|Anime||Episode 01: The Season of New Leaves|
Karma Demon / Karmic Demon (業魔, Gouma) is one of the in-world creatures of Shin Sekai Yori. They make an appearance in the novel, manga and anime.
Karma Demons were discovered before the fall of the ancient empire, and their name was a common term for severe cases of Hashimoto-Appelbaum syndrome. They are Cantus users who have lost control over their abilities.
Although comparable, a Karma Demon is very different from a Fiend. A karma demon is a psychologically normal person without a tendency to violent thoughts. However, they cannot control the dark images in their subconsciousness, making them unable to control their Cantus, despite being usually perfectly sane. This leads to their power leaking into the world and harming the demon's surroundings, causing living beings and everything else to slowly change form and mutate. This progress can lead to the death of concerned living beings.
Judging from known examples, children who are gentle, reasonable and kind have the highest chance of becoming a Karma Demon. If someone turns into a Karma Demon, it is also called "to be demonized".
- "This story is from about eighty years ago. There lived a boy in the village. He was an incredibly bright child, but had one flaw. As he grew older, this flaw became more and more obvious. He was extremely proud of his intelligence and looked at everything else with disdain. He pretended to accept the teachings in school and from other adults, but the important lessons never really reached his heart. He began to sneer at the foolishness of adults and laugh at the laws of the world. Arrogance sows the seeds of karma. The boy gradually drifted away from his circle of friends. Loneliness became his only companion and confidant. Loneliness is the seedbed of karma. In his solitude, the boy spend a lot of time thinking. He thought about forbidden things and questioned things better left alone. Unclean thoughts cause karma to grow unchecked. The boy unknowingly built up more and more karma, and transformed into something inhuman — a karma demon. Before anyone knew, the village was empty; everyone had fled in fear of the karma demon. It went to live in the forest, but all the animals there disappeared too. As the karma demon walked, the plants around it twisted in all sorts of unimaginable shapes and rotted. All the food it touched instantly turned into lethal poison. The karma demon wandered aimlessly through the dead, deformed forest. Eventually, it came to realize that it shouldn't be living in this world. The karma demon left the darkness of the forest. Before his eyes, he saw it, wreathed in a glittering radiance. He had arrived at a deep lake nestled in the mountains. It walked into the lake, thinking that water as pure as this would surely cleanse him of his karma. But the water surrounding it instantly became dark and murky, and started turning into poison. Karma demons should not exist in this world. It understood that, and quietly disappeared into the bottom of the lake." - Legend of the Karma Demon, Part I: Chapter 01