As I pointed out during my last Shin Sekai Yori post, I absolutely love the episodes dedicated to exposition. Not only do they answer some of the many, many questions raised by the show, they do so in a way that raises even more questions, which really encourages you to think. This week we learnt the difference between a fiend and a karma demon, but not why exactly individuals turn into either of these things. Sure, we were offered theories, but nothing conclusive, which has really set the gears of my mind whirring. Why do boys turn into fiends, whereas girls don’t (at least not the large majority of the time)? What triggers individuals’ transformation into fiends? Is it even possible for one’s endorphins to trigger a murderous frenzy? Why do some experience cantus leakages whilst others do not? Why are fiends so hell-bent on self-preservation, whereas karma demons such as Shun and Izumi are able to exhibit self-sacrifice?
Fortunately, because of my basic knowledge of psychology, I feel able to answer some of these questions. (•_•). ( •_•)>⌐□-□. (⌐□_□) It’s possible that the skewed male-to-female fiend ratio is due to the fact that, because of a combination of social and biological factors, boys are more prone to display physical aggression than girls (aggression is seen as being more of a positive characteristic in boys, and is sometimes even encouraged. Boys being more aggressive can also be traced back to evolution- it can be beneficial in securing a mate). As for what triggers the murderous rampage fiends seem to be classified by, K seemed to me to be pretty downtrodden, any attention afforded to him by his teachers, and his mother, aggressive and accusatory in nature. He also seemed to be shunned by his classmates. It’s altogether possible this made him feel cornered and vulnerable, feelings that would later induce him to unleash his dreadful powers. After all, didn’t Satoru’s grandmother say fiends “attack for fear of being attacked”? This reminds me of the Diclonii from Elfen Lied, whose violent behaviour also seemed to be caused by an interaction between their violent natures, and the suffering they each experienced at the hands of humans. And as with the Diclonii, I feel inclined to pity the fiends, how can they be held in contempt for behaviour they were predisposed to have, and is later triggered because of another human’s maltreatment of them?
This idea of fiends attacking for fear of being attacked immediately made me think of Mamoru, the most fearful character in the show. Does this mean that, out of all the cast, he’s the next most likely to become some sort of monster, because he’s so terrified of the power the Ethics Committee being used against him, or his friends?
Anyway, back to answering my own questions… I suppose it is entirely possible to become intoxicated with your endorphins, causing you to kill. I have not learnt enough about the brain to do anything more than make educated guesses, but if it is possible for sharks, and some other animals, to enter into feeding frenzies, I suppose it is possible for a cantus-user, or even just a regular killer, to experience the same kind of thing. As for why some cannot stop their cantus from leaking, I have no idea, but the self-sacrifice exhibited by our two karma demons may have something to do with the fact that, unlike fiends, they are not actively choosing to harm people to protect themselves, therefore they probably suffer with huge amounts of guilt and fear, enough to cause them to end their own lives. It’s interesting that both Shun and Izumi were able to do battle with their unconscious, which many would argue, with its drives for sex, destruction of others, and self-preservation, is more powerful than the conscious mind, and win (as in, not allowing it to have its own murderous way). What an oddly optimistic message, that even if we are inherently bad, as a species, it is most definitely possible to fight back against that badness!