Posted on 20 September 2012 with categories: Anime Reviews, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita



Okay, so the one way in which the Summer Season set itself apart was with its creativity. For one season, I wouldn’t have to worry about premises getting more generic, or a lack of initiative to try something different, because this season may not have been big, but we got series like Uta Koi, Kokoro Connect, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Horizon, Moyashimon. All series that wanted to be different and brought in a ton of creativity in the process. The series in which this was by far the most apparent was Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, or Humanity has declined.

From the outset, you might suspect that this is a cute little series with fairies. Instead though, this series is a full blown satire that uses its setting of fairies in all kinds of creative ways to create surreal storylines and premises. The thing with the fairies in this show is that they can pretty much make anything happen, and yet they act based on the most random of whims. The result is a complete chaos when they end up going, and the lead character is usually stuffed right in the center of this, leading to the creation and destruction of civilizations, being stuck in a time loop and fighting an army of headless chickens and all kinds of stuff like that. Yes, this series prides itself in its creativity all the way.

The way in which the stories are told also takes a bit to get used to. This series follows a very fast, dialogue-based pacing, and most of the show is told through the thoughts of the main character, serving as a narrator. The dialogue is often erratic due to the fairies being so damn whimsical, and it also doesn’t help that the arcs air in a random order so at the start you’ll be completely lost on what’s going on. But on the other side it’s also the series’ charm: it’s very eccentric this way and you’ll never know through what kind of loop you’ll be thrown next. You’ll never know when something interesting hits you here in this series.

This didn’t all go without its issues, though. The erratic nature of this series results in that it tends to ignore the character department. It’s only until the second half that we actually see characters show different sides of themselves. The lead character’s past is only revealed in the final arc. It’s a distant series that isn’t looking for people to connect with the lead characters, which is a bit of a pity because the result is that the series is not as engaging as it could have been, especially in its first half.

So pick this one up if you’re looking for witty dialogue and creative settings with a good dose of dry satire. It’s good for a short watch with only 12 episodes and it may miss some depth in the character department, but there’s enough worth watching.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Very nice satire, quick witted and incredibly whimsical.
Characters: 7/10 – In its first half, the characters are way too one-sided, and that unfortunately hurts a bit too much, and the characters are just too likable to deserve this.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Kou Otani gives a nice soundtrack, though far from his best. The visuals are also very striking and full of bright and pastel colors that give this show a unique charm.
Setting: 9/10 – This show has ideas, and it’s not afraid to use them.

Suggestions:
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Seraphim Call
Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito

Posted on with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Well, I’m glad that at least in the final two episodes this series stuffed in some bits of character development. Whether it was a wise decision to save this for last is a different matter, though. I do think that it would have improved this series if this arc was shown somewhere around the beginning, so that we would have gotten a bit of a better feeling for Watashi. But ah well, the result is a strange and heart-warming ending and that the rest of the series put its focus more on its satire than on its characters.

But yeah, this episode showed how she grew up as an alienated teenager, to the point where she started to interact with others again. The way in which it did that was rather strange though. I mean, she was all happy, then she discovered that her classmates had severe psychological problems, then she spent a bunch of years with the white-haired girl, only to stop caring about it afterwards anyway. There was no drama whatsoever put into that point, even though the rest of the episode was pretty much the most dramatic that this series has ever been.

It worked well though, only the addition of the fairies felt a bit forced. They were completely absent in the whole episode until it felt like the creators suddely remembered their existence again and had Watashi sprint somewhere off for them. It felt unnatural, even in this series.

Still, great show. It’s not the best of the season, and the lack of characterization throughout most of the series definitely cost it some points, but its unique charm was enough to redeem it. And really: it’s great to see AIC do something good again.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 11 September 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

So in the first half of Jinrui, the order of episodes is all jumbled up, but in the second half, there is a clear order, and all of the episodes are airing in reverse. So indeed: the series ends with the period at which Watashi attended school.

This episode was quite a bit different from the usual episodes. For once, there was hardly any focus on the fairies: only one of them appeared at all in this episode, and its role was pretty minor. Instead this episode finally brings a bit of depth to Watashi herself by showing how she turned into that cynical future version of her, explaining that she was both bullied, and refusing to befriend others. I think that that’s also why she took a liking to Assistant so much: he did not try to invade her personal space. At all.

So yeah, in terms of characters, this is going to be a great ending. But in terms of the show’s themes, I’m not so sure. Again, there were very little fairies.

Unless the title of this episode can be interpreted literally. I only realized that this episode had a very weird title just now: “The Fairies’ Secret Tea Party”. I mean, that has absolutely nothing to do with this episode, unless you assume that the group of girls that Watashi ran into at the end of this episode were actually fairies in some sort of disguise.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 4 September 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

And here it is! The long-awaited first chapter of the story, showing the first mission that Watashi had to undertake. And interestingly it is a bit of a semi-sequel to the previous episode as well, keeping with the format of having two-episode arcs in this series. This episode’s purpose was to explain what went on last week, and on top of that it was really cute to see Watashi first laying contact with the fairies.

Like last week, this episode was meant to show a bit more about the Fairy civilization. The collective theme seems to be that when a lot of them are together, and they’re triggered somehow (often with candy), they rapidly recreate human history: building huge cities and advanced structures and technologies, only to collapse again afterwards. These two episodes show more than any other episodes so far that indeed: humanity has declined.

Now, the question is how on earth are the creators planning to end this? I mean, there are two episodes left, and that will likely be the climax for this series, but for some reason I see no build-up to an ending whatsoever. This episode of course was the first episode in the series so it was a bit hard to do that, but still. Are the creators just going to end with a random story like the others? In that case, they’re going to have to make these final episodes count. Make them memorable in a different way from these previous ten episodes.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 27 August 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

You know, this was actually very adorable. In this episode Watashi gets sent to some random island along with a truck full of fairies in order to “cultivate” it. A few episodes ago it was outlined that the more fairies there were, the more luck you have. This episode showed that you can also overdo it a bit.

The result is an entire civilization being built consisting out of all sorts of monuments, only to collapse again due to a lack of resources. The whole process was quite interesting; again lots of sweets were involved, but I also liked how the fairies basically invented their own foods on a whim. The different buildings and clothing were quite imaginative.

Also, the episode order of this is completely random: this episode showed Assistant again, and acted as if he had been there for ages. Ideally speaking, I’d have liked it if the creators emphasized this random order a bit more. I mean, at this point there are only two stories that really made use of this: the story about her getting her hair cut, and the story of meeting Assistant. Other than that, I noticed that things that happen in one episode are never mentioned in the other again. Whether it prevents the series from coming together or not… I can’t say that yet at this point.

Also, why is grandfather always messing with a gun during the introductions?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 19 August 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Oh, this was interesting: episode 8 of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is basically the same as episode 7, only with a different focus. Last week was about the fairies and their bananas, but this time it was all about the assistant. The events were generally the same: Watashi still repeated the episode five times and it all ended in the forest, but here she actually is actively looking for the assistant.

Repetition of course has been done before, but repetition with repetition is a different story, and I’m glad that this show had the guts to do it, since we’ve basically now seen variations of the same scene 10 times right now. And beyond that, the episode also adequately explained why the assistant remained in the background so much, to the point where nobody seemed to notice him.

I’m not sure whether I really get his “first” appearance, though. He acts the complete opposite of what he normally is, including all kinds of sexual harassment. He then leaves, we go to the forest scene again and then suddenly every Watashi has a warm feeling of him and that bratty side of his was never mentioned again. I get that he left searching for some part of himself, but what I don’t get get is how that kickstarted the relationship between him and Watashi.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 12 August 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

With this epsiode, the fairies watched Groundhog Day and thought “hey, we can do that too!” The result was a very surreal episode. And with this series, that has to say something.

Also, what made this different from Groundhog Day was that Watashi kept running into herself. At first I thought that these would be future versions of herself, but since we never got to see those this remains just speculations. All that’s clear is that the fairies were hungry and this only became clear near the end when suddenly everyone started making cakes.

I’ve made my complaints about Assistant-kun, but in this episode he had a very interesting role to play. One thing that’s always fun about the series with a disjointed narrative is seeing all of the out of order introductions, and this was the point at which he apparently got introduced. Does that mean that he won’t appear in the final arcs or are we currently watching the chronological first arc of the story? I doubt that though, because something tells me that the creators still want to explain why Watashi’s watch broke. Also why was grandfather gearing up for battle?
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 6 August 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Whoa, the best episode of Jinrui wa Suita Shimashita so far! At first it started a bit dodgy with that personality-less Yozakura Quartet-inspired catgirl, but as this episode revealed her true nature it totally changed. On top of being the first actually good Engrish pun I have ever seen, it’s just such a fascinating idea to give a personality to the Pioneer and the Voyager and have them return through fairy magic. What this episode also did really well as opposed to the previous episodes was to shed a bit of light into their stories, and deliver some charming drama between the two of them.

The RPG setting now also makes sense, as a major theme of them is exploration: exactly what the two satellites were built for, even though they completely lost their purpose in this episode.

With this episode, I’m also starting to see some build up coming together. First of all this episode first showed that the episodes here are aired in a random order, as this turned out to be a prelude to the first arc. I like that a lot: when you watch something and things only fall on their place once you go along, and it’s especially well done for an adaptation, since they have a habit to just leave out things like that. Take for example the king of confusion: Touka Gettan: it may have been a bit inexplicable while watching it, but I’d actually rate it much higher than I did when I reviewed it.

This episode also finally showed that there may be more to that assistant than what was thought before. Some of the things that Watashi says to him are rather weird, like near the end of the episode when she is interrogated, she tells him to back off.
Rating: 5/8 (Great)

Posted on 29 July 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Pion… something tells me that the creators watched Yozakura Quartet before creating this series, because she has the hair of one of the characters and the scarf of another one of the characters.

In any case, this episode really fleshed out the world in which this series takes place, which coincidentally is the best part of this series. As a result, we had an episode ful of creativity. I like how the fcreators used the fairies in order to describe luck. This also was the first episode which made me feel like humanity has actually declines: we saw ruins, it got confirmed that electricity is scarce. I didn’t really get that idea from the hordes of manga fans of two episodes ago.

Bizarrely enough, despite the creativity in the setting here, I can’t seem to find much inspiration to write about. I mean, this series has its excellent backdrop, but does it have something beyond that? Its dialogue perhaps? It’s definitely well written, but so far the best thing that the dialogue has done is flesh out and detail the setting. Kou Otani’s soundtrack also is great, but lacks depth, so there also isn’t much to talk about there. The visuals as well: this show has a unique visual direction, but beyond that there also isn’t much interesting to say about the animation. Hmm…
Rating: 4/8 (Good)

Posted on 23 July 2012 with categories: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

So unlike the previous episode, this episode was actually about the fairies again, as they created this bizarre manga world that traps people and forces them to create stories that excite readers. Y being the bad writer she is, completely ruins this by trying to tie as many cliches together as possible and making a complete mess of a story. It’s a nice parody of bad manga.

One thing I did notice is that the blond kid doesn’t really feel like a character. I mean, being mute is of course one thing, but oftentimes he’s just there to provide a handy note from the creators in order to keep the story going or get Watashi out of a pinch.

One wasted opportunity was that the creators didn’t show the other manga that the characters were competing with. That would also have been interesting. Still, this was a nice episode that was interesting to watch. I’m still waiting for the characters to really set themselves apart, but there is still time for that.

Regarding the soundtrack though, I feel that this is one of Kou Otani’s lesser works. It just doesn’t seem to fit the satirical atmosphere of this serise, and disappears just too often into the background to the point where I hardly ever notice it. It’s still typical of his soundtrack, but that’s just because he uses that one instrument that nobody else uses. (That one synthesizer)
Rating: (Good)

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  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:21 AM)
    All thats left now is macross 7.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:20 AM)
    However this one begged to go on for more than just five episodes, come on now and it had the franchises penchant for weak villains. It doesn’t get me as emotional as do you remember love does, the characters of Macross plus were more likeable. Still its a step above Macross II and I at least had fun with it on an action level.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 07:17 AM)
    Thats Macross zero completed then, it was great to see the background arc/plot for this franchise, the pace is tight and the action is arguably the most immersive, well done of the Macross universe along with Frontier.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:33 AM)
    While Tatami Galaxy and Ping Pong were definitely sharp I felt that Kemonozume and Kaiba were more inventive.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:30 AM)
    Aye,it was the visual style of the film being so different from the norm that drew me in. Still out of Yuaasa’s stuff I found myself more taken with tatami galaxy.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:22 AM)
    I think creatively the anime industry has plateaued a bit by now, where we see more derivative stuff and there has a formed an almost universal “anime style” which hinders non-traditional voyeurism.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:18 AM)
    I love the tonal whiplash that the story goes thru and the then-impressive-and-new visuals. Both 4°C and Hifana take queues from the Kansai art and the underground graffiti styles that prospered in Japan after the 70’s. Parallel to the postmodern movement in the Western world, the new wave was more expressive than fine and you see its heavy influence on the manga and anime industry.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:14 AM)
    @Bam: It is at the last stretch on the film where it is at its strongest visually in my opinion.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:10 AM)
    @Bam: For only 100 minutes it did a decent enough job on its protaganist in any case.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Feb 24. 2015 04:02 AM)
    Mindgame is amazing. It is as unorthodox as they come but not really pretentious. It’s pretty humble and does have an actual message and proper story arc, so it’s definitely not just random for random’s sake. The industry needs more Yuasa.

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