine three roles representing a wider range of requirements, but he’s pulled off all three brilliantly – and the latent menace in Squealer was really brought to the surface in this week’s episode. Squealer is a very difficult role, I think, and not just because of the sheer vocal manipulation required to voice a queerat – he’s also a very complicated character in terms of motivation. Not only does Daisuke have to get across both Yakomaru’s obsequiousness and his cunning, but he has to do so in the tortured grunt/squeal of a queerat – and he pulls it off. It’s pretty fabulous work.
new and improved Robber Fly colony was both fascinating and chilling. As soon as Yakomaru uttered the word “concrete” I knew we were in for a dark ride. In the span of two short years the Robber Fly has grown to 18,000 members, and two broad alliances have formed in the local Queerat world – the Robber Fly and the O-Susume (giant hornet). And there have been massive changes in the Robber Fly social structure – the Queens of the allied colonies are now confined to a sort of maternity prison cell, and the affairs of state are decided in the concrete assembly building (heh) that towers over a maze of structures connected by underground tunnels. As for the Robber Fly’s own queen, she’s been lobotomized as a result – Squelaer says – of her megalomaniacal tyranny, and now exists as a vegetative baby factory.
Squonk and his Goat Moth colony are one of the few unallied colonies left, and Squealer clearly sees this as an opportunity to use the “Kamisama” to force them under the Robber Fly banner – and indeed, he manipulates Satoru into destroying their exterior defenses. But Squonk tells the children that Mamoru and Maria have fled, “far away”, leaving only a letter behind to explain their absence.