Mayoiga was one the bigger disappointments for me this season. I will give it credit for not turning into a total gorefest like many informed viewers expected it to be, but it doesn’t offer anything else substantial. There will be spoilers ahead.
So the big twist was that everyone who makes into Nanaki village is confronted by a visualization of their trauma, their Nanaki, every time they want to leave the village and the only way to get back is by either severing yourself from your Nanaki, which causes you to age super fast, or to accept your Nanaki, which causes you to warp back to the normal world. This results in a feel-good ending to the show where about half the characters resolve their traumas and accept their Nanakis and about half choose to stay in the village because they are done with society. None of this is bad, and to give the show some credit a lot of Nanakis are fucking amazingly grotesque and horrifying, and some of the sound effects like the thunderous roars from earlier episodes are stellar. However all of the best elements in the show are more ideal for a thriller, horror story (which is what most people expected anyway), not a show with a feel-good ending teaching all the characters that everyone has shit to deal with and every has their own traumas.
The problem here is that because the story is more about teaching a lesson than actually telling a story, the story never goes anywhere. There’s 30 characters, quite a few subplots, several horrifying looking monsters and their accompanying backstories, and none of it matters at all. The story has a ton of moving parts and some of them are handled pretty well or are pretty interesting, but they all amount to nothing because the only part of the story that really mattered was Mitsumune convincing Hayato to quit being a possessive dick and be his friend, and by extension teaching everyone else to embrace their Nanakis. Fuck the cool parts of the story was the initial disappearance of Yottsun, the big roars, the ugly monsters (I thought the BB gun girl’s wasp monster especially good) and the weird song Koharu kept singing. But none of those elements really go anywhere, they were all red herrings, which is a shame because I think this show had the potential to be a great new horror anime and that clearly didn’t happen. There isn’t much else to say really, this show had a ton of potential and has some superficial stuff that was good, but the core narrative was threadbare and could have easily been told over an OVA or two, but instead it took a full twelve episodes. The only good thing to come out of the final episode was Valkana being a boss and saying he’d try living in Nanaki Village forever, and Lovepon calling Mitsumune’s penguin Nanaki agorable and behaving like the cute girl she is for a second without shouting execute.
Hope you enjoyed reading and I’ll see you in the next one.