Forgive me, for I’m going to do what I always seem to do with these posts and focus on one throwaway part rather than comment on the actual quality of the episode. To be honest, I found the reveal that each member of the tea club were either bitchy or psychotic to be rather uninteresting. The way they portrayed it, the director seemed to think it would be a big shock that Curly was a raging psychotic lesbian. It would have been a bigger surprise if they had spied on her and she was happily writing in her diary about all the oishii cakii~ she ate and how she just loves all her friends soooo much.
So nah, what I want to talk about is the school. They said that the school was redeveloped several times, which is why there’s old corridors and mazes and robots bumping into walls. Or just one robot, the rest rotting in a basement somewhere. The fact they were there implies that the school once housed a much larger population. But by the time Watashi joins…well, I suppose I should start calling her Sweets now. Anyway, by the time Sweets joined, the school had been reduced dramatically in size and newbies classes contained kids of various ages, like it was some local school in the middle of nowhere. Except it’s not, because Watash…Sweets had to travel a long distance to go to the one school that was still operational.
And at the end of the episode, it shut down.
That got to me way more than it probably should have. Kids stopped joining the school. The ones that were there left before they could advance to the highest class and finish their education. Sweets and Y…err, I mean Silver, were the only two studying. What they did research were the fairies, the supposed New Humanity. The only two youths in what must be a few hundred mile radius to get a full education devoted their lives to analysing those that will take their place. It’s like if a giant asteroid was hurtling towards earth, everyone stopped going to school apart from a few who decided to stay and work out exactly how fucked they all would be.
Actually it’s not quite that at all. Humanity has Declined has been all about, well, the decline of humanity. Not through any war or famine or whatever, or even incompetence. It’s more through indifference towards improving a situation taken as inevitable. There no longer being an education system in place is the most damning. It’s the perfect example of humanity in decline, because we’re no longer teaching kids what we’ve learned so they can build on it. What results instead is an overall lowering of our knowledge as humanity. The fact that there was a project devoted to admiring our past creations but no attempts at understanding them shows how much they’ve stopped even trying to learn anymore.
I’m still a little bit baffled as to why this part of Humanity has Declined has got to me time and time again, to the point that the finale had me welling up slightly. Perhaps at heart I’m a romantic when it comes to my belief as to what humanity can achieve. It doesn’t help that this show is airing alongside something as upbeat about our capabilities as humans as Space Bros is. We can expand and engineer and invent our way out of any situation. The world could be blown apart and yet some pioneering individuals will find a way to survive and advance. We’ll move to other planets and make them habitable. We’ll even bio-engineer ourselves in such a way that we can survive. The idea that we’ll just accept our demise, not even meekly, just as a statement of fact, depresses me. There’s not one character in this show who contends this. Sentient marmalade will rule the world and wipe us out in a sea of orange flavoured spread and we’ll shrug and accept this, simply saying:
I, for one, welcome our new fairy overlords.