The shippers must’ve been all over this one.
|One would expect this episode to be all about answering the crazy questions raised in the last one. Especially since a time loop is a major portion of it. But Humanity Has Declined hasn’t always stuck to the formula. It’s a show that likes to leave things hanging, and this was no exception. That said, what was revealed was quite fascinating and provided plenty of laughter as well.|
This 13 year old can already die with no regrets. And he’s likely to soon, if he keeps following our main character around.
Telling the assistant’s character development through the main character’s viewpoint made for an unorthodox style. I’m not sure it was a great one, even if it was unique. Seeing the 2 versions of the assistant was jarring, and I’m still not completely sure I understand that ??? loop. The show at least explained clearly that he defined himself by others’ views of him, and that the massive number of the main character clones made him become as they pictured him. But what was the reason for his initial dirty and crass personality? No one had described him as such before. Does it have to do with his isolation which caused him to have no regard for others?
That meeting only took place when the main character got sent back “too far” according to the fairies. Normally I wouldn’t consider such a detail to be important, but dozens of clones were added in the 5th loop, compared to only 1 each in the first 4. It seems that whatever error the fairies made also resulted in a lot of loops we that we didn’t get to see. Perhaps it was during this time that the assistant went through his character change. Unfortunately, we weren’t provided much in the way of details. It’s all rather opaque or, as a certain doctor might put it, “obscure.”
Those things look good. Who cares about time paradoxes? I want some bananas!
To go off on a bit of a tangent, there were a few times in this episode when I was strongly reminded of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. A lot of those of you who went to high school in the US will be familiar the novel. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Jintai has taken inspiration from that book. Beyond sharing the general dystopian theme, they specifically share the concept of humans having over-engineered themselves to convenience in a ridiculous degree. In Brave New World, humans were produced in factories as one of 5 levels each designed to take pleasure in their respective duties, the government provided and encouraged the use of a recreational drug called soma, and sex for pleasure starting at a young age was pretty much required (a young boy “reluctant to join in the ordinary erotic play” with his female peers was sent to a psychologist). In Jintai, the factories churn out foods from questionable ingredients that are processed to the point of sentience, and humans are unable and the fairies unwilling to be productive, both distracted by having fun.
So when Gramps was describing the assistant, I was quickly reminded of the Savage, a man born of a “civilized” mother but raised among the “savages” and brought back to civilization (I’m glossing over some details here). But their similarities actually seemed to end there. Whereas the Savage’s rejection of sexuality led to self flagellation and eventually suicide, the assistant embraced and celebrated it – far too much, actually. Also, the dozens of clones of the main character reminded me of the dutiful workers of Brave New World, taking pleasure in their menial tasks despite lacking a proper grasp of their meaning. In Brave New World, these humans were produced by factories; in Jintai, they were produced somehow by time looping bananas that fairies engineered.
Those fairies sure are good at making other people work. They can multiply your productivity by many factors!
To be honest, I don’t think the comparison to Brave New World actually goes further than the similar general themes of over-engineering, which is why I call this a tangent. The problem is that Jintai drops a lot of ideas without fully developing them, making it hard to connect with any particular work. That’s criticism I’ve leveled against it from the start, so it’s nothing new. I do give it credit for implementing a time loop in an unusual, perhaps unique (definitely with regards to dogs) way. I just think it’d be even more fun if it was more coherent.