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After a slow start, Shin Sekai Yori is on a bullet train to being a contender for best anime this season.
This episode had something special to it that I can't quite figure out. Different from the previous episodes, this one takes Shin Sekai Yori from a sci-fi with a pea sized amount of horror to a full on sci-fi horror complete with rat people who talk like Gollum, and no that wasn't intended to be a joke.
After last episode, there was a lot riding on this episode. When you have a strong episode that gets people to sit up and pay attention after 3 weeks of coasting along, then the episode that follows is going to have to be equally strong also. An unfair standard this may be but it's not completely impossible and in Shin Sekai Yori's case it almost stands true.
I don't know if different can be counted as strong, but there was a such a drastic change in the tone of the series that the episode captured so well. As I've already mentioned, this episode took the series from a sci-fi with some mystery in it to a full blown horror sci-fi with a lot of mystery in it. The sudden change was met with a some new creative direction and colouring that really complimented the horror side of the story, all the while bringing a more vivid quality to the series.
There were a lot of moments where the change in animation was working in synergy with the story, and those happened to be some of the more "interesting ones." A part of me is happy that all that information in the previous episode isn't going to waste but a part of me was weirded out by almost sex scene we had in this episode and then later on when Saki and Satoru reached the colony of rats. As a horror series goes, that's a good thing.
As good as the episode was, it was not 100% altogether. At times there was a lot of confusion as to what was going on and in general, the episode felt a little convoluted. Not only that, but the spacing created a sense of disconnect with parts of the episode and it felt a little like they were jumping from one thing to another without any concern for the in between.
My only other grievance was the new background music. It just didn't work and felt like it belonged in an action series, as opposed to a multi-genre darker series like Shin Sekai Yori. The music may have been playing when action was taking place but it just felt out of place.
As a whole, the episode fell short. There was too much going on and that made things confusing to the point where even the ending didn't register with me straight away. Its still a good episode but it was trying to fit a lot more than it should have into just 2o odd minutes.