Free Despair!

HUMANITY HAS SUPERFLATTENED

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita was a competently-directed show, but I think the smartest decision by the team was to design the fairies with a permanent :D face. In the first episode, it perfectly set the tone of the show when you heard the forever-smiling fairies talk about “death by starvation” as if it were a new fad, much in the same way people talk about the new iPad. More interestingly, later in the show when the fairies found themselves in more fatalistic moods, their expressions also never changed.

As tempting as it is to call this design choice merely a time-saving measure (no moving mouths = no worrying about animating them), it reminded me a lot of Takashi Murakami’s superflat flowers. There’s the idea of flattening all possible emotions into one uniform expression, which is something the fairies certainly accomplish. But if you look a little more closely at the fairies and the flowers, the unrelenting happiness and cuteness give way to an expression which is not just frozen, but forced. It’s a sinister notion with the veneer of cuteness.

That permanent :D doesn’t just give Jinrui a distinctive style and vehicle for comedy. If we read the fairies as humanity’s successors, then perhaps the fairies are just superflattened humans.

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