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.