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ANIME REVIEW: THE LOST VILLAGE “Look Before You Leap”

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Do you feel unsatisfied with your life? Do you wish things could be different? What if you had the option to get on a bus, leave your old life behind you and start over elsewhere?

That is the basic premise of The Lost Village, one of the new anime in the Spring 2016 lineup. The anime opens with an enthusiastic tour guide-type who explains to the 30 passengers on the bus that they are headed to a new utopia to start the new lives of their dreams. This “utopia” is the enigmatic Nanaki Village, which no one seems to have any concrete details on as multiple passengers on the bus have varying tales about its origin. In fact, the village is so mysterious that police are unable to find it and those who have previously journeyed there are reported as missing to the outside world. Everyone on the bus found out about Nanaki Village through the internet, so everyone goes by their online usernames.

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As stated before there are 30 characters introduced in this first episode, and while we do get brief introductions from each character (sometimes just a name from some) as the episode continues we get to see glimmers of personalities from a few characters. Mitsumune, our apparent protagonist, appears cheerful and easy-going but seems to suffer from delusions and nightmares that might be related to his past life. Speedstar, who prefers to go by his real name Hayato, is the closest to Mitsumune and claims to only be going to Nanaki Village because he’s curious about its mystery. Other notable characters are Lion, a mysterious girl in a lion hoodie, Masaki, an eccentric girl who becomes emotional easily, Valkana, a hot-tempered man who doesn’t seem to get along with anyone, and Jack, a quiet youth who hates adults and isn’t afraid to get violent.

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The animation is very clean and detailed, and unlike some anime that suffer from same-face-syndrome (especially ones that have large casts of characters), each character in this anime looks and feels individual from the rest.

While there are light moments of humor in the episode, there is definitely a darker tone throughout and it seems safe to say that all 30 characters will not survive through the duration of the series (especially given that the director of this series, Tsutomu Mizushima, also directed the brutal Another). There is a heavy layer of obscurity surrounding Nanaki Village, and while this first episode raises more questions than offers answers, it does give viewers enough incentive to tune in next week to find out what happens.

Do you feel unsatisfied with your life? Do you wish things could be different? What if you had the option to get on a bus, leave your old life behind you and start over elsewhere? That is the basic premise of The Lost Village, one of the new anime in the Spring 2016 lineup. The anime opens with an enthusiastic tour guide-type who explains to the 30 passengers on the bus that they are headed to a new utopia to start the new lives of their dreams. This “utopia” is the enigmatic Nanaki Village, which no one seems to have any concrete details on as multiple passengers on the bus have varying tales about its origin. In fact, the village is so mysterious that police are unable to find it and those who have previously journeyed there are reported as missing to the outside world. Everyone on the bus found out about Nanaki Village through the internet, so everyone goes by their online usernames. As stated before there are 30 characters introduced in this first episode, and while we do get brief introductions from each character (sometimes just a name from some) as the episode continues we get to see glimmers of personalities from a few characters. Mitsumune, our apparent protagonist, appears cheerful and easy-going but seems to suffer from delusions and nightmares that might be related to his past life. Speedstar, who prefers to go by his real name Hayato, is the closest to Mitsumune and claims to only be going to Nanaki Village because he’s curious about its mystery. Other notable characters are Lion, a mysterious girl in a lion hoodie, Masaki, an eccentric girl who becomes emotional easily, Valkana, a hot-tempered man who doesn’t seem to get along with anyone, and Jack, a quiet youth who hates adults and isn’t afraid to get violent. The animation is very clean and detailed, and unlike some anime that suffer from same-face-syndrome (especially ones that have large casts of characters), each character in this anime looks and feels individual from the rest. While there are light moments of humor in the episode, there is definitely a darker tone throughout and it seems safe to say that all 30 characters will not survive through the duration of the series (especially given that the director of this series, Tsutomu Mizushima, also directed the brutal Another). There is a heavy layer of obscurity surrounding Nanaki Village, and while this first episode raises more questions than offers answers, it does give viewers enough incentive to tune in next week to find out what happens.
Story - 6.5
Characters - 7
Animation - 7

6.8

While mostly a mystery right now, The Lost Village looks to be an interesting thriller once the plot unfolds.

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