Humanity has Declined 12 — I Call BS

This episode made the main character out to be quite the villain. Her conversation with Y… wow. Just wow. Blackmail? Espionage? Lying? Nothing is beyond her. And she is one of the least crazy people in the school.

But it was refreshing to see her revealed as an unrepentant asshole. I enjoyed this last arc the most, and that’s because this was a decidedly human story.

For a show purporting to show how humanity has declined, we’ve seen remarkably little of humanity. Mostly we see a cynic by herself along with a mute and a bunch of fairies and / or robots. It’s kind of weird when you think about it that this show has so little human involvement.

But now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense. To present their vision of the decline of humanity, this show needs to avoid showing humans. Why?

Because even a cursory inspection of humanity reveals the story’s vision of humanity to be flat out bullshit. In the envisioned world of the future, humanity has just plain given up. Humanity has declined, and they’re content with that. Ready to die out peacefully.

But if there’s one thing humanity never does, it’s give up. You can throw people in prison, enslave them, conquer them, do whatever the hell you want, but humanity never gives up.

And we see that in the students. As crazy as they are, all of the characters here are passionately and hopefully living their lives despite humanity’s “decline”. They haven’t given up. And why would they? Humans don’t give up.

This is the central conceit of Humanity has Declined: they show that humanity has declined by not showing any humans. Because when humans do show up, they make short work of the story’s own premise.

4 thoughts on “Humanity has Declined 12 — I Call BS

  1. I think you missed the point the show was trying to make even though you made the proper observation at the beginning of your post. Watashi was alone at the beginning of her High School years because she did not trust other people. She knows that she is a blackmailing bitch during this time, and assumes other people to be the same way. When Y shows her that other people are just as fucked up as she is, she relents to their way of thinking that it is better to be with others.

    Despite this revelation, all the other members of the tea society go on their separate way and pursue their own paths, that relate to their unique personalities and interests. As we were already shown, Y gets further into BL and Watashi becomes even more the cynical and lazy. In the end, the show was trying to make the point that humanity declines by being disconnected through the single minded pursuit that a lot of humans have for their own interests, even at the expense of real human relationships.

    The Fairy’s represented this single minded mindset in many instances by focusing only on one thing at a time to the exclusion of all else. Their goal was candy, and a result, they often did things half-assed or without well thought out plans just to get a piece of candy. Thus, they neglected everything else for candy, like humans do for their own interests.

    That lack of caring about anything else, even you really care for, indulcge in and fight for one thing, is what is causing the decline.

    1. This is a great way to look at this episode which I hadn’t considered.

      Still, I’m not sure I buy the message. Single minded pursuits can connect people even more strongly than a lack thereof, if you find people with the same interests.

      And what do the creators want people to do about it? Care about things less passionately? That’s a horrible message. Care about other things more? Well, that basically amounts to the same thing, as far as I can tell. There are only 24 hours in a day.

  2. I’ve reviewed my comment on your ep. 10 post ( bit.ly/NC7eWS ) after reading this one. This is what I think now:

    Maybe this series refers not to humanity as a whole but to the situation of some rich countries like Japan or Europe. People in most rich countries imo cannot be compared w/ prisoners or slaves. They have a nice life and can focus on things like BL manga or vain monument projects. But people in these places risk becoming complacent. I wouldn’t say they give up – why should they fight in the first place? But their will to compete gets lost and what follows is gentle decline.

    As there is no shortage of people in the world who are less well off there’s no danger of humanity dying out today. But who knows? Birth rates are declining in most parts of the world now. Imagine the rest of the world becoming one giant saturated place one day – would the Jintai world be inconceivable? I don’t think so as long as technology or fairies continue to keep people well fed and happy.

    In the Jintai world (first ep) we see this situation crumbling, though. If one day there’s no Watashi to save the village then village people will indeed not give up but re-learn the hard way how to survive.

    I’d like to defend Watashi. I don’t think she’s a cynic. I think she really likes the fairies and she also likes Assistant-kun and Y. Also, she’s the only one getting things done in her village. Her snark is her way of dealing w/ the bizarre situations she encounters. But if there’s a cynic it’s her grandfather, not Watashi imo.

    1. Relating it to the situation of the wealthy countries in Europe and Japan makes a lot of sense, I think.

      I still can’t really see humanity dying off from that, though. As it is with global warming and all, the earth would probably be better off without an exponentially increasing population.

      I’m pretty sure Watashi’s a cynic. But the grandfather is definitely worse.

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