The Lost Village
by Nick Creamer,
How would you rate episode 10 of
The Lost Village ?
In this week's The Lost Village, Mitsumune met God. God didn't really help explain much, though - in fact, mostly he wanted to take about his own tragic backstory. This is The Lost Village, after all. If it starts to make sense, it's not really working.
Plenty else didn't make sense in this week's episode, in ways both new and classically Lost Village. The major conversation between most of the cast back in the village was pretty much textbook Lost Village, as some sort of lethargy overcoming the remaining characters basically caused them to give up on their own personalities. Piitan became sick of the lovey-dovey act that had been her entire persona so far, Dahara revealed he was a smoker and basically just trying to act cool for Koharun, and Mikage got generally fed up with everyone around him being a useless lump of a person. As The Lost Village winds towards what in a normal show would hopefully resemble a climax, it seems only Mikage and Lovepon are capable of sticking to their values.
Aside from that conversation, this episode was basically a tensionless whirlwind of abrupt reveals. Nanko's team actually ran into Reiji, who Maimai immediately declared she wanted to punch for being “an enemy to all women.” Mitsumune ran into his dad (!), Yottsun (!!), and then God himself (!!!), all reveals portrayed with the cathartic bombast of spreading cold jam on toast. And Jack and Judgeness met up in a shack to pay tribute to the Boss, who turned out to be Koharun, evil mastermind extraordinaire.
Any one of these moments might have been exciting if they were handled with conventional execution, though The Lost Village's general refusal to imbue its drama with coherent characterization, meaningful stakes, or tense execution makes that seem a little doubtful. But in The Lost Village, these twists were simultaneously confusing and flat, featuring characters introduced too rapidly to build suspense and without any sense of consequence.
The reveal of Jack and Judgeness's collaboration probably took the bad delivery cake - instead of being placed as a segue from either another dramatic moment or a character reflecting on their potential actions, as it would be in a normal show, it instead came in the middle of an expositional speech by God and was interrupted by a cut back to that exposition. Narrative information doesn't just exist in a vacuum - its placement in a dramatic sequence can account for the better part of its dramatic import, and placement like that essentially conveys "oh right, this is also happening and I forgot to tell you but don't worry about it it's not very important." I actually burst out laughing at Mitsumune meeting the upbeat Yottsun, who'd been the closest thing this show had to a “confirmed kill.” And of course Mitsumune ended up forgetting Yottsun's name, a choice underlining the non-significance of all these theoretically meaningful moments.
We also got some explanations for Nanaki this week, such as they were. Apparently “when a past so complicated you can't even label it as difficult, lonely, or sad takes form, that is Nanaki.” Also the town invokes lethargy in the people who visit it, or something. Also once you fight your Nanaki you start rapidly aging, because overcoming past trauma means letting that trauma devour a part of your soul.
In short, this was pretty much another episode of The Lost Village. You know what to expect at this point - very silly non-sequiturs by consistently ridiculous characters, direction that seems dedicated mostly to undercutting the potential excitement of most major scenes, and a whole lot of talking in circles. This episode's mission statement seemed to be “let's do all the reveals at once, thus making sure none of them work,” and in this goal it succeeded. If you were worried The Lost Village revealing its cards would turn it into a more conventional show, I think those fears can be put to rest.
The Lost Village is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Nick writes about anime, storytelling, and the meaning of life at Wrong Every Time.
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