Mayoiga Ep. 11: Embracing my Nanaki with another post

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Another Friday night, another Mayoiga post. Life is great. 

— Oh hey, it’s the bus driver and his dead daughter! I sure am not tired to see this over and over.

— The characters are even getting butthurt now. Man, you really don’t want to stay in this village!

— People are sleepy and tired. They’re clearly not themselves. Whatever flimsy personalities they used to have are slowly fading away. Nevertheless, Maimai comes back to tell Valkana (and the audience) that everyone has to leave the village or risk losing their “sense of self.” Great.

— Is it just me or characters just randomly become misogynistic for no reason? It was Jigoku early on, and now, we have Valkana spewing toxic shit randomly.

Fire arrows rain from the sky, but… they don’t seem to do anything. Nothing’s catching on fire. The arrows oddly leave no marks no matter what they hit. The arrows are useless. Nevertheless, Jigoku no Gouka has to explain to everyone (and the audience) that the fire arrows won’t do any damage to anyone or anything. Greeeeeat.

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— Eventually, the girls and Valkana confront the two Jackasses firing those arrows, For the next long, painful minutes, they simply tell everyone what Koharun is trying to accomplish. She’s looking to create a big Nanaki. A really big one. A really big Nanaki, and these people are gonna pay for it! Why? We’re not sure yet. For now, the only clue is that she wants to do “something” for “that person.” Great writing. Besides, I’m sure later episodes will talk about it plenty.  If Mayoiga’s good at anything, it’s talking its plot to death. It’s beating the dead horse over and over until the audience has to come up with stupid theories to convince themselves that Mari Okada has written a story worth telling: “No, y’see, this is a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, ‘purposely bad’ thrill ride!” Uh-huh. Whatever you say, man.

— Elsewhere, Koharun somehow locates Speedstar, and “deepens” his psychological scars. Again, we get another scene full of dry, boring dialogue. And don’t get me wrong. Dialogue is fine. Some of the most gripping scenes are just conversations between two people. Conversations can be a verbal duel, a jousting of words, a linguistic tussle. Take Hannibal, for instance. and the many conversations between the show’s eponymous serial killer and Will Graham. The dialogue between these two characters can feature double-meanings, implicit threats of violence, theological implications, callbacks, metaphors, etc. Here’s one example.

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As for Mayoiga, it’s just like, “Aw man, Mitsumune betrayed you for some girl he just met. Ugh, what a jerk! You must feel real bad, huh?” “No, stop! Don’t say her name! Ahhhhh!” Jesus Christ. So yeah, of course I’m fucking bored when I have to endure these scenes. And no, I’m not arguing at all that Mayoiga should try and hold itself up to a show like Hannibal. Obviously, the latter has a much higher budget, a much larger writing team, so on and so forth. I just don’t want people to get the wrong idea when I rant about the overabundance of talking in these episodes or any anime for that matter. I know conversations between two people aren’t inherently boring. Some of my favorite movies don’t have any action in them. Mayoiga’s main problem isn’t that it lacks action or that the characters talk too much. The show’s biggest problem is simply that the writing sucks, so the dialogue sucks.

— We cut to Mitsumune, Kamiyama and Yottsun. “God” is trying to help our boy hero return to the village. In the meantime, let’s talk some more!

— Apparently, there are exact conditions which must be fulfilled before you can enter the village. Oh boy.

— Also, Yottsun is the first out of our gang of idiots to accept his Nanaki. Is there anything profound to his story? Nope, not really. You just have to accept pain into your life or something. That being alive isn’t just about having only positive emotions. We have to embrace our negative emotions as well, and often times, the best things in life are bittersweet, yadda yadda yadda. Great. Thumbs up. You’ve totally solved all of life’s problems.

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— On the other hand, Kamiyama never accepted his Nanaki. He simply left it behind… but how did he really leave it behind? It didn’t even seem like he had a chance to “accept” it. Argh, whatever.

— Unfortunately, the path to the village doesn’t open up for Mitsumune… not yet, anyways. His stupid dad just had to go and tell him that his mother isn’t entirely crazy. As a result, the kid’s psychological scars have been minimized. They’re not large enough for him to go back to the village. Argh, way to go, Dad! You totally made me feel better! What the fuck!

— Wait, did Yottsun’s experiences not clarify things enough? Are you still not sure what it takes to embrace your trauma? Alright, here’s a long, drawn out scene with the bus driver and his dead daughter!

— Blah blah blah, accept your pain. Got it.

— Reiji then shows up out of nowhere to ask the bus driver for help. He wants the latter to help Mitsumune return to the village. So we return to Mitsumune, and out of nowhere again, the bus comes crashing through the fog.

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Ayyyy, it’s me, the bus driver! And I’ve brought my Nanaki with me!

— The bus driver’s Nanaki reveals that Reiji is actually a Nanaki as well. In fact, he’s Masaki’s Nanaki. Great. These Nanakis just wanna talk and shit. I bet the other Nanakis are the same. That giant silicone boob just wanted to have a heart-to-heart with Jigoku.

— Mitsumune starts feeling really, really bad for Masaki and her plight. It’s so sad!!! So the bus driver starts driving, because the hero’s gonna go back to the village, dammit! As they get closer to the village, however, both the bus driver and Yottsun disappear. After all, they’ve accepted their Nanaki. It’s up to Mitsumune alone to drive himself back. So uh… what made the path to the village open back up? Was it the crying? Did crying about Masaki somehow do it for the kid?

— Finally, we return to Masaki. She’s just wandering the woods, crying for Reiji. Hm. Okay. I still got questions about that foggy, abandoned village, but I’m sure we’ll talk it out later. Suddenly, Mikage and Lovepon attack the girl, because they’re still convinced she’s a witch. Oh, I’m just thrilled to hear Lovepon speak again.

— At first, Masaki begs for Reiji’s help, but due to the strong impression that Mitsumune has left on her over the past few days, she eventually relents and begs for him. There you go, boys! That’s how you win a girl’s heart!

— Here comes Mitsumune to save the day!

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Whoops, almost ran my love interest over.

— But before he can explain anything to anyone, Speedstar’s Nanaki is…

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…uh, bigger. Just bigger. In better stories, if your psychological scars worsen, then things would usually get more fucked up to fit the protagonist’s precarious mental state. Take Silent Hill, for instance. As James Sunderland slowly lost his grip on reality, the world around him fell apart. At one point, he jumped through a series of holes in the ground to symbolize his descent into the abyss. He fights weirder and stranger monsters. The physical arrangements of the levels no longer made sense. You get my point. In Mayoiga, um, the monster just gets bigger. The best part is that it is far less creepier now than when we first saw it a few episodes ago. Now it just looks… well, if I say goofy, then the diehard Mayoiga apologists would just go, “See?! See?! The anime is funny!”

— Episode’s over. I was pretty bored throughout most of it. The show has no suspense, and the mystery has been solved for the most part. There’s really nothing compelling left about the story. I’m just here due to the sunk cost fallacy. I’ve wasted so much time on the show, I may as well finish it. Blah.

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4 thoughts on “Mayoiga Ep. 11: Embracing my Nanaki with another post

  1. Karandi

    While I probably enjoyed this episode more than you seem to, I agree with most of your points. Particularly in that I am only still watching because I have come this far. Also, what was with the increased sexism this episode? Certainly it had been there prior but this episode felt like it regressed about fifty years. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      Sometimes, you are what you write. I’m not saying that Okada’s sexist, but maybe it’s on her mind to some extent. I’m curious as to why that is. Likewise, I wonder why she keeps revisiting these premises revolving around psychological scars. It’s almost rendering her one dimensional.

      Reply
  2. ioncarryon

    Hahaha! I think you just wanted to post a clip of Hannibal, and it’s always a good time for that.
    Jokes aside, I get what you mean. A real moment, like the one you linked to, is not manufactured or forced but occurs naturally as the story continues on and the characters cross paths, whether by incident or design.

    The problem is how this show, like most others, tries to force those moments instead of letting them occur organically. Also, the monster thing is dumb unless it’s handled well and in a creepy way. Making things bigger rarely makes them scarier. It’s why I saw a poster once dub the “Godzilla Effect”; after a while, the size is a detriment to horror rather than a strength since it reveals too much and leaves so little to the imagination.

    The writer should be focused on weaving the moments they think are poignant and most interesting into the narrative instead of just plopping them on there in scoops. In that weaving process a lot of consideration is given both to timing and what will be conveyed, and that’s time which comes in very handy to weed out poor decisions which would otherwise have been made with impulsiveness to “get the cool scene in there”.

    I don’t know if I ever asked you this, mate, but did you ever write a story before?
    If not, I’m sure you know what I mean regardless.

    Reply
    1. E Minor Post author

      I have written a few short stories in my younger days. They’re not worth revisiting. I prefer to analyze stories and characters.

      Reply

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