Greetings everyone, and welcome to another review! Today’s review is sort of special, as it was a requested review. As that is the case, we will still be giving our honest opinions. The anime in question is The Lost Village, or Mayoiga in Japan, and one that aired fairly recently. As always, beware of minor SPOILERS!
Now without further ado, let us begin the review!
Summary: A group of 30 young men and women go on a bus tour to Nanaki Village, a shadowy village with an urban legend of being a utopia. Many seek either to start a new life or escape the troubles of their old one. Upon arrival, they discover the village has no inhabitants, with small signs of life that are slowly deteriorating. The truth of Nanaki Village has yet to be discovered. -Wikipedia
Mayoiga is a bit confusing, to say the least. The beginning has terrible pacing, being extremely drawn out in an effort to build tension. The end is not so much rushed as it is forced, as it isn’t consistent with the earlier pacing. Besides terrible pacing, the show also has too many plot twist moments, making them feel overdone and not really surprising. The entire basis of the Nanaki Village does not really make clear sense, and like most of the plot aspect, is really forced more than organically interwoven into the plot. The show does get some parts right, such as having developed backstories for the more important characters. However, the flaws are pretty apparent early on.
There is a wide cast of characters in Mayoiga, which tends to be detrimental to the series. Most of the characters don’t really get explored. This makes them feel expendable or just that the entire show is cluttered. The more heavily developed characters are done well enough, though they do have a tendency to behave out of character from time to time. As previously mentioned, their backstories, while frequently tragic, are surprisingly good.
The animation overall is solid, nothing really special or of extreme note.
The show puts a lot of work into the atmosphere and mood, and soundtrack is always important to that. Mayoiga is back and forth on the success of its soundtrack, sometimes it is used very well and other times kills the mood. The opening and ending are not impressive, however.
Mayoiga does actually explore some important themes. The show heavily explores suffering, and what people define as suffering. For example, what someone might consider not a big deal might be someone else’s worst nightmare. Yet, it does not down play what may seem like minor misfortunes. The anime also drives home that accepting the suffering of your past is important, as it is still part of who you are. Other good themes include friendship and honesty. The issue is that these themes tend to get glazed over by all the other things happening in the anime.
Final Score: 7.0/10
Final Rating: C
Watching The Lost Village gave me one prevailing thought: This show is weird. Like seriously weird. Like basketball time bomb, song about an unfortunate hippo weird. Is it a bad kind of weird? I wouldn’t say that, but let’s get into it more. First off, the premise, while an admittedly interesting idea, was rather strangely executed and has some little plot holes in it. It focuses on a very large cast of characters, all of which are quickly introduced in the first episode (to varying degrees). The characters were a mixed bag for me. They went from okay (like Mitsumune and Masaki) to actually really interesting (I seriously liked Nanko), to WILL YOU EVER STOP TALKING LOVE-PON! I admire their ambition to have so many characters, but the way they decided to include everyone in the story was rather confusing and detrimental. Many of the episodes felt like they only had one or two events actually happen, with the rest of the time being spent watching each character talk/argue about it. It really feels like they could have fleshed out the actual story or had better world building instead of having really long arguments over which action to take. It really goes for mystery in its story, which translates to really confusing moments and plot twist after plot twist after plot twist. This is where the show actually really shines in its own special way. These twists and developments are pretty over the top, and were honestly fun to watch. Each cliffhanger immediately made me watch the next episode, just because I wanted to see what crazy stuff would happen next. It wasn’t exactly unsettling or mysterious, but it certainly had me interested. I would like to note the interesting case with the soundtrack. I felt the music itself was pretty cool and varied, however I can’t help but feel like there were multiple scenes where the music did not fit the emotions presented. The themes presented weren’t groundbreaking, and the confusing story execution kind of lessened their emotional weight, but I felt there were some good moments relating to them. While the characters themselves were a mixed bag, their backstories were all pretty good in my eyes. While the ending had moments that left me shaking my head for reasons I won’t spoil, I thought it was, again, pretty interesting. So yeah, I wouldn’t say The Lost Village is a great show. It’s very flawed, kind of a mess at times, and there are definitely better shows with large casts (like Angel Beats, which this show actually reminds me of in multiple ways). However, I still enjoyed watching it, and I can definitely say that there were some good moments. Give it a shot if you’re in the mood for something that’s a bit off-center.
Final Comments: The anime The Lost Village tries to do a lot with its few episodes, which makes it feel cluttered and forced at most turns. Its few saving graces include decent themes and semi-interesting character backgrounds.
Thank you all for reading! What did you think of The Lost Village? Be sure to comment below, we will always reply to comments. Be sure to join us for next review of Girls Und Panzer, and the return of B-Ro!