11 CommentsHumanity has Declined / By Scamp /

Humanity has Declined episode 11 – Stop the gushing

In the last episodic post on Humanity has Declined, I discussed the possibility of an inherent desire in humanity to be above other races, while simultaneously possessing a fear of one day being usurped by a more advanced race that we can’t do anything about, and whether we would simply accept our decline once these superior beings appeared . I also analysed the potential that humanity’s natural inclination towards warfare may in fact be the proof of our existence. That we can struggle against opposing forces and are willing to do so is our way of expressing our desire for life and growth and that without this innate gravitation towards conflict that we have, we would just fade away and eventually die out.

In this post, I’m going to complain about how much this episode sucked.

There are several reasons why this episode sucked, the first and most damning of which being that it simply wasn’t funny. The series has always been a bit dry, but from that dryness came a sardonic sense of humour. This week, I got more laughs from WHO IS IMOUTO than Humanity has Declined (specifically the scene where some dude was giving the teacher grief from the side of the swimming pool, so she pulled a float under water and let it go so the force of floatation sent it flying out of the water and smacked the dude in the face. That scene was pretty funny). Not even the fairy said anything witty. Watashi’s conversation with it was comparatively normal, almost boring first-date esque, which is far cry from the usual great lines the fairies come out with.

“Oh but maybe it’s not trying to be funny” I pretend to hear you say. Which is fine, I guess. You can have your Very Special Episode, considering you’re apparently trying to build up to some sort of poignant finale here. It would just have helped if the writing wasn’t woeful. The scene where Watashi ran down an empty hallway going “oh boo hoo hoo I’m so lonely boo hoo” was cringe worthy in how in-your-face it was. It was like smashing you in the face with a dead fish saying “LOOK! Look at her! Look at how lonely she is! Isn’t this tragic!?!”. Who the hell wrote this episode? Humanity has Declined can sometimes get stupidly obvious with its metaphors, but at least there’s still a little bit of work on part of the audience, not shoving it in your face with as much subtlety as a man trying to pick up girls at a bar by waving his dick in their faces. It reminded me of the kind of stuff Mari Okada writes, in that they think the best way to get strong emotions across is to bury our faces in it.

Oh dear, I brought up Mari Okada. Cue big argument in the comments section.

And what’s the point of this episode anyway? Is it trying to say that bullying happens? That people can feel lonely? I feel like I’m supposed to be making a connection between the fairy who feels no loneliness and Watashi feeling lonely herself but pretending she doesn’t need anyone, but who cares about deeper layer meanings when the surface level is boring. It’s like the hierarchy of needs except with entertainment. If your surface level story is boring, I can’t get into the deeper themes. If the writing is woeful, I can’t care for the story, and so on and so forth.

Not that the episode was as dreadful as I’m making it out to be, but after gushing about the show for the past two episodes, my grump levels were starting to boil over and needed an escape.

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11 Comments

  1. Lanf
    Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know, it wasn’t a great episode, but it was by no means bad. In a way, it kinda felt like the dissappearance of Haruhi, but with the decency to condense it from 3 bloody hours to 20 minutes, whilst still actually managing to retain its own charm.

    I liked how she ended up confiding in a robot, even as it was literally ramming its own face into a wall, yet she was unwilling to open up in the slightest to the kids. The end also showed her retaining her same down-to-earth cynicalism as she got sucked into the Ojou-sama tea party was great too. I think this episode explained why she spends more time interacting with fairies than she does other humans, really.

    I’m not sure if they’ll continue with this for next week, and whilst I’d like to see a little more, wrapping this end up, it wouldn’t be a great way to end, the show has been going backwards chronologically far too much, that it hasn’t allowed it have much progression, I still want to see something happen with her hair, now it is its own life form.

  2. Posted September 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    Definitely wasn’t about bullying. Can’t divulge much more, since it’s going to be a topic for one of my writers.

    • Posted September 11, 2012 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      Seconding that, not that my interpretation of it was any good either.

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 4:07 am | Permalink

    The robot was the best character pretty much.

  4. Mr.RR
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I wanna say it has something to do with humanity being overly suspicious of others, like someone being randomly nice when everyone else seems to dislike/ignore you. Also, humans desire attention by default, and some will flat out reject people in fear of being reject in the end (So some beat them to the punch an reject them first). Though I could be, like, crazy.

  5. eternia
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    The reason I like Jinrui is because of Watashi’s nonchalant reactions to every weird happenings around her. But this episode doesn’t have it. Instead, she’s portrayed as someone paranoid (?). Definitely the weakest episode out of eleven.

    • luffyluffy
      Posted September 12, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Yeah but, it’s a flashback explaining WHY she’s so cynical. Hence at the end of the episode when she’s actively sassing Curly. She would have just ignored her.

  6. anon
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    somehow i got the impression that the first time watashi got in touch with a fairy was when he was given the assignment by her grandpa, and her grandpa explained that the fairies like sweets and fun.

    but this episode shows her giving a fairy the blocky white substance, so she at least had an idea that fairies liked sweets, she even prepared cake at the end of ep11.

    which means that she won’t recover her memory of that green fairy in the latter episodes.

    lol never mind, i just answered my own question.

  7. Desi
    Posted September 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

    I’m super curious though,
    memory erased still made the cakes.
    That little girl…
    Layout of school changed?
    The answer to the riddle!
    >waiting for super epic episode 12.

    …I wish they did it in order like the LN though because I miss Assistant dearly.

    EDIT: Remembered that the running part was a dream. We don’t usually remember dreams… How many layers does this dream of hers have? She woke up when the dream sequence started.
    Maybe the whole series is a dream… her death dream.. as the last human to die!

  8. Sudachi
    Posted September 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Oh good, I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that episode was massively boring. That Imouto pool/floatation-buoy hijinx sounds pretty amazing on the other hand!

  9. Shogun
    Posted September 20, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Let it be known, the early scene with the journal, where he slowly regresses from intelligent considerations to craving fairy steak and wine, is an allusion to the first Resident Evil game. Ties in with Humanity’s Decline quite nicely.

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