I’m back with another impressions video/article. This time over one of the weirdest beasts of this season, The Lost Village, aka Mayoiga. As is usual, I transcribed the video below it in case watching the video isn’t an option.
Every now and then there comes a series that despite or maybe even in spite of its relative lack of overall quality, the show is still entertaining as all hell. The Lost Village, aka Mayoiga, is quite honestly the best worst show I’ve seen in quite some time. What I mean is it is firmly in that realm of “so bad that it’s good”. That entertaining kind of badness. You know, the kind of feeling watching an M. Night Shyamalan film fills you with.
The Lost Village follows a group of 30 young men and women going on a bus tour to a mysterious hidden village where they would get a new lease on life. Of course with a cast of this insane size, good god damn luck memorizing all of their names and their “unique character traits” without some assistance. This is further complicated by the fact that all of the characters are using their online handles, so they aren’t even using their real names, meaning that when any of them do have their real names revealed, it adds even more confusion. The cherry on top is that the majority of the cast have barely had their names stated outside of the first episode. Some characters even go an episode or two without ever being mentioned and unless you intentionally seek them out on screen, they might as well not even show up for a few episodes.
I personally needed someone posting a graphic featuring all of the characters with their respective names and ages, and even that did little to help me remember exactly who many of these characters were. I had to rewatch the lengthy scene in the first episode where they all introduced themselves to remember what the gimmick for like half of the cast even was. For example, because they pretty much never say the names of the three women called Yuuna, Yuuno, and Yuune, I just flat out forgot that the main gimmick for these three is that they all used the same online name of Yuuna. I only remember the one who got to keep the name Yuuna because they gave her a secondary trait that was easy to remember. That trait being that she’s a self-admitted feminist, but because they don’t say her name often enough I was internally calling her the Megane Feminist, simply due to her wearing glasses and being a feminist.
Another thing that doesn’t make it easy to remember some of the characters is that a few of them share somewhat similar designs, such as the characters Speedstar and Mikage and the characters Maimai, Nettaiya, and Koharun. Obviously when you put these characters together you can tell they don’t look the same, but that’s kind of the problem. Often these characters aren’t placed side by side or even near each other, which when coupled with how easy it is to forget character names and traits, it does make it easy to mix these characters up.
The Lost Village would be much better off with even just half the number of characters it has. Thankfully we might be in luck in that particular area as not only is the show’s writer Mari Okada, who has been known to off characters from time to time, the show’s director is Tsutomu Mizushima. His name may not ring any bells, but the dude does have past history handling ultra violent shows not afraid to kill off large swaths of people in extremely gruesome manners. This is, after all, the guy who also directed Another and Blood-C, two shows often recommended to people simply for their gore factor. So it is quite possible that the herd will be thinned out over time. Plus it already feels like the show is slowly building up a core group of characters it wants to spend most of its focus on.
Interestingly enough, watching The Lost Village does from time to time remind me of watching Another. Obviously not in terms of gruesome character deaths. That is something that still has to come. Rather I mean in that both shows feel like watching campy 70's or 80's B-horror films. What I mean is that the events happening on the screen are played serious, but you just can’t take them seriously. Often because of stupid out of place lines the characters say. For example, when discussing the possibility of there being a killer man-eating bear in the area around the village and what to do when a bear attacks, the survivalist member of the group named Jigoku says to sacrifice your arms and legs to save yourself. Nettaiya, the resident airhead sexpot just randomly says that her legs are her best feature while she bends down to rub them.
Then there is Lovepon. Lovepon is love. Lovepon is life. She has a, let’s just say enthusiastic, love for all things execution, often calling for the execution of anyone and everyone who does anything she views as wrong. Lovepon is the best character in this show and is the main reason to watch The Lost Village. If you don’t agree with this, I will find you. I will hunt you down and I will...*ahem* sorry. Overreacted there a bit. Everyone is, after all, entitled to their right to be unquestionably wrong. Besides, who else could possibly be given the title of best character in this show? Mitsumune, the main character? Please. Mitsumune is the most basic of basic bitches and is actually one of the potential reasons to avoid this show.
He goes around trying to white knight for damn near everyone the rest of the group gangs up on, which probably wouldn’t be a bad thing in and of itself if he also didn’t spend a crap load of time just being the pure physical embodiment of punchable annoyance. He also talks about how the reason he is going to the village is to escape from his controlling parents, yet he bends to pretty much every command from Speedstar, his so called “friend”. I honestly kind of feel bad for Masaki, a girl who Mitsumune often stands up for unquestionably even in illogical situations. She finally managed to somehow escape the insane people at the Kawai Complex only to run into this thirsty son of a bitch. The dude isn’t even really trying to hide it at this point. Everyone, both the audience and the rest of the cast basically know Mitsumune wants to hit that, and not in the way the rest of us want to hit him.
The Lost Village is a mess of a series, with many problems that have easy solutions, yet at the same time I’m kind of glad it has the issues it has. It’s a very bad show when you take it seriously and break it down objectively. Yet at the same time I can’t help but feel like the show knows it is bad and is in on the joke. Especially considering the previous work of the director. Either Mizushima is just really, really damn bad at horror mystery shows, to the point where he made two of the most unintentionally hilarious shows in recent memory, or he is a fan of campy horror and is paying tribute to that style. Either way, The Lost Village is an absolute trainwreck that I will be gladly riding until the bitter end.
So what about you guys? Are you also enjoying this glorious mess of a series or has it already lost your interest?
The Lost Village can be watched on the Crunchyroll streaming service.