I've spent a lifetime railing against the cruel cliffhanger, but that was definitely one of the Top 10 for sheer torture.
Two quick thoughts for starters...
- I actually muted the sound and played Wareta Ringo over the ED animation. Wish I'd thought of it weeks ago.
- I was sure there were 26 episodes of Shin Sekai Yori, and only found out after the preview sent me scampering in fear to Syoboi that I was wrong, and next week is the finale. What a cruel way to end a Saturday.
stinking bowels of the last one (I mean, really, Roppongi - that's just too delicious for words) is perfectly suited to what's happening in the story.
foiling the attempt to kill Maria and Mamoru's (his name was actually mentioned!) child with the Psychobuster as the crucial moment in the series. It was completely irrational, illogical by any standard we've seen used over the course of this story. Yet it was a completely human act too - done out of compassion for the child and out of love for Satoru (sort of - while their relationship still lacks the depth it should have, there was a glimmer of their old mutual trust and dependence there this week). It was done out of a fear of being alone, too - but then that's also a very human frailty. It seems silly to think one small impulse could stem the tide of history, but this is fiction and those things do happen in fiction - symbolism is important and this feels like a moment of huge symbolic importance. Her people have ruled under a principle of complete, irrefutable Consequentialism, under the justification that no act was too harsh if the survival of civilization was on the line. What Saki has done here (admittedly I don't think either Kiromaru or Satoru approved) was to act on her own moral compass alone - to do something solely and completely for the reason that in that moment, to her, she was sure it was the right thing to do. I can't say it will mean anything in the final analysis, but it feels like the first step on a long and difficult journey.
Shun as an inner voice of wisdom a bit too convenient, truth be told, though I'm curious if we'll ever find out just to what extent he exists as something apart from just a fragment of Saki's mind. "He" seems convinced that Kiromaru is the key to everything, and I think that Kiromaru made it clear he's more than willing to lay down his life for the greater good - which now seems to mean putting and end to Yakomaru. The mirror gambit has clearly scrambled the child non-fiend's mind (is that really a boy?) but to what end we can't be sure - but if he can't be saved, then Saki's grand gesture will have amounted to nothing. As cogent and purposeful as Shin Sekai Yori has been since the very beginning, I have to believe we're going to get an ending that frames the entire series in a meaningful way.