Shin Sekai Yori (2012-2013)

Also known as “From the New World”

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Originally a novel, it has been adapted into an Anime AND manga. However, this review will be based on the anime.

The story revolves around 5 friends, 3 boys and two girls which takes place 1000 years from now, where humans now have the capability to possess psychic (more like telekinetic)  powers, after war broke out and humanity was close to being destroyed by PK users (telekinetic people). The story mainly revolves around Saki.

We start out with Saki being in the middle of what looks like an earthquake. It turns out though, it’s just the effects of her Psychic powers coming in! Her parents then burst in, proud and relieved that she can now graduate elementary school.

“What do you mean coming in? and what?…elementary school? How old is this girl?” Although humans are technically born with psychic powers, they don’t actually work until at a certain age. One is not allowed to graduate from elementary school until their powers come in.

We then go through these 5 childhood friends adventures, trials, life, (more like Saki’s life) and figuring out the mystery of what this “new world” is.

From left to right:

From left to right: Shun, Satoru, Saki, Mamoru, Maria

To be quite honest, this was one of the best anime’s I have ever seen. Ever.

Although slightly lacking in Yuri content (which is also not permanent =/), this was a really good Anime. I highly recommend it to EVERYONE. Not just shoujo-ai/yuri readers.

The story line is dark, dramatic, mysterious, but compelling. It takes you into another society, yet the Anime itself is somehow a metaphor for our own society (or so I am told). This isn’t really one of those stories with gaping plot holes, or with an overly metaphoric and symbolic anime where the “deep” message goes over your head (unlike -cough SIMOUN cough-). It actually makes sense.

They don’t spell out everything for you, but the subtle hints and subtle things characters do or say, hints to an answer you feared they were hinting to. If you pay attention to everything (or even watch it over again) you can actually put the pieces together yourself, with out having the anime try and spell everything out for you.

But for those that couldn’t or were confused at some point, just like i did with Simoun, I do a bit of an analysis below.

It is compelling, dark, tragic, mysterious, yet incredible.

As for Yuri content, although it’s not actually a main element (nor is it a consistent one), the yaoi/yuri couples is more saying something about this new worlds’ society, rather than as a main romantic element.

So, despite the amazing story, this is a blog focused on shoujo/ai yuri.

The amount of Yuri/Yaoi is great, but unfortunately it doesn’t really last long. In general, relationships don’t really appear often (although hints of love is,) I do have to dock points for that.

Yuri Rating: 6/10

Overall Rating: 10/10

But, this is an anime I HIGHLY recommend, not just for yuri watchers, but for EVERYONE. It’s just THAT good.

MASSIVE MASSIVE SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT

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Simoun (2006)

One of the more “well known” Yuri anime’s.

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The story takes place in another universe where a war is ongoing. The countries are fighting for the right to control these special type of machines, called “Simoun”. Simoun are considered to be sacred artifacts from the past, and is the country only source to “fly”. Nobody really knows how they work.

Since Simoun are considered to be sacred, they are called the “Chariots of God” and the people flying these, who must fly in pairs, are called “Sibyllae”, or the “priestess” of these chariots. Simoun, religiously, are used to offer prayers to the Tempus Spatium their god, but since it is the countries only way to fly, they are also used to be war machines. Their “prayers to the sky” called “Ri Maajon” are used for combat.

In this world, everyone is born a woman (HOORAH. That sounds like MY kind of world!) But because the world needs to reproduce, at the age of 17 these “girls” must go to a special, religious spring and choose to be either a male or female, permanently. If you do not know, the Tempus Spatium will choose for you. The only exception to this rule are the Sibyllae. In order to fly the Simoun, they must not have gone to the spring. So, in times of war, the Sibyllae are given permission to remain as they are.

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In terms of Yuri content, I’d give it a “meh”. I’m not particularly fond of the main pair, simply because it doesn’t seem like they’re “in love” at all. And honestly, I’m not sure if I really should consider this a Yuri anime since most of the pairings, either one or both usually wish to become a male (or have already changed to be male, but you don’t see it.)

The story on the other hand, is one I find quite interesting and complex. I don’t think 26 episodes give it enough justice.

Although this blog is technically a review blog, here is where I’ll try to make sense of all the symbolism, and whatever the heck everything meant.

For the Yuri rating, I’m quite conflicted as to what I SHOULD rate it because of the whole “gender bender” thing. But, since most of the pairings are before they head to the spring, I’ll give it points….but the gender bender shit pisses me off so I docked a couple =3=

For the overall rating, the beginning was honestly tiring, tedious, and boring to watch. It was really very character driven. It all is actually. The story line doesn’t really pick up until around Episode 13, where things become exciting. Soon you become invested in this series, and you CARE about these characters (unlike OTHER character driven animes -cough cough MARIASAMAGAMITERU cough cough-) So for the boring beginning I docked major points.

Yuri rating: 7/10

Overall rating: 7/10

ERRRRMMMMMM SO MANY SPOILERS BELOW. IF YOU FINISHED THE SERIES, READ MOAR

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Shitsurakuen (2010 – 2012)

“Paradise Lost” is the direct English translation, however it is mostly known as Shitsurakuen.

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Is starts off with an optimistic, strong-willed girl Himoto Sora. She has just transferred to a school where males are more “dominant” and actually “own” girls. It’s a virtual reality game, that is a bit too real. The girls are “weapons” in this game and they battle each other (not like THAT you DIRTY MINDED PERSON, YOU). Her best childhood friend Tsuki goes to this school.

Using a special glove to draw weapons from the girls’ bosom, and battle each other. If the weapon gets hurt, the girl feels the same pain. The only exception is death, if the weapon is completely broken, usually the girl is just severely injured and unconscious.

Only males get sent this glove. Except for Sora.

As she learns more about this, she acts all “knightly” and vows to try and save as many girls as possible from this chauvinistic system.

I would categorize this into the shoujo-ai and harem genres, as you can probably guess she has many many girls she’s quite nice to.

The ending is mind-fucking (By ending I mean chapter 23….but Chapter 24 is messed up too so…)

You can read the English translation of it on mangafox, here.

Art: 10/10

Yuri Rating: 8/10

Overall Rating: 4/10 (more detail as to why below, but contains spoilers)

 

WARNING WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS PAST THIS POINT

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