The Lost Village – Preview
The Lost Village:
Original Air Dates: April 1st, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Thirty young men and women, from all walks of life, have come together on a shady bus tour that promises to take them to a hidden village thought to be no more than an urban legend: Nanakimura. It’s said that within Nanakimura one can begin a new life and lead a perfect existence without any interference from the life they’re running from. But is that really what awaits them at the village?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: The Lost Village is an odd one to get a handle on. Like some anime every season, it doesn’t really set up what to expect week to week with its premiere. Visually, however, The Lost Village is fairly sound. It renders its real world setting with fair accuracy. It’s character designs are each unique, helping to balance all its characters and make it easier for the audience to remember all the new faces.
Linny: The characters are definitely well drawn and distinct from each other but the sheer size of the cast makes it hard to remember them all, especially in and after one single episode. Other than the character design, there isn’t much happening in the backgrounds, good or bad, as characters are restrained to the inside of a bus or abandoned/quiet rest stops where most elements are stationery and static. The only major difference was the CGI being used to depict the bus in motion, which looked about as CGI-like as one would expect.
Tom: The show loses no time in outlining its premise for the audience. We’re treated to the bus tour guide rattling off about the lost village and explaining that each of our characters is someone from a net group who happened to stumble upon/hack their way into learning about this tour and the lost village. It’s quick, to the point and launches us right into things.
Linny: The premise of a lost and mysterious village is no doubt gripping and chilling as we hear more and more about the unsettling rumours surrounding said village. However, thanks to the sheer amount spent in introducing and setting up our characters, the actual village and its mysteries feel like a secondary component. I do worry about it being more about the characters and their drama, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just maybe not what some might have expected. It’s still an interesting concept, reminding me of shows like Shin Sekai Yori, and there’s still plenty of potential for the show. Between the personality clashes, and the mysteries around ‘starting over a new life’, there should be plenty of entertainment fodder to fuel the show.
Tom: The big issue with Lost Village is the sheer size of its cast. With thirty some odd characters (I don’t think that’s counting the tour guide or bus driver) that’s a lot of faces to remember. Most shows will drizzle out cast members, slowly allowing you to meet each character and get a feel. Instead, Lost Village has opted to dump all thirty on you at once, with each giving a brief introduction to summarize/give you a feel for who they each are. It’s an interesting, if perhaps too upfront approach. You’ll most likely walk away remembering a few details here and there, and maybe a name or two, but others you’ll struggle to really recall. Having just seen the first episode I could probably describe about a third of the cast from memory, but after seven days waiting for episode two? I might need a rewatch by that point.
Linny: It was definitely a bit of a nightmare as I struggled to remember the onslaught of introductions and characters. Luckily, the show then chooses to focus on a handful of characters in the episode so you can at least get familiar with those select few. Every character has their schtick, with a lot of them coming off as oddballs or self absorbed. A lot of them remain one-note thanks to the lack of time and only time will tell if any of them will truly resonate or matter in the long run.
Tom: Whether they resonate or not might depend on how Lost Village utilizes its cast going forward. That said, a few characters feel too melodramatic, spitting out lines about adults lulling you into a false sense of security just to murder you during the episode’s big dramatic scene. It feels a bit childish a line, but perhaps that’s just the type of character we were introduced to this time. Maybe there’s less juvenile characters waiting in the wings for next episode.
Linny: There are definitely some strong and opinionated personalities in the mix here, but I don’t know if any of them are especially like-able. They do, indeed, make for a mixed bag of characters but that doesn’t necessarily mean a winning combination.
Tom: I did quite like the bus driver actually, who hammers home what are most likely some of the themes Lost Village will dabble with over the season: Running away when things get tough, too young to understand the world, etc. But it’s also unclear of exactly where Lost Village will be going as a show. We really won’t know until we reach the hidden village, unless the show is about the journey to it, rather than the destination. It looks like we should have a better idea with the next episode.
Linny: Thanks to the vague nature of the show, its hard to form a solid opinion of it. There’s no certainty as to which direction the story is going to take so it would be best to try another episode before you write it off. If you’re a fan of macabre and creepy mysteries, this show seems like the best pick for this season, even if it’s going to need more than one episode to show its true colours.
Tom: The Lost Village is a wholly original series by Studio Diomedea so there’s no source material to fall back on here. My honest recommendation is, assuming you don’t outright dislike what you’re watching, give it one more episode just to see exactly where The Lost Village plans on going. I’m waiting to see where it’s going before passing full judgement, but I am cautiously optimistic.
The Lost Village is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com