I had not heard of this anime until I was scrolling through options on Crunchyroll in a foreign country while sick, looking for anything interesting. Overall, it isn’t the worst anime ever, but there’s little going for it beyond its underlying themes. This review will spoil themes of The Lost Village. A thriller or horror story with the concept of monsters based off of one’s personal trauma does have potential for deep emotional drama and horrific designs. Despite this, the show fails to deliver on the potential of the concept of Nanaki village, where one must face their trauma in various monstrous forms.
The anime’s message of accepting trauma is heartfelt, stating that one must accept their experiences as part of them to move on, rather than ignoring them and becoming apathetic, running away from them, or cutting them out. It even awknowledfes how difficult such a concept is for some people. Some of the characters are effective, such as the bus driver, but others do not get enough time to be developed in the slightest. Regardless of these positive aspect’s the show’s sound, writing, visual design, and scene pacing all leave the show with no tension, which at worst leaves the viewer apathetic and at best is laughably awful.
When weighing the potential with the overall mediocre execution, in my opinion the show is lukewarm at best in this category.
The cast is far too large for all of their stories and personalities to really stand out in such a short series. Their development could have easily benefited from a longer run time.
The initial mystery of Nanaki village is good, but the show, and particularly the short, and(spoilers) shockingly positive (spoilers end) ending leave it with little of the overall potential of the concept and themeing delivered upon.
The show’s art style isn’t entirely terrible. The backgrounds are usually fine. The characters have distinctive enough designs to stand out from each other in the massive cast. This leaves them mostly unmemorable design-wise. Monster designs are a completely mixed bag. When the viewer is actually allowed to see something creepy, it is either relatively creepy like a giant bee or floating demonic head, or completely ridiculous like giant cg silicon or speedstar’s Nanaki.
The animation itself is pretty dull. Very little visually happens and the dearth of interesting shot compositions leads in part to the show’s lack of tension. Much of the show is characters just talking or arguing with one another. The use of cg is usually pretty noticeable and not particularly well implemented overall. Particularly the bus and some monster designs are egregious in this respect.
There are simply too many characters to have them all be developed properly in a 12 episode show. Some do not have any aspect of their stories, or the monsters associated with them, shown or described in the slightest.
Those who do get time in the spotlight are a pretty mixed bag, with some being darkly believable and others - like getting silicon injected in one’s head to be taller - border on ridiculous. Most characters are fine when they get time to show themselves as deeper than their initial traits, though some - particularly Lovepon - can be rather grating. Even the developed characters could use more time or tighter writing to complete their tales.
The overall cast dynamic does allow for plenty of drama, though it’s a shame the writing failed to deliver on any real tension from said drama.
The cast does house a male yandere at least, so that’s fun.
All of the voice actors do a pretty good job as their characters, and the opening and ending songs are pleasant. Nothing stands out as truly fantastic, and some monster sounds are hilariously bad. The lack of environmental background noise also detracts from the atmosphere and detracts from tension when the show choses to pause. These unnatural silences feel awkward rather than terse.
The anime really is just mediocre. There are certainly worse things one could watch, and the initial mystery does provide a nice hook, but the overall product is lukewarm at best. If you’re intrigued at all by the content you can give it a watch, but there’s more interesting thrillers and horror stories to be viewing both in and out of the medium of anime. It doesn’t particularly succeed at being a funny so bad it’s good comedy either in my experience. It has some hilarious moments but it doesn’t reach the ridiculousness of something like King’s Game. If one is looking for a so bad it’s good humourous anime watch, I’d recommend King’s Game instead.
However, if, like me, it’s available, you have time to kill, and not much else to do, it is a passable and somewhat enjoyable distraction. There is some enjoyment to be had here. Maybe you’ll even get more out of it then I did, either as a serious narrative or a humourous hate watch.
Who cares? No one cares. This show has no meaning. It has no purpose. What would you even classify this show as? It can't possibly be a horror, since nothing horrifying happens. It can't possibly be a suspense show, since the show doesn't even try to create suspense on a basic level. You might classify it as a comedy, if you interpret it's awfulness as a an attempt to create something so unintentionally bad, except here's the plot twist: they did it on purpose!
That's the only argument I ever see that may potentially be the show's saving grace. But you know what I think? They tried too hard to make it bad, that it just ended up being bad. Outrageously bad. Stupendously bad. Ungratifyingly bad. Think of all the proper adjectives to insert in front of "bad," and keep it there, because there's no other word for this show except bad. It's banal, devoid of thought, and by the end, no one cared. The show was so self aware to the point, that it made everyone just not care. It's hard to care for something that doesn't care about itself. So I won't care. Because the show doesn't even want me to care.
Thirty uninteresting and unintelligent strangers meet up at a bus, with a kooky bus driver, y'know, feeling nervuos, singing songs about hippopotimi, whatever you can think of! These strangers are travelling into a far off mysterious and "lost village" (wow, fantastic!) in order to escape from their past lives. So they find the village, sorry for the spoiler about the show called The Lost Village, but they find the village for sure. And then literally nothing happens.
Nothing. Nothing at all. Oh, the show tries to make it seem like something happens, but really, nothing happens. The people go crazy, witch-hunt this girl, people disappear but not really, yadda yadda, Nanaki Nanaki...
If you want to actually know the story, well, this show attempts to be some sort of character study? I don't even know what it wanted to be, but it presented itself as something that wanted to look into the minds of people who are too weak to accept not being able to join the military because of a breast implant inside their head. Except it doesn't. Our main characters sort of gets a resolution, but it happens to fast, you can't even blink by the time they disappear and the show successfully underwent "development" for it's terrible characters.
ANIMATION & SOUND
Character designs are pretty damn ugly. Everyone is so damn skinny, you can use them as swizzle sticks for your fruit baskets. Throughout the show, our main character tries his best to bone with a bunch of girls, but with a design like that? He couldn't even dominate a librarian. It gets a relatively decent grade however, because the CGI for its monsters are so wickedly stupid, it becomes tolerable. Yes, the CGI monsters represent what the show wanted to become.
Soundtrack is nothing special. Opening is okay, ending is pretty boring, soundtrack is pasable...run of the mill soundtrack, but nothing you'd probably look to search for on Soundcloud.
What? Characters? There are characters in this show? Wait, actually, there are thirty of them. Thirty caricatures. These characters are barely characters at all, in fact. There's one character named Lovepon who's only gimmick in the show is to spout out irritating and violent quips about executions. She had a sad past, sure. But the main issue is that she's annoying. That's a helpful description of 90% of the characters in this show. There's one fat guy who's a stereotypical fat guy, who exists only to be a fat guy. There's a slut, who's a stereotypical slut, who exists only to be a slut. Then there's an annoying couple, a deadly annoying chuuni, a kid with some sort of lethal disease, etc, etc., and these characters don't serve any function whatsoever except to occasionaly make extremely stupid and annoying remarks.
These "remarks" are supposedly a part of the comedy. People say that these remarks somehow contrast against the serious tone the show is giving (a serious, monotonous, boring tone), yet I personally don't find it funny when each comedic line is simply the fat guy going "I'm tired I'm tired I'm hungry" any time he gets a pinch of screentime. But of course, comedy is subjective, so if you think watching a sexy girl make sexy remarks during sexy serious scenes is comedic, then this show is right up your alley! I guess.
But these are just the supporting characters. There are a couple of characters...there's a detective lady (who I admit, actually had a couple good lines -- she was one of the few tolerable characters) who behooves herself to feel her love handles everytime she makes an analysis. There's this girl who can predict death...though that's her only trait, otherwise she's a stoic loli. Then there's this businessman kind of guy who keeps shouting and doesn't stop shouting and always shouts cause shouting is healthy and gets your point across this isn't shouting THIS IS SHOUTING.
But, you know what? Most of these characters are all annoying. And no one trumps annoying like our main character, Mitsumune. To be fair, he gets some deal of development, and by the end he's not the most intolerable character (I chalk that up to everyone else becoming more intolerable than him, but I digress), but you'll have to endure the first half of him having no personality whatsoever -- only a weak boy who has orgasmic brainfarts every time a girl walks up to him and even breathes in his presence. And this irritation transcends any sort of development in the second half of the show.
In the end though, the gimmick of these characters going into the village (which if revealed would be a spoiler to the main "twist," if you can call something so obvious a "twist") doesn't amount to anything. The resolution for the characters either hit a dead end, because they end up becoming so lazy (I imagine the writers were channeling themselves through the characters) or the show just doesn't have enough time to give the characters who "deserve" a proper resolution the ending they should have gotten. So nothing changes between the start of the anime and the end. Absolutely nothing. Most of the characters enter the village the same, and come out the same.
This show sucks. It sucks. The characters know whatever world they're in sucks. They don't want to be there, they want to come out desperately. Maybe this show is poetic, somehow? Maybe it's actually a masterpiece of direction -- each brillant scene of characters spewing out pointless line after line is absolutely hysterical, and will have you literally imploding on the floor, laughing your head off because of how amazingly directed it is. Indeed, stupid characters saying stupid things is the sign of a true director. I can only dream to be as artistically envisioned.
...Well, if you find that sort of stuff funny, I won't judge you. Go ahead and spend the next five hours of your life laughing at something that's unintentionally "funny." But I will say that this anime will be forgotten. It will most definitely be forgotten. No one will recommend this anime. No one will even speak of this anime again. It's bad, but it's not bad to the point of becoming a cult classic, like Troll 2. No, this show is just bad. There's no excuse for this show being as bad as it is. So this show will be forgotten. Thrown into the void with other pointlessly pointless anime. Because it's The Lost Village. This anime disappears just like it's village -- which is mindblowingly artistic - but y'know, I'm just not an artsy guy. I can't fully understand how amazingly crafted this show is in it's comedy. But I guarantee you, most people won't either.
You hear that, Mari Okada? You're too smart for us. You're too smart for us, dammit.
And so Mayoiga made History. An unforgettable plot which leads us in a world populated with characters not possesing either true purpose or substance and where "coherence" is banished. Everything is overblown and badly written. The intent of Diomedea (the studio) was to build a mysterious and immersive story based upon social trauma taking shape of an illusion, a very good premise. But it only goes into a non-assumed comedy, ironically worth watching because of that... medley of cliffhangers. Another anime with a huge lack of maturity which appropriates itself the demography "seinen" while it does not respect the codes
There is no more thing to say.
-Story part : 0.5/10
."Pacing" means nothing in this show. Incredible. (0/2)
.A plot without substance. I call this "blank hole". (0/2)
.False complexity, there is no depth. (0/2)
.Regarding Plausibility, I would be able to give -1 here. (0/2)
.A pointless conclusion to a pointless story. (0/2)
.Bonus : Good premise. (0.5/2)
-Animation part : 3.5/10
.Decent production value. Low budget. (1/2)
.Decent visual effects. (1/2)
.A pretty good character design overall (Special mention to Lion and Jack). (1/2)
.Awkward staging because of the omnipotent non-sense. (0/2)
.Uggly background, lack of details. (0.5/2)
-Sound part : 6/10
.High quality sound effects. (2/3)
.Concerning the soundtrack, it's forgettable. (1/3)
.Good voice acting. (2/3)
.Good BGM, atmosphere is almost immersive. (1/1)
-Characters part : 0.5/10
.The switch of character point of view is badly thought. (0/2)
.A mere presence of a collective catharsis (about "fear"), but pointless. (0.5/2)
.Character development is an abstract notion in this show. (0/2)
.Characters personality : Cliche, irrationnal and overblown. (0/2)
.Is there any backdrop here? Yes,Probably in a bucket... (0/2)
-Miscellaneous part ( doesn't count in the notation ) : 1/10
.Best Rewatchability ever. (0/3)
.Disappointing OP and ED. (0/1)
.Enjoyment is almost here !! It'll stay in my memories !!! I give 1 point !!! (1/6)
OVERALL : 2.5/10
*Let’s start with the overall set-up of Mayoiga because that was something that I found to be really interesting. The concept of people having psychological scares and them trying to get over them is always successful in gathering my interest. As I said multiple times before on other reviews: I love psychological anime’s and Mayoiga used that to its fullest advantage. It’s also something that we can extrapolate to real life, everyone has their scars. Everyone has their things that happened in the past that they would rather forget about. And seeing anime characters trying to get over their scars maybe makes you think about your scars as well.
For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page.
*Related to the previous point are the backstories. The backstories were pretty fucking sad. In my opinion especially those of Lion and the main character Mitsumune. Now the fact that we also got backstories for a big part of the characters was to be expected since that’s vital for a psychological mystery anime that Mayoiga was. I also did have some problems with the backstories which I will get to in a minute.
*My final positive point was the conclusion of Masaki’s story. The truth about who Reiji really is, is something that I didn’t expect. Now I can’t go into too much detail about who Reiji is since that’s something that you only discover later in the anime. But that truth was a welcome surprise.
Now if you have been following the episodical reviews of Mayoiga than you know that this anime wasn’t very popular and by many it was portrayed as trash. And that was because Mayoiga had some issues.
*The first issue, and also the most distinguished feature of Mayoiga, were the characters. 30 characters was too much for this anime. Now I personally didn’t have a problem with 30 characters but the mistake that Mayoiga made was that it tried to make all of those characters equally important. And that was way too much.
For starters, our 2 supposedly main characters Mitsumune and Masaki didn’t really feel as main characters, especially Mitsumune. The time that was spent on them wasn't proportionally bigger then the time spent on other characters. Characters like Valkana and Hayato were treated equally important with the same amount of screen time. Mayoiga would have better off by leaving at least 20 of those 30 characters as screen filling. It would have been okay for them to be there but without names or purposes in the anime, just as screen filling.
*And this also created the problem of time distribution between the characters. Some characters from the first halve of the anime like for instance Lovepon get a backstory but slowly and silently disappear in the second halve. And the opposite happened as well, in the second part of the anime we have for instance Nanko who plays an important role in reaching the final conclusion. But from her we know nothing, no backstory what so ever while for characters like Lion and Jigoku we do get one but they’re not important to the main storyline.
*So overall I can actually summarize Mayoiga’s story as a mess. There was just so many things going on at the same time that it sometimes was really hard to follow. There were too many supplementary things thrown into the story that delivered no extra meaning to the main storyline or the main mystery of Nanaki. Would the anime have been better if, like some suggested, characters would have died, evolving Mayoiga into a survival anime? Maybe yes but I see the way that the creators wanted to take Mayoiga. Unfortunately, the path was way too complicated.
So as a conclusion, do I think that Mayoiga is trash like a lot of people think? No, not really. I have seen anime’s that bored the hell out of me and Mayoiga wasn’t that boring. Although being very confusing at times, I remained interested in what was to come and how everything would turn out. And that’s why I’m going to rate Mayoiga at 3 stars. This series had a lot of potential but unfortunately a lot of went to waste with the overabundance of characters.
UPDATE 6/10: I am going to wait until the series is finished and I rewatch it all at once to put up my new final review. Honestly, I think this is a good watch, but I think it would be more enjoyable if I wasn't waiting a week between episodes. Stories tend to lose momentum when told in small portions over a long period of time which is why I prefer to watch finished animes. I just have a hard time waiting till the end of the season to watch, so I just watch as it comes out and then rewatch later if I feel like it. What I am trying to say is, I think it's too early to pass any judgements. There were episodes that started to feel slow, but I think if watched one right after the other, instead of watching one episode, then 5 other animes, then another episode, might make those slower episodes feel less slow. Like they say, an object in motion tends to stay in motion. An object at rest tends to stay at rest. Now that I typed that, I think it might not be the right saying I wanted for this. Oh well.
So far, it's an interesting anime. It got a little iffy for a while, but it picked itself back up. I was a little nervous that it might crash and burn during some of the slower episodes, but I think it will be okay. It turned out a bit differently than I expected when watching the first few episodes.
ORIGINAL REVIEW: So far there are only two episodes but it seems promising. It starts out rather oddly on a bus "tour" which isn't exactly a tour. All the characters are introduced quickly which is somewhat common in this type of anime but since I'm sure several of them won't last long anyway, it doesn't matter. The first episode takes place almost entirely on a bus and it has that feel of a big school trip where you actually get a tour bus not a regular old stinky yellow school bus, although the main topic certainly isn't what you would likely discuss on a school trip. Basically most of the characters want to leave their old life behind and start new in this villiage isolated from the rest of society. A few have other various reasons or at least they say they do.
The plan seems poorly thought out but then again that's what makes it sort of believable to me. I can see people doing this. Then again I have little faith in humanity.
They don't know if anyone is living in this village. They assume there are others that went missing before and built this village but they don't know for sure. They didn't bring much from their previous life or supplies but then again most of them are rather young and at least some are rather naive. Still, the show has potential and I was pretty much glued to the screen the whole time.