Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (translated: “Humanity has Declined”) is about fairies. And chickens, factories, sweets, processed foods, and the desires of humans for power, food, manga, and longer hair.
And that’s only three episodes in.
In spite of the title, I jumped right into watching Jinrui because of the lovely looking animation style and the mention of fairies gets me a bit excited.
The anime is somewhat presented like a children’s book; it’s covered with pastel colors and set in a cozy little village with its bright and happy inhabitants. But unfortunately, the villagers don’t have much to be happy about; they have a food shortage. So, while the men have been sent out into the forest to hunt, the UN representative (who has not been named, but she’s our representative for relations between humans and fairies) is sent to help the women and girls of the village create meat from chickens.
Though, this proves to be a rather daunting task since no one really knows how to get delicious chicken from a live one with feathers that screeches at you.
The UN rep knows how its done and is the one solely responsible for undertaking the task. She ponders if murder is really necessary, even now after the decline of humanity (which is currently underway in our story). But just as she raises the knife and slowly moves towards the chickens, they go berserk and fly/run away.
Crisis averted, or so all the girls thought, until they were found out, got into trouble and had to go into the forest and find them. That’s where things got weird.
But leaving that for a second, let’s talk about the fairies, because they do show up and they are pretty important.
Our first encounter with them is when our UN rep is trying to explain why there are no sweets in the village (because of a food shortage). They seem to come to a logical conclusion for this.
It’s still unclear what the motive of these cute, little guys are; whether it be sinister or whether they just really want sweets. (it seems to be the latter)
Thus, after hearing they may not be getting sweets from humans for a very long while, until the food shortage improves, they hop right into action and supply the village with somewhat suspicious, but free, processed food the next morning.
And these little guys continue to help/cause mischief. It’s interesting to study what part they play in the world, since humans are supposedly almost extinct and yet the fairies they thrive, despite being very small and living their very naïve lives. Yet, following every new fad to the extreme (this is not very useful since they can use magic, thus impossible things start happening, like our main characters getting trapped in a blank manga panel, but more on that later).
As mentioned, Jinrui is presented like a children’s book (a rather dark humored one, granted. I’m kind of curious if Japanese children’s books are frequented by bleeding bread, though), thus it follows a pattern of teaching lessons within the fun and thrilling storyline full of wacky characters.
A majority of the lessons thus far deal with human nature. As a dying breed, the UN rep especially starts to think more and more about their behavior (as well as her own which is far from perfect, such as having to kill chickens for food, or encouraging lies to cover up her mistakes). Even as they are slowly meeting their demise, some flawed behavior never changes. There is still a desire for power, a need for convenience, no matter the consequences, and greed for popularity that can do dangerous things if you don’t stop it.
Our first noticeable example comes from two oblivious humans working in the FairyCo factory. This factory makes processed food and strives to find the most efficient way to make a food product taste the way it should without actually using that product to make it (see: carrot bread, and how garbage bread didn’t really work out the way they wanted it to). I’m not even going to get into the deal with processed foods (I’ll save it for someone more into organic foods than me XD), but what I noticed was that these two human workers; one being the receptionist hired three days ago and the other being something of a manager, had never met anyone who works in the factory, nor had they met the people/fairies/whatever who ran the factory. Nor did they question it or care about it for that matter. In fact, the manager’s only goal in life was to get a promotion and gain more power in the company.
Meanwhile, they both were oblivious to the fact that genetically engineered skinned chickens had taken over the factory from the fairies and were planning to destroy the world and build a new society of only skinned chickens.
Yes, you read that right.
Hence, being obsessed with power can most likely blind you to the obvious big picture of things. The factory had become so advance that it even created intelligent, skinned chickens with “something” of a language, right under people’s noses.
Thankfully, after much ado, that problem gets solved with a video camera and a few sound clips of Ave Maria; and the little orphans living in the village church get a great meal of chicken that night.
All is at peace in the world again, but not for long. The most recent chain of events caused by the UN rep’s (still not named) friend, Y; an irresponsible and flamboyant girl who works for the government and has been assigned to work on the almost-dead-but-not-quite project, “The Human Monument”. She comes to the village in search of things to add to this monument, but instead finds an abandoned mansion with a bunch of “old” printers, computers, paper, etc. in it. And not only that, she found a data disk with a whole volumes of yaoi manga in it.
Already, you know this can’t end well.
Needless to say, the flamboyancy of Y gets the best of her and in short, she creates a weekly mangazine, gains fans and others make mangazines as well, and they all have a mangazine convention at the now, “Manga Mansion”. Thus, they successfully start not only a new fandom, but a new fad.
Oh, but remember what we know about fads? Fairies love them. Thus, one morning, UN rep wakes up and finds Y and the rest of her household (Assistant and her Grandpa) gone and a curious looking, blank manga laying on the table. UN rep decides to do the only thing that will keep this story going and opens the manga. She promptly gets sucked into it and gets trapped in it, along with Y and who knows who else.
We’re left at a cliffhanger for that episode, so tune in next week to see what happens, but already I’m thinking, moral of the story: Be careful with fandoms or else they will trap you.
Despite being really, really weird, I was surprised how well Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita can hold itself together despite the dark humor and all over insane storyline, plus (somewhat) teach lessons about the world and about human nature. Hopefully it will continue on this crazy, fun path as the summer drags on in the real world.