Anyone who knows me knows that I love discussing the true nature of us humans; it’s a most fascinating topic! According to the Bible we are, at our cores, not particularly nice beings, and any behaviour that seems to contradict that can often be drawn up to psychological processes- forgive me for being so pragmatic!! Episode 12 of Shin Sekai Yori was strangely optimistic, to me it seemed to convey the message that even if we are inherently bad, it is possible to fight back against that badness, we are able to choose. Even if that choice is influenced somewhat by psychological processes, or a desire to adhere to social conventions, that doesn’t take away from the fact a conscious choice has been made. This episode, however, was far more condemning of humans, comparing cantus-users to dangerous weapons with limitless energy. Indeed, if we are inherently bad, how much more likely are we to let our true natures dictate when a powerful weapon is placed in our hands?
One need only compare the rate of murder in countries with strict gun and knife laws to those with less stringent weapons laws to see the potential a weapon has to bring out an individual’s bad side. Remember, weapons themselves are not evil- a gun, or a knife, without someone to use, or wield, it is no threat at all. A gun isn’t going to shoot someone of its own accord, or a knife feel compelled to stab someone, it is when it is in the hands of a human that it becomes dangerous. And likewise, a bloodthirsty human poses considerably less of a threat unarmed. So how scary is the thought that all 50/60,000 people living in SSY’s Japanese archipelago wield the most powerful weapon of all, the power of imagination. This is a power that can will anything into existence (for we have learnt that some of the most powerful cantus-users are able to do this), or perform miracles, such as repairing one’s telomeres, achieving eternal youth, imagine all of the terrible things it could be used to do! Thank goodness I’m not living in that world!! I’d live in constant fear of someone flipping out, and unleashing that terrible, limitless power, a power Tomiko suggested was more fearsome than even the atomic bomb!!! *shudder*
On a less grim not, I enjoyed seeing Saki stand up to the board of education, almost challenging them to dispose of her. In previous episodes she has rebelled against authority, but always in secret, as though she was still scared of punishment. Now it seems as though something has changed, however, making her unafraid. I wonder what exactly? Having someone influential (Tomiko) on her side, or having so many people close to her either disposed of by, or living in fear of authority, perhaps? At any rate, it’s nice to see her character develop ever so slightly. Its characters have never been this show’s strong point; very little development has taken place, so I really appreciate it when it does!