ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Humanity has Declined: An Anime Review

Updated on June 9, 2014
Source

Humanity has declined(or "Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita" in Japanese). The title summons images of the people with signs warning of the end, the sigh of the cynic, and maybe some dark movie or book detailing the last moments of the human race.

To some degree this what «Humanity has declined» is about. We are past the apocalypse, and all Earths cities are in ruins. And yet, this is a happy end of the world and the people get by in small towns scattered across the world. However, with the sun setting on the human race, a new species seems eager to take over: the fairies. Fairies are tiny people who still have the ability humanity has lost: the ability to build and create and change. In the ruins and garbage dumps of the human empire they multiply and build their own cities. Meanwhile humanity is heading towards destruction and has become dependent on the fairies for food and other help.

The Heroine and the Fairies

In this world there lives a young girl. She is never named, so we'll just call her the heroine. She acts as a mediator between the fairies and the humans with the help of her special skill: she can make sweets, the one thing the fairies can not. So it falls to her to help the fairies and get help in return, and the episodes usually revolve around the heroines futile attempts at controlling the little pests.

The heroine is an interesting character. Too often anime pushes characters too far in some direction so they turn into unbelievable stereotypes, but the heroine feels pretty balanced. She is a very calm and collected teenager, sometimes comically unfazed by the insanity that goes on around her. This is perhaps the only thing that lets her talk with the fairies without losing her mind. Unusually subtle for anime is her loneliness, which is only explored in the last episodes, but which is shown from the beginning. While always polite, the heroine rarely has deep conversations with others, instead often backing away or becoming silent. She is however determined and willing to step up to the challenge, while still being a bit cynical about it all. I really do enjoy this girl.

The fairies are by far the best part of the show. Cutesy, strange and sometimes extremely disturbing, I never get tired of these guys, and my enjoyment of any episode is usually correlated with the amount of fairies in them. The fairies are a naïve new species, curious and easily led by the mood. They reproduce by having fun and can thus quickly multiply during parties. Despite their flaws however, they are able to build in ways humans can not, and they are often described as the new humans. The fairies also have a sinister side, eagerly doing “shady research” and bullying other fairies.

Fairies
Fairies | Source

The Underlying Horror

“Humanity has declined” is an excellent comedy, where the colourful and pretty visuals and lighthearted tone just helps to accentuate the disturbing reality the story takes place in and the out of place comments made by some of the characters. It often feels like watching a show intended for little kids and then suddenly Bert accuses Ernie of being a communist, before they go back to their usual talks.

The characters themselves seems trapped between the color and the cruel world around them, and denial is a concept that is quietly brought up a couple of times. It often seems like the heroine is the only one who understands the danger humanity is in, and this informs her dark worldview. Everyone else are happy hunting while the food storage is getting more and more empty, having festivals celebrating the time they had electricity, and making gay porn manga. Humans can adapt to everything, but it is a bit strange how careless these humans are as they plunge into the pit of extinct animals. Denial also comes up when we see the heroine's school days when seeing her friends' true selves.

The Beginning of the End

Anyone watching would be interested in knowing humanity arrived at its sorry state. The anime never tells, but many of the episodes centers around things that might have done it. Episode 9 and 10 are my favorites, and the first one deals with unsustainable use of resources leading to society's destruction, while the latter is about religion, or perhaps any sudden new trend sweeping through civilization. So while we never learn what happened we are given plenty of options. Perhaps it was the other theme of the anime, denial and carelessness, that in the end doomed humanity?

Humanity has declined is a special anime, the kind that is made all too rarely. Perhaps the show can become a little too strange for some, the time travel episodes certainly left me wondering what the point of it all was. But beyond that there is such a strange, fun and disturbing world to explore, that I feel anyone should give it a go. And as a final bonus, the ending theme song is one of the most beautiful I have ever heard.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)