“There’s no real reason,” the OP song chants, but something tells me there’s a particular reason as to why, once again, Jinrui sweeps my heart away with its odd humor but fascinating take on socioeconomics.
You are what you eat, they say, and Jinrui takes this literally as it dives into some great commentary about human dependence on the mass industry. Whether this message is just for fun or is actually an anti-industry one is left up to the viewer, but Jinrui takes a poke at both sides, offering criticism through twisted humor. The industry that our narrator and her crew take a look into is revealed to be a factory that produces mass consumer products, out of cheap and fake raw materials (the bread looks like bread but does not taste like bread) and is apparently headed by FairyCo, which is the main monopoly over any product in the fairy-inhabitant world. Enough can be said about this factory’s employees, who are all human and know nothing. Humans have declined in this world, but why? Through laziness and ignorance- the same traits that ironically, the fairies share. But then, why do the fairies do so well for themselves while the humans die out?
An industry functions as a cycle. It creates products based on consumption and depending on how much the audience asks or depends on these products does the rate of production increase or decrease. The fact that this factory creates nearly everything catered to a human population which is slowly dying out (to the point where they barely even have meat to eat) gives a rather dire scenario. The humans have lost any sort of independency in society. They have become slaves to the fairies in a way that they are utterly dependent upon the fairies’ system (as seen when Narrator must give a fairy ‘jokes’ or sweets in order to find the factory and get directions) and can’t really live without it. The factory is booming from this production because humans completely rely on its products. Jinrui thus paints a gloomy picture where humans live in stagnation, laziness and ineptitude, ruled by machines of their own making and a system that was intended to create balance, not domination of one side over the other. This is supported by the fact that even the human employees don’t even know who they are working for, but don’t care. At the end of the day, they either care about power (the Director who is even more ironically, in charge of UNESCO) or coming home to food on their plate (the tour guide). Even the products are half made. Everything is synthetic, but it still sells well enough that it’s in high demand. The greatest irony then, is when it’s revealed that the industry’s rulers are not fairies, but rather headless, skinless chicken- the chickens the Narrator had been trying to get to eat. Every animal has survival tactics, she said in the last episode. This is taken to the extreme when the bottom of the food chain – chickens- become the top. This is all sided by some humor and poking fun of the entire villain concept (world domination), but nevertheless, it sends a message. The fact that chickens are ruling the needs of the human population shows how humans are dying out in the first place. Corporate capitalism will spell out our doom; a system in which we only exploit the needs of others (exaggerating the entire food chain process in the first place, as humans are consumed by their desire for consumption products and dependency on technology) will become our very own unmaking.
So how do the fairies thrive then? The answer is still a mystery as we don’t know much about the fairies and how they live, but their saving grace seems to be their brilliance- but only for so long. As said before, the fairies live out their lives like humans, but the humans are dying out because their intelligence has outrun them. Who can say the same won’t happen to the fairies? As shown, even the chickens have outsmarted them, shutting them in plastic toys. The fairies themselves have been dominated. The world is cruel, and mother nature continues to surprise us all- a clash of ‘survival of the fittest’ with industry commentary in this show is also really interesting.
But the show cannot end on a totally sarcastic and bitter note. Our Narrator somehow ends up saving the day using translator goggles and her mute camera-weilding friend, which then leads to the next topic of discussion. Media plays an utmost importance in determining the power of anything these days. Why do the headless chickens tremble in fear when our Narrator’s friend takes out the camcorder and ‘shoots’ those pictures (nice pun effect)? Media is power. Who controls the media controls the image of society- the images we take into our own perspective and mold our identity and life around. Even more irony: a man who cannot speak ends up toppling the corrupt, messy system of the economy which had dominated even the smartest species. With the melodious Ave Maria playing in the background, the chickens are consumed- like the humans, and the fairies- by their own creation. Packaged, sliced and diced, toasted and pasteurized, these chickens become the food the Narrator had been trying to get since Episode 1. Our mute reporter takes one last flash and sends the final pack of the chickens down the cliff. It’s not the end of Jinrui‘s witty humor though. It ends with a controversial play on religion, as one of the poor village girls in trying to feed her siblings, naively looks up and prays to God: “Oh Kami-sama, please let it rain birds.” The chickens crash, and she exclaims, “It really did rain birds!” This can be paralleled with the Narrator, when she believes that the Hand of God is with her all this time, saving her from being disposed of in the factory, when it really was her sentient hair. What does this all ultimately show? Humans are naive, helpless, dependent and lazy. It’s funny but it’s also slightly eye-raising as we once again realize that it’s us the show is making fun of.
The ED paints this final picture: the Narrator sings, “I sow the seeds for the future…a nest that we build our dreams on.” A nest that the fairies, like magpies, build their own eggs and future upon. The nest breaks; the Narrator lazily sits down, never to get up, flowers growing to take her place. Humanity is declining, and nature- and the fairies as well as technology- and this show- don’t care. It’s equally as disturbing as hilarious.
Enjoyment Level: 10/10
*Note: Eureka Seven: AO ‘s post was on delay due to school priorities, sorry- but it’ll be released later today/tomorrow morning, I promise! I’m also going to wait for two more episodes of Sword Art Online until I deem it bloggable or not. If not, I’ll be blogging Katanagatari.