About a week ago, our guest writer Callum wrote an article on this website regarding this season’s absurdist comedy Mayoiga: The Lost Village and how despite popular opinion the show was in fact being intentionally funny.

There’s a ton of evidence pointing towards this conclusion and although we obviously won’t be able to prove any of these claims, I do believe that there is little reason to believe that what Mayoiga has been doing so far is not intentional. But this write-up isn’t exactly about that. Here I want to try and delve a bit deeper into that topic and ask a question regarding this that has been brought up several times ever since the topic first came about:

Does the fact that what Mayoiga is doing is intentional really make it a better show?

Now first I’ll have to probably explain exactly how I mean this question. I’m of course not talking about Mayoiga’s idea or approach making it superior to other anime, but rather whether what the show has been doing being intentional excuses everything it’s done “wrong”. Nothing about the show makes any kind of sense, every single character is completely unlikable and rarely has any kind of logic to them, the dialogue often enough goes completely off topic and delves into the most unimportant things possible. No matter how you look at it, any single aspect of these alone would already qualify the show as being awful on a critical level under normal circumstances, but I think that’s exactly where the problem lies.

mayoiga

Mayoiga is not a normal show. Every one of the “faults” I was listing serves a purpose. Crunchyroll writer Isaac Akers wrote an article about how Mayoiga is the best comedy of this season a few weeks ago and in it he describes several ways in which it achieves what it has set out to do including “bad” cinematography and the constant trivialization of huge dramatic moments something people would usually consider as a huge downgrade to a series. For this particular one however I would actually argue it’s the exact opposite once again for the same reason: they serve a purpose. The bad cinematography, as Akers explains in his write-up, is a huge factor in taking a lot of the momentum out of what should have been suspenseful scenes making them impossible to take serious and ultimately funny and that’s what’s going on with almost every aspect of the series.

mayoiga

All of this makes me believe that rather than wanting to be “intentionally bad” as people have described the show before, Mayoiga is using things that critics would usually call a show out for to enhance its story. It’s not trying to be bad, but rather building upon aspects of what makes a truly awful series in order to create something that in its own special way is absolutely magical.

The biggest thing to take away from Aker’s article on what makes Mayoiga work really in the end is not just the simple aspects of what makes it work, but rather that it was intended to work this way in the first place. That there was a lot of care put into it turning out this way and that with it being as hilarious as it is, it absolutely has succeeded and I think that is a very important thing to take away from this show. Criticism for a series should not be built upon preset standards of what makes cinematography good or what makes a good series, but I believe that shows that are different in some way should be treated and judged differently and based on what they were trying to accomplish and Mayoiga most certainly was one of them.

Posted by Jonas Mönicke

Just a german writer that spends too much time thinking and talking about cartoons and people playing computer games on his blog and twitter.

5 Comments

  1. To be honest, I don’t buy it. I feel like yes, Mayoiga is funny, but not intentionally so. But even if it is, just by knowing your making a bad thing, doesn’t make it good. Like if you purposely burnt your family’s dinner, just because your purposely ruined it wont make them enjoy it any more than they would if it was accidental. I could believe being told Mayoiga is a parody of the current state of the horror genre sure, but being some hyper intelligent piece on which it subverts the idea of criticism and purposely tries to shoot itself in the foot, yeah right.

    Reply

    1. This entire write-up was kind of assuming that Mayoiga is being intentionally funny so yeah I’ll just continue to do so. As I wrote in the article itself I don’t really think that Mayoiga’s goal is to be “so bad it’s good” or anything, but rather to use methods that would usually make shows bad to enhance its story. It’s trying to be funny through being ridiculous and going against expectations and it’s using whatever it can to sell that, including things like bad cinematography etc

      Reply

  2. Does being “intentionally bad” make Mayoiga a better show? I don’t think so. It’s still a bad show. It’s just one that’s intentional. The real question is whether or not it makes the show more respectable.

    If Mayoiga was aiming to be good and failed, it’s just a bad show, albeit one that I personally find to be beautiful in how much of a trainwreck it is. But if it’s bad on purpose, it makes it a work of postmodernism. There’s no meaning in creating something intentionally bad. They’re not saying anything with it. All they’re doing is engaging in an artistic project (in this case, to simulate badness) for the sake of art. It’s parodic, but it’s not parodying anything other than itself. Any artistic value comes from the fact that the creators have said “we’re going to do this incredibly counter-intuitive thing just so we can say we did it.” And that sort of postmodern attitude is often what I love most in my art.

    But I don’t think it makes Mayoiga good.If Mayoiga is intentionally bad, then the creation of Mayoiga itself is artistic in some sense. But it can only be viewed as good in the meta, and when you’re looking at the meta, can you say that the show itself is what’s good?

    Reply

  3. From its jokey birth as a faux trailer to its unique development into a fully formed picture, “Clown” has defied the odds. This is an eerie, auspicious, classily mounted fable of the macabre.

    Reply

Comment Now