Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita First Impressions
July 8, 2012 Leave a comment
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is a whimsical comedy that just happens to be set in a post-apocalyptic future where humanity is in decline due to a steep drop in birth-rates. The series focuses on the life of ‘Watashi’, who is a mediator between humanity and the fairies, a new hyper-intelligent species who have become the most prosperous on earth – she also goes by the names ‘Sensei’ and ‘Okashi-chan’ (Ms. Sweets). This is a surreal series showing us the daily life of Watashi as she attempts to mediate between the fairies who are this ephemeral and slightly strange force and the human race who will eventually become extinct.
What is so fascinating about this series so far is how we have this quite dark future, much like the one that is portrayed in Wolf’s Rain, but we are still given some excellent comedy and slapstick. The village that Watashi lives in appears to be in constant need of food, and due to various problems is always in short supply. We see how humanity has gone into decline, while also loosing the essential knowledge needed to live off of the land as they once did up until the industrial revolution. We see the men clearly not understanding or perhaps not knowing how to hunt, thus failing miserably during a hunting party. But at the same time the women clearly have no understanding of where meat comes from, with three girls in particular clearly having no idea that in order to get chicken meat you must first kill chickens.
Watashi is the person who is supposed to have the answers for the village, being the only person with any real knowledge of the world, or so it seems. Her interactions with the fairies seem to be far more natural than when she is with humans. The fairies are this strange race, constantly smiling but also saying some pretty dark things; there is a detachment here, as if the fairies are simply observing the humans as they continue to decline. How or why they exist does not seem to matter in this respect since they are already strange and there is the suggestion that by virtue of being fairies they may possibly come from some fantasy dimension, or simply be fantastical. What is so curious about this is their love of sweets, and it appears to be the job of Watashi to supply them with sweet things in exchange of information, or maybe cooperation.
What is so brilliant about the series is the human races self-destructive instincts, as if they are destined to die out. Despite food appearing in the village, it is treat with suspicion as if it were poisonous or worse; this food is clearly from the fairies but is seen as unnatural, which of course it is. Furthermore, during a town meeting we see how no one can truly agree on how to get the necessary meat to feed the village, and instead of creating a plan, we see rifts and cracks growing within the community. Despite their impending or eventual demise, these villagers cannot truly work together, thus making the job of getting enough food to feed everyone significantly more difficult.
Interestingly the food, while looking like relics of a past era as Watashi suggests, is unnatural. Watashi talks about how the sardines taste exactly as she thinks sardines would taste, and yet it feels to her as if she is eating something moulded into the shape of a sardine. That the fairies have created such food suggests an understanding of the necessity to eat without truly knowing what it means to have proper food. The fairies are like children understanding vague concepts without paying attention to the detail. This element of the series manifests itself in much of its dry humour, with the appearance of a plucked and gutted chicken that is nevertheless walking around as if it were still truly alive. The bread robot is a brilliant example of dark humour, killing itself after explaining the concept behind the fairies food.
It will be fascinating to see where Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita goes, since it is a wonderful comedy while always making sure that you know that humanity is in decline. Watashi is a character that is caught between two worlds, someone who has to mediate with the fairies and allow them to work as they always do, while also having to pay attention to the stubborn foolishness of humanity. Watashi is someone who must try and show humanity how to do things even when the villagers clearly don’t pay much attention to her. It was a fascinating and whimsical first episode, one that didn’t truly give any indication as to this series direction. However, what was particularly brilliant was its ability to maintain the presence of this post-apocalyptic setting, while still finding time to add in brilliant and often highly eccentric comedy.