Placing the Story First – From the New World
I’ve been blogging each episode of From the New World over at Sea Slugs–if you’re watching this series I suggest checking out my posts! I’m hoping to get some discussion going for this series more. It really is one of the most thought-provoking anime I’ve ever seen. Or at the very least, it’s a very bloggable show.
Just taking a look at the episodes following the children’s return from that fateful summer trip, there is a wide variety of interesting sci-fi topics that lend themselves well to From the New World’s unique setting.
- Episode 8 – nebulous boundaries between friendship and romance, relationships amongst teenagers (including those of the same gender), a society that promotes intimacy to prevent conflict
- Episode 9 – when personal emotions conflict with societal framework, the lengths an individual will go vs the lengths a society will go
- Episode 10 – what constitutes conscious vs subconscious thought, how much individuals are in control of themselves, what causes people to lose any degree of control over their minds, the downfall of individuals potentially through no fault of their own
- Episode 11 – the nature of one’s memories, how effective it may or may not be to erase and/or replace fragments of people’s memories, different ways people react to dark truths
- Episode 12 – how fragile a human mind can be, maintaining a stable society full of potentially extremely dangerous possibilities, questions raised regarding necessary evils, the prevention of chaotic violence via controlled violence, measures taken for individuals who are dangerous outside of their own free will, when safety measures turn against a society, how likely a society can or can not be changed from outside or from within, harsh realities…
I really liked the first seven episodes of this series, but at this point I feel the story is only getting better and better. Some mysteries are being solved, new ones are being revealed, and there’s just no predicting where the series will go next. And even more so, everything is fitting together quite nicely, and I can see how all the plot points brought up in earlier episodes are having an impact on the events happening in the more recent episodes. This is an anime that’s really placing the story first, fleshing out a complex, dark, and fascinating world that strangely feels both realistic and fantastic at the same time. The characters are being pushed into increasingly difficult situations, and I can only imagine what terrors they will have to live through (or die in?) during the episodes to come.
If you like books, particularly sci-fi and fantasy novels, I strongly recommend watching From the New World. It really has the feel of a long, well-grounded story with a plot that truly remembers all the little details, and it’s been very satisfying to see all the twists and turns it comes out with on a weekly basis. I only hope the second half of the series will deliver just as much as the first has.