From the New World Takes Itself Seriously

From the New World feels like it’s from the old world, in that it takes you back to a time when plot mattered and seriousness was considered a good thing. Nowadays everyone’s praising anime that “doesn’t take itself seriously.” It’s the non-blood-related sister of “it is what it is.” If you want mediocrity, by all means go watch some plotless “slice-of-life” anime that doesn’t take itself seriously. If you want something that’ll rock your soul, watch From the New World.

From the New World means business right from the start. No opening sequence. Ever. It doesn’t need some teenage j-pop idol squealing Engrish while the main cast runs in place for no apparent reason. No recap filler either. You dive right into the story each time an episode comes on.

See that girl flying around in her school uniform? Nobody looks up her skirt. Ever. For all we know, underwear doesn’t even exist in the new world, as there’s no visual proof of any.

You know how everyone in the show is bisexual? It’s not (just) for fanservice. It’s 100% plot-related.

It’s not entirely fair to say that elitists hate plot. They only hate plots that make sense. They love shows that either can’t be explained or intentionally leave shit unexplained. It’s so artistic and intellectual! Only plebs like plots that are fully developed and tie up all their loose ends.

From the New World is dark, mysterious, and suspenseful. The pacing is excellent. The characters are well-developed. While some of the plot points are predictable in hindsight, the show messes with your expectations just enough to keep you from jumping to conclusions.

Final Grade: +++

23 Replies to “From the New World Takes Itself Seriously”

  1. I really liked the show, I think it was very interesting and had good story/world but it had a few issues, mainly the pacing and the characters.

    For characters…
    Because of the time skips per arch the characters and their relationships changed dramatically several times through the show. When you started to like and understand them they changed. It was hard to get attached to them. The characters were good but I would never watch the show “for them”.

    For pacing, to quote myself…

    I’ve found the show to be “interesting” but not “exciting. I generally don’t bother watching it every week but when I do watch it I watch several episodes in a row.

    It’s probably better as a novel.

    Because you marathoned it you might have not run into the same issues I had with the pacing.

    I think it’s a great show and worth watching for the ‘story’ and ‘world’, unfortunately there were times were I had to force myself to watch the show due to how the show dragged.

    • A blogger poll had From the New World as the best anime of year even though it only voted best anime of the week once. This show is built to be marathoned. Can’t imagine what it was like for all you week-to-week suckers out there.

      I would’ve been more shocked if the relationships hadn’t changed over the years. These are middle school kids we’re talking about. In any case, this is one of those series where the characters are defined by their actions more than their personalities. So long as they’re doing something interesting, it doesn’t matter whether I’d want to have a beer with them.

      • Yeah, marathoning seems like a much better experience.

        By the way, are you aware there is a yuri manga adaption of Shin Sekai Yuri Yori? It’s a rather yuri lesbian different when compared to anime.

        • Yes, I stumbled upon it long ago and read the whole thing but never told anybody about it because I love depriving others of things that rule.

          Apparently the manga isn’t all scanlated yet. I’ll wait so I can marathon it.

  2. “It’s not entirely fair to say that elitists hate plot. They only hate plots that make sense. They love shows that either can’t be explained or intentionally leave shit unexplained. It’s so artistic and intellectual! Only plebs like plots that are fully developed and tie up all their loose ends.”

    Hey, I like both if it’s interesting… I love Higurashi, Gankutsuou, Mouryou no Hako, some others that are definitely explainable in the end… but I also think Mononoke (the TV series) was one of the greatest things to have ever existed in anime and I also really enjoyed Serial Experiments Lain… :/

    Make of that what you will.

    Though I do have to admit a large chunk of Lain’s appeal was due to separate epic scenes that aren’t always explained. The end of episode 2 was the exact moment I was hooked.

    • If you like both then you’re no elitist. Elitism isn’t about what you like, it’s about what you hate. If you like everything you can’t be an elitist.

      You listed three of my favorite anime as explainable and two I’ve never seen as unexplainable. Way to leave me no other option than to assume you’re making a reasonable point.

  3. But Baka-Raptor, unambitiousness is the new good and an anime can’t fail to live up to its potential if there’s none in the first place. That’s how things work now.

    Anyway, SSY was a blast and easily my favorite of 2013 (followed by Death Billiards), although I don’t really agree as far as the characters are concerned, as those were rather flat. Particularly Mamoru.

    By the way, while “Slice of Life” has long since reached the level of a buzzword term used as an excuse for all the substanceless stuff out there, there actually are some pieces that are ambitious and deliver on the substance side. I’d highly recommend this thing. Yeah, I know, you dislike reading manga but it’s finished and just a single volume anyway and wow, does it do some amazing things. It actually manages to tell a story, has interesting characters, developes them and puts them in situations that make you want to continue reading. It’s Slice of Life done right and sadly also the kind of SoL most people will never really encounter. It takes the genre, plays out its strenghts and refuses to adhere to the trademark sicknesses that plague SoL anime.

    • Geez dude, one recommendation at a time. I still haven’t read Utsuro no Hako to Zero no Maria or Terra Formars.

  4. Something to be said that otaku will like an anime if it just does one thing good and it’s the one thing they like.

    I pretty written off Shinsekai Yori because it’s poorly paced and spent half the time inside underground areas trying to “build mood.” It’s definitely something I’d rather read than watch, although I did enjoy the visuals (when it isn’t drawing monsters or underground things). Great setting-based SF needs more than just putting some exciting plot elements in the last handful of episodes.

    • There were maybe two episodes underground at the beginning and two at the end. Maybe that’s an issue if you’re watching it week to week, but I had no complaints about the pacing when I was marathoning.

  5. “See that girl flying around in her school uniform? Nobody looks up her skirt”

    One dude was clearly looking up Maria’s skirt 13 minutes into episode 8 and no one cared lol.

    As for whether or not this should be watched week to week or not, I managed to catch up with this thing just before it ended. Can imagine how the week-to-week routine would be such a drag for some.

    One question, who has your sympathy, the actual Humans or the Cantusfreaks?

    • The human society isn’t the bestest thing ever but there are a lot of problem with the mole rat society, not just their appearance. The queens for example. Or the slavery. Or constant aggression/war.

      • I agree with you, they got there own share of fuck-ups. Show wouldn’t have been as good if it was so black n white. If it was there wouldn’t be any reason to ask.

    • The dude with the eyeshield doesn’t count. He was just analyzing her…power.

      The ~spoilers~ at the end ultimately made me sympathize with the rats. Until then I hadn’t taken a side. That ~spoiler~ shit ain’t right.

  6. I don’t know if elitists actually like unexplained plots or if they just say they do, because almost any elitist will say they like Legend of the Galactic Heroes or Dennou Coil.

  7. It’s not that shows that take themselves seriously are bad. It’s that not many writers can pull them off properly. Clearly From The New World is an exception.

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