Mayoiga / The Lost Village Episode 1 – The Okada Hammer

First Impressions:

Theme / Story:

Let’s cut down to the chase. This show feels as if Mari Okada watched Mirai Nikki, several times, and felt as if she wanted to try her hand at it too. This means we’re going to have an interesting competition this season, between Okada’s take on Mirai Nikki, and Big Order, the other work based off of Mirai Nikki’s creator’s work. In terms of Okada shows, I’m most reminded of M3 and WIXOSS. I hear references to director Mizushima’s Another, but as I haven’t watched that yet, I can’t really comment on it.

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - Lion and the Okada Hammer of cannibalism

The show makes use of Okada’s variation on Chekhov’s Gun, which is more akin to a hammer, where we have symbolic language and motifs brought up, and spelled out, and which will get constantly hammered on in the show from now on. “I hope we won’t cannibalize one another” is the big one. The symbolism in the dream sequence ranged from more subtle (not being the child his mother wished for, or the ants walking in a line) to the extremely explicit (being someone who’s bottling everything inside and is likely to blow up if he continues).

(Full episodic notes at the bottom of this post.)

The show is a bit more subtle when it comes to what seems to be a big theme, which is tied to the cannibalism above – They’re all supposedly leaving society behind, right? But they’re going off as a group, and are seeking a village where a bunch of people already are. And you know what you have when you take a whole bunch of people? That’s right, a society. And the show has already intimated at something that’s always true – you can’t outrun yourself. No matter where you run to, you end up bringing yourself. Likewise, 30+ members of society are replicating the society they carry within them as they go along. The one who wishes to be in charge of everything (and seems lifted straight out of Cube, another movie in this death-game genre), to the one who teases the boy who rubs her the wrong way. They’re still carrying society within them.

And then we’re back to talks of “Adam and Eve” which leads one to think only one boy and one girl will survive, songs of death everywhere, an adult who chastises everyone for being selfish and trying to run away, and most characters actually being introduced as people who’re just running away due to weakness or due to being bored. The death letters that are “just to cover things up”, etc. The writing in this story isn’t very good. I’ll be blunt. I’m sure we’re going to have lots of moments of heightened tension and drama, and we’ll discover that a bunch of these characters have real sob stories in their past, and are deeper than it seems. But right now? It’s not just that the writing is as overtly over the top and shlocky as it is in Mirai Nikki and Btooom!, it’s just very inelegant and too in love with itself.

But, joining all the aspects of this episode together we have Mitsumune’s character, who goes on lengthy monologues for our sake, which the show calls him out on. Someone who cries when he’s told “cheerful and happy” fits him, and who’s saying they’re not actual friends or close, no matter how close they get. Someone, in other words, who runs away from his family, because their connection to him is one he cannot deny. Someone looking to cut contact with others, while being the one most seeking to make contact with others. A boy that another says he’s “The One to Watch”. Someone written with elements of melodrama, and subtle character arcs, and unsubtle character arcs, all dropped into a bag like a sack of anvils.

Presentation:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 - Koharun thinks it's all creepy

The music in this show is really good. Does it fit the show? I’m not absolutely sure yet, but each time we’ve had music playing, either the Unlucky Hippopotamus song, or the creepy nursery rhyme, or just some music playing now and then, I found myself enjoying the tune. While the writing of the show is aiming at “creepy” but is coming across as a child play-acting at being creepy, the music actually manages to pull the atmosphere of – something soft and welcoming, but with some worrying undertones.

The character art is solid but unexciting, but it manages to make almost every character look distinct, which is important in a show with such a large cast, and yet the characters feel cohesive enough in style to not feel jarring.

The CG and all the shots of the bus and road from outside, even if one would argue have thematic resonance weren’t all that great, and the show thus far is competent and unexciting, art-style. The faces characters pull now and then are nice, from the vomit-face, to just looking at one another. But it’s all a bit flat.

Voice-acting is solid. So, overall, good audio, and competent but unexciting visuals.

OP – Nice visuals on quality level, but most of it is just showing us the huge cast. It is nice at start and end with the girl. Audio’s good, nice energy, nice sound, good vocals. Not amazing, but good. Sad most of the OP has to be spent reminding us who the huge cast is.

ED – Great. Love the soft tunes. The visuals are boring though. Like in the OP.

Return to the Mayoiga Episodic Notes page.


Thoughts and Notes:

For those unfamiliar, these are my notes as I watched the show, I usually don’t share them anymore, just my post-episode impressions, but this show had so many small moments, that I feel like sharing. Here is the album of notable screenshots. Also crossed the character limit, so had to split it.

1) The Silly Words:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - Masaki asks Mitsumune if he thinks she's crazy

1) “You are all fallen angels with broken wings, condemned to this cruel world through the whims of gods!” That guide host sounds like a hoot. Also like he’s selling them something, but they’re already there.

2) “We must not let you be sullied by this corrupted world. We’re now leaving to the new promised land!” Hm, what will happen to the world, or them? Sounds like a mass suicide pact.

3) “It’s Super Genesis!” Sounds like a video game :P

4) “Life do-over tour,” the first one? So, what do we need more people on Noah’s Ark for? Heh. So, these people abandon life, trying to start one anew. Sounds like they’re the sullied ones who wish to be cleansed.

2) Introductions Galore:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - Nyanta just wants to shoot people

1) Running from debt, from family expectations, etc.

2) “Judgeness. I’ve made my peace with this shitty world. If you get too close, you’ll get frostbite.” Oh my.

3) “I’m all dried up from being in the Tokyo desert!” I liked Btooom’s cast better :P Of course she has vitamins with her, to not be dried up ;-)

4) “I wanted to get out of my hum-drum “Dozaemon” lifestyle.” Same.

5) 3 Yuunas :P And yes, all are online handles.

6) “I don’t think I was ever who I truly am!” This line, it burns.

7) “Dealing with friends and stuff just got really annoying lately,” so some of them have serious issues, while some are just running away from the slightest hardships.

8) “If we’re talking Genesis, can I be Eve?” Does she want to find someone to bone? “I’m looking for my Adam!” Guess so.

9) “There are way too many things people’ll get mad at you for if you shoot ’em…” No, I think it’s just the one, that you shot them.

10) Varunka says it as it is, it’s not so easy to get a new life, so don’t come here for some silly reason.

11) “I’m Pink Goddess,” he said.

3) A Society of Unsociety:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - The show makes fun of its characters

1) “Free from the rules of society, they’ve formed a new community.” Where they have rules, obviously.

2) This is just like conspiracy boards on the internet. Everyone just airs their own hypothesis. Nothing to back it up.

3) “The Unlucky Hippopotamus” song is actually nice.

4) “This is the end,” just as the bus enters a tunnel.

5) Being together from now on means they’re not really escaping society entirely, eh? And what about the village itself and the people there?

6) “Heh, it’s like a tour for self-conscious sickos to make friends.” They’re going to an anime convention? HEYO!

4) The Society We (Haven’t) Left Behind:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - Maimai doesn't like Mitsumune

1) So, Mitsumune and Speedstar (Hayato) know one another from before.

2) Good music at 11:05, as Mitsumune says he wants his life to be his own.

3) “He rubs me the wrong way,” and the judging has already began.

4) “So I thought I’d tease him,” and they’re bringing over the same behaviours they sought to escape.

5) Crying over the unlucky hippopotamus, hm.

6) “Did you think I’m a little off my rocker?” Everyone here is. Also, who asks another such a question?

7) “What’s with your long monologue?” Indeed, who speaks to himself out loud like this? :P

5) Chekhov’s Gun, Okada’s Hammer:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - Mitsumune sees Lion and Masaki in his dream sequence

Vision/dream sequences always go so smoothly in anime.

1) “Crows eat their friends if they’re dead, did you know?” So this is what this tour will be about.

2) “I hope we don’t end up cannibalizing each other.” I believe this is called “Chekhov’s Gun”, and Mari Okada can’t bring stuff up without using it later. Not literally, but figuratively, and it’s already began.

3) “I mean, even if we get close, we’re all only strangers in the end.” Getting close means you’re not, silly boy. Unless you think people can never become more than strangers, in which case, why try to start a new life? Ah, because you want to be rid of the people who are not strangers to you, such as family.

4) “He acts all friendly, but he might be the one to watch,” because he outright says he doesn’t want or expects or thinks they’ll end up as friends. So it’s a mask.

5) “Death Letters”, yes, to reveal they intended to commit suicide? No, they’re going to off them. That’s another Chekhov’s Gun. Also, cute, shiritori with torture devices? “Cute” writing.

6) Everyone laughing at him is cute, “It’s supposed to be a suicidenote, how can you have a happy life? Haha!”

6) Dramatic Adults:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - The driver wants everyone to die

1) Bus driver putting his foot down, heh.

2) “You speak so lightly of starting over. What do you know about life? You’re all so young,” like the angry fella.

3) “Everyone has it rough, but we don’t run away – we work our way through life the best we can,” and everyone quiets down.

4) “Talk about ruining the mood” – Indeed.

5) And we see imagery of ants, all walking in a line, as a metaphor to working hard and staying in line.

6) What the fuck is up with that mindtrip? Hospitalized after falling, mother going for “the wrong him,” hiding his real thoughts, dying on Sunday.

7) Who the fuck repeatedly kicks the seat of a bus-driver as he’s driving?

8) Bus driver going crazy after that dream sequence. Very Okada. Not even a boiled egg! This is how he views the others’ problems.

9) “Then let’s all just happily die together in an accident!” And now the bus-driver is literally putting his foot down ;-)

10) Elbowing the driver as he drives at high speed. Damn that kid.

7) Atmosphere of Things to Come:

Mayoiga / The Lost Village anime episode 1 notes - Varunka wants to lead

1) “It sounds bright and cheerful! It suits you!” And he starts crying.

2) “Creepy, right?” The problem is whenever Okada goes for creepy, it feels like she’s imitating something creepy, rather than really being creepy. Like a child play-acting. Nice tune though.

3) “Hey, who said you can take charge?” Says the one who wants to be in charge himself. He’s the cop from Cube.

4) A bridge, a liminal place, of crossing over. And fog, crossing over the river of death.

OP – Nice visuals on quality level, but most of it is just showing us the huge cast. It is nice at start and end with the girl. Audio’s good, nice energy, nice sound, good vocals. Not amazing, but good. Sad most of the OP has to be spent reminding us who the huge cast is.

ED – Great. Love the soft tunes. The visuals are boring though. Like in the OP.

Return to the Mayoiga Episodic Notes page.

4 comments on “Mayoiga / The Lost Village Episode 1 – The Okada Hammer

  1. YahariBento says:

    Mayoiga makes me think of anime Another and game Corpse Party. Isolated village, mystery, (almost) death, case, people disappear.

    • Guy says:

      Well, the director did direct Another. I have watched neither Another nor Corpse Party, at least not yet in the case of the latter. The question is, how close will it be in execution? Similarities of premise don’t mean much to how a show will play out, neither in the direction taken nor in execution.

      But yeah, Another is certainly the most common comparison people make, and with good reason due to the people involved.

      • YahariBento says:

        eh? You never watch Another? I recommend you to watch this if you have some free time.

        • Guy says:

          I’ll keep that in mind. Still struggling with putting the finish on almost-done series from the last two years, and I have several series I want to watch first afterwards.

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