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Posted 3/27/13 , edited 3/27/13




Kind of a strange inclusion to have him affect the outcome and I'm not sure why chose that device. Why couldn't she just arrive at that conclusion by herself? She already had doubts.

I don't remember them erasing her memories after he disapeared. Perhaps the point is that her memories were manipulated behind the scenes yet again and we're supposed to jarred a bit by it, and think "when did her memories get manipulated again"?

That seems to be the overall theme of this series. We're presented with this society that seems peaceful, and yet bit by bit they chip away the facade to reveal the dystopia.

In this society you don't own your own powers since they force you with hypnosis to give them up. You don't own your body since they'll kill you unless you match their rigid psychological profile. Too antisocial and you're dead. Not smart enough, and you're dead. Cheat at a game and they find out? Poof. What bothers me the most is that you don't even own your memories. That's a pretty frightening conclusion, and ultimately another instance of her memories being modified might be the point. How she comes to her ultimate conclusion doesn't seem that significant to me.

There are a lot of interesting parallelels between this and psychopass. In a way psycho-pass society is a lot more humane. The criteria for being a good citizen is known. They'll tell you if you're straying from the path they want and even offer you assistance. In a lot of ways, people with power in this series are the same as Sybil system in Pyscho-Pass. Latent criminals ultimately being the equivalent of monster rats.
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Posted 3/27/13

hpulley wrote:


shaunj07 wrote:


hpulley wrote:


irtiza9169 wrote:

Hey hpulley can you list/describe some of the parts that the anime left out that were mentioned in the Light Novel? I'm really curious about understanding the entire plot without having to go back and read the entire novel.





shaunj07 wrote:

You have me curious about saying "...disappointed they changed so much." I mentioned earlier in a reply to a thread my disappoint from the anime standpoint but I no nothing via the LN.








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Kind of a strange inclusion to have him affect the outcome and I'm not sure why chose that device. Why couldn't she just arrive at that conclusion by herself? She already had doubts.

I don't remember them erasing her memories after he disapeared. Perhaps the point is that her memories were manipulated behind the scenes yet again and we're supposed to jarred a bit by it, and think "when did her memories get manipulated again"?

That seems to be the overall theme of this series. We're presented with this society that seems peaceful, and yet bit by bit they chip away the facade to reveal the dystopia.

In this society you don't own your own powers since they force you with hypnosis to give them up. You don't own your body since they'll kill you unless you match their rigid psychological profile. Too antisocial and you're dead. Not smart enough, and you're dead. Cheat at a game and they find out? Poof. What bothers me the most is that you don't even own your memories. That's a pretty frightening conclusion, and ultimately another instance of her memories being modified might be the point. How she comes to her ultimate conclusion doesn't seem that significant to me.

There are a lot of interesting parallelels between this and psychopass. In a way psycho-pass society is a lot more humane. The criteria for being a good citizen is known. They'll tell you if you're straying from the path they want and even offer you assistance. In a lot of ways, people with power in this series are the same as Sybil system in Pyscho-Pass. Latent criminals ultimately being the equivalent of monster rats.

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Posted 3/27/13 , edited 3/27/13

Man_Of_Leisure wrote:

That seems to be the overall theme of this series. We're presented with this society that seems peaceful, and yet bit by bit they chip away the facade to reveal the dystopia.

In this society you don't own your own powers since they force you with hypnosis to give them up. You don't own your body since they'll kill you unless you match their rigid psychological profile. Too antisocial and you're dead. Not smart enough, and you're dead. Cheat at a game and they find out? Poof. What bothers me the most is that you don't even own your memories. That's a pretty frightening conclusion, and ultimately another instance of her memories being modified might be the point. How she comes to her ultimate conclusion doesn't seem that significant to me.

There are a lot of interesting parallelels between this and psychopass. In a way psycho-pass society is a lot more humane. The criteria for being a good citizen is known. They'll tell you if you're straying from the path they want and even offer you assistance. In a lot of ways, people with power in this series are the same as Sybil system in Pyscho-Pass. Latent criminals ultimately being the equivalent of monster rats.


Spoilers for Shin Sekai Yori and Psycho-Pass... and far more text than I intended to write.


All in all though, I quite liked the show, and I think it was one of the best in a great season for anime. 7 or 8 out of 10 (since everyone else is giving ratings).
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Posted 3/27/13 , edited 3/27/13

theYchromosome wrote:


Man_Of_Leisure wrote:

That seems to be the overall theme of this series. We're presented with this society that seems peaceful, and yet bit by bit they chip away the facade to reveal the dystopia.

In this society you don't own your own powers since they force you with hypnosis to give them up. You don't own your body since they'll kill you unless you match their rigid psychological profile. Too antisocial and you're dead. Not smart enough, and you're dead. Cheat at a game and they find out? Poof. What bothers me the most is that you don't even own your memories. That's a pretty frightening conclusion, and ultimately another instance of her memories being modified might be the point. How she comes to her ultimate conclusion doesn't seem that significant to me.

There are a lot of interesting parallelels between this and psychopass. In a way psycho-pass society is a lot more humane. The criteria for being a good citizen is known. They'll tell you if you're straying from the path they want and even offer you assistance. In a lot of ways, people with power in this series are the same as Sybil system in Pyscho-Pass. Latent criminals ultimately being the equivalent of monster rats.


Spoilers for Shin Sekai Yori and Psycho-Pass... and far more text than I intended to write.


All in all though, I quite liked the show, and I think it was one of the best in a great season for anime. 7 or 8 out of 10 (since everyone else is giving ratings).


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Man_Of_Leisure wrote:
In both societies people are removed when they possess qualities that could lead them to commit crimes.


I don't think that's true in either show. Makishima, in particular, is considered above crime due to his psychological aptitudes. In a sense, crime doesn't matter at all to Sybil. The only thing that matters is the "stability" of the society. Their tendency to commit crimes is actually completely secondary to their ability to maintain the system's order. In Shin Sekai Yori, I'd also say that committing crimes is secondary, but in a way that is completely different than Psycho-Pass.


Shin did not possess character traits that they deemed dangerous. They attempted to help him but ultimately because his power was restored improperly he could not be helped. Completely different situation.


That's where I'd disagree; I think it is the exact same situation. It's not "dangerous character traits" that they seek to eliminate, it's the people that are apt to lose their power that are eliminated. Problem children aren't problems because they are Psychologically deviant, or have a tendency to disrupt order. In fact, it's been shown that deviance is not eliminated if it shows no sign of leading to "ogre syndrome" (I forget the technical name). Saki and her friends have repeatedly broken rules and acted in ways not in accordance with societal standards. However, only the ones that would eventually turn into Ogres had impure cats sent after them. They were still punished, but not eliminated. This only happens when it is clear that the deviance results from a "weakness of mind" -- an inability to control your power. With that information, it seems like the nature of the two shows/societies is completely different. In Psycho-Pass, murder is OK if you have a stable Psychology (Makishima). In Shin Sekai Yori, a stable Psychology is irrelevant if you end up a murderer (Shun). Either way, the two societies seek different goals. Psycho-Pass tends to "stability" and Shin Sekai Yori tends toward "self-preservation." And that's where I might see the parallel -- neither society actually cares about justice or the "right thing."


However people with power enslave the monster rats, and do not give a second thought to murdering them. Any progress from the previous dark periods, is a sham.


After thinking a bit more, I think you're right about that. I've actually been pretty thoroughly convinced with those last three paragraphs that dystopia is actually a pretty good word, and that sentence sums things up pretty well. However, I think that the idea of the society as a dystopia is still quite secondary to the exploration of what it means to be a human. While I'll agree that the society is indeed a dystopia, I still think it doesn't really matter to the main focus of the show.

Does the predisposition for intimacy make a dystopia? Does the battle between the monster rats in the first half add to a dystopian theme? It didn't seem like there was any direct correlation with the system in place. Presumably, there was war before the system, and there would be war with the system. In other words, the system is regardless to those struggles. I would even say that Shun turning into an Ogre is completely outside of the control of the society. It would happen regardless of the system in place, unless the system chose to kill off anyone with power, which seems dystopian in itself. What system is in place is regardless to the existence of Ogres, or even the Power. So then, it seems like some big portions are kind of irrelevant to the dystopian theme here (although both those arcs did show elements of dystopia). There are simply too many other elements that are entirely irrelevant to a dystopian theme. At the same time, it seems like nearly the entire show is relevant to the goal of exploring the nature of humanity. All of those things, and it seems like the whole show, seem to make observations about the nature of Humanity, and as far as I can tell, that seems like the point of the show. So I'll admit that Shin Sekai Yori looks a lot like a dystopia now, but I still think that it doesn't matter much to the show's focus.

While I think Psycho-Pass was out to make a statement about society, it looks like Shin Sekai Yori was out to explore society -- the tone seemed to be more one of curiosity or questioning, where Psycho-Pass seemed like it had something determinate to say. Of course, I can miss things from time to time too, and I definitely don't propose that I know the author's intentions -- maybe he just had other things he wanted to say that weren't entirely relevant to his main point. I don't know.
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I had a slightly different take on the series. I felt the author spent more time showing how the world isn't a morally black and white place as we thought as children. There is a little hero and villain in everyone, whether they realize it not. It is just varied shades of grey. Saki and her group saw the realities of their world because they could see behind the curtain their society set up to protect itself.

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Posted 3/28/13 , edited 3/28/13

theYchromosome wrote:
I don't think that's true in either show. Makishima, in particular, is considered above crime due to his psychological aptitudes. In a sense, crime doesn't matter at all to Sybil. The only thing that matters is the "stability" of the society. Their tendency to commit crimes is actually completely secondary to their ability to maintain the system's order. In Shin Sekai Yori, I'd also say that committing crimes is secondary, but in a way that is completely different than Psycho-Pass.



Makishima cannot be judged. Who else does this sound like? Saki has a psychological profile that is very stable. Because of this she also has an immunity to the rules because she was chosen to succeed the ethics committee chair, and her friends were not punished specifically because of Saki's abilities. The chair of the ethics committee explains this. This relates to your following quote as well.


theYchromosome wrote:
That's where I'd disagree; I think it is the exact same situation. It's not "dangerous character traits" that they seek to eliminate, it's the people that are apt to lose their power that are eliminated. Problem children aren't problems because they are Psychologically deviant, or have a tendency to disrupt order. In fact, it's been shown that deviance is not eliminated if it shows no sign of leading to "ogre syndrome" (I forget the technical name). Saki and her friends have repeatedly broken rules and acted in ways not in accordance with societal standards. However, only the ones that would eventually turn into Ogres had impure cats sent after them. They were still punished, but not eliminated. This only happens when it is clear that the deviance results from a "weakness of mind" -- an inability to control your power. With that information, it seems like the nature of the two shows/societies is completely different. In Psycho-Pass, murder is OK if you have a stable Psychology (Makishima). In Shin Sekai Yori, a stable Psychology is irrelevant if you end up a murderer (Shun). Either way, the two societies seek different goals. Psycho-Pass tends to "stability" and Shin Sekai Yori tends toward "self-preservation." And that's where I might see the parallel -- neither society actually cares about justice or the "right thing."


Karmic demons are not a common scenario and Shin explains why; the spiritual barriers and hypnosis are to control their subconscious minds and focus the leak outside of their society. Shin is the exception because Saki restored his power incorrectly.

What did you think I was referring to when I said dangerous character traits? These are the people that have the slightest chance of becoming ogres. Ogres do not lose control of their power, at least not the way they were explained in the show. They consciously murder everyone around them. One explanation was that they're afraid of being attacked, and so eliminate everyone around them. The other example was that they are overcome by violent impulses. Since Karmic Demons don't just occur anymore, all of the children that were murdered were to avoid the slightest possibility of an ogres re-appearance. What happened after they killed the ogre 80 years ago? They immediately killed anyone that had a similar profile, using Monster Rats. The chair also explains that they instead of recognizing a persons rights at 22 weeks, that they instead moved this back to 17 years. This was specifically stated to be the result of the appearance of the ogre.


theYchromosome wrote:
However, I think that the idea of the society as a dystopia is still quite secondary to the exploration of what it means to be a human. While I'll agree that the society is indeed a dystopia, I still think it doesn't really matter to the main focus of the show.

The question of what it means to be human is never brought up. It's not even discussed why Monster Rats are slaves, or how they differ other than they are thought to be animals. They just are, and there is no contrast to humans presented until the last episode of the series. I'm not sure why you identified that as an overall theme, and disregard the presentation of their society and its contrast to the previous one; which was supported early on by flashbacks, the dialogue from the menoshiro, and the entire monster rat arch.


theYchromosome wrote:
Does the predisposition for intimacy make a dystopia? Does the battle between the monster rats in the first half add to a dystopian theme? It didn't seem like there was any direct correlation with the system in place. Presumably, there was war before the system, and there would be war with the system. In other words, the system is regardless to those struggles. I would even say that Shun turning into an Ogre is completely outside of the control of the society. It would happen regardless of the system in place, unless the system chose to kill off anyone with power, which seems dystopian in itself. What system is in place is regardless to the existence of Ogres, or even the Power. So then, it seems like some big portions are kind of irrelevant to the dystopian theme here (although both those arcs did show elements of dystopia). There are simply too many other elements that are entirely irrelevant to a dystopian theme. At the same time, it seems like nearly the entire show is relevant to the goal of exploring the nature of humanity. All of those things, and it seems like the whole show, seem to make observations about the nature of Humanity, and as far as I can tell, that seems like the point of the show. So I'll admit that Shin Sekai Yori looks a lot like a dystopia now, but I still think that it doesn't matter much to the show's focus.

It's a dystopia when you consider the majority of the populace which are monster rats are oppressed to so completely. They have no rights, and their clans war constantly. Any captured larvae are then forced to become slaves of slaves for their entire lives. Any disobedance to their masters results in the extinction of the colony. All of this is support a few thousand of the ultra elite that actually have power. The amount of suffering in that society is practically immeasurable.


theYchromosome wrote:
While I think Psycho-Pass was out to make a statement about society, it looks like Shin Sekai Yori was out to explore society -- the tone seemed to be more one of curiosity or questioning, where Psycho-Pass seemed like it had something determinate to say. Of course, I can miss things from time to time too, and I definitely don't propose that I know the author's intentions -- maybe he just had other things he wanted to say that weren't entirely relevant to his main point. I don't know.


PSYCHO PASS SPOILERS. DO NOT READ ON IF YOU HAVE NOT FINISHED BOTH SERIES

I would say they both ask the question, How far are you willing to go to protect yourself? In both series they give up control of their daily lives to autocratic management systems. Who choses who gets accepted as part of the sybil system? Only the sybil system people choose, and those that are accepted are not punished from their chrimes. We see the Chair of the ethics committee decide who will succeed her, and similarly any crime she(saki) committed was not punished either.

We see in Shin Sekai Yori that people are willing to give up their memories, and their right to choose representation and the rights of the their children as we them eliminated because they don't fit the accepted psychological profile. They were also willing to curse themselves with the 'death of shame', and genetically modified behavior. They were also willing to completely disregard the rights of the slave colonies as well. In Psycho-pass the ability to be judged before committing a crime extends throughout their entire lives. They also give up their right to choose representation in the Sybil system, although they can vote for politicians already chosen by Sybil, and finally willing to have their carreer prospects limited to what sybil choose as successful. All of these saccrifices are made, and both societies nearly collapsed under their shortcomings leaving us with protagonists hoping for change.

Nice to actually have some discussion on this forum :)
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shaunj07 wrote:



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MountainMew wrote:


shaunj07 wrote:





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shaunj07 wrote:


MountainMew wrote:


shaunj07 wrote:







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With regards to your first couple of paragraphs, I think in general, I'm in agreement. I think I may have misunderstood your meaning with some of the wording you used. I have no problems with your first paragraph, and in the places where I disagree or am unclear (mostly the second paragraph), I get the feeling that I don't quite remember all the explanations for the differences between Ogres and Karmic Demons... honestly, I forgot Karmic Demon's even existed until you mentioned them -- I think I was lumping them together into one group with ogres, which is probably a significantly flawed approach. I'd have to go back and brush up on the explanations of both, and at any rate, I don't really feel like going back and checking up on things, and I generally dislike just taking someone's word that their understanding is correct, so for now I'll just drop that particular point. The only thoughts from that paragraph that I still find relatively agreeable are summed up by statement "In Psycho-Pass, murder is OK if you have a stable Psychology (Makishima). In Shin Sekai Yori, a stable Psychology is irrelevant if you end up a murderer (Shun)." There seems to me to be something significant there, although like I said, I don't really feel like verifying my own thoughts on that point. Although I am now starting to see where you're getting your parallels from. Here's where I'd disagree though:


Man_Of_Leisure wrote:
The question of what it means to be human is never brought up. It's not even discussed why Monster Rats are slaves. They just are, and there is no contrast to humans presented until the last episode of the series. I'm not sure why you identified that as an overall theme, and consider presentation of their society and its constrast to the previous one; which was supported early on by flashbacks, the dialogue from the menoshiro, and the entire monster rat arch.


I think the implications are pretty clear. People with power (in the past) can kill off basically anyone they want. To stop this they decide to incorporate the "death of shame," which makes it genetically impossible (excepting rare cases) to murder another human. Before this, those with the Power ruled over those without. If they were then unable to kill other humans, then those without power would be able to, in turn, kill those with it. Thus, they needed some way to protect themselves. The method they came up with was to make those without power inhuman, so to speak. This way, they could defend themselves. I can see the view that Monster rats are considered lower than humanity, but I might say that they weren't slaves to humanity. By and large, they were left to their own devices, to establish their own system of governance separate from "humanity's." They are still expected to never interfere with "humanity" and to submit to their order when asked. I am fine with calling that slavery, and it makes sense to do so. However, there is also a sense in which humanity didn't really exert that influence. More or less, because the monster rats were considered lower life forms, they were basically ignored. The New Humanity doesn't really use their power as a means of slavery, but rather only intervenes when Monster Rat struggles interfere with Humanity's well-being. This seems like an analogue to the "class warfare" that's present in many societies in history, and even today. The "ruling class" has power over the commoners, but only really exercises it when it interferes with their well-being. One could argue that the working class are always slaves to the ruling one, but I think that's a separate argument. My point is this: While the society we are talking about is a dystopia, their "slavery" is not a symptom unless you consider today's and indeed most societies, dystopian. This seems to be a clear-cut case of class warfare, which is present even today, and I wouldn't call today's society a dystopia. Shin Sekai Yori's society is a dystopia, but for different reasons. (Of course, if you want to call present society a dystopia, there's a pretty good case to be made).

You make a fair point by saying that a discussion on the nature of humanity is never brought up. Fair enough. It's true that I don't remember (save the last episode) any of the characters discussing this. However, I think that in a great number of stories, books, shows, plays, etc. it is also fair to claim that characters are often completely unaware of the larger focus of the story they are a part of. Characters don't need to discuss something in order for it to be important -- the reader is expected to "read between the lines" to figure out what the author is trying to get across. Now, I think it might be fair to say that, from the character's perspective, the lesson of their adventures is that their society is wrong or dystopian. However, from the perspective of the viewer, I think it's also clear that exploring the nature of humanity is at least a theme, even if it's not the main theme.

You say that there's no contrast to humans until the last episode, but I think there's clearly evidence against that. Even early in the series, we see Saki thinking about the role of monster rats, and considering that they are intelligent beings. I think it's episode 2? -- she saves a monster rat from drowning despite laws forbidding her to do so. A few episodes later, when Squeara is describing the robber fly's position, Saki begins to identify with the colony as, more or less, beings with some sort of moral compass, and an intelligence to back it up. She considers whether she should help them with the war, which suggests that she was thinking that one side or the other might be "in the right." So even before the last episode, I know at least I was thinking, there were ideas suggesting that the monster rats aren't all that different from humanity.

Further, I can't think of a single element of the show that had absolutely no bearing on the question of humanity's nature. Particularly the "intensified intimacy" and homosexual themes in the middle seemed very much like an observation on the way we are as humans. However, I cannot see any way that this would be relevant to the revelation that the society is a dystopia. And yet, it somehow seems important. Because of this, I think the implication is that it is relevant in some other way, to which I look for a common theme between events. The way I see it -- the power struggles, the way the society is set up, the way they think, the discussions with the ethics committee, the decisions and how they respond when they see the truth -- almost everything looks to involve some sort of observation about humanity's nature. For this reason, I've come to the conclusion that it's the main theme of the show. So while it wasn't explicitly discussed, and I think the characters themselves gained a different insight as a result of the events, I would still say that the common link between the events was this idea of exploration.


It's a dystopia when you consider the majority of the populace which are monster rats are oppressed to so completely. They have no rights, and their clans war constantly. Any captured larvae are then forced to become slaves of slaves for their entire lives. Any disobedance to their masters results in the extinction of the colony. All of this is support a few thousand of the ultra elite that actually have power. The amount of suffering in that society is practically measurable.


As I've said, I think you're right about that. I have been convinced to disagree with my original claim that the society isn't a dystopia. You brought up some points that I hadn't considered, and based on that evidence, I think I was wrong. My point in the second post wasn't that it wasn't a dystopia because of those things. Rather it was that, despite the fact that it's a dystopia, there are elements which are included, and seemingly important, but are nonetheless regardless to a dystopian theme. I think the "sex genes" argument is the perfect example (which is why I keep mentioning it).


I would say they both ask the question, How far are you willing to go to protect yourself?


Absolutely -- to the whole last two paragraphs. It's not that I think exploration of humanity is the only theme present, or that the dystopian idea is unimportant. Or even that Psycho-Pass and ShinSekai Yori have nothing in common. This show, in particular, has a lot of ideas to mull over. What I meant with my first post, was that I thought your particular analogy was a bit off. I'm not sure whether I still believe that, as I now see a bit of where you're coming from. But really, you can find parallels between most shows -- there's almost always something in common. In any given work of fiction (or non-fiction), there are a multitude of things that an author might want to "say" to his audience, but there's often one common theme that links all of the other themes together, and often, there's not. In Psycho-Pass, for example, I think the main theme was one of a dystopia. Almost everything in the show seemed to point to the fact that something in the society "was off." I also got that feeling from Shin Sekai Yori, but not from all of it. A lot of, and I'd even say most of the time, there was a feeling that something was off. But there were other times, like with the intimacy example when, rather than a feeling that something was wrong, I was like "yeah, that makes sense." In Psycho-Pass, I felt the tone of "off-ness" was pretty salient, and the themes of Makishima's solitude and Akane's development were secondary. In Shin Sekai Yori, I thought the tone of curiosity was most prominent, and the off-ness, along with Saki's development, were secondary. There are a lot of tie-ins with Psycho-Pass, yeah. But that's true of most works, and clearly every show is not the same, so not everything will be a tie-in. I thought your particular tie-in was in error, but now that I know where your coming from, I'm re-thinking my stance a bit. I still think they are two very different shows with different purposes, but they do indeed share a lot of things in common.
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MountainMew wrote:


shaunj07 wrote:


MountainMew wrote:


shaunj07 wrote:









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ONE BIG LOL!!!!

Listen, shaunj07:


1) Shun IS DEAD. Period.

The one inside Saki's mind wasn't really Shun, It's not like he told Saki something she couldn't figure by herself.

It's more like... her subconscious created a split personality of her in the image of Shun to make Saki think better, and he does the 1 + 1 for her.

Shun was just a plot device, not a real main character. Satoru was always the male lead of the series.


2) It's a regular novel, NOT A LIGHT Novel.
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drdr49 wrote:

ONE BIG LOL!!!!

Listen, shaunj07:


1) Shun IS DEAD. Period.

The one inside Saki's mind wasn't really Shun, It's not like he told Saki something she couldn't figure by herself.

It's more like... her subconscious created a split personality of her in the image of Shun to make Saki think better, and he does the 1 + 1 for her.

Shun was just a plot device, not a real main character. Satoru was always the male lead of the series.


2) It's a regular novel, NOT A LIGHT Novel.


Yawn. Anything else you want to add?
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