The biggest thing I’m getting from Shin Sekai Yori these days is the theme of old “gods” being supplanted by creatures they brought to life in the first place. It’s often hard to watch, however, when those old gods are basically like us and the new race are people like Squealer. So there’s a tug of war in my mind, that I believe I mentioned a couple posts ago, between wanting to see queerats pay for their treachery, and making faces at the humans for their silently killing society.
So I suppose in the end I want both sides eradicated, or at least their populations diminished by nine-tenths or so. More importantly, I want Saki to be one of that ten percent that make it through (and being a narrator in no way guarantees your safety). And while we’re on the personal level, I want to know if Satoru got blown up or not, and what all those visions she had while flying through the air thanks to the gunpowder monster mean. Is Maria still around on some level? What about Shun? We can take some hope in Maria’s line that she will protect Saki, though I suspect the town itself can turn into compost for queerat breeding for all she cares. Where is she calling from? It’s a credit to this show that while I’m fascinated by this concept of human extinction via their servants, that a closeup of Maria or the masked Shun’s face can divert me temporarily.
The episode itself never let up. We got a terrifying escape from the Fiend (and he raises some questions of his own, like why he has to travel by boat when he has such supreme power at his command) only to encounter Maria (in some form) in the forest and then that bizarre gunpowder fish. Then the hallucinatory scenes, fucking flying boulders for chrissake, and then a depressing visit to what’s left of the town where we see just how successful Squealer has been in wiping humanity off his part of the earth. Nothing felt superfluous and it flowed from terror to calm and back again (before a final plunk into despair) seamlessly. Excellent episode, if a rather depressing one.
So after that I chose the opposite. Gju-bu is a pretty dismal show, but ep5 has such a charming ED that I’ve watched it over and over. The ED, not the episode.