Shinsekai Yori: The Merits of Mediocrity

The past few days I’ve seen a lot of posts on people trying to compare Shinsekai Yori to other recent anime, which is always dangerous, not to mention stupid, in my opinion. By trying to pigeon hole shows we are viewing now to shows recently viewed we miss the message we are supposed to be gleaming while we try to fit another show’s message to the one we are currently watching. These are traits of people who lack creativity. Instead, let us view the evidence given to us (the facts of the case, if you will), and try to reach a conclusion from those facts.

While there has been a lot of mood setting thus for in Shinsekai Yori, along with excellent world building and interesting characters, the two main events of the first two episodes have to deal with the disappearance of two students. One of these students was weak and unsure of herself in episode one, while episode two’s victim was presumably strong and was willing to break the rules. Combining these events with the presumably tyrannical rule some psychics used in the past, it leads to the inevitable presumption that the masses did not want to see another dictatorship of super powerful psychics in the future.

But how to ensure this? Well, for their to be a ruling class in this imaginary world where psychics rule the day, there needs to be weak psychics. By eliminating these unfortunate weak souls, there will be no one for the majority to take advantage of. However, that is only half the battle. In this world, you could not have people who bend the rules and take advantage of the middle, let’s say, 98% of the people. While there may be super strong psychics in this world, these people would need to be kind, and not be a potential Hitler. On the other hand, Hitler like personalities would be acceptable, as long as the stated individual was not that strong of a psychic.

This creates a class of individuals who all of the same relative skill level, and through subliminal education, people who all follow the rules. Certainly, something interesting must have happened in this new world’s past to make a civilization take these processes to such an extreme, but in a world where one person could possibly kill millions, it is something that this society may perceive as a necessary evil.


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