English: Humanity Has Declined
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 2, 2012 to Sep 16, 2012
Duration: 23 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 8.001 (scored by 15979 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Dec 5, 2013
Produced by AIC, Humanity has Declined was adapted from a light novel series of the same name by Tanaka Romeo. Direction was handled by Kishi Seiji, Script, by Makoto Uezu. Character designs, original and anime, respectively, were drawn up by Sunaho Tobe and Kyuuta Sakai. As the title suggests, humanity is on the decline. The best years of its existence behind it, as evidenced by the towering, overgrown, crumbling concrete infrastructures, the return to simpler, more old-world edifices for inhabitance, and the anachronistic technological spottiness of goods and services that seem to become increasingly regressive by the day, mankind as we know it fades closer to obscurity and closer still to extinction, though, surprisingly enough, its members don't seem to mind all that much. Replacing humans as the apex species of the planet are... well, fairies, tiny humanoid beings characterized by ever present smiles, squeaky voices, cute costumes, insatiable appetites for sugar and fun, childish blatancies for vocalizing morbid absurdisms, and penchants for creating surreal and fantastical scenarios that happen to defy the laws of physics. The last characterization being one of understandable concern, the United Nations Conciliatory Council (UNCC) has established positions of mediators to interact with the local fairy communities, for purposes of beneficence. So enters Watashi, translated from Japanese to English as “I,” so known because of her tendency to address herself as such in her sentences, since no one character actually refers to each other by their names, except that one episode with the anthropomorphic satellites, and that other episode where she ended up giving labels to a few fairies, though, through some ridiculous turn of events, triggered the destruction of an entire metropolis...
...yeah. The show has roughly three major narrative appeals, and by far the one with the most spectacle is the seemingly random, over-the-top insanity. A walking, talking loaf of red carrot juice bread committing suicide. Headless, fowlnecked, cigar-smoking chickens taking over the world. Defeathered poultry crashing into stained-glass churches to the tune of Ave Maria. A manga renaissance ushered by the revival of yaoi doujinshi. Time paradogs. A giant cat having it out against a giant squid, both of which are made of sentient jelly. Fairies saying the darndest things with the darndest expressions, and the list of absurdities pile on, though, as Episode 4 observed, the implementation of this form of constant spectacle gets gimmicky and tiring after a while without something balance it in between, and, honestly, there isn't enough in the series anyway to sustain interest purely by its own merits, as evidenced by the boredom of spectacle sponges in the audience.
What they didn't appreciate was that all of this insanity, and much of the content in between, has purpose. This purpose, and the second major narrative appeal of this show, is social satire. This show makes satirical jabs at humanity, from the systems people organize themselves under, to the attitudes and beliefs that people adopt, framing them in such manners where they are laid bare, taken to their natural extremes, and then cut up and re-expose in such ridiculous fashions that, in the midst of the frivolity and joviality, it begs the question as to why they exist and place so much importance in real life. And often in the show, what is being made fun of can lead into inquiries of issues that are sore and festering, social commentary, in other words, from the origin of mandatory noise flashes from video recorders and camera phones, the outlandish conclusions of factory tours, and the pervasiveness of risque BL entertainment, to the dangers of religion, the excesses of corporatism, and the stagnancy of civilization. This affects more than just the numerical count of the human population. The show's called Humanity has Declined, not Humanity has Fallen, with reason. Without being self-righteous, this show points out and criticizes that in fiction and real life that has made us less human. It does so not only by means of caricatures. It does so by personifying our most ruinous traits into these tiny, humanoid beings, handing them supernatural powers as tools, and framing their actions not only as entertainment to enjoy, but case studies to examine. However, like Mawaru Penguindrum is like with much of its symbolism, much of the social satire, especially when its more indirect and subtle, can easily fly over the heads of the less than observant, and even the observant may have a hard time grasping everything without repeated watches. Episodes and mini arcs being what they are, the social satire also has the tendency to overgeneralize...
...which leaves the third appeal for, well, last: Watashi, the observer, the commentator, and the character. Through her eyes, we see the over-the-top insanity and social satire in a thoughtfully amusing way, one that cuts right into the heart of the matter. Never before since Kyon from the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya have we a main protagonist with as deadpan and dry a wit as hers. Where spectacle is absent and satire is no where to be found, she compensates with her sarcastic internal reactionary monologues, sarcastic external reactionary quips, and her hilariously... wait for it... sarcastic facial and bodily expressions. And yet, like Kyon, she's more than than a one-way medium. She's more than this passive observer and pretentious commentator. She's not immune to humanity's shadows. Adopting a controlled, motherly role in line with her responsibilities as a mediator, one she executes with expressions of duty and grace, she has her own wishes apart from that of a mediator, her own desires, her own reservations, her own issues, and they are able to break through, both in her cynicism and beyond. Despite her extraordinary level of intelligence and perceptibility, her self-centered tendencies toward pride and sloth gets in her way of bettering the situation she's in. But despite that, she's also made decisions and taken actions beyond the call of duty that she very well knows would worm her into more trouble. Ones she intuitively believed were right, and would be loathe to flounder on, more so than her disdain for idiots and exertion. Ones of which are due to past and maybe even presently lingering insecurities.
No discussion of this show is complete without an analysis of this show's visuals, which, harkening back to the introductory paragraph, is far from being the grimdark end of the world scenario we might imagine the show would take place in judging solely from the title. The light, fluffy, impressionistic pastel backdrops and character designs contrasts somewhat sharply with the stiltedly jaded humor and serious subject matter of the content. Juxtaposed with each other, it creates a uniquely refreshing, but clearly dissonant atmosphere, an aura that is deliberately meant to put the audience at enough unease to make us stop and think about the subtext behind what we are watching.
The series has its asides apart from those previously mentioned. While the issues and concepts utilized throughout show are presented in often humorous, yet nevertheless clever ways, there are snags to be mended in regards to when comedy transitions into drama, an unfortunately bad habit of Director Seiji's works, if Angel Beats is any indicator. Were you to isolate the two, he can direct dramatic scenes rather evocatively relative to his comedic ones. He just has a hard time leading into them; comedy turns into drama quite abruptly, without much in the way of a dramatic foundation. Anyone with a macro-oriented mind would find the turn about jarring. The characters fail to be fully sympathizable because we have little to no cue beforehand to take them with a modicum of maturity. The Fairies' Homecoming, the arc where this error is most egregious, coupled with The Fairies' Time Management, partly due to its more round about content and the anime community's unwillingness to let the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's (2009) Endless Eight go, results in a disparity of engagement between the first third and the last third of the show. On that note, Humanity has Declined, just like the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006), features its episodes chronologically out of order. However, where the latter had it done because of pacing issues, the former's reason is more questionable, and it doesn't have the novelty of freshness on its side like the Haruhi Suzumiya franchise had in its inception on TV. Perhaps it makes for a better hook? But at the cost of a disjointed plot and characterizations? A valid complaint arising from this fragmentation are the intent behind the placement of episodes that focus on Watashi's development. Alone, they are excellent, but taken together with the rest of the show, they seem to be kind of an inconsistent duck to follow in the wake of previous shenanigans. Maybe they would have been better off at the beginning of air time?
The OP “Real World” was done by nano.RIPE, and while in the camp of those people who aren't particularly fond of their work, my ire directed more to the singer than anyone else, here, the sickly sweet vocals, combined with the energetic beat of the percussion, electric bass, and electric guitar, synchronizes well with the repetitively off-kilter choreography of the OP's visuals and the stilted humor of the show itself. In addition to presenting the audience with a taste of the setting is a short, but interesting slide between an impressionistic depiction of a city to an impressionistic depiction of a grassland, consistent with, once again, the show's title. The ED “Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume” or “My Dream Within a Dream,” by Masumi Ito, takes both the vocals and the visuals to a whole new level, the uncannily minor key and accidental note croons, complemented by drums, some minor electric flourishes, and a pervading more classical guitar, paralleling the impressionistic silhouette of Watashi, and, by figurative extension, humanity, motioning past edifices littered with fairies, an allegoric representation of the cycle of civilization: growth, peak, and decline. In fact, it fits quite nicely with the events of Episode 9.
Despite some problems in execution, what we have here is an intelligently written and thought-provoking piece. It's full of funny spectacles, biting social satires, refreshingly intriguing aesthetics, and superb characterization on the part of the female protagonist.
Watashi's more than just this vehicle of detached cynical snark. She's more than just humanity. Watashi mo hyuuman desu.
I give Humanity has Declined an 8 out of 10. read more
Dec 11, 2012
For Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, this is answered through a colorful world where humanity is on the verge of extinction, succeeded by a race of silly, mass-producing fairies bearing a constant grin. Adorable and amusing as they are, these little creatures are anything but auspicious. Repeating tragedy in situations of utter insanity, the fairies exist as a personification of humanity's follies, neatly told through a clever story of satire and cynicism.
Ah, our poor protagonist, as interacting with these frightening creatures serves as her occupation. For the nameless "Watashi", being pulled into their world of games and magic is little more than a daily occurrence. Time loops, loaves of bread committing suicide by ripping themselves in half, skinned birds raining in on a church, and faceless chickens smoking cigars while quacking in the language of nonsense— all are something to be passed off with a sigh and a dry remark by the protagonist. In this world, there is no such thing as strange. Such words ring true time and time again.
But make no mistake, this is not an anime that is strange simply for the sake of being strange. All of this gives way for plenty of witty humor between the madness that occurs. Rather than being a traditional comedy and telling the jokes through the characters' interaction with each other, much of this comes instead from the situations and the setting. It's not about a character screaming your ears to death or bopping the other over the head when they say something stupid, but about the allusions to society and the absurdity of the situation. Far too few comedy anime attempt to break from the mold of Manzai and puns, which makes Jinrui all the more refreshing of an experience.
As a satire, it's no surprise that Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita focuses itself as a social-commentary of sorts. There's a surprising amount of depth here when one really pays attention. It's cynical in tone and content, though it never feels like the viewer is being preached to and lectured. An episode may focus on consumerism, another on humanity's overconsumption of resources, the manga industry or sociocultural evolution. Moreover, the viewer can simply choose to disregard this and enjoy it for the comedy value alone if they prefer. It can be a surreal comedy, a cynical social critique, or some amalgamation of the two. Therein lies the beauty of Jinrui's subtle depth.
A comedy wouldn't be much entertaining without a clever character dynamic, though, and Jinrui does not disappoint in this regard. Watashi is easily one of the most unique protagonists we have had in an anime for quite some time. Nowhere is she defined by cute, idealized traits, by fanservice or through tropes and archetypes. She is her own character; her own person. Her internal thoughts and dry, cynical dialogue with the other characters are an important force in the social critique and comedy, which often contrast and amplify the ridiculousness of the situation. It is deadpan humor at its finest.
Several other colorful and eccentric characters also mark the cast of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Watashi's grandfather, often referred to simply as "Doc", serves as the authority figure of the series and plays an important role in Watashi's past and beginnings as a Mediator. The silent "Assistant", armed with his camera, also tags along with Watashi for the first half of the series.
And then, of course, are the fairies.
It wouldn't be much of an exaggeration to say that the fairies are the most exciting character in the series, if one would define them as a single entity. Seeing the fairies do inconceivable things out of the blue is nothing short of hilarious, and their attempts to behave as humans do and mimic their mistakes also makes them just as much endearing as they are unpredictable. One episode involves a handful of fairies and Watashi stranded on an island, with the fairies near-instantly multiplying themselves and building from sticks to a candy kingdom with Watashi revered as some sort of god. You never really know what the heck to expect from them.
There isn't much in the way of characterization until the later episodes, though, which incidentally is also when the story takes off and develops. Each episode typically goes back further in time, with the last two episodes highlighting Watashi's experiences during her elementary school days. There's a very clear distinctness in this short story arc, notably resulting from the comedy being pushed aside and serious themes such as isolation and bullying playing a principal role. Rather than a bizarre environment typical of the series, the viewer is presented with something more realistic, albeit with a slightly macabre twist (mostly resulting from the insanity of her yandere roommate). These final two episodes succeed not only in detailing Watashi's past, but also in fleshing out her personality through her experiences in a different environment. It's not often that you find a main character in a comedy anime that has development and substance, but then Jinrui has never really been a series that's satisfied with mere uniformity.
Speaking of uniformity, though, it's a little unfortunate that the quality of the anime isn't always consistent. A few of the episodes, while still decent, are much weaker than the rest and vastly oversimplify the topic or theme that they are trying to comment on. It occasionally bites off a bit more than it can chew, which is disappointing given that most of the episodes have already demonstrated that it's fully capable. The last two episodes are also incredibly incongruous with the tone and theme of the anime, and though it fleshes out Watashi's character considerably, one can't help but wonder if it was all that necessary. Considering that her presence in the previous episodes was as a reactionary element to the bizarre situations, making the change into an empathetic and developed character seems very odd. No doubt she could have been developed instead through the quirky dialogue rather than a superfluous flashback.
The visuals also aren't going to leave anybody in awe, but they deserve a special mention for the vibrant art style and colorful palette. It's rare for an anime to deviate from conventions and focus on their visual appeal (aside from perhaps the cuteness of the characters), but here is a case where Jinrui again succeeds in doing something to stand out from the crowd. It's unique and pleasant to look at, notably accentuating the surreal world and creating a contrast between the playful appearance and cynical tone.
Jinrui is certainly one of the most refreshing and unique series that anime has seen in quite some time. In a year that hasn't seen much originality or hard-hitting series, the bizarre world of Jinrui is a very appealing experience. This is not an anime to simply be enjoyed and forgotten over the months, but is something that will no doubt linger in the minds of most for quite some time. Not necessarily for the insanity that occurs (though that is certainly a part of it), but for providing a genuinely witty comedy that brilliantly satirizes human society in an intelligent manner. It has more substance and depth than many of the more serious titles out there, though carefully remaining subtle with its themes. For a comedy anime, this is an admirable feat indeed.
Then again, I guess not everybody is going to enjoy the refined art of birds raining from the sky and mobster chickens cursing about fornication. read more
Sep 16, 2012
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, or Humanity has Declined is a post-apocalyptic comedy in which the human race is on the brink of extinction. Taking humanity’s place as the dominant species are tiny creatures known simply as fairies. The story itself follows a nameless woman who acts as an arbitrator between the humans and the fairies to help preserve humanity’s place on earth. With that synopsis the show sounds rather depressing, and in a very small way, it is. What it does however is hide this tiny bit of depression and darkness behind a colourful facade of craziness. This craziness is supported excellently by the very bright art style which really helps you take things lightly and laugh at what would otherwise be a very depressing situation. The episodes themselves are divided into two episode arcs each focusing around different characters and time periods, with only the protagonist remaining consistent.
When examining a comedy you have to ask, what makes it funny? For Jinrui it is its characters. The characters in Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita always felt varied and each of them have their own unique traits and there is always more to them below the surface. The most interesting being the protagonist who is easily one of the best protagonists I have seen in general. What made her so interesting is that she was far from stupid and far from cute. By that I mean that while she was visibly cute, she had this maturity about her that allowed me to enjoy her much more as a character. She always gave off this vibe of being very strong as a character and as the series goes on, you begin to learn more and more things about her. The other characters on the show are interesting and varied as well, by that I mean they are not simply “One gag characters” as I am so used to seeing in comedies. I often find that anime characters, especially in comedies seem shallow and are only placed in the show to retell two or three select jokes throughout the entire series. The characters in Jinrui are not like this, they tell jokes that fit their personalities, instead of having personalities that fit their jokes. This allowed the characters to remain vibrant and never become dull throughout their respective story arcs. Hell, even if you don’t like a character, aside from the protagonist you know that you will only have to spend 2 episodes with a character before their arc ends.
As a safe warning I will tell you that this show is quite weird. For me that was no problem as I thought it really did add to the fun of the show and really helped to explain that none of the content in the series should be taken too seriously. However, if you are the kind of person who thinks that headless chicken crime bosses are a little outside of your comfort zone then you may want to think twice before going into this with the belief that it is just another comedy. As well this anime can be rather confusing as the episodes are told completely out of order. At first I was against this style of storytelling as it seemed rather pointless and it felt like they were telling it out of order for the sake of telling it out of order. I still treat it as a fault as it was rather annoying in some areas but it was still somewhat fun for me to examine each arc and try to figure out exactly when it takes place.
One thing that deserves special recognition in Jinrui is the art as it is very colourful and very different from what we are used to seeing in anime. As I said before, I believe that this art style was put to use brilliantly in order to lighten up a depressing world. It made things seem very cheerful and it made you ignore the fact that you are witnessing the dying days of an entire species. For me the art style, while a little too bright at some points really did fit the show perfectly and I know that it would be far less enjoyable if it did not have this candy-coated look to it. As for the music, it is not the most noticeable out there, but it is far from bad and it does have one of the best ending themes I have ever heard.
In the end this show is nothing if not fun. Yes it is weird, yes it has its faults but I still enjoyed every minute of it and it left me wanting more which for a comedy is all it really needs. If odd situations and overly-bright art are not your things, then feel free to stay away. However, I do need to recommend this as it is by far the most enjoyable comedy that I have ever seen. For that I give it a 9/10. read more
Oct 19, 2013
Good but nothing exceptional. Characters’ designs are really eye-catching, voice acting is also excellent.
The show is set in a post-apocalyptic world, where there’s only a small number of humans on Earth due to declining in birth rate. Now, the dominating creature on Earth is the Fairies, a ten-inch tall creature with high inteligence. The story follows our nameless protagonist, as she work as a scholar and an arbitrator between the 2 races: humans and fairies.
The story is devided into smaller arcs, each arc contains only 1 or 2 episodes. As a slice of life show, this anime revolves around the everyday work of ‘Watashi’ ( that is how our protagonist refers to herself ), and also mixes with some comedy. It does seem like just another nomal SoL-comedy show like dozens other anime we have nowadays. Well, that’s not true, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is what I call a deep comedy (yes, “deep”). The story isn’t just some meaningless comedy. Through the story of each arcs as well as the characters, this anime satirizes the true nature of human beings, it makes us reallize the ugliness about being a human. It also let us see the stupidity, the flaws of mankind, and how those things will someday lead the our own destruction.
A small note for those who wish to watch this anime: the arcs in the show is air in a non-chronological order. As a slice of life show, it won’t be much of a problem, it might give you some confusion at first, but there’s nothing that’s hard to understand at all.
Yes, a 10 out of 10. Why is that? Because of ‘Watashi’ and the Fairies, that is.
Our nameless protagonist, ‘Watashi’ is one of the most unique, most interesting character I’ve ever seen. Why, because she’s a HUMAN. Anime has always been good at creating ideal characters that is too good to be true ( or some time characters that is too flawed to be true ), but there’s not many of what I call, a realistic character. ‘Watashi’ is very realistic, she is the embodiment of human nature itself. She cares for those who are close to her, but she always prioritizes her own well-being. She never randomly decides that she must help someone out of some misplaced sense of self righteousness, she usually only helps if she feels she can benefit from it or more often because she's forced to. If there’s anything wrong happens, shel will try anything to avoid responsibility. She wants to be helpful, but also hates to work too hard. ‘Watashi’ put on a sweet, innocent face, always being polite to others, but will also have sarcastic and cynical thoughts in her head. She’s neither good or bad, she’s just a person.
Watching ‘Watashi’, we reallize that we are not that different from her. We normal humans always have some hypocrisy inside us. We criticize others before we reflect upon ourselves. We put on a mask to communicate with others, but god only knows what we are really thinking.
If ‘Watashi’ is the embodiment of human nature, the the Faries are mankind itself. The creature that dominates the Earth, highly intelligent, but also very simple-minded. They always like to eat and play. When they work, it is for their own entertainment. They only make thing that benefits them, that helps them to have fun, but never consider the consequences.
Along with ‘Watashi’ and the Fairies, is a wide range of interesting characters. We have an ‘Asistant’ who try to find his own self, a fujoshi best friend of ‘Watashi’, 2 androids who are homesick, a yandere kouhai,… All of them mix together, has create an interesting ride.
For a comedy anime, it kinda lacks on the comedy factor. There’s about 2-3 episodes that is quite a drag to watch. But all in all, it really did give me a lot of good laughs, and observing ‘Watashi’ as well as other characters is also realy interesting.
Great setting and characters, interesting to watch, but could’ve been a lot better.
Sep 6, 2013
(If you want the short-and-sweet summary of my impressions on the anime, please refer to the bottom of this review)
The context is nothing too extraordinary. Humanity has literally declined to the point of extinction, and has been replaced by a new race of humanity called “the fairies,” whose existence depends on only two reasons: having fun and eating sweets. They are pocket-sized, intelligent beings that can accomplish whatever they set their mind to as long as they have fun in the process. As one of the characters puts it, “they’re a melting pot of culture and science. Just a single spark will set them off…” Fairies possess supernatural powers that defy human logic, and yet they are terribly afraid of humans. In fact, the anime hints at why humans and fairies never coexisted from the start. Therefore, the humans and fairies do not really get a chance to interact with each other. This is where our main protagonist, Watashi, comes in. She works as a mediator who attempts to bridge a connection between the humans and the fairies so that both of them can coexist with one another and live together in compromise, to hopefully benefit both races.
The main flaw of this anime actually comes from the many questions that the context of the story raises. Much of the blame can be put on the shortness of the anime, but it fails to provide answers to basic questions like “where do fairies come from?” or “what has caused humanity to decline?” Of course, answers to these questions seem irrelevant when considering that the anime stands on its own without the need to explain itself. However, providing answers to some basic background questions would have made this anime much easier to understand and given this anime a sense of purpose. No matter how amusing the anime was, the anime as a whole seemed pointless because there was no real sense of conflict or purpose. Therefore, this anime is not recommended for viewers that are trying to look for a solid story, because the anime does not answer all the necessary questions to make a coherent and purpose-driven story.
…Then again, this flaw is also the charm of this anime because it leaves the job of answering the questions to the viewers’ imaginations and assumptions. So who am I to say that the lack of answers is truly a flaw?
The anime is generally episodic and progresses backwards from Watashi’s current occupation to her early school years. This unconventional plot timeline can result in minor confusion because the anime itself is already a handful to watch. However, this flaw is mitigated by the fact that the viewer can start from any point in the anime and still make as much sense of it as someone who started from the beginning. In fact, any story arc (usually two episodes) can be considered a “beginning” or an “end.” After reading other reviews and comments, I found people discussing how certain episodes had a certain “beginning” quality or an “ending” quality.
The story and content of this anime shines brightly because of Makoto Uezu’s brilliant scriptwriting and Romeo Tanaka’s original ideas. At its heart, Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita is a social satire of perhaps the current decadence of humanity. The anime pokes fun at the idea of religion, corruption of government, superficiality of appearances, and general incompetency of humanity. The anime even pokes fun at the manga industries out there, resulting in probably one of the most creative and hilarious episodes I have seen thus far. The anime makes several literary, “pop-culture,” and other famous references to amplify the viewing experience for viewers that understand the references. The anime is also at some parts an exploration of the human imperfections (this will be expanded upon in my “characters” section). There is so much more than meets the eye to this anime, and hence why the story and content deserves at least an 8.
The opening song is called “Real World” performed by nano.RIPE. This pop rock song really brings out the cheerfulness and silliness of the anime, especially as animations of Watashi and the fairies dancing play throughout the opening. The ending song is called “Yume no naka no Watashi no yume” performed by Masumi Ito. The song itself generally has a cheery tune with singing that puts the viewers in a sort of a trance. There is even a very slight sadness to the song that I cannot quite explain. This is possibly the case because the ending song is played in the background during the last few episodes of the series, and the song gets tied up to some of the more emotional endings that the anime has.
The original soundtrack contains a song from almost every genre and type of music: classical and electronic; cheerful and melancholy; suspenseful and peaceful; traditional folk and futuristic; and creepy and sweet. This diversity of music really goes well with the anime because there is a music fitting to every situation or mood within the anime.
In this anime, human civilization reverts back to small villages with houses made of wood and bricks. Advanced technology is not seen anywhere due to frequent food shortages and the lack of electricity. As a result, majority of the times the background is verdant, pastoral, and filled with moss-covered ruins of past human monuments or cities. Other times, the background art is multicolored, abstract, and creative. The background has a distinct watercolor feel to it, so the characters seem like they are trapped inside a children’s story book -- bright colors, fantastical backgrounds, and surreal imagery. To give an example of the unique style of art in this anime, the lights from flashlights or lanterns project random polygons of light, rather than projecting light in a cone-like fashion. Despite the seemingly childish art, however, I rate the art highly because its unique and random (somewhat abstract) style of art appropriately represents the cryptic nature of this anime.
As expected from the animation director of Mushishi and Steins;Gate, the characters are designed beautifully and the animation is done quite well. The main protagonist, as well as other main characters, is given a change of clothes for each story arc (two episodes), so it is not always the same people with the same clothes.
The title of the anime being “Humanity has declined,” some of the characters have flawed personalities that make them disagreeable. This, of course, does not mean I disliked the characters. In fact, I liked most of the characters because they were realistically flawed. They were relatable in that they had personalities that I encounter every day, so all the worst personalities portrayed in this anime felt very familiar. Although there was the component of exaggeration when it came to portraying some of these personalities, these flaws were ultimately what made this show so great and entertaining. For example, Watashi is not the typical virtuous and upright main protagonist; she is sarcastic, antisocial, and selfish at times. As much as it may seem difficult to like her as a protagonist, however, her snide remarks and reactions are what made several moments in the anime funnier. In addition, the fairies are known for their complexity but also their simplistic way of dealing with things, so I had many laughs when fairies tried to do something their way, even if their way was not ideal or appropriate.
The characters themselves can feel a bit impersonal because they are given “titles” or “nicknames” as names rather than actual ones. Watashi’s assistant is conveniently called “assistant-san”; her grandpa “grandpa-san”; her friend “Y” (as in “you,” possibly); and her school friends “Flower-chan,” or “Curly-chan.” However, at the same time I found it easy to memorize and distinguish characters because of the convenient way of naming the characters. Also, maybe the original author, Romeo Tanaka, thought using substitute names would be more fitting in a post-apocalyptic environment where nominal status and reputation mean almost nothing.
In addition to the faulty personalities and obscure names, the anime also has very little to no character development. As the episodes are generally episodic, the anime focuses on using the characters to convey certain points or ideas, rather than focusing on developing the characters. Watashi may be the only character that is well-developed, and thus I cannot rate this portion of the anime any higher than a 7. The characters definitely have unique personalities, personalities not common in many anime characters. However, the lack of character development results in a lack of connection between viewers and the characters. This lack of connection may eventually lead to viewer’s disinterest resulting from the viewer questioning the point of this anime (…when there necessarily isn't one).
Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita is a delight to watch from start to end and has high “rewatch value” because of the many ideas it explores and of the originality that it exudes.
If I have not emphasized enough, the anime is full of scenes that are hilarious simply because of how downright silly and ridiculous they are. However, do not let only these scenes define your perspective of the anime. For one thing, there are several cleverly written jokes and subtle references underlying each episode. Most importantly, however, the anime takes place during a post-apocalyptic time in which humanity has literally declined to the point of extinction, so the anime itself is full of dark humor and negative thoughts. In addition, underlying the anime is also a surprising amount of thought-provoking ideas, social commentaries, and philosophical views. This anime is definitely one of those that makes you think and rewards you when you put in the time to pay attention to detail. There will be instances when some scenes will need to be rewatched over and over to be understood, so this anime is not for people who want a simple and straightforward anime. Otherwise, this rarity of an anime is definitely worth the watch.
**Thanks to the "unseen hand of God" for leading me to this anime :)
Sep 6, 2013
As always, my reviews are spoiler free.
Jinrui is a bit difficult to get a bead on; is it a comedy, parody, fantasy, or something else entirely? How can a totally nonlinear story about characters who are not even given names be so captivating? And finally, what is the deal with all these fairies?
Story - 8/10
In the distant future, declining birthrates have led to a new “mankind.” These tiny creatures are called fairies, and with their tremendous numbers and mysterious technology it has become a necessity for humans to keep peace with them. This falls into the hands of our protagonist, Watashi (the Japanese pronoun for “I”; her actual name is never given). She becomes an arbitrator between the two races at the request of her grandfather, but her job is not as simple as she expected.
The story is divided into arcs, which occur in no particular order. The beginning arc, for example, is Watashi’s introduction to her new job, and the last is her school life directly before. The arcs between do not take place in any particular order either. Luckily, any part of the anime is simple enough to understand given the groundwork laid out in the first arc, and each arc is appreciable in its own right. These arcs vary drastically in style, and somewhat in quality as well.
Her career as an arbitrator begins with the investigation of mysterious goods appearing around town, suspected to have been made by fairies. With the discovery of the fairies factory, it immediately becomes clear that these fairies operate on an entirely different set of rules than humans. This arc exists mainly to introduce the characters, as well as the fairies (who I will discuss in detail later).
After her introduction as an arbitrator, the story takes a turn to the more “eccentric”; the printer and digital media are rediscovered by Watashi’s friend Y, and with them Y gains the ability to reproduce incredible amounts of “BL” comics. This takes the world by storm, and shows another side of the fairies, their desire to copy culture in their own bizarre way.
Each following arc is unique in its own way. From Watashi’s use of the fairies to build her own island empire to battling androids, each arc is fresh but never feels disconnected from the overall theme of the series.
Animation - 8/10
The animation in the series follows a unique style which makes use of pastels. Some backgrounds are actually reminiscent of oil paintings. The character designs are fresh too; they are detailed in such a way to fit perfectly into the setting. The animation itself is nothing to brag about, however. Sometimes the character movements can be a bit jerky, but animation/style package comes out to be well above average.
Sound – 8/10
There is actually a relatively small cast of reoccurring characters (one of whom never actually speaks), but each one of their voices are spot on. The sound track is good as well, with the OP being one of my favorites of all time, and the ED being significantly above average. Jinrui also knows how to change the mood perfectly with the music; a quick track change can be used for dramatic (or more often comedic) effect, and several times throughout the series I found myself laughing because of the music combining perfectly with the action.
Characters – 10/10
I give Jinrui a perfect score for in the character department for two reasons. The first is that the main cast (of one person) is executed flawlessly, with Watashi being one of my favorite protagonists of all time. She is sarcastic and pessimistic, yet is able to accomplish an incredible amount with her quick thinking. She has one of the sharpest wits in recent history. In many ways she acts as a believable insert character into an unbelievable world, her rational attitude and thoughts often synchronizing with the viewer’s own. Her generally dark attitude makes a great contrast to the more upbeat tone of the series as a whole. She was a joy to follow throughout the series.
The second reason for this score is the inclusion of the fairies. I consider them to be one entity, one which is the source of some of the cleverest humor I have ever seen. These fairies could actually be considered a social commentary on modern culture, depending on how far you want to take it. They are driven only by two desires: to get sweets, the one thing they cannot produce for themselves, and to have fun, which causes them to reproduce. Their entire culture is built around these ideas. They are totally fickle, with their moods and ideas changing near instantaneously. Finally, they have an innate desire to copy others for their own benefit and entertainment. You can take these ideas as seriously or casually as you like, but in any case, the fairies really make the show. As a group, they are some of most fantastic ideas in any anime and I cannot do them justice with this short description.
The recurring side characters, namely Y, Assistant, and Grandfather, all do their jobs adequately as well. They do not generally stand out (unless the arc is about them in particular), but they can occasionally deliver their own brand of comedy on par with Watashi’s deadpan sarcasm.
Enjoyment – 8/10
The only thing holding Jinrui back is that diversity of the arcs which I mentioned earlier. To put it simply, some of the arcs are far better than others. Watashi’s island empire remains one of my favorite episodes in any anime, and while I loved most of the other episodes, I would occasionally find myself bored. In particular, I think the entire android arc and early part of the school arc hold back the series, as they were significantly below the standard the rest of Jinrui set. They were by no means bad, but when I adored one episode and the next was merely adequate, I felt disappointed.
I would recommend this series to anyone, regardless of genre or previous anime experience.
The fairies are an incredible entity but I can’t quite describe them perfectly.
The combination of a superb protagonist, an interesting setting, and great art and soundtrack make this a must-watch for me.
I would recommend this series to anyone, regardless of genre or previous anime experience.
The fairies are an incredible entity but I can’t quite describe them perfectly.
The combination of a superb protagonist, an interesting setting, and great art and soundtrack make this a must-watch for me.
Sep 27, 2012
For reasons unexplained, human civilization has been massively downsized along with the population. Mankind is now living in a greatly diminished society surrounded by remnants of its formerly booming civilization. With its decline, strange, constantly smiling, magical beings called fairies have popped up everywhere. It is the job of our somewhat sardonic nameless heroine to be the mediator between humans and fairies... which of course means she gets dragged into some really weird stuff.
One of the show's defining characteristic is definitely its weirdness, made evident by the suicide of a talking piece of bread at the end of the first episode. And that is just a taste of the madness ahead. There are headless skinned chickens bent on taking over the world; manga which transport characters to other dimensions; time paradoxes (or time paradogs, I should say); and those ever-smiling fairies. Speaking of which, the fairies are the weirdest and most ingenious creations of the show, and a sort of mascot for the show; equal parts adorable and creepy. They are childlike and naive, but have a tenancy to say some alarmingly bizarre things, and their constant positive nativity is kind of creepy in of itself. The fact that they wield the power to bend reality and use it for childish endeavors makes them all the more entertaining to watch. On top off this show's weirdness, the story arcs are shown out of order.
What really makes Humanity Has Declined unique, though, is the way it laces this unhinged creativity with its cynical and quirky humor. As weird as things get, and they get very weird, the show somehow manages to tie the madness into the main themes of its arcs. The suicidal piece of bread in episode one is just part of an even bigger joke, the show's satirical take on the manufacturing of processed food. The magical dimension transporting manga become a springboard for a satire of the manga industry itself. Later episodes, in which the fairies make their own sprawling metropolises, emphasize the many absurdities in human society despite all its lofty accomplishment. The show never makes the mistake of getting too heavy, however. Even the tone gets bleaker or the subject matter more complicated, the show has a certain whimsy that never makes it feel overbearing or jarring. It is this uncanny ability to mix intelligence with absurdity, and bounce through many different tones make Humanity Has Declined stand out as something special.
At the shows core is a fantastic female lead. She might remain nameless through the entire show, but her presence is invaluable. Her witty and often sarcastic observations contributes a lot to the show's humor. She brings more than just deadpan snark, however, she also brings a genuine human quality to a show that is overflowing with unworldly weirdness; it is always entertaining to see how reacts and acts in the innumerable strange situations she fins herself in. She also provides the show with its rare touching moments. The final arc, which shows her days in school where she develops from a cold and distant little girl to the young lady we are introduced to at the beginning of the show (remember, the arcs are shown out of order), concludes the show on an emotional high note.
On the technical side of things, Humanity Has Declined is an interesting creation. It is not a particularly impressive looking show, there are a lot of shows that look much better than it. However, there is a striking contrast between the show's pastel colored, sugar-coated visuals and its cynical sense of humor. There is something fascinating about seeing a show that looks so light and fluffy have such a sardonic tone to it. The world of Humanity Has Declined is a bizarre gumbo that by all means should look completely awkward (and sometimes does), but fits perfectly in the light of the show's anything goes whimsy. The music, like the visuals, is lighthearted a lot of the time; but it also switches things up during the eerier and stranger moments, and does a very good job supporting those scenes. Both the high energy opening theme and odd ending theme are fitting and memorable.
An argument can be made that Humanity Has Declined is so weird that some people might not 'get it', something that shows of such unhinged creativity can often be accused of. However, I doubt many people can watch this show and honestly say they weren't entertained. Weird screwball comedies are not uncommon in anime but rarely are they as well crafted, clever, and cunningly funny as this. The boundless imagination, joyous weirdness, and odd thoughtfulness this show demonstrates insures that it is something I will treasure for a very long time.
Oct 22, 2012
Explaining what Jinrui was or what it tried to achieve is certainly no easy task. A series with an unnamed main character, completely static characters besides said protagonist, no continuous plot developing to an end and no general climax, can’t be judged with the same tools we’d normally use to critique most entertainment media.
The premise is both simple and eye-opening regarding a problem we’re very much aware of by now, with many types of warnings – the fact that we’re destroying ourselves and the world. To sum it up and putting preaching aside, the setting is exactly what the title makes it to be: “Humanity Has Declined”. Yes, in Jinrui’s era, the human species now sports small numbers and got back to the rural lifestyle of past times, while fairies became the most prominent species on earth.
With such a setting, one would expect the series to give a lot of focus to world-building, yet once again Jinrui surprises you in, giving out the information about the world in the most random and arbitrary way.
Now, the last three paragraphs may have seemed full of negative points to you. If that was the case, I’ll make my intentions clear: I’m simply showcasing how unconventional Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is. And it doesn’t stop there. Complete “wtf” moments in which the viewer has no idea of what’s going on are all but rare, and the simple existence of the fairies is shrouded in impossibility and ridiculousness.
Thankfully, such ridiculousness is not a product of chance, but a mean that’s masterfully used in favor of showing the most brilliant, funny and witty set of social critiques I’ve seen in anime to date. With a dark and deadpan humor that would always bring a sarcastic smile to my face, some other genuinely fun moments and a main character with a very human personality, and whose passivity, curiosity and strength of will or complete lack of it (yes, she’s lazy xD) worked wonderfully towards achieving a high-quality first-person narration that’s capable of charming just anyone, Jinrui proved to be the hidden gem I’d first expected it to.
From consumerism to Japanese entertainment and fujoshi, passing by “The Story of Civilization – Short 9 days version”, it hit the bull’s eye in terms of both what to critique and how to do it. Something I’d like to point out, specially to those who think this anime uses too much forced preaching at times, is that while it does critique human behavior in the most various ways, it never does so in an inflexible, accusing tone. The main character herself sees most of the happenings as inevitable; she has the independent mind to judge things as wrong, but the humanity to still feel attracted to things that undeniably are so, in spite of their seemingly distant undesirable consequences. As so, I’ve never felt as if this series was trying to force ideals onto me, nor do I believe that to be its intended purpose. What it made me do was to ponder such issues myself, even allowing me to have some good laughs in the meantime.
In the technical department, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita didn’t let down either. The bright and vibrant color pallet contrasts well with the dark humor of the show, and the abstract lines of the art are obviously a perfect fit for the bizarreness of the story itself.
But what does really deserve a huge shoutout is the voice acting. The script of this series was indeed very good, but would its worth have been properly conveyed without good voice acting? Thankfully, the voice acting wasn’t simply good, it was great and in my humble opinion, it managed to bring the script to the next level. After all, sarcastic lines do lose most of their meaning and charm without a fitting tone of voice. Special props to Nakahara Mai for her amazing work as “Watashi”.
In the end, Jinrui was a truly amazing series I wouldn’t mind seeing more of in the future. I’m not a huge fan of series clearly divided in separate arcs, but I get the feeling it actually worked to Jinrui’s advantage in this case, since… as many compliments as I’ve been giving this anime, it did have its flaws. Arcs like the factory one, the manga arc, the first job the main character took and the island episode were simply amazing. However, I found others to be just so-so – namely the spaceships one. The good points in Jinrui still largely outnumber (and overshadow) the bad ones, though, and as one can judge each arc separately, they’re also easily overlooked.
Minor complains aside, there are some other issues I’d like to address. Just because I’m a randomly inserted social critique lover, it doesn’t mean everyone thinks the same way. What I mean is that Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is an amazing series, but it is definitely not for everyone. Character development is really scarce, but that is definitely not a problem when it’s outside of the series’ purpose. Especially not when the only character that actually matters gets dedicated such a heartwarming arc to end the series. Which brings me to another issue – the fact that there isn’t a climax at all. But why should there be one? Storytelling is a free art. Yes, there are tried and true methods and they are not something one should despise. But thinking outside the box sometimes gives even greater results, and when it does, shouldn’t we simply be happy about it and acknowledge its merit?
Jinrui was my favorite anime of this season, and definitely one of my favorite of all time. I was always excited about what the next episode would bring, even though I’d already given up trying to predict what it would be. It truly was a bizarre series, but also really well-written and thought-provoking. And that’s a combination I simply can’t resist. read more
Nov 9, 2012
The art style manages to show the contrast between places affected by the fairies and those where only humans exist. Human-dominated areas look mundane while other places have many bright colours, giving them a story book feel.
Not being an audiophile, and having only seen Humanity Has Declined online on Crunchyroll, I can't say much about the quality of the sound. Though I can't leave this section without praising Itou Masumi for her excellent music.
The series has an unusual take on how character development is portrayed. Because the episodes are chronologically out of order, it becomes less "What will they become?" and more "How did they get to this point?" Even a few characters who feel like nothing more than archetypes get some development in this way, providing some dimension besides "the irritating one" and "the quiet one". The fairies themselves all basically have the same personality, however the narrative takes pains to note that this is in their very nature.
This is an enjoyable show. But don't make the same mistake that I had made. This is not a series that takes things seriously. Instead, it takes serious topics and injects surrealism and absurdity into them. And, honestly, it's difficult to take seriously a loaf of bread that commits suicide and bleeds to death because it's life goal of being eaten is never realized. No, really, this happens. read more
Jul 25, 2012
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is not story driven in any sense, opting to present itself through a series of illustrative story arcs that are flush with subcurrents of satirism and black humor. The characters in the show go mainly nameless- there is the protagonist, a curious, naive, pink-haired girl who serves as a key liaison for the UN between humans and the irresistibly adorable race of fairies; the protagonist's grandfather who conducts research; and a mute servant who serves as a conduit for much of the show's deadpan humor. The animation of the show is some of the best of this season and the art, while different, is extremely fitting with the almost surreal nature of the show. I especially enjoyed all the nuances in the art-- the countryside is presented in a style reminiscent of French impressionism, which is diametrically opposed by the strict geometries that govern industrial settings. The sound of the show is also excellent, with a catchy opening by nano.RIPE and some unexpected tracks that only add to the quirky nature of the show.
I'm definitely looking forward to watching more Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something unique. read more
Oct 1, 2012
Jinrui is a weird series, and in fact the weirdest thing I've seen in recent memory. Yet, it stands out from most of the other "weird" anime, in that there's not really anything stereotypical about it's weirdness (in contrast to other weird shows such as Full Metal Panic or Sora no Otoshimono.) You've got cat-eared androids, suicidal toast robots, and "paradogs" (paradox dogs), among other ridiculous concepts throughout, and you get the feeling that the weirdness isn't simply done for shits and giggles, or just for the sake of being weird; rather it adds depth to the series.
The android-arc brings forth yet another "Do Androids Dream" story, but does so in a way that's both original and thought-provoking (and not simply because the androids are cat-eared,) and the fairy societies of episode 9 and 10 are analogous to how fickle many societies are in the long run. Even the many improbabilities within the setting contribute to this by giving the setting a fantastical and whimsical atmosphere. I imagine there are plenty of fans who love Jinrui simply because of how different it is (i.e., the hipsters,) but coincidentally it's the things that make it stand out that make it so intelligent.
None of this is quite evident until episode 6, however. The first five episodes, almost half of the series, utilize an excessive amount of dialogue and deadpan snarking to the point where it undermines any of the good qualities. The dialogue gives the impression that this is a poor adaption of a light novel, while the deadpan snarking just makes all the wittiness seem snobbish. It's boring, and doesn't engage you. There's certainly thought-provoking things to be found, but you're too distracted by the show's faults to really care.
Ironically, when Jinrui isn't bogged down by dialogue and snarking, it' stands as an anime that showcases all of animations strongpoints as a story-telling medium. The visuals and sound are put to much better use to express the emotions and plot of the story, instead of spoon-feeding it with dialogue; giving the series an atmosphere that only animation can accomplish. Many of the shows weirder elements are also things best told with animation, similar to the likes of FLCL.
Although the plot is nice and well written, the characters themselves are overtly simplistic and uninteresting. They all do well to move the plot forward, but it's never more than five minutes that each character ever becomes compelling in and of themselves. A big exception to this would be Watashi and Y, who both undergo some heavy character development in the final two episodes.
Another thing is that Jinrui presents itself as comedy, and although it may be intelligent, it's just not as funny as it could be. All of the jokes have potential, but more often than not they're not quite executed well enough. This also likely due to poor adaption of the source material.
All in all, Jinrui has its fair share of mediocrity--especially with the first five episodes, and it's not quite a great as people claim it to be. But it certainly has its moments of brilliance, full of wit and emotion. read more
Sep 18, 2012
Never hoping the world comes to an end and that the religious nuts are wrong is wishful thinking. Personally I'd find a field of barley wheat and a good book on brewing then call it fair.
"Humanity Has Declined" threw me for numerous loops and I was pretty surprised with how good this turned out. I often find myself picking out titles that I am utterly disgusted with but this one was a good choice.
One of the first things that hooked me would have probably been the animation. The type of animation is extremely unorthodox and makes use of, cost effective everything. The characters and sets are fairly low budget but with such colorful work its hard to bash it. I found it amusing that the artists decided to represent the fairies, mouths hanging open and just a default smile no matter the mood. None of the characters really stuck out to me, typical this and typical that. The scenery and sets obviously are pretty much a color orgasm, throwing this and that maybe here and there.
As far as the actual characters go I felt a lot was missing about the main leads until the last couple of episodes. I would have thought in the end that the 2-3 inch little fairies would massacre the rest of humanity, and [Insert Bad Word] like rabbits and reproduce in an un-orderly fashion. The two characters I like the most were Watashi and Y, to me Y sounds like dumb name and probably something to call children 50 years from now. Her obsession with BL made me a little nervous probably because I expected to get flashed by a comic or some strange artwork. Watashi on the other hand, a smart girl who can cook an abundance of sweets might be the ideal "Waifu". The rest of the cast up until her school days were pretty much non existent or a bore. The other children at the school, in particular being the rose club probably gave me the willies. The different personalities of these girls ranged from farting tomboys to obsessive creepers, not people I'd like to be locked up with.
Now being a nano.ripe fan I give solely give credit to them doing the OP theme for watching this. The only time I've given music scores a thumbs up is for this group. After watching the opening a couple times I admit I tried dancing like the fairies and failed horribly. The ending theme probably didn't stick to me as much, I try and sit through those a few times but in general I avoid the extra minute.
The only real gripe I had with Humanity has declined would be the episode arrangement. I would recommend watching the last two episodes first so it has a degree of coherent sense. I was in the dark for the entire first half, everything was so episodical it felt like a stand alone. I tried to occupy myself by making sense of made up themes and propaganda such as sexism and governments. The propaganda probably came with the mention of the term "Commie" or communist and in the village Watashi has negative stimuli due to her field of work and general appearance. One of the minor or major themes, not sure which, would probably have been fairy society. Typical early humans referred to Gods and attempted to establish monarchies or different centralized governments. It was a little too much for me to wrap my head around in all honesty.
I definitely found myself in between the fence here. The concepts were good and I found it enjoyable in the end.
Sep 17, 2012
An anthropomorphic loaf of bread explodes in a shower of blood red carrot juice. What did I just see? The first episode closes out with that with that exact image. It’s startling, disgusting and intriguing all at the same time. I was left with a feeling of shock and awe that something that cute was left in such a gruesome heap.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita left a lasting impression with all the shenanigans it pulls. From being sucked into a manga where the popularity of the book was the key to survival to sentient space satellites that came to Earth to escape their fates, the tales it weaves are bursting with creativity. It was a breath of fresh air, as the series actively avoiding using too many tropes as a crutch. While at times it can get confusing as to what or why something is happening onscreen, it never fails to provoke a thought or coax out a laugh.
This surprisingly vivid plot is painted against a very dire backdrop. Humanity is in its final stages before extinction. The population is dwindling, food is in shortage, and the very foundations of civilization are crumbling. Art, education and culture are afterthoughts for survival. Humanity’s vacated throne over the Earth is being taken by super intellectual pocket-sized dwarves that are referred to as fairies whom the humans look toward to find a key to their salvation.
Most of the insanity in the story is cause by these bite-sized creatures. They never fail to amaze by building miniature cities in the blink of an eye or warping time and space itself. Their presence, a hope for humanity, is what infuses the tale with so much charm and vibrancy.
Luckily the craziness is contained in smaller two-episode stories. The structure makes the surprises manageable, mitigating complexity. There are loose connections between each that hold the overall series together, but the serialized nature does forego the opportunity to tell a cohesive narrative though. Instead it favors world building, and pouring all its writing into creating a deep setting that I can’t help but want to explore.
The setting is crucial in achieving the goals of this series. Most of the ‘arcs’ are skewed towards satire, criticizing concepts from materialism to current copyright laws. While having knowledge of these issues makes it all the more engrossing, it isn’t required. A viewer can still derive pleasure from the well paced episodes and strong comedic writing.
Sadly though, considering all of these elements, the insanity, serialization and satire, the plot doesn’t have any focus. There isn’t an overarching statement that show is trying to make, and none of the character arcs have a sense of beginning, middle or end. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita had a chance to be a very powerful and moving show but that opportunity is never taken advantage of sadly.
Take note, this series is not aired in chronological order. All things considered, this doesn’t hamper the enjoyment of the series because of, as stated before, the serialized nature of the show. Considering that it can be watched in either the air or chronological order, there is nothing particular that should make you choose one over the other except for preference.
I was in love with Ms.Sweets. She isn’t your typical heroine. Her cynical nature is expertly masked by her cute face and excellent manners. At times she could be a bit blunt but that is part of her charm. At times her selfish desires hid her heart of gold but she would simply reply that it was her human nature.
The pink haired lead is surrounded by an eccentric supporting cast. They each have a unique personality that accents the scatterbrained plot quite nicely. From the mute Assistant that wear Hawaiian shirts to the yuri-obsessed Y, this series has a commendable retinue of memorable folk.
The fairies can’t be forgotten in this equation, but since there are so many of them, they feel more like a plot device than anything. Sure they’re more off the way than any of their fellow character, but they don’t have any sort of concrete backstory or personality. All you can really glean from them is they have a penchant for anything sugary and edible and a slightly sadistic side.
But even for all the merits of the cast, as I stated before, their character arcs are unsatisfactory even for the lead. Some backstories are fleshed out but not many of their threads are tied. For Ms.Sweets, we learn one of her weaknesses but aren’t given a satisfactory conclusion to the direction her life is moving. At times it feels like the cast is stuck in a quagmire of interesting but ultimately pointless plot points.
This series boasts some great visuals. It was like opening a hand painted children’s book. Every setting looks like it’s washed in vivid watercolors. Character designs follow in the same vein, combining pastel shades with more precise line work. The smooth animation does the artwork justice and doesn’t distract from the great art.
The audio work on the other hand is a bit hit and miss for me. I am not a fan of nano.RIPE, so the opening was grating to my ears. The closing is in the same vein, where Masumi Ito’s vocals just didn’t appeal to me. The rest of the soundtrack is pleasant enough but doesn’t stand out in away. It’s a swath of simple piano melodies that do just enough to set the mood.
The voice acting of Mai Nakahara is excellent though. She delivers a standout performance for Ms.Sweets and her slightly deadpan delivery instill the character with a lot of personality. Miyuki Sawashiro, one of my favorite seiyuu, is amongst the cast and is representative of the median quality of the performances, simply fantastic.
I won’t be forgetting Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita any time soon. Its quirky sense of humor and social satire combine to make a very enjoyable watch. While I do have some reservations about the structure of the plot and the effect it had on the characters, this series is for anyone that doesn’t want to watch the typical anime.
Check out more reviews, previews and anime discussion at www.sushigokart.net read more
Feb 13, 2013
I'm not going to ruin it for you by telling you all the things I noticed that make it so amazing, but I will say this:
When I had just finished watching it I thought it was very nice and I rated it. I was kind of thinking borderline eight/nine if I remember, leaning toward nine. At this point though, it doesn't matter what my original rating was.
For days after I watched it, I kept going "oh... OH!" as I realized something I hadn't before. It kept me thinking long after I finished watching. It's just that kind of show, and really, that's the difference between a piece of entertainment and a work of art. read more
Sep 17, 2012
To begin, as the title states, Jinrui wa is a story set in a somewhat post-apocalyptic future were humanity, while still being there, is on a large decline. In their place, a race of timid and odd little creatures aptly named fairies have started to grow immensely and take the reins as the dominant race. But to be honest, this all really has very little impact on the actual plot as the show puts very little focus on the decline of man. Instead we have a semi slice of life-y sort of approach where each episode is a little bit stand alone, with a few events connecting them from one to the other. So despite the somewhat darker outlook of the show's setting, it actually has a much more lively and refreshing tone.
But that doesn't exactly mean the show is nice. The tone kind of wavers from episode to episode, sometimes being upbeat and comedic, sometimes being rather sombre and down to earth, and other times being just plain weird. There's even a bit of an overtone over the whole show that feels quite cynical. Its a bit all over the place really, but due to the show's episodic nature, it all blends together quite smoothly. The shows stranger characteristics really give it a very unique feel and that alone gives you a reason to bother watching it.
But of course there's more than just tone to a show. The characters of Jinrui wa are quite an interesting group to examine. To be honest, a lot of the characters are rather static and one dimensional. Pretty much every side character doesn't get an ounce of development, and most of them are only on the show for 1-3 episodes. But that doesn't make them terrible characters at all. A lot of their characterization comes from simple design and small little bits of intuition. Eventually you can come to love them for all the little things that they are. But of course, what about the main character herself? Watashi is a very interesting character indeed. She's easily the most drawn out and developed character in the series, as the entire show is basically seen through her perspective. Her struggles, the insights into her thoughts, her nice but still somewhat cynical (and fairly lazy) personality... they all mould Watashi into a very relatable character, and a strong protagonist.
But what of those cheeky mascots themselves? Yes the fairies are probably the most stand out thing about this show. They're odd little things and very difficult to describe... but I'll try my best. The fairies personality, their lifestyle, their existence, their appearance, their very soul can be summed up in 2 little symbols... :D
So to put it bluntly, I really enjoyed these past 12 episodes. The art was fantastic, the opening was a catchy little diddy that really got you in the mood for the show, and the humour, when presented, was actually quite funny. I have a few complaints about the show, although most of them are fairly nit picky. I'm a bit disappointed the show never really... went anywhere... in that no real goal was made or achieved. One could argue that due to its slice of life style approach, an objective didn't really need to be present, but I do think the show could have had a bit more definitive ending than it did. Also, there was a few time leaps in the show Haruhi style, so the show itself isn't really in chronological order. While they didn't impact the plot really, they were a bit jarring and kind of confusing at times.
But I digress, what ever faults the show has, they hardly match up to the positives this show presents. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, is probably one of the most interesting shows I've watched in a long long time. While not ground breaking, it has a very unique and charming quality to it that will always make it stand out to me as a great anime and one everyone should consider watching. So with that, I say enjoy.. enjoy this weird, sarcastic little joy to behold, it won't disappoint. read more
Oct 4, 2012
As soon as it had begun, we already found ourselves at the end. Whose dream did we see? Are we still dreaming? A world way past the constrains of modernity, a world without limits, a world where Humanity and its laws no longer exist. While I've waken up from this dream of a show, the closure of Jinrui has left me wanting more of this brilliance from the creators of the show, Romeo Tanaka and Kishi Seiji.
It's hard to say what makes Jinrui tick the way it does. There's a compelling element of freedom which exists not only in the show, but for the audience as well. Set in a boundless fantasy world, Jinrui allows the creators immense freedom to satirise modernity through the most unconventional and shocking means, while leaving audiences to ponder with their own interpretations of the show. From the get go we are thrust into the heart of a Fairy Factory, met with headless chickens and bleeding bread loaves, all to satirise what I might believe is a witty critique on modern business. From here on Jinrui throws countless more satires at us, all with multiples ways for us to think and interpret them.
However, none of this satire would be possible without Jinrui's interesting cast of characters to back it up. Jinrui has some very strong technical character design in terms of personality, which I believe has been a crucial element in constructing the brilliant character interactions and satire comedy. Much of the spark of the characters lies with their interaction with Watashi, whose often cynical personality provides for the most amusing scenes. Watashi who could be mistaken easily as your average pink haired moeblob is an interesting mix of youthful naivete and jaded cynicism which serves as an excellent mix of handling the themes of Jinrui. Her sharpness provides the backbone of amusing commentary and retorts to counter the ever chaotic mess of fairy technology and weird characters she encounters along her adventures. Her youthfulness allows her to see things beyond the realm of adults in the show and allows for a different side of interactions with characters such as the Assistant and the Fairies.
Speaking of the Fairies, their collective personality is a mixture of madness and brilliance. Quite easily your mad scientists one second, best friend the next, the Fairies are the second spotlight of the show behind Watashi. With their unchanging creepy smile, the Fairies will keep you on edge with their schemes. Whimsical, innocent, logical yet illogical, Fairies represent the strongest themes of show as the new Humanity. You'll get quite a chuckle as you witness their own up and downs as you compare them to our own history.
Aside from the Fairies and Watashi, Jinrui still has so many other interesting and quirky characters such as Y, Assistant, Grandpa, just to name a few. A crazy BL lover, One Line Mute, potential Gun Nut, there's endless eccentricities in the colourful show of Jinrui for you to enjoy and laugh at. Overall, Jinrui's character design is one of the most interesting and technically strong I've seen.
Jinrui in its uniqueness also adopts a very peculiar watercolour art style. Although not nearly as flashy or technically great as other shows such as Dog Days' and Hyouka, Jinrui's style serves to push forward its fantasy feel and isolate it from our perception of modernity, by not looking like a modern anime at all. The watercolour approach gives Jinrui an edge in portraying its themes of Humanity's Decline quite well which turns what might be a weakness into quite a thematic strength. The watercolour approach also makes the show feel much friendlier and endearing, overall making it quite memorable to watch.
In the Sound section, Jinrui serves up a memorable OP and ED but a somewhat average soundtrack. The OP song 'Real World', by nano.RIPE syncs in tune with the crazy adventure that we're in store for, while the OP animation just highlights the wackiness of the show. The ED, 'Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume', by Itou Masumi (Azumanga Daioh OP/ED) is a softer song, resonating with fluffiness of sweets and buns and also the humble rise and eventual fall of Humanity in the ED animation as well. While I am not much of a Anisong fan nowadays, these two songs have proven to be refreshing and well worth listening outside of the regular OP and ED versions.
Jinrui is a show you have to be patient with. While the wackiness may overshadow the themes it tries to portray and even the story of the arcs themselves, once you draw the parallels between the show and the satirisation of the modern world, it proves to be a brilliant watch. In saying this, it is like watching the Simpsons when you're a child. Much of the satire and comedy that isn't immediately obvious might be lost on you. But when you grow up and look back, you can give a hearty little chuckle over what's being satirised. Overall, Jinrui has been an excellent show from start to finish, making me ponder and wait every week for the next episode. I give it an enjoyment score of 9 and a critical score of 8.5. read more
Sep 16, 2012
The story, which progresses primarily in two episode arcs, is told out of chronology; some earlier story events and told in later episodes and vice versa. I’m not sure what the creators were going for when they decided to adapt the light novels this way. I suppose that they wanted to make the series stand out as odd and unique, but the effect comes off as a bit arbitrary. Even without the weird episode order, this show is fun to watch partly because of its unpredictability: some episodes are jabbing satires towards subjects such as food manufacturing and the manga industry, some are more heartfelt and poignant, and others are a mixture of both.
The main character of the series is atypical of an anime girl. She oftentimes has a cynical and sarcastic outlook towards situations, which the viewers get to hear through her thoughts. Her character (somewhat akin to that of Kyon from the Haruhi Suzumiya series) is refreshing and is one of the strongest points of the series. Supporting characters include the protagonist’s grandfather, a generally kind but sometimes strict man with an affinity for guns, the assistant, a silent boy who can be constantly seem with a camcorder, and Y, a rabid fujoshi and friend of the protagonist. Last but not least are the fairies, the central axiom which tie together the show. The fairies are small, cute beings that love sweets and having fun more than anything. They’re supposedly technologically advanced and very intelligent, but at the same time they are sometimes naïve and clueless. These beings are enigmatic, odd, and a joy to observe throughout the anime as they interact with the protagonist and the world.
The art makes use of soft, pastel colors that paint an ironically cheery world. The animation is nothing stellar, but it is passable and gets the job done. The sound is also not especially notable, but it contributes to the generally light overtone and atmosphere of the show, masking the dark undertones and implications of the story. Overall the colors and music give the world a dreamy, storybook-like feeling, which fits in well with the generally rustic setting and presence of the playful fairies.
The show is a bit inconsistent with the quality of arcs; some are absolutely stellar while others are simply decent. The show is also a bit lacking in direction. It throws around a multitude of interesting ideas about society and humanity, but never quite ties them together. However, overall Humanity Has Declined is a delightfully unique watch, and anyone looking for something different amongst the sea of typical school setting anime might want to give this weird, funny, and whimsical show a try.
Aug 5, 2013
JINRUI IS AN ANIME ABOUT OUR CYNICAL UNNAMED PROTAGONIST KNOWN ONLY AS WATASHI AND SHE ACTS AS AN EMBASSADOR BETWEEN US HUMANS AND THE NEO HUMANS KNOWN AS FAIRIES
THE ANIME IS GENERALLY EPISODIC PLOTWISE BUT SOMETIMES TWO EPISODES CAN BE USED FOR ONE STORY
BASICALLY IT IS A SHORT COLLECTION OF FUN STORIES ABOUT THE ADVENTURES OF OUR MAIN CHARACTER AND DEALINGS WITH VARIOUS SITUATIONS
BUT THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL GAY MOESHIT
GO WATCH KEIONS IF YOU WANT THAT
IT DIGS DEEP INTO THE OF HUMAN MORALITY UNDER THE CHEAP LAYERS OF SHALLOW LIGHT HEARTEDNESS ON THE SURFACE
EACH STORY ACC WILL MIND BOGGLE YOU AND HAVE YOU LAUGHING YOU DICK OFF
BUT THIS ANIME IS NOT REALLY DEEP AS IN THE WAYS OF MADOKA OR EVA
IT IS LIGHT HEARTED AND FUN
BUT IF YOU LOOK THROUGH ALL THAT COLORFUL ANIMATION INTO THE IMPLICATIONS SUGGESTED YOU WILL SEE SOMETHING MORE TO THIS THAN A SIMPLE STORYBOOK
SPEAKING OF STORYBOOKS
THE GRAPHICS WHICH IT IS PRESENTED THROUGH ARE VERY STORYBOOKISH WITH LOTS OF BRIGHT COLORS AND MANY VAST LANDS OF PURE COLOR
BUT IT SUITS THE GENERAL LIGHT HEARTED TONE OF THE ANIME VERY WELL
THE MUSIC IS PRETTY COOL
THERE ARE NOT THAT MANY SIGNIFICANT TRACKS
BUT THE OP AND ED ARE GREAT
THE ED IS ESPECIALLY SYMBOLIC AND SHOWS THE CYCLES OF THE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF MANKIND
AND THE COLLAPSE OF OUR SOCIETY
THE CHARACTERS ARE COOL
MANY CLICHE CHARACTERS ARE USED SUCH AS THE OLD MENTOR
ALONG WITH THE SHY ASSISTANT AND THE FUJOSHIT THESE THREE MAKE UP THE MAIN SIDE CHARACTERS
BUT THE CLICHENESS IS OVERSHADOWED BY OUR DEAR FRIEND WATASHI
WATASHI IS ONE HELL OF A MC
THIS MC IS JUST SO GREAT
I THINK SHE IS MY FAVOURITE MC OF ALL TIME
HER VIEW ON LIFE AND SLY COMMENTS WILL AMUSE YOU TO NO END
SHE IS GOOD
THAT IS ALL
YOU WILL LOVE HER
OH AND NOBODY HAS A NAME
DID I ENJOY THIS YOU ASK
YES I FUCKING DID
IT IS ONE HELL OF A QUIRKY AND FUN ANIME
MAYBE IT IS NOT FOR YOU IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR ACTUAL STORYLINE AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
BUT THIS IS THE MOST FUN THING I HAVE EVER WATCHED
TO SUM THINGS UP
JINRUI IS A FUN AND LIGHT HEARTED ANIME WHICH FOLLOWS SEVERAL OF OUR PROTAGONISTS TRAVELS
IT IS GOOD
BY THE WAY
THE EPISODES ARE NOT CHRONOLOGICAL
IT ADDS TO THE FUN
THANK YOU FOR READING
Sep 3, 2012
After watching the first episode, I knew that it would be my favorite anime for the season. It is a dark comedy which constantly creates satirical comments on society, and often exaggerations (to the point of it being surreal even in a fantasy world) are made to create more impact. Clever points are presented in stupid or cute ways, in which sometimes people can just fall in love with.
First we get the view of the world. No machinery, everything is green, and you don’t get the feeling of “Declining humanity” (in which image might be created by rubbles etc). However one of the problems is quickly introduced: shortage of supplies. Food is clearly the major need of humankind from every era. This is one of the messages in the first episode, and discovering more messages from this anime (satirical ftw) is one of the fun things.
-I found the “Kokkeeeeeeeeeeeee” (“Bokeeeeee”?) by the chicken funny-
The other unique thing about this anime is the absence of names. The first dialogue we hear is from the protagonist, or Watashi, introducing herself to the villagers. We get her introduction, without hearing any names. She has stated what her role is, and may I emphasize here ‘that is all we need.’ Yes everyone including me would think why they would not give her and other characters any name (if there is any, names represent objects or there are just some simple names…examples in episodes 3-6). In my opinion, the absence of name acts only as a symbol that scenarios like this can happen anywhere in this world, and to emphasize that this anime is about the everyday life of the world. But of course everyone can interpret this differently.
Art is probably not a big thing in this anime, however there are some aspects that stand out. The background is just excellent. This way, we get to know more details about the world. This is also enhanced by the unique design of fairy-like buildings, in contrast to rubbles of buildings humans likely made. Another unique thing that I have never actually seen anywhere else is the foreground lighting. It is like stiff-layered tone to enhance the lighting…it is really interesting. Colors also support the depiction of the world and the fairies themselves; almost everything seems to be bright colored. And if we look at the characters, the colors are flat on them, however it is negated by the smooth animation.
- ( ˚ ワ ˚ ) -
Music has also done a good job here. Playful opening theme by nano.RIPE, and surreal ending theme by Itou Masumi. The background music – oh Ootani Kou (Shakugan no Shana, Another, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0) is also often playful and got a countryside feeling. And sometimes the mysterious theme played by the music box-like instrument (whatever that is) is often accompanied by satirical dialogues. If I need to comment something about some sound effects that are not appropriate yet actually create comments, I dare you to be aware of those kinds of things. Laugh at them.
Overall, it is my enjoyment of the season. Probably break away from dramas, actions or other romance comedy and get your head into more sophisticated theme and enjoy the show. I don't usually rate anime when I'm watching it, so the score might change when I am finished.
Sep 17, 2012
It's definitely a comedy, and definitely, while on the surface light actually is pretty dark.
Each "arc" of the show is more or less totally separate from each of the other ones, though I think a pretty good job was done with jumping around the different arcs (iirc, the light novels were not written in the order that the anime was).
Personally, I find the theme of the show to be exactly what the title implies it to be -- the decline of humanity. In general, each arc will begin with an episode that takes a look at some quality of humanity, or introduces some archetype of humanity, then is generally followed by an episode of total downfall.
At the end of each arc there is no longer any surprise as to exactly why in this setting, humanity has declined. Yet there is a certain sweetness to once was; and so while one might find the antics of the characters to be foolish, you can't really help but smile in sweet nostalgia while you think : "something like this happened to me once".
9/10 -- I'd like to give it a 10, and while I find the weirdness and caricaturization to be part of jintai's charm, at times I also find the show to be a little too weird. read more