DVD Review: From the New World Volume One (2012)

Posted by Retrokaiser On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 0 comments

"From the New World Volume One" is an animated drama series about Japan one-thousand years in the future where we have a group of kids that attend a special school for children with psychic powers. The group of children this show is focused on are named : Saki, Satoru, Maria, Mamoru, and Shun and they all got their powers at a young age. Children with psychic powers isn't the only thing different about the future as it is also in a bit of an apocalyptic state as all of the buildings and technology we all know and love (really love) are all in ruins.  Humanity is doing a very hard job at re-building itself from the ground up to where Japan looks like a mixture of Japan from the past and from the present. Some of the animal life has also evolved to where we have Giant Crabs, Snakes that have Bird Beaks, and grotesque creatures that are half-man and half-rat named Monster Rats.

On school break we see the kids going out on a trip to the mountains in order to look for creatures that they have heard from urban legends. When they reach the mountain they end up finding the creature they were looking for pretty quickly and learn that it is a very smart creature and it answers all of their questions and that's including the very dark past of people with psychic powers. Not too long after they are met with a Monk who tells them off and temporally seals up their powers due for them breaking a law about dealing with certain creatures. While the Monk is guiding them back to their equipment they get caught up in a war between two tribes of Monster Rat's who will stop at nothing until one of the tribes is wiped out. If only they could predict that coming. (Click "Read More" to read the full review).

I really enjoyed the story during the first half of the volume as it was a really well done fantasy war story that keeps you tuning into the show. Towards the middle of the show we see a major change in the way the story is told as it turns into a psychological horror tale. I did have some problems with the second half of this volume but not because of the genre change but because the writing isn't as tight and there were some parts where the writers of this series had no idea what to do with this show.  One problem this show has with the writing as a whole is that it tried too hard to squeeze in as many genres as it can, they really should've just stuck to fantasy and horror as all of the other genres it brought in like "drama" and "romance" weren't interesting at all and were very sloppy, on the plus side the horror and fantasy is so strong that is makes you nearly forget about all of the other genres they try to squeeze in.  While I did have problems with it I also still enjoyed the second half of this volume as there were some good things that helped keep this show interesting enough to stay tuned in.

The action in this show was pretty good with some exciting battles and also some really bloody battles that were very intense and awesome. Characters were very strongly written throughout most of the show but when the second half hits we see that they suffer from the same problems as the story writing which is a huge shame. I did really enjoyed how the fantasy creatures were written in this show as they have a very exciting feeling to them and I do also like their mystique nature as it gets you wondering about how those creatures live. There was some fan-service in this show but I wasn't into it as it was clearly aimed for the Female audience that like writing fan-fiction... And yes I do mean "that" kind of fan-fiction (hint: it rhymes with "Toy Dove").

Art-work in this show has a very mature look to it and it looked very good with a lot of detailed backgrounds and very solid character designs. I really did enjoy the designs for the fantasy creatures as while simple, they were brilliantly designed and reminds me of more mature looking creatures by "Studio Ghibli". One design that was both awesome and horrifying was a huge giant Monster Rat that had six breasts and no, I'm not saying it was an awesome design purely for the breast.. Well maybe a little but not in a sexual way at all but more in an inspiration to create monsters to slay in a Dungeon and Dragons game. While the art looks great, the animation ranged from looking a little choppy to looking passable but you won't end up being bothered by the animation.

The Japanese dub in this show is decent with voices that worked well with the characters and the acting was solid but that's not to say that the Japanese dub doesn't have problems as there were some lines that sounded forced and the dub is also a little forgettable so remember it while you can. This show does have an English dub included and I was a little surprised that this show did get one as I didn't picture that this show would be popular among the casual anime fans (I could be wrong there). The soundtrack wasn't bad at all as it had some decent tunes that worked very well with what was going on in the show.

Not much in terms of special features as you only get some promotional trailers and text-less closing credits. The promotional trailers weren't bad as they have a certain mystique that makes you interested in the show. There are two versions of the closing credits and the music sounded pretty good while only the first version of the closing credits had fun visuals going along with the song, the second version doesn't transfer to text-less credits well as it just a single picture with an effect that is slowly panning to the sky and it was pretty boring. The DVD case does say that there's "Text-less Opening Credits" but that's a misprint as this show doesn't even have opening credits as it just dives into the show.  Speaking of misprints, the discs themselves have the "M15+" rating printed on the discs even though this is an "MA15+" rated show (that won't matter to you much if you live outside of Australia).

Overall while this show has some problems I do recommend checking it out. I especially recommend checking out the first half of the show more than the second half but it doesn't hurt to watch the whole volume. Fantastic fantasy and by "fantastic" I actually mean "solid" as I just wanted to squeeze in a cheap pun before I close this motherf***er off.

Title: From the New World Volume One
Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures
Genre: Animation/Anime, Drama, Action, Horror/Supernatural, Fantasy, War
Running Time: 312 Minutes (13 Episodes)
Distributor: Hanabee Entertainment
Rating: MA15+ (Strong supernatural themes, animated violence)
Price: $59.99
Recommended: Yes


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