Shin Sekai Yori Episode 7: Summer Darkness

“Could it be…that you are no longer Gods?” -Squealer

Summary: Things are looking pretty bleak for Satoru and Saki, as Satoru uses the last of his powers so that the two of them can make their escape. But just as things go from Bad to Worse, reinforcements arrive just in the nick of time. General Kiroumaru and his forces from the Giant Hornet colony manage to beat the rest of the Ground Spiders, and take over their nest. The spoils of war, in the form of all the young from the nest, are divided up among the different Queerat colonies that helped with the fight. Satoru is forced in to action when something akin to a suicide bomber tries one last desperate measure to kill the General and the two “Gods.” The explosion knocks Saki and Satoru unconscious, and when they walk up, they realize that they might not be as safe as they appear staying with the Giant Hornets.

They sneak off in the middle of the night and along with Squealer, manage to make it back to where they left their canoes. There they find Shun, Maria, and Mamoru, and with the group reunited, they attempt to make their way home before their pursuers can catch up to them. Kiroumaru and his men do catch them though, but instead of turning them in, he tows them closer to their home. With the Queerats and the kids having gone their separate ways, Saki explains how she returned Satoru’s PK to him and is able to return Shun’s as well, since he also remembers his Mantra. The episode ends with the kids returning home, but have they really managed to trick the adults into believing that they’re as innocent as when they left?

Impressions: Actually, in terms of things to talk about, this week was very light (hahahaha who am I kidding.) Like last week, this was an episode more focused on action than exposition or narrative. Right from the get go, Satoru and Saki are in dire straights, with Squealer having abandoned them as soon as the first wave of arrows flies in their general direction. Satoru is almost out of power, Saki (for all her quick and effective thinking) is at a loss as to how to deal with so many enemy forces, and the chances of them getting out unharmed seem very slim. It’s an all around bad situation, and makes for some really good tension as we all hover at the edge of our seats, waiting to see how they’ll get out of this mess.

Saki does a lot of hand-holding this episode.

It’s Saki’s resourcefulness that once again comes to the rescue, as she thinks of a way to use Satoru’s remaining PK to cause the maximum amount of confusion amongst the Ground Spider forces, allowing them to run, even if it means her having to drag Satoru away. Saki has really shown that she’s not just an air head, as the last couple of episodes show her being able to think like some kind of top level military strategist. Even though sometimes she still can seem very naive, like when Satoru has to explain to her why staying with the Giant Hornet’s might not be the safest or best idea, she’s really come into her own in terms of her uncanny knack for battle strategy and foreseeing attacks. It makes me wonder if that is part of her powers, since she’s not that focused all the time.

Of course, the two of them do manage to make it out of that pinch alive, only to see Squealer really live up to his name. Can’t say I’m surprised that he would tell his guards where the two of them where once he spotted them, but I was surprised that he stabbed that one dude throw the neck. He seems like such a pitiful, groveling character most of the time, so to see him be a stone-cold killer is a bit of a shock. But I guess you don’t become the leader of an army, however small it might be, by being a total idiot. But when you compare Squealer to Kiroumaru, it’s clear who the surpeior General is.

Yup, this week we’re introduced to the handsomest Queerat of them all, Kiroumaru, with his mane of hair and large size, I though he looked more like a dog or a lion than a hairless mouse-rat. Through him we learn exactly what’s at stake when the Queerat colonies wage war on one another. Much like bee’s, it seems that the Queen is the only one capable of producing offspring, so when one faction wins against another, all their young (as well as they adults), are taken and raised as slaves. This really helps a small colony like the Robber Flies, who lost a lot of their manpower and can now replace them with the young taken from the Ground Spiders. I still have a lot of questions about the Ground Spiders, like how if their foreigners, they’ve managed to amass so many them in this land? If they came from somewhere else, how did they manage to move their Queen (which seems like it’s a rather difficult thing to do)? How or from whom did they get those poison gas machines? It looks like some of these will have to wait, as it seems we’re done with the Queerats at least for now.

Admit it, that’s a pretty darn cute face.

The real highlight of the episode thought is the reunion of Saki and Satoru with Shun, Maria, and Mamoru. Yay! The gangs all together again. Who knows what happened to them while they two groups were separated, but now their together again at last. I have a feeling that in some future episode we’ll probably learn what happened to the other three while Saki and Satoru were off fighting in a Queerat war. Since Maria reacts with such shock to seeing Squealer, I’m guessing that whatever went down didn’t involve the Queerats, but who knows what else they could have encountered in that forest.

It’s interesting that instead of capturing them and handing them over to the authorities, Kiroumaru risks his own life to help the kids. He’s either doing it because he has orders to, which is what Satoru mentions as a possibility, or as a way to return the favor for when Satoru saved him from the explosion earlier in the episode. The former is the more interesting of the two options, because then the question becomes why would they want the kids returned safety when they’d obviously gained so much “forbidden” knowledge? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just have the Queerats kill them off right then and there? It would fit with the allusions narrator Saki (who returns this episode) makes at the end of the episode, about how they were wrong to assume that the adults had been fooled into thinking that nothing out of the ordinary had happened on their trip.

Even though I think that the reunion between the two groups was kinda glossed over and maybe should have been given more emotional weight, the episode more than made up for it with the scene where Shun get’s his PK back. Of course it would be Shun who would remember his mantra, and of course Saki would be able to give it back to him, but the looks of happiness on all their faces when Shun is able to manipulate the flames again are just the best. Compared to the faces they make when they get home, it’s like the last time their every truly happy. Again, the ending does a good job of leaving us eagerly awaiting next week, ESPECIALLY after the preview, so I’m left waiting impatiently for Friday once again.

Final Thought: Let’s talk about the preview for next week. HOT DAMN. It deserves its own gallery. Looks like the time skip will be happening next episode, so say good-bye cute little kids and hello to everyone becoming really, really, ridiculously good-looking. But they’re still only 14? Errr…putting that aside, things are going to get real interesting. And I’m not just talking about the implied Satoru/Shun moment that everyone is in a tizzy about (it seems to have drawn equal parts fan-girling and people wanting to rage-quite because of “teh yaoi”, to which I say: have you been paying attention to the story at all? It’s not like they have sex for love (or even lust), they do it because they have *literally* been programmed to do it to release stress. Anyway, that was a bit of a side-note to the side-note.)

Tenderfoot

Just another anime nerd with above average taste.

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