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Archive for the ‘Humanity Has Declined (Jinrui)’ Category

I remember how I was back in July, my rosy-cheeked, shiny-eyed self untainted by the overwhelming sludge of mediocrity that was the summer season. It was a time when Hyouka was more contemptible and exploitative than Violence Jack, and Jinrui was sitting high on the pantheon of greatest things in all history ever; admittedly, beginning the season in a drunken haze probably didn’t help to ease this strange disconnect.

But then Yuru Yuri Two Eighth-Notes and Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse aired, and I gained some perspective on things. No longer was I a rosy-eyed, shiny-cheeked youth, but a grizzled blogger who had seen it all, man. It was at that point when all hope seemed lost that something weird happened: Hyouka somehow got better, and Jinrui slowly descended in quality from godlike to merely pretty good. What made this strange is these two results were caused by the same change in focus: from plot to character development. (more…)

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In past posts on Jinrui, I’ve flirted with the fact that the show’s strengths lie in its ability to create stunning, bizarre set pieces to revolve each episode around. Aside from Watashi, who’s apparently witness to nearly every strange happening in the post-civilization world, none of the characters are all that distinctive by themselves. Hell, even she doesn’t stand out much, despite her often taking an active role in the events of each episode. She’s a reactionary element, the audience surrogate and pink-haired, snarky life preserver to cling to as the events of each episode increasingly lose connection with reality, and she doesn’t fare well when out of her element. (more…)

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There’s both a good and a bad side to being so sleep deprived that I actually fell asleep three times while writing this sentence. Counting all the positives, we have boundless creativity and a drive to write as many posts as physically possible before the end of the week. Keeping the much vaster swath of negatives in mind though, it doesn’t mean much that I have ideas when I can barely express them coherently. And that, children, is my excuse for getting this post up nearly five days after watching the episode. So yeah, sorry about that. (more…)

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There’s a question that kept popping in my mind while I was watching this episode, regardless of how many times I attempted beat it down: Is a nondescript, demure personality completely devoid of recognizable traits something that’s in itself distinct? If you have ten people in a room, nine with vibrant personalities and one without, does the one stand out more than the nine for being the exception to the norm? Or do they fade into the scenery so much that recalling any detail regarding appearance or demeanor becomes a Herculean task?

When I kept asking myself this in lieu of paying close attention to the episode, I realized that it wasn’t a vain search for a way to describe the Assistant; I was trying to pin down my own tenuous thoughts on Watashi. I mean yes, the Assistant isn’t exactly brimming with what would ordinarily be described as distinctive charm, but his repertoire of Hawaiian shirts more than makes up for it. (more…)

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Stop smiling, you little fuckers

I didn’t think that Jinrui could shock me with any antagonist that it could conjure up at this point. We’ve had headless chickens, corrupt corporate pawns that care for little more than climbing the corporate ladder, and anthropomorphized space probes, so the level of quirkiness would have to be off the charts to even register with me at this point. That’s why, even considering the simple yet effective fever dream-like quality of the plot and the way that it hinted at their involvement along the way, I didn’t expect that the fairies would finally take an active role as antagonists.

Of all the zany shenanigans that comprise most of Jinrui, very few have been a direct, conscious result of the fairies. In spite of the pivotal role that they play, they’ve been portrayed more as brilliant, if careless creatures rather than manipulative or self-serving; most of their goods are made to help a far-gone, dependent human society on its last gasp, rather than directly suit their own needs. This is the first episode that’s established the mischievous nature hiding behind their perpetual faces of surprised joy, and the effect is only eerier when examined with more scrutiny. (more…)

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Space travel is a concept that’s paradoxically one of the most culturally iconic and divisive among the population, especially since this is a world where economic security takes priority over plumbing the deepest reaches of space in order to discover cosmic monstrosities lurking in the darkest corners of the furthest galaxies. Unlike most moral or economic arguments, where one side is composed entirely of people that think coloreds-only bathrooms were a good idea, and the other is made up of unerring optimists with stars gleaming in their eyes, both sides in this debate have a strong voice of reason embedded in their arguments.

However, nobody takes the time to ask the thoughts of the real heroes, the vehicles engineered to drift through the void of space; after all, they’ve had to weather the loneliness of spending years without any sort of human contact. Jinrui took that fateful step when nobody else would, and the result is touching, if unsurprisingly cynical. Also, it involves a giant cat fighting an equally massive nautilus, which probably registers as some kind of fetish to a small subset of the population. (more…)

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There’s a lot to say about the indomitability of human ingenuity. After all, we discovered how to use fire and agriculture to stake claims on formerly rugged land, etching out the outline of civilization on the wild skeleton of Mother Nature. Electricity, space travel, and penicillin are all monuments to the sheer breadth of boundless creativity that the human mind plays host to. As wonderful as these achievements are, they’re all the products of undoubtedly brilliant men that stand leagues above the herd. Yet, when it comes to the trivial things that we all use to distract from the stress of our lives, we all have it in us to make MacGyver weep in an impotent rage.

Tragically or hilariously, your viewpoint depending on how much schadenfreude you want in your life on any given day, this drive seems to (mostly) only apply to what people want. Do they want to distribute stories of sweaty gay sex across famine-stricken land? They’ll set up a system more efficient than anything run by the government or intervening parties in order to give the huddled masses their daily dose of musky man ‘mance. That’s the third episode of Jinrui in a nutshell: Post-apocalyptic distribution of female-oriented literature featuring male on male romance and intercourse. And it’s enjoyable as fuck.

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