How many people with the power to approve an expensive thing like an anime series put their rubber stamp on this production? How many people read the story outline of a bunch of simpletons looking for a fabled "lost village" in the middle of modern-day Japan and said, "This is the greatest thing since Neon Genesis Evangelion!... Make it happen!"? How did the first episode alone make it through story approval, character design approval, and voice actor recording with NOBODY saying, "......What have we done? Stop production immediately! Save whatever cash we have left for corporate-wide seppuku daggers!"
This shitty, stanky series, Mayoiga (aka The Lost Village), defied all the odds and got greenlighted, and then completed, and then actually fucking AIRED ON TV despite every logical atom in the universe shaking its head in despair and disgust at all those involved.
There are apologists across the net claiming that those behind this new anime, The Lost Village, created it tongue-in-cheek... As if they were making a satire of other more popular horror-themed shows. As if they KNEW it was terrible and were simply winking at the audience, hoping we'd get the joke too. I am here to tell you that this is not the case.
This is just a terrible show with the most retarded characters ever put to screen, in the most ludicrous situations ever thought up by man, with one of the cheapest budgets I've ever seen animated in my life. The Lost Village is not an act of open parody, but instead an act of open rebellion against the fandom. It's a series that took its really lame premise and godawful cast way too seriously, thinking they had the next hit psychological-thriller under their belts. Instead of making a Death Parade though, the creators of Mayoiga made the next Devil May Cry.
How do I know that this show was made "for serious" and not out of a sense of humor? Because Japan CONSTANTLY makes movies and shows that it thinks are terrifying and dramatic, but are in fact boring, pedestrian, and filled with mentally handicapped characters. For example, back in college (before I joined the Cinematic Club responsible for booking good movies to the student theater every semester), around Halloween time, a "Japanese horror" movie from the 60s was scheduled for the day's showing. It was an anthology film with three or four "scary stories" featuring Japanese hauntings "the likes of which the big screen had never seen before or since!" That last quote is true. I had never seen anything like it before or since, mostly out of choice.
Anyway, this horror flick's idea of tense, dramatic, and creepy storytelling went something like this: So there was this man in Japan a couple of centuries ago, and he was walking through the forest and found a small house with a beautiful woman living there alone. So he shacked up with her and had a happy life. Then, 20 years later (and 20 - 30 minutes of boring happiness), another traveler came by and asked what the man was doing living there, and he said, "My peaceful wife, Mina, and I are very happy living our peaceful lives here in peace. We love peace. Peace." And the traveler said, "WHAT?! But Mina died OVER 20 YEARS AGO!!!!!" The end.
I was perplexed as fuck at the end of those three or four pathetic tales (which all matched the "meh-ness" of the chapter I talked about above) as I left the theater that day, but I am even more concerned with this strange divergence from actually scary and creepy Japanese horror — that we've seen over the last ten to fifteen years (with Ring-u, The Grudge, Dark Waters, etc.) — to The Lost Village's embracing of terrible, unshocking, and straight up mongoloid storytelling taken straight from Japan's cinematic past. Granted, I've seen some uninspired horror tales told in anime-form before (Shiki and Another come to mind), but nothing like The Lost Village... May God have mercy on its soul.
Okay, so now to the nitty gritty of it. Time to tell you what The Lost Village is about. As Mehve and I first dubbed it as we were watching the premiere episode, "Retards on a Bus," The Lost Village starts out with a group of teenagers and twenty-something retards on a bus, being part of a tour of sorts (called the First Life Do-Over Tour) looking for a modern lost village in the mountains of Japan where they can run away from their pathetic little problems in the real world and play amongst themselves as if they don't have a care in the world. There's one loser who's on this new life tour to this abandoned village who needs to be on something like 27 kinds of pills and other assorted medications a day... What the fuck was he planning on doing when his 30-day prescription was up?
These people are sooooo fucking retarded and cringe-worthy. They all introduce themselves with their online names only — with some gems like Love-pon, Speedstar, Lion, Judgeness, Soy Latte, and Meow-ta — then they tell the bus full of fellow waterheads what they're looking for in this new life with endless possibilities in an abandoned, and possibly radioactive fallout zone that they hope to soon inhabit... If they can even find it. They're not even sure that they can, even if this place exists (but they've read about it online, so it MUST exist!). Then they all sing a song about a hippopotamus that makes you want to cut yourself.
After the bus gets stuck in the mud on a dinky back road in the middle of the night, the whole group just abandons the bus driver to his fate and hikes on foot through the dark and foggy mountain forest to their foretold shangri-la: Nanaki Village. They somehow find the place, with modern buildings still standing, vegetable gardens still filled with ripe produce, AND A FUCKING MONSTER BEAR RUNNING LOOSE just behind the tree line.
The kids seem kind of afraid of this possibly rabid giant bear running around, but their main concern soon turns to whether or not one of the quieter girls in the group is a ghost or not. Their arguments for turning on this troubled teen are beyond ludicrous (pretty much running along the lines of, "Well, she says she's NOT a ghost! That's what a ghost would say, wouldn't it!"). With no proof at all, they're accusing this girl of being a spirit (and an EVIL specter at that), and then they actually listen to advice from the psycho who wants to "execute" everybody. Most of the gang wants to kill the ghost girl, just to be sure, because hell, that's what you do to ghosts, right? Piss them off more by trying to stab their incorporeal forms?
Here's a quote from the show that should give you an idea just how brilliant these fuckups are: "So she died here and became a ghost, and now she's calling monsters here to kill us and take us with her... That's a reasonable conclusion to draw, isn't it?" Totally serious. That is a direct quote from this thing. Keep in mind there is really only evidence of hallucinations in the show so far. No real supernatural events at all that can't be explained, and they jump straight to murderous ghosts and monsters trying to take people to the great beyond.
This is when things start turning from "Boy, this is dumb," to "Why the fuck am I watching this?"
Then all the kids, and even the "adults" (who are just as dumb as the high schoolers in this group), start to make fun of one of their own for having a similar retarded internet name to another character who dresses like a pirate (eye-patch and all). Keep in mind here, they're not making fun of this genius' really awful made-up nickname for himself, they're just goofing on the 'tard for having a similar-sounding name to Pirate Kid. Anyway, that fucker snaps, trying to kill pirate kid with a hoe. Turns out that crazy as hell hoe-boy has had anger management (and attempted murder) issues in the past, and so everybody else locks him up in a basement jail that somebody found. Solution found!
This is pretty much when that one crazy as hell chick (Hmmm. I can't use that description anymore, seeing as it applies to everyone, and shit'll end up even more confusing than it already is) with Buddhist monk issues (ie. a monk paid for sex with her mom, and then slapped the daughter around when she actually tried to murder him for boinking and paying her unskilled-laborer mother for the job) snaps and starts calling for everybody to be "executed." Nobody ever sees a problem with this, nor does anybody ever tell her to shut her stinking trap.
Oh, and the main boy, the total pussy who has a sympathy boner for the girl that everybody thinks is a ghost, just wanders around acting like a schmuck, getting told what to do by his "buddy," and getting chased by a giant stuffed penguin. Not the one from Batman (which might be creepy, if they used the Tim Burton version), but just a literal stuffed penguin. Horrifying, I know.
Then six or so other retards in the group start seeing giant monsters or not-scary things (that only they can perceive) coming after them that resemble people and objects that totally fucked them up in the past! Like that one military otaku who was too short to join the JSDF, so he got silicone injections on top of his skull to make himself taller, but which the Self Defense Force was all like, "Dude, really? Fuck off." He sees a giant silicone blob oozing after him in the woods. Oh, and that one guy who worked in IT and made a program for a large company, but the non-tech management board of the company thought his product had bugs in it... THERE WERE NO BUGS IN HIS PROGRAM, GODDAMMIT! He hears TERRIFYING LAUGHTER in the dark woods! Scary! Oh, or that one girl who was ostracized by all her classmates and teachers because people wrongly thought she was fucking the principal, who denied it, but in a way that made everybody give him high-fives and shit while her reputation went down the shitter, and her parents started beating her for being such a whore, and her younger brother committed suicide due to the shame... She sees her decomposing dead brother coming after her asking her to have sex with him too.
I'm just messing with you. That last one, the one with ACTUAL drama and reasons for regret and hate and fear did not happen in the show. I made it up just to reinforce how retarded the rest of the cast's feeble "tragedies" were that drove them to abandon the real world and run away to this mountain village that was haunted by FEAR and possibly man-eating bears.
This is when things start turning from "Why the fuck am I watching this?" to "Potato!"
After all this, we're introduced to a tunnel that for some reason seems to lead to either ANOTHER abandoned village on the other side of the mountain, or to the outside real world (depending on what the writers wanted for a specific scene, or if they simply forgot about basic storytelling at the moment). We also meet a researcher who has been studying this lost village for a while now, and it has somehow aged him 50 years over the course of 3 real years because he left his fears and disappointments in the town instead of embracing them. As is wont to happen.
Oh god, then when we found out that the main teenage girl, ghost girl Masaki, had an imaginary cousin her whole life, and then she was convinced by said nonexistent cousin to find this village which could make him real, and then she lost this imaginary cousin in the village, and then this imaginary cousin became her own Nanaki monster whom everybody in the group could then see and hear too because I DON'T KNOW.... It is at this point that I gave up my last shit. No more shits were given. How did this teenage girl know about the psychological scars that take on a life of their own in this abandoned town when NOBODY else on the bus did, especially when they were all internet nerds. If the info was out there to be found, they would have found it, especially when they actually knew of this village in order to run away to it in the first place!
And did I mention that the dumb mopey girl named Lion is an ex-shinto shrine maiden who can "see when people are about to die"?.... Yeah, they made a pretty big point out of this early on, but then nothing, NOTHING came of it. I don't think the writers of this dreck even know what the Chekhov's gun principle is.
Oh, and the one person whom we thought died in this show — causing the ONLY bit of tension during its entire run — well, it turns out he's alive and well, and he was rescued by the now super-old researcher. And this kid (a Japanese wannabe rapper with only 5% of Angel Beats' TK's incredible rap aptitude and charisma) embraced his failings and was freed of the village's curse. How? I think because he realized his rapping sucked. I'm dead serious.
Anyway, as the final episode comes rolling to a retarded close we find out that pirate guy and hoe-killer boy are being manipulated by the researcher's daughter, who for some reason wants to sacrifice all the young people in this group to the village of the damned in order to somehow save her father (what?). But in the end nobody dies, barely anybody even gets a scratch, and a handful of the losers in the group choose to stay in the village because WARGARRBLEL. The rest of them get on the bus (which was okay after all, and the bus driver himself seemed to find some sort of solace in the village because RETARDATION), and then they just leave, with everybody (from the most normal to the most raving psychotic) claiming that they now accept all their inner demons and can move on with their lives. That's it. They just leave. Most learning absolutely nothing, with this acceptance and departure taking place over the course of the final 2 short minutes.
Alas, it is over...
I wanted to beat the fucking snot out of almost everybody in this entire production. From the characters, to the writers, to the directors, to the voice actors. I hated EVERYTHING about it. It felt like something a second grader would have put together for a "scary story essay" for school. A retarded second grader named Corky. I was initially going to say "it felt like something a fifth grader wrote," but I remember myself and my classmates in fifth grade actually being able to construct a narrative with a satisfying beginning, with decent characters who didn't do stupid things just to move the plot along, no loose strings and open plot holes, and with a tolerably adequate ending. The Lost Village had NONE of that.
Even the music and opening and ending songs were pretty shitty. I skipped the op and ed credits after only listening to them once. I seriously cannot find ONE thing to like about this show, other than the fact that it makes other shows better in comparison... And that's a negative for me as well, as anything that can make She: The Ultimate Weapon, or Dragonaut look better in comparison is itself evil.
Fuck this goddamn piece of trash in a septic tank! I hate The Lost Village. I wish it had never been born. To paraphrase Michael Scott, "If I had a gun with two bullets, and I was in a room with Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and the director of The Lost Village, I'd shoot the director. Twice."
I remember this one time I came across this "lost village" while walking around the woods way behind my house when I was a teenager. It was almost surreal. All these houses just sitting there, abandoned, and really creepy-like... And then there was this monster-like thing stalking me through the trees and bushes. Sometimes it'd laugh at me, and sometimes it'd shriek like a banshee and throw stuff at me, and curse me, and call me names.
After running around for a few hours, hiding behind abandoned cars and in unused [but still filled] septic tanks, I said "Enough is enough," and I changed my tactics. I took another hit of the LSD that I had with me, broke a couple of gas lines leading into a bunch of the houses in the haunted village, and then lit them all up in a fire that could be seen by the heavens! The ground turned to lava that day, my friends.
Good times. Fuck that demon-ghost thing in that haunted village! I killed it real good.
(Notes from the Rossman: Ah... This solves the mystery of "who blew up the Laurel Bend subdivision?" back when we were in high school. I remember some kids coming into school the next day talking about how they were throwing dirt clumps and shooting BBs at some loser in a ski-mask who was running around the place that day, smelling like a sewer and obviously tripping balls as he kept bumping into things and ignoring the confused populace. I think it's past the statute of limitations now though, so I wouldn't get any reward for turning him in.)
(Notes from the Rossman: Sigh... Jimmy Jammer is curled up in the fetal position in the corner after we all watched this shitty show at my house last Saturday. He WILL. NOT. LEAVE. He won't even make a sound or anything. I've tried kicking him, siccing the dog on him and having her eat part of his butt, and setting firecrackers off in his ears. The most he ever reacted to anything was by saying, "whyyyyyyy?" I don't know if that was in reference to me shaving off his hair (ALL of it), or in reference to the shittiness of The Lost Village and how it had one of the dumbest plots filled with the stupidest characters with production values less than a crappy Naruto filler episode. Whatever.)