I’m not sure if there’s ever been an anime where my opinion of it raised so drastically with its ending than the one for From the New World. I never particularly liked the human characters in the show. Saki was a pretty boring lead character who mostly just reacted to everything from child to adult. In the earlier arcs I joked that my favourite character was Squealer. He had an agenda, was a bit shifty, but also had some personality and intelligence and acted according to his own morals rather than just react to things. The more the show went on though, the more true that silly little joke of mine came true.
A lot of people viewed the queerats as the villains and automatically distrusted Squealer, which is fair enough. When he appeared later on in the show as Yakimaru the leader of this whole village, he came across as a bit shifty and dangerously intelligent. But I found myself on the side of Squealer. Most other people found him and the queerats distasteful and ugly and wanted to see the humans succeed, probably because you’re all racists or something. But not me because I’m not racist. Unlike you, you bunch of racists. He was leading this downtrodden society in an act of rebellion against vastly superior opposition in a single do-or-die attempt to free his people from what were effectively gods. The humans considered them as closer to pests that should be monitored. Yeah sure Squealer’s methods of fighting back involved the deaths of a few hundred humans but nothing close to the several million deaths caused and will continue to be caused by human oppression.
In the end it turned out I was totally right. What I figured was just me going for a highly selective reading of From the New World purely because I disliked the human characters turned out to be exactly what the whole story was about. With the final episode it turned this creepy naked mole rat crossed with a human into the most courageous and heroic idol. Stripped of anything that would resemble a personality or his attempts at civilisation and thrown in front of a court, not to be put to trial but simply to pass judgement like the gods they were to him, Squealer offered his purest act of rebellion. He angrily dismissed the name humans had given him for his own less glamorous title and declared in front of these humans that he was a human too.
Psychics had crossed the non-psychic humans with the ugliest animal around so they wouldn’t feel bad about killing them, effectively stripping them of their humanity. But standing in front of that congregation completely naked and with the entire auditorium laughing at him, after having led his entire species to an ultimately failed attempt to rebel against the gods that oppressed them for millennia, Squealer was the most human of the lot.