Saki and Satoru read Maria’s letter, in which she explains why she’s decided to run away with Mamoru.  In the letter, Maria also explains why she’s come to despise their village and society so much.  The adults are so paranoid about Karma Demons and Fiends that they’ve ended up killing many innocent children in the process; and Maria wants nothing to do with a society that approves of this.  She ends the letter by telling Saki and Satoru to give up on searching for them, and to claim that they’ve already died.

We finally get an OP after 15 episodes! This was honestly really surprising. It’s probably only going to be a one-shot thing though.

In this episode, Maria explains the state of their society better than I ever could.

I kind of wish we could have seen the kids just having fun like this after seeing all the crap they had to go through…

With only one day left before their three day time-limit is up, Saki and Satoru decide to return to the location of the snow igloo one last time and search its surroundings.  Sadly, they find no trace of Mamoru or Maria left.  Still in shock from Maria’s letter, Saki begins to have terrible nightmares where a faceless boy tells her that Maria must die.

why do you do this to my feelings

For once I can finally forgive all the bland snow scenery if only for this scene.

And then there were two…

In post-narration, Saki mentions that she and Satoru were only being used by the goblinrats to further their own gain.

My Opinion:

As much as I love Shin Sekai Yori, I realize that not every episode can be amazing.  But when it happens, it makes me glad I decided to continue reviewing this series.  With that being said, I think this episode falls into my favorites list of Shin Sekai Yori episodes.

The first half of this episode deals with Maria’s letter, and her musings about the current state of human society.  And her words probably say it better than anyone’s—Humanity is pretty messed up right now.  I really liked the sequence shown when Maria was “talking” (via letter).  There’s some recycled footage thrown in, but most of it is brand new stuff, showcasing the kids’ childhood.  In some of these sequences, Saki has long, ruffled brown hair.  I assume that that’s within the two year time span that was skipped over between episodes 7 and 8.  These happy and peaceful scenes are very bittersweet to watch as they are juxtaposed with Maria’s words.  Though I think that’s one of the reasons why I loved this episode so much.

In the second half of the episode, we get insight into Saki’s thoughts and feelings.  It seems like she and Satoru have become fed up with their society too, as they claim that they will run away together should their memories be altered so that they forget Maria and Mamoru.  Though the next episode preview makes me wonder if they really will do so…

This episode was fairly slow.  There wasn’t much action as this was an episode that was more concerned with the characters’ thoughts and emotions.  And you know what?  That’s fine by me.  I actually prefer these episodes in Shin Sekai Yori to more “action-y” ones like that Goblinrat war.  The philosophical, thought-provoking episodes just fit the series better with the subject matter it deals with.  The animation seems notably higher this episode, and we even got our first opening song!  It’s really meant to showcase Saki’s childhood, but it was still beautifully animated.

Overall, a great episode that brings an end to another chapter in Saki’s life.  Next time, we see what appears to be a biiiiiiig time skip.  I wonder what will happen now?

Out of five:

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