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Author Topic: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)  (Read 39587 times)

Offline ImperialX

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2012, 06:24:30 AM »
8:

Dropped.

In my entire seven years of anime watching career thus far, I've only ever dropped four series. Two of them were from 2012. Disappointing, I have to say.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2012, 09:47:03 AM »
Whoa.  I wont get this episode until Tuesday on Cruncyroll, but now you both have me curious.

However, looking over your drop list Imperial, the hell you smoking?  Tsuritama ended up being highly entertaining for an offbeat piece of weirdness, and Panty & Stocking was the greatest anime ever made.  I can forgive dropping Bobobo, because that was awful.
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Offline SQA

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #32 on: November 17, 2012, 01:03:47 PM »
There's implying relationships, there's showing relationships, then there's the Hard Gay Turn.  Shinsekai Yori chose the last door.   Everyone's now screwing everyone else, as long as they're of the same-sex.  (The blatant Fujoshi pandering probably sent a number of viewers over the edge)

Though the fact that the sudden change and the most openly sexualized teenagers we've seen in Anime will set a few others off.

Not that I didn't mostly stop watching around ep 4.  This is quite original for Anime, but I know enough sci-fi that "I've seen that" kept popping up too much.  Plus, with my medical background, I couldn't suspend belief quite enough, so the series lost its effect really fast.

Edit:

I had heard that sex was a big part of it.  "From the New World" and sex is important.  Yeah, "A Brave New World" popped up instantly for association.  This series isn't that intelligent, though.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 01:10:06 PM by SQA »

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #33 on: November 17, 2012, 03:10:34 PM »
Well, they've already kind of had a sexual overtone since the episode with the False Minoshiro giving the kids information.  Going so far as to hint that Saki and her mom had engaged in some NAMBLA-for-girls action.  My only question would be, why are they still going through with it when they all know it's just a part of their society's control mechanisms?  Then again, that may be why it's no big deal:  the kids are probably stressed more with what they know and how they're having to live and they only view it as keeping the stress in check.

I'll watch the episode and see for myself.
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Offline Fumoffu!!

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #34 on: November 17, 2012, 07:03:03 PM »
It isn't new, however there is a difference between the theory and seeing it in practice, with all that tongue.

Offline AC

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #35 on: November 19, 2012, 07:31:00 AM »
8:

Yeah... well, that's a very huge jump from a point where sexual undertones are hinted to basically a blown-out age where homosexuality is the norm. I have to say that the plot confuses me sometimes, and each episode stirs up more questions than answers. Not sure where the story is going to go from here~

Offline Sorrows Neptune

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #36 on: November 19, 2012, 09:26:44 PM »
8:

I really hope there's nothing more to the homosexual relationships than this simply being a sex-positive setting and the writers being edgy.

According to some of the LN readers, the scientists forbade hetero-relations to reduce teen pregnancy...and that's just silly. A comprehensive safe-sex education would be just as effective, and since homosexuals still need to worry about STD's they would need it anyways.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2012, 09:36:13 PM by Sorrows Neptune »

Offline Cadavera

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #37 on: November 20, 2012, 03:00:26 AM »
I'm surprised at the strong reactions this episode has elicited. Between obvious homophobes and the people who think the writers are just pandering and trying to be edgy in a really jarring way, there's been much rage and dropping.

As I understand, from reading the novel spoilers, the recent development is definitely relevant to the story and characters, and not pandering, as the writers have even toned down the displays of sexuality present in the novel.

I'll write down some spoilers in case anyone's interested.

Spoiler for Hiden:
Heterosexual intercourse between "underage" individuals is a taboo in their culture. Girls undergo physical examinations to check the state of their hymen, which suggest it may even be forbidden, not just frowned upon. Homosexual non-penetrative sex seems to be the norm for the children and teens. (although heterosexual also happens, this wasn't shown in the anime, but happened between Saki and Satoru in the querrat nest)

The society is quite different from ours, and it's my opinion that the anime is simply making a point about the setting. It's not as if it wasn't heavily suggested, but the anime did make an abrupt time skip that didn't give some pertinent details to the viewers first.

The contraception theory makes perfect sense to me, consider that the community is socially (and biologically) engineered, and does not seem technologically advanced at all. Reproduction is probably very controlled. You have teenagers (horny creatures that they are) that are conditioned to indulge the need whenever it strikes, worrying about contraception and pregnancy is certainly counter productive to the purpose of sexual activity in their society - decreasing stress and making individuals calm and docile. Their idea of sex education is evidently something very different. Heterosexual coupling is probably done for the purpose of child rearing, which in turn is probably entrusted only to select individuals. Who knows, pregnancy itself may have effects on PK users that are unknown to us.

It's possible that the people are engineered to simply be gender blind when it comes to attraction, or that sexual attraction as we know it is simply not a factor, but scratching the itch with whomever you're comfortable with and is available at the moment, sex being separated, but not excluded from coupling.
 
All in all, the society is different and they're letting us know this. As far as I'm concerned it can only get more interesting from here.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2012, 03:13:11 AM by Cadavera »

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #38 on: November 20, 2012, 02:05:39 PM »
I still haven't watched 8 yet, but I think the issue isn't that this is a society free of gender ideologies (hope that makes sense), but that we hadn't seen any of this shit until now, and it is just jarring to have it suddenly thrust (hurr) upon us.  While we got from the False Minoshiro that there was a certain societal level of sexual freedom used as a control mechanism, we hadn't seen any examples of it thus far.  Even from that point, it wasn't like the flood gates were opened.  Saki and Satoru's scene aside, the only thing sexual we'd encountered was some hand holding on a boat (which may or may not have led to something else not explained to us).  Even then, Saki realized that what she and Satoru were doing was part of their cultural programming, not that she wanted to do it at all.  Indeed, at one point while Satoru is (more or less) feeling her up, she gets nervous and takes over, turning the situation on Satoru, who seemed to have no issue with it.

I think the key here is Saki's behavior going forward, not necessarily anybody else.  As the storyteller and narrator, she's the one whose perspective we require to understand what is going on.  I think part of the problem is we're not getting her thoughts as often as we should.  While this allows the audience to infer what they want from what they see, which sparks imagination, it also creates confusion.  Thus, when the show allasudden turns FABULOUS, we're left holding the bag to fill in the blanks.  Not everybody can do that easily, and if the audience is left puzzled or jarred, then someone in the writing team or the adaptation team did something wrong.
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Offline SQA

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #39 on: November 21, 2012, 12:13:27 AM »
You can also contrast the shock at the sexual aspects of the "genetic stress relief" from episode 4, with the insane amounts of coupling by all of these characters now just 2 years older.  Had they not noticed this happening to children just a few years older?  Or is that more memory manipulation in effect?

Actually, I think I just stumbled on a pretty massive plot hole.  The previous children that were disappeared just fell from memory.  How?  If it's not Cantus-based manipulation, is that supposed to be some genetic programming as well?  If they can have *entire people* removed from their memory/recognition by some means, then why couldn't they have done that to the children about their entire time on the trip?

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #40 on: November 21, 2012, 01:25:08 AM »
8:

Okay, finally watched it.  Enh, I can understand where the mood whiplash is coming from.  Personally, my biggest gripe was not finding out what fate awaited them when they got back.  Saki, as the narrator, seemed to be hinting that something bad was about to happen the children when they returned home, but this episode seems to imply everything's hunky dory.  Weird, anyway.

Like I said above, the importance is not on everybody else, but on Saki and how she behaves, and I was right.  While you have Satoru basically enjoying his role as a dominant male, and Maria definitely enjoying things with her Marimite like coupling with Saki, Shun doesn't seem to be enjoying the coupling mechanisms at all.  In fact, the thing that I took away from this episode more was not the fact that everybody is suddenly gay and sexing, but just how much Shun, Saki, and Mamoru AREN'T enjoying things as much as they probably should.  I'm not really sure what Shun's deal is, but we're going to find out soon enough; Mamoru doesn't WANT to love anybody but Maria, which is understandable, but slightly confusing; and Saki seems to only be using Maria to ease her pain of not being able to be with Shun.  Basically, you have three levels of control failure going on here.

- Shun resents being used, and seems to be rejecting everything.
- Saki uses Maria, but wants a heterosexual coupling with Shun.
- Mamoru rejects anything but a heterosexual coupling with Maria, which is apparently not allowed.

Saki's control is failing for two reasons:  she wants Shun, and she still remembers that this whole thing is just social engineering thrust upon them.  Shun's control is failing because he hates being used, and because of the pressures put on him by everybody else regarding his Power (performance anxiety).  Mamoru's control is failing because he refuses to find a same sex partner, and prefers to pine away for Maria.

For their parts, Satoru and Maria seem to be just fine with things.  Satoru apparently really did have loving feelings for Shun, and is buttsore (hurr) over losing him.  Maria apparently really does have loving feelings for Saki, but whether or not she knows or acknowledges Mamoru's affection for her remains to be seen.  Saki knows, so I have a hard time believing Maria doesn't, but she's fine with things for now. 

The only real sociological and anthropological beef I have is with the other male students in various degrees of feminine behavior.  The second boy that Satoru hooks up with is a prime example.  If gender ideology or identity is not present, then there'd be no reason for a male to act more feminine to attract a gay male.  The couplings here follow way too closely the modern equivalents of the uke / seme trope, aka the bitch and the butch.  Satoru and Maria are butch, Shun and Saki are bitches.  My problem is that this seems to imply that if homosexuality was encouraged amongst the populace, that people who were formerly "manly men" would take on feminine characteristics, and that in a lack of gender identification, humans would naturally form a "male / female" role structure in the relationship even if the relationship was same sex.  I just don't understand why that would be automatically so.
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Offline SQA

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #41 on: November 21, 2012, 03:18:10 AM »
I want to type up a longer post talking about a lot of the reasons the setup wouldn't work, but the simple answer is "Hedonism".  You have a society with Personal-level WMDs.  Self-control is the single most important method for control.  Their society should resemble the Puritans (who, for as openly non-sexual as they acted in public, believed in screwing like rabbits inside their marriages, which people tend to forget), but this is sci-fi in a post 1970s world, so there's loads of sex.  It's an interesting idea, for sure, as attempting to use sexual relations to keep people in a low state of interpersonal stress. 

Minus the fact that thinking on that for 15s renders the response: breaking relationships cause the single largest amount of interpersonal stress.  So, after they turn 18 and you pick how they pair up (since there is a breeding program, I'm going to assume they choose the spouses), you're going to break most of their "dating" relationships to further produce more docile, super-powered humans.  That's not going to last very long.  Which is probably what's going to make Maria do something terrible (from an early narration).  At least its been lampshaded.

Back to the Hedonism issue, though.  The problem with the Freudian/Sexual Revolution point of casual sex, especially at an early age, is that it isn't "free" of serious cost to development.  Early sexual experience both cements and increases impulsive tendencies in humans.  (There's a very solid argument that sex before about age 20 causes, in effect, brain damage.  Though the politically correct area to talk about this is in alcohol usage, oddly enough.)  So, even for the Bonobos programming, it would have previously backfired already.  Which just goes to the problems with the entire idea.  You can't control sex & relationships on the fly like they're trying to do here.   Which does bring up: why don't they have them sex segregated when they approach about 12? 

Studying human physiology and biology (especially hormonal systems) has completely eliminated my ability to watch pulp sci-fi these days. :( 

Two last things: 1) they were both pandering to the BL fans and the Yuri fans.   To Love-Ru Darkness is open in its pandering; Shin Sekai Yori just isn't that honest about it this episode.  (Early sales tracking haven't looked great, so I fully expected this, as I had a hint this was coming)

2) The Seme/Uke dynamic is better known as Dominant/Submissive here Stateside.  But it stems from two very real things.  The first is what might be called "Decision Dynamics".  Two people cannot make a "decision together".  They can mostly agree to the choice of 1 party.  Same is true of committees.  While there might be negotiation on points, the final result will still be mostly in the form put forward by one party.  There are no 50/50 relationships in reality.  Someone always is in the dominant position on a given discussion.  (It can change depending on the topic)

The second point is that humans in a Dominant/Submissive romantic relationship will adapt their hormonal physiology to the roll they are in.  It's just far more noticeable in same-sex relationships.  The Submissive male becomes far more feminine due to suppressed Testosterone and heightened Estrogen; flip for the Dominant female.  This wouldn't be adjustable with genetic manipulation due to the fact it's a post-genetic, somatic effect due to environment and personal imposition.  By the same token, most depression cases are self-caused in the same manner.  ADHD can be imposed upon a child.  There's a world of things you can inflict on people if you have control of parts of their lives.

So the trope ends up being shown because it would exist and, in fact, exists in other species as well.  Thus, if it wasn't there, the uncanny valley would kick up to an even higher gear from the episode.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #42 on: November 21, 2012, 03:53:49 AM »
How much of that is environmental, though.  Are you saying that, completely isolated, two males forming a relationship would have one of them turn feminine?  Or are the roles defined by what they observe around them as being what they perceive to be "male roles" and "female roles"?
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Offline SQA

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2012, 04:10:57 AM »
The hormonal effect is due to the sexual relationship dynamic.   Certain aspects (voice pitch, muscle tone, bone density, fat disposition, adrenal responses) would change with a shifted hormonal state.   Those are irrespective of social context.  So the physiological (especially their look) is down to the physiological adaptation effects in relationships.  Hormone levels change and adapt in people that form a romantic relationship.  Over time, they adapt to each other, and it's not just the sex hormones either.  The entire slate of stress and other assorted ones (plenty of which we don't even know exist yet; they've found a new one about once a year for the past few decades, though it's rendered the meaning kind of vague as a result) will adapt along compatibility and subconscious mental suppression lines. 

As one member of a romantic relationship takes on a further dominant role, their Testosterone levels will rise and their Estrogen levels suppress.  The inverse happens to the submissive in a relationship.  Though the effects are much greater after it becomes sexual in nature.  This is all going to be out of the context of any society.  (In a few societies, this actually leads to the situation where the dominant male isn't considered gay, though that leads to a whole separate Old World issue about prepubescent males being the best sexual partners)

So the physical effects would still be the same (dependent upon nutrition), but some of the displays would definitely only happen inside certain social contexts.  The hormones are associational, not determinative.  The submissive male would take on the feminine aspects of the society from which he came and that were effective on the dominant male, in the isolated case.  (You can't ever remove social origin from people)   If you put them on an island, the relationship would likely have different sets of displays than any other major society, but you could still tell the dominant one in the relationship.

Your hormones don't rule your life, but they do a wonderful job of making it more confusing.  As a side point, "Roid Rage" due to greater-than-physiological levels of Testosterone, while cycling, is a very real effect.  Though it's different per person.  Though the "will screw anything that's willing" effect applies to both men and women when cycling. 


Off the Biochemistry and back to Shin Sekai Yori.  I got to thinking about the Bonobos setup more, and it got disturbing for a whole different set of reasons.  This is basically the society of sexual abuse and molestation of children.   The revelations from ep 4 implied that, at that point of age 12, Saki had had sexual relations (in their context) with both Maria and her own Mother.   While the point wasn't lost in the discussion of all of the revelations, we skipped over the ubiquity and age aspects.  This is a society built around child rape.   I'm all down for them being wiped out.   Just saying.  If this is what is left of Humanity, I say just wipe them all out and let the "Queerrats Inherit the Earth" be the resounding answer.  The PK users are worked hard to make the Assyrians, Akkadians or Scyathians look civil.  (Be warned if you look up their social practices, it's not pretty)  That's a pretty mean feat.

Though it does go back to the biggest hand-wave required in this entire setup: that the PK users weren't found and eradicated when they first came about.  No amount of social conditioning would prevent their outright eradication if they came about today.  What the global population would do about the issue would make the response to Islamic Terrorism seem like a nice Sunday picnic.  Though that's a fun topic which has been only rarely dealt with, at least in the sci-fi I tend towards.

Edit: reworked the first part to actually answer your question.  I spent a bit too long on the Biochemistry without really answering the question about the *social* aspects.  So, corrected that.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 04:30:23 AM by SQA »

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: Shinsekai Yori (From a New World)
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2012, 06:05:39 PM »
9:

You can't have an episode titled "The Rising Wind" without something foreboding coming, and boy howdy it's a comin'.

We have now confirmed a few things:

1).  The elders, because of the Demise of Shame weakness, have to use other creatures to do their dirty work.  The Monster Rats and the Trickster Cats are used for these purposes.

2).  Kids who lose their power, or never had it in the first place, or who lose their way are all killed, and probably in horrible ways.  It seems to be that the preferred method of killing them is letting the Impure Cats go after them, and probably eat them.  The Monster Rats can't hurt their masters, it seems, so the only other way is to have something that hates humans or desires human flesh to do it.

3).  Karmic Demons are real, and ****ing dangerous.  Perhaps the biggest threat they represent isn't the unleashing of power wontonly, but that they can do it to other humans without penalty.  I have a feeling Pinewood Village has had a particularly powerful young man lose his mind all over them.

We also know that the manipulation of the elders is much more invasive and broad than we thought.  We knew Saki wasn't the first born child from her family, and that her older siblings were all killed.  What we didn't know is that they all lived together once, and she's been forced to forget them.  Japanese have a tendency to name their children with the kanji reflecting their birth order.  健一 "Kenichi" would be "First Ken", or "Ken One", 健二Kenji would be "Second Ken" or "Ken Two", 健三Kenzo would be "Third Ken", or "Ken Three", etc.  Well, the episode points out to us that 早季"Saki" means "Early / Dawn / Young, and Youngest of Three (or more)".  Now she knows the truth.  There's no going back to sleep anymore.
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