When the 2012 summer anime season was first being revealed Humanity Has Declined is the one series I never really looked at. A comedy set thousands of years in the future where humans are becoming a dying breed and once more living very basic and different lives from those of us currently, mixed with fairies. Strangely enough that didn’t catch my interest, and if not for a close friend of mine I’d likely never have gone near it. However, that isn’t to say I’m not glad I did start watching it because odd as the series may seem it is very, very funny and an enjoyable watch.
As I write this I have watched eight of the currently released nine episodes. Eight episodes cover four different story arcs, as each story is split across two episodes. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of the story being split like this or not, however as the series has gone on I’ve come to view it as a good move. It allows the stories to go on long enough where they aren’t feeling rushed for the sake of fitting into 20-ish minutes, but don’t go on long enough to becoming boring. It also means that if I don’t like a certain story for whatever reason (which has, so far, only happened once), I at least know it will only last for two episodes and then we move on to something different. The one thing I will say about these stories, however, is the fact they aren’t being shown in any kind of order. For example; the story which takes place across the fifth and sixth episode happens before the events of the first and second episode’s story. Seems to be an odd choice of pacing but that doesn’t matter too much for such a crazy show and certainly never really affects it. It could also be seen as a plus point for those who come to rewatch the series or wish to follow it on and off. If nothing really follows on you don’t need to worry too much about having seen every episode.
The series itself is based around three main characters and then the insanely cheerful and childlike fairies, which cause no end of trouble for the poor humans. Firstly we have our, currently nameless, heroine who acts as a mediator between the fairies and humans (Read; keeps the fairies under control). She tries to keep a cheerful persona however the show does a very good job of also showing us her actual thoughts, which are normally completely different to what she’ll say to a person’s face. We then have heroine’s grandfather, who generally seems to know a lot about life in the “past” and tries to guide his granddaughter through life correctly. Lastly we have the heroine’s assistant, who simply go by the name of Assistant. He’s quite a funny character for the fact he never speaks yet he and the heroine still manage to interact and understand one another perfectly. We then, of course, have our very strange cast of fairies, who will help you out if you pay in sweets. The fairies hide from everyone except the three main characters but generally speaking anything they do tends to affect all the humans, even if humans don’t always notice it. The fairies live very simple lives but they’re always out to obtain sweets and wish to be amused. Therefore they’ll normally mess with the humans to get what they want which is basically our plot; the messes the heroine ends up in because of these fairies.
It really isn’t as simple and boring as it sounds. Each story is different enough where you aren’t going to sit and think “boring, seen this before” because this world so many years in the future is completely different from ours now (they don’t even have manga anymore, which leads to one story being centred around it being brought back), and the characters are interesting enough where you want to know everything about this crazy place, even if it makes no sense at all. The humour will generally suit everyone one way or another, from crazy fighting ‘super heroes’ to skinned chickens which, for some reason, are alive and causing trouble.
As far as the animation goes the show is very colourful and lovely to look at although the backgrounds often aren’t very detailed. This can be forgiven however for how nice and interesting the character designs are. It is, however, certainly quite a unique style and one which I haven’t happened across before. As far as the music goes; apart from the opening and ending themes which I can’t get enough of, nothing during the episodes seems that memorable, but it could be different for other viewers.
All in all this is a very nice comedy and one which I’m really enjoying. Unless it goes downhill very quickly during the next few episodes I can’t see my opinion on it changing.
Scores out of ten:
- Overall 8.5
- Animation 7.5
- Story 8
- Soundtrack 6
- Characters 8
Humanity Has Declined can be watched on Crunchyroll in the UK and US right here.