To learn and evolve is a natural process of human nature. But after countless mistakes, does this growth still hold any meaning? What then, if the consequences are so severe that amending the situation becomes impossible?
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
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.
~Multilangual review, English & Español: Humanity has Declined~
Humanity Has Declined is sure an interesting title for an anime, I bet it happened before, you know, suddenly our creativity starts to run to it's fullest in order to guess what's the anime's storyline, the possibilities are infinite, after all, imagination has no borders, it's like being under a spell which allows us to imagine complete different scenarios where we're able to push our ideals, characters personalities, story developments, plot twists, in few words, everything we'd like to see, but the spell isn't eternal, everything cease when we're forced to open our eyes, yes, we wake up
in that precise moment when we've obtained freedom from ignorance, guys... we've just watched the first episode, our once infinite possibilities are drastically reduced, prepare to say goodbye to our ideals, Reality knocked at our door, now we've to choose between two remaining scenarios ahead us: "pleased" or "disappointed", the spell is broken.
In my case, still under the effect of such spell, I did imagine a lot of possibilities for this anime, I swear, it turned to be completely different from any possible scenario I could come up with and once the spell was broken, the result was unbelievable and unexpected, I was "pleased" unexpectedly wonderfully and gladly pleased I must add!, I just couldn't believe this anime turned out to be one of the most refreshing, hilarious and, above all, original piece of animation I've seen. Presenting with bizarre tunes a mature theme such as "the end of humankind" and adding those spicy ingredients that only intelligent shows can handle, Satire and Irony, it manages to develop an incredible and unique flow of events succeeding completely in the difficult task of entertaining the viewer using a brilliant comedy whiteout recurring to obscenity, vulgarity, clichés or fanservice.
As the title suggests, this anime is set in a post-apocalyptic world, after a millenarian history, humans has lost it's primacy, sadly we meet a bad end, and small creatures called 'Fairies' have taken over. In this new world where humans and fairies coexist, the story follows a nameless girl from one of the few human village remaining, she acts as one of the many 'mediator' and her job is to deeper into the crazy and bizarre fairy ecosystem in order to get in contact with them. "A simple and easy task" you may say... Oh hell it isn't! dealing with these fairies is anything but easy, in a job when even the smallest development turns out into a flow of bizarre events, where chickens can talk, plan to take over the world, everything while smoking cigars.. ah don't forget that your hair turns out to be alive and 'his' favorite weapon is a knife, in a situation like that I bet everyone would feel, at least, a bit uneasy, or to quit immediately... but our protagonist is a quite particular girl, and the scenarios we get when this girl and the fairies are together are abnormally hilarious.
The reality shown in this anime isn't exactly a mirror of our reality, even so it's meant in a way we can see a reflection of our own, naturally, always in bizarre tones and that's thanks to our protagonist, she's a pool of satirical comments and criticism, nothing is able to escape her "rage" (if we could call it so), it's directed towards everything, the society she lives, human behavior, fairies, historical development and, sometimes, even herself. So through a spiral of comments, a critical and satirical view of the world is available to the viewers, one of the anime's main characteristics, and it's best feature. The story telling isn't presented as the typical linear setting, it neither follow a certain plot; we have different arcs, composed of 1 or 2 episodes each, following a certain case involving the mediator and the fairies
A large cast of characters isn't between the features, but that's not a problem. Our main heroine is truly one-girl show, and we also have the fairies, which we can categorize as a single entity so we don't need really anyone else, they alone are capable of developing a whole anime by themselves, truly impressive don't you think?. I dare to say if there were another protagonist, he/she would be completely overshadowed by our mediator, however there is a really interesting group of minor characters appearing in each arc worth to remember and appreciate.
Let's go to meet them:
From one hand we have a human girl, a mediator between humans and fairies, our protagonist. A first impression of her would be that of a nice and kind girl but she isn't really what appears, don't let her fool you!, actually she's the type of person we could call "a fox disguised as a sheep", and I'll tell you why: selfish, plotter, cynical and sarcastic are the best adjectives to describe her. She finds literally a pain in the ass her job as a mediator, specially when she discovers that being a "politician" isn't less difficult than the jobs there're nowadays, farming/hunting jobs, anyway while she always complains about her situation she manages to do her job quite efficiently, even if she would rather have zero contact with fairies as possible, and that's not because she dislikes them, but it's just that each time they're involved, the situation escalates quickly into a bizarre mess she needs to deal by herself. She has a very pessimistic view of the world, and I wouldn't blame her neither, this leads her sarcastic and cynical comments about the events and the series development. Somehow each episode lead us to find another "dark side" of her personality, which usually shows up when she's in a pinch. Oh.. contrary to her personality, she loves to make sweets, specially to manipulate the fairies or order to seek for some of their help in cases.
From the other hand we have the fairies, the new "humans", they're presented as little small dwarf like creatures, which supposedly, are possessors of an incredible knowledge and intelligence, and we could completely find a confirm of this from the gadgets they produce, which are actually fantasy borderline rather than futuristic, but their behavior could lead us to think otherwise, actually...shock turn!, they're easily manipulated by the mediator with only the help of sweets, they've such a sweet tooth which leads them to do anything in order to get some. Usually it’s the fairies fault of each problem that surface in the series and that the mediator needs to deal with, they usually have an easy-going and shiny personality but this can quickly change to a down earth mood when they aren't having fun, showing a quite pessimistic view of life which leads them to express dark and edgy comments, comparable to our protagonist's ones. When I said that we can categorize them as a single entity I meant that there's no really an embodiment of individual personality for each fairy, sometimes they don't even have names, aside from the ones the girl keep as pets in her house and even she eventually forgets.
Other characters worth mentioning are Doc, the protagonist's grandpa, one of the village's leaders, he has a really easy-going personality but it's also strict when the girl is goofing around whiteout doing her job. Assistant-kun, a boy who rarely speaks but surprisingly the mediator understands him only by looking at his face, he also express himself by sketching things in his block notes when looking at him isn't enough. Y, yes.. her name is a letter, or at least that's how she presents herself, she's an old school friend, responsible of bringing to life again the Yaoi genre in this post-apocalyptic world... damn. There're some more but I won't mention, you'll have to meet them by yourselves my dear readers, it's a whole experience, however even if they're really minor characters their appearance add a unique aura to the show, honorary mention should be dedicated to Bleeding Loaf, a character appeared in episode 01, after seeing that I knew this show was going to be great, believe me when I say this... it's hilarious.
Already thought this show couldn't get weirder?, let me tell you a pair of things more about it, hope you won't mind. The whole atmosphere is filled by a really colorful pastel landscape and art, there're present some particulars that add a really unique touch to the entire scenery, such as the lack of technology that can be seen in the village, the surreal buildings architecture by the fairies, people's costumes, the logic behind the fairies gadgets, a result that's quite pleasant to admire, things that I appreciated very much. The animation was very consistent through the series, even those lively "action" scenes were done quite nice, super eye candy animation isn't one of its strong points, it doesn't fit with the design anyway. OSTs aren't that spectacular neither, but they didn't feel off scene never, rather forgettable actually, but this show doesn't rely too much on the background musics, but If we really have to say, there's one that could be crafted into our minds, maybe forever, it’s the Ave Maria of the flying chickens, that scene is almost unforgettable (Episode 02), I swear, it'll crafted into your mind.
Also there's a particular odd characteristic, this anime doesn't present a chronological storyline. I watched it the first time in the broadcasting and a second time in chronological order, overall the experience is the same, there's a two episodes arc that features our mediator when she was in school, if we watch that arc as our beginning or as a flash back, it doesn't change very much the experience, the anime's crazy and bizarre aura allows us that. People could find it amusing and interesting, something that add an extra uniqueness to the show, but there are also people who enjoy more a chronological order, so I'll leave the chronological order here, hoping that maybe someone find this handful, watch it as wherever you feel to.
This was a truly amazing ride, I enjoyed every episode of it, the series strong point is surely its protagonist, in my personal opinion the best female character I've met, she's still my 1st in my Top and I doubt someone will steal her place. Just try to visualize everything said in this review and let run your imagination to it's fullest, because that would be the closest thing that you'll be experiencing in this anime and, probably, won't be enough to anticipate the events on going through the series, I guarantee it.
Humanity Has Declined es sin duda un título interesante para un anime, apuesto que ha sucedido antes, seguramente sabes, al improviso nuestra creatividad toma vuelo libremente para intentar adivinar de que se tratará la historia, las posibilidades son infinitas, después de todo, la imaginación no conoce límites, es como sí estuviéramos bajo un hechizo el cual nos permite imaginar escenarios completamente distintos dentro los cuales somos capaces de empujar nuestros ideales, la personalidades de los personajes, el desarrollo de la trama, los plot twists, en pocas palabras, todo lo que nos gustaría ver, aún así el hechizo no es eterno, todo termina cuando somos obligados a abrir los ojos, sí, despertamos en ese preciso momento cuando nos liberamos de la ignorancia, chicos... acabamos de ver el primer episodio, lo que eran una vez nuestras infinitas posibilidades se redujeron drásticamente, prepárense a decirle adiós a nuestros ideales, la Realidad nos tocó la puerta, ahora tenemos que escoger entre los dos escenarios que quedan adelante nuestro: "satisfecho" o "decepcionado", el hechizo se ha roto.
En mi caso, estando todavía bajo el efecto de tal hechizo, pude imaginar una infinidad de posibilidades para este anime, lo puedo jurar, esto se reveló ser algo completamente diferente a los escenarios que había llegado a concluir, al romperse el hechizo, increíble e inesperado fue el resultado, estuve "satisfecho", inesperadamente magníficamente satisfecho tengo que agregar!, este anime resultó ser una de las más refrescantes, geniales y sobretodo, originales piezas de animación que he visto. Presentando con tonos bizarros un tema maduro como lo es "la fin de la humanidad", es capaz de dar vida a una serie única de eventos, imposibles siquiera de imaginar, y al mismo tiempo agregando aquellos ingredientes que sólo las series inteligentes pueden manejar, Sátira e Ironía, realizando la difícil misión de entretener al espectador con una brillante comedia sin recurrir a la vulgaridad, clichés o fanservice.
Como el título sugiere, este anime está ambientado en un mundo post-apocalíptico, después de una milenaria historia, los humanos perdieron su primacía, tristemente nos encontramos con un mal final, y así fue que pequeñas criaturas llamadas "Hadas" tomaron el control de la sociedad. En este nuevo mundo donde humanos y hadas coexisten, protagonista de la historia es una chica, cuyo nombre nunca viene revelado, proveniente da uno de los pocos pueblos qué quedan, ella actúa como uno de los tantos "mediadores" y su trabajo consiste en adentrarse en el loco y bizarro ecosistema de la hadas y así encontrar un modo de entrar en contacto con ellos. "Una simple y fácil tarea" podrías decir... pero joder no!, tratar con estas hadas es cualquier cosa menos fácil, en un trabajo donde hasta el más pequeño desarrollo puede desbordar en una serie de bizarros eventos, donde los pollos pueden hablar, tratar de conquistar el mundo, todo mientras fuman cigarros.. ah sin olvidar que tu cabello cobre vida y 'su' arma favorita es un cuchillo, apuesto al tratar con una situación así, todos al menos se sentirían un poco incómodos, o renunciarían inmediatamente... pero nuestra protagonista es una chica bastante particular, y los escenarios que se obtienen cuando esta chica y las hadas están juntos son anormalmente hilarantes.
La realidad presentada es este anime no es exactamente el espejo de la nuestra, aún así está hecha en un modo en que podamos verle el reflejo, naturalmente, siempre bajo tonos bizarros y eso es gracias a nuestra protagonista, ella es una piscina de comentarios satíricos y criticismo, nada ni nadie puede escapar de su "Ira" (si así la podríamos llamar), está dirigida hacia todo en general, la sociedad donde vive, el comportamiento humano, las hadas, los desarrollos históricos y, a veces, hasta ella misma. Así que a través de está espiral de comentarios, una visión crítica y satírica es accesible al espectador, una de las características de este anime, la mejor de todas. La narración no presenta el típico estilo linear, no sigue siquiera un hilo de trama, la serie está dividida en arcos, compuestos de 1 o 2 episodios, cada vez presentando un caso que envuelven al mediador y a las hadas.
Un largo cast de personajes no es uno de sus puntos fuertes, pero no es tampoco un problema. Nuestra chica es toda una "one-girl show", también tenemos las hadas, las cuales podríamos catalogar como una única entidad, y de verdad no necesitamos de alguien más, ellos solos son capaces de desarrollar un anime entero, de verdad impresionante ¿no crees?. Al haber habido otro protagonista, estoy dispuesto a decir que este estaría constantemente bajo la sombra de la mediadora, de todos modos hay una grupo de personajes menores en cada arco que valen la pena recordar y apreciar.
¡Vamos a conocerlos!
De una mano tenemos a una chica humana, una mediadora entre humanos y hadas, nuestra protagonista. Bajo una primera impresión podría dar la imagen de ser una chica gentil y bondadosa pero de verdad no es lo que aparenta, ¡no dejes que te engañe!, en realidad podríamos calificar a esta chica como un lobo disfrazado de oveja, y les diré porque: egoísta, manipuladora, cínica y sarcástica son los mejores adjetivos para describirla. Ella encuentra su vocación como mediador algo fastidioso, especialmente cuando descubre que ser un diplomático no es menos fatiga comparándolo con otros trabajos que se encuentran actualmente, agricultura & caza, aún lamentándose siempre de su situación logra siempre hacer su trabajo de manera bastante eficiente, pero en lo posible, no quisiera tener muchos encuentros con las hadas, y esto no es porque las desprecie, sólo que cada vez están que involucradas en algo la situación degenera en un caos total que le toca resolver. Poseedora de una visión bastante pesimista del mundo, y yo no la culparía tampoco, la guía a expresar sus comentarios cínicos y sarcásticos sobre los eventos y el desarrollo de la serie. De algún modo cada episodio nos deja ver un lado oscuro de su personalidad, el cual usualmente se manifiesta cuando se encuentra en problemas. Ah.. en modo opuesto a su personalidad, ella adora hacer dulces, especialmente para conseguir la ayuda de las hadas en los varios casos que se presentan.
En la otra mano tenemos a las hadas, los nuevos humanos, criaturas del aspecto de mini duendes, las cuales, supuestamente, son posesores de un inmensa Inteligencia y Conocimiento, hecho que podríamos encontrar confirma viendo los objetos que producen, que rozan la Ciencia Ficción en vez de Futurístico, pero la forma de comportarse nos deja una primera impresión bastante diferente.. ¡giro inesperado de eventos! las hadas son fácilmente manipulables si hay dulces de por medio, son tan golosas que harían de todo por obtenerlos. Por lo general, todo problema que surge a lo largo de la serie, y que la mediadora tiene que lidiar, es culpa de las hadas, que usualmente tienen una personalidad buena onda y alegre, cosa que puede cambiar repentinamente de forma drástica si no se están divirtiendo, pasando a tener un humor sombrío, el cual las lleva a tener una visión bastante pesimista de la Vida, con tendencias a expresar comentarios edgy y macabros, comparables a los de la Protagonista. Cuando dije que podríamos considerarlos como una única entidad me refería a que no hay una personificación individual definida por cada hada, no tienen siquiera nombres, a excepción de los que la mediadora mantiene en su casa y que ella eventualmente olvida. (también los hace dormir en una caja a compartimientos separados para que no se reproduzcan, el uso del agua no tiene nada que ver).
Entre los otros personajes que valen la pena mencionar están: Doc, el abuelo de la protagonista, uno de los jefes del pueblo, tiene una personalidad bastante buena onda que, pero cambia rápidamente cuando se da cuenta que la chica está vagueando sin hacer su trabajo. Asistente-kun, un chico que a malas penas emite un sonido para hablar, la cosa no le crea algún problema de comunicación pues el hecho sorprendente es que la mediadora es capaz de entenderlo casi telepáticamente, y cuando ese no es el caso, lleva consigo un cuaderno, en el cual dibuja para hacerse entender mejor. Y, sí.. su nombre es una letra, o al menos es así como se presenta, ella es una vieja amiga, responsable de revivir el género del Yaoi en este mundo postapocalíptico.. joder. Se encuentran más personajes pero no los incluiré, tienen que conocerlos ustedes mismos mis queridos lectores, es toda una experiencia, de todos modos, aunque sí son personajes menores, sus apariencias le dan un aire místico al show, una mención honorífica debería ser dedicada a la Hogaza de Pan Sangrienta, un personaje del Episodio 01, después de ver eso supe que este anime iba a ser genial, créanme cuando digo esto... es hilarante.
¿Pensaste ya que esto no se podía meter más raro?, deja que te diga un par de cosas más sobre esta serie, espero no te importe. La entera atmósfera está llena de muy coloridos paisajes de tonalidad pastel, son presentes algunos particulares que agregan un toque de verdad único al entero escenario, cómo la falta de tecnología que se pueden ver en el pueblo, la arquitectura surrealista de los bizarros edificios de las hadas, el vestuario de las personas, la lógica detrás de los objetos marca "Hada", todo esto da un resultado de verdad placentero, cosas que pude apreciar bastante. La Animación es muy consistente a lo largo de la serie, aún pasando por las escenas de "acción", estuvieron bien hechas, animación súper "eye candy" no es uno de sus puntos fuertes, no pega siquiera con el estilo de la serie de todos modos. Las OSTs tampoco son tan espectaculares, nunca se sintieron fuera de lugar, eso sí, pero podemos decir que este anime no se apoya mucho en la música de fondo, pero algo memorable hubo.. y eso fue el Ave María de los pollos voladores, es casi inolvidable esa escena (Episodio 02), lo juro, se queda impregnada en nuestras mentes.
Está también un pequeño particular, este anime no presenta una trama de forma cronológica. Yo lo vi la primera vez en el orden de emisión y la segunda en orden cronológico, teniendo todo en cuenta, la experiencia no cambia, hay dos episodios que se enfocan en nuestra mediadora en su periodo estudiantil, si fuéramos a ver ese arco como nuestro comienzo o como un flash back, la verdad no cambia mucho, la extraña y bizarra aura del anime nos permite eso. Hay gente que puede encontrarlo interesante, algo que le da un extra de originalidad a la serie, hay también gente que disfruta mejor de un orden cronológico, es por eso que dejaré el orden cronológico aquí, esperando que le pueda servir a alguien, véanlo como más les plazca.
Esto fue de verdad un viaje estupendo, disfrute cada episodio, ¿el punto fuerte de la serie? seguramente su protagonista, en mi opinión personal se trata del mejor personaje femenino que he encontrado, esta en 1era posición en mi Top y dudo que alguien le robe el puesto. Traten de visualizar todo lo que se ha dicho en esta reseña y dejen correr a full motor vuestra imaginación, será lo más cercano que experimentarán en este anime, y probablemente no es suficiente para anticipar los eventos que se desarrollan a lo largo de la serie, se los puedo garantizar.
What is will be left once we are gone? The premise of a post-apocalyptic future is one that is immensely intriguing and relevant in a world in which such a scenario could easily become reality. Yet it is also a topic that has already been exhaustively explored in a myriad of past works. Thankfully, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, or "Humanity has Declined," deviates from the beaten path-- it deals not with a future ravaged by destructive capabilities of our own hands, but one marked by a much slower and inevitable fate for humankind. And, unlike its predecessors, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita seamlessly combines the lighthearted
and whimsical with its bleak subject matter, resulting in a humorous and enjoyable experience.
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.
I am just so happy to be through with that show, I really could not stand it. Generally I came to it for the amazing art style but I only found a pile of jokes that really didn't entertain me that much.
The show has some interesting atmosphere for a comedy, and it sometimes give the feeling of something more dramatic but it's not funny enough as a comedy and not nearly interesting enough as a drama.
Character and story development is almost non existent. The main character is being slightly examined throughout the show but the characters around her are so wacky there's hardly one relationship
that is interesting to inspect. The story is episodic and episodes are separated from one another almost as being stand alone stories, which adds to the show's undeveloped nature.
Perhaps the show wanted to examine ideas instead of a story in the common term but the episodes range from boring to bizarre. Some of the allegories I did not understand, some I found too tedious to even try and the rest I just not relate to.
I find very little reason to watch this show. Again, I praise the art and animation which are some of the most beautiful I've ever seen in anime and also some BGM tracks were catchy and likable to me, but I do not recommend this unless you are looking for a very unique and not so successful dark comedy.
Based on the title, the average individual would probably conjure projections of some bleak and black post-apocalyptic world. Based on the show's artwork, the average individual would conjure preconceptions of some bright and fuzzy fantasy setting. It's really neither, and yet it's kind of both, and that's one of the things that makes Humanity has Declined both refreshing and intriguing.
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 as a school youth. 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? But then again, would we care about Watashi's back story otherwise?
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.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita takes place in a future world where humanity is currently in the process of being replaced by a superior subspecies or tiny, carefree fairies. Most technology seems to be shut down, though they still seem to have some advances of older times such as guns, obsolete cars and functioning toilets. The main character, an unnamed girl living with her grandfather in a small village, works as a mediator between humans and fairies, and therefore finds herself mixed up in quite a few unexpected situations caused by the completely random action of the fairies.
Both the fairies and the story in general seem
very light hearted and joyful at first glance, yet turn out much darker on the inside.
It’s still easily enjoyable, without the need to concentrate while watching, so I’d also recommend if you want something happy and light. And obscure.
Yes, obscure. Because that is simply the best term to describe the general plotline.
Allow me to give you a quick example of what you may encounter whilst watching this show.
Episode two; a group of highly intelligent, headless, plucked, cigar-smoking chicken who communicate using hoot-sounds has taken over a faculty, specialized in turning garbage to food and originally run my magical fairies. The chickens are able to imprison the main character, but fortunately her hair turns out to be a living creature with the power of a thousand suns, so it easily breaks the metal cage. The day is saved by the hero’s assistant, who startles the chickens with a camera shutter, so they kill themselves in confusion, mostly resulting in them being turned in canned food. Also, there’s a carrot bread committing suicide by ripping itself in half.
So, if you think you’ll enjoy this kind of show (and personally, I sure did), then give it a shot! It’s only 12 episode anyway.
In total: 9/10 It didn’t really have any flaws I could name.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is a clever anime that has something for just about everyone.
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.
Welcome ladies and gentlemen to my review of Humanity has Declined, let’s get started!
The story of Humanity has Declined is set in a world where the decrease in birth rates have caused the population of humans to decrease giving rise to “new humans” known as fairies who possess technological advancements. We follow Watashi as an arbiter of sorts between the fairies and the humans as she tries to investigate the fairies and their behaviors which lead to some convoluted adventures.
The main thing to acknowledge about this title is the fact that this is a comedic satire that pokes
fun at humanity, and by doing so it hits upon a bunch aspects from society in a silly yet dark way. Consumerism, religion, the manga industry, exceptionalism and much more are displayed in the anime through multiple 1-2 episode arcs that go back in time as the anime progress which in my opinion adds another layer of uniqueness with its reverse chronological ordering. The events are for the majority of the show absurd between shaved chickens running around headless to a piece of bread pulling a Hitler and killing itself. This anime is very eccentric, and I’m glad as hell that the anime utilizes its weirdness properly.
How is the show as a comedy? For me, the humor was fascinating. Not only was it intelligently written but at times it was very sinister and it cooperated splendidly with the thematic elements of the show without ruining what the anime is attempting to critique. However the show didn’t dig as deep as it could within its themes leaving some of them feeling quite superficial. Also, the world and its setting wasn’t fleshed out sufficiently either, why are there fairies? What caused the decline in birth? All these questions and still no answers which is quite a shame.
With the show’s originality it fabricates a stimulating story that held my attention throughout all of the episodes. The conclusion of the show however was alright, but it tied up our main character’s motivations/characterization very well and even included some minor surprises the show had subtly building up through what some of the characters mentioned in previous dialogue.
Watashi as a main lead female role is refreshing due to her detachment from the stereotypical anime archetypes. On the exterior she appears to be pretty, *whispers* to the point where she is on my top 10 waifu list *wink wink* but her cynical, manipulative and sarcastic attitude towards everything is a spellbinding character flaw that brings out some of the best jokes in the series. The way she goes about doing things like procuring information, or messing around with the fairies, or even just her facial reactions are all entertaining as hell to observe. Overall, Watashi as our pessimistic lead character is a blessing with nice as opposed to the standard norm.
The fairies are…. The fairies are…. The fairies are… They’re something else. Their deadpan faces, always smiling no matter if the topic is about persecution, obsessing over sweets, and their mischievous behavior that rivals a child popping a hole in a strange balloon he found on the floor only to realize that his mother got pregnant a few weeks after he popped said balloon. Damn kids, can’t trust them. The fairies are in short weird, they erect societies only to crush them, they react in absurd ways, and follow others blindly, but the petrifying part is the fairies are us. The fairies are an over exaggeration of human society, how we function, develop, digress, think, the fairies though dark and naive are essentially humanity. They are hilarious to watch onscreen as Watashi interacts with them, and as they themselves communicate with each other.
The remainder of the cast is relatively weak with a lack of development amongst some of its cast members, especially from the assistant whom for the majority of the anime is silent. Also more weak characters include a fujoshi lover and Watashi’s grandfather who collects guns just cause. But in their defense they do add a touch of flair to the show that I don’t think any other characters could’ve accomplished.
The art for the show looked very storybooky for a lack of a better term. It appears to be pulled right from a kid’s storybook with vivid colors to cover the appealing backgrounds and objects that aren’t trying to achieve any sort of realism. Surprisingly I have to commend this show for its use of lighting because it generates some hilarious moments when the dark humor is utilized in darker areas to juxtapose the seriousness with hilariousness. The character designs are all eccentric but they cooperate well with eachother as a whole with Watashi having a fresh look and the fairies looking like tiny stoners. In terms of animation it’s not the greatest the medium has to offer but it works out well for the series!
In terms of sound, the soundtrack wasn’t all that special, it was like having candles lit during sex, they’re there and they add atmosphere to the main event, but lets just face it, you’ll forget all about it.in a matter of seconds. But my god do I really like the happy go lucky nature of the opening and the ending song has become one of my top 10 favorite endings. The voice acting for Watashi and the fairies are top notch and brings the characters to life whereas all the other characters’s voice actors do a decent job at their roles.
Overall, though Humanity has Declined isn’t the best in its character department and feels lacking in explanation of its world there is a great critique on humanity here through the use of extremely well written dark humor and a refreshing female lead. This leads me to give Humanity has declined my rating of Very Good.
If you're looking for an anime to kill some time, I guess this is something to watch. However, if you're looking for an anime that you would want to really enjoy watching, then perhaps you would want to think it over. Additionally, if you have a long list of anime to watch, this would probably be a low priority. Basically, this anime deals with fairies and their assistance to a poverty driven village.
While watching the first two episodes, I noticed that the story is very slow paced and quite boring. The story wasn't too compelling. The humor is probably targeting the younger audience. I
feel like its trying too hard to be uniquely funny. The plus side of this anime is the art is attractive - the primary reason why I started watching this; and I found the characters to be quite unique and somewhat with a twist.
Maybe if I give it a chance and continue watching, my rating would possibly increase. I think I could be watching something better with my time than watching this, hence I would have to drop this.
Note: my thoughts were all based from watching the first two episodes, so I apologize for my rash yet straightforward opinion towards this anime.
When an anime series' title is Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita--that translates to Humanity Has Declined, for those of you who don't know a smidgen of Japanese--potential viewers expect some sort of post-apocalyptic shounen with its fair share of violent gore, blood, drama, survival, and action. Already you have piqued the interest of a good bit of the audience. And when its main character is a female . . . Well, let's just say that it's an unfortunate fact that for some--sorry, many--people, action+boobs=instant must watch. With that you have increased the audience's interest by at least ten-fold. Finally you hear that it has fairies in
it. Surely this means that there is some amount of magical, kick-ass superpower users in it, right? Now we are looking at a dramatic action-adventure with magic, boobs, and blood. Who could resist?
But this isn't the anime that JwSS is. It isn't a shounen, it doesn't have balloon boobs, magic plays little to no part in any episode, and the most violence we get is a scene where a piece of robo-bread tears himself nearly in half and starts gushing carrot juice. Instead, JwSS can only be described as a reflection on us--humanity. Now, I won't bore you with a psychological lecture about the meaning of life--God knows I don't have the ability to do that--but I will say that JwSS will touch on some of some of the worst parts of humanity--greed, arrogance, disregard, and apathy--as well as the best--home, friendship, individuality, and joy. It's at the same time both humorous satire and heartwarming affection toward us, the foolish humans, adorable in our pitiful march to . . . where? Regardless, this is an anime that all people should watch and more than once, simply because there is something to be gained by everyone who hasn't and more for those who have.
(I won't provide a synopsis; that's on the anime's page, and you're better off watching it anyway.) The entire series consists of several one or two episode arcs each with an easily identifiable central theme. JwSS doesn't force any of its satire, nor does it ever get (unintentionally) cheesy. It focuses on using its characters to tell its stories of homesickness or to joke about the metropolitan human society. If you are a fan of huge, epic tales of finding the ultimate pirate treasure, becoming the best magician's guild, beating up the bad guy who is also your childhood friend, or conquering the world with giant robots and mind-control, the change of pace to short arcs with not much to do with each other may not be for you. But if you enjoy the pacing of a bunch of short stories about a high-school otaku girl and her friends, series of stories with child prodigies with funky pigtails and her high school friends, or shows about high-school guys doing everyday high-school-guy things, then you might like the pace of this JwSS: self-contained, self-sufficient arcs with strong, natural, gradual character development. Virtually my only complaint was that the series was too short to reach its full potential. (Read: I want moar.)
The word I would use to describe this anime is "colorful". Each character's appearance is suited to their personality, and the studio certainly wasn't shy to use every bit of the color spectrum in its backgrounds when it came to anything to do with the fairies. Again, it suits the personality of the series, the light-hearted humor and the heart-warming tenderness of the series. The animation is hardly the smoothest I've ever seen, but it sure gets the job done; no silly, flashy special-effects; just honest, barefaced animation that makes sure to convey every nuance of the character's actions.
Honestly, I have no idea how to rate sound . . . There was no problem at all; no problem hearing character's voices, the BGM set the mood for humor or solemnity as necessary. It was really good.
Apart from the main character and perhaps her grandfather, each arc generally does not share many characters in common. Of course, you may wonder how there is character development when only one character is recurrent, but as she shares with us stories of the world she lives in, she comes to understand more about the humans of the past, as well as her own personality. She is believable in her imperfection, likeable for her humor, and lovable in her insight. She does an excellent job of telling us about fairies and the people around her. Through her we gain an understanding of the world she lives in, and perhaps more about ourselves.
The mix of satire and tenderness in this anime does wonders for its enjoyability. Humor is used effectively to keep us interested in its ridicule of humanity, and when it isn't amusing you with you, it's preparing to make you feel glad to be human. Never does it drown you in sorrow, and never does it give you a shot of pure euphoria. Its strength isn't concentrated so that you feel drugged into happiness or contemplation. Rather, it is diffused; it uses its subtle sarcasm and tenderness in a way that is more persuasive than forceful. You enjoy the short, small quips and soft happiness you get from relating to the situations. This is an anime that can be enjoyed at a slow pace, which matches its overall "personality".
I am fully convinced that this is an anime that is both enjoyable and informative; note that I didn't say educational. It leaves the viewer prone to contemplating humanity while never leaving the viewer depressed about it. The personality of the anime is evident in its every aspect, and I would suggest this to anyone and everyone who is looking for something new.
(Note that this is the first review I have actually put good effort into; the other one was basically a rant...)
A lot of people have deemed Jinrui to be a highly intelligent and special anime, one which manages to punch them in the feels and is a strong contender for their personal Anime of 2012. There are also a lot of people calling Jinrui the hipster's anime, in both the positive and negative sense of the word.
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.
One thing the viewers have to note about Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita is that as much as it sticks out like a sore thumb among anime for its originality, there is little to no justification for this originality. In other words, asking yourself, “What just happened?” will be a common occurrence while watching this anime. However, it is up to you, the viewer, whether to decide to keep watching or to just stop. The anime itself will not try to pull you back in with any fanservice or drawn-out explanations of what is going on in the anime. To enjoy this anime to its fullest,
you have to accept it for what it is, and by doing so, you will come to realize that there is actually more to this anime than its blatant absurdity.
(If you want the short-and-sweet summary of my impressions on the anime, please refer to the bottom of this review)
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. Fairies possess supernatural powers that defy human logic, and yet ironically they are deathly 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?” Considering that this anime doesn't really have an overarching plot, answers to these questions are somewhat irrelevant. However, providing answers to some basic background questions would have made this anime much easier to understand and given this anime a better sense of cohesion. No matter how amusing the anime was, the anime as a whole felt like a postmodern mishmash of episodes without much direction. 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.
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.”
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 whimsical vocals that has a very slight hint of sadness.
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. 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 6. 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.
The plot summary of this anime and its poster makes the series seem like a typical cute comedy anime set in an alternate version of earth. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that wasn't the case.
Most of the anime is actually satirical social commentary on things such as the consumption of mass-produced food, manga, and the use of electricity. Meanwhile, the last two episodes present a look at Watashi's past to see what made Watashi who she she is.
While the way the satire is presented may seem weird at times, there are moments that will make you smile, chuckle, or laugh out
loud. In fact, the satire is one of the best aspects of the anime.
The other notable aspects of the anime are its protagonist Watashi and the fairies. Watashi may look cute and smile a lot, but hidden behind this is a very observant mind and cynical thoughts. The cynical thoughts are told to the viewer through Watashi's voice-overs. I loved hearing these thoughts, because some of them are quotable. My personal favorite is "I bet that when they run out of delicacy points, girls turn into old ladies."
As for the fairies, they are an amusing representation of humanity's flaws, especially when it comes to instant gratification, over-eagerness, and forgetfulness. They also represent how humanity becomes obsessed with certain fads. A favorite example is when they build an entire metropolis and a giant robot reminiscent of Japanese pop culture.
Between Watashi and the fairies, you have a unique comedy anime that is also intelligent. The only flaw is that it overdoes the weirdness in a couple episodes and tries too hard to top itself.
Overall, this was a pretty entertaining anime, but not everyone will be able to appreciate it. If you want something different from the typical comedy anime out there, then give this a shot.
Having known nothing about the show aside from the synopsis, I had no idea what I was getting into in the first episode. I expected a quiet story with an overarching plot involving travel and politics with a hint of melancholy for the fate of the human race. Though there were some moments when the melancholy did rise up, especially toward the end of the series, the show proved to be more of a surreal examination of the modern world with a lot of dark humour. Topics covered range from the trials and tribulations of a mangaka through the concept of nations to the nature
of the mind and soul.
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.
Humanity has Declined left me puzzled. Not necessarily out of confusion of whether I enjoyed the show or not. Spoiler, I did, but because I can't help but feel that if this series was more geared for "me", as someone with taste and emotion and certain biases, I would've down-right loved it. I think the best way I could describe Humanity has Declined is that of an audacious delight. Audacious because of the downright fascinating narrative choices, both in story and structure, and a delight because when everything wraps up at the end you are often times left going, "that was clever!" A series thats
biggest flaw in my eyes is simply its creative deviations from what I prefer, which is the softest criticism I could ever air towards something, as my taste isn't necessarily the only thing good in the world.
It was as though it had multiple clashing personalities that fought for and against my love. On one hand, as I've said, it was incredibly audacious as a product, and pretty much, unlike anything I've seen. It had an exceedingly strange narrative structure, where its chronology was backward. On the other hand, it had surprisingly little character to it. Apart from the nameless Watashi, our candy-haired protagonist, who was established fairly well as the series went on, albeit not incredibly, she was virtually the only character who felt at all placed well within this series. In a thirteen episode show, where we burn through multiple characters in short two-episode arcs, I would expect more characterization from these established secondaries. Unfortunately, characters like Watashi's grandfather and employer whom she works for, who doesn't even have a character page on MAL, is almost non-existent in characterization. He appears quite often too!This issue extends throughout the majority of characters and I ultimately felt wholly uninterested in their scenes together.
The art had some gorgeous backgrounds yet somewhat lackluster animation, especially for such a short series. Once again, this duality clashes with my taste, and ultimately, just the way the story and characters played out wasn't to my taste. If these negatives seem to be a bit too strong then you have to understand my surprise at actually enjoying quite a bit of this series. Yes, because of its risky structure, sure, but also some genuinely inspired moments of both creativity and design. There were certain arcs that through me through multiple hoops only to have me land on my ass with a giant smile.
Humanity has Declined has us follow this nameless protagonist, Watashi, translated as "I" in Japanese, as she describes situations at her job. She just so happens to have this job in a post-apocalyptic earth that had humanity, literally, decline and get destroyed, only to have this odd, distractingly cute fairy-race spring up. These odd creatures, standing just a few inches tall, are capable of sustaining themselves on everything fun, and when they are having fun, they reproduce, funny enough. They also just so happen to posess some pretty powerful kinds of world-altering magic that plays a role in every single arc in the series.
With this crazy, almost ludicrous setting to back-end this show, we visit Watashi and her less-characterized companions in their surreal and occasionally well-crafted adventures. From being stuck in a banana-infused time-loop to becoming trapped in a manga panel, there are a surprising amount of twists here. This series is as much a mystery as it is semi-dark comedy and fantasy adventure. Sure certain arcs really miss their mark, like the tedious space-explorer-robots-turned-humanoids arc that dragged and wasn't all too engaging, but overall this was impressive to me.
The narrative here, more so than anything else, shines. There are moments where you are completely and utterly lost. And that's clearly intentional. The creators chose to order this series in a strange chronology so we get introduced to this world in the opposite way these characters do, which creates for some odd whiplash at the end of the series. Even if there are certain moments of inspiration that come out of this structure, and certainly it had it's clever stings here and there, it ultimately didn't leave enough of an impression to feel integral to the way Humanity has Declined is presented.
With these off-the-wall narratives you might get frustrated at trying to figure out what exactly is happening. Which ended up happening to me, as I would pause the episodes and try to wrap my brain around why these events were placed the way they were. I'm happy to report that at the end of every arc we would get a natural resolution. Specifically, the timeloop arc being probably the funniest and most clever out of all of them, as we not only get a hilariously cheesy pun as the climax but also some authentically amusing mystery writing with engaging imagery to boot.
The arc that really ended up making me wary of this series is the "trapped-in-a-manga" detour. Which ended up being my favorite arc, as it was undoubtedly the most entertaining, but also, unfortunately, was easily the reason why this series never quite connected with me overall. This is where the actual issues with this series, more so than the character writing, really became clear to me as a viewer with heavy biases toward what I watch, as anyone would have.
I like my series to be thematically, and tonally coherent. When I say that I refer to the fact that while this series was, at its root, a fantasy-mystery-comedy hybrid, it really struggled with tying this world together. Being a surrealistic comedy, to me, isn't an excuse to shoehorn elements into a series that basically never get elaborated or even entertained as an actual element in the show. I don't think this issue I have is necesserally a flaw for certain people though, and it's hard to argue for or against because it relies so much on personal taste.
To make it even more clear. This issue I have with the series is something that I fully expect some people to not have at all, in fact, some may even encourage it. As surrealistic comedy is rare to come across now adays. I just think the surrealistic aspects of this show weren't bountiful enough to become a defining element of the series, and when utilized, they really didn't fit. Like, at all. Even the headless, feather-less chickens being a corporate entity, because yes, that's a story in this series, is surreal and wacky, and fairy magic is loosely defined on its utilities, but I feel like if we are to find verisimilitude within this world we need an element to rope these surrealistic moments together.
So we have characters being stuck in a manga panel. I love it. It provides some entertaining, meta-commentary on mangas and we get to see the cliche of these light novel and manga authors consistently jerk themselves off over how 'different' they are. I'll take it because meta-shit is tons of fun. But, lets take it a step further. This is obviously fairy magic to create what the fairies survive on. That in and of itself is pretty surreal and strange, even within this series. But that step further needs to also elaborate, to a certain extent, why these events don't permeate throughout the world!
The rest of the world seems to be normal, as in, the remaining humans living with one another and fairies hiding in plain sight. But you'd think that with this mind-bending and world-altering magic, we'd see more of it! No? I just found the entire thing to be a bit too much to fully grasp, especially with how loosely defined it was.
Even with that said though, the stories here were genuinely good, and apart from one, were all captivating in some way or another. It wasn't laugh-out-loud funny, but each arc definitely had a moment that made me chuckle fairly hard. Which is more than I can say about the majority of anime comedy I have the displeasure of watching. I think if you don't particularly care about this element I just criticized, then this show could truly be a hidden gem for you.
It's good. As I said, the art here is a it of a mixed bag. The backgrounds and general aesthetics here are solid as hell. In fact, they are downright excellent. Unfortunately, there is some lackluster animation and not many sequences of overly-impressive animation either, which is unfortunate for how short this series is. Overall, it's fine in the animation department. The biggest complaint in its presentation is its uninspired character designs. Even our protagonist took a bit to get used to for me. From her voice acting to her actual design, she was overall not too appealing to me. Thankfully, as the series progressed, she grew on me.
The character design overall struggles, though. From the secondaries to them majority of the fairies and characters, there is just too much banality in a world that is so focused on the surreal. If they really wanted to juxtapose the surreal elements with grounded designs then that would make sense, but our protagonist has fluffy, bright-pink hair, so I doubt that's the intent either.
The music is quite good, though. I rarely like anime music as it often just sounds the same to me. However, Humanity has Declined has some memorable moments. From the very Monogatari-esq mystery stings that occur every so often to the actually quite catchy opening and closing, these are elements i'm happy to praise!
Overall, I hope you understand why this series can be confusing for me. Not from an enjoyment aspect, but from a recommendation aspect. If this series had more elements tailored towards my personal taste, I would have most likely thought it be one of my favorites. But, simply due to the audacious and surprising structure and stories told with remarkably well-crafted mystery stories, we have a show that totally nails certain elements.
I think this kind of thing can't be said about a lot of shows. Humanity has Declined feels like it is in a perpetual tug-of-war in my mind. One side is pulling for me to love the truly inspired elements, the other side is fighting vigorously for me to critique some of the design elements and even the overly-loose and limp interpretation of the more interesting aspects of the world. If you can look past that, and I don't mean that in a derogatory way, you will find a hidden gem with this series. It is genuinely, even when battling against some of my tastes, a lot of fun to watch.
I've been doing my best to not spoil some of the engaging moments seen here because I think they are best experienced through watching, not reading. It's a semi-dark comedy with a mystery slant that does not disappoint. Even if it doesn't look like "your kind of thing", hell, even if it doesn't feel like "your kind of thing" from your initial venture in, I recommend sticking with this short runtime for you may surprise yourself in what you end up taking out of it.
Well, isn't this something different. A strange, colorful post-apocalyptic tale that doesn't aim to fill us with dread or sorrow as most do, but rather get us to laugh. Humanity has Declined (or Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita) is an off-beat comedy with boundless creativity. It is cute, quirky, and filled with happy pastel colors; yet just beneath its fluffy appearance, it possesses an acid wit and dark sense of humor, with some really interesting concepts behind them. This odd juxtaposition makes it one of the most unique, memorable, and funniest shows I've ever come across.
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.
This is my first review (and it's of a series that is only 1 episode in), so forgive me if I over-complicate sentences and make no sense. Thanks in advance :)
Watashi, the main character (also called Okashi-chan by the fairies), is a mediator of the UN between the humans of the past of the present-humans (the fairies). The setting is in the far distant future where mankind has imploded to the point of near extinction. As far as we know in the story, we follow the life of the villagers "struggling" to live (although it sure doesn't feel like they are due to the
While the story is a simple one that may later develop into something, the glory behind the story is the humor surrounding it. It takes only a relatively educated mind to notice the clever jokes formed throughout the episode. Most of the humor in the story focuses on using Watashi's first-person narration to, in a sense, condemn today's society as wasteful and hypocritical. The simplistic lifestyle of the villagers along with Watashi's internal remarks creates a sense of realization to the audience that "hey, these things that we find funny in this episode are things that we accept in our everyday lives." By portraying these points using light-hearted remarks that can be terse and straightforward sometimes, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita seems to make a story out of absolutely nothing.
Likely the 2nd most subjective section in reviews, I personally enjoy the art. The simple take to characters, the adorable design of the fairies, and the traditional pilgram-style clothing speak for themselves. The light atmosphere and lush green setting reminisce that of a painting. Whether the quality will hold or if the setting will change is still to be determined, but for now, I love it.
Nothing in particular sticks out to me. A standard set of sounds with decent voice acting that can be at times annoying; however, this isn't because they couldn't get better voice actors. The voices of the fairies, although annoying, are adorable. Watashi's narration tone is spot-on, and I have few complaints about other aspects of sound. Nakahara Mai's rendition of such a stoic, sarcastic character could not have been any better.
The opening, Real World by Nano Ripe, is a song that you either love or hate (mostly because it's a Nano Ripe song)
The ending, Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume, seems to sound like a remix of a traditional like song. It's not my favorite, and takes time to get used to, but it's not terrible.
The characters, described in the story section mostly already, are one of the de facto aspects that make the series. Watashi's thoughts and actions along with the antics of the adorable fairies (oh and the bread) provide that warm fuzzy feeling you might get when you pet a puppy (if you like them) and even that "i see what you did there" moment (with the jokes)
I had a blast watching this episode. I would pause every minute or so to annoy my friend about a convoluted moment or a witty remark that just occurred. One can only wonder if this enjoyment can last though. As for now, the slapstick-like comedy mixed with deeper jokes combine for an outright potpourri of enjoyment. Be warned however, this is the most arbitrary section of my review, because you have to enjoy a mix of:
1. "Cute things," in essence (I go back to the puppy comparison)
2. Random remarks
3. Clever perceptions of situations
to get the full ride.
If you're someone into blood, guts, ninjas, a serious story and explosions (albeit the bread), this show is not for you.
Overall, there's no questions there are flaws to this series. Some of the jokes are borderline sadistic and may appear too often for one to enjoy, but I believe this series has some great potential, and the first episode was great enough for me to be sucked into it immediately.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita provides the audience with a ridiculously entertaining set of satirical tales that boasts an intriguing character set as well as a simplistic, yet appreciable art style.
Let’s face it, anime is weird. Sure, we get our fair share of “normal” shows: realistic cyberpunk dystopias, dramatic romances, and VRMMO stories. And then there is this one. Humanity Has Declined isn’t your typical anime. On the surface, it appears to be about a girl who bakes bread and makes candy. In reality, the show is an interesting parody on anime and society as a whole.
Humanity Has Declined begins, much like the show, rather strangely. Our main heroine, known as the “Mediator” has come to a village to assist those there in dealing with the local “new
humanity” known as fairies.
At this point, you might be wondering, “Why is the show called Humanity Has Declined?” That’s a good question because you are never truly given a direct answer. The entire show never fully explains everything to you. It introduces concepts and ideas in a semi-slice-of-life fashion, but the details of the world are there for the audience to pick up. Much of the world-building comes from the characters talking nonchalantly to one another or by the actions they are taking. Nothing is ever handed to you on a silver platter; it is up to you to figure out why things are the way they are. In this way, and alluding back to my parody mention, the show is taking a different spin on the classic way of anime story-telling. Many shows kind of just vomit all of the information at you from one character's speech or near the climax of the show. HHD instead takes the odd route by going completely against this.
At the same time (or perhaps not?), HHD’s storytelling is also done in a roundabout way. In other words, the show’s episodes are not in chronological order. This becomes apparent early on and makes the show even more interesting. As a viewer, I started sifting the pieces in my head in order to get the whole “story” down pat. Truth be told, there isn’t really an over-arcing plot; as I said, the show is somewhat slice-of-life. But even right up until the very end, the show itself never follows a strict timeline. Once again, this goes against traditional anime tropes. Most shows follow a linear timeline in order to convey what is happening clearly. This not only makes the most sense but makes it severely less complex for the audience to follow. Since HHD instead chooses the difficult option, it again stands out from most other shows.
For all of this praise I am giving its story, there is a flaw. When completing the series, you are left with this sense that, despite things never being fully explained, the explanations it "gave" still weren't enough. I would have liked to have known the answers to particular questions that the show definitely raises, but perhaps due to its nature or constraints on the number of episodes, I never found them. The show can leave these things up to interpretation, if that was its intention, but I personally would have liked to have been given a little bit more.
When it comes to art and animation, Humanity Has Declined is surprisingly good not only in its quality but in how it matches the themes it is presenting.
Starting with the art, I really loved the backdrops and environments that were presented. They all had this oil painting feel to them that was pretty unique. They all looked hastily drawn but there was actually vast amounts of details included. Because of this, the characters pretty much "pop" out, kind of like a pop-up picture book kids would read. This is important because, sticking with the parody idea, it contrasts heavily with the world we are given. Many of the people in HHD are either suffering or dealing with hard times. The show, however, doesn't depict this dreary, sad, and decrepit world where fairies are the majority. Rather, it gives us a vibrant, colorful, and bright world that is the exact opposite of what it contains.
In terms of animation, I thought it to be above average. Due to the show's nature, it provides many unique scenarios in which to animate, such as a fight between a giant cat and a massive cephalopod or chickens falling over a cliff. The character movements are done nicely as well, given how much talking goes on during the show. This is especially true for the fairies.
Finally, I found the character designs to be somewhat different, in a good way. Mediator's hair, and especially her eyes (loved her eyes), were drawn beautifully. The rest of the cast is done so as well, from Assistant to Y to Mediator's Grandpa.
The characters in Humanity Has Declined have some of the weirdest characterization from a show I have seen in quite a while. I'll talk about three of them: Y, Mediator, and Assistant.
Beginning with Y, Mediator's best friend, she is both a parody and a common trope within anime at the same time. She loves BL and is evidently not afraid to let other people know. But while she seems to be rather strange when compared to other people in the show for her tastes, it is revealed later on that her fetish is actually quite sane. Her character helped to demonstrate that everyone has two sides: their public and private personas.
Mediator, our female lead, is pretty clearly a parody on the common female anime character. When watching her as a third party, she looks to be rather calm, caring and cute. But through her narration and inner-monologues, we learn she gets fed up with people rather quickly, she is lazy, she is straight-forward (most of the time to herself), and usually looks out for herself first before others. She was fun to listen to and watch because she just isn't your normal anime girl.
The last character I want to talk about is Assistant, only because his characterization is about as clever, if not more so, than Nagato's from Haruhi Suzumiya. Without spoiling anything, the way in which his character is explained is one of the most unique I have ever watched. It perfectly fits the show's setting and was done in typical HHD fashion.
The rest of the cast either appears semi-frequently, like Mediator's Grandpa, or only within their respective arcs. None of them are as important as the previous three.
As much as I love the characters for how they were developed and represented, I don't think I love them as characters. Meaning, I don't think any of them are particularly stand-out in the long-run, but they fit their roles well.
HHD's OP is okay. I don't particularly like the song, but I found it to fit well with the show's parody theme due to its peppy and upbeat nature. On the other hand, the ED is quite good. It has this "floaty" feel to it that is pretty captivating. That, and the singing itself is pretty unique. I found its general mysteriousness to align well with the same mysteriousness that the show gives off.
The rest of the soundtrack is fine. There is nothing particularly amazing, but the show does use some classical pieces during comedic moments that were nicely used.
In regards to the voice acting, I liked Mai Nakahara's role as Mediator, especially when she would use English phrases. Plus, her blunt way of thinking was always fun to listen to.
Thinking about the show now, its kind of hard to say one way or another how much I enjoyed it. There is nothing that the show does bad: interesting world, weird characters, and a nice art style. But I never felt compelled to know how the world or the characters were going to end up. The show is definitely strange, and that is its biggest allure. Beyond that, its not comedic, dramatic, tense, or emotional. And it's not supposed to be. What is it trying to be then? Simply put, it is trying to be Humanity Has Declined.
Story: Good, creative world-building, story-telling, and parody
Animation: Great, pops out to your eyes and in your mind
Characters: Good, unique characterization but forgettable
Sound: Fine, okay OP, great ED, with average soundtrack and VA
Enjoyment: Fine, strange ride the whole way through
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (otherwise known as Humanity has Declined) was originally a series of short novels written by author Romeo Tanaka, a man most famously know for his work in the adult Japanese game industry. But don't let that cloud your opinion of this show, as it turns out Jinrui wa etc. is actually quite an interesting little work. It has its ups, it has a few downs, but lets see how good it really was shall we?
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.
In the new millennium you often hear the bad side of life, talk of wars or rumors of wars. You possibly chat with a friend about natural disasters or an upcoming zombie apocalypse.
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
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.