「妖精さんの、ひみつのおちゃかい」 (Yōsei-san no, Himitsu no Ochakai)
“The Fairies’ Secret Tea Party (Part 2)”
The only thing that was predictable about this ending is that it wouldn’t be a predictable ending.
It would certainly be fair to say I have conflicted feelings over the way Kishi Seiji and Uezu Makoto decided to end Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita. Make no mistake, it was a very good two-part arc – not among the best Jinrui has had to offer, but still better than 95% of the anime that aired this season. But it didn’t feel like a finale in any real sense (unsurprisingly, as it isn’t even the newest volume of the LN). It was just a two-part episode that ended the series, but it could as easily have landed anywhere in the cour and made as much (or as little sense) as it did where it is.
But then I step back, and I wonder – is that a fair criticism on my part? Jinrui has been relentlessly unconventional from the start, so why do I expect a conventional finale? This isn’t a traditional show in any way – it doesn’t have character development at all in the strictest sense, and each arc stands very much on its own. I can’t say how it all would have played if AIC had adapted the stories in the same order Tanaka-sensei wrote them – it would be a guess on my part. But I can say that even in the discontinuous style that Kishi and Uezu chose, there were still character elements that emerged that might have been better served if the chapters had been ordered differently.
Whatever its place in the larger superstructure of Jinrui, this finale was another brilliant example of the show’s relentlessly creative and somewhat disturbing worldview. I don’t think there’s any question that “The Fairies Tea Party” is the least fantastical and absurd of the series’ arcs. Heck, there are barely any Fairies in it (perhaps another reason it’s an odd choice to end with). It’s also, without question, the least funny of the arcs – and it makes very little attempt to be. Even more so than last week’s first part, this episode takes a very chilling and unsparing look at human nature – exaggerated for effect, perhaps, but generally grounded in realism – and in doing so, makes yet another comment about how “humanity has declined”, but from a completely different angle than any that has come before.
There are lots of things that we can take away from this “Tea Party”. First of all, Watashi is fiendishly clever and always was – in fact she’d figured out the riddle Y gave her on the day she arrived at school (based on Mother Goose’s “Solomon Grundy”, as creepy as most Mother Goose) but chose not to “solve” it because she didn’t like being part of Y’s game. She also used her deductive reasoning to figure out what Y was really all about. A list of missing books from the library, all of which involve man-boy or boy-boy love (titles like “Death in Venice” and Satyricon”). The RYOBO 230r running into the wall constantly because there was a secret room behind it. And a scathingly cutting analysis of Y’s personality – why she needed to call attention to her own cleverness and feel superior to everybody else.
There’s a larger pattern that emerges here, that everyone has secrets, and everyone has unsavory elements of their character. This most certainly includes Watashi herself, who has a kind heart (we see this most tellingly with Joshu-kun) but is also snarky, sarcastic and anti-social. As a form of bribery to avoid having her secret spilled, Y – who’s called “Silver” by her former Wild Rose clubmates, who call Watashi “Sweets” (just like the Fairies do, interestingly) – takes Watashi on a magical mystery tour through a secret passage and shows her the dirty laundry of all the Wild Rose club members, and it’s not pretty. A categorical listing of every perceived slight ever received. Bitter and vicious complaining and gossiping about other girls. Hair samples preserved fetishistically in the pages of a diary (why did I hear “It puts the lotion in the basket” when I saw this?). And most chillingly, Curly – who always creeped the hell out of me, from the minute we saw her – who has a one-way conversation with her Watashi doll, before licking hot stew off its face and turning Norman Bates on it.
The weird thing is, I think the message here is “Let she who is without sin cast the first stone”. Y actually played her prank on Watashi because she was lonely, and saw someone of similar no BS intellect, and her BL fetish doesn’t actually hurt anybody. We saw last week that Watashi’s isolationism was really only hurting herself. Curly is desperately lonely. All of these people are flawed, yet they’re still people – and when they emerge from their lair they tuck their dark side away and treat each other mostly as friends. The choice in life is to either accept people as they are, warts and all, or be forever alone while you wait for the one person who can be exactly who you want them to be. The irony of course is that through unique circumstances Watashi actually did find such a person in Joshu-kun – but it was only because of her experience at the school and her relationship with Y especially that she was open to the experience.
I think the meaning of the ending as regards the Fairy and Watashi’s memory is somewhat open to interpretation. The Fairies seem to inhabit some kind of strange space between waking and dreams, and the Fairy who had been Watashi’s first friend at the school turned out to have been by her side all along – riding along inside RYOBO, perhaps keeping the robot going long after its time on Earth should have ended. When he popped out and called her “Friend!” that perhaps represents as unapologetically sentimental as Jinrui has gotten, certainly since the “Time Management” arc.
The short answer: love. Without a question this was the best of the Summer 2012 series in my view, and the gap was as wide as it has been in any recent season. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is a rare sort of series that just doesn’t come along very often – something truly original and wildly entertaining at the same time. The novels of Tanaka Romeo have clearly been criminally underappreciated, but that’s starting to change. There’s a real buzz surrounding Jinrui, which has been rapidly climbing in the stalker rankings in anticipation of its 9/19 BD/DBD release of Volume 1 – there’s a chance it could sell quite decently (which would be a huge and pleasant surprise). The same creative team is also doing an adaptation of Aura, another Tanaka LN, in movie form.
It’s interesting that the series chose to mention Mother Goose in the finale, because there’s a sort of shared mindset that didn’t really strike me until that happened – though in hindsight it should have been obvious. Besides quite literally being a “fairy tale” Jinrui has that some discordant combination of cute imagery and comedy with an extremely disturbing undertone. There’s an unsettling quality that runs through everything just as there is in “Goose” or Grimm” – a sense of whistling through the graveyard, if you like. The series paints a picture of a dying world, but at the same time manages to give us glimpses of the humanity that survives in the humans that survive – there are moments of warmth of honesty that transcend the black comedy and give the series a poignancy I wouldn’t have expected it to have after the hilarious premiere.
If I could have chosen an arc to end with, I would certainly have picked “The Fairies Time Management”, the origin story of Assistant-san (though it was only vol. 2 of the LN). That arc has the most feeling of a coda for me, because the relationship between Watashi and Joshu-kun was the most emotionally straightforward and least ironic element in the series. There was a real poetry to that story, and the ending had a real “ending” quality to it, even if was neither the last story chronologically in the anime or LN. It’s also a bit frustrating because after that episode, which framed Joshu-kun’s character so beautifully (interestingly, on his website Tanaka-sensei says Joshu-kun doesn’t speak so he “Doesn’t have to exchange words with people as dumb as a sack of hammers”), he effectively disappeared for the last four eps – which makes that development feel as if it was wasted just a bit. But as I mentioned earlier, that may be me trying to fit Jinrui into a conventional box it wasn’t designed to fit inside.
The list of things I love about Jinrui is a long one, starting with Nakahara Mai’s performance as Watashi – my current pick for best female seiyuu performance of 2012. When this series went for straight-out comedy it nailed it – Pan-tan the bleeding bread, “Chicken run”, the “time paradogs” pun at the end of episode 8. It also did satire better than any series in recent memory, with topics as wide-ranging as the manga industry, niche fandom, all the way to the rise of religion and its role in the rise and full of human culture itself. It also examined fascinating topics that anthropomorphism, through the example of “Pion and Oyage” the wayward space probed who longed to come home. And it gave us the Fairies themselves, one of the great literary creations of pop culture – so cute they could get away with saying almost anything, which they usually did.
Will there be another season of Jinrui? If it were based just on sales it might actually be possible – which I never would have believed when the show started. However the anime has adapted considerably more than half of the LN series’ 7 volumes, so it seems unlikely there’s enough material to adapt into another season, at least for a while. As Tanaka continues the series we might just see a continuation of the anime in a couple of years – I certainly hope so, because it represents one of the creative high points of the medium in the last few years. Challenging, ruthless, and unapologetically intellectual, Jinrui refuses to fit neatly into any box or trope – it’s completely its own animal. I wish there were more shows like it, and it’s one of the best series of 2012.
The moments when she found out other girls secrets, I was like : 0_0
Man, this show is just…….WoW!!
I felt like that guy in the The Scream painting. You fear watching your true selves in front of you.
………yet, that’s still you.
When I saw Curly’s “dirty” secret, it’s screaming to me.. “Oh look there’s going to be a doujinshi out of this.”
Haha yeah, especially the hair collecting one and Curly’s yandere moment. o_O
An excellent show. I’m going to miss this.
Great serie and beautiful 🙂
Wow what an amazing show. Not only is the writing superb, but the voice acting and art style are all just great. Definitely my best anime of the season by a long shot (maybe even the year).
Hoping that the “Humanity is still declining” line at the end of the episode is hinting at a 2nd season.
I loved that last line as well. it’s like saying “It’s not the end yet you fools!” 😉
If there’s anything definitive you can say about Jinrui’s last episode it’s that it was the last episode. Everything else is confusingly up to interpretation as per usual.
I came into this ep thinking “oh there’s more next week” only to found out by the end of the ep this would be the last and no other show will be on par with this for a long time. and then i started rage xD
I also like the symbolism they use with teh school graduation as the finale too ._. didn’t think about that until now
I still don’t know why they chose to produce the stories out of order. I suppose it’s because no one story is perfectly fit for either a premiere, middle, or finale, which is something I don’t think I have ever seen in a TV show before. I do still miss the Assistant, and unfortunately most of the memorable things about Jinrui are tossed aside in the last story arc. I feel there are many more stories that have yet to be told in this universe.
Is totally agree, I fell like we have only scratched the surface of this wonderfully wacky world!
This world building approach to the arcs is almost leading into the core of our main character and how she ticks. The ending scene is really showing she growth in full circle. In a sense we are almost seeing Watashi in Decline as we where striping backwards the layers that made her who she is instead of watch her build as a character In the first story arc and the last scene.
But yes I missed Assistant very much as well!
I agree that the emotional high for the show was with The Fairies Time Management and that arc did add a whole whack of pieces together but I don’t necessarily mind that Mint-san ended this series. I started to call the Friend Farie Mint-san last week, the irony that popped out of the Mint Green model RYOBO 230r robot out of the tree that patrolled the school was just to much irony. I also noticed all the robots had the same eye colour as the faries….
I think this understated ending with Mint-san and was just a touching, with Watashi was giving a life crushing huge to her first friend she had lost touch with for years. The reacquiring faeries tea party dream with Moint-san and Watashi reverting to her younger self with a truly open heart, I thinks that’s the true silver-lining to this strange world we live in to trust and feel for others we don’t always understand.
Didn’t I told you guys before that this episode is awesome.
This is why I like tea time parties Show Spoiler ▼
This is why I like all girls genreShow Spoiler ▼
This maybe the most serious of the arcs I’ve seen, but I think this was necessary to show how Watashi came to be what she was in the first episode.
Gosh, Curly was really creepy. In fact Watashi was creepy these two episodes (she has a certain mad scientist feel to her, brilliant, insanely sharp), and her transformation from lone wolf, batty girl to what she is (friendlier, albeit still critical) is a sight to behold.
Indeed, the message is clear. We humans need each other. Despite flaws, and whatnot.
Time to rearrange the episodes into the correct chronological order and rewatch the whole thing all over again! Fairies ahoy!
But that said, I thought that this last arc was more than fitting as a finale for Jinrui. It didn’t feel like an ending, and that was why it complimented Watashi’s last few words so well. In a way, it was a reminder that there never really was a start, and that there just might be no end to it. No one can say for sure when exactly humanity began to hit a declining phase, but we can say for sure that the moment humanity was given life was the moment humanity began to die, although we will never truly know if humanity will die out completely (in our lifetimes, at least). This finale concluded by reminding viewers that Humanity will always be declining, and that there will be no end to this tale we call Jinrui wa Suitaishimashita.
Jinrui reminds us that Life should never be looked at from a single, linear perspective, and that what matters is not the beginning nor the destination, but the journey, the people you meet and the relationships you create, the fulfillment you experience along the way, and the discovery of one’s self, place and purpose in a dying world.
My heart will probably ache as the weekends come and go.
Oops, I had meant to save that as a post rather than a reply, but I forgot that I had wanted to comment on something you said and ended up rambling, lol.
Anyway, I’d say that rather than needing each other, human beings can’t help but be drawn to each other. Watashi didn’t need to be with the other students to survive and to get through school, but she came to the realization that she had isolated herself from the rest because she had forgotten how to trust, and more importantly, that she could no longer hide herself from the truth that she felt really lonely, and that she had actually yearned in her heart to have a friend. (I believe it was at that point that the fairy, having been saved by her, understood her desire and granted it in return for her compassion.)
I believe that applies to every other living person on Earth. We can put up brave fronts or build barriers of lies around ourselves or even force ourselves into reclusion to protect ourselves from getting hurt by others, but at the end of the day, we yearn for interaction with others. We want to be with one another. We don’t need to, but we can’t help but do so, and we do so, even though we know that being with others means being vulnerable and getting hurt by each other. It defines our humanity. (Some NGE-level stuff right there.)
TL;DR – We don’t need to be with other humans. We can’t help but want to be with other humans.
This two-arc story actually works for me as a finale for this season. It is the one that has the most deep interactions between Watashi and other human characters, making it rather significant for a series where humanity has declined. What I find even more interesting is the mint fairy. Fairies have been aloof to human emotions for the most part, except to have fun. However, this mint fairy was actually trying to make friends with Watashi. That moment when it jumped out of the robot to greet Watashi was so sweet and touching! I don’t remember seeing such relationship between Watashi and any other fairies before. It really left me a rather good feeling at the end. All in all, Jintai was such an unexpectedly fun ride with the black comedy, symbolism, and witty remarks by Watashi (superb performance by Nakahara Mai**.) It will remain in a very very special place in my heart. A season 2 definitely would not hurt!!
I am going to miss the fairies’ antics. Aww…
No you won’t, because the fairies now live within all of us, having tea parties in our dreams, and because they do, we’ll never be lonely even if we’re alone.
I don’t want it to end! I don’t want it to end! Whenever it may be, I’ll be looking forward to another season… please, Tanaka-sensei!! T-T
That said, what the mint fairy (as everyone calls him) did was pretty incredible and touching. Other fairies seemed rather indifferent when it comes to human emotions and relationships, yet only this one cared enough to befriend Watashi and stay by her side all that time, and even come back to her eventually!
I still wonder why she suddenly forgot about the fairy at that moment last episode though…
Enzo (or anyone else), do you know exactly how much of the LN was covered by the anime? Someone told me they’d only covered a little over half of the LN material, but I don’t actually have any real idea.
I desperately want a season 2 for this anime. By far the best of this season for me.
I don’t know exactly, but from what I can tell it appears to be about 75-80% of the novel material. But Tanaka is still working on the LNs, so there’s hope.
I have a suspicion the series is going to surprise on Blu-ray – I think 5K is realistic, which would certainly be enough to convince AIC to consider another season at some point. If there are another couple of LN volumes released in the next year or so, it might happen.
After watching the final scene again – how Watashi being happy and having people to care about also makes the fairy happy with ‘having lots of visitors’ – my head hurts from trying to interpret the whole existence of fairies, how they relate to human mind and all that. Maybe the fairies aren’t separate entities but are within us, representing… but then there are all those material things they actually managed to do… though it would explain why Pion couldn’t comprehend the existence of fairies- Ahhgh
*brain burns out*
Jinrui is the best anime I ever seen, I laughed, empathised with the characters and thought about the subtle meanings in the anime. 10/10 Perfect Anime.
This needs a second season.
Back when the first pictures of it were shown, I expected it to be similar to Aria the Animation (my number one favourite anime). I didn’t quite got what I expected, but that was probably for the better. Jinrui was one hell of a ride and one the most original anime I have seen in a long time. Now that it’s over, I can only hope for a second season (and that someone picks up the novels for translation).
“Besides quite literally being a “fairy tale” Jinrui has that same discordant combination of cute imagery and comedy with an extremely disturbing undertone.”
Dammit, why didn’t I notice that before?! It’s so obvious in hindsight!
Aw man, I’m sad the show is over. This was, without any doubt, the best show of the season for me as well. Quite frankly, this is the kind of stuff I watch anime for. This show was creative, hilarious, full of interesting characters yet still manages to possess an interesting look at society and people at the same time. Watashi is also one of my favourite female characters of the year already (helped by her awesome voice actress).
The only downside I can think of, is that the placement of the arcs could have been done better. I don’t mind jumping from one point in the story to the next, but yes, this isn’t an arc I’d end the show on either. If anything, I’d place it a lot earlier (before even the episode about her first job) and save a different arc for last. Oh well.
This show does have me crave for more though, so I really hope this won’t be the last we’ll see of this.
well this is real show stealer on the season so now
main now in wild rose tea club seem normal mention Y used to be on it then main find Y collecting books on “Y-male” give Y said keep it quiet cause got info to save main.
cause Y show main the wild rose are bunch of crazy chicks from curse stars, hair collection, drinkers, & curly is a YANDERE so yea main & Y team-up to own tea group.
then later main, Y, & wild roses all made up & all peace good yea all well then all grad from school then main’s recall of school years Y visit main & give main a green robot from school which reveal green fairy she meet in school & have dream tea with green fairy.
Shed some tears when the fairy jumped out and called Watashi “friend” ;_;
oh my gosh, me too!!! that was so heartwarming.
Despite every girl had her secret side, it’s interesting that the two tall girls from the wild rose society, when they left school, were dressed like bride and groom 😀
Nice dream tea party end.
great series… certainly a niche series
gonna miss the fairies and watashi’s cynical and sacarstic thoughts and remarks
This is by far the most unique anime series I have seen in a long time. Getting people to watch it isnt easy but its so clever that they become hooked very quickly.
Best Pun of 2012 award goes to Time Paradogs.
is it me or the show went chronologically backwards?
Not backwards, just out of order.
Well, it is almost reverse-order anyway, with a few exceptions like the single arc ep 9. It’s not the first time an anime is shown in non-chronological order, everyone should at least remember Harui, for instance. In this case, I think it’s in accordance with the non canonical style of this anime, but more importantly, as others have pointed out, it serves the purpose of the character development, seen from a different perspective: we get to see how Watashi has become the person she is in the first episode, a bit at a time. I think this just adds value to one of the best show of the season (but for some strange reason, my top anime is still binbougami ga!, of which I appreciate even the most serious parts, in this regard diverging from the opinion of Guardian Enzo in his other blog, don’t hate me Enzo :)).
I’m perfectly fine with the serious parts of Binbougami Ga! when they’re in balance – just look at my posts on episodes 3-5 or so. It’s just that they seemed to go off the rails at times with the serious stuff after that, IMO.
Sorry Enzo, I read only the last few reviews because I discovered them not so long ago. My apologies for having put a misleading comment 🙂 and keep up the good work
This surely is anime of the year for me. Not only is the style of comedy right up my alley, it even manages to tell a brilliant story.
I also love the attention for detail. Did anyone notice the sudden color change (mint green as advertised) of the robot? It ‘just happens’ to match the mint hair color of the fairy that apparenty resides within it.
I disagree with you. I was actually glad that it ended with this arc. This arc was just so beautiful. A perfect way to end the series. I think I just teared up when the green fairy popped out of the robot. The time paradogs arc was good, but it confused me since I got lost in the story but this episode was the perfect stance to end the anime — With Watashi’s character development instead. I know you said that she didn’t develop much, but I feel like she did.
Overall, I was VERY impressed with this anime. The only reason I watched it was because of the “bleeding bread” reception and was about to drop it till the time travelling arc but I was so effing glad I didn’t.
Some anime are fun to watch, fewer are fun to ponder.
Jinrui is both. Best series I’ve seen this year and I can’t see that being challenged.
It felt to me like the order was meant to highlight how Watashi got to where she was in layers of naivete, not necessarily experience.
I absolutely loved this series.
I wonder if that red-headed boy actually loved animals and other living beings, but very convincingly kept up the act in front of the two other brats…
Yeah, me too. He seemed to have been very conspicuously shown playing with the cat there at the end.
RYOBO reminds me of the DALEKS
They don’t come in lime green, though.
I was speechless by the time I finished the finale. It’s AWESOME! Definitely one of the top three if not the best of the season. It was such an enjoyment, too to hear Nakahara Mai voice acting Watashi. My favourite female seiyuu of the season!
Now, seeing people saying the anime is not chronologically ordered make me want to re-watch it in the order the LN has. The problem is, I don’t read the LN so I have no idea what is the right order. Can anyone kindly put the episodes/arcs in the LN order for me?
10 – 6 OVAs – 07-08 – 05-06 – 01-02 – 09 – 11-12 – 03-04
The OVA’s are going to be fun!
Final episode order Count for chronologically I got was.
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 (this is her first job comming out a school was for the school lol) and possibly before Assistant shows up so 10,11-12,7-8,5-6,1-2,9,3-4?
I think this two episode arc was the most important in all of the series due to the fact that it showed who Watashi is in relation to the fairies. A lot of people may have viewed the Watashi/Joshu-kun relationship more dynamic and satisfying, but I found the Watashi/Fairy relationship more interesting because it showed that she wasn’t a random person stuck with the task of being the fairy emissary but more of a friend and adult/child relationship that superseded all others. This was also Watashi’s first test dealing with the fairies’ “demon wish” phenomenon where that you don’t get exactly what you wish for. Oh! So you want friends? I won’t just give you friends, I will give you the craziest friends of all! Watashi’s superior intellect shines brightest compared to others and serves as blessing and curse when handling the fairies, but she is still human as well dealing with her own oddities in a world that doesn’t seem quite logical. Great series!
At the first time when I see summer season preview, seeing the cover, premise and Romeo Tanaka’s name, I said “This has a potential to be epic”
Glad that I stick to my instict. Strong contestant for AOTY, but let’s see the (supposed to be) epic Fall.
And season 2 where?
Also, expected from a visual novel writer, I’m glad that besides from the obvious wits in his scripts, Jinrui also made a very good effort in a (although still not in a normal sense) dramatic scenes.
Props for the director team for the final scene. Silent moments and piano notes are still a epic move in dramatic department.