The society in Shinsekai Yori is probably one of the most dastardly collections of human beings in dystopian fiction. It’s not that what they’re doing is overtly evil, in the same way that parents trying to get their kids to believe in Santa Claus don’t equate to being Hitler-Genghis Khan hybrids, but the way that it slowly dismantles negative human emotions while children learn and grow hints at a world that forcefully discourages any sort of strong emotional reaction. In a way, by eliminating memories of their vanished classmates, the morality squad takes all the growth out of the tricky path to maturity. I can only assume that the incessant use of blurrycam is a part of this devious scheme.
To be fair, their reasons are valid when even the slightest hint of emotional instability can lead to twisted alterations of their surroundings. If forgetting that classmate who was abducted and murdered by giant cats is the one thing standing in the way of the village and it looking like a Lego town thrown into a furnace, why not slowly scrub any memories regarding that classmate from their brains? It’s not so much fucked up to scourge these memories in this context than it is misdirected.
Despite being endowed with powers that have heinous amounts of destructive potential, these children are still people (unlike real children). They love, they grieve, and they question conspicuous gaps in their memory like the rest of us do. By taking the negativity out of life, the morality squad is simultaneously taking the human experience out of it. About the only aspect of life that the children seem to be fully in control in is in regards to romance. There’s a refreshing air of choice to it, even if it is carried out under a watchful eye to make sure that the students couple off appropriately. For a repressive culture like this, that’s definitely an odd area to compromise on the strict mind control, even if it does eventually lead back to assimilation.
But really, this is nothing new, and I’ve whinged myself inside out explaining this several times already. It doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that bad memories are slowly phased out in order to keep the kids content and unquestioning as they make the ponderous, rocky trip to adulthood. I’m curious to see how the kids escape from the omnipotence of the village authority figures though, so at least this episode has suspense going for it, even if the animation has returned to being noticeably off-model.