Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita 4
In this episode, our lovable protagonists find themselves trapped in a fairy manga, and in order to survive they have to be interesting.
By being ‘interesting’, the protagonists reveal many interesting cliches and tropes used in manga through the use of many genres.
On Y’s behest, the protagonists use cliffhangers in basically everything they do, stating that cliffhangers are among the most prevalent tropes in manga. This statement is remarkably correct. In every manga I’ve read, high- and low-quality alike, cliffhangers are used almost excessively to keep readers interested.
An example of well-executed cliffhangers are those in the manga Liar Game, a manga filled with clever deception and cruel logic. The end of many pivotal chapters and volumes show Akiyama or one of the antagonists reveal a shocking truth that made the situation seem hopeless. “We think we have been winning, but what we’ve really been doing is walking straight into his trap!” — something like that. I dare say, it kept me enthralled, despite Liar Game’s shortcomings (I’m only in one of the earlier volumes, so I don’t know about later in the plot).
Poorly-executed cliffhangers are illustrated in this episode. Y uses cliff-hangers willy-nilly, often without any closure. Y’s cliffhangers became dry and overused very quickly, causing our protagonists’ manga to greatly drop in popularity.
The cliffhanger isn’t the only manga cliche used here. In the picture above you see Y excellently demonstrating a small panel in which the action transitions from one point to another. In manga, each page can have completely different panels in terms of size and placement. Panel management can be used to guide the direction of the story, particularly during action scenes. Take this example, from the manga Pluto. In this page, differently shaped and sized panels guide the story during a critical action scene. Innovative panel management is unique to Japanese comics; what you often find in American comics, for example, are panels placed in a rather linear fashion.
The last example that I’ll show is a tiny one. Manga tends to exaggerate! By using exaggeration, a manga is able to draw its readers into the story! Even when the actual action being portrayed is something as mundane as eating food! KYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA~!
Aaaaaand I’ll actually do a little bit about the show itself now.
Our protagonists exhaust every possible thing they can do. The manga inevitably drops in popularity so much that the fairies cancel it. It looks hopeless for our heroes, and they brace themselves for death. But in actuality, it was All Just A Dream and they wake up completely unharmed.
Normally, when one has a dream like that they learn something that they will apply to the real world. For this particular example, I guess the moral of the story is that even when you’re an expert like Y, an industry like the manga industry is more complex than originally thought. Or could the moral be about the inevitability of death (of a series)? In either case, fairies are really really weird.
The surrealism and comedy of this show is just amazing. It takes a wonderful imagination to think up the story of this episode, let alone several episodes like it with equally imaginative stories. Furthermore, each of these two-episode arcs can probably be full series if expanded, but they are perfectly condensed into something much shorter. I like it better this way; a series about invading a factory run by skinned chickens, for example, wouldn’t be as good as Jinrui is as is. Overall the very well-executed blend of this series is really making it my favourite show this season.