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So......I'm a little unimpressed at this point.
Shin Sekai Yori has taken some strange turns in the previous episode that carried on in this one. It became less horror sci-fi mystery and more adventure with strange beasts and creatures Lord of the Rings style. Not saying I hate LOTR or an adventure series with some odd beasts but this was such a different direction; not one I'd like to see from Shin Sekai Yori.
Putting aside the resemblance to LOTR, this episode didn't really do much to keep me interested. A mixture of unsteady pacing and almost random plot developments, left little to be desired. Amidst all the developments, there were moments where we found out more about the queerats and their link to all of this, but even that information didn't come as a big shock. The presentation just didn't have any effect on me.
Then there was the reunion of the two groups........hardly exciting. It didn't help that it felt a little too easy and that they ended up heading back with that much ease and with a single piece of information about a possible link between the queerat colonies and the elders who granted the children's powers.
One thing I will say in this episode's defence is the increase in the feeling of urgency. With the threat of Squealer being a traitor and the unknown consequences of the queerats finding out their lack of powers, this episode did a significantly better job of creating a tense atmosphere than the previous episode. The ending could have rendered it a little bit useless and unnecessary, though for its duration it was an interesting watch.
At this point, Shin Sekai Yori has entered a slump from which I hope it comes back. Certainly the adult Saki voice-over and previews featuring a more adult cast, give me hope. Now it'll be back to the main story and hopefully we'll get to see Shin Sekai Yori revert back to the horror sci-fi mystery it started out as.