In the distant future, the world is on the brink of collapse, and people now live in small secluded towns. They are led by psychics possessing the cursed power of “Juryoku,” which allow them to materialize objects from their imagination. One day, a girl named Saki (Taneda Risa) and four of her friends (Hanazawa Kana, Toudou Mai, Tojo Kanako, Kudou Haruka) stumble upon an archive on the outskirts of town. Within, they find records of the past and the truth behind their world: that those with Juryoku powers arose in the 21st century, resulting in a world war between psychics and non-psychics. With their victory, those with the Juryoku became the rulers of the world, and began a reign of terror. When the rest of the town find out the kids have discovered this forbidden knowledge, they seal their powers and exile them. The five decide to band together, going on an adventure to protect their friends and to save the dying world.
To say I have high hopes of this series would be an understatement. As a co-winner of the Nihon SF Taishō Award in 2008, a distinction previously given to Evangelion and perhaps Madoka Magica in the future, there’s no doubting the quality of the source material. Remember, the winner of the award is recognized as the best Sci-Fi work in all mediums, ranging from films to manga, anime to novels. As the for adaptation studio, we have A-1 Pictures (Anohana, Ao no Exorcist, Sword Art Online, Tsuritama) at the helm. With some arguably questionable decisions during recent adaptations of Ao no Exorcist and SAO and Ishihama Masashi taking on his first director role, I’ll admit that this isn’t the ideal matchup. But the strength of A-1’s resume speaks for itself in the end. Combined with their tendency to put more resources into adaptations of more recognizable works, you can be sure it's more likely to be a good adaptation instead of a bad one. At the very least, their animation team is consistent and should benefit from the director’s previous, extensive experience regarding this aspect.
Overall, with a distinguished source material and a studio with a strong resume behind the adaptation, you have to admit that Shin Sekai Yori has all the potential ingredients for greatness. Notably, many early previews have already tabbed this series as one of the main contenders for best of the season.