DVD Review: From The New World – Part 1

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What do you get when you mix five children with a conspiracy theory and pshyic powers? The answer is From The New World; but with that aside we did we think of MVM Entertainment’s DVD Release of the first instalment to the series? Find out in our DVD Review of From The New World – Part 1

Synopsis:

Born into a world a thousand years in our future, Saki and her friends Satoru, Maria, Mamoru and Shun have lived their entire lives in what seems to be a perfect utopia. Not only is their small, idyllic community overflowing with clean rushing water and abundant green foliage, but almost all technology has been rendered irrelevant by the magical power of “Juryoku,” the psychic ability to materialize anything one desires. But when Saki discovers a long-lost artifact from the past, the facade of their world is shattered and the cracks that split the foundation of their reality threaten to swallow them whole!

Faced with a bloody secret history of how their world really came to be and thrust into a nightmarish new paradigm, Saki and her companions are confronted with dangers they never knew existed and a series of choices that may change the fate of every intelligent creature on the planet – human and otherwise!

Our View:

The first half of From the New World seems to suffer from the marmite effect; as some will love its unique art style and immersive complex storyline while others will dislike the way the story is portrayed over thousands of years, for us we believe the series has both pros and cons but if you are looking for a simple linear narrative with some action thrown in then sadly you won’t find it here.

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Intrigued? Well let’s begin from the start; From the New World is a 25 episode long anime series, with 13 of those said episodes included in this set, that follows the events of Saki, as well as her childhood friends Satoru, Maria, Mamoru and Shun, as they live within a peaceful utopia, attend school and come to terms with their unique telekinesis powers. The series begins by introducing the characters and their routine within the village; however after children start to dispear and mysterious rumours of a ‘cat’ start spreading they decide to venture out and find answers; however in the process of finding their answers they soon discover the shocking truth about their utopia.

It’s explained that over one thousand years ago humans developed the ability to use telekinesis, a power which was then used to corrupt and destroy the world by various people until only 10% of the world’s population survived. From here the remaining humans opted to isolate communities together and teach the children how to effectively use their telekinesis powers – however for those who were unable to wield this power, or more importantly use it for their own selfish desires, a punishment was given; the punishment of death. Basically if any of the villagers attempt to disrupt the peace then they will be ‘secretly’ removed.

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This isn’t the only concern that our main characters have to put up with either; as after being discovered in a “no-go” zone by one of the higher-ups the group is attacked by a rogue set of Monster Rats; rats which are usually servants to the humans. As such the group separates and they each have to fight their own way home while making sure that no-one at the village discovers what they have learned; although at this point it’s probably too late. Interestingly this first-half of the series doesn’t end here – as two years into the future the developing relationship between several of the characters is put into question; and when one of them suddenly disappears Saki suspects the worse and begins to act.

Extras:

As par the usual Hanabee/MVM Entertainment releases we are treated to a ‘small’ selection of bonus content which is spread out on the second DVD Discs.

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Bonus content related to the series include a Japanese Promotional trailer for the series and the standard textless closing song. Unforunately since From The New World does not feature an opening song (or any sort of opening animation) there isn’t one included as a bonus, but at least we get a variety of trailers – most of which have appeared on previous MVM Entertainment releases in the past six months.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:32:21 (Disc 1), 2:10:35 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-2
Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0 224kbps (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (White)
Resolution: 720 x 576 (576i)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 Widescreen
Frame Rate: 25 fps

Overall:

From the New World – Part 1 contains the first 13 episodes of the series whereby our main cast of characters discover that their Utopia is not as once thought; however upon learning this fact they decide to do nothing and instead continue as if nothing happened – that is until one of their own goes missing.

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It’s a complex storyline that does not want to in a single linear direction but instead opts to cover everything and hope for the best (quite literally). For instance upon learning of their villages origins you’d expect some sort of conflict or conspiracy to take place – instead a fight between two rival monster rats break out, furthermore in the later episodes a short relationship between two lead male characters and two lead female characters takes place even though there is no prior knowledge or interest for it to be there in the first place. Things just happen because they can – a similar explanation could be given for the art-style used in later episodes.

While I can’t entirely agree on the series choices what I will say is that the Japanese Audio track is far more entertaining to watch than the English Dub. I have nothing against Sentai Filmworks but there voice-acting always seem lacklustre and basic to that of other companies (such as VIZ Media and FUNimation); that being said there is some nice performances from the English Dub cast but when it comes to emotional and traumatic scenes the Japanese audio is hand-downs the better experience. This being said the remaining quality of the set is ‘top-notch’ with both visuals and audio being presented clearly and in great details so the Blu-ray release (which is also available from MVM) should be quite spectacular.

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So overall did I enjoy watching the episodes within From the New World – Part 1; No; but would I recommend or suggest this release to others; Yes. Interesting isn’t it? Basically I didn’t enjoy watching these episodes as they felt over-complicated and never went in the direction it needed to be going in; however the series always kept me watching so that i could understand more like I said it’s the marmite scenario but hopefully the second instalment will rectify this issue. In hindsight I have no issues with the DVD quality, other than the English Dub, it’s just the series that left me feeling unimpressed; but if you like a series that features long-drawn-out-storylines with some conspiracy behind it then From The New World is definitely worth looking into, but if you like me and prefer a rather simple narrative then I’d avoid it for now.

Score: review-stars-3

From The New World – Part 1 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 11th August 2014.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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