I’d like to share a bunch of Tweets that I made after the first episode’s broadcast.
Obvious is one word that perfectly describes Mayoiga. It’s certainly given us drama, but we’re not getting any blood. I mean, who honestly thought Yottsun was dead? Get literate.
Personally, I believe the show was originally conceived as a healing-type anime, aimed at confused teenagers, disillusioned young adults, and people with mental health problems, groups that are well represented among anime fandom. Then Okada came on board and turned this project into a communication anime. Is the audience actually capable of identifying with at least one character from the thirty-odd cast of fuckups? I don’t believe so. But the craziness is enough to get you guys talking about the show. For those who aren’t familiar with communication anime, their point is to create as many new camaraderies among fans, either through clash or cohesion of opinions in online discussions, forming a feeling of shared experience. Basically, everything goes as long as the show trolls as many people into the discussion as possible.
People are creating buzz and having fun, even myself, so where’s the harm? Well, one thing I noticed about these shows is that they tend to have really bad execution. Priorities change when it’s buzz that keeps a production profitable. But the problem is fans aren’t really having fun with the show presented to them. They are having fun talking to each other, and not necessarily about the show itself. After the first few episodes, the show becomes an afterthought. Sure, people still watch it but how many actually like the show for its own strengths? Repeat this a few times with a dozen bad, but popular shows, and kids will realize they don’t need an excuse to hang out with other fans. The lack of outstanding qualities may turn them off from watching anime altogether.
That’s possibly one of the major reasons why anime fandom has such low retention rates.
Fans probably won’t be standing in line to buy this gem on home video, but I’m sure a sizable portion of them bought into the idea that everybody should visit the hidden village for themselves and accept their Nanaki.
Expect real-life bus tours of model villages running throughout the summer. Because making pseudo-friends on sketchy bus tours is what being an anime fan is all about.