Humanity Has Declined at a Glance

“When you gaze into the abyss, Japan gazes back.”

That was my brother’s reaction to this episode. Now, granted, he isn’t a regular anime viewer like us losers, but I don’t suppose it was entirely out of line with what some of us may’ve said in reaction to a bleeding loaf of bread. Yes, a bleeding loaf of bread.

Humanity Has Declined follows a Fairy Mediator who works for the UN in a world where humanity is, as you may’ve sussed out, in decline. Extinction is imminent, and there are apparently food shortages fairly regularly, although you honestly couldn’t tell this by looking at the characters, all of whom hardly appear underfed. In addition to being a Fairy Mediator, though, our lead (who has yet to be named) seems to also perform other functions, such as “turning” chickens into meat, which somehow these boneheaded villagers don’t seem to know how to do.

I enjoyed the first episode of this show, although I freely admit that I have no idea what exactly was going on, and it isn’t clear yet what role or purpose the fairies will have in this. I can tell you, though, that they are thus far my favorite part of the show. That picture you see above is the only facial expression that fairies can make. Their mouths never close. They also seem to possess only one verbal inflection, which is “cheerful”, so we get scenes wherein they discuss their pending starvation and humanity’s coming extinction in upbeat tones and with those big smiles on their faces. Of course, then again, they don’t seem too terribly upset during most of these conversations, except when they are informed that they won’t have sweets for maybe a year, at which point a few attempt to yank down the corners of their mouths into frowns. Predictably, it doesn’t really work.

The humor here is of the black comedy variety (“It’ll be an adventure!” shouts one fairy, merrily, on the idea of starving to death “brutally”), with plenty of the absurd tossed in as well (a loaf of bread that bleeds to death, a plucked and skinned chicken that runs energetically through fields). It’s fairly bizarre.

Not to overuse the term, but the OP is as bizarre as the show, and I can only hope that maybe this is the next dance craze to sweet the aninerdloserosphere. The ED is much less zany, and seems to be an allusion to the fact that people are dying out.

As I said, I don’t really know where this is going at all, although I liked the first episode quite a bit. If you’re worried about the creeing threat of moe, I can report that the lead is mainly moe in appearance only; early on, she screws up with killing chickens, but from her inner monologue it is pretty obvious that she didn’t really intend to kill them off in the first place. She also displays a healthy handle on the practice of information suppression, in a bit of a surprising and fairly amusing scene, so I think its safe to say that we won’t have to watch her tripping around the screen much, if at all. In fact, part of what made this episode so good was her dry running narration.

Here’s to more of this weirdness.

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4 Responses to Humanity Has Declined at a Glance

  1. alsozara says:

    Nietzsche reference was appreciated and hilarious. Guess I’ll give this show a shot, sounds solid.

    • A Day Without Me says:

      I would definitely encourage you to give it a go – at the very least, it isn’t like anything else airing this season at all.

  2. Cholisose says:

    I’m really loving the dialogue for this show. That and the art style. And the stark contrast between the setting and the tone.
    I’m not sure if I’ve always had a taste for the bizarre, or if this is something that I’ve developed in recent months.

  3. TheVoid says:

    I think the reason they didn’t know what to do is because they are girls who have never done it before. It’s the guys who always killed the chickens and they were all out hunting for food.

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