Category Archives: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Oh the Humanity

I sort of dispute SDS’s claim that this anime is unique. I think the undercurrent that Jintai rides on is no rarer than the sort of jokes you find in Kometa’s manga adaptations or even in Welcome to the NHK. To wit, after 3 seasons of SZS and now with Joshiraku running along, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is not some sore thumb standing out in a sea of not-satires. One of my favorite anime adaptation of satire comes alive in season 2 of Seitokai no Ichizon, so this is not something that I would call a rare occurance, at any rate.

What makes Jintai unique, I think, has more to do with the straightforward western style of satire that you find in contemporary British literature. Dry wit, satire as fine as piano wires that cut just as deep; or something resembling the opposite spectrum, like a large aquatic animal. Or bread, in this case. But this made-in-Japan slash, I think, cuts so finely that so many probably don’t quite realize that they’ve been made fun of in the very show they enjoy to watch. To me, it’s very fun because the show portraits exactly what I am thinking of, which is a great testament of the way the story is adopted and written. I mean, it’s less ham-handed than me saying “hey guys, great minds think alike.”

But also along this line of thought, this is why I think there are people who watch Jintai for the fairies, just like there are people who watch Joshiraku for the cute girls. It captures well that spirit of decontexualized otaku thing that, indeed, leads to our decline. It is no surprise that bullying and how the protagonist and her cohort retreat to their own little project in which makes up a relatively mainstream response to the cruelty of human societies and ills that has plagued us since time immortal, even if it means resorting to becoming the queen of fairies.

Lastly, we do have to look at ourselves. Just how meta is it to enjoy escapism via media that is about escapism through critiques of escapist media using media? Can I say I enjoyed Jintai for Mai Nakahara’s resurgence? At first I thought the role was relatively straightforward and narrator-like. I did not expect the role of the protagonist to show enough of a range, from earnest deadpan, slightly vulnerable, to coyly manipulating and mildly annoyed. It’s safe to say this model seiyuu elevator school graduate passed with flying colors.

Orthogonal Thinking, Humanity Declines

The approach Jintai (Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita or Humanity as Declined for long) takes for cynicism and criticism about its thematic subject matter is straightforward and methodological. It doesn’t sprout out in minigun format like, say, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, but it makes one solid push each week, with one subject matter and all its ancillaries. Quite frankly it’s delightful to think about and this approach is appropriate for foreigners, since it’s not cloaked in this extra referential meta stuff for a different culture, so we get to the meat of the matter right away.

The flip side is that I have no motivation to write about it, or really dwell on it. After all, the anime says all that needs to be said. What’s left is my usual inane rambling.

It might be apt to compare Joshiraku–a show that is dense with references and fast-pace verbiage. Because, really, how do we non-speakers quite get all the humor from the wordplay? Even the best localization will have a hard time cutting into that. I mean, can we even expect 70% of it from the translation? But in Jintai, we can probably get 90% or more. It’s also common to make Joshiraku viewers admit that they’re just watching the show for its cute-girl-backroom-chatter angle, since a lot of western anime viewers who watch new shows are rotten no-goods who get off to such a thing. Fair enough, I think.

The real question I want to pose is, then, how many of us watch Jintai for the fairies?

There is an angle to the fairies that is persistent and thematic. And then there’s another angle to the fairies that I really don’t want to know about. Because, really, I don’t want to know what floats your boat. I really don’t.

As for the persistent and thematic, I’m liking fairies not so much as the next evolution of man, but more like the Mark of the Beast. Here’s an example.


It’s not going to be the first or the last time someone makes this comparison.

I think the crosscultural appeal of Jintai is best seen over in America via the lens of space exploration. I mean, sometimes I wonder if an american-centric version of Jintai will include this sort of … eulogy-ish display of dead romanticism. The capitalistic ideal embodied in mobile computing (namely, what Apple peddles these days) and our attention turning away from grand schemes towards satisfying personal comfort might directly parallel the subject matter in Jintai, but I suppose that is one aspect of modern, 21st century living all people, across the world, have to deal with to a degree: More #firstworldproblems for all.

You Had Me at Episode 3: Summer 2012

Coming in, I thought this season is a weak season. But after looking around, it’s probably not that bad; maybe even slightly over average. It’s not as great as last season for sure, but looking around I see a lot of bloggers thinking this season is weak. I don’t know. If we throw all these shows on the wall and see which sticks, there might be an average amount of winners in that bunch. Wish times like this I have a magical power that summons empirical studies of whatever at my command. Like, “Magical makeup! Summon science!” [Of course, if you are one of those people who think Fujiko was the best anime last season and only one worth watching, you can save us some time and just go die in a fire.]

I’m ordering this by no order, and shows I don’t list are either ongoing, dropped before I get to 3, or in a couple cases, I didn’t even try them. Hopefully I didn’t miss anything [edit: now that I added Joshiraku].

  • Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita: Thumb up. Solid satire with some bite, and easy to go down like all good satire. So good, I can do episodic, and tempted to do so!
  • Total Eclipse: Thumbs missing. My initial impression of Muv-luv Alternative: Total Eclipse was actually this “pervy” figure of Cryska, followed by Yui with a SMG. You can tentacle some armada if you are interested in more details, plus some backdrop to the Total Eclipse story. I got my first real piece of the action at AX where we got backed-to-back episodes one and two right after a Kurinoko/ayami performance. I think I liked that more. But to be fair, the first episode after the two set-up episodes felt like kind of like this, where it’s trying to “throw back” to a Top Gun-ish narrative. I’m going to wait to episode 5 before really risking for a call since to me the story didn’t quite begin until ep3.
  • Tari-Tari: Thumb up. It paves its own path, which is reason enough to watch if you are interested in the subject matter at all. Looks sharp and entertaining for the most part; just waiting for the story to gel and the CDs to come out.
  • Oda Nobuna no Yabou: Thumb up. Probably the one dark horse anime this season. It’s surprising competent, production-wise. Studio Gokumi x Madhouse = woah. Kanae’s performance props the show up as much as the good pace things are going. Its only drawback is that some prerequisite knowledge about history through the games really helps your enjoyment.
  • Campione: Thumb down. The only things going for it are the delicious fanservice and voice cast. The concept could be interesting but it’s executed in a very dull way.
  • Kokoro Connect: Thumb up. Character drama needs good acting and we have it. I feared Hisako Kanemoto would be the weakest link but with the Yui episode come and gone, she actually did a pretty good job. The animation seems like that knock-off Kyoani style but there’s nothing offensive about it.
  • Sword Art Online: Thumb down. I don’t like it but it’s a compelling watch. The production value is nice and I can empathize with the grief…as in, oh hey you just got trained sort of grief. Or in episode 3’s case, some one in their guild went Leeroy. I suspect though at the end of the series that might become true for actual viewers of this anime, at least the griefing part. The best strategy is to enjoy what little kernels of joy each episode provide you now, rather than later.
  • Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru: Thumb down. Nakaimo is a trash show you can drop but it’s definitely the one good trash show out of the rest of the trash show this season. Main credit for being interesting in terms of plot and presentation. Conceptually it is way worse than most shows this season…if not THE worse. Which also is a credit to its favor if you look at it the other way.
  • Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate: Thumb down. I like this show’s approach to politics and elections but it’s not going to cut it. Only for harem/visual novel types (eg., this is kind of trashy). Not thrilled about the art style, but it does the job. I’ll probably end up watching it LOL.
  • Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai: Thumb down. Sorry to say, Aya Endo fans, but this is worse than QB season 3 I think.
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous: Thumb up. Why? Because I like the persistent take from the NTR angle. It really juices up this otherwise kind of boring josei fantasy. I’m also impressed how it can fit both manservice and womanservice in that tidy package. Kou Matsuo and his crew aside, it’s back to the basics of noitaminA, which is usually worth at least a look.
  • Binbougami ga: Thumb up. Another show with a potentially downward outlook, the opening episodes have a big impact but it’s the kind of show that often will settle into a pattern and it’ll get repetitive quick. I won’t be surprised if I end up dropping this show in a few weeks. It’s good to hear Hanazawa in an unusual role but I’m not a big fan of this performance. Toilet-level slapstick comedy, however, scratches my itch. It’s like the companion piece of Jintai.
  • Hagure Yuusha no AESTHETICA: Thumb down. Speaking of toilet humor, this one reached bottom first. I think I probably would enjoy this show if it can crank up the level of ridiculous over time, but that also means this show is not for most people. Perhaps if it looked better, a few of the more voracious viewers would give it a chance and get as far as the Kanatan-voiced, stoic-dere loli character….which is to say, yeah, you’re not missing much. If you’re on the Kana Ueda yuri-kei train of thought, though, consider Hagure Yuusha that bullet train from Yuriseijin taking you to heaven. If you like the populist nonsense in this show…well don’t get too serious.
  • Utakoi: Thumb up. Because it’s kind of the dirty josei/shoujo stuff some of you like, but also it’s better than average for its category (edutainment). I probably should drop it, but given how all the shows I want to watch airs between Thursday and Sunday, it fits into those empty Tuesday-Wednesday slots.
  • Joshiraku: Thumb up. I have a soft spot for the stuff that goes on in the ED, but that aside, the jokes tend to come at a good clip and enough of them hit. And sure, I like the girls enough, but more as people than as cute girls. (Are they even cute? Even Kigu?) I realized I can enjoy enough of the jokes raw (which is to say, not very many at all) but the tedious buildup to the punchline makes the whole thing not fun when you’re mired with the not-funny stuff. So I guess dropping this show would be the thing to do if the fansubs stop.

I think that’s it. Other shows of note:

  • Eureka 7 Ao: Episode 12-13 kicks things up a gear, which is sooner than the first series. The setting plays a bigger role than ever, which is nice for long-time fans. I wonder if they can actually tie this in with Xam’d setting-wise wwwwww.
  • Rinne no Lagrange: In Stellvia we have the group-cry episode. Now we have the group-yuri episode. Thanks, Tatsuo Sato. At least you are consistent!
  • Space Brothers: Yawn.
  • Yuru Yuri: Yawn♪♪
  • Sengoku Collection: At least I have no idea what the next episode is going to be about! But it’s getting kind of boring, at least in the past month; they need to spice stuff up.
  • Moyashimon Returns: Put me in the camp of people who think season 1 was special and season 2 is missing that special something. Nonetheless it is still a decent watch.
  • Dog Days: Hopefully season 2 will way surpass season 1. So far it has. But I’m not watching this show~
  • Accel World: I was hoping to see this plot concept earlier, but I guess it’s okay to have this story now.
  • Hyouka: Still really dull, even if the school festival episodes have been really a treat.
  • Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere 2: The barometer is, “will I doze off during any of their long exposition/tirades?” If yes, it’s a so-so episode; if no, it is a good episode.  So far the count is about 1 to 2 and I suspect by the end of season 2 it’ll come close to even.

And I’m still watching Sket Dance. It’s still my type of humor.

PS. What is amazing (again) is that other than Hyouka and Joshiraku, every show on this list is getting a North American “stream.” (Funi’s 2 new shows aside, which I presume they will play catch up at some point in the very near future.) I wonder why…

PPS. I’m actually keeping up with over 20 shows at the moment. And I thought it would get better after last season….time to cutcutcutcut. I guess I did with AKB0048 already…

PPPS. Yep I missed a show. To make up for it, here are some links to peeps from GG and their notes on Joshiraku. It’s pretty fun to read. Check it out.

PPPPS. I went back and watched Joshiraku 3 and slotted it in. And removed Ebiten because, well, it’s just clutter at this point. So yeah. By the way, Ebiten HP is LOLs.

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.

Humanity Has Declined 3 – We Are the Fairies

I have read more than one person’s reaction to Jintai 3 and complained about the lack of fairies. I think that’s pretty obvious why they’re not present–so far in 2 episodes, the fairies represents the institution in which our organizational/technological complex has become sufficiently…complicated to be understood by the public. The phenomenon of doujinshi publishing, however, is something easy to understand. If there had to be some fairies, it would be to explain to us how we got paper and electricity to furnish Y’s publishing operations in the first place. I don’t think we need any fairies to demonstrate the irony of Y’s actions, or to make a solid critique.

I thought episode 2 was tops in terms of actual humor, but episode 3 struck me as the one that is actually most interesting so far. The story begins with Y visiting our Main Character, explaining her assignment to create or continue to construct some kind of monument to bank the collective creation of human race in terms of history, culture and technology. The discussion quickly went to the direction of medium of storage, interesting enough. Why medium of storage? I don’t know, but if I were to guess it is to both lay the groundwork for what comes next, but also it is a very otaku-sai kind of thing to talk about.

The more important takeaway in that segment was how collectively it is de-prioritized over actually useful things and only idle workers (eg., Y) is sent to work on this project. In other words, it’s not something viewed as critical or important. To me that is already kind of ironic, if we were to assume fairies are sort of like symbolic human beings.

Y’s entire doujinshi movement thing is pretty cool in the sense that Main Character explained it to us as to how it is a way culture is created and propagated. There’s an angle you could take in there, in that scene; we can amuse ourselves in light of the nature of control and commercialism in popular media, and the real interests behind them, in parallel with what Y is going through. But that aside, we see the horde of rich girls that visits the village for their version of the Comic Market; the adults looked on with largely apathy, in which reflects society’s attitude to the same–as long as they don’t cause a problem and can sustain themselves. It’s just not really all that important. It’s is kind of amusing in that it is similarly making the same statement about the effort of collecting and archiving mankind’s cultural information. In other words, the job Y was assigned in the first place was equal or less important than her little sideshow. And nobody cares about either.

The thing that got me laughing was when the thicker, more comprehensive and competitive BL crap that gets published eventually caused a problem to the distribution network, and the couriers stopped distributing them as shipping these books were negatively impacting their ability to ship goods of greater importance such as food and basic supplies. Let’s put aside the innate joke about muscular men shipping BL anthologies for a second, and realize what it is actually saying. Given this was the only point of contention between “the real world” and the nonsense Y was doing, I thought it was worth a second of thought.

I’m just as weary of these otaku in-joke sort of thing as anyone else; for sure I consume as much as anyone else. Jintai’s treatment, though, does not beat around the bush in my opinion, and it hits the spot. I’m not sure if people sincerely enjoy waiting in line for 12 hours just to buy cartoon porn, or are they just people who’s never really been. I mean, I’ve never been and I don’t believe for a second Comiket does not have these fundamental problems that any organization and gathering of its kind would likely have at some point. In light of the troubles we encountered in the first two episodes, the fact that it’s making a joke about doujinshi is already kind of a question mark. The least it could do is to be honest about it.

Times like this I think about the funny media stories on big release dates about hit on productivity in the work force as people jet out of school and work to catch a blockbuster film or something. I guess that is just another way how humanity has declined.