What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t let dozens of episodes pile up? Anyways, I bring to you the second and third episodes of Mayoiga, or The Lost Village. Overall, I am having a bit of trouble discerning whether this series is intentionally bad or not, but it is entertaining either way. This ended up being a whole lot longer than I intended it to be, so I hope you enjoy my ramblings on episodes 2&3 of Mayoiga!
As expected, the second episode throws us into a perilous mood full of agonizing suspense (if only it was agonizing). Of course, there is a mini disaster scene, as the bus falls into an lurch of sorts. The atmosphere is constructed in a very rocky fashion. It relies on turning up the music and darkening the color pallet. The writing is a particular weakness of this show, especially in the wallet scene. Mikage forces the group to hand over their wallets to the angry bus driver, whose bus has crashed. Though the surface writing is quite weak, the themes are quite strong in this show. Repeatedly, more outgoing characters have taken control of the entire group, while the assigned leader sits back and watches. I suppose this is the template for how the lost village is going to function. Why is this relevant or important? What you can extrapolate from the scenarios can, by theory, be applied to the general population as a thesis. What this show represents is a society functioning in anarchy. The strong personalities take down the weak, and conflict management evolves to fall upon the person most willing to deal with it. There is no need for formal compromise. No mater how you define it, the author’s point in writing this story is to say something about society (presumably) and it should be judge on that basis.
Although the theme has something interesting to offer, this anime will by no means go down in history for it’s story telling elements. There are better ways to conclude that Mitsumune is inexperienced when it comes to girls. Just straight out saying that he went to a all boys school and had no exposure is a little brash. Also with the bear scene. The “I don’t see any evidence” to “Oh look a bear print” is comedic in principle, yet the anime did not present it as so. So was the humor intentional, or just a product of bad writing?
I also thought the transition to the village hurt the anime a little bit. Though the art was very nice, and a much needed pick up from the darkness of the night, it was the only solid object. It does not seem like like the music was well thought through. Many of the scenes lack dramatic impact, when perhaps they should. Instead, the ominous music is constantly playing in the background. In this way, the series lacks contrast.
The outward monologue of Mitsumune is very off-putting. I think it was a weak choice to make his every thought audible. While character narration is not uncommon, the most usual forms are internal thought processes and/or 2nd/3rd person style narration. There is a reason why characters do not voice their every motive and thought: it makes for weak storytelling. Part of what makes story telling interesting is the unknown that you get to extrapolate on an individual level. Stories aren’t much fun when the unknown is completely eliminated. In this instance, inner monologue or additional facial expression would have filled the gaps. Not only does Mitsumune’s monologue detract from the story, it also damages his character. There is very little we can’t predict from Mitsumune. The constant over explanation leaves him to be little more than a plot device. I would also say the same for other characters, such as Hayato and survival guy.
The third episode starts on a weaker foot. For starters, the bear sound effects are horrendous, and yet again the music seems quite ill-fitting. The sound in general is a second thought in this anime. There are also a lot of times when the sound is limited to just dialogue, and no effects were used. No water, no wind, no grass or dirt. It’s a very dry production to say the least.
I’m not sure what the cooking scene was supposed to accomplish. I would agree that small groups (8-10 people) are the most functional, and that randomness is the best way to sort. I suppose the scene was supposed to emit a familiar vibe, and prove that positive group dynamics are possible. Certain slice of life elements would be helpful to balance the constant melodrama meandering the premise and execution.
The Jack and Valkana scenes were a plus for me. Though the lead in was pretty weak, especially for the Jack story, the themes prevail. For Jack, aka Sasaki, the theme of mental disparity or disability is present. Extreme anger when provoked and uncontrollable violent tendencies are common in people with mental deficiencies. I would know, having ADD/ADHD(Attention Deficit (Hyperactive) Disorder) means I am prone to angry or violent behavior when I do not get my way. I can assure you, it is not the same as having a short temper. The portrayal of Jack is very similar to someone possessing ADD, DID(aka Multiple Personality Disorder), or even Schizophrenia. As a thematic device, Jack is very unique and useful, even if his use as a character and/or story device is limited. Valkana also had an interesting development. Unlike Jack, Valkana is more interesting as a character, yet is still incredibly influential in the story. Unlike a large portion of the cast, Valkana is much older, and has some life experience. His life experiences differentiates him from the young, confident people on the tour. Unlike them, Valkana is ridden with cowardice that he is painfully aware of, and acts accordingly. Intentional or not, Valkana is a prime story device. Because he has these life experiences, he feels entitled or required to take a leadership position. With leadership and societal tendencies being core themes in this anime, Valkana has proven his character to be irreplaceable in the anime.
The execution girl is straight up annoying. Although she could fit alongside Jack with the mental disorder/disability (I would suspect she has bipolar disorder or seveer ADHD), her character seems too extreme to be realistic. Jack’s story is more true to life because he had a trigger and reacted. On the other hand, this crazy girl who (possibly) wanders around suggesting to execute people, and even goes as far as to attack Mitsumune, has been unaffected by society? The inconsistency stands out to me is all.
Also, that body floating down the river was just… So awkward. Almost more humorous than scary. Additionally no specific reaction (other than dark circles) came from the characters, so the audience has to create their own initial impression (I’m sticking with humor).
Well I hope you enjoyed my writing on Mayoiga! I will be back in a week (or two) with more analysis and such. Happy anime hunting!