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From The New World: Part Two – Review

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This world is in need of a little change…

As humans, we don’t exactly know the truth of this world. Really, there’s only so much we can know! Think about it; we don’t even EXACTLY know how the universe started. We have a good idea about it but, honestly, a great deal of this world is but a huge mystery just waiting to be solved. Now what if I was to tell you that the world was an entirely different place before you were born? Not just the way people speak, the way they dress or their mannerisms. I mean ENTIRELY different. Unrecognizably different. Unbelievable different. It would be kind of daunting, right? Damn right! Conspiracy theories pop up all the time nowadays and most of them are thrown out the window labelled ‘silly’ or ‘ridiculous’ but what if some were true? What if the royal family really are a bunch of lizard-people eating our babies? What if the world destroyed itself hundreds of years ago and the life we lead now is just humanity’s attempt at reviving what has been lost for so long? Originally a critically acclaimed science fiction novel, ‘From The New World’ tells a story of the world that is, if you think about it deeply, much like our own. There’s control. There’s corruption. There are skeletons in the closet and they’re all trying to escape, but someone has locked the doors and thrown away the key…for who’s benefit though? Thanks to Hanabee, the Australian Anime distributor, I’ve been given the chance to review the second part of this series’ release and, without giving away TOO much…I couldn’t be more grateful.

Saki is finding herself involved in a conspiracy she wishes to have no part in. Altered memories, genetic conditioning and a fatal filtering process, Saki’s beginning to question her town and the sincerity of the Ethics Committee to protect its people.

But alongside the in-town turmoil, there’s social unrest brewing amongst the rat colonies that has the potential to erupt into an all out war. Both Saki and Satoru are key players in these tumultuous times and for them to bring about peace they’ll need to uncover a secret that unites both worlds. – Hanabee

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The over arching story of ‘From The New World’ revolves around a small group of young men and women who discover that their peaceful and structured society is the result of a world war that just about wiped humans off of the face of the Earth entirely. Instilling panic into those not killed by the calamity, the human race has evolved to be much more controlling than ever before. What makes the entire situation much worse is that a high concentrate of people are born with psychic abilities of which, if not properly contained, can mean the end of the known world…once again.

What I really love about ‘From The New World’ is that what I’ve just described is already considered a spoiler despite the fact that it is explained to you in the first three episodes of the first part of the series. What I’m saying is that ‘From The New World’ holds many secrets, each more exciting than the last. Part two of the series focuses more on an older Saki who now essentially works for the government but is soon thrown into the middle of an uprising the likes of which she may not come out of alive. ‘From The New World’ is quite a layered Anime but it takes someone with somewhat of a keen eye and a high level of concentration to be able to fully appreciate what it is that the series has to offer.

This is NOT one of those shows you can watch while, let’s say, playing a video game. It needs your full attention and, no word of a lie, it will reward you for it by the very end. Brutal but beautiful is the way to best describe this series. Despite the dark and deceptive themes of the show, it left me with a smile on my face and with a immense love for a Anime I was hesitant to review. Don’t let it’s fantasy look confuse you, ‘From The New World’ is more science fiction than you can imagine, and features wonderfully thought out pseudo-theories and sciences. It also helps that the surviving characters from part one to part two happen to feature noticeable character development which, unfortunately, contemporary Anime lacks.

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‘From The New World’ is definitely one of those releases where I can’t help but lay down the old saying ‘never judge a book by its cover’. The animation quality isn’t the best I’ve seen in my time but it does have clear spikes when it comes to action sequences or critical times in the story, which is very nice and makes up for all those ‘less than desired’ scenes.

Though featuring a seemingly soft visual style, ‘From The New World’ will shock you with it’s more defined characters, and shows of violence and gore. Something I never expected to see from an Anime where the front cover features a group of young teens holding flowers. To my dislike, the series DOES use CG animation on occasion and even though it doesn’t come around a lot, when it does…it’s done terribly.

Unfortunately these scenes are present during real critical times and it does pull you out of what it is that you’re seeing which is a big ‘no, no’ for a series that demands every drop of your attention. On the flip side of that; there are some really impressive scenes that draw you back in and have you in awe of what’s going on. Even after that, I think it’s safe to say that ‘From The New World’ will not disappoint you visually, you’ll simply notice things here and there that you may not like but it doesn’t render the series ‘unwatchable’.

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Despite my somewhat aversion to the ‘classics’, the ‘From The New World’ soundtrack had me in a state of appreciation from the first note to the very last. Populated mostly by an orchestral score accompanied by a wonderfully harmonious choir, the ‘From The New World’ soundtrack suited the vibe of the series perfectly to a tee. Now, on occasion, more contemporary styles of music were thrown in for dynamic effect but I can’t exactly say they were present enough for me to even consider them a big part of the overall soundtrack.

I can think of maybe two times these tracks were used, any other time it was one of the wonderful ‘big band’ sounds that occupied the series auditorally. I find it hard to appreciate older styles of music but for some reason I really enjoyed this Anime’s score. It had to have been the perfectly timed placement of the tracks and the way that they accentuated what I was seeing on screen because it definitely wasn’t my love for the genre. What I found was a little disappointing was that of the English voice acting of ‘From The New World’.

It had somewhat of a good cast and featured a wonderful narrator who happened to be the main character of the series so, as you can probably tell, they shared a voice actress. Some performers did a great job while others fell flat and were forgotten pretty easily. Thankfully the main duo, of which one of them happens to be industry regular Greg Ayres’, made for some good ‘back and forth’ as well as for some impressive shows of talent during the more critical scenes.

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‘From The New World’ is a series that, for me, came right out of left field and won the game. It was an honest Cinderella story; I had no expectations for it whatsoever because I had no idea what it was. I saw the cover, a read a simple synopsis and I went in fairly blind and loaded up with preconceived ideas of what this show would be…thankfully I was entirely wrong.

‘From The New World’ mixes science with the supernatural brilliantly! It features a fantastic and thought-provoking story, and hosts some realistic characters who aren’t written one dimensionally like many other Anime characters. Through it’s lovely art style, you’re confronted with horrific, bone-chilling scenes that serve to have you think more rather than to simply scare you and, by the end of the series, you’re left with hope and wonder in your heart.

There aren’t many Animes that can do this. In fact, most Animes DON’T do this. ‘From The New World’ is a rare gem that shows us the evil of humanity but also allows us to understand that change is possible. It hits you like a sledgehammer but leaves you with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face. It actually doesn’t get much better than that.

It’s time for the world anew. Grab ‘From The New World’ through Hanabee’s official online store now: Click Here

Grade: B+

 

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