June 2, 2013
The end is near. Just like the vicious cycle of life, everything that came into existence will hit its peak before its decline and ultimately its demise. Like humanity. If Armageddon or the end of the world doesn’t hit us first, then the slow and gradual path of our decline to extinction would be in store for us. So was it better to be wiped out like the dinosaurs when a huge meteoroid slammed into the world? However, don’t get the wrong idea about this series that I am going to blog. Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita isn’t a gloomy dramatic and depressing anime about human life on the decline and the verge of extinction. Instead, this is a supernatural comedy. Yes, you read that right. Be prepared for some laughs instead of tissues to wipe away those tears and runny nose.
Our main protagonist is a nameless girl whom we all shall officially call Watashi (that translates as I, me or myself). I guess this is only so because different characters in the show call her differently. What’s the purpose of having a name when humanity is decaying away and no future to remember you? But that’s not the point. Watashi is a mediator from UNCC (United Nations Conciliation Commission) and her job is to mediate between humans and fairies. Yes, you read that right again. I’m not sure if somewhere in the history of mankind that these little 10cm tall creatures with a permanent smile on their faces (can they ever open or close their mouths?) popped up. But unlike humans, you could say that these creatures are the most ‘prosperous’ beings in terms of technology. They have this unexplained ability to come up with mind blowing technology that we humans won’t understand. Simple yet mysterious. The next mankind?
Unlike many other animes that go in chronological order, this series is one that doesn’t really follow such order. At least for the arcs. I remember watching Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s episodes was a major headache because of the plot jumping here and there so it’s quite difficult to put things together in perspective to understand. However for this series, due to the random nature of each arc, you won’t really feel that strain of racking your brains to understand what has happened. There will be minor factors to point out and make you realize that this episode’s timeline is definitely somewhere before an earlier episode but whatever major happening in that arc stays in that arc. No worries on whether or not it will have a major impact in other arcs or not. Good or bad thing? Maybe humanity has declined so much that we don’t even bother putting up stories that are in chronological order anymore.
The Fairy’s Secret Factory
Watashi arrives in Camphorwood Village to help out the locals as a mediator. I suppose she is famous enough to warrant several fan girls. Not that she is too happy about her popularity either. Because all the men are going out for a communal hunt, Watashi is left in charge of them women and wants to lead them. Especially turning all the chickens that stopped laying eggs into meat. Guess what he meant? Can’t see the picture? Now what do you do with a knife in hand? I suppose the fan girls are only good at fawning so that leaves Watashi to do the dirty job of ‘murder’. Then suddenly it’s like the chickens know they’re going to die and do a Chicken Run! They’re escaping! There goes their meat. And looks like the community won’t have any since the men returned empty handed. Back at her home with Grandpa, Watashi notes how they should be happy with what they have and don’t mind forgoing meat for several days but this shortage isn’t just affecting humans. They are also affecting fairies. Yup, these cute little beings may not look like it but they possess supernatural technology. It’s Watashi’s job as a UN mediator to liaise between humans and fairies. The fairies love sweets, candy and chocolates but due to the shortage, Watashi puts it that they might not be getting them sooner. How does next year sound? Don’t worry, she has made her own gum but the fairies aren’t pleased since unlike sweets, you can’t consume them. But when Watashi mentions about mankind’s slow path to extinction and the scarcity of materials, the fairies hope to spend more time together. While the fairies frolic in a wooden box, Watashi tastes her own gum. Horrible. Next day, Watashi receives word from UNCC office that suspicious items are being circulated in the village. There is a pile of goods on their table and the brand indicates they are from Fairy Co. Humans should be grateful but they’ve become too scared to touch processed foods from unknown sources. But thanks to them, the marketplace is livelier again. Watashi’s mute assistant whom I shall call as Assistant (duh!), shows a bunch of supplies in his hands. Despite not able to say a word, Watashi can understand him perfectly. Can she read minds? Assistant didn’t trade or use vouchers to get them but got them free. Oddly, the stock is resupplied when no one is looking. The food tastes what it expects to be so Watashi has Assistant take them back to Grandpa to test if they are safe to eat. She spots a hair growth tonic among the supplies. Next morning, her hair has grown back to waist length!
Remember about the chicken incident? Watashi thought that incident would be forgotten but it seems there will be a meeting to discuss about the issue. For 6 gloomy hours, there were only deadlocks and arguments. Till Grandpa suggests that they spread out and search for them. This has Watashi to learn about a business strategy: Never hold meetings because the outcome is determined before the meeting begins. So as Watashi and the fan girls are looking for the chickens, suddenly they see a real headless skinned chicken! It’s dancing and flashing its butt to them! What the?! They try to catch it but it escaped. Watashi can’t let the people know about her ‘failure’ so she uses information manipulation and intimidation to tell the fan girls to keep it a secret or else… Unfortunately rumours of the running headless chicken spread to the entire village. Heck, there is even a photo of it! Since that’s the case, Grandpa says they have to investigate. Well, Watashi wasn’t planning to slack off but she thought she could close this case before anybody finds out. Isn’t that the same? Upon closer inspection, there is a logo of Fairy Co on the chicken. So how do you track a company that is operated by fairies? Use a fairy as a compass! Make sure to pay chocolates as payment. So Fairy Co… The cartoonish building is made out of blocks and jigsaw puzzles? Anyway they see a nearby cabin, thinking it is the main office. Noticing everything inside is manmade and not designed by fairy, a human receptionist then greets them. He briefly introduces Fairy Co as a company with 200 years of history before giving them a tour to the food factory. Seems the machines make food ultra fast but it tastes bland. I guess that’s what you get as trade off if you manufacture something by the masses. Receptionist doesn’t know about the distribution of these foodstuffs since he was hired only 3 days ago and still learning. After all, he had the easiest job of standing around while his clothes and food are taken care off. Watashi theorizes that the fairies restored the factory operations but Grandpa cautions that the presence of a human makes it suspicious. Next, a robot bread called Loaf explains how bread is made. Then it goes on to make an amazing statement that bread these days taste horrible. He wants Watashi to eat him as pity for his existence. I think she lost her appetite. What’s more, Loaf splits himself into half! Holy cow! Is that blood?! That’s not strawberry jam either?! WTF?! Bread bleeding blood? Well, at least it’s fresh. Haha! Anyway the ‘blood’ is mixed carrot juice bread made for kids who hate carrots. So now do you want to eat him? No thanks. Watashi completely lost her appetite. What a waste to the loaf… Watashi narrates that she really wouldn’t want to learn the secrets in this factory but as a mediator of UNCC, her duty is to solve the mystery.
Receptionist adds he never met his employers as everything had been handed down via writing. Suddenly they realize Grandpa is missing. Receptionist goes to look for him but he never came back. Watashi and Assistant got lost. She decides to use the fairies help in exchange for something fun. Assistant wants to do the honours of telling a joke but the sketchbook narrative about a village with 7 children and how they all tragically died and the culprit was the last child, it made things even worse for the fairy. Now he’s all gloomy. Then Watashi and Assistant got separated when the conveyor belt starts running. Watashi almost got disposed by a chewing machine had not been the unseen hand of God (at least this is what she calls it) pulls her away. She is surprise to see Cultural Director here. Seems in addition to being director of UNESCO’s cultural division, he has been made this factory’s manager. He got promoted from that receptionist job and from the sounds of it, this guy is power and position crazy. Of course he panics when he hears Watashi is here to do an inspection. Yeah. That dreaded word. She accuses him of illegal goods smuggling but he doesn’t know what’s going on. She nails it directly about taking responsibility, compensation and punishment. Although he has never met the upper management, Watashi makes a deal that she will go see them and talk to them (because Director won’t give up his position). But when Director thinks about whistle blowing would lead to heroic actions to public support and thus the new factory CEO, he agrees to accompany Watashi for this greedy evil scheme of his. However he falls right down into a hole. Watashi walks through the corridor and has a feeling they were all separated on purpose. She enters a room to see the upper management completely made up of… Headless skinned chickens!!! Pok! Pok! Pok! Because she can’t understand chicken language, a fairy pops up to translate them. I think Watashi doesn’t want to hear their evil gloating and profanity on the human race. The fairy then gives her a pair of spectacles to have a clearer view of what the chicken says. Literally. There are subtitles now! The chicken gloats about turning this factory into a weapon of mass destruction to destroy humans and fairies without ever knowing what hit them. Too bad Watashi was busy adjusting the specs to have a clearer view of the subtitles that she didn’t read what the chicken said. Summarize it! In short: Kill all intelligent life forms and take over Earth. So what now? She takes out a knife. All the chickens got scared! Going to cut them, no? Note all the profanity they say in chicken language! While she got distracted with the fairy, the chickens drop a cage on her.
Suddenly Assistant comes in to take film shots of the chickens. This causes the chickens to flee for their lives but Assistant closely tails them and continues to film. Watashi gets out of her cage when she realizes perhaps the unseen hand of God has bended the metal bars for her to go free. Now we see the mass murder of chickens. When Assistant is chasing the chickens, they ran through the entire factory. The chicken workers got so scared that they ‘committed suicide’ by jumping into the manufacturing machine! WTF?! Now you’ve got canned chicken, bread chicken and even chicken t-shirts! Assistant corners the chickens on a cliff and with no way left, they all jump to their deaths. Oh Watashi. How the hell are you going to explain this? When she returns to the factory, she sees Grandpa, Receptionist and Director in a room that could be opened from the inside. Then here comes the train with food. Guess what sandwich this is? Yup. Chicken sandwich. Don’t you feel pity for chickens? Grandpa concludes that it wasn’t just the chickens that gained intelligence but other foodstuffs like sardines and jams. Just that they weren’t equipped with any faculties to express it. Now that the evil chickens are gone, what is going to happen to this place? Well, Director is certainly promoted to CEO now. Time to gloat it. Grandpa thinks they should tear down this place but Watashi says the fairy is gone. As a matter of fact, he shows them a packaged fairy. He guessed they were packaged up when the chickens took over. Watashi frees all of them and in the end, the truth eludes her since the fairies didn’t really answer her question about operating this factory to help out with the shortage. Next morning when she wakes up, to her surprise, her own hair passes the hairbrush to her! She realizes it was the one who saved her from the disposal machine and bended open the cage. Wow. Now her hair has a mind of its own. Lastly, the village children are dreading their weed soup. Oh God. They’re going to have this for the rest of their lives unless a miracle of birds raining from the sky happens. Suddenly several skinned chickens drop down on their feet! It’s raining chickens! Thank you God! Let’s feast on the meat! Since then, skinned chickens have become offerings for children. And as oddly pointed out, whenever chickens are touched by human hands, they generally stopped moving. I guess a good chicken is a dead chicken.
The Fairies’ Subculture
Watashi is stuck in a space where there is nothing but whiteness. To see how she got into this predicament, we go back in time whereby her graduating classmate, Y came by in a newly bought steam car. From what I understand, she used 3 years worth of vouchers to start on the down payment. That’s a long way to go… Though Watashi doesn’t consider Y her friend, she notes they are ‘partners in crime’. Y is working on the Human Monument project, a structure dedicated to celebrate human history, technology and culture. From Y’s ranting, Watashi summarizes she is not serious in gathering data and planning to fool around. The owner of a large mansion recently passed away and inside it is a treasure trove of photostat machines all preserved well. There are also lots of discs and she plans to use the machines to print out what’s on them. Watashi reads a homoerotic manga at the bookstore and is captivated not by the odd homo storyline but the art and drawing techniques that she calls lost technique rather than lost technology. Y starts printing the manga and plans to conduct more research on it. From the way she puts it, she is getting hooked and totally loves this dark subculture and wild fantasy. Soon she comes out with her own homoerotic manga called The Camphorwood. Volume 1. Yup, there’s going to be more. And it’s in full colour and fully laminated in B5 size. Isn’t she supposed to be working on some monument project? Soon, volume 2 comes out. Watashi fears the fairies would find out about this because of their tendency to have fun and copy others. She hopes Y would keep it an underground secret but it’s too late. She has mobilized logistics to spread the culture around! If there was once a category called fanzines (doujins), Y’s The Camphorwood has given birth to a new genre called manzines! Just think of it as something yaoi. Not long, Y starts receiving boxes of fan letters! Some totally love her work while there are detractors who complain about her work distracting them from work. But it was interesting, right?
Soon there is a rise in competition because there are several other manzine publishers copying hers. Y is devastated but Watashi points out this is how culture spreads. Y won’t give up easily yet when she notices Assistant. She never new Watashi had him and accuses her a traitor for living the good life. Plus, this relationship makes it hetero instead of homo, thus defying this current subculture craze. With the new influx of manzine publishers, there are even clubs formed, seminars offered and a huge crazy following. Doesn’t this feel familiar in a certain time? Y finally realizes a new manzine called Cinnamon and it becomes the greatest manzine ever. Soon she starts living the indulgent and luxurious life. That might not continue because her logistics decide to ditch her manzines claiming there were too many of them to stock in their trucks to a point it is not enough to stock other supplies. Distribution is on her own. That’s when Y comes up with an idea to hold a manzine fair. See that long river of fans waiting to get into the hall? Yup. Very familiar scene, no? The fair begins with competition among publishers very intense as manzines are given away free. In the end, Y wins the battle of giving out the most copies because she was on home ground and utilizes her photocopying machines. But I guess it’s victory for everybody too since every volume went out of stock. And oh, Watashi didn’t even buy a single copy. Good girl. One day as Watashi looks for Grandpa and Assistant, she doesn’t see them around but stumbles upon a manzine book on Grandpa’s table. She flips through to see empty panels and before she knows it, she is absorbed into the book. Nothing but whiteness all around. Y is also there. Could they be in a blank panel? Well, sound effects in kanji words seem to pop up from above their head.
A door opens and they head into the next panel to see Assistant. Because a door didn’t open, they figure they need to do something exciting for that to happen. Assistant suggests they create their own drama. What kind of drama? Play chess. Boring! Soon they feel the panel descending and the room slightly darker. When Y theorizes they’re inside a manga with empty panels, there should be some background and props. Assistant starts drawing and whatever he draws comes to life! Even the bread tastes good. With that, they feel the panel ascending and the brightness resumes to normal. Also, the door opens to the next panel. This one feels a little small so Y pretends the ceiling is crushing her for her friends to escape. This excitement opens the next door. Y deduces if the manga is interesting, it ascends otherwise boring ones will descend. This is for the sake of popularity and if they become boring, the manga becomes cancelled and for them, it might be something grimmer. Maybe they will lose their lives? Don’t joke around. Figuring out the lighting indicates their popularity and how many readers are reading it, the more interesting it is, the more readers will open up to read. And so the trio went on creating their own exciting drama in different panels. From battle mangas to sports to love romance and even food themes. As they are resting, Watashi remembers she forgot her knife left behind in the previous panel. Assistant draws a door to go back and what Watashi sees are fairies. They are editors of this manga? So all this is their doing? They say they can leave once there is an ending or the series gets cancelled. You don’t want to know what happens if it’s the latter. Y learns to end this manga, they also have to retain their popularity. They come upon a board that shows their rankings. It seems there are other similar mangas around and they are lying in sixth spot. Y decides to make it exciting like the fair but ends it with a cliff-hanger by confessing she is a killer. Watashi knows this is going to be a pain but plays along anyway. Although she killed nobody, the suspense was enough to lift them up one spot. Yeah. Whatever. The story is falling apart since Y is turning everything upside down.
So Y goes on a cliff-hanger spree as every panel ends with some shocking revelation. “I am… Your father…”. She didn’t say that but you get the idea. The greatest entertainer is the greatest swindler… By the 178th panel, they achieve top spot. Now what? Assistant cuts a hole in the panel to check the editors’ comments. Their comments allow them to track how well they are doing. So Y continues doing what she does best so much so both the story and commentary become random. What the hell? Then they start dropping places because people are getting tired of the same old thing. When Y sees a winch and activates it, she notices the panel becomes bigger. She uses this to do some cool cowboy action-cum-posses (think of it as a full page spread) and this increases their position. But it soon becomes old and they’re on the descend once more. Since they’ve mixed every bloody genre, they have to spend time fixing the story and eliminate loose ends till they ended up in some variation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their popularity plunges so Watashi tells Y that the readers have lost interest in her style. So how unpopular are they now? Not only they have no colour but they turn into simple sketches! I guess they’ve hit rock bottom. As Watashi falls, the fairies fall along with her. She laments how an old mangaka is deemed useless with no skill once his manga gets cancelled. The fairies throw her a penalty, which is a letter to say she has to carry on the family business. Watashi notes she’s already doing that. Watashi is awakened by Grandpa back in the room. Y and Assistant are just waking up too. Was it a dream? But that fanzine is missing now. Noting how hard the fairies’ manzines are, she puts it on the ban list.
The Fairies’ Homecoming
A little monolith seems to have fallen from space and made a crater in the land. But Grandpa thinks it’s a prank and since it isn’t space worthy to satisfy him, I guess that’s the end of it. At town, Grandpa introduces Watashi to Director who is here to inaugurate the Human Monument. There will be lots of exploration to be done especially the city ruins near Camphorwood. Watashi wonders if it can be done since there isn’t enough electricity around for bare necessities but they assure her they discovered a functioning satellite and will use it as charge up. Since Watashi is part of the exploration team, she has to be involved. From her tone, I could say she rather not participate. So running errands for Grandpa, Watashi remembers 3 days ago she bumped into a fairy but she was too busy to talk to him. She felt guilty for ignoring him and lamented she should have paid more attention to him because fairies have a habit of making an impact like an asteroid. Then she meets a bunch of them. They are saying goodbye because the electromagnetic waves are coming and will kill them. Well, they tried to warn her, right? Time is short so they give her a book to read and a charm. You’re on your own. From what I understand from the book, the number of fairies you meet per day determines how lucky you are. Say a disaster befalls on you, the more fairies you meet, the higher chances you have from being saved but they all seem absurd. The lesser the fairies, you’ll still be saved but these ones seem more down to earth. Of course, no fairies mean you lose or die. At the town square, Watashi notices a strange girl. This girl, Pion (so she thinks) could tell Watashi was analyzing her. Seems she has memory loss. Although she has not forgotten about her mission, she has forgotten about the location of her companion. Maybe they moved? The only description she can provide is “Oyage”. If Watashi comes across any leads, be sure to tell her.
The exploration begins as Watashi is paired with Assistant to look around a small park since Grandpa won’t have them searching critical areas like the power collector or else they would lose electricity. They stumble upon a weird building and enter its elevator. Assistant presses a button and I think the elevator ‘jumps’ through different floors. Coming out, they see a skeleton with words inscribed “Oyage” next to it. Seen this somewhere before? Have a bad feeling? They have no choice but to advance and after walking a considerable distance, they open the door to find themselves high atop the city centre. They finally receive incoming call from Grandpa (there are no signals inside the building). Grandpa can’t come to their aid since he doesn’t know their position. The batteries died out. Just great. Continuing through the maze, Watashi decides to have a drink. It’s their last water. The charm breaks and falls into her cup and out comes a fairy! I don’t know how it contorted itself into this shape to survive the waves. He’s okay here since there are no waves. Using the fairy as compass, they go search for water. Apart from a familiar monolith among the junk, the fairy points out the water. Isn’t that a nasty green slime? Well, that’s what they drink. It starts attacking and melts the knife Watashi uses to defend! Hostility! Oh, there are others too. They come in different colours. Run! In an examination room, they on a computer to see a blueprint of the place as well as its logic behind the building’s design. Due to fear of the waves, this city is designed to shut them out so you can say they are like shut-ins. They got so used to living safely that they become afraid to go out. A slime attacks them and Watashi hits it away with the monolith. Did she win? Perhaps not because the slime activates a vicious robot dog! Before Watashi becomes part of its kill statistic, Pion pops up and smashes the dog up. She thanks Watashi for providing the electricity.
Pion’s search for her companion led her to this place but she ran out of battery. However she claims she is totally human despite operating on a power subsystem. Watashi realizes the slime acts as a cradle to recharge and the monolith disappeared after contact with the slime. As they wander around, Pion is convenient to have around has she has tremendous strength and can download the entire map of this place. Suddenly they are attacked by a guy in a robot. Looks like this dude doesn’t remember his name or mission too. Watashi guesses he is the same type as Pion. Calling himself as Otarou, he won’t allow them to take him back and sends his bulldozer to rid of them. Pion fights it but causes the ground to cave in. Everybody starts falling in. Just when Watashi and Assistant finally find water, here comes Otarou trying to kill them. I don’t know if that is even called justice. He summons his slimes-cum-servants to transform into a… Huge black cat! Watashi immediately surrenders, putting a damper to his fighting spirit. Assistant wanted to fight too but was taken away by her. Now who is he going to fight with? Out from the lake comes a giant Nautilus. As the cat beats up the squid, Watashi notices slime and fairies are flying out from it. I don’t know how the fairy merged with it by collecting slimes and playing with it. Then Watashi receives call from Pion that she has defeated the bulldozer but is now recharging. But she can fire a microwave beam at their location. They just need to make sure the cat stays in a certain place. Watashi asks the fairy for help but it seems it lost its motivation. Where did all the hype went? As instructed, Watashi throws the fairy into the squid and it becomes more powerful to fight back. With the cat in the middle of the lake, Watashi cues Pion to fire as the microwave roasts the water and defeats the cat. Otarou is bent on killing Watashi when Pion drops in to save the day. Because of the hole in the ceiling, the electromagnetic waves flood the area and it seems Otarou is disheartened that his memories will come back (because he is programmed to self repair when that happens). Likewise for Pion, she realizes something. She isn’t human. We all knew that… After everyone gets out from the building, Grandpa picks them up but he looks mad.
Later Watashi and Pion go to see Otarou in the tent. Watashi has discovered their true names. Otarou is Oyage, which is actually Voyager. Pion is Pioneer. Watashi remembers they were probes sent by humans to explore deep space. But were they in humanoid form? Pion says when she ventured into space, she felt cold unlike here. The difference triggered her self-conscious. Oyage disagrees because they were self aware from the beginning. The first thought he had was not wanting to venture into space. It has nothing. A decade ago, a signal started to message them to report their date. They wanted samples so he used this as an excuse to return. He notes they still have to go back and travel the void space till they finish their final mission of discovering alien life form. Pion says they are probes and must carry out their orders. But is she prepared to follow them through? He points out on some of her missions, she decelerated near Uranus, analyzed and concluded something and got scared of some result. Why did she chase him down then? She did not receive any orders to do so. It’s because she too wanted to come home. Tears start trickling down Pion’s face. Oyage notes this place is warm. Do they need to go back out there in the cold? Pion says they have to because their homecoming is over. In the aftermath, the exploration team rejoices after learning about the probes because it would provide them data on human history and accelerate Human Monument project. They’ll be heading back to space the next morning. However Grandpa comes rushing to Watashi that the generator is damaged and their link to the satellite is lost. Somebody sabotaged them. Well, Watashi is a bad liar and actor, right? Seen it right through her teeth. Grandpa hands her over to the authorities and she got interrogated. Well, at least she destroyed the evidence. They got so mad at her that they even forgot why they were mad in the first place! Thankfully the punishment was light and she wasn’t stripped of her mediator position because she is on good terms with the fairies. Wow. Connections saved her skin. However Grandpa would have her hair cut as repentance. Later Pion thanks Watashi that because they lost their electricity source after their generator got damaged, their mission is postponed indefinitely. They don’t have much battery capacity left because 1 hour of winding = 1 minute of energy. Well, at least this is the best they could manage.
The Fairies’ Time Management
The fairies are happily eating their sweets and think more humans should make them. Well, they’re lucky to have them since the decline in human population means a decline in the number of confectioners. The fairies would love to make clones in that case but was quickly shot down by Watashi. That’s morally wrong. While taking a walk home, she thought she saw a dog in a distance. Perhaps it’s the hazy mirage that she saw the dog turned into a human. Watashi dislike the idea that Grandpa asked her to pick up his assistant at the rental home near Lamb and Olive around 1pm. Noting her watch is spoilt, Grandpa gives her a new one. That’s a sundial, no? Can she read sundial? Apparently some woman gave it to Grandpa before he met grandma. Besides, he pointed out she wasn’t his first love and though beautiful, they were separated before long. Along the way, Watashi meets a fairy who gives her a banana to eat. No taste. What the heck did she just eat? The fairy promise the next one will have taste before disappearing. Nearby, Watashi sees a group of fairies kicking ball. Thing is, the ball looks like a head of a fairy! It was when Grandpa passes by in his Roman chariot and lectures her about a thing or two to go pick up his assistant. Watashi meets the doctor in charge of Grandpa’s assistant but was told he went missing. Watashi goes into the forest to look for him. She happens to meet herself. Clone? But she is unaware this pleasant woman is herself (at least that’s what I think) and they casually chat. They arrive at a hearth in the forest and before Watashi realizes it, she slips on a banana peel. Next thing Watashi knows, she is outside UNCC’s office. She saw herself again but disappeared. She also felt a little dizzy and her memories a little fuzzy. Then it’s like a sense of déjà vu. Grandpa told her to go pick up his assistant. She needs a new watch so Grandpa looks around and couldn’t find one till he realizes the sundial on her wrist. Watashi denies stealing it because she would’ve stolen a mechanical one. After meeting the doctor, a fairy gives Watashi a banana. It tastes good this time. Then here comes Grandpa in his chariot. Unsurprisingly, Watashi somewhat knew what he was going to say. Then meeting herself again at the hearth before slipping on the banana peel. Yeah. She knew this was going to happen.
Watashi finds herself being given a banana once more. She spots that dog again in the distance. Umpteenth time lecture by Grandpa followed by that talk with the doctor. Watashi learns the assistant despite unable to speak, is smart enough to wonder who he was. Watashi feels ashamed for disliking on him in the first place. At the hearth, this time there are 2 selves of hers! Casually chatting with them, guess what happens next? Yeah. Banana trip! The entire déjà vu reruns again and this time there are about a hundred clones of herself making sweets at the hearth! They claim the fairies wanted sweets and that’s why they’re making them. Watashi talks to the fairies who confirm they made the hearth and found lots of help. Watashi thinks she has been here multiple times but can’t remember what she was doing here. The fairies say she won’t because this place is disconnected from the past. To put it in an easier word: She’s in happy land. Say what? Happy for whom? Then they give her a new banana model to eat. Banana has a new model? What’s new with it? You eat it and you slip on it. Wow. The scene restarts again as Watashi realizes her sundial is gone but she has a feeling she knows the assistant is wearing a Hawaiian shirt. Seeing her clones making sweets, she too can’t help join in. Yeah. She’s making banana spring roll. Remembering her mission, she asks if everyone had seen the assistant. They know she’ll find him soon and when asked about his description, they ask her back what she would like him to be. On closer inspection, she notices no one wearing the sundial and then… Another banana slip. The fairy thanks Watashi by giving her a new banana model as gratitude since they had lots of sweets. The fairy claims everything will return to normal and that the disconnect is gone. With Grandpa turning up, he asks about the sundial in which she realizes it is lost. As they enter town, they see lots of dogs wandering around and amidst the pack, the Hawaiian shirt assistant is petting one of them.
This feels like a replay of the previous episode but with several parts in more detail. On the first time Watashi was told to pick up Grandpa’s assistant, she was told he wasn’t an ordinary person and is somewhat undefined. He was a sole survivor of some ethnic minority and was passed around before ending up in Grandpa’s custody. Grandpa can’t really describe his traits because he doesn’t leave much of an impression. If he had to describe him, he was probably a buff kid. Then meeting the doctor, Watashi notices the word she uses to describe him: Obscure. On the third round in meeting the doctor, Watashi finds it odd that even though the doctor spent time with him, she never actually met him. Though she has all his records but the moment she took his eyes off him, she forgot how he looks like. As though he vaporized from her memory. Bad memory? Maybe but the thing is, she is unable to recall anything about him. Worse still, she can’t even remember his personal traits. Adding to that, because he grew up alone without parents or friends, no one taught him language. Watashi wonders why a smart person would wander around for what purpose. She was motivated to find him this time till she stumbled to the hearth. By the fourth time, the doctor even felt strange about her conversation with Watashi but continues her description on the assistant. Since no one was around to define him not had he seen others and been defined and was a blank canvas, perhaps all he wanted was a personality. Watashi thinks the problem itself is lack of understanding. In one of the déjà vu, Watashi thinks she spots the assistant in the Hawaiian shirt (which I later found out was Grandpa in his younger days!). She goes to talk to him and he seems pretty energetic. Yeah, he talks. Seems like a hyper active happy kid who doesn’t hesitate to sweet talk Watashi! He wants to procreate! Before Watashi could lecture him about sexual harassment, he throws her an apple to eat and wants to be known as Ringo Kid. Hope nothing strange in this one. He surprises her by touching her boobs! She’s going to sue him! Another surprise is when he pecks her cheek.
Watashi walks with him as he rants about why he is interested in procreating and wants to enjoy his life to the fullest. He notices her sundial and becomes interested in it. He thinks she doesn’t want it and takes it but Watashi says she’s only lending it to him. He wants her to become his girlfriend but she’s clearly not interested. How can a hyper guy like him be sincere? True enough when a pretty girl passes by, he changes his attention to her and before long, he agrees to follow her around town. Watashi wanted to reason he came from another planet. Like that was possible. On the fifth time, she notices her sundial missing but seems to clearly know some of the assistant’s traits. Watashi joins her clones in making sweets and gathering banana ingredients from the fairies, she didn’t understand the latest banana model that tastes great but sends her too far back (I’m guessing too far back in the past). Then when she asks if they have seen the assistant, upon closer inspection she notices not all of them had the sundial missing. Some of them were wearing it and some were wearing her old watch. Watashi describes the assistant and one of the defining traits she would like him to have is to leave a lasting impression on others. The clones agree since they too feel the same way. I guess it’s impossible to lie to yourself, eh? On the sixth time where they meet the assistant in the town filled with dogs, when Watashi meets him, the first thing she asks is if he has found what he was searching for. Watashi realizes he has managed to understand his identity that was developed alongside other people. Because he never had parents, he had to cheat a bit. This means he was listening to others on what they had to say about him as he was unable to discern his own identity. And it was at the tea party where he could learn it. However Watashi couldn’t remember about the tea party. Ah well, human memory isn’t that reliable. Yeah, even Grandpa couldn’t recall about the sundial. Back at the office, they notice the dog Assistant brought. When asked what kind of dog it is, they are surprised he talks for the first time. Grandpa understands this Time Paradogs are dogs created to restore space-time by offsetting temporal paradoxes. Whenever someone travels through time, the universe cancels out the paradox and gives it the shape of a dog. Understand all that? Don’t worry, I’m as lost as Watashi. Watashi welcomes Assistant and shakes his hand.
The Fairy’s Survival Skill
We see a fairy being bullied by his peers! This leads to an appeal letter sent to Watashi and to sum it up, it’s an SOS. Grandpa explains that due to the boom in fairy population, there had been cases of bullying and thus a stressful life. He reassigns Watashi to take a small group of fairies to a remote island. She may be there for at least a year. No way! Too bad she has no say. At the beach, she tries to lift the gloom of the fairies by talking about building their own nation. We see they are in need of serious emotional help. Yeah. They want a tyrannical and oppressive country. They even have a name for it: Fail Country! Serious emotional problem these little dudes have. That’s because the pier Watashi is on gives way. Before it sinks, Watashi and the fairies hop onto the boat. Next thing they knew, they are stranded on an island with nothing. What’s worse than that? Stuck with gloomy fairies. When Watashi accidentally accepts her title as the new nation’s queen, it lifts their spirits. On day 2, they build a nice antique cabinet for their queen but she would’ve preferred a bed instead. Thinking they’re good woodcraftsmen, she is about to ask them to make a boat to escape when she realizes they multiplied. They ask if it is okay to stay on this island and build a new nation. Too bad Watashi vaguely hints that she would help out and it was misinterpreted that she accepted that. By the end of the day, at least Watashi had a decent bed. A fairy gave her a list on inventions to create. Religion is also a creation? Anyway all those on the list are no-go. By the third day, Watashi notices some walls and doors around her bed. Then she goes off to tour around the island. We see the fairies booming in growing fields and even industrial plants! At the end of the tour, her home is completed! Complete with toilet too! She even had clothes made out from the island’s finest spider silk. At the end of the day, they even have electricity! Pineapple powered! Now she can have hot water bath. This is this life.
I’m sure Watashi enjoys her reign as queen as development and civilization life progresses on this little nation. That’s only the fourth day. Wow. By the fifth day, Watashi makes sweets to appease her entire nation of fairies! However soon, the cocoa crops failed and she notices the lake’s water quality changing. Blame it on the industrial wastes… When a fairy shows her a lily plant that tastes like candy, Watashi notes that despite fairies are unable to make candies, they can cultivate plants that produce them. She orders all research to be poured into breeding different strains and flavours of this plant and by day 7, the island mushrooms with colourful candy plants. Watashi continues to make sweets as a hobby instead as duty so everyone spend their free time in celebration. With nothing else to do, she even allows the construction of monuments as the fairies wish. Just like any civilization, there is bound to be a time it will fall. That comes in day 8. How quick time has passed. Monuments have popped up all over the island to a point there are not plants left. The environment is destroyed and the water plant is down. Oh my God. Seeing the dire straits they are in, Watashi wants them to take down the monuments and make water their priority. Gloomy times are here again. Electricity became scarce, genetic manipulation on plants was banned to allow the land to heal and sweets were rationed. The fairies no longer had work or entertainment. She realizes she needs to make a decision. On day 9, Watashi wants to tear down the remaining monuments and make a boat for the main land. It’s time to say goodbye. More gloomsville… However she feels like something is trapping them because it kept raining. Only the island is raining and by the 14th day, after she explains her plan to leave the island, it dawned to her that the gloominess of the fairies was contributing to the rain! That bad, huh? Then the island is flooded. Morning comes and Watashi finds herself stranded but on the main land. The island has disappeared. The fairies want her to be their queen over their new nation again but she dismisses them. I guess that removes the evidence. Grandpa and Assistant come by, worried of not hearing from her. Grandpa notes there was a sizeable island that house 3 rare species of spiders… And from Watashi’s guilty reaction, he has a feeling she had something to do with it… So who is responsible for the spider’s extinction? Watashi gets up and returns to her familiar everyday life.
The Fairy’s Earth
Watashi is one of the 12 last members of graduating class before the school was sent packing. She was sent to Camphorwood as a researcher and mediator under Grandpa. It beats working in the fields anyway. He assigns her to manage the books, an easy job like she wants. Despite that being true, she says she merely wants to match her job with her physical strength. Grandpa takes back what he said and thinks she should suffer a bit. He has her go observe the fairies in the places he marked on the map and is given only a bread as lunch. That’s harsh. How should she greet them? Is there any customs? None. Just go with your guts. She didn’t meet and fairies on her visit to the dump. She reports back to Grandpa who tells her on the contrary there are many hiding there. He lets her read the journal of his predecessor on his encounter and observations with the fairies. Seems he stated out enthusiastic and with each passing day and the crazier it gets, he becomes less motivated. Why are there only steak and wine? Though Watashi wants to have an easy life, she won’t have it by doing nothing. Returning to the dump, she sets a trap for the fairies to lure them because she remembers Grandpa telling her they love sweets and fun. She even brought necessities to observe and record. After falling asleep and waking up, she spots a bunch of fairies munching the sweets and having fun. She wanted to make a good impression to meet them but she trips and sends all of them running away in fear. She sees 3 of them hiding in a trap and ‘kidnaps’ them home. Realizing they are still scared, she thought of telling a joke. I guess it’s a bad joke because she asks if they want to eat snacks or become the snack! They wet their pants but don’t worry, fairies urine are made of pure water. She breaks the ice by giving them leftover candies. Easily pleased. That’s bribery, no? The fairies wonder if she is God. She dismisses it and puts it this way. She is the old humanity while the fairies are the new humanity. Watashi gets a hang of their crazy conversation. Seems they don’t remember they come from the dump or when they are born. In fact, did their number just increased by one?
Because they don’t have names, Watashi decides to name them as she wants to be their friends and doesn’t want to reduce them to numbers. After all that fooling around, she names them Cap, and Nakata while the remaining duo name themselves Sir Christopher McFarlane and Sir Chikuwa. Grandpa could tell Watashi’s distress looks because she is trying to figure out names for the rest of their buddies! She already has 50 of them. He compliments her on a job well done for being friends with them this quick but warns her to prepare herself tomorrow since she plans to check on them again. To her surprise, the place is no longer a dump but a futuristic metropolis! Remembering Grandpa’s words, when fairies gather, they will do something fun. Watashi’s appearance in the metropolis has them activate a robot defence. But since she comes in peace, I guess all ends well. Then she sees Nakata. What happened to the other trio? Surrendered? She realizes they are not very organized and don’t have good memory because Nakata doesn’t remember about the name thingy last night. She is here to give names to his friends when all the fairies start lining up to be named! Oh God! Noticing how fast they multiply, she puts her foot down, causing them to ball up. She apologizes she can’t name them but hands them a dictionary to pick a name of their choice. The fairies are overjoyed and call her God. Next day, Watashi is surprised to see a monument of her! She is officially God now. Imagine if this spreads to the fairies across the world. She’d be in their history books. Not bad, maybe? She passes the God title to Nakata. He tries to touch her back but she says only a person can be God once. Soon it becomes havoc because Nakata tries to pass his status to other fairies who are running away. God becomes the devil as the fairies evacuate the metropolis and in 10 minutes, it all crumbles and becomes dump once more. All that’s left is her statue. But it beats having a bad reputation, right? Grandpa sees her statue and notes how they must have really loved her. The destruction can’t be helped as sooner or later it will happen because this is how current humanity operates. He praises her for a good job well done of making this far in a few days but advises she must take it easy while dealing with fairies. He pushes her and she accidentally bumps and destroys her statue. I guess that in the end can’t last too.
The Fairy’s Secret Tea Party
This flashback was when Watashi first started schooling at 10 years old. She had to start from the lowest grade but will skip grades if she proves herself to be more intelligent than she is. On her first day, she finds her dorm room locked and a riddle note that tells her the key is behind eternity. She assumes that time only stops when the clock is broken and heads to the clock tower. She finds another riddle message that tells her she will only find the key when the animals are sick. She gives up and returns waiting outside her room, only to be given a reprimanding ticket by some assistance robot called Ryobo 230r. After showing she is locked out, Ryobo removes the lock for her. Next day, she bumps into Y who tosses her the lock. She was excited when she solved her first riddle but became disappointed and thinks she’s a bore. The other girls think she’s bullying another student. In class, Watashi remains reclusive, not wanting to befriend anybody. Not even to a nice girl named Curly. Despite doing well in the test, Watashi became the target of bullying because she is older than everyone. But Watashi didn’t fight back. She accepts her fate and in a way ‘shields’ the bullies and blames herself at fault. The Principal sees her studying diligently in the library and is glad Grandpa sent her to study under him. They were good friends. He is impressed she is reading up a difficult subject on fairies. Despite her hardworking attitude, he notices she has hard time making friends. She declines his offer to help in any way. One night Curly visits Watashi in her room because she heard she will be advancing a grade due to another superb showing in her test. Curly felt sad she had to go but Watashi puts it this way. A problem will go away and everything will return back to normal. Watashi hints that Curly is the mastermind behind the bullying, the reason why they can’t be friends because the ‘truth’ will come out. She also accuses her for being sympathetic with her so she could control her. One evening at the ruins, Watashi manages to save a fairy from several naughty boys trying to dissect it! Back home, Watashi talks to the fairy and is surprised he is happily living alone. The fairy gets depressed when she hints being alone is not fun. She tries giving it a sandwich but I guess he settled for a sugar cube that he could munch on. The fairy is happy as Watashi introduces him to a book with myriad of sweets and candies. Due to ingredients shortage, she can’t really make lots of them. The fairy hints that he will disappear. Is it because of loneliness? Not if he gets more sugar cubes. Ryobo continues to always malfunction outside her room. Watashi always straighten it back to its path and thinks maybe it has an outdated map in its memory and perhaps the floor layout changed.
During dinner time, the bully boys accidentally bump into her. Once more, she cleaned up her own mess and took the blame. Curly wanted to help her but Watashi remains suspicious of her as the mastermind. Curly dismisses everything and sets it straight she approached her because she wanted to talk. Why won’t she open up? Because she doesn’t want to get to know anyone. That includes Curly. That night she wakes up screaming. She’s finally at her limit. Enough is enough. She realizes she is lonely. She really wanted friends. She did not want to be laughed at. It hurts when they bully and make fun of her. She wants to quit school. The fairy pops out from her pocket and provides a simple solution: Join him. Watashi couldn’t remember what happens next. She was able to focus on her studies and skip grades. However Curly too has advanced the grade but this time she bears the brunt of the bullying since she is younger than others. Everyone ignored her. One day, Watashi helped Curly retrieved her skirt from one of the bullying. She dismisses she was helping her out but it was enough for Curly to be happy. She wants Watashi to be her sister! No, her mother! She’s the only person she could trust. Watashi panics and decides to try reverse psychology. However claiming she was being sympathetic so that she could laugh at her backfired. Because Curly is happy that she cared. Soon Curly becomes her roommate. How did this happen? Curly forged Watashi’s signature as consent. Oh dear. Future con artist. Noticing she has baked lots of cakes, Watashi don’t want her finding out whom she baked them for and lies that it’s because she wanted to be more social. Though, she can’t remember what it is that she didn’t want Curly to find out. Curly invites her to be a member of the tea circle called Wild Rose Society. From the way Curly is bugging her, I guess she has to come. Upon meeting the other members for the first time, the first thing Watashi asked was how to quit. Not interested, aren’t we?
So as Watashi becomes part of the tea circle, the bullying also stops. She impresses them all with her sweets and even had lunch with them. Can she refuse? One day, she notices a torn page from a book that looked like a building blueprint. The rest point out it must be that girl Y whom they call Silver. She was a member of this club before Watashi but always kept to herself. Wild Rose Society’s main activity is to study the legend of the fairies’ tea party and it was what Y was interested. Of course since it’s a time consuming activity, all they do is offer new interpretations on those researches. A year later, Watashi advances another grade, leaving poor Curly behind. Watashi is now the same grade as Y. She didn’t like those girls in the society and points out their beauty is only on the surface. One day Watashi spots Y in a hurry and dropped a book. Watashi picks it up and makes a list of books missing from the library. This leads her to Y’s secret room. Y is shocked that she is able to find it. Watashi found this location after doing some research based on the hints from the torn page and Ryobo’s constant bumping into her wall. Y thought she couldn’t solve simple riddles like the one she gave her a year ago. However Watashi easily explains her answer regarding that riddle. It was based on Solomon Grundy and the key was to find a copy of that book that was returned on a Friday (because Solomon Grundy fell ill on a Friday). The reason Watashi didn’t continue was because she thought more riddles would greet her instead of the key. Now it’s Watashi’s turn to hit Y’s nerves. To summarize, she points out Y’s fetish for ‘relationships of boys who are more than friends’. Yaoi. BL. Get the picture? This secret room is a painstaking assemble of that collection. Because of her pride, stubbornness and superiority complex to preserve her fake image, she used this hidden room to indulge in her fantasies. But Y mentions she joined Wild Rose Society not to access such books. But rather they invited her as she was having trouble fitting in. She was hoping to find a club where she belongs. Y hopes she won’t tell this to anyone and is even willing to make a deal.
Walking through the dark corridors, the school seems to have lots of unused spaces that are uncharted. Never think before building? She is going to show them the real personalities of the Wild Rose Society members. First up is Hana’s room. There is a diary that meticulously details all those who upset her. In short, a grudge book. Hey, doesn’t Watashi’s name appear too often? But she was so nice to her? Yeah. Don’t judge a book by its cover. The closer you are to her, the higher your chances of upsetting her. Next room belongs to Majou. There is a heavy book. Inside contains all the hairs from the girls she collected!!! FREAKY!!! And because she is obsessed with Watashi, there are a few pages dedicated to her! With her hair strand! FREAKY!!! The next room sees a couple of them stripping, drinking, badmouthing, uncouth and the entire place messy like a pig sty. Guess whose is the last room? Curly might seem like playing doll but she’s treating it as Watashi! What is more disturbing is the fact she randomly snaps and takes out her loneliness frustration on the doll! In the end, she stabs it furiously!!! Oh sh*t! How can Watashi go back tonight?! So have you freaked out enough yet, Watashi? Can you stomach anymore of this? Y points out the rarity in finding someone you can trust. In this particular environment, the weird ones are left unchecked. That’s why Y tested Watashi then. She had no hidden sides and is a bad liar. Plus, she doesn’t want to have anything to do with these mentally unstable girls. A brat that is easy to understand is more relaxing to deal with. It is then that they both team up to secretly find the real fairy tea party. Their weird combination drew lots of attraction but they manage to make the fifth grade by then. Because there wasn’t any bad blood, there was a reconciliation party for Y and the other Wild Rose Society members. But soon, those members graduated and left and once more they were alone. Only Watashi, Y and Curly were left. They have yet to find the fairy tea party and continued searching in hopes that they would solve the mystery and make everything clear before they graduate.
The trio venture into a room containing very old Ryobo models. Wondering who put them here, Watashi thinks it’s the fairies when she suddenly remembers about them. She rushes back to the ruin pondering who on Earth she could have forgotten about them. However she couldn’t find any and the boy she asked told her he had never seen one. The next day, an announcement was made that the school was going to be torn down. A graduation ceremony was held but it was a sorry sight. Curly breaks down in Watashi’s arm as she neatens the curtains as her last duty of the society. Back in present time, Y visits Watashi and tells her how she stayed in school after graduation. Turns out she got a job but that job was at the school. She also brought a yearbook which she compiled herself. Before she leaves, she asks if Watashi knows anything about those robots. She has one in her trunk. Watashi takes Ryobo and in her room, the fairies confused her by saying it can be fixed but not restored. That’s because unlike humans it has no soul. Then popping out from Ryobo is that fairy she first met at the ruins. Watashi is overcome with emotion. That night she dreams of having a fairy tea party with the fairy. Despite not remembering much in detail, she notes once she wakes up, everything will slip away like dreams always do.
Of course when you buy the DVDs, there are little short specials called The Humans’ Law Of The Jungle that lasts around 2-3 minutes each. Due to the random nature of this series, the specials are also as random. Just that they are probably too short to be made into an episode as a whole. But it’s still fun to watch as we see the trouble Watashi gets into when she tampers with tools believed to be made by fairies.
As part of Watashi’s job as a mediator, she is inspecting several suspicious goods circulating in the village. One of them includes a bottle with a spare cloud. Don’t ask. She thinks the goods lean more towards pranks than dangerous but she collects them just in case. Another tool she found is a spoon. When it actually got stuck inside her head, she takes it out to find it filled with flour. She continues to scoop up endless amount of wheat flour from her head to make sweets. Is this what her brain is made out? Though the result is that she has a mountain of wheat flour, she has shrink into fairy size!
Watashi knows the spoon is the cause of her shrunk in size and notices the number on it decreasing. When Grandpa comes in, she is happy to see him. However he thinks she is a fairy and couldn’t understand a word she says. She tries hinting him via hand signals to convey what she says but somehow everything looked simplified. Still, Grandpa doesn’t get her and thinks he will tell Watashi that the she is here. Now that Grandpa has left, it is up to Watashi to venture out to seek the help of other fairies to return to normal. Unfortunately she got attacked by a bird! Food!!!
Luckily the bird got stuck with Watashi’s egg shell helmet. She runs and stumbles into a house. Yameta the hamster greets her and he seems to be proud that they are the sole intellectual civilization on Earth. Whatever. Yeah well, do rodents make light bulbs? Talking about that, Yameta explains it was invented by the brightest hamster in the family but was eaten by their natural predator, the weasel and died. Then another hamster rushes in to report another of their friend has been eaten by a weasel so everyone goes off to do an emotional burial for him.
The hamsters are running away from the weasels’ attack. Contrary to our beliefs that weasels are cute looking creatures, they are quite the evil blood thirsty vermin they are! Too evil! Watashi’s spoon gets caught in a can but in a way it saves her life because the weasel’s attack sends her flying away into the air. But she drops into the river. Thankfully she is pulled out by a frog. Actually, a fairy underneath that sophisticated frog suit. Frog prince fairy? Don’t they look different from conventional fairies? They look more like mini elves.
Watashi is taken to the fairy village. They try to figure out her solution but she concluded there wasn’t any so let’s give up. Yup, she starts having fun in the village, indulging in leisure activities. One day there is a problem of them unable to acquire any sweets but Watashi thinks she can make some. She scoops a spoon fill of flour from her head as the rest notices the number further reduces. Soon Watashi passes out. When she wakes up, she finds herself shrunk another half size. The fairies are amazed with this special phenomenon and hypothesizes that the spoon was converting her thoughts into flour. In other words, it can convert mental abilities into powder. They think if it was so, it wouldn’t be fun without scaling one’s height with the intelligence lost. So the one who made this was thinking this was an idea of fun? Watashi thinks not. She can’t understand why the rest are laughing. This is a serious issue. Is she laughing too? Maybe she’s going mad. Maybe she’s scared. Somebody help her…
The fairies bring Watashi to God’s house. Supposedly somebody who can make sweets and give people names. Say, isn’t this her own home? Feeling nostalgic? Noticing flour around the place, they proceed to make sweets. Little does Watashi know, the number on the spoon soon drops to single digit and before she knows it, she passes out. All she feels is just to sleep and worried if somebody would feed her pet ladybug. A cookie comes up to her. It smells good and she eats it. Mmm… Tastes good. When she wakes up, the fairies have finished making a mountain of sweets and are ready to dig in. Suddenly it dawns to Watashi that the sweets are her brains! Don’t eat them! Because… Because… Because they’re poison! In the end, she ate all the cookies by herself. At least she didn’t grow fat. She returns back to her normal size and though the number of the spoon sits at 280, she remembers it used to be 322. So this means some of her brains are missing, eh? Maybe that’s why there are some things she can’t recall. Being back to her normal size means that the hamsters look like normal non-talking furry rodents and the weasel… It’s not so threatening at all. So cute! Was it all just an illusion? Watashi tickles and feeds it.
If I should say, this series is quite entertaining and fascinating by itself. Although there are many instances that still baffle me, but if I take it lightly with a pinch of salt, I find this generally enjoyable. For example, the time loop arc was a little confusing to me and I had so many questions of what happened about this and that so much so that I had to go online and do a little research and read up on that arc’s summary before understanding the gist of it. Had I never found out Ringo Kid was Grandpa, the big question mark would have still be hanging around my head on the big difference in Assistant’s character then and now. The play on the word Time Paradogs with Time Paradox and its explanation was equally confusing. Why didn’t everybody remember about themselves when they see themselves or someone familiar? Like shouldn’t Watashi have recognized herself or Grandpa recognizing Watashi when he meets her as an old man? So you see, thinking for answers about these questions only brings me more headaches. So if I accept it at face value, everything will be alright because it all ends well, right? Did it? Ah well, my memory isn’t that good anyway. First sign of decline?
The decline of humans isn’t the focus of this series but Watashi’s misadventures with the fairies and other characters. Thus despite the fact that we know humans are on the gradual path to extinction, it doesn’t feel so due to the several comical and baffling moments. Especially the headless chicken arc. That was hilarious! You will know the true meaning of fear when you see headless chickens trying to take over the world! Or the part where Loaf splits himself in half! Such light hearted sides take our attention and focus away from that setting. Sometimes it just feels that the place is just uninhabited and void of humans and a country that is just poor. Well, my perception of when human is on that self destruction path, it should be an aftermath of a great war so much so you could see rubbles of buildings laying waste all around. It isn’t that noticeable in Camphorwood. Maybe there wasn’t any big war to begin with. Besides, there is no indication to say how long humans have been living such a declining lifestyle. It could be years or decades. It could be many centuries that have passed.
Watashi as the main heroine is an amusing protagonist. While on the outside she may look like a caring and polite person, she is also to an extent cunning, scheming and manipulative. It’s like she has 2 sides to a coin. It is not that she is a bad person, what she usually does is that she tries to take the easy way out of situations that are seemingly difficult for her to handle. Otherwise, she would just go with the flow. What makes her funny (and why mainly this series is funny) is because of her comebacks, retorts, punch lines and sarcasm. Yes, it is her ability to rebuff the situation with her witty sarcasm that makes it funny and the reason why I look forward to hear her talk and pay attention to her speeches. In addition to her sweets baking skills, it’s like she has a knack for retorting since the situation usually doesn’t go her way the wishes. If stand up comedy was alive, I think she could make a decent living as a comedian. Too bad when humanity is in decline and the basic necessities are scarce, you don’t need someone who tells jokes just to lift the gloom, right? Or do you?
The fairies are of course the biggest mystery in this series. How they make their technology super fast or multiply in a blink of an eye are equally mysterious. We are not even shown a hint of how something happens because when it happens, it happens. Most likely our tiny human brain won’t comprehend if we even were explained. So whether it is true or not they can make inventions and even phenomenon that only God could make (such as the time loop), it is best to not think too much over this. After all, what would you get once you have unravelled the mystery? Where would all the fun be? There is a reason why they kept themselves hidden from humans and only Watashi is an exception due to her skills in making their eternal favourite sweets. Also an amusing bunch themselves, they aren’t that perfect (in humans’ eyes of course). Seems that they favour quantity over quality so the things that they make tend to end up with inferior value. Maybe the more the merrier? A herd mentality too? Because if one fairy wants to have fun, the rest would love to join in. They also seem not to comprehend about things like life and death. It feels like because of their short attention span and disorganized memory, they live for the moment. Be happy now. Whatever comes, it comes. And even if something bad is going to come, they could make a ‘joke’ out of it. Even if it’s some negativity. Easily depressed? Well, at least they don’t stay long that way if you know how to make them happy.
The other characters in the series seem sufficient and only to support Watashi as the protagonist. Grandpa may be the coolest character due to his cool ways and doesn’t lose his composure easily. I wonder about his hobby of collecting guns. Did you see the vast collection on his walls? I’m not sure if it is banned but after all that fighting and wars, humanity has declined in population so it makes no sense to kill each other anymore now that everyone is struggling to even have the basic necessities. Everybody has his own quirks. Just like Assistant. That single episode he spoke proves that he is no mute. Why can’t he just open his mouth and talk like everyone else? Maybe he is one of those rare people who would prefer to speak through his actions. Literally. And how Watashi could understand every single word he says is indeed mind boggling. I don’t think she is wild guessing. After all, being with him for so long, she could understand more or less what he wants to say. Y’s yaoi fetish proves that such subculture really dies hard in the future. But do you think that having such a depraved fetish is considered a decline in humanity? Who am I to say such interests are immoral? To each his own. Despite this quirky fetish of Y, I guess you could say that she is a better friend to Watashi compared to the other mentally unstable girls of Wild Rose Society. Yeah, everyone is in serious need of emotional help. Whether or not humanity is rotting away, such personality problems have always been a thorn in society. Talk about driving human to extinction with such creepy dark personality problems.
The production studio of this anime is AIC ASTA, which is one of the many divisions under the big company of AIC. Under this name, they were the ones who did Sora No Otoshimono series, Bamboo Blade and Tokimeki Memorial animes. The drawing and art may seem simple and sometimes like sketches. Sometimes feeling like a show for younger audiences in the sense that the surroundings are colourful enough. But I guess this is to keep in line with the comedy theme. That’s why this is one reason why I feel humans aren’t on the path of decline. Even in supposedly dark and ruined places, it doesn’t feel scary at all. When technology that involves the mysterious fairies, the buildings and inventions can range from realistic to cartoonish. Cute yet scary.
Mai Nakahara plays Watashi and when I first heard her, I thought how similar she sounded to her other role as Juvia from Fairy Tail. Just loose the lovey-dovey fawning. Despite Assistant had no lines throughout the series and that single line is all you ever going to hear, I am surprised that Jun Fukuyama was the one voicing him. No matter how much I strain my ear and replay that line again and again, I just couldn’t make out it was him. He is neither like Code Geass’ Lelouch or Kyoukai Senjou No Horizon’s Toori. As for the fairies, there are several seiyuus who voice them. They include Hisako Kanemoto, Satomi Arai, Yumiko Kobayashi, Chika Kobayashi, Saki Ogasawara, Asami Sanada, Satomi Akesaka and Nozomi Sasaki. I can’t differentiate them because they sound nearly the same. Picture this kind of voice. Try talking like a cute alien without emphasizing too much on your emotion. Yup. That’s how fairies generally sound. Hearing Pion’s voice too, I thought it was somewhat familiar. Till she went “~de arimasu”. Then I was like, doesn’t that sound like Ricotta from Dog Days? Who else could it be but Nana Mizuki! The other casts include Miyuki Sawashiro as Y (Shinku in Rozen Maiden), Unshou Ishizuka as Grandpa (Bunta in Initial D), Nobuyuki Hiyama as Oyage (Madarame in Bleach), Natsuko Kuwatani as Doctor (Yue in Mahou Sensei Negima), Hisako Kanemoto as Curly (Ika in Shinryaku! Ika Musume), Ryoka Yuzuki as Ryobo (Ino in Naruto), Kazuya Ichijou as Director (Zafira in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha), Kurumi Mamiya as Loaf (titular character of Hamtaro) and Tomomichi Nishimura as Principal (Anzai in Slam Dunk).
Listening to the rock opening theme, Real World, it very much reminded me of the opening theme in Sankarea. It’s no surprise seeing both songs are sung by Nano Ripe. I think I’m starting to identify her unique ‘drunk’ voice by now. The odd and amusing about the opening animation credits is the funny dance that Watashi and the fairies are doing. What the heck are they doing? Pushing air?! I don’t think this will become as famous or catch on like Gangnam Style but imagine seeing a bunch of little fairies led by Watashi doing this ‘exercise’. Weird, no? I tried it out a little while myself but quickly lost interest. Besides, I don’t have that much stamina to ‘push’ vigorously. Hearing the ending theme also reminded me of another familiar song. I noticed how Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume reminded me of Zettai Shonen’s ending theme. That’s because both of them are sung by the same singer, Masumi Itou. She too has an ‘odd’ voice that’s why I was able to recognize. Imagine a woman trying to put on a falsetto voice. Is it coincidence that both these series also deal with the supernatural fairies? The one in Zettai Shonen is slower and have a more enigmatic feel while this one is livelier, happier and more fantasy-like feel.
The declination of mankind perhaps tries to tell us to appreciate what we have now and not take things for granted. But do humans really learn from history? Take a look at the great empires in the past from Rome to China. After a period of prosperity, it is followed by downfall and before you know it, the dynasties are over and become part of history. Notice that in this series you don’t have the people fidgeting with technology? Can I say that it is a big relief for once not to see people sticking iPads, iPhones, Tablets and other electronic gadgets in their face? So it proves that in dire times, people do can live without them. Therefore be thankful in this age of plenty. People are just struggling to survive. Therefore the other lesson is to live each day to the fullest. You would appreciate things more that way. Of course, back to basics is another key point as seen without technology (not including help from the fairies), people still manage to get by daily albeit it would be better if they had some modern conveniences that cover their basic needs.
It might not happen now or in the nearest future but perhaps this is a sign and of course that one day just like everything in this universe, it will come to an end. But no use thinking about it now because it’s not going to happen so soon, right? Hah. Typical human lethargy. The end of the world at the end of 2012 didn’t turn out true either, right? But look at the way we are devouring Earth’s limited resources and polluting them. In a way, we are digging our own graves right at this moment. Whether or not mankind will gain the ability and technology to travel deep into space to leave the dying Earth (like as in Wall-E), that is another different story. Well, if it is going to be a slow decline to extinction and greatly affects the quality of life to the point it becomes a painful dystopia so bad that one couldn’t imagine, I’d rather have a meteoroid smash into Earth right now to end it all. No anime = no life! :)