Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – 02

We finally meet the man behind the man.

The 1st episode of Humanity Has Declined hit us with the barrage of social commentary. It was a bit messy without a central theme to tie them together other than that they were really cynical and pessimistic. I was hoping for the show to expand on the commentary in this episode, but what I got was something decidedly much sillier than expected. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing.

Big cat! I hope those glasses make a return, and with more features!

Story-wise, the show picked up right where it left off, with the main character still inside the factory. There was plenty more fodder for social commentary again, such as the manager/director who was so focused on moving up the corporate ladder that he didn’t recognize what a shitty corporation it was. But most of the episode was dedicated to unpacking the mystery of the headless chickens who were executing their plan of human conquest surprisingly well considering that they were headless chickens. I think those guys are inherently funny, and the Project Glass-esque translating glasses made for good translation jokes while also showcasing the far future technology. It was fun, but it was also quite the departure from what I was expecting from this show.

With the cynical social commentary, the colorful world deliberately unfitting for the depressing setting, and the lack of any named character, I was expecting a science fiction showcase that explored where humanity went wrong with its unrelenting march of technology. Instead, the future technology feel like stand-ins for magic. It was neat in the 1st episode to see a plucked headless chicken running around with a factory stamp on its thigh and to see the hair growth cream actually work. It was jarring to see a boardroom full of plucked headless chickens plotting to take over humanity and to see the main character’s hair grow a mind of its own. This was the kind of over-the-top wackiness that I associated with Western cartoons.

Speaking of Western cartoons, this bit reminded me a lot of Strong Bad.

Not that anime is lacking in gag comedy shows – this season we’ve got Yuru Yuri as a prime example – but few go as far as to create an entire society of intelligent creatures hell bent on overthrowing humanity, like the Crab People in South Park or the gelatinous aliens from Futurama (from the season 6 finale, in a segment that was anime inspired). The show that comes closest to that sort of wildness is Pani Poni Dash! (a show heavily influenced by Western media). I welcome this anything-can-happen-because-it’s-animation attitude, and I wish more shows were bold enough to try something as out-there as the chickens in this episode.

I can appreciate this bold silliness of the 2nd episode of Humanity Has Declined. The absurdity was legitimately funny. But a random comedy that makes fun of various aspects of society in a cynical way isn’t that unusual and, more importantly, doesn’t fulfill the potential that this show’s setting has. The John Woo inspired “shoot” out scene was hilarious, and it also touched on modern society. We need more scenes like that. If the show is to achieve greatness, it needs to turn its social commentary into meaningful satire, with its points tied together by a central thesis that fits into the main characters’ story. Otherwise, we might as well be watching a less pretty, less funny Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.

And another one gone, another one gone, another one bites the dust.


A math/science geek and a self-dubbed cynical optimist. I don't care if it's deep, if it can make me feel something or laugh, it's fine in my book. @lvlln
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13 Responses to “Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – 02”

  1. xochandaox says:

    How I see it: lvl>lvlng>lvlln…

    Anyway, I agree. I though it would be something more along the lines of “Hakushaku to Yousei”
    I’ll still be watching it all~

    • lvlln says:

      I’m not familiar with Hakushaku to Yousei, but a synopsis I read doesn’t make it seem much like Humanity Has Declined, other than the existence of fairies. What about that show did you think this show would have had?

  2. Highway says:

    I think it’s still got the potential to bring a message, but I was actually glad to see them back off of it a little. I think the show will work better with small doses of whatever message they’re bringing, because otherwise it could get far too overbearing. Telling the audience “Hey, this is why you suck” too bluntly and continuously is very tiring and I think it would drive viewers away just a few shows into the series.

    I’m kind of wondering about the too easy explanation that Watashi and her Grandfather accepted about the factory, that it was run by the fairies and then taken over by the chickens. I think there’s possibly quite a bit deeper mystery to the factory and those behind it, even if they are just assuming “fairies”. It’s seemed to be a pattern of Watashi that she makes up a believable explanation for things that everyone else just runs with, even if she doesn’t actually believe it herself, so I think there’s more than just the easy supposition at play here.

    Overall, the show is still a lot of “whaaaa?” I’m still not the biggest fan of the meme-dance opening, but I don’t mind the song. But having it close with that Masumi Ito song is brilliant, with her ethereal lilting voice fitting in perfectly with the show.

    • lvlln says:

      There are plenty of ways to stay on-message without beating our heads with it – unfortunately that’s how most anime do things. Again, I have to point to Kaiba as a great example among science fiction anime that had a consistent message while also just being a really fun and exciting show. Outside of science fiction, a good example is Welcome to the N.H.K.

      It’s not that telling a message is worse than not telling a message, it’s that telling it poorly is worse than not telling one.

      • Highway says:

        Yes, I agree that telling it poorly is worse than not telling one. I’m hoping that they can keep it fairly subtle.

  3. Dop says:

    Instead, the future technology feel like stand-ins for magic

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” – Arthur C. Clarke.

    The storybook sequence reminded me very much of Edward Gorey.

    • skylion says:

      In the faeries case then it would be:

      Sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology

      since the fae look at it from the other side….

    • lvlln says:

      Right, that extremely famous quote was what I was referencing with that line. Any technology can be expected to look like magic, but when it becomes a stand-in for magic, that means that it took a step too far and crossed into the realm of fantasy.

  4. †Croos† says:

    Well they’re chickens(cowards) after all those chickens.

  5. JPNIgor says:

    Soo… This show seems to have a taste of obscurity mixed with comedy. I’m really enjoying to watch Jinrui, and I can laugh a lot too, but you know when the episode ends, and your think about what you watched and you realize that it had it’s scary points?

    The part when the mute boy drew the story to entertain the fairy was one of them. No wonder that the fairy didn’t like. I was like o.O’ when he ended the story. It seemed like that times when your friend ask you to tell a joke and you don’t want to, so you tell “The chicken died. End.”

    The other part was the part of the headless naked chickens, surely. He talking about his plans while she was adjusting her translator specs was funny, but if you actually pay attention only to the chicken talking, it would be way more obscure. Jinrui sure knows how to make a scene that otherwise would be very dark and tense, become a funny one. And, man, there was explicit offensive words in this episode… Even if it was in the naked chicken language.

    And, man… Imagine that even jams could try to rule the world if they had any hole to talk.

    • lvlln says:

      The picture book was funny if predictable, though it came out of nowhere. Why did the assistant have that book other than to show it off and depress whoever reads it? It was just silly, which is okay, but it could’ve been a lot better if the book actually had some message behind it.

  6. Overcooled says:

    As a pure comedy, the likes of SZS trumps Jintai. I think you’re right that there needs to be a unifying thread running through the series to stitch everything together as opposed to just tatters of social commentary here and there. We’ll see where things are going as more episodes air, but so far I’m really liking this show. It’s one of my favourite types of humour and the plain whackiness is joyous to behold in of itself.

    What do you think about the suddenly-sentient hair? I have no idea where they’re going with that (but it’s pretty damn cool).

    • lvlln says:

      Yeah, I don’t know what to make of the hair either. It certainly adds to the far future feel of the setting, but none of the science fiction technology elements have amounted to much other than the cool factor. I would like them to tie in with the social criticism within the show like Kaiba did so well, but that hasn’t been the case so far.

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