This is review number eighty one. It’s part of the Summer 2012 lineup and it’s also one of the most talked about in the season for good reasons too because this anime is really enjoyable. I hope the rest of the lineup in this season is strong because I’ve seen two anime that I really like. The anime is Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita (that’s a mouthful) or Humanity has Declined which is a very funny anime that is twelve episodes long. Dude, it had a bread die on the first episode. A bread!
The anime is about a girl. She’s nameless like the hero of The Tatami Mat Galaxy. I’ve never been bothered by it though because the anime has a lot going on. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic Earth where humans have ravaged the world with countless wars. This resulted in total destruction of mankind and now the humans are facing extinction. They are “in decline” according to the anime and the aggressive nature in them has died. They are now peaceful creatures living off a world that nature has once again reclaimed. The girl works in a small village as a mediator between the humans and the fairies. The fairies are tiny little creatures with big smiles on their faces considered as the new human race. They multiply when they are having fun, the love sweets and they are considered a melting pot of human culture and technology. Besides those facts, they are mostly mysterious creatures who recognize the girl as a friend. She seems to be the only one the fairies are close with. The anime is mostly about the girl putting up with the fairies and being involved in misadventures in this post-apocalyptic land.
Taking the Pants Off
If you ever want an anime that will impress you on the first episode then look no further than Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita. This anime is weird all the way and the first half actually throws away conventional storytelling that most anime possesses. It’s a fresh approach to anime which I really admired and the scene of the robot bread bursting blood as it fell to the floor may forever haunt me. The weird and unconventional appeal of the anime doesn’t last though. It’s not a bad anime, don’t misunderstood. Still though, the efforts of this anime will definitely open new ways of presenting anime. I suppose we should break it down but damn it, this anime has so many components to it. I’ll try my best though. *rolls up sleeves*
The anime had a lot of plot points and the very first one presented was the lives of the people in this post-apocalyptic world. The humans are decreasing in numbers but the anime never discusses it. In fact, the lack of danger among the humans is very concerning. They seemed to have become very peaceful and passive despite being in a world full of ruins. The post-apocalyptic setting served mainly as backdrop for the anime and the background serves as the only reminder of that fact. The anime made full use of it though to enhance the plot. The sight of a back water town with advance technology and talks about lost technologies is very prominent in the anime. My first impression of the anime is “Adventure Time”. Yeah, I watch it too. Both shows utilize the “end of the world” as a way to be unique.
The anime had a lot of commentary about the real world in which humans have left a significant mark in. Most of the stories in the anime are about humans and their culture. The spread of manga culture, manufacturing food with less quality ingredients and destroying nature for their advancement is some of the topics in the anime. This is mainly where the weirdness aspect of the anime lies and some of them are pretty good. The rise of talking skinned chickens, intelligent food products and time paradogs are among the quirky charm of the anime. The first half of the anime is really rampant with a lot of weird stuff that makes the anime very refreshing to watch. The combination of smart storytelling with the cuteness of the anime produces great episodes. There are often some lack of character introduction or explanation about certain events but it won’t really bother you because you’re too busy enjoying the non-sense in the anime. The best part is that the characters aren’t over the top comedic like say, the characters of Baka to Test. The characters in this anime retain a bit of real human qualities that shine in an anime setting.
It isn’t clear in the first half but the anime is actually about the girl and her relationship with the fairies. Since the first half is busy weirding you out with talking headless chickens then it gave you the impression that the anime is just a whacky anime about the light side of a post-apocalyptic world that comes off as a bit dark but funny nonetheless. That weird factor of the anime slowly passes once you enter the second half where another plot point is in focus: the girl and the fairies. When watching the anime, the fairies appear as merely cute side dishes with their fixed big smile and adorable voices. In the first half, they are just friends with the girl and small tidbits are told about them. They hang around the girl because she gives them sweets and the bastards love sweets. In the second half though, the weirdness of the anime no longer have that big of an impact and the anime is more focused on the girl. The second half of the anime is about the girl and her mediator job which includes the fairies. Some questions the viewers had on their mind are answered. How did the girl and the fairies meet? What exactly are the fairies? What is their role in the anime? With the weirdness turned down (just a bit), it now focuses on character development.
The first half served its purpose of attracting viewers with comedic situations and stuff so I feel that dedicating the second half to character development is appreciated. The characters in the anime are very nice because they’re a bit quirky in their own way. The smart rearranging of the episodes eliminates awkward character introduction so when a character appear, they immediately deal out their charm. There is a limited cast here and there first thing that you’ll notice is the lack of names. The girl, Y, Asistant, Grandfather and Fairies are all the names in the anime. I don’t really get the lack of names but I guess it’s part of the anime’s charm. Well these characters had a personality unique to them and they have a specific role in the anime. Some of the anime’s Comedy is also told through the characters. The intricate look at the life of a manga had me laughing hard. The girl played a deliberate role in the first half; she’s just the character that gets involved in the misadventures. Her grim outlook on life is very evident but it’s covered up by her cuteness and long hair. In the second half though, she gets to be more rounded.
I would point out that the anime jumbled the episodes but it doesn’t really affect the stories. Most of the times they’ll just mention a thing like Y being part of creating a monument then the next episode features it. It was like watching Haruhi Suzumiya (the first season) but in this anime, it most takes two episodes for one arc. The first episode is the set up and presenting the conflict then the second episode is about the conclusion of it. So in the first half, there are three stories with two episodes for each. It’s a very well done approach because it makes the comedy aspects and the weirdness shine through but it meanly does a switch then the second half turned a bit serious. It mainly talks about the girl’s relationship with the fairies and her past which helps in developing the character. The weirdness is still there and the comedy is still prominent but not as full frontal as the first half. I couldn’t really complain that much because it answered a lot of questions and made me convince that the girl is certainly the lead of the anime.
The comedy in the anime is a bit dark. It ties in with the post-apocalyptic nature of the anime but most of the time; it just explores the dark side with a smile. The little joke of the Assistant trying to make a fairy laugh was funny but it was also really f*cking disturbing. I don’t want to spoil much of it but be prepared though. An open mind is needed most of the time but most of the dark comedy is told really subtle so it’s all good. Most of the time, the jokes are just cruel but you’ll still end up laughing with makes me question my humanity. There was one scene where the skinned chickens are cowering in the manufacturing plant and they died in their panic. It was funny…but it’s not supposed to be. It still is.
The anime doesn’t really have some noticeable faults except for the “humanity is decreasing and facing extinction” premise. There are some girls in the anime and there are some boys. How exactly are the humans facing extinction when they can procreate easily? Maybe they just don’t want to. The anime never really explains it but it’s a big gaping plot hole in my point of view. It’s not like the existence of the fairies where I can put bits and pieces of what the anime presented to create an idea of their existence. It’s not an important part of the anime so it’s not really that big of a flaw.
This is an extremely well done anime with solid comedy elements, weirdness factor that’ll lure you in and strong characters that are very memorable. I hope the anime gets another season because I want more. I want more fairies and more misadventures involving the mediator. If a stupid anime like Hiiro no Kakera gets a second season then I seriously hope this one gets one too. Seriously though, Hiiro no Kakera sucks. I’m not looking forward to the Fall 2012 lineup, damn it.
Sight and Sound
The character design is certainly a stand out. The clean design with each character having a unique look makes them more memorable. The girl is certainly pleasant to look at because of her long pink hair and her green eyes having those rough sketch lines. The palette of the anime is also outstanding because it’s very bright and vibrant. The choice of bright colors really accentuates the characters appeal and it makes the show a bit innocent. It’s not though but the façade is there thanks to the bright colors. It makes the anime very unique and sets it apart from the usual anime we’ve come to expect.
The background is also a standout. The paint to canvas appeal is really nice to look at and the landscape of the anime is very pleasant. The post-apocalyptic charm is present with marks of advance civilization like tall building reduced to rubble. The nice touch of grass and the tress enveloping the buildings reminds me that nature is taking back what it rightfully hers. I love the fact that it’s not depressing but actually very vibrant and free.
The opening of the anime is sung by nano.ripe. This band is slowly growing on me because it’s the third time I’ve heard them open an anime. The band has a distinct charm that is present in all their songs which makes me like them a lot. The opening song will catch your attention because it’s weird and funky and childish and cute. The girl and the fairies dancing with sweets being tossed around is very hypnotic.
The ending song is complete nostalgia for me because it was sung by Masumi Ito. Her voice was very familiar and I immediately look her up. She sang the ED song of Absolute Boy which I once saw when I was young. Oh boy, the song is like the one in Absolute Boy with a playful touch and Ito’s voice really relaxing to listen to. The ED song features the girl’s shadow figure skipping along while the background paints some monuments and other playful things. It’s like a nice dream. I love it.
7/10 “A strong story coupled with a nice mix of comedy and playful oddities.”
This show is awesome. Nuff said. It’s a unique anime that has a lot of funny moments with weird ones but never once sacrificing the story for it. A nice balance of all the elements makes this anime very enjoyable. I highly recommend it.