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Nightmare Fuel / From the New World

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"No one was able to lead an effective counterattack against the Akki... Approximately one thousand died in Kamisu 66 that day. All because of K."

Given that the series kicks off following a group of five 12-year old children living in a post-apocalyptic, but otherwise seemingly idyllic world, one would think there wouldn't be too much room for scary moments.

But as the five protagonists grow up, so does the amount of Nightmare Fuel...

  • The monster that ‘got’ one of your friends, and is now peering at you through your window? Your dad not only knows about it, but he breeds them! And no, he won’t protect you! When he says there’s no monster in your closet, he’s lying!!
  • The opening of the first episode. Nothing quite like seeing psychokinetic children massacring entire populations in the modern world to set the dark, gloomy tone of this series.
    • Episode 4 makes this even worse in hindsight: while those with psychokinetic powers were only 0.2% of the world's population, only 2% of the world's population were left standing in the dark ages that followed.
  • The opening of the second episode is not much better, showing a newly crowned emperor abusing his powers by forcing the crowd attending his coronation to keep clapping by proclaiming that he'll psychokinetically immolate the first 100 people who stop clapping as "sacrifices" for the festivities.
    • Later, we find out that the clapping continued for three days and three nights.
  • The Akki from Maria's retelling of the tale of a villager's sacrifice.
  • Throughout much of the first episode, Saki's friends tell stories of hideous monsters (such as the Nekodamashi) hunting students who struggle in school and a sealed-off room deep inside Zenjin Academy. Hearing Saki's mother lamenting the loss of her previous children not only serves as a Tear Jerker, but also confirms that Saki is in one hell of a Crapsack World.
  • Imagine being a child growing up in this society. If you mysteriously don’t develop powers, then you ‘vanish.’ You don’t know what the rules are, but if you’re the type of individual likely to break them, then you ‘vanish.’ If a blindfolded monk reacts oddly to you, then you ‘vanish.’ Vanishing pretty much equals death. By the time you reach adulthood, congratulations, you, without your knowledge, were born as a member of the near all powerful elite, passed all the hidden tests, and didn’t stumble across a way to accidentally kill yourself.
    • Worse still, is hearing the debates between the committee members about whether or not an attempt on a specific child’s life was truly justified. It makes them sound like the choice can be completely baseless, and the only reason some children survive is a combination of luck and understanding how to survive an attack.
    • Then there’s the cat. You see it, and suddenly you lose the ability to focus on any task. All you can do is try to overcome the visually inflicted psychosis faster than it can kill you.
  • Right, imagine going into the middle of the fields. With your powers stripped by a monk who may or may not be losing it by the "Attack Suppression", you meet an army of hostile Bakenezumi. Then, after witnessing the monk brutally killing the army, a Fuusen-inu emerges. And you're its prime target. This is what Saki and her friends go through by the end of Episode 4.
  • The Queen in episode 5. What the hell is that?!
  • No one expected Shun, of all people, to have a Sanity Slippage episode. But Episode 8 showed him having a horrific case of this, from him suddenly wanting to be left alone (to the point of breaking up with Satoru) to his blood-curdling Nightmare Face.
    • Also, Shun's aborted egg-hatching project. That unborn chicken's eye stare could make you cringe.
  • Episode 9. All of it. From the disturbing revelation of the Fujoneko monster kennel in the basement of the school and the sheer brutality of the village towards Shun's neighborhood to its effective use of Nothing Is Scarier when Saki and Satoru are trying to find Shun and Saki running into a Fujoneko, this is probably one of the creepiest episodes in the series thus far.
    • "He was so's such a shame."
  • Episode 10. If you weren't crying your eyes out, you were probably watching the animals, especially Subaru, that were mutated by Shun's Cantus and Shun's death in horror.
    • Shun's revelation of the entire concept of Gouma (Karma Demons). A Gouma is someone whose Cantus abilities are directly tied to his/her subconscious. In other words, any thought, good or bad, becomes manifested through his/her powers. So if there's even one narcissistic Gouma with an apocalyptic subconscious, entire regions become subject to being violently and utterly erased from the Earth. The kicker? They can't control when they'll go off. No wonder the Ethics Committee wants to hunt and kill any potential karma demons...
  • Episode 12. Holy hell, Episode 12.
    • Pictured above: Asahina Tomiko telling the story about K. A boy with sociopathic tendencies, he initially doesn't stir up any trouble. And then he figures out his Power Limiter doesn't work, giving him a blank check to cause the utter annihilation of his village and his school.
      • The kicker? In the first day of his rampage alone, he killed 1,000 people. Combined with the people's inability to harm fellow human beings and, well...
      • It's even worse in the novel where the atrocities he committed were described in pure detail. Ripping random people's torsos apart and subsequently playing a game of cat and mouse with defenseless civilians and giving them intentional hope spots just to make their deaths much more satisfying for himself was just the tip of the iceberg for K.
      • Also, K's facial expressions as an Akki. Gee beasties, that's a Nightmare Face if there ever is one.
      • And then there's the story of K's demise. While working as a nurse, Asahina finds K going into the hospital to treat his cold. Asahina shits bricks when she sees him, and so do the viewers.
      • Fortunately, Asahina is able to obtain the medicine required for the doctor she worked for to poison and ultimately kill the sick bastard. But not before she witnesses K decapitate the doctor in a fashion too horrific for the anime to show. Brrr...
      • The hospital itself. It's as if the village combined the absolute worst traits of Shalebridge Cradle and Brookhaven Hospital when they designed the whole goddamn place.
      • How K kills his teacher, which is made somehow worse by the silhouette visual. Out of nowhere, he stands up, levitates his teacher while she's telling him to sit down and stop disrupting class, and stretches her limbs to proportions that can't be possible unless he's deliberately keeping her body from breaking under the stress. He finally decides to stop by crushing her head like a fruit. Talk about an awful way to die. His classmates did not fare any better either. Being flung to the walls so violently that you end up stuck there in place isn't exactly a pleasant way to go.
    • If you're easily spooked by child kidnapping, you will NOT like the fact that Mamoru has disappeared from his parent's house without a trace.
    • The fact other people could not fight against Boy K demonstrates how fragile the society is. Through its own social and genetic engineering, it has effectively made 99% of the population unable to defend themselves against the very Akki and Gouma that society's rules exist to prevent. Unlike society in real life, the civilization of From the New World cannot handle even a few negative exceptions to the norm.
      • Rather, the society was this fragile during boy K's rampage, over 200 years before the present day, but since then they developed numerous countermeasures to prevent the history from repeating itself.
  • Episode 14. Upon returning home, Saki gets interrogated by the Board of Education. Impatient and flat-out rude to Saki at times, the board members clearly want to execute her for knowing about their methods of disposing children. It's not hard to end up wondering how the hell Saki remained calm during the process, let alone call out the Board for sending Fujonekos on Mamoru.
    • While trying to convince Saki to bring back Maria and Mamoru into the village, she explains that humans with PK are more destructive than nuclear weapons. Unlike nukes, an Akki has unlimited energy from Cantus and is bound only by one's body, allowing him or her to wipe out entire districts without breaking a sweat.
      • Also, the images that accompanies Tomiko's explanation of an Akki's potential for destruction. IT'S K, NOW WITH A FULLY REVEALED NIGHTMARE FACE. Yeesh.
  • Episode 15, when we learn what the monster rats have been doing to their queens, lobotomizing them, Satoru's and Saki's suspicion that they might be willing to do it to humans.
    • Just the fact that the monster rats are advanced enough for things like surgery (albeit unsafe surgery). They even have a DIET BUILDING.
  • Episode 16 features Saki having a nightmare after failing to find Maria and Mamoru. In this horrible dream, you'll see Saki surrounded by Deranged Animation and monsters of all shapes and forms. Such Squick-tastic creatures look like they escaped out of Berserk and into Saki's head. Ugh...
    • Oh, and that long-haired boy? He tells Saki to let Maria die in a chilling manner.
      • Not just that. Taking the subsequent story arc in mind, If the hair color and the uniform are anything to go by, it's heavily implied to be Maria's own child telling Saki to let his mom die. I'll let that sink in for a minute or two.
    • The environment of Saki's nightmare itself. It's as if Saki's trapped in Hell... and the long-haired boy is the master of all those disgusting monsters (otherwise known as none other than Satan himself).
      • Yeah, no. If the disturbing hints of episode 18 are any indication, it would have been better for Maria to be dead from the start.
  • Episode 18: Hello It has to be one of the most ominous and creepy uses of a child's handwriting in recent times.
    • How Yakomaru carries out his attack on Kamisu 66. Utilizing far superior technology such as guns and poison gas, they easily slaughter the villagers in the middle of the Summer Festival. They even manage to kill two of the committee members despite their cantus powers. And if that's not enough, some of the soldiers even blended into the crowd, fooling most of the villagers until it was too late.
      • The attack is so horrifying and reprehensible, Tomiko believes Yakomaru to be as bad and despicable as K. Make of that what you will...
    • Maria appears in the end, more or less recapping how and why she left the village with Mamoru. But then she reveals another reason why she left: she wanted to have children, something that would have been biologically impossible if she stayed with Saki. Keep in mind, this appears after Yakomaru received information about the human societies AND Tomiko revealing that the bones Yakomaru laid out belong to Mamoru and Maria. Do the math.
  • Episode 19. Yes, there's already an entry for it after its 15 second preview.
    • From its excellent use of the disturbing imagery (of people getting hunted) to the implication that AN AKKI is being used as Yakomaru's main weapon against the villagers, one can tell that the episode is going to be one hell of a horror show.
    • The sheer preparedness of the Bakenezumi in the episode. From having soldiers ready to fire on Satoru and Saki in the fields to having ambushes set up for the arriving party inside the building, they sure make entering an already creepy Abandoned Hospital even more terrifying.
    • Which leads to the long-awaited arrival of the Akki. Having already killed everyone save 3 people in the hospital, she quickly establishes herself as a monster hellbent on killing every person she sees. And then she returns and makes it crystal clear why she's so dangerous to Saki and Satoru by brutally murdering a fleeing survivor and Fujita.
      • Also, that cry. Mix a child screaming with one of the Bakenezumi screeches and you get one hell of a horrifying sound.
      • The fact you can't see who the Akki really is. Yes, you have images of black smoke surrounding the child, as well as trippy images of a demon with unlimited power. But without a real clue on who the Akki is, it makes the viewers dread thinking about the child, much like Saki and Satoru.
    • Episode 19 essentially turned the genre of the show into Survival Horror. Sneaking across a destroyed hospital with a faceless, unbeatable Akki at your tail? Oh boy...
  • Episode 20 doesn't let up the Nightmare Fuel. Having an Akki on their tail, Satoru and Saki find themselves trapped within a small boat. And they know that if they try to run, they'll get spotted and killed by the bastard. They barely escape by hiding the boat and quickly floating to ground, but good God was it tense...
    • Also, that suicide-bomber fish. As if its nasty aesthetics aren't bad enough, there is the fact that it could easily wipe out entire districts and scores of people in one explosion. The fact that it was able to infiltrate and wipe out Kamisu 66 by exploiting the canal system doesn't help matters at all.
    • The images of the boy's experiences in the battlefield. Putting War Is Hell to the max, bodies twist and break, buildings explode, and groups of people get jumped and shot to death by Bakenezumi human-doppelgangers. Good luck getting those images out of your head after seeing them.
  • Episode 21 reveals who the Akki really is, so you think that now the Nothing Is Scarier trope's been lifted, it's going to get better, right? You're dead wrong.
    • Let's see: To start, we have her walking to Shisei as she casually incinerates every citizen that stands in her path. When we see her face, it's a face of a happy, almost relaxed girl who's no more than 12 years old. And just when you think Shisei has a chance of at least temporarily halting the Akki's rampage, Satoru reveals that Shisei only wants to buy time for the villagers to escape, knowing full well that he has Death Feedback and the Akki does not. Unfortunately, no one (save Saki, Satoru, and Niimi) got the clue and the next thing you see is the Akki dragging Shisei off the ground, crushing him, and ultimately snapping him in two. And she does so with a hysterical laugh. Before long, she and Yakomaru's reinforcements cleans up the village, complete with off-screen genocide and screaming survivors.
    • Her babbling is something else. It implies she doesn’t know the human language, and the monster rats didn’t appear to teach her how to speak their language. Basically, the main characters are looking at a human warped into a walking distortion of their late friends. Its not even entirely clear how the situation went from “two friends” to a walking parody of humanity. Was the conception willing? Were there labotomies involved, since the monster rats had no problem doing it to their queens? Just what type of upbringing did the child have?
    • To say nothing of Yakomaru's ultimate scheme: He wants to give the humans a taste of their own medicine and make the bakenezumi the gods, not the other way around. By killing Maria and Mamoru, he abducts their child and raises her to become an Akki. Then, as the Akki wipes out human villages, the hospitals would be kept intact so the armies could abduct human infants (as infants of a vanquished colony are considered spoils) and raise them to become Akkis as well. So even if his original plan fails, Yakomaru would only have to wait until the human children develop PK for him to overrun not just Japan, but Eurasia as a whole and quite possibly the world. Brrr...
  • The tunnels underneath the ruins of Tokyo Saki and Satoru go into in Episode 22 are filled with piles bug infested guano, as well as gigantic, bloodsucking slugs that drop down from the ceiling to ambush prey. What's worse is that Kiromaru says they haven't even begun to see the worst stuff yet.
  • The series finale finally sees Saki and Kiroumaru defeating Maria's child once and for all. However, this was not before the child unleashes a ear-piercing scream (complete with one hell of a Nightmare Face) as she brutally blasts a hole through Kiroumaru. The Gorn that ensues does not help one bit.
    • The above is downright pleasant compared to what ultimately happens to Squealer. Two words: Eternal Hell. It's a process that sends signals of extreme pain from every nerve of the condemned's body, all the while regenerating all damage sustained using Cantus. This means that no matter how much Body Horror and torment he endures, the people in charge of his punishment will prevent him from dying. Worse still, he's kept in the museum of Exospecies as the human settlement's trophy. Jesus, talk about And I Must Scream. When Tomiko said she would inflict pain no creature has ever felt before upon him she meant it.