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Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita – 11

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「妖精さんの、ひみつのおちゃかい」 (Yōsei-san no, Himitsu no Ochikai)
The Fairies’ Secret Tea Party””

Perhaps more than any great series of recent vintage, Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita has stubbornly refused to let the audience get a handle on just what kind of show it really is.

I’m been grinding on trying to figure out just why director Kishi Seiji and AIC decided to adapt these stories in the order they did, and to be honest I’m not having much luck. Certainly it’s not due to author Tanaka Romeo, whose LNs are sequentially much more linear than the anime. You can reverse engineer the question and look at the effect, which is that the landscape of the series has been constantly shifting under the audience’s feet like sands blowing in the wind. This leads to the question of whether, perhaps, that was the whole point. In a way it’s almost as if every arc has been a premiere, and there was never any way to know what might be coming next. For a show whose appeal lies so strongly in mind-expansion and a sort of intellectual shock and awe, perhaps this has been the best way to maintain effectiveness.

There’s a downside to this approach, at least for me, and it’s this: by jerking the characters back and forth in the timeline so much with no preamble or ceremony whatsoever, they aren’t really able to have an “arc” in the traditional sense – even Watashi, the one constant running through every story. When Jinrui started I instantly fell in love with it, the only skepticism being my initial view that the series wasn’t trying to win much emotional investment in the characters. Well, that changed quite a bit over the course of the series, to the point where I was totally hooked into the emotional side of the show by the time “The Fairies Time Management” came to a close. Especially the relationship between Watashi and Joshu-kun, which was the most resonant part of the series from the outset. But due to the adaptation choices Kishi-san has made, that climax was an anti-climax – perhaps that arc should have been the one to end the series, because I find myself disappointed that there’s been no further development in that relationship, and indeed almost no role for Assistant at all. It seems odd to have built him up so strongly as a figure of importance, only to effectively write him out of the story for the final four eps.

Indeed, that does appear to be what’s happened, as the current “Fairies Secret Tea Party” reveals itself to be a two-episode arc and thus, the concluding arc of the series. So what Kishi has effectively done is taken the first chronological story and placed it last, assuming there’s no extended postscript. It’s an odd choice, and it’s an odd episode – certainly the most joyless of any in the series so far. The subject matter of Jinrui has unfailingly been dark, but there’s always been an element of black comedy rooted in the sheer absurdity of the situations, the Fairies themselves, and/or Watashi’s world-weary snarkiness. This ep, a flashback to Watashi’s first days at school as a ten-year old, is brilliantly atmospheric and creepy, but lacking in the bleak exuberance of the ones that preceded it.

Fittingly for this dystopian world, it appears as if children rarely attend school before the age of ten. Then they’re dumped into a kind of free-for-all, with the smart kids being given opportunities to advance in grades. In fact this is very much how education worked in pre-industrial societies and still does in some corners of the world today, where the luxury of grades formally segregated by age isn’t an option. Watashi, sent to a school run by an old friend/rival (lots of subtext here) of her Grandfather, enters the story as a ten year-old who’s already quite morose and anti-social, and stubbornly refuses to allow others to get close to her (indeed, one almost expects an even earlier arc, a prequel to the prequel, showing us how she got that way). Her only friends are a hapless maintenance robot named RYOBO 230r (Yuzuki Ryoka) and a lonely fairy she finds atop “Mt. Olympus”, where she hides it from three schoolboys trying to find and dissect it. She’s also hazed from the first day by the schoolgirl version of fujoshi maven Y (who looks remarkably similar to the way she did as a young adult).

Once again I’m struck by how fascinatingly odd it is to place this arc last. Why does ten year-old Watashi already describe herself as an “outsider” from the moment she enters the school, and assume the blonde moebomb Curly (Kanemoto Hisako) – the one person who shows her any kindness – is the secret ringleader of the bullies? Perhaps the answers will come next week, though given the structure of the narrative I found Watashi’s eventual breakdown and admission that she was actually lonely and craving affection a bit jarring. Then there that Fairy, the first one Watashi has encountered, seemingly. Once again we see the Fairies take their cue from humans – he describes himself as happy and talks of how much fun his solitary existence has been, until she expresses concern that he must have been lonely – at which point he falls into a deep depression that Watashi reverses only by giving him sugar (which he keeps referring to as “the white powder”, much to Watashi’s chagrin). There’s clearly a lot of projection happening here on Watashi’s part, and it’s an interesting demonstration of how different are the minds of humans and fairies. The relationship between them continues to fascinate me even as its exact nature remains elusive.

The end of the episode is full of the trademark subtlety and mysterious symbolism Jinrui has made a trademark. I was struck by the teacher telling Watashi “Clean up your mess” after the boys knocked over her tray in the cafeteria – given that this was exactly what Grandpa told her at the end of “The Fairies Survival Skills”. After her breakdown Watashi runs down the school hallway (a beautifully animated scene) and ends up in a room full of bones, crying “I don’t want to be alone” – at which point the Fairy in her pocket tells her that this is an easy wish to grant, and she wakes up outside her room with no memory of the Fairy.

At this point Watashi has also advanced a grade, and Curly too – and this time it’s Curly who’s on the receiving end of the bullying. Watashi comes to her aid, and Curly proves to be practically stalker-level in gratitude. When Watashi arrives home she finds she has a new roommate – Curly, who’s gotten herself moved into Watashi’s quarters. She invites Watashi to join her at her “Wild Rose” tea society a few days later, and that’s where things stop – leaving a lot of questions to be answered in next week’s series finale. The most interesting one for me, I think, is whether it will feel like a finale at all – and as always with Jinrui, I have absolutely no idea what to expect.

September 9, 2012 at 4:59 pm
30 comments »
  • September 9, 2012 at 5:43 pmAni_BEE

    I’m also struck by the fact that that the past few episode/story arcs have been narrated at the beginning with Watashi in recollection of events. This episode was started with her actually sitting down writing this out. The journal imagery from the intro “Now Playing” might have something to do this this backwards story telling and basically a tear-down/decline in Watashi’s history.

    I’ll have to agree at this point having the last episode of this series end on the “The Fairies’ Time Management” would have been an emotion high instead would have been great. But I’m hoping the final episode might pull out an interesting current timeline twist at the end.

    Would it be too much to wish for a second season? Does anyone know how much of the 7 light novels were covered by the anime?

    • September 9, 2012 at 7:57 pmRA-GA

      In most cases, this JINTAI is the configurations of the original novels two-for-one book story. However, the 3 volumes is only one story.There is a story of 13 until now that is.
      The minutes were animated episode 7 of them.

      We look forward to second season of JINTAI anime too. However, it will be one or more years.
      As you know, because there is a movie version of “AURA” in front of it.

  • September 9, 2012 at 7:54 pmAoi

    As someone who’s been bullied and been in this situation (the new kid in a lower grade) Watashi’s actions were pretty understandable, especially since she’s ten.

  • September 9, 2012 at 7:59 pmstarss

    Wow, Watashi. …..you were a jackass. As someone who was very anti-social in grade school, watching this ep was uncomfortable for me as it’s basically a synopsis of what I feared would happen if I was pushed too far.

    I miss The Assistant. Too bad this is the last arc of the anime. I DO believe this is the first of a two-parter because 1.) Watashi suddenly having friends upon her at the ending was obviously the work of the fairy she saved, and we all know they have an alternative goal with these plans and that Watashi may somehow get wise to what’s going on, 2.) there’s something suspicious with the robot bumping into the same wall next to her door, and 3.) we have yet to meet the rest of the tea club.

  • September 9, 2012 at 8:57 pmfumi

    it’s simple. the curly girl’s group was talking bad about her while she was offering to invite her, she didn’t want two faced friends. the fairy change it so that curly girl would be attracted to her to the point that she couldn’t think or say anything bad about her. she may like y better since she straightforwardly bullied her.

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:10 pmNaYa

      I wonder how the fairy managed to do that though. I’m pretty sure fairies can’t directly affect a person’s mind.
      I noticed that the robot’s color changed from white to light blue (or was that mint green?) after the memory altering moment though, so the fairy might have constructed some sort of alternate world or played around with circumstantial probabilities… ahhh my head hurts. I guess we’ll have to wait and see in the next episode.

      • September 10, 2012 at 5:27 amZannafar

        As far as I know, the fairies can affect someones mind, though I do not know how much.
        The robot did not change color after the memory altering, they only used different lighting in that scene.

        Rather than any big change, I think all the fairy did was to create a chance for Watashi to make human friends herself by disappearing and thus leaving a hole in her life that could be filled by someone else.

      • September 10, 2012 at 11:44 amNaYa

        I thought it was just the lighting at first too, but when Watashi got Curly’s skirt, it was still different color… I guess it’s still possible that they’re trying to trick the viewers with though.

      • September 10, 2012 at 12:38 pmZannafar

        Somehow I completely missed that moment when I watched it. Yes, it really is a different color in that scene, but I think it is a different robot.

  • September 9, 2012 at 8:58 pmQwert

    I’ve started wondering about the “old friend” that’s supposed to be visiting Watashi.

    My first thought was that it would end up being Y, but her presence in this arc at the moment seems to be little more than as a reference to her earlier/later appearance.

    Then I figured it could end up being Curly simply due to the focus she’s had through the episode.

    But what I’m drifting toward now and would really like is if this “old friend” ends up being the fairy.

    • September 9, 2012 at 10:57 pmWanderer

      I’ve seen it suggested elsewhere on the internets that it might actually be the robot.

      • September 9, 2012 at 11:14 pmQwert

        That would end up being even better…

  • September 9, 2012 at 9:28 pmJoe

    Now I understood why “Watashi” do not really like Y during the earlier episode.

  • September 9, 2012 at 10:02 pmNaYa

    Watashi’s behavior understandable as it is similar to Ichiko from Binbougami-ga!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    So I’m thinking something happened to Watashi before she entered school to make her wary of getting close to people.

    By the way… why is there a bone-filled room in the school?! D:

  • September 9, 2012 at 11:14 pmKusabi

    To you guys that have read the LN, I only have one question: What is Watashi’s real name, if she has any?

    • September 9, 2012 at 11:31 pmGuardian Enzo

      “I”

    • September 10, 2012 at 5:58 amZannafar

      None of the (human) characters in Jintai have names. Tanaka Romeo is probably mimicking older works – and with older I mean 11th century, like Genji Monogatari – where the characters were referred to with their ranks or distinctive traits rather than names. This makes the naming of the fairies in the previous episode even more ironic as most of them have no distinctive traits. Watashi had to name them while not needing names for other humans. Interestingly, the only characters who actually do have names are Voyager and Pioneer, who are technically inanimate objects.

      Another good example of that naming style would be Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, where the Author even went as far as changing the characters titles depending on who speaks with/about them, according to how much they know or the situation they are in.

      • September 10, 2012 at 2:05 pmAni_BEE

        Considering Voyager and Pioneer are from the Old World in Jinrui timeline it seems that the current humans don’t need to names as they are so few for them left scattered all over the world. If you think about it all the humans all go by nick names or tittles. Y is just short Yaoi really. lol

      • September 11, 2012 at 7:10 pmRA-GA

        It is the idea that many of the Japanese and surprised Romio Tanaka. Unfortunately, articles and interviews of Romio Tanaka that I’ve read such discourse has not come out.
        I think your idea is different.
        Do you know the “Kokoro” of Natsume Soseki novel ?
        I think a lot of Japanese people and I would of “Kokoro”, reminds me of the approach of such a novel.
        Might be related to Romio Tanaka is also a novel game writer. Some because the name of the hero of the game is changed.

  • September 10, 2012 at 1:24 amWhatsht

    Watashi was such an asshole, it’s hilarious.

    Looks like this arc will cover school-related issues like bullying and making friends.

  • September 10, 2012 at 1:42 amDop

    I loved the way the Wild Rose Society was a perfect parody of the sort of thing we’ve seen in so many different yuri shows (I was half expecting everyone to start saying “Gokigenyou”), but Watashi’s first question is “how do I quit?”

    She’s the one sane person in a crazy world!

    • September 10, 2012 at 4:39 pmScruffy

      HA .. I was thinking exactly the same thing! Maria-sama ga Miteru much?

  • September 10, 2012 at 6:32 amhalzy

    so this show main’s life in school give being victim of target like called broom-head by Y & being bullied.

    give main more focus on study & etc climb up more grades give that blonde curly want main.

    then one day main a fairy to save from bullies some talk & give white stuff that fairy like give one day it will disappear.

    but truth is main want friends cause she don’t want to be lonely so fairy make a wish with main then poof now main in upper grade give blonde curly now in same grade with main still want main to be friends.

    yet main decide just a bit sure give her skirt back from recover by robot to curly as roommate & now tea club to join with main going like how can i quit?

  • September 10, 2012 at 6:33 pmEbisu

    Those three kids even projected shadows with horns like demons.
    I liked the chapter but I wonder if that fairy has fused with her or what. She will have a luck level of 1f for eternity? She kept making cakes after all.
    I expect the next chapter will be more about school days and not about how was her life before going to school but who knows. That “how do I quit?” after seeing the tea club left an impact :D

  • September 10, 2012 at 8:10 pmAnomalous

    Was no-one else struck by the scene of the moth burning in the fire as “Watashi” was telling Curly off?

    • September 13, 2012 at 3:22 amc2710

      that my friend…. speaks alot

  • September 11, 2012 at 9:09 pmRA-GA

    I supplement the Parts have not been described in the animation on the status of the “Watashi” of the time. So I think next time probably will not be described.
    At that time she had just lost her parents. It was taken over by the grandfather, but she did not get along because he were severe with grandchildren. (There is a hint at the end of Episode 9.)
    Grandfather was a scholar was able to educate his grandchildren. However, He was allowed to go to school he think school with children of the same age will become for her.
    She felt she was abandoned by grandfather.

    In the original novel premise, such as have been described above.

    Would prove next episode mystery about the “fairy”, “robot”, members of“Wild Rose”, and “Y”.

    Fairies are very very kind to human.
    My favorite story in JINTAI.

  • September 19, 2012 at 9:16 amAni_BEE

    Final episode order Count.

    11-12,10,7-8,5-6,1-2,9,3-4.

    But with the sections of 11-12 with Watshi recalling her school life, it take place at her family home before Y comes to visit again and possibly before Assistant shows up so 10,11-12,7-8,5-6,1-2,9,3-4?

    • September 19, 2012 at 9:16 amAni_BEE

      Forgot the a in Watashi! >_<