DVD Review: From The New World – Part 2

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We jump further down the rabbit hole to see if the mysterious and devious From The New World – Part 2 has anything else to offer to its fans; fortunately it does and it seems to be a lot more ‘action-packed’ than its previous instalment. Potential spoilers aside what can we expect from MVM Entertainment’s DVD release? Lets find out.

Synopsis:

Still reeling from the deaths of her friends and the revelations of the Ethics Committee’s machinations, Saki returns to the village expecting the worst. However, what she’s learned so far barely touches on the edges of an even vaster conspiracy. As she discovers the fate the committee intends for her personally, she realizes that her own mind is being turned against her.

With her memories of Shun fading, she and Satoru find themselves in a race to find Maria and Mamoru before the Committee condemns them to destruction. But the clock is turning against them in more ways than one, as the smoldering conflicts between the rat colonies threatens to erupt into open warfare. As pivotal pieces in a deadly endgame designed to wipe an entire species from the face of the planet, it’s not going to be enough for Saki and Satoru to merely survive. To lead the best laid plans of both rats and men astray, they’ll have to uncover the final secrets to two hidden worlds and turn them against their makers!

Our View:

The overly complicated and relatively drawn out storyline of From The New World continues; but unlike the first collection of episodes we can actually see where the storyline is taking us, and we like it. Interestingly enough in order for us to get to these “we like it” moments we do have to sit through a few hours’ worth of, seemingly pointless, but informative dialogue. It’s not all great, but the overall product is definitely worth checking out.

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Anyway picking up right from where the first half ended we find Saki, Satoru and Maria being reunited with their friend, Mamoru, who left the village a few days earlier due to being stalked by the Trickster Cat. Mamoru explains that he won’t return to the village because he fears the Trickster cat will kill him due to his “low scores” and “power evaluations” at school. Reluctant to leave Mamoru alone Maria stays with him while Saki and Satoru return back to the village in attempt to “pacify” the education committee. Long Story short if Mamoru returns to the village within the next three days no action will be taken against him, and so both Saki and Satoru head back out into the wilderness in order to bring Mamoru home.

It’s here where the series takes another ‘distinctive’ turn and, more importantly’ lays down the foundations for the remaining episodes; as upon returning to the wilderness Saki and Satoru discover that Maria and Mamoru have decided to flee and live their lives outside the village limits. In order to keep their friends alive, and abide by their wishes, Saki makes an agreement with Yakomaru in the Robber Fly Colony, whereby the Robber Fly Colony will report them (Maria and Mamoru) as deceased and provide the Education Committe with false bones, but realistic bones, for inspection. While it may seem like a pointless endeavour this is actually one of the storylines crucial, un-talked-about, story elements as this is actually begins the build-up to the next chapter of the story.

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With all of the ‘emotional friendship trauma’ out of the way it is time to fast-forward 12 years into the future whereby our two remaining protagonists, Saki and Satoru, are leading regular lives within the village. It seems like everything has settled down and returned to normal, but in reality the Monster Rats are planning an all-out-attack on the humans – a plan which has been 12 years, if not more in the making, and this is where things start to get a lot more entertaining.

The remaining episodes is a constant barrage of attacks, explosions and running away as our main characters attempt to survive the onslaught of the Monster Rats attacks, but even then a bigger threat looms in the appearance of an Orge, a human turned insane who can destroy anything at will without any hesitation. From here Saki and Satoru venture out to Tokyo in order to retrieve a mysterious virus that will defeat the Orge with minimal effect on the environment; however this proves difficult when revelations about the Orges identity and the true reason for the Monster rats revolt is revealed.

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Basically everything over the past 25 episodes, 12 of which are included in this second half, have been building up to this one moment; a moment which sees the Monster Rats revolt in attempt for equal values with the humans. A lot of blood is spilled and a lot of people (and animals) die, so its actually a relatively depressing series with no-time for remorse or to reflect on whose died and how, but it is impressive how everything that seemed pointless fits together right at the very end. Mind you there are some disappointments to be had with the conclusion, as while majority of the story elements is wrapped up in a final ‘peaceful’ episode, some secrets and questions remain unanswered; but fortunately with a bit of ‘puzzle-solving’ you should be able to work out the answers for yourself.

Extras:

With the first instalment of From the New World containing a small selection of bonus materials I wasn’t expecting much from the second instalment; and I was right to do so as the only included extras are a selection of trailers and some promotional materials related to the series.

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To start off with we have the inclusion of text less ending song, which is different to the one used within the first instalment, and a selection of original Japanese promotional materials. Of course since From the New World does not feature an ‘opening’ you won’t find one included here.

To wrap-up the bonus materials is a selection of trailers, some of which are entirely new to MVM distributed discs; for instance Devil Survivor 2: The Animation, which is due out in October, and Valvrave, which has yet to be announced for a UK release, are both included on the disc.

Specs:

Media: DVD 9 x2
Region: 2
Running Time: 2:17:11 (Disc 1) 2:16:56 (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 2 sees the remaining 12 episodes of the series spread out across two DVD discs. In short two story arcs are included within these episodes, the first story arc resumes from the first half whereby we see Saki, Satoru and Maria attempting to find their school-friend Mamoru who ran away from the village.

The second story arc sees an older Saki and Satoru protecting their village from the onslaught of Monster Rat attacks; that is until a potential Orge arrives on scene and a counter-measure is formed to destroy it. It’s taking a relatively long, and potentially, boring time to get here but amusingly the series pulls through to provide a satisfying ending; but don’t expect gun-fights and bloody sword battles as while this does occur its all off-camera or in a black and white effect – but if you do like gore you do hear bones been crunched and so forth.

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In regards to this DVD release then some potential issues can be found; for starters the subtitles are noticeably smaller than the previous sets; they are still relatively easy to read but it can take a few minutes to get ‘re-adjusted’ to the new size. Another issue is that some subtitles seem in-correct, for instance during the start of Episode 20 Satoru shouts “It’s it” which (when comparing to the English Audio track) should be “It’s Here”.

These minor subtitle issues occur throughout this second instalment but for me the biggest issue with this set is that some minor visual errors occur, with the most noticeable being on Episode 22 at the 1 minute 16 second mark. The picture just glitches up momentarily and returns to normal. Similar issues have also occurred throughout the first disc however unlike the visual glitch in Episode 22 I was unable to make it happen again upon rewinding.If you cast these issues aside the remaining product is perfectly fine, with a reasonable English Dub track, clear subtitles (despite the smaller font) and easy to access DVD Menu – although different artwork (considering that characters are older) would have been better.

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Overall From the New World continues to be a hit and miss series, the complicated drawn-out storyline does make it a rather tiedious experience but luckily most of this is thrown aside in Part 2 so that the counter-attack on the Monster Rats can be focused on. However if you’ve missed crucial plot points from the narrative sections (or past episodes) then you may become a bit clueless as to whats transpiring; yep its that unforgiving. From the New World will appeal to those who are looking for something different and a more ‘focused’ drawn out storyline, but when it comes to this second instalment then it should appeal to everyone – so long as they know whats’ going on.

Score: review-stars-3

From The New World – Part 2 will be available on DVD and Blu-ray from the 15th September 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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