A bus full of eccentric individuals is headed towards the urban legend known as Nanaki Village, a place where one can supposedly start over and live a perfect life. While many have different ideas of why the village cannot be found on any map, or why even the police cannot pinpoint its location, they each look forward to their new lives and just what awaits them once they reach their destination.
After a few mishaps, they successfully arrive at Nanaki Village only to find it completely abandoned. Judging from the state of disrepair, it has been vacant for at least a year. However, secrets are soon revealed as some of the group begin to go missing while exploring the village and amidst the confusion, they find bloody claw marks in a forest. As mistrust and in-fighting break out, will they ever be able to figure out the truth behind this lost village?
In the midst of all of the decent shows that have come out this season, a peculiar one has piqued my interest. This is of course a very special show, often described as being "intentionally unintentionally funny" by the people who know fuckall about what they are talking about. So why is this show so intentionally unintentionally funny? It isn't. Mayoiga is a show that had some of the worst writing I've ever seen and it seems to have picked up on that fact, albeit a little bit too late. What people seem to be missing is that when a show makes itself looks ridiculous and ends up being a mess, its' genres do not change by default as well. "Erased was never a mystery hurr durr". Enter: Teenage Angst, the series.
The story isn't actually that bad on paper. It's cliché as hell but doesn't seem like something that can ruin a series all on its own. The most important factor here is the execution and you can probably guess that it's not so great. Mayoiga is a story about 30 social misfits and takes place in Nanakimura village, a village rumored to be a safe haven from society, where people who want to escape from reality go to. So being the bright little crew they are, our cast makes an ingenious idea to organize a bus tour in order to leave their previous lives behind and start anew!
First and foremost, who thought it would be a good idea to have a cast of 30 characters within a 12 episode anime? That is literally spelling out disaster, no matter the execution. Short series usually have trouble with fleshing out the handful of people that make the main cast, but Mayoiga decided to take it to an entire new level like it was no big deal. You can only imagine how much the story as well as the characters suffer from this. 90% of them don't even get a backstory, and those who do get a 5 minute exaggeration of something terrible that happened in their lives.
With the premise and setting giving out so many horror vibes, as well as it having the same production crew that worked on Another, I had obviously jumped to the conclusion that this is a horror series. At least that's an efficient way to cut down a considerable portion of the cast, right? To my great disappointment, I was completely wrong. There is a single "death" to start the show off but other than that, it fails to deliver. I was at least going in with expectations that it'll be a fun and stupid ride like Another was, but ended up being thoroughly disappointed.
Being a good psychological series is practically impossible when every single character in your cast is borderline insane and / or delusional with very few exceptions. None of them act like normal human beings to begin with and their stories are exaggerated in the worst ways possible, trying as hard as they can to victimize them and justify their insane mindset, which is frankly impossible. The mystery is nonsensical and completely relies on the supernatural, which is a flaw in itself.
The lowest of the low. This is easily some of the worst characterization that I have seen in my entire life. Not only are over half of the characters completely useless, but they also lack any sort of rationality and common sense to add onto it. They are as deep as a puddle to put it lightly. Needless to say, there is absolutely 0 chemistry between any of them and the drama feels so incredibly forced, as they are shown to argue over the most trivial of things imaginable. Like in one of the highlights of the show where a character randomly decides to want to STAB another character because he didn't like his name. Just your everyday stuff.
Our protagonist is the spinning image of a goody two shoes, as he wants to help everyone and everything around him. I'm not sure how he managed to maintain this overly-positive outlook on life but it makes him one of the most annoying protagonists in the entire medium and somewhere along the way you end up wanting him to die a horrible death. Not to mention how oblivious he is to virtually everything around him, which sometimes really made me question how he has retained being a functioning member of society for the past 17 years.
Masaki: I need to go to the bathroom
Mitsumune: Do you want me to go with you?
No one else is really worth mentioning, although I do briefly want to touch upon something that impressed me. This series managed to make the most stereotypical fat guy that I have ever seen in my life. I'm not even exaggerating, all he does during the entirety of the series is either eat potato chips, tell us that he's tired or he just falls asleep and that is all there is to his character. Hats off to you, Mayoiga. We have truly hit rock bottom with this one.
Art / Animation
The art is very subpar and lacking in a lot of instances. It is bland in the worst way possible which you can probably gather by looking at Mitsumune's face for a solid 3 seconds or so. If I had to compare the style to something, it would definitely be to Another. The only difference being in the fact that Another had very saturated backgrounds and visuals to help enhance the theme and atmosphere of the show, while Mayoiga doesn't really have anything. As for the animation, it definitely reaches its peak about halfway through when they start showing us these giant CGI monsters. My personal favorite was the one-eyed furby penguin.
This isn't something I have ever payed much thought nor attention to before, but I feel like it needs to be addressed for this specific case. The utilization of the sound effects is legitimately some of the worst that I have ever witnessed in any sort of media. In particular, there is this sound effect that sounds like bones breaking and it is used way too often for things it shouldn't be. The opening is your typical J-pop kyaa uguu song and the ending isn't spectacular either. Mitsumune's seiyuu made me want to slit my throat multiple times during the duration of the series so I can at least vouch that it made an impression. OST is forgettable and misplaced in most instances, which makes me take it even less seriously than before, if that's even possible. Warui hippopotamusuuu, rururu ruru ru.
To quote a good friend, "It will be performed as an opera on the holodecks of the ships that disperse us into the highest of heavens. It all began... here. In this place, in this time, NOW. We were really all just clothed monkeys until Mayoiga allowed us to transcend our animalism. I shall sing its praises to all that shall come forth and be enlightened." With all of that being said, from a critical standpoint Mayoiga is just a complete and utter turd, give or take. It starts off as a bad series and devolves into something so horrid that not even the worst of plebs would dare poke with a 5-meter stick. So with your health in mind, even if you have some kind of morbid curiosity or are just an extreme masochist, this title should be proceeded with the utmost caution. read more
Watching Mayoiga is like opening a surprise package and finding out it's something you so fiercely hate, thus transitioning your expectations into a decaying death. The premise itself is interesting, and there's a sense of an odd feeling of triumph at the beginning because as rarely as it comes, to see a pure original 'lost somewhere' flick is definitely something you can look forward to with excessive hype and such was the case with myself. As a matter of fact, before the spring season began, I had Mayoiga at the top of my most anticipated shows list. But Mayoiga, or rather Trainwre- I mean... The Lost Village, turns out as a complete disaster.
Mayoiga begins with a bunch of ragtags together inside a bus heading towards a peculiar place known only as the Nanaki Village. The similarity between all the people, thirty to be precise, is that each and every one of them had a traumatic past of which they were all desperate to escape from. Nanaki Village is a place that is not on the map and no one knows about it, and no one can pin-point the location of the place. Nanaki Village doesn't exist. That is until a mysterious group known as "It's Super Genesis" or "ISG" for short discovers the exact location of Nanaki Village. Various online users who make it through layers of protection of the ISG website, take part in this tour which is branded as the "Start Life Over" tour where people are seeking a world free of hassle and trying to relive their lives, escaping the reality. The irony in the story lies in the fact that "changing your lives" is something the adults should be doing, not a group of teenagers who have barely lived.
A whopping thirty characters could all be in theory, regarded as our protagonists. But we all know that's not bound to happen in a show which consists of just twelve episodes. And that brings us to Mitsumune, the main character in which the show mostly revolves around and has the spotlight. For one, there is nothing that separates Mitsumune from the other thousands of generic main guys there are. He is shy, pathetic and single-minded who has a positive outlook no matter what happens. He is also very disloyal, so much so that he gives up on his best friend, who also joins him on the tour by the way, for a girl he met in the tour! Looking at Mitsumune makes you wonder why would such a phony guy even join on this tour? There's a backstory to him which is just as miserly as the show itself. As I said before, the first episode starts off with the tour organizer, Dahara, stating that only the people with gifted talent could ever break through the layers of their website and join the tour, which also makes you think as to how someone as dense as Mitsumune could have done that all by himself? Mayoiga is full of contradictions such as this.
The rest of the characters are up to no good as well. A majority of them merely exist for plot conveniences, and that includes Mitsumune at times too, and have little to no in-depth characterization. Probably a few of them worth mentioning are Masaki, the mysterious girl to whom Mitsumune falls for. She plays a big role as the show progresses, but there are little traits to her character worth explaining. She's basically used as the embodiment of the emotional trope and is a pretty one-dimensional character. Hayato who goes by the pseudonym Speedstar, is a good friend of Mitsumune's. He acts as the support for Mitsumune and helps him out whenever he is in need. Speedstar is more suited to be the show's protagonist in my opinion as he's displayed as someone who has a strong willpower and personality. He undergoes a terrible characterization later on however which was a waste. A few characters act as a sidekick like Valkana, who is shown as a very angry man. Koharun, who is the one responsible for locating the Nanaki Village and Lovepon, who is probably the craziest in my opinion. All she ever talks is about executing and is a good example of a literal cardboard-cut "yandere" trope character. However, there's a backstory on her which was quite captivating and displayed the struggles she goes through as a kid. It's depressing since the show doesn't do justice at all to the backstory as she's used for mere conveniences by taking on a more active role in the coming episodes saying the exact same thing over and over again.
It's such a shame because Mayoiga has well-designed characters for an original show. The art isn't anything significant and is nothing but generic, but it doesn't necessarily mean bad. The characters and the backgrounds are drawn simple and not too exaggerated which helps the viewers settle in very quickly. But for the most part, there is a visible decline in the art and a good example of this are the first two episodes. The pilot episode has nice visuals but there are times when it goes downhill from there in the coming episodes. The CGI effects used later on suck for the most part. One of the main reasons being the totally absurd "Monsters" but yet there are moments where the characters are shown alongside the CGI-designed creatures and it all feels very underwhelming. The visuals for the opening/ending songs respectively are kept very minimal where they focus on merely introducing the characters. The ending especially only uses the faces of the characters in them with different characters in the next episode ending than the previous. Overall I have to say the art is pretty mediocre.
The sound aspect of Mayoiga is once again a mixed bag. On one hand: Fantastic opening and ending song, A few good soundtracks in between which play by the mood and the atmosphere etc. And then there is this task of voicing over two dozens of characters. Honestly, many of the characters' voices are done terribly and seemingly by amateurs in the industry. And it comes as no surprise for an anime which was supported by crowdfunding, to have budget issues and made by a small time studio. Many of the characters are played by the newer personnel or ones with little experience in voice acting and that is so very evident in Mayoiga.
Mayoiga is at times so insane that it matches the contemporaries of those anime which are so bad that they're good. It's a common expectation that with such a huge amount of cast, many will be put off to death soon and that does seem to be happening until it takes a completely different route. It's tough to tell after a few episodes if this is truly a mystery show, psychological drama or a satirical comedy. Mayoiga doesn't rely on gore to put off the viewers and be 'edgy'. But instead it uses hysterically pretentious philosophical dialogues and awful plot twists which literally does the trick and puts off everyone watching it and can be deemed as cringe-worthy. At this point I'm just gonna say avoid Mayoiga at all costs. It's an utter waste of time and nothing good will ever come out watching it. I'd also like to mention that this is the worst anime I've ever seen. read more
Mayoiga (The Lost Village) is a really strange series and to watch it, you’ll really need to do it with some attention or an open mind. I can’t remember the last time I watched a show with such amount of absurdity, to a point where I feel just as lost as the characters in the story. Directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (Shirobako, Girls und Panzer), the series takes the genre of mystery but what you expect isn’t what you’ll likely get. And in many ways, Mayoiga sends a wrong message that makes the show look like a borderline comedy.
As an original series, the premise itself sounds interesting. Think about it. You have a group of characters each with their own personalities but all end up in the same place, a village named Nanakimura. It invites a lot of questions about what takes place and the discoveries they’ll make. Those who have seen series such as Another, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, and Ghost Hound may be in for a treat. On paper, the show looks intriguing. However, the first episode gave me a mixed impression especially when it introduces 30 characters. What goes on my mind is: how on Earth do they plan to give characterization with this many people? The show is also only 1 cour so my expectations was rather dense about how much they can focus on the story as well.
Essentially, the show is pretty much about a group of characters being lost in a remote location after being dropped off by the bus driver. The setting (Lost Village) invites a lot of attention because by plot formulaic standards, there’s bound for a lot to happen. It’s not strange in the sense that everyone on this trip gets lost but why they are there. And it also sets up developments related to survival, trust issues, and possibly even death. The show already establishes a few given ideas though – being that no one really knows why they’re there, what’s at the village, or how to get back. There’s a lot of diverse personalities all mixed in at once if we take at the characters individually. Their common goal of course is to get the hell away from there as fast as possible.
On paper, there’s 30 characters but the series does manage to show some background stories for some of the more prominent individuals. Besides Mitsumune, we also get some storytelling about Hayato (Mitsumune’s best friend), Valkana (a man that is trying to build a new life from his previous job), Lovepon (a girl obsessed with execution), Nyanta (a kid with fondness with guns), the mysterious Masaki with connections with the bus driver, and among others. While their background stories doesn’t have direct connections to the main story, it does identify their characteristics. And that’s an important part of the show. The characters in this series needs to know who each other are to build trust. In a place of unknown, the last thing they need is betrayal or turmoil between each other. The show only does a moderate job at crafting relationships because quite honestly, there’s just too many characters to work around with. In retrospect, most of the character relationships are based more on how much they want to know about each other.
After seeing a fair amount of episodes, I find it hard to understand the purpose of the show. Yes, it’s supposed to be a thriller but a lot of times, I find it rather amusing with the amount of superstitious events that occurs in the series. Perhaps it’s surreal comedy? Who knows but some of events going on are rather unbelievable. In addition, the story feels more like a skit where the characters are there for entertainment. Their established personalities become more and more evident as each episodes ventures on. At some point, I have to wonder if it series is trying to be unintentionally funny or not. For instance, the show at one point decided to actually make Lovepon into a prominent character for the viewers to take seriously despite her behavior being borderline insane. It’s definitely not scary if that’s the original purpose because just how ridiculous it has been. The first two episodes actually makes the series somewhat compelling because of the way it sets everything up. However, the amount of absurdity that builds up more and more and later feels just like popcorn comedy.
While the artwork isn’t great, it isn’t bad either. It’s more like somewhere between the middle where it’s acceptable. The setting does have a genuine feeling of horror with its eerie atmosphere. Character designs aren’t impressive but they are fresh enough to show that each individual has some unique trait. The fun part about the show is the character expressions as we see how they react to certain situations. Lovepon is the gold standard for this while there are times when see others behave in ways that are laughable.
Soundtrack on most part works for the show. It works in the way that it portrays the atmospheric setting well. The OP and ED theme songs aren’t very impressive but the OST has the general idea of giving mystery vibes. Character voice mannerism actually deserves some praise especially with the female characters because of how they react. Meanwhile, the show also crafts some dramatic scenery accompanied by the choreography of intense music at times.
“What did I just watch?” You’ll probably ask yourself that question more times than you can count by the time this show is over. Make no mistake, Mayoiga is more about entertainment than an intriguing mystery or horror story. It has the general premise but it hardly delivers at what it tries to do. There’s also a lack of sorrow felt during the show despite some key staff involved and writing. So what is Mayoiga really? Is it a show that is “so bad, it’s good”? Well to me, it’s more of a “I’m so lost”. read more
It was like watching a train wreck, so bad, however so appealing to watch that you can't look away.
Escapism is a major part of the story. Each of the 30 characters want to start their lives over again because of a troubling past. Now don't get me wrong, Mayoiga had, has a very interesting concept, plot, and story however I felt like it wasn't able to execute (get the pun) important things like dramatic scenes and capturing realistic emotions very well. The story and plot felt a bit too cliche, predictable, and badly written to the point where I don't even want to go back and re-watch it. The plot for each episode undoubtedly displayed more faults than corrections. Now ordinarily when I'm watching a show, it doesn't have to be too good nor too bad. As long as a show is unique, promising, and delivers great things then I'm okay with it. Unfortunately this was just not the case with The lost village. An entire episode of Mayoiga can be slow and very unbalanced in terms of what elements to the story are being used. So at the beginning of an episode I'll notice that drama will start, then some sort of action, later horror, then back to drama, the direction certain episodes would go in were just too complex. The so called “horror” is unfortunately not Mayoiga's strength. If anything dramatic and bizarre conclusions to an episode would be.
Some episodes you expect to see certain issues & concerns resolved however they are not looked into further. Yeah, they'll show a character who drowned and another who fell off a mountain or cliff however none of that is explained any further. The other characters quickly forget about those people who appeared to have met some sort of grim fate. I understand that there was an attempt made to keep a mystery flow to the lost village however for the most Part I didn't feel like it was working out properly.
How the producers tried to go about it made it look & feel unnatural, as if they were trying a bit too hard... well maybe not with the setting. I'll admit fog and the woods does make for an overused, yet satisfy place for events like these to occur. With regard to the characters back stories, I really disliked how long it took for me to get a proper introduction to each of their traumatic pasts. I felt like if back-stories were introduced during the earlier episodes and not midway maybe I could establish some sort of personal connection and really get to like the characters, I'll explain further down below. Out of the very few things that I did admire about the show was that every time an episode was ending it would always end with something completely insane or bizarre that would get me excited to watch the next episode.
In fact, the #1 reason why I continued to go on with this show is because of that! I love the build up! I would say that it is in fact very intense. So intense that I would just be questions to myself and with others what could we see happen on the next episode. Dialogue was another issue I had however I think I'll discuss more about this a bit later. I thought the story was alright, not the best, however it was still tolerable and decent enough to be engaging.
My biggest disappointment with the show had to be the cast of characters. In my opinion, all the characters were too plain. Their back stories, personalities, actions, I just could not establish a connection to any of the characters and that really made tension and other moments pleasurable to me. I'm not going to get exciting when some homosexual shooting arrows at people arrives. I'm not going to freak out when every character thinks that the adorable Masaki is a ghost. 30 characters, Thirty! Each with different personalities and trauma, after the show was finished I had no favorites, no characters that I really liked, none that I could really understand it was such an unpleasant experience seeing the characters interact. A majority of the time it was like watching a bunch of clueless children. I honestly, and for the first time in quite a long time and I mean almost 2 years times, I've watched a show where I didn't like any of the characters. Moving on, I felt like a majority of the characters were effortlessly written. By that I mean it was as if the team working on each episode didn't take their time to give most characters interesting characteristics. It was like all the group did was put a bunch of index cards with personalities written in a bag, shook it, pulled one out and said “Okay, we have drawn crazy” lets add a crazy personality to Love-pon, that's all. Each character acts according to certain archetype like dandere for Lion, or Nanko, nadeshiko for Masaki, genki for Nyanta etc. Characters did have the potential to be greater however. From what I saw, their actions, interactions, developments, I was not too impressed. I do not think it is possible for me to come back to this show just to see certain characters or relive special moments.
Animation was really good. The special effects used to represent some characters fears or traumatizing life experiences looked both hilarious and amazing to a certain degree. I did notice that there were some animation problems, in particular I mean the moment in one episode where there are two Koharun's visible. Character designs were certainly interesting too. I admired the fact that no two characters looked alike. The animators made great use of CGI and 3D for silicone boob monster and other various things (I actually couldn't tell because that sort of animation was used during night settings.) Background settings looked pretty nice. I mentioned earlier that the main setting, fog, woods, mountains, etc(although cliche) works well with the stories plot because what better place to get away from all your troubles and start over again than an abandoned village out in the middle of boonies.
For the most part I liked the soundtrack. The background music, the dramatic music worked pretty well when something strange, dramatic, or supernatural was occurring. The sound sort of helped add fear to the already hilarious joke of a “horror” show however, as stated earlier, they tried too hard. Music was quickly drowned out by the exaggerated screams and yells of characters in fear. Rule opening & ED songs were pretty great! I had no issues with Em' Sound effects held up pretty well, and everything else in general was good.
At times however the biggest enjoyment comes from the well executed (PUNS PUNS PUNS!!!) plot twist/bizarre endings of each episode. In all honesty, that was the biggest reason I had to finish this show. The directors knew, they knew that they were going to have a difficult time keeping things interesting for fans, so they purposely added the bizarre endings and twist just to keep fans like me coming back every week, Clever bastards. That aside, I don't really don't think this was Mari Okada best work compared to other projects she's worked on.
Overall Mayoiga has its issues and it just didn't have the lasting appealing for me. I won't think to myself a year later “Hmmm what was the name of that show where a bunch of people go on a crazy start life all over again trip?”read more
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