|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
(Nine episodes watched):|
Mayoiga initially struck me as an intriguing tale which seemed to be following a fresh, unpredictable path to some interesting destination. We get to briefly know the large cast as each character introduces him/herself, and their personalities seem spread across a wide spectrum from shy, harmless people to total assholes. There's an ominous feel that something bad has got to happen as these overoptimistic and vulnerable people gamble that this strange village really is the utopia which they have been promised. Protagonist Matsumune experiences strange, disturbing daydreams. Nothing overtly supernatural happens in episode one, but you get the feeling that it might. Nobody is killed either, but with a cast this large, you also get the feeling that that's going to happen. In short, Mayoiga seemed to boast a rich tapestry of different personalities (or at least characters that had taken the first step towards having rich personalities), while many anime struggle to develop one or two. The people on the tour have yet to arrive at Nanabi at the end of the episode, and I can't wait to see what they will find.
I was a bit surprised at how little happened in episode two. Early on it almost seemed as if something supernatural was about to happen, but in the end things remained quite firmly grounded in reality. The people reach the village without too much trouble, and make a modestly surprising discovery regarding it. Otherwise, episode two is largely about additional character development, though there are too many to get to know more than a few very well. This is seeming like a Lord of the Flies sort of story, since some people have such crazy beliefs that surely conflicts must occur, and there's no police to maintain law and order.
One problem was that I didn't like the way that the people here seem pretty crazy to begin with. They are quick to panic, eager to employ violence, and basically not very bright. In other words, not like more-or-less average people would be, even people who are unhappy with their current lives. So much for the rich cast of characters that had seemed evident early on. This seems to me to be a serious weakness which has the potential to wreck the entire story. In general I became less impressed with this show than I had been when the original premise was unveiled. I feared that a neat premise might be spoiled by mediocre characters. In episode three it becomes clear that some sort of dangerous creature is lurking about; the people think it's a bear, but I doubt it (another unrealistic characteristic of these people seems to be some sort of bear-phobia). I found myself frustrated by this show: if it was trying to shock me by revealing how quickly people who find themselves in a lawless and stressful situation may slide into violence and anarchy, it wasn't doing a very good job. There are too many characters to keep track of, since they haven't gotten enough development to remember what the attitude of each of them is. And now the creature looming about is something gigantic? I don't get it. What the hell is the message behind this show? It just seems confusing and frustrating. I had reached the point where I hated a lot of these people and didn't really like any of them, so why should I care if something terrible happens to them?
In episode six, we get a bit of an explanation: it appears that Tamaki village has the effect of drawing people's darkest secrets out and forcing them to deal with them (and several can't). But that's just a guess, based on something a character said, because I was thoroughly confused and wouldn't have drawn the same conclusion otherwise. Why would the village have that effect? How does it do it? I have no idea. In this episode we learn the sorry stories of several angry and cruel characters; but it didn't make me sympathize with them all that much, it just made them seem pathetic. They seem to have broken minds and show no sign of improving, which isn't exactly fun to watch. And then almost everybody agrees that one of them is a ghost(!?), but a ghost which they should be able to persecute into nonexistence. Again, it doesn't make sense and just seems corny. With no explanation--at least not a convincing one--about how the village does these things seeming to be forthcoming, I could only watch the show on an episodic basis and largely abandon hope that the plot as a whole will make much sense.
The characters only annoy me more as time goes on. Do they think they have been transported to an alternate universe, or at least an ungoverned, undiscovered region of the earth, where law and order does not exist and they can do as they please? Their leaps from relative level-headedness to hysteria come too fast, without convincing reasons, and as a result I can't suspend disbelief and take them seriously.
I was tempted to quit Mayoiga but episode nine made some sense and briefly left me glad I had kept watching. Some of the characters have the good sense to try to figure out what's going on rather than just freaking out. At least the people have a definable problem which they need to solve, and doing that will involve mustering some courage. But I still didn't see how any plausible explanation for this place could possibly come together. It's kind of like one great big anxiety disorder which sets off a different and unique panic attack in each person. Even though I was 3/4 of the way through the show I didn't sense much of a climax or conclusion coming about, and ultimately gave up.
My favorite line: "There are way too many things people will get mad at you for if you shoot 'em" --Nyanta
Last updated Tuesday, August 22 2017. Created Thursday, April 28 2016.