Jintai 3 Redux: We Are, Again, All Part of the Problem

I looked around at the various reads on Jintai 3 [is animenano even picking up most of the blog posts with that tag?] a little and I think we can go the extra mile, do you agree? For starters, I’m going to take this as a proper satire. Furthermore I’m going to assume certain norms as the de-facto positive assumed by Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, or Humanity Has Declined.

For example, the ability to occasionally have meat to eat is generally a well-considered thing. It is in this context in which we consider the livelihood and living standards of our lovely UN mediator, the Main Character (MC). I guess here’s the third thing–I’m going to take the episodes not in an individually-wrapped vacuum, but all together. The fairies and their factory, their sentient chickens and mysterious industrial products, the village girls’ inability to slaughter these things.

Actually, it appears that while the country life MC lives in looks more like life in the 19th or early 20th century, the prevalence of electricity and other amenities such as books and steam automotive suggests not so much a perceived “tech level” but a thematic setting. Perhaps European-inspired? I can’t say too much, because it seems prudent to assume a certain level of malleability in the way Jintai includes popular cultural references using the setting. For example, I’m not sure how to explain that the livelihood of MC and her friends are under the charge of some regulatory agency (such as, no eating of mysterious canned goods), which is an artifact of the late 20th/early 21st century living for the most part. Or that there’s electricity available in the home.

Anyway. There is ultimately a pervasive feeling that I had about episode 3 that reminded me of the settings of fabulous British literary luminaries such as Bronte or Austen, the same stories in which made them a require read in American mandatory education. Naturally so, those influences continue their pull from beyond the respective authors’ graves, even in Japanese culture so many years later. Even in the development of the subculture of BL. I suppose even moe culture today can be traced to 19th century German lit? I don’t know, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

Can we say the same about the smooth yet cunning satire in Jintai? That I think is up for debate. My personal opinion is that ultimately the subject matters in the first three episodes are not really painted in a positive manner. At all. I think it is fair to say there are some issues, and these issues can be multifaceted. Some of the different sides of the issues being explored by Jintai have been picked and absorbed in its probably-post-apocalyptic setting as a show of farce. Others are just made fun of. Some are once-overed as food for thought. Indeed, we cannot fly.

I think it is fair to extrapolate episode 3’s subject matter of BL and fujoshi mockery to include popular entertainment and fan-driven culture in general. I believe this is ultimately supported by Y’s primary mission, as I previously mentioned, that to archive the human history, technological advances and culture, is a job nobody really cares too much about in the end. That is the key concept in episode 3 which gets repeatedly reinforced by the little plot things. Such as how the UN doesn’t really care about what Y is doing; society doesn’t really care about Y’s comiket-reference; and Y doesn’t really care about Y’s assignment.

I think it’s fair to conclude, furthermore, that this attitude in which allows Y to do whatever she wanted, using technology and resources that might be better served in other efforts, is actually the key attitude being mocked by episode 3. It might be okay, at least based on one read, to have the girls all over the country to carry on in their own merry ways, turning and tossing in their sleepless nights, wondering about the plot of some romantic escapade in a yet-to-released volume of some manga. It might be okay for otaku culture to continue to exist. Episode 3 explicitly validates its cultural value and the mechanism cultural values propagate, after all. But how can anyone look at what Y was doing and think it is a good thing, without basically ignoring the entire setting to the show? Perhaps it is permissible, but is it beneficial?

In fact, I think this is one of the universally-taught, quality trait to satire. It again reminds me of Austen and her ilk. Perhaps Jintai is more like Swift? I guess it behooves me to stop here, lest I want to talk myself into a particular circle of hell reserved for that kind of people.

2 Responses to “Jintai 3 Redux: We Are, Again, All Part of the Problem”

  • vendredi

    Personally I think the whole faux-European look is to mimic, well, a fairy tale. Less Swift, more Lewis Carroll. Not so much German literature but English.

    After all, it’s a story with fairies in it – and it strikes me that the feel the author is going with the work for is a more overtly satirical Alice in Wonderland (which itself was in some ways a critique of class-based British society at this time).

    “Fairy tales” as satire has some roots, and I don’t think this is totally out of nowhere. And one can also draw a line between Caroll’s Alice and modern Japanese moe culture too.

    I think part of the effectiveness of the show is just how fast it papers over some rather amazing statements. There’s a dominant theme in each episode for sure, but there’s tons of little odds and ends like you note that the show blitzes past and lets the viewer process the humour.

    • omo

      It’s a little Austen-ish to me. It reminds me of Swift because it’s nowhere nearly as opaque as Carroll, at least in episode 3. The visit to the Fairy factory is Alice-like, you are right. The way the main character talks about herself and her situation reminds me of Austen too, but only in spurts.

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