The Lost Village, a show that has garnered wildly different reactions ranging from outright disgust to straight-laced enjoyment. Many have constantly argued in favor and against this ‘odd’ little anime, so what exactly is it about the show that has caused people to come to such complimentary and derisive opinions ?
Well to start off the show does have some solid pedigree behind it, being scripted by the ‘Mari Okada’ (Anohana, Kiznaiver) and directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (Another, Shirobako) naturally leading to a certain level of expectation and preconception from the anime fan base which suffice to say was either thrown away completely or heavily remodeled a few weeks into the anime’s run. The show was, to say the least, not what a lot of people expected it to be (myself included) but at the end of it all I am happy to say that I enjoyed the experience and hope the following words may enlighten you as to why.
Going in I expected a solid mystery/thriller with overall high end production values and can safely say the latter part of that statement was well met. The art and animation, courtesy of P.A Works, maintained a high quality standard throughout the anime’s run though the CGI ‘creations’ were more awkwardly blended in. Given the show’s large cast, the character designs are all helpfully distinctive allowing for an easier time of keeping track of things.
As for the ‘characters’ themselves, the biggest problem they faced was that there were just simply too many of them and given the series’ short length, most aren’t given any substantial amount of screen-time thus making it impossible (for me at least) to even remember their names at times, lest having any proper development. Though to be fair, the show never really cares about most its cast as even with those who did receive more substantial screen-time never really elicited anything from me as the audience because it never really tried to get me to care. There were certain tragic flashbacks given for a couple of characters though they don’t really do enough to really make me feel emphatic towards said characters but simply go “that sucks” momentarily and then move on. Certain members of the cast were also just plain unlikable which which may or may not have helped the show’s cause. Overall the characters were the weakest part of the show though they did have their moments in various ways.
Moving on from the characters to the main story-line, I found that the general concept itself was decent enough. The whole facing your materialized fears could have been quite emotionally poignant in an other show but that’s clearly not what this was trying for. Which brings to the main selling point of this show and that is despite (or because) of its various negative qualities it proved to be quite a fun ride mostly thanks to the show’s intentionally (or not ?) great execution™ (trademarked by Lovepon.inc).
From inappropriate musical choices during tense moments, quirky conversations out of left field, some pretty ridiculous looking ‘monsters’, hilariously bad shot composition, weirdly and wonderfully incompetent characters and just a couple of more traditional humorous moments thrown in for good measure, The Lost Village perfectly encapsulates the notion of ‘so bad its good’ and leverages it well to provide some solid entertainment.
So, the bottom line here is that although The Lost Village has its flaws and though a lot of people may give it quite a few scathing reviews, I personally think that this show is worth a watch in order to experience its odd yet delightful sense of humor. All in all, its a cautious recommendation but a recommendation nonetheless.