Throughout Jinrui, Watashi’s grandfather has been shown to have been rather apathetic towards Watashi. He assigned her missions when he was feeling lazy and punished her if she messed up. I don’t really remember him complimenting her on a job well done, nor do I actually remember him showing much affection towards her.
Prior to episode nine, there were two incidents I can think of where he supposedly showed he cared.
- When Watashi got her hair cut, the grandfather asked the haircutter to not shave everything of because he felt sorry for her.
- The second was when he gave Watashi that sun-dial watch.
Even though the above two incidents sort of showcased a softer side of the grandfather, it isn’t hard to think that the first act of kindness was just an act of pity and the second a practical deed. This ambiguity meant that while we might have assumed that the grandfather loved Watashi (a fair assumption given that they are family), he hadn’t actually done anything to give our assumption substantial weight.
Then episode 9 came and after showcasing some very amusing scenes about the rise and fall of civilizations, it ended on a very interesting exchange.
Grandpa does not like admitting he was worried. He really likes to keep up his “I don’t care” persona.
Her grandfather is not angry. He is not ashamed. No, he was just worried. She isn’t going to be punished, but any possible relief over that is dwarfed out by the realization that her departure made someone worry about her.
Her grandfather did not call her a child out of spite or because she is immature. He called her a child out of affection. His eyes, despite being the cynical, clouded eyes of an apathetic playboy, still saw her as his little darling. Watashi clearly recognized this.
Maybe it was the voice, or perhaps it was even his body language, but she definitely sensed something different. I would go so far as to argue that the camera purposefully showed Watashi and nothing of her grandfather. Only Watashi could see him. For all we know, he could have had tears rolling down his face.
I love the above screencap. Not only does it show a lovely knock of love, it shows a very nice,serene expression on Watashi’s face. Watashi is sad she made her grandfather worry, but at the same time, she is happy. She is happy that she is loved, happy that someone worried about her and happy to be finally going home.
Watashi was a Queen. She had everything this episode, but I don’t think she felt truly happy until she went home with her grandfather and assistant.
Jinrui is a complex anime. Many people have written long posts on the various themes and ideas that this anime has attempted to explore. I like to think that hidden beneath the bulky social commentary, the abundant comedy and vast variety of faces and masks is a little parchment of paper that reads: Humanity may have declined, but we will always be capable of love.
Thanks for reading.