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Starting of the Fall anime season is A-1 Pictures' dark science-fiction series Shin Sekai Yori. If the first episode of the new season sets the tone, then we possibly have one of the best seasons of all time ahead of us!
It's usually not hard to grasp the genre of the anime from the first episode, but Shin Sekai Yori's first episode had a little bit of everything. From a Deadman Wonderland like first few seconds to a horror and mystery like Another with sci-fi in between, it became hard to see where this series was going to go. You'd think that is a bad thing but I personally quite liked the mix of genres.
Though it may come across as a little hard to follow, especially because of the artistic choices made by the director with the storytelling, the first episode didn't feel long. For me this has significance, seeing as how any anime that feels to long on an episodic basis is not worth continuing.
In terms of content, not much occurred in the first episode. We didn't get proper explanations about the powers of the children, the Faze Cat or even the world where the story is set. Again, this might have been a dreadful start, had there not been a mystery subplot in the story from the beginning. It almost feels like the series doesn't want to give away too much too quickly as to keep us on the hook for a while. Needless to say all the secrecy with the plot and the overall dark feel of the episode have left me wanting more and actually interested in the story.
My only complaints with the episode was the excessive use of flashbacks. Now this is my personal quarrel with flashbacks since they are my least favourite storytelling tool but even I had to admit that the flashbacks used were well done. If they could just cut down on their use, then it would be perfect.
A very strong start from Shin Sekai Yori, a series to watch out for this season.