There is one anime that really stuck out amidst the subpar summer 2012 anime season. Humanity has Declined stuck out for better or for worse, some may love this series some may hate it. Humanity Has Declined has been the best anime of this season in my opinion, better than Sword Art Online and better than Kokoro Connect (both of which haven’t finished so I probably should compare them yet). It was a breath of fresh air, an original anime, unlike any other anime I have watched.
Humanity Had Declined also known as Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita (but that’s much to hard to pronounce) is a 2012 anime based on a series of light novels by the same name written by Romeo Tanaka a pretty well known writer for adult games, but don’t let that turn you off, this show has no fan service and is pg-13. The animation studio behind it is AIC A.S.T.A and the director is Seiji Kishi whom also directed Persona 4 and Angel Beats!
“Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita is set in a post-apocalyptic world where the human civilization has regressed and mankind keeps decreasing in numbers. The story follows an unnamed girl who acts as a mediator between humanity and the “fairies” who are small dwarf-like creatures attracted by sweets and happy things, but also have the habit to cause trouble to her with their powers in their endless search for amusement.” (Wikipedia)
Lets start off with the animation; Humanity Has Declined has shoujo written all over it. It is bright, and it is colorful. One diverse color pallet was used throughout this anime. I don’t think I have ever seen an anime with that many varieties of green used. The characters are all crisp and well drawn while the backgrounds are messy blended together colors that make a highlighter look dull in comparison (maybe I am exaggerating a little bit). Just take a look at a screenshot of the show; you will know what I mean. The show takes very few shortcuts and the animation is consistent throughout all the episodes. Everything is very easy on the eye but it is not for people who don’t like bright colors, it might blind them.
First off before reading further you need to know that none of the characters have real names. Our protagonist will be referred to as the heroine; the fairies will be called fairies and so on. There is really only one character until the last 2 episodes that matters and that is the heroine. Everything revolves around her and luckily she is great. The show could have been a disaster if it wasn’t for how well she was written. Maybe I liked her so much because of her sarcastic comments. The heroine is a loner and extremely cynical. She lies, she blackmails, and she acts like a God. After all that the Heroine is probably the least crazy of the characters, well of the characters that get any development. I would like to talk about Y, Curly and the other members of the Heroine’s school but that would ruin the last two episodes of the series, and they are by far the best. The fairies also make the series interesting despite that you never get know much about any one fairy individually. They may look all cute and cuddly but in fact they have a very blunt outlook on life. They prefer quantity to quality and they create some situations that are laughable. Other characters include Grandfather, The Assistant, a pair of robots, and some skinned but alive chickens. They all have episodes dedicated to them but they are much less important.
I’m not going to get much into the sound of the series but the voice actors are wonderful and go above and beyond to make everything perfect. The heroine’s voice is so full of triviality for everything that goes around her. Even by the way she speaks I came to the conclusion that the world is dying around her and she just doesn’t care. The fairies voices caught me off guard. They sound so cute but they are indifferent at the same time. They are so hard for me to explain but their voices and their outlooks are such polar opposites that it is bizarre. The opening and ending songs are both fine, the later being the better of the two. I can’t say the background music is particularly memorable and I didn’t notice it much.
Story & Themes
It is obvious immediately that this series was aired out of order. I think the proper order to watch is 10,7,8,5,6,1,2,3,4,9,11,12. You could also watch episode 11 and 12 first because they are technically first chronologically. The fact that this anime was aired out of order may be annoying to some but personally I thought it worked great. Humanity has Declined is so bizarre that being aired out of order only adds to the chaotic fun of the show. Everything makes sense in the end so it works out perfectly. Some people may find a great disconnect between episodes. I know that some people will think that the anime is a disconnected string of episodes that have little or nothing to due with each other. If you know that you hate anime that are structured this way I would drop it immediately off your watch list, I can see you getting frustrated and confused.
It is time to get into this shows theme, which is environmentally based. I am an Environmental Science major so whenever I come across environmental themes in anime I nerd out; I apologize for this. I’ll start out by saying Humanity has Declined takes place in the distant future where humanity has declined; a pretty obvious observation on my part. But how did humanity decline, that is the great question up for grabs here. The truth is humanity will probably eventually decline. There are currently 7 billion people in the world, a rate at which one tiny earth cannot sustain. For people like me who live in Annex 1/Developed nations we are living at an unsustainable rate that takes multiple earths to support. Humanity has Declined comes up with an interesting reason why they claim humanity has declined. It is stated that humans pour all their energy into one thing passionately which leads to the neglect of important topics which later leads to the decline of the human race. The fairies are used as metaphors for people degrading the environment. This idea will all be apparent in episode 9. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t go into this topic too much but this episode is a symbol for how humanity has acted for ages. At first humans were nomadic groups living with and off the land. Eventually there was the agricultural revolution and humans started to stay in one place. Eventually cities formed and development occurred. Today half of the world’s population lives in cities. Humans are living unsuitable lives that depend on fossil fuels for every matter of their life. The point I think Humanity has Declined is trying to get off is that the human race has lost site in respecting the environment and that is why we will eventually decline until we are at the brink of extinction. Maybe I am looking too much into an anime that appears silly on the outside but this is the point I feel like the author was trying to give off.
Some episode of Humanity has Declined are better than others. There are brilliant episodes such as The Fairy Secret Tea Party Part 1 and 2 and then there are episodes such as The Fairies’ Time Management part, 1 and 2, which seemed to drag out to long. Overall the show was a joy to watch. I recommend it to everyone although I know a lot of people will not like it. Humanity has Declined is by far the best anime of Fall 2012 and I will probably buy it when it comes out on DVD in the United States thanks to Sentai Filmswork picking it up. If I can find them online I want to start reading the light novels that are still ongoing, I liked it that much.
Overall I give Humanity Has Declined
Thank you for reading!
Have a nice day!