Monday, August 13, 2012

Humanity has Declined (Jinrui wa Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita) anime first impressions.

Humanity has Declined First Impressions

Note:  All images are from the anime "Humanity has Declined" except where otherwise noted.

Type: (series length is N/A), 30 min, on-going series.
Genre: ComedyProduced by AIC A.S.T.A.Based off the light novel "Humanity has Declined"

Note:  This is not a review.  This is a first impression on the first 2 episodes of an on-going series.

Question: If you bend something enough, does it become effectively "straight" again?  This is what the anime "Humanity has Declined," a satire of modern society (big companies, mass production, questionable actions by those in power, meetings, ect), seems to be exploring.

 Lets say connecting point A to point B means your story/plot makes sense or is "solid/simple," and the line connecting the two is how much in reality/common sense the series resides.  If you bend or twist the reality of the series, then the lines won't connect.  For example, most animes, like Fullmetal Alchemist, Darker than Black, ect, have these "straight lines."  But, on the other hand, series like FLCL aka "Fooly Cooly" and "Nisemonogatari" have "bent lines."

Lets say, however, you were to keep on twisting that line until it made a loop, so it could still connect point A and point B.  That is what I feel "Humanity has Declined" is trying to do.  In other words, the series has a "serious" tone to it, but in order to progress that serious tone it uses such elements as suicidal bread and talking processed chicken.

 Speaking of suicidal bread and talking processed chicken, this series has me utterly confounded.  I have watched somewhere around 1000 + hours of anime in the last past year and I still can't read this series.

The very first thing I noticed was how bright the color scheme of the anime was.  This, combined with the general setting of the anime (rural life), along with "for children" elements had me thinking that this was a children's anime.  The flashing of a knife (to kill chickens with, though they got away), however, as well as a generally mature way of writing gave me my suspicions. 

Any suspicion I had were quickly swept away when the anime showed its dark side.  This was shown in a twisted dark humor joke involving suicidal bread ("If you pity my existence, you will eat me.") and an amount of "blood" that would have done any of the bloodier anime series proud.

Any any remaining suspicions I could have had were gone with some very fouled mouthed chickens (I can't help but feel this pun was intentional on the part of the anime), showing that the anime had a crude side.

Talking of sides, this series also has a wacky one, as should be clearly evident by the existence of suicidal bread and talking processed chicken.  It also has a cute side (in the form of the doll-like, simple-minded fairies), a satirical side, and an imaginative side (the fairy factory has a "Willy Wonka's chocolate factory" feel to it).  And on top of all this, it has a serious undertone.  This series has so many sides and so much personality that it might as well be a character in itself.

The setting of the series and the relation between the humans and fairies also make little sense.  Humanity has declined, due to reasons not yet revealed, and is near extinction.  Yet this series shows no signs of being a "post apocalyptic" series (besides the occasional reminded that the town is low on supplies), and in fact the series takes place in a grassy, moderately wooded area.

As for the human/fairy relationship, it seems self-contradictory.  Fairies are the new humans with magical abilities (what abilities they have has not yet been clarified) and will replace humanity once it has become extinct.  It has also been heavily hinted that they are superior the humans.  Yet, despite this, the fairies are incredibly simple-minded and are used like tools by the main cast (tied one to a string and used him as a compass, which the fairy being paid a chocolate coin in exchange).  In addition, the main character, who is apparently an ambassador between the fairies and humans, has several of them at her house.  And at nights, she places them into a box with suppurate compartments, remarking that you have to keep them separate to prevent them from reproducing.

Overall impression/recommendation: This series is different.  Very different.  It it somehow both utterly absurd and serious at the same time.  And the large variety of different sides and elements, some of them even being opposites, just adds icing to the cake.

The result is a charming series, and one that has me hooked.  I highly recommend you check this one out.

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