I made a list of the 15 saddest moments (for me) in all the anime I have seen. The challenge, then, was to choose which of the 15 made me saddest. And as strange as this sounds because it isn’t a character death, the one that still makes me cry almost every time I watch it is the letter from Maria in Shin Sekai Yori, episode 16. It’s difficult to write about because it’s so depressing.
Maria is the best friend and lover of the main character Saki. Because of the horrible things the human society of Kamisu 66 was doing, Maria ran away with Mamoru (a boy marked for death by the village leaders). Maria can’t give Saki a proper farewell because Saki would surely stop her and then her plan to run away would fail. However, Maria leaves a long letter behind for Saki.
In the anime, we hear the words of the letter spoken by the voice of Maria (Kana Hanazawa). It is not only a rejection of the society Saki lives in and the direction her life is heading; it also shows that Maria believes Saki will either forget about her, or be strong and to get over her. Both beliefs are wrong. Saki never gets over it, missing Maria and thinking of her even 12 years after.
I can’t really say more than that because I can feel a depressive mood swing coming on just from having to think of this enough to write about it. Let’s just say I had someone in my life like Maria, and they also cut me out of their life suddenly, gave no proper goodbye, and went far away, with a mutual friend. So when I watch Shin sekai Yori I either skip the entire episode 16, or if I’m stable enough to handle being depressed for a little while, I watch it with a box of tissues.