Why do people in Shin Sekai Yori die if they kill other humans?

I remember that during the anime they go through some ritual, but why does that ritual work? What is that ritual exactly? Is it something religious or is it just portrayed religiously but has scientific reasons it works? Do they psychologically affect the subconscious of humans? Is it a religious "magic" that does the trick? What gets triggered in the human brain after when people try to kill other humans? By what mechanism do they die? Why is the ritual needed?

Also, what was the name of this thing? Was it death of shame? Why is that the name?

NOTE: I have watched (not recently) the whole show, so no risk of spoilers. Sorry the story is not very fresh on my mind.


2 Answers 2


This is all spoilers if you haven't seen the entire show.

The Death Feedback is part genetic and part conditioned. From episode 4, they mention that the human genome was modified and that the Death Feedback works by the subconscious becoming aware of an attempt to harm another human and it uses their power to stop liver functions and parathyroid glands. This is further reinforced by education, conditioning and hypnosis. I think in episode 12 Tomiko speculates that it could be possible to circumvent the Death Feedback if the user was on some kind of stimulants or somehow didn't recognize their targets as human.

(Taken from part of my answer to this question which is also related.

  • Interesting, then why is the ritual needed? Is it part of the hypnosis? Like, if a human is born and the ritual is not done to them, will the genetic modifications still kill them if they try to kill someone? May 15, 2014 at 20:38
  • 1
    I'm not sure why exactly the rituals are needed, but it's part genetic and part conditioning. The rituals and hypnosis could be part of the conditioning. It's also a way for them to "weed out" people who could become fiends.
    – Jon Lin
    May 15, 2014 at 20:40

The rituals performed on the children when they first gain Cantus powers do not have to do with death feedback - the rituals put in place a safeguard which allows some members of the community to effectively turn on and off the children's powers - this is what happens during the camping trip when they are discovered by the priest.

Death Feedback is a physical genetic safeguard bred into humans, and members of the community are conditioned from a young age to view killing another human as abhorrent. It isn't a part of the coming-of-age ritual the children go through before attending school.

  • AFAIK, this answer is accurate - I don't recall the coming-of-age sealing ritual having anything to do with death feedback. Not sure why it's downvoted.
    – senshin
    Nov 21, 2015 at 21:13
  • @senshin Maybe because there are no sources cited? Still a good answer though Nov 22, 2015 at 6:54

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