Humanity Has Declined – Review

Wildly inconsistent. That’s the best way I can describe Humanity Has Declined. Maybe I should start at the beginning. Or maybe not, as Humanity Has Declined choses to laugh in the face of chronological order with its episodes.

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…Okay, let me actually start this review…

Humanity Has Declined is a 12 episode anime series about…the decline of humanity. Long ago, humanity’s technology and consumerist culture along with declining birth rates led to massive failings under which society crumbled into feudal looking smaller communities. In addition to that, fairies grew up alongside humans taking advantage of the failing human culture and growing their own adjacent communities. These strange creatures are magical, illogical, and are not really explained as to how or what they can do. They are tiny, love sweets, and rarely stop smiling. We follow around a United Nations Mediator who serves as a go-between for a human community and fairies. That’s a basic outline of what the show is about. Each episode follows a different situation in the life of our mostly unnamed Mediator. Kind of.

The show is broken up into different encounters with the weirdness of the fairy culture and each of these weird encounters is tied to an at times heavy-handed and at times subtle mockery of modern culture. Sometimes it mocks consumerism. Sometimes it mocks the way we worship celebrity. Sometimes it pokes fun at how the comic and anime industry is run. At its core is social commentary, or at least an attempt at it. But the manner in which it gets there is through wacky situations that are at times humorous and at times cringe-worthy and annoying. As I said at the beginning, the show is wildly inconsistent.

The time loop episodes are both boring and at times over the top creepy overly sexualizing in their actions some of the child-like characters. The episodes about them trapped in the manga and it’s mockery of how comics are written/how we rate comics, is at times very entertaining. Episode 9 paints a fascinating picture of fairies raising up a culture, then it totally collapsing under the weight of its abuse of natural resources and all natural resources needed for survival disappearing. There’s a heavy-handed piece of social commentary in that episode.

But the chronology of episodes is all out of wack. Episodes 11 and 12 are chronologically first, followed by Episode 10. Episodes 8 and 9 occur at some undetermined times. Episodes 1 through 7 all seem to happen sometime after episode 10, but perhaps before episodes 8 and 9. It’s all unclear and I think that weakens the show. Then again, if the episodes were run in chronological order, I’m not sure it would really benefit the series one iota. It would still wildly vary in how much I enjoyed it episode to episode.

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In the end, I can’t say I hated the show, but I can’t say I loved it. I loved aspects of some episodes and disliked others. I wouldn’t recommend it mostly because…in the end, it got lost in its own attempt at teaching you a lesson. Yet, in all honesty – if the entire series started at episode 9 and rolled from there – I’d watch it and recommend it. But the build up of 8 mediocre to downright unenjoyable episodes aren’t worth trudging through just for 4 brilliant episodes. Just watch the last four and pretend the rest of the show doesn’t exist…

It’s what I sometimes do with the Matrix sequels.

About the Author

Matthew Newman
Matthew Newman is a Christian environmental engineer (Professionally licensed in Maryland). He’s also a husband, beard aficionado, Dad of four beautiful children, blogger, and all around geeky guy from Baltimore County. When he’s not chasing his kids or working, he’s probably asleep.

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