So we’ve only two episodes left of Shin Sekai Yori now, and I still have no idea what will come to pass as the series wraps itself up! Of course, I haven’t expended much effort theorising about what might happen, as it feels as though whatever does happen, it won’t be much of a cause for celebration!! Even if Saki and Satoru do manage to stop the fiend and survive, so many people have died now- Inui, Maria, Mamoru, Tomiko, Saki’s parents, countless villagers- it will feel as though their achievement has come a little too late… But what else can we expect from SSY? This is a show about the disease known as man-kind. We’ve seen over and over how we corrupt everything that is around us (albeit not always consciously), and how that has spelled our defeat, so a happy ending in which everything is resolved seems impossible, we cannot escape our destructive nature, you know?
As is typical for me, I’ve managed to hone in on a single line spoken by one of the characters during this episode, and used it to help construct some hair-brained theory. Whilst trekking through the caves, Saki considers the idea that this hellish Tokyo is the result of cantus leakages. Her exact words were: “Whenever someone thinks of Tokyo, their cantus leakage produces the hell they expect”. If cantus really is the power to impose one’s imaginings on the real world, then it is entirely possible that peoples’ ideas on Tokyo leak outside the barrier and turn their imaginings into reality. I thought all this was particularly clever- it reminded me of self-fulfilling prophecies, where a prediction directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, e.g. someone gets called an idiot, they believe it to be true, stop trying at school, and become an idiot- so it was still fresh in my mind when Inui said that Maria and Mamoru’s child wasn’t really a fiend. This was a passing comment that wasn’t really given much weight, but it still managed to capture my attention. What did he mean by that exactly? Considering what was running through my mind at that moment, I concluded that the child’s behaviour may not be a direct result of its lack of psychic barriers, or positive human influence, as I first thought… The Ethics committee had been so terrified about the possibility of an appearance of a fiend, what if these fears had manifested themselves in the only human outside the barrier without any controls on their cantus? This would mean that the child isn’t a fiend in the traditional sense, it didn’t make a conscious decision to release its powers out of self-preservation, but instead its powers were forced on it by the people who feared them the most. How deliciously ironic would that be if that were the case?
Now, time for the main event, Shun. All along I’ve been adamant that he is still alive, as that would explain why he has been able to communicate with Saki, on an unconscious level. And it turns out that he is indeed alive, but only to Saki, as he was able to imprint his soul onto Saki’s heart. Therefore, the Shun that we saw towards the episode’s conclusion isn’t a Shun that just anyone can interact with, just Saki. But there’s something that confuses me about this set-up- how can Shun actually live on in Saki’s heart? This would all make far more sense if it were a Shun with only his memories and knowledge up until the point where he transferred his soul, but, somehow, he has been able to acquire new knowledge, separate from Saki’s, despite not having a physical body- he knew that Maria and Mamoru would have a child that would turn into a fiend, years before it actually happened, for example. Perhaps he is able to flit between the minds of people? Or perhaps he is super-sensitive to cantus leakage, and is able to observe it and use his observations to predict the future? These are all pretty crazy conjectures, so I can’t wait for this to be properly explained!