It wouldn’t be a 12 Days of Anime without me at least including one clickbait-y top ten piece. However, this time, I’ve decided to one up myself. The Lost Village (or Mayoiga as the title alliterates better with that romanisation) , by nature of being the best TV anime to come out this year, deserves something better than that. So we’re gonna have a Top Twelve instead. It’s what Lovepon would have wanted. Beginning in no particular order beyond when I thought of them: Lets begin!
12) This Face
Smug anime faces are currently a premium currency. Whilst Brexit and the US Election has crippling effects on our economy and futures as individuals, Smug Anime faces will always be needed. Need to act superior to strangers on the internet? Smug Anime Faces. Need an expression of post-ironic despair? Smug Anime Faces. Haven’t posted on your social media in the past 10 minutes? Smug Anime Faces. The Lost Village being the masterpiece it is has those Smug Anime Faces we need.
The effect The Lost Village has had on my social medias is no small one. From the very first episode when it started airing, to people rewatching the show – or even discovering it for the first time months after it aired – it has fundamentally changed my bubble of anitwitter. This lone image travels the Wired infecting those that see it.
“Who is Wank?”
“What is Wank?”
“Why is Wank?”
There is no way to truly understand Wank without watching the show itself. Wank knows this. It’s what Wank wants. Any other show being called Wank would be a criticism. In The Lost Village’s case, you’re merely pointing out the sheer power the show has over us. We are all Wank now.
10) How it’s MyAnimeList rating reflects my own academic progress
Every now and then I end up wistfully staring at The Lost Village’s MAL page. Some would say this is not due to my undying love for this 13 episode not-horror show, and is instead due to my inability to close tabs on my tablet. Having this tab open informs me of two things. The first is that The Lost Village was somewhat popular amongst MAL users. The second is that The Lost Village was not the show that it’s popularity thought it was. It is very like The Lost Village to have a rating plummet so hard. The cast of the show felt rejected from the world due to them being utterly terrible people, and thus they are rejected from the incredibly minor critical acclaim that a high MAL rating delivers. The Lost Village is on a whole other level.
9) So Bad it’s Good vs Just Bad vs Legitimately Good
As the episodes kept coming, and they didn’t stop coming, so did the articles. Some argued profusely for the comedic elements of the show. Whilst their commenters argued for the very opposite. Repeated back and forths. Some would argue the ‘badness’ was intentional and thus fine, others would argue a bad anime trying to be bad is still bad (FU School Days). Is this comedy? Is this serious? There was no end to the analysis, and arguments over such tepid details. What else aired that season? None of us know. The Lost Village arguments took over any and all discourse. Reignited each week by the new episode it’s no wonder that it sparked World War Three. Thankfully it’s finale retconned the world ending from reality and we live on into our uncertain future. Thank you The Lost Village, for both endangering and saving life as we know it.
8) The Hippopotamus Song
I love The Lost Village.
7) That time we stole a seminar room
Occasionally my Anime Society does things besides watch anime and put up with that one dude whining about plot culture whilst loathing masterpieces like Kyousougiga. After a long and draining day of what I can only imagine was the Anime Society games day, featuring such great things like “What can go wrong if we put Haikyu characters into JoJos the RPG”, and various anime fighting games some of us were at a student pub having a meal. We eventually realised that during our Very Busy Day a new episode of Jojo’s had come out. We also realised that The Lost Village had a new episode out. So, rather than walking the five minutes home to watch it, a handful of us stole a seminar room and binged both of them. It was wonderful. A handful of nerds getting super into an ‘obvious’ reveal that ultimately didn’t matter because this was The Lost Village, and it cares greatly about not mattering in the most important of ways.
6) The Next Episode Previews
The Lost Village, like many shows, has in-character next episode previews. Almost every single one foreshadows events that simply do not happen in the show. Almost every single episode title has nothing to do with the episode at hand. Those like… Two? Instances where the preview and title are actually accurate? Blow your mind. ‘Cause now you have some faith in the previews. But they don’t tell you anything. Ever. Bar when they do. Which are the ones you most suspect won’t. Thanks.
Mawaru Penguindrum is Ikuhara’s 2012 masterpiece. Today is the 20th of the month, and thus it is Curry Day in said show. Curry is important. As this is the last Curry Day of the year, an important one in the timeline of the show, and only a couple of days before the Yearly Anniversary Of Ikuhara Ruining Christmas I think we need a moment to appreciate Curry and Penguins. Thank you for your time.
4) That time we paused the show and spent over an hour analysing the cast only to determine that Speedstar probably existed in the show
Mystery shows invite the audience in to hyper-analyse them. The Lost Village, by dabbling in B-movie horror and mystery, also presents itself in such a fashion to allow that. Part of my experience of watching most of this show was watching this with a bunch of friends after long nights of bad anime and drinking. This sometimes lead to us doing really sensible things like pausing the show at a certain point and cross checking every name on a chalkboard to see if Speedstar actually existed in the show, or if Speedstar was actually a figment of the shitty protagonist’s imagination. This was a beautiful waste of time, and given how the show progressed, exactly the kind of attention I am sure The Lost Village wanted.
3) Literary Critique
One of my favourite pieces written on The Lost Village is Kastel‘s thought dump on it’s relation to structure. I won’t comment too heavily on it, out of fear of misrepresenting what it’s saying, but I think it is a good example of what kind of show The Lost Village is. For all it’s ridiculousness, all it’s absurdity, and all it’s memes; The Lost Village manages to be an incredibly solid show. When I am complimenting this show, I’m being completely genuine. I believe The Lost Village is an incredibly unique, special, and important show. I believe it is the best anime to come out this year, and I believe it’s intersection with popular, or what counts as popular, anime culture is an unfortunate but understandable set of affairs.
2) The Lost Village Had a Kickstarter
For some reason The Lost Village – a month before it’s first episode aired – had a crowdfunding campaign. At the time this made no sense. As far as I’m aware it still doesn’t. Anime production is ripe with issues, delays, and hell, but crowdfunding a relatively small amount of money this late into production is basically unheard of. Sometimes when talking about this show this is brought up. Every single time it sidetracks the conversation. Because, it is a thing that happened. A weird thing. A thing that makes no sense. Thanks The Lost Village. For having a production that mirrors the very themes (or lack of themes) you were going for. I love you.
This has only been a brief look of the many many many things that make The Lost Village the wonderful show it is. But I think it’s important to state legitimate traditional narratives, somehow, do exist in the show. Even with it’s cast doing their very best to not have narratives, or even plot, there exists multiple actually effective character arcs in the show. These are sometimes used as parts of more structural gags, but the arcs themselves aren’t jokes. More than anything, The Lost Village understands itself. It understands how to structure a B-movie horror, and it loves B-movie horror. It understands how to depict real emotional trauma, and sometimes decides to. It understands the human condition well. And it also understands how to play up the ridiculousness of the human condition.
The Lost Village is a legitimate masterpiece, and I hope that at least one person will look past the popular negativity on this show and give it more of a chance thanks to this. ❤