Another arc! I love arcs!
While I admit that the last two episodes of Jinrui were a bit…lackadaisical and felt off in giving me the same sort of energy and mood of the first three episodes, this episode cleared all that up. Not only do we have microbes that can eat through metal, but we have strange humans who have actual cat ears and ‘memory leakage’ as well as the disappearance of fairies! Now that’s the odd kind of humor I was looking for. But of course, this doesn’t come without some bizzarre commentary, and for this week (and the next) it seems that Jinrui is continuing the literary entertainment route, only to poke fun at the ‘classical’ works I spoke of last time. I’m not speaking about Shakespeare or Charles Darwin’s works. This goes much further, much more ancient and precious to our understanding of ‘human culture’: folk myths.
Before going into that, I would like to point out that this episode did more than just create petty jokes. For the past weeks we’ve seen human and fairy interaction to a limited extent, but while we know about the humans’ condition, we know little about the fairies and their lifestyle. Assistant-kun and Narrator have pointed out from time to time about the fairies and how they live; they obviously have a sweet tooth, they are oblivious to the ideas of pain and hunger, they reproduce pretty easily, and most of all, they have an addiction to human consumer products. Otherwise, we don’t quite see the fairies in their…natural habitat. In this episode however, we get a better glimpse of the fairies and how strange they really are. For example, they can twist themselves into any shape. More importantly, they are vulnerable to EM waves and electronic signals. Had the fairies been living in our world today, they would have been the ones to die out, but luckily for them, humanity has not only decreased in terms of population and culture, but technology as well. The Narrator’s village is approached by yet another UNESCO employee (I’m really starting to worry about their hiring standards) who decides to make the village as a center of celebration for The Human Monument Project. This includes setting up electricity, which isn’t as much of luxury as it is of a rare commodity these days. Despite the wonderful atmosphere, the fairies bail out giving Narrator one heck of a weird message: they’re leaving, but their leave will cause great ruin and destruction to the village. On the way, one of them gives Narrator a little fairy book, claiming it will save her.
Jinrui of course, decides to take this idea of ‘folk myth’ to a literal extreme- fairy tales. As our protagonist skims through the tiny book the fairies have given her, we find that it’s basically made up of nonsense. There are some things that can be said: namely, that the fairies have their own ‘counting’ system, and two, that their way of storytelling falls more closely to that of a ‘video game leveling up’ kind of system than an actual story. If you have 1f, or one fairy, you are going to die. If you have 15 fairies, you have a higher chance of survival. The fairies base their myths and storytelling around survival chances- yet another link to the overall nihilistic theme of Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theory. Humans on the other hand, celebrate their customs and culture- electricity. The difference in priorities and what is meant to be revered is scathingly large, as the fairies ultimately have no ‘culture’ to celebrate (which might be the reason why they are so fixated on human’s culture) while the humans are so obsessed with their own culture that they fail to realize what’s going on around them. Does this have anything to do with why humans are dying out? We can only hope to find out.
On the other hand, plot randomness does actually happen – we meet a new character, a girl who has actual cat ears and ‘memory leakage’ and goes by the name of Pion. Pion is a cyborg (or android, we can’t quite tell) who is looking for someone, or something called “OYAGE” and seeks the Narrator’s help who…against her will, decides to help. That said, Narrator reminds me of Oreki, who doesn’t seem to really want to do anything – like most of the characters in this show – unless it pertains to her interests. Unfortunately, she’s the star of our show, and as such, she must suffer from our amusement. As the Narrator and her Assistant stumble upon what’s most likely the remains of our current civilization – eventually venturing into a hospital- they find that underneath all this unkempt, deserted area, a terrible monstrosity is growing. Oddly looking like green jellow with one orb for an eye, it’s somehow linked to the tabloid falling to the sky (one that looks uncannily like a PC) as well as Pion and the other tabloid, known as OKAGE.
But how exactly? I guess the answers are left for next week, but I can say that Jinrui has gotten back the drive that made it so enjoyable in the first episode. It’s put me in this position where I feel like I’m starting to understand it’s strange way of comedy and criticism, but I also feel stranded and completely lost because just when I think I do get this show, it gives me something new completely and spins in a 180 degrees direction. (Sighs) Needless to say- our fellow human friends and our fairies are in trouble, and now, it’s ironically the time for technology to help them out once again.
Enjoyment Level: 8/10