One of the key things that I’m fascinated with whenever I watch Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita or Jintai is the myriad of mazes. I like how each arc has its own labyrinth which imaginatively and blatantly features the whimsical yet cynical premise of the series. It’s interesting because these passages are subconsciously inviting and leading us to a strange and avant-garde world—kind of like Alice in Wonderland but less the emphasis of the rabbit hole and with no checkers.
It was believed that the figurative meaning of the labyrinth elicits the idea of an inner journey through the confounding and conflicting pathways of the mind until the seeker achieves his or her destination. But worse comes to worst, the seeker could end up being lost inside the maze. Say for instance in Jintai, every passage unfolds different kinds of mysteries and unlocks disrupting realities of the post-apocalyptic future.
Further, when we talk about mazes, it always reminds me of Daedalus’ myth. He craftily built a labyrinth that he himself could barely escape. In a lot of occasions, Watashi and the side characters were brought into situations wherein they don’t know their way out. As we had seen, the employees of the FairyCo. “trapped” themselves inside this candy coloured factory and ignored how sinister it is. They even work for an employer whom they don’t know so no wonder why humanity is declining.
Another example is that the characters were brought by the fairies into the odd world of manga panels wherein they have to maintain their popularity otherwise they would be doomed. In this arc, I truly enjoyed Y’s character and hypocrisy because she’s so desperate to exist that she’d do anything just to be recognized. I like as well how the panels we’re literally and allegorically presented—a manga is being read linearly but its approach is so multi-dimensional—as signified by the backgrounds, random doors, tunnels and how the Assistant’s drawings came into life.
Also, the manga setting gave me the impression that the characters were in limbo (white) and heading towards to the underworld (black). Come to think of it, a maze in Ancient Egypt was symbolized as the path through the underworld.
Thus, I think as the title conveys—humanity has declined—the recurring use of labyrinth as a setting visually implies that humans are bounded to be lost—even the recent episode once again showed that Watashi and her assistant got trapped in an underground maze-like structure. Whether the labyrinths represent the subconscious or the underworld, I believe that it’s a world without an exit for mankind. Now, it’s up to the fairies what kind of sardonic fate they would hand to humanity. And to be honest, I still don’t understand the true nature of these creepy little creatures which makes me feel like I’m in a maze as I watch this show.