The Fairies’ Secret Factory
I’ve been trying real hard to find something I can compare this anime to. But after this second episode I’m starting to doubt my brain’s ability to do so. First we’ve got a bleeding robot-loaf-of-bread and now we get mafia style headless chickens that plan on taking over the world through a food factory. Can you get any more bizarre than that? I have the feeling that’s something I’ll find out next week, but for now analyzing this episode should me more than troublesome enough – there’s no need to try and predict a story that doesn’t follow any known thought process.
This episode consists of the continuation of the inspection to the Fairy Co. factory and… when did this turn into a horror series? Now being serious, those first few minutes really reminded me of one, with the feeling that they were lost in a place of no return, people disappearing (the main character’s – I’ll refer to her as “Watashi” for now, since that’s the name listen on myanimelist – grandfather and the clueless receptionist from last episode) and the feeling of impending death as Watashi suddenly saw herself stuck in a moving conveyor belt together with the disposables which were about to be… disposed of. In the face of dead she’s saved by some invisible force she ends up calling the hand of God. This is an interesting point I’ll mention again later, for it is used several times during the episode, making for a nice call out to a certain human-like attitude.
Forgetting the horror feeling and going back to the very beginning once again, we have yet another critic to how the working hierarchy isn’t exactly working, as the receptionist nonchalantly mentions he has never met other employees, having only received orders and directions through writing. This can be seen as a reference to how face-to-face contact and training is becoming replaced by the long distance technological communication, making the contact with the work force less direct and its supervision less effective.
Then, as the grandfather and the receptionist disappear, Watashi and the Assistant try to go look for them, only to lose themselves in total mess that is the factory’s layout. Then, Watashi tries to make the fairy reproduce and dismantle the factory, which apparently can only happen when they have fun. That’s actually an interesting point I’d like to know more about, and I hope later episodes can further clarify its implications. The important part here is how this gives room for such an amazing moment – the “fun” story the Assistant proposes on telling is anything but fun, instead being a morbid narrative complemented with fitting picture book. The picture book was awesome and so was the narration (in fact, I think the narration play a big role on its awesomeness). I don’t know exactly why, but I found this one of the best jokes of the episode, despite not being the wittiest one for sure.
The best picture book ever created.
Watashi’s claim that “He’s had a happy life, so why does he have such a dark side?” reminded me of how children who aren’t taught about what’s bad an ugly take it as lightly as anything else. It seemed to me that the Assistant found that genuinely funny (so perhaps he’s too innocent for his own good or maybe he’s just a psychopath in the making). The fairy, on the other hand, had the reaction of an optimistic person who’s suddenly faced with the harsh reality. Either way, it was a highly amusing scene.
Jumping forward once again to when Watashi’s saved by the mysterious “hand of God”, she finds herself alone in a dark place. Well, not so alone, as she soon finds out. In the same room is standing a man, who claims to be Fairy Co.’s manager, and whom Watashi also identifies as the director of the UNESCO. With people like that leading organizations that supposedly contribute to world peace, education and the like, no wonder humanity has declined. If only hypocritical leaders like him didn’t exist outside fiction…
As their conversation progresses, Watashi insists on meeting the higher-ups responsible for the factory, but the manager was also hired through indirect means, for he doesn’t know one thing about them either, nor is he interesting in finding out. Well, he isn’t interested in anything besides being promoted and attaining professional success. Such a selfish yet common trail of though… But against this greedy manager, unwilling to help at all, Watashi has her own means. Declaring she was auditioning the factory was enough to get a scared reaction from the manager, further extended by her own scary expression and harsh words. In fact, auditions are terrible, as I know from experience even honest workers end up afraid of their strictness, let alone power-thirsty little bastards.
As he agrees on helping her find the “bosses”, mostly due to his own conclusion that it would definitely advantageous to him if the factory had indeed a shady background – we even get to hear him spout out his little fantasy of being recognized as a hero and, of course, promoted due to his abnegated actions of pursuing righteousness in spite of endangering his job – both of them go into the room he indicates, only for the manager to fall through a black hole that randomly appears on the floor.
Watashi doesn’t care the slightest bit about it (how I love her deadpan relaxed personality), and proceeds to face the heads of the factory. And that’s when this show gets beyond words. Yes, I’ll be trying hard to describe it from now on, but I promise nothing, for my synthesis can’t possibly be any less weird than the scene itself.
The higher-ups are a bunch of beheaded chickens. Beheaded skinned chickens, to be more precise. They are sitting in chairs, surrounding a round table, and the one that’s apparently the boss even has a cigar in its… opening. They also don’t talk – they emit the strangest and most repulsive sounds one could imagine while moving in an impossible to describe manner, which makes for the most disgusting scene. Of course for them it is Watashi that’s “yucky”, for humans apparently don’t taste well and the worth of intelligent being is measured by their taste. (Don’t ask…) Watashi remains as calm as always before this bizarre situation. However, she can’t proceed to negotiate since she can’t understand all the gibberish the chickens keep spitting out. But such inability to act doesn’t last long, as the fairy finally gets out of its “dark place”, only to present Watashi with translation glasses. Now, this translation glasses are highly interesting. They translate everything the chickens say, but provide not only a “liberal translation” (who likes those?), it also does blatant censoring, which looks as ridiculous and out-of-place as censoring always does. Moreover, after presenting the product, the fairy demands payment for use of its full functionalities. Once again a familiar sounding strategy that never fails to keep annoying him. Things should either be paid or free. Getting half the product is utterly frustrating.
The best comedy part in here was how Watashi completely ignored the headless chickens’ totally cliché evil proclamation. World domination through control of economy and weapon mass production! Too bad she was too occupied adjusting her glasses to listen to their pumped speech. Not that such a proclamation coming from a bunch of malformed chickens is something to worry too much about, especially when they’re as naïve as to think their plan is completely safeguarded by putting that idiot receptionist in charge of the security.
Either way, as Watashi finally gets the knowledge of their plan, she proceeds to eliminate the threat, taking out a dangerous looking knife, which makes the chickens start swearing, which the glasses hilariously translate as “Fornication!”, “Female dog!”, “Critique!”. That makes our protagonist be halted by her own curiosity, asking the fairy about the glasses and finally realizing the aforementioned censoring feature. The evil beheaded skinned chickens take that chance to enclosure her in a standard jail, from which she seems unable to break free.
Soon enough though, assistance comes from none other than the Assistant, who rushes in, camera in hand, prepared to get the shots of his life. After all, it is not every day you see headless chickens conspiring against humanity, is it? The poor chickens fear political exposure, for it will ruin their goal, and start running around panicking. Yes, press is indeed the biggest enemy of corruption.
The impact of this scene is highly raised by the sound, with the camera making a sound similar to guns and “Ave Maria” taking the scene to a whole new level of epicness.
The Assistant pursues the chickens out of the room, and we see most of them being trapped in their own mass production machinery, giving us useful and amusing chicken bread, chicken T-shirts, chicken toys, etc… Watashi follows him, noticing the jail bars were bended by some mysterious force, which she once again calls the “hand of God”.
The remaining chickens manage to escape, but are cornered at the edge of a cliff. Their fear of such a situation pushes them to suicide, diving off the cliff. The best part is once again Watashi and Assistant’s reaction to it – they once again behave like it was none of their business and simply return to the factory, only to find the receptionist, Watashi’s grandfather and the manager calmly sitting together in a room, from which they couldn’t get out once they entered, due to the door only opening from the outside. There, a most interesting yet rather shocking (at least hard to process) truth is revealed: the fairies technology can apparently create sentient entities, even if they have no means to express their intelligence. That’s actually rather pitiful for the poor beings. The conclusion is then that the factory had been taken over by the fairies own creations, that packed their creator and planned on putting them out of the factory. Once thing worth mentioning here is how the fairies, despite being said to be the dominant species on Earth and having amazing technology (that last one is more than proved by now), seem to be pretty harmless and defenseless beings… That aside, the manager unfortunately got his desired promotion, claiming he’d be creating a dictatorial democracy (one world domination would have been enough, really), which I found rather amusing, yet completely in line with the type of democracy we were shown last episode, which isn’t much different from our real world current system.
Of course one can’t forget the closing scene of the episode, in which the pessimist girl is feeding weed soup to some children, presumably her siblings, at a church, who obviously wanted meat instead (it seems they’re getting weed soup every day – as if it didn’t sound bad enough to just eat it once). At that point, she says they’ll be having weed soup for the rest of their lives “unless it starts raining birds”. Which it did. Beheaded skinned chickens fall right through the stained glass, which make for yet another amazing scene, complete with “Ave Maria” and all. Of course the girl deems it a miracle and attributes it to the workings of God.
However, the one mystery that was solved just before the ED refutes that way of thinking. When Watashi needed her hair brush and this is surprisingly delivered by her own hair, she finally understood what was the “hand of God”. I really loved this pun, for both “God” and “hair” are read “kami”, so she wasn’t exactly wrong after all. After all, if the products the fairies make all have their own intelligence, it was a natural course for her hair to have become a sentient entity as well.
What I think it’s actually yet another interesting point is this whole “God” issue recurring throughout the whole episode. When something unexplainable happens, some people don’t even try to find a proper explanation, completely dismissing the issue and attributing to a higher omnipotent entity. That’s why there are so many people who blindingly follow religious organizations. The thing is, there are almost always logical, practical and (not so) rational explanations, as it is the case. Well, at least the pessimist girl changed her attitude, even if just for this one time.
The second episode didn’t disappoint me, as it delivered the same degree and quality of humor and criticism as the first one, turning Jinrui in my current top title of this season. I’m truly loving it so far and can’t wait for next week.
Note: I’m not trying to offend any religious people. I actually find religious teachings to be (mostly) quite correct when it comes to moral codes. I just can’t agree with linking a moral code to an unknown entity and give It credit for amazing happenings. It’s purely my personal opinion, but there is no doubt that there are indeed those who follow such teachings with no critic attitude whatsoever.