First Impressions – Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 10 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 18 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 24

It was smelling a little stale after the first batch of formulaic season premières, but Jinrui wa Suitai shimashita blew through the room like a breath of fresh – albeit very strange – air.

OP: 「「リアルワールド」 (real world) by (nano.RIPE)

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - OP - Large 01 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - OP - Large 02 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - OP - Large 03
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - OP - Large 04 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - OP - Large 05 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - OP - Large 06

I’ve liked the chemical composition of this series from the first time I heard about it – director/writer team of Kishi Seiji and Uezu Makoto taking on a LN series from adult game creator Tanaka Romeo, known for his dark sense of humor.  Throw in character designs and animation direction by Sakai Kyuuta (Steins;Gate, Pita Ten, Mushishi, Needless, Princess Tutu) an OP from nano.RIPE and an ED from the legendary Itou Masumi and it was almost impossible for this series not to be interesting at the very least.  That’s no guarantee of success – there’s an old Chinese curse which says “May you live in interesting times” – but in a season short on originality, Jinrui sticks out like a Picasso on a Kindergartner’s refrigerator.

I’m happy to report that the premiere absolutely lived up to its potential, both in terms of execution and pure weirdness.  It’s trippy, that’s for sure, and I can’t honestly say I know exactly what’s going on – but I found it entertaining and frequently hilarious.  In fact, this show reminds of Tsuritama a little bit for a number of reasons.  Visually, it shares some of that series’ “pop-up book come to life” qualities – bright color palette, childlike, fantastical backgrounds, and surreal imagery.  It also has some of Tsuritama’s relentless energy and relentless strangeness, powering insistently through 23 minutes with an unstoppable momentum and not too many explanations.  I think the emotional tone of Jinrui is certainly going to be darker, and the social commentary flies almost as freely as the wacky sound effects, but the two shows definitely share a sensibility that I like.

To at least make a stab at describing the plot, we seem to have some sort of dystopian future – but it’s not like any dystopia you’ve seen lately.  Mankind has been on the decline for a long time, Centuries probably – seemingly a victim of a consumer-obsessed culture that’s dying a slow death – and has regressed to a state of pre-industrial village life (think 17th-Century or so).  The dominant species on Earth is now the Fairies – several inches tall and possessed of futuristic (maybe even alien?) technology – not just ahead of these post-civilized humans, but Centuries ahead of 21st-Century human technology.

Into this scenario steps the heroine (Nakahara Mai), who appears to have no name but “Watashi” (Me) – though the Fairies call her “Ms. Sweets”.  She’s a teenager who has the job of mediator for the United Nations Conciliation Commission, and that job is to act as a negotiator between humans and fairies – and from what I’ve seen of the fairies, that seems like a tough assignment.  Her Grandfather (the great Ishizuka Unshou) seems to be the Adminstrator/Mayor of the village, and Watashi has an assistant called (appropriately) “Assistant” – a young boy who appears to be unable to speak.  It seems that the episodic plots are going to spin off this premise, the first of them being a mysterious cache of consumer goods showing up with a “FairyCo” label, leading the trio to head off in search of the factory where they were made, and see if the Fairies are trying to cause trouble with the local humans.

Believe it or not, that doesn’t come close to doing justice to just how weird all this is – I suspect this will be the only series this season in which you hear the phrase “If you pity my existence, please eat me” from an animatronic loaf of carrot-juice bread.  It’s all about style here, starting with the fairies themselves.  They’re adorable little buggers, seemingly addicted to sweets, but with a lurking sense of menace to them despite their size – and the exact nature of their relationship with the human population is unclear.  I love the steady stream of sound effects, like the gunshot when Assistant starts recording with his camera and the “plop” sounds of marmalade being, well… plopped into jars in the Wonka-like FairyCo factory.  We also got a sort of running commentary of the rather kawaii Watashi’s inner thoughts, which are generally not as kawaii as she is (she speculates that cute girls turn into old ladies when their “delicacy points” run out).  And there’s lots of random weirdness like the chickens Watashi was supposed to slaughter as part of her job escaping, prompting her to declare “These chickens have earned the right to live”.   The topper for me, though, is the aforementioned robotic bread cutting itself open as blood sprays everywhere while it begs to be eaten.  Yum!

There’s definitely something mischievous going on with FairyCo’s factory and it’s one human employee – an animated headless chicken turns up outside the village after the chicken incident, and one of the products discovered is a tube of “FairyCo Hair Restorer” – guaranteed to regrow hair cut off after losing a bet!” (which has just happened to Watashi).  The Fairies drop lots of hints in their cute fashion, speaking of “Death by starvation becoming a new fad” and a “sad end for material culture”.   If we’re to look for the overall theme here, I think Romeo-sensei is definitely aiming squarely at the ills of materialistic consumer culture, and what it’s doing to the human race.  What comes out of FairyCo isn’t very good – “a substance pressed into the shape of a sardine” – and that’s not even getting into the realm of the “synthetic food” like the carrot-juice bread.  Fittingly, I suspect consumer culture will reject Jinrui as it’s just too idiosyncratic and doesn’t really push the right buttons – but if you want something really original and distinct, this might be the standout of the season.  There’s always something to look at and listen to, and the series rarely sets a foot where you’d expect it to.  It’s early days yet, but I think Jinrui has a chance to be something special.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 07 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 08 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 09
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 11 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 12 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 13
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 14 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 15 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 16
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 17 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 19 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 20
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 21 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 22 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 23
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 25 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 26 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 27
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 28 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 29 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 30
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 31 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 32 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 33
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 34 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 35 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - 01 - Large 36

ED: 「妖精さんの、ひみつのこうじょう」 (Yousei-san no, Himitsu no Koujou) by (Itou Masumi)

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - ED - Large 01 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - ED - Large 02 Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita - ED - Large 03


  1. J

    Well that was both hilarious and thought provoking hahah

    Love it so far, hopefully the rest of the episodes will pull through and give us more in depth commentary on our materialistic culture

  2. t

    Everyone says the faires are cute but their permanent smile just creeps me out.If I were living with them I'd be scared of them coming to murder me in my sleep.

  3. J

    "death by starvation"

    "a brutal way to die"

    "very original"



  4. Yes, those little guttersnipes are creepers. They have devious intentions, I'll swear to it, and this show (well, it's Romeo-sensei, so duh) has a very dark seam running beneath the surface.

  5. S

    The carrot-juice bread ripping itself in half and asking to be eaten had me in stitches. It was a huge tone shift, but that scene was so funny. Nice nicely done.

    However, this series is probably going to fail badly, both commercially and artistically. And I say that as someone that likes the idea and the presentation. But this world falls apart in 30s of thought. 0 of the characters shown so far could survive in a world of that technology level. They made a note of not being dependent upon the FairyCo products, yet all of the girls don't know how to slaughter a chicken? That's far less believable than the suiciding carrot-juice bread (which was so damn funny).

    Now, the obvious answer is that they're stuck in an experiment the Fairies are running (or some variation there on). I've seen this episode on Outer Limits & Twilight Zone before. I just hope it's as funny as Battlefield Earth. (Though with far less Dutch Angles; that's the first movie I've ever gotten a neck injury from) But it's not really going to work well as social commentary with that big of problems of world building. It could work as absurdest comedy, but a "dark commentary on humanity", which is definitely hinted at, simply isn't going to work all that well here.

    Though this definitely seemed like the series with the most interesting premise coming into the season, but I'm really pretty bummed about this first episode. Though I don't think this is going to fail in the same way that Fractale ended up failing, though, even if it's actually in roughly the same idea. (Just a different side of the coin)

  6. I have no such worries, especially given the author of the source material.

    I think you're jumping to a lot of unwarranted conclusions. But if you're already resolved to be disappointed based on a premiere I saw as brilliantly executed, I doubt the series will be able to do anything to change your mind.

  7. S

    I'm not disappointed, yet. I should have expanded on the "bummed" bit, though I did in a few other places, haha.

    I really liked the direction, I LOVED the humor (chase a skinned chicken? Suiciding bread? that's so damn funny), but the title of the series and the hints from fans paint a bad picture of where this could end up. That's what I was bummed about.

    Compare that gaggle of girls here with the groups from Otoyomegatari. They're in roughly a similar technological period (the hints from the humans in Jinrui is roughly 1890 to 1910 England for technology, less cars but apparently with color high-speed photography) though Jinrui would be in the "modern world" at that time frame. That was the *huge* world building problem that stuck out instantly. You can't make an argument for those characters living in that world without something like a memory-wipe and being placed on a "space reserve".

    If they stick to exploring the world like with the factory (RIP Pan-kun) or chasing after a skinned chicken then having short-bit commentary (like about the sardines), this could be a supremely enjoyable series. If they're going to attempt any deep social commentary, it just won't work since the characters simply don't fit in the world they inhabit. I get exactly the commentary they wanted to give, and the first response I had was "yeah, writers, I'll give you some episodes to get around your own ignorance but please don't screw this up". We'll see how it goes.

    I wasn't going to bring up these points until everyone started talking about the social commentary. (Far more than here) I have faith they can make a good series (Kamisama Dolls was very good + their other works), but they've got a massive problem if they try to force the social commentary.

  8. P

    I heard that the author for the LN was the same for the main scenario writer as Cross Channel. Cross Channel was pretty fucked up lol. Might seem like you're typical happy go lucky comedy eroge, but no, it has tons of depressing and dark shit beneath the surface.

    This was exactly how I felt watching this. I was laughing out loud whilst being intrigued at the social commentary. Definitely a keeper.

  9. S

    A derisive look at consumer behavior within a very peculiar dystopian setting, it certainly seems interesting enough. The first episode didn't quite make me laugh but Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita is such an oddball that I can't help but love it.

  10. w

    This show is a strange one. To be blunt, I thought that the pacing was really bad–the episode felt aimless and misshapen, like lumpy dough. The fact that the director and co. are apparently adapting the show out of order raises a couple of alarm bells too. It's one thing to throw the viewer off the deep-end, but it usually helps if the creators have some kind of master plan to tie it all together. I'm not entirely convinced on that case.

    On the other hand, on a moment-to-moment basis, the episode hit it out of the park, not just once but multiple times. There were so many funny lines and moments and scenes that it almost redeemed the entire enterprise for me. I'd give the credit to Tanaka Romeo, whose voice was very present in this episode, but honestly I think the director did a great job with the comedic timing as well. It actually reminds me a bit of what AV Club said about the show Glee–it isn't quite a coherent whole, but the individual moments are frankly an enormous amount of fun.

    So all in all: love the show, think it's unique and rather well written, but seriously mixed feelings about the director's handle on the most basic elements of story. Even if this show ends up being a mess, though, I'm sure that it will always be pretty damn entertaining.

  11. S

    I was initially interested in this due to the unique art style [which reminds me of Tsuritama] and setting, plus headless chickens and fairies. But when I found out it was directed by Seiji Kishi, I definitely needed to watch it. I've only watched two of Kishi's directed works [Persona 4 and Angel Beats], but I enjoyed both enough to check out future projects from him. After watching the first episode of Jinrui, Kishi has quickly become one of my favorite anime directors.

    This episode definitely surpassed my expectations, which were already high, and I love the dark humor the show has. Definitely will be following this every week. The main protagonist also surprised me. I wasn't expecting the short haired girl to be the same character as the long haired girl shown in the trailers. Definitely a likeable main protagonist overall. Also obvious evil fairies are obvious.

  12. Jack, those are two of Kishi's lesser works, IMO. If you liked those, check out some of his better stuff like SnH and KamiDolls.

    wendeego, manga aren't anime – sometimes shifts in the order are beneficial and even necessary. Look at MGX.

  13. A

    I think Sunred is his best work by (very) far.

  14. w

    Yeah, but Kishi isn't Watanabe. The latter did a great and remarkably distinctive job adapting MGX to the screen, and there were a ton of great little directorial moments in that first episode–the inclusion of a literal "girl giant robot" in the shape of a certain Big O android, for example. I'm not anywhere near as confident in Kishi's work, partly because his track record is honestly pretty mixed from what I've seen, and also because I thought that the first episode of Jinrui had some serious structural problems. I loved it, mind! I just thought it worked almost despite itself at times.

    That said, I think that Kishi did a really great job this episode walking the balance between the adorable (those fairies!) and the twisted (DEATH BY STARVATION.) If they can keep maximizing everything great about Jinrui and improving the show's flow, I can see this being legitimately pretty great, like Yokohama Shopping Trip by way of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the writing behind this is sound (Tanaka Romeo is a god among men, even if this isn't his A-list work), I just hope that Kishi and co. will be able to keep up their end of the deal.

  15. w

    On another note, I do think that just the fact that Jinrui has the ED that it does is proof that Kishi and co. understand and possibly love the material they're working with. I just hope they'll be able to fashion it into something great.

  16. A

    I don't know… maybe I was a bit drowsy with cough meds (been coughing my lungs out the past couple of days) when I watched Jinrui, or maybe I was OD-ed with too many Nano-RIPE (fresh from Sankarea, now this). I found it to be okay-ish. But I liked the Wonka-like factory, and the fact that I once questioned vegetarian chicken (look and taste just like chicken, but they're made of tofu). I'm going to watch few more episodes before deciding its fate.

    – Izumi

  17. A

    I really liked the fact that it's all post-well, something-ish (or at the least, mildly dystopian), yet it's set against visuals from ye olde heroic fantasy. I think it makes a nice disjunction and also gives it an original feel.

  18. A

    I had the same Tsuritama vibes as well with the colors and the overall tone. Quirky, completely surrealistic with its social commentary, and yet with an amazing sense of energy (Make that morbid energy). This could really end up becoming the sleeper for the season for me.

  19. I love being right. 😉 This one has been my top target for months. Kishi-sensei, please don't screw it up now!

Leave a Comment