8 CommentsHumanity has Declined / By Scamp /

Humanity has Declined episode 5 – :D

How could you leave behind the fairy, Nameless Main Character!?! Look at his pained expression. Well, if he was capable of contorting his face into anything other than :D then I’m sure he would look depressed. Maybe to express his disappointment he should simply stand on his head. Come to think of it, I’ve been calling the fairy “him” up until now, but do they even have genders? How do they procreate? I thought it was literally through feeding them happiness and cakes, but apparently that was a literal translation rather than an accurate one. Or perhaps I shouldn’t think about procreating fairies too much. I’m sure there will be doujins graphically detailing how it’s done by the time the next comiket rolls around.

This episode established that Humanity has Declined isn’t told in chronological order. The episode starts with them doing the Look How Great Humanity Once Was Before We Declined Project, or LHGHOWBWDP (pronounced Luhg-howb-bwud-puh, which is coincidentally also the name of a place in Wales), which was the project Y was supposed to be working on before she got swept up in the destructive world of yaoi. One of the things that has been consistent so far is humanity declining. I thought the first episode heavily implied that it was because of humanity’s disengagement with the process of how stuff is made, and the more general failings of the system they’re in leading to people not attempting to change things for themselves. After 5 episodes though, I’m not so sure that’s the case anymore. Certainly those factors exist, but the actual reason for the apocalypse hasn’t been stated. It’s just something everyone accepts and nobody tries to counter. Even this big LHFHOWBWDP was set up to celebrate humanities past rather than try do something about reaching that level again.

As for the episode itself, I honestly found large chunks of it fairly boring. Nameless spends way too much time narrating events. You could cut out most of the episode and still get the general picture. I’m not sure how much of this is down to trying to stick strictly to the source material or not, but it definitely needs to be edited down way further if that’s the case. The directing in general isn’t anywhere near as imaginative as it should be. Take the scene with the fairy counting. You didn’t need to go through the whole thing, we got the joke within the first 30 seconds. Not only that, but it left the scene entirely with Nameless narrating rather than, you know, actually visually showing us what she was saying. Instead they completely ignore the strengths of a visual medium.

I just haven’t been overly impressed by the directing in Humanity has Declined so far. I like the pastel pallet watercolours used to deliberately contrast the bleak messages and the general dark cynical tone of a story about fairies eating oishii cakee~! Episode 4 had cool tricks with the manga format, but it wasn’t like they could direct those scenes in any other way. It wasn’t like they were adding their own directorial touch when they drew the characters in rough sketch format, since that was literally what happened. At the moment it’s getting by entirely on the strength of its ideas rather than snappy dialogue or clever directing.

Which I guess comes down to Tanaka Romeo, the author of the original books. I had VN fans tell me he was great because he’s written stuff like Cross Channel, but I looked on in scepticism because VN fans have baffling levels of patience to sit through tedious crap to get to the Good Part that I simply don’t understand. I guess I’m going to have to eat my words with VNs again. Unless the long-winded monologues and dragging pacing of the anime is actually cut down from the original novels, in which case my scepticism towards VN fans tolerance for bad writing remains justified. But still, the guy has some crazy neat ideas in his head if he can come up with Humanity has Declined.

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  1. Aerxes
    Posted July 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Romeo’s stuff is generally a bit more immediately interesting. His ability to control pacing is something that a lot of VN writers have yet to grasp.

    • alexvoda
      Posted July 30, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      Wait a second.
      From all I can find this was originally a light novel not a visual novel. You are both either implying that the two are directly comparable and have the same pitfalls or I am misunderstanding something here.

      • thewizardninja
        Posted July 31, 2012 at 5:33 am | Permalink

        Whether it be a LN or a VN, controlling pacing and flow comes down to your inherent ability as a writer. It just so happens that many VNs prefer to take their time in the early stages, mainly to set atmosphere, introduce characters and ease readers into the story. I don’t really see anything wrong with that if it’s written well enough (a good writer can make literally nothing happening enjoyable to read) but I can certainly see how some people would want to get straight to the action.

      • Scamp
        Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        “take their time” is an interesting way to put it. And by interesting I mean deliberately misleading :P

  2. Chipp
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure that it’s director’s fault, not Romeo’s.
    That Kishi Seiji or who he was has done pretty awful work with Persona 4 so I don’t like him pretty much.

    Also you should watch Guilty Crown Lost Christmas OVA :3

    • Scamp
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      God no. I’m downloading Nunnally in Wonderland, will that do?

      • Chipp
        Posted July 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        I haven’t seen Code Geass yet. :p

    • luffyluffy
      Posted July 31, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Actually Nunnally in Wonderland was pretty damn good.

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