To open up our Spring 2016 reviews I’ll be something a little different. I’ve been going back and forth on how to review The Lost Village for a while because a lot of the things I would want to bring up would be spoilers so this is how its going to work. The first paragraph, after this one will be spoiler free, after that, spoilers will fill this review until the summary paragraph beside the score.
To start off with positives the music was great. I mean all of it, the Opening was one of my favourites this season, ending was top tier as well and all the background tracks were pretty good. I even like the hippopotamus song. That’s it. If you go to the spoiler area you’re not going to find any more positives because that’s all. Non-spoilery complaints I can list are the pacing is a mess with the first few episodes dragging out, what ended up being pointless, scenes or interactions and the last few episodes rapid-fire revealing information without giving any of it time to sink in before revealing some other important detail. The visuals were fine until it started mixing in some of the worst CG I’ve ever seen (I’m not anti-CG, I usually actually find it appealing when done right). The characters were also boring with a few exceptions but that will have to be in the spoiler section.
If I was to do this spoiler free the review would now be over. I guess I’ll expand upon my issues here that I’ve already mentioned before adding new ones.
As for pacing we start off in a bus with a tour going on of people trying to find the mysterious Nanaki village in order to start a new life. We start with a long introduction with each character giving their names (internet alias, not real) and most, a bit of personality. The main issue here is we actually get a pretty diverse and interesting cast but except for 10 or less NOTHING FURTHER HAPPENS ASIDE FROM THIS SCENE! Sure they talk and there’s jokes relevant to the sickly kid or the couple or the fat dude but out of all those I listed, the only one I can name off the top of my head is Pii-tan and that’s just because her fiancee kept whining her name. I also pretty much described the only personality a lot of them have. Dude is fat, likes eating and hates walking. There’s every amount of character he gets in the entire series. While there are some characters like Love-pon and Lion that the writer clearly wants us to care about most are just shoved to the side. Our main cast includes resident loser protagonist #45789 who will, get this, become strong and get the girl by the end, Mitsumune and the girl who is clearly hiding something: Masaki. These two could have been replaced by pretty much any generic anime protagonist and heroine and the story would be no different.
The main issue is this monster (named Nanaki like the village) starts attacking but no one seems to agree what it looks like. Turns out this monster is based of some kind of emotional hang-up the character has, which is actually a great idea. Clearly anyone who came on this tour is going to have some reason but it was executed (Love-pon’s favourite word) really poorly. Not only do we only see a few characters Nanaki (in really terrible CG) but some seem to have no meaning. Why is Maimai’s a giant Mitsumune? We know she’s had trouble with a boy in the past and it’s pretty obvious she has a crush on Mitsumune but I see no relevance. Masaki supposedly can’t see the Nanaki however we later find out its her imaginary friend (that she believes to be missing in Nanaki village), Reiji. Why isn’t Reiji attacking them? Why can’t she see Reiji anymore once she met up with him if she saw him fine as a girl?
The voice acting is nothing to write home about but the dialogue is average to awful. Characters constantly finish each others sentences, even just after meeting them with lines often being cut right as the person is finished speaking to rush along to the next line. I even noticed multiple episodes ending right as someone finished their sentence (INCLUDING THE FINALE!) meaning if it was cut any quicker they would have been cutoff.
I know this is a spoiler section but I still don’t feel right talking about the main antagonist. I will say her motivations aren’t at all clear until a random line dropped in the finale and the characters she’s doing everything for isn’t even referenced until episode 10 making it seem like they completely forgot they needed a motivation and just kind of shoved it in.
One last thing I’d like to address: I know many people enjoyed the show looking at it as a comedy (it’s not hard to see where they’re coming from) but I didn’t find anything all that funny. The song was more enjoyable than funny (reminded me of a song we sang in summer camp) and I didn’t enjoy any of the jokes because I didn’t enjoy any of the characters. Even looking at it as more of being over the top makes it funny I still can’t see it. Another (same director) was way more over the top and had enjoyable characters and writing to back it up. I will however, agree to place it in a “so bad it’s good” category. I never considered dropping it no matter how annoyed I got because I wanted to see just how messy it would get.