“Freezing in the Moonlight”

「月下氷結」 (Gekka Hyouketsu)

They’re Becoming Self-Aware!:

If you’re taking any of this seriously, you’re watching it wrong. The number of complaints flung at Mayoiga only seems to increase with every passing week, and it still baffles me that people think the show treats itself seriously, as if the creators made all this by accident. It seems so obvious to me that every idiotic one-liner, every absurd plot turn, every hateable side character – it’s all intentional. If you can accept that, then we can actually talk about the series properly (kind of…). I just think it’s fair to say we should expect the unexpected with Mayoiga, which has managed to twist our preconceptions with just about every episode.

One little moment that stuck out for me this time around has to be those two side characters deciding they don’t care anymore. It’s a short scene, in an episode packed with several strange developments, but the fact that these characters are almost becoming self-aware is sheer brilliance. It’s like they are reading the scripts a week ahead and are just now realising they’re not in on the joke – that everything about Mayoiga is a joke! But I say, if they’re not going to play their parts, they shouldn’t be surprised if they’re killed off before they have time to steer the plot in a meaningful or sensical direction. We wouldn’t that now, would we?

Let the Ridiculousness Continue:

Getting locked in the attic with your dead grandma, a giant toy penguin on the loose, and a wood monster fresh from the desks of smug businessmen – Mayoiga is truly one of a kind. Where do I even begin? What do I try to dissect, if anything? Is it even worth the time? If you think about it, almost none of this is actually happening; bar the (intentionally) dumb flashbacks, all the horror and action in the present time surrounding the traumatic visions aren’t actually real. It would be amusing to get a glimpse of what Masaki actually sees when everyone is freaking out over some personal disaster that’s brought them here in the first place. Is there a giant smoke monster taking different shapes? Or perhaps the characters are quite literally shouting at nothing, which would make them the weird ones, no matter how you look at it.

These were so many hilarious scenes this week, both for how ridiculous they are at face value, and how badly written these characters and their motives are. The fact that Speedstar didn’t second guess Masaki going off to the toilet is worthy of a palm to the face, but then once you hear about his traumatic past – which would be sad and horrible in just about any other show – I knew Masaki’s misadventure would hardly be the most outrageous event of the week. Right down to the framed photo of his grandmother sitting in the attic where the light could shine upon it, this whole sequence made for perhaps the most bizarre backstory yet – even more than Valkana and his giant squiggly wood monster. Not only that, but Mitsumune decided to chase after the penguin he is supposed to be terrified off before stepping into the mist and then waking up to a bright ceiling light. Yep. Just roll with it.

Overview – What’s Next?:

Also, Jack is back. Judgeness is practically pissing himself, Nanko is still squeezing her belly fat in order to deduce this debacle, and there’s a new face showing up – perhaps Masaki’s cousin? Hopefully once she’s done taking a leak out back we’ll find out more about her story, because she’s clearly hiding more than she’s giving away. It could be anything at this point. Wouldn’t it be funny if she was a ghost/witch/monster all along and all the stupid side characters were right to absolutely lose their minds? That’d certainly be a thing… but then again so is sharpening up bamboo branches to hunt down a runaway bus.



  1. It’s almost as if the creators are telling the mental health professionals to lock these characters up in sanitariums for their own well-being. This purgatory-like state that they’re in is almost like one when you think about it. Fuck, I’m scaring myself aren’t I? Why the hell am I continuing to watch this? Sheesh…

    Nishizawa Mihashi
  2. That guy at the end who tackled Jack in the final scene was probably Reiji right?

    Anyway It’d be interesting if Nanaki village exists in a different dimension, and that being in this dimension causes peoples fears/issues to manifest subconsciously. Though the whole facing your fears/issues thing has been done a lot in story telling.

    Another thing I’d like, but would never expect is if this whole thing is a shared dream and that nothing that has happened, has happened in reality. Perhaps bus driver guy caused an accident(In the first episode) and the group are recovering somewhere in a hospital, but the “Nanaki Village” effect has them all sharing some funky dream.

    1. I think that has to be Reiji, since we never saw his face last week. Makes sense he would show up now.

      And the theory about everyone dying in the first episode is one I’ve had for a while. Who knows what will happen… but that’s certainly a possibility.

      1. Them being dead is a good theory, I think. But if they’re dead, why would they even need to face their inner fears/issues? The way the “monsters” were coming towards each of the characters at a steady pace seems more like the characters were being tormented if anything.

        It’d be interesting if there was a character directly responsible for all of this. But if they revealed it out of nowhere in the final episode, I wouldn’t like that much.

      2. If they’re dead, I guess they’re in purgatory and must overcome their fears to move on. But that wouldn’t explain Mitsumune waking up in a hospital bed, which is why I think it’s a psychological experiment everyone signed up for.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      1. Lol could you imagine that? Wow. Anyway I think there must be a good reason why the “Monsters” haven’t seriously harmed anyone. That reason probably is the purpose of this entire place as a whole.

  3. Not really sure what happened to Judgment there. An arrow flew at him and knocked him out, rather than hitting and piercing him? I’m confused.

    Speedstar is right, Masaki just needs to come out and tell them why they shouldn’t go through the tunnel. But it’s to create drama through the plot contrivance of being needlessly cryptic and vague.

    Turns out there’s writing on a rock from Reiji that told her not to go further. Lame-o. She could’ve just said that rather than keeping it from everyone (see being needlessly cryptic and vague), which caused them to suspect her even more!

    The wild boar bus hunt continues! And they’re using bamboo spears! lol

    And the two guys said what some of us are thinking all along. Who cares at this point anymore.

    Speedstar gets his backstory, he was abused so he decided to abuse Mitsumune in a similar way. So that’s why he’s so upset, Mitsumune’s thinking for himself and not listening to him. So, that explains his behavior. But still, what a POS.

    Maksaki runs off after telling them she needs to use the bathroom, in the most apologetic way possible (girl, if you need to use the bathroom, don’t apologize for it!), and then they both go off to another building without telling her. So how were they supposed to find each other in a spooky town if in fact, they trusted each other?

    Valkana’s interaction with Mistumune was on point. What do you mean, “more importantly”?

    It’s like these characters willfully avoid answering any questions! (see being needlessly cryptic and vague).

    I bet it was Reiji who saved Lion and the girls.

    Mitsumune wakes up in a hospital?

    Maybe they’re not all dead, but they all signed up to undergo a psychological experiment, hooked to a machine where they all experience a scenario together so they can work through their trauma as some sort of therapy.

    Or they’re dead and in purgatory.

    Bamboo Blade Cat
  4. I have turned off trying to “logically solve” the series. Unlike higurashi NNKN, where hints were good enough to deduce most of the plot:
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Here almost nothing makes sense…

  5. “It seems so obvious to me that every idiotic one-liner, every absurd plot turn, every hateable side character – it’s all intentional”

    Intentionally writing a trainwreck that’s plodding around like a boat with no rudder with a too many characters that no one really gives a shit about? That’s a bold strategy Cotton, let’s see if it pays off.

    1. Yep, I agree. The show is rubbish but it’s somehow brilliant because it’s trying to be rubbish? Pull the other one man. Samu, stop being a contrarian for the sake of it. Just call a spade a spade.

      1. I’ll call it how I see it, and I see something genuinely funny and interesting in Mayoiga. I love how it riles up so many anime fans by twisting their expectations. It’s nowhere near as bad as people like to make out.

      2. Nobody is riled up. Almost all of the criticisms of Mayoiga are justified. It’s a train wreck. That said, I’m still watching it. It can be entertaining watching a train wreck. But that doesn’t make it special. And being the counter-cultured doesn’t make you special; just pretentious. You’re Brian Griffoning this shit, man.

      3. So me genuinely enjoying this show makes me pretentious? For trying to make the case that perhaps everything that’s happening is intentional and not because the show is going off the rails by accident? After covering the show for nine weeks it would take one hell of a nosedive to convince me that this wasn’t all pre-planned.

        It’s a weird show and I don’t know why it exists, but I’m having a great time with it. I just wish more people felt the same way.

      4. I agree, I don’t think the show is bad either. It hooks you with its premise and keeps you watching. I’ve watched about 6 episodes over the past few days and can’t say I was ever bored/irritated by the show once. There were some concerns over the direction the show may take, but I liked the creepy factor of the show.

      5. No, genuinely enjoying it doesn’t make you pretentious. But acting as if you’re the only one who truly understands what’s going on does. You’re seeing things that aren’t there. The writing is demonstrably bad. Even if they wrap the story up well there’s no way you can justify the horrible writing of the interactions between the characters.

        The ending will decide this all. That’s literally why I’m still watching. I want to know if they can somehow explain any of this in a decent way. But even if they do that, that doesn’t excuse the horrible character interactions.

      6. No, it’s bad. There’s no way anyone could call the writing/dialogue good or the plot contrivances cleverly done (if that’s the case, what does that say about an actually well written show?). And it’s not even a subversion of the genre. This is Hack Writing 101. It’s probably treading the line of so bad it’s good, and so bad it’s just bad, which is why its mileage varies.

        I just find it funny the lengths people go to to defend it. Just enjoy it for what it is, a guilty pleasure.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      7. @Urahara

        There’s huge a difference between being unintentionally bad and intentionally bad, though they sometimes have similar results. At least if something is intentionally bad, they know they’re making some possible crap, that could either turn out to be bad crap or entertainingly good crap. Something unintentionally bad never had that thought in mind, and were actually striving to be good (but that was never in the cards).

        Unintentionally bad: Congo (boy was that awful)

        Intentionally bad: Team America: World Police

        We should do a list, lol

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      8. @No, it’s bad.

        That’s a matter of opinion though. What you may consider bad, others may consider good. And what you consider good, others may consider bad. I doubt there’s a movie, tv show, videogame, book etc out there that doesn’t have critics.

      9. Like they say, taste is subjective, good taste is not.

        Though what you’re saying is true when something isn’t universally loved or loathed (with exceptions, of course).

        And in this case, this isn’t a show that’s universally loved or hated. Having said that, you can’t seriously think this show is well written? That’s the point, that it’s bad because it’s so poorly written. And keep in mind, bad doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it, making it good (to you).

        I watched Scream Queens this year (or was it last year?), and it was so so not a good show (the critics and viewers alike gave it scathing reviews), but it was something I enjoyed every week as to how ridiculous it was. But I never for minute thought “oh, they have it wrong!,” I knew it was bad, but I enjoyed it.

        People gotta learn/accept just because you like something doesn’t mean it’s good. Or if you dislike something there won’t be people who will enjoy it.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      10. @Like they say, taste is subjective, good taste is not.

        To a fan of something, someone who dislikes may have bad taste. To someone who dislikes something the fan likes, they may think the fan has bad taste. All opinion.

        I get that you don’t like the show, I have nothing against that whatsoever.

      11. I don’t think that the point being discussed here is it being good or bad , everyone (including Samu ) knows that this is a train-wreck , every aspect of it but the thing is : is it intended to be this way or is it just plain bad ???
        I personally don’t think this is intentional because the genre , outline of the plot and the direction’s lack of self awareness and confidence point to the other possibility

      12. Lyfe/ disagreements in opinion do not necessarily imply it’s merely a matter of taste.

        And I enjoy the show and I think the show is great, these two are not the same thing, as one can enjoy a show while thinking that it is pretty rubbish (and his or her taste is also rubbish).

      13. @Lyfe/ disagreements in opinion do not necessarily imply it’s merely a matter of taste.

        It was just an example. And one that’s quite common when two people have two conflicting opinions on something.

        For example.

        Person A(Critic): I really hate this game
        Person B(Fan): OMG you have poor taste in games.

      14. Having followed this quietly every week, it’s safe to say you’re all correct. asdf, Lyfe, and others are right that Mayoiga is structurally flawed–the writing is bad, the plot is poor, and the characters themselves are hilarious at best. Samu, however, is also correct that the show’s writing is intentional–this isn’t a ubiquitous fan-fic or some structurally defunct story by an ignorant teenager new to writing. Televised series will have some level of talent behind them, no matter the flaws. For adaptations the LN/manga writer can be blamed (after all, the adaptation is designed to be an acted version of the source material), but for series originals something else is usually going on.

        Considering how Mayoiga has progressed, IMO the best way to think about this show is like a B-grade horror flick. These flicks are often one-dimensional with an obvious conclusion, rely heavily on character tropes to make up for shallow development, and bear poor writing (and acting) proudly as memetic traits. No matter how objectively terrible these horror shows can be, how derivative each new one becomes, there are people who love them dearly. Whether it be from the jumps, the suspense, or the simple, vulgar perversion, there are aspects which draw in certain individuals. Almost like junk food for the mind.

        Using this as a basis better makes sense of Mayoiga. The show isn’t trying to send some grand message or underlying theme. We aren’t meant to be wowed by fantastic writing or a well thought out plot. Mayoiga is simply the horror/mystery variant of popcorn entertainment; this has been pretty clear (at least to me) since Masaki was strung up and questioned in such a ridiculous manner. Arguments could be made concerning the show’s seriousness (i.e. the hilarious character interactions) or how every flaw was meticulously planned from the start, but that would just take away from any enjoyment. As with those B-grade horror movies, you’re watching this for the experience.

      15. If Mayoiga is trying to be intentionally bad, it’s doing it wrong. And Okada from what I’ve read and heard has a history of making hysterical characters (among other issues). What doesn’t help is it’s trying to be way too serious, and the comedic moments for the most part are really unintentional. It’s just tough to pull off being intentionally bad and intentionally humorless. This show embodies the meme, never go full retard.

        Counter point: Evil Dead 2/Army of Darkness.

        Now this is B-grade horror that gets it right and doesn’t take itself too seriously, infusing the script with a great sense of humor and an actor who can pull it off.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      16. @fripsidelover9111

        “And I enjoy the show and I think the show is great, these two are not the same thing, as one can enjoy a show while thinking that it is pretty rubbish (and his or her taste is also rubbish).”

        This right here is what people here can’t seem to accept. I think I’ve started to enjoy the show cause it’s so ridiculous and unintentionally hilarious at times, but I know it’s rubbish.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      17. With all due respect, you came across as someone who because they believe something to be bad, automatically makes that thing bad. You see that a lot online with some people who seem to believe that their opinion is automatically the correct one and all others aren’t. I simply suggested that good or bad, it’s all just a matter of opinion. There is no right or wrong opinion when it comes to liking or hating an anime show.

      18. @Lyfe

        “Person A(Critic): I really hate this game
        Person B(Fan): OMG you have poor taste in games.”

        The problem with this is, the average fan doesn’t have the same level of credibility when judging something, and is inclined to their biases. A critic is supposed to be as objective as possible when critiquing said medium (or at least that’s the intent). Obviously that’s not the case with most critics, but if we don’t trust the critic when we disagree with them, what’s the point in listening to them when we do? It’s just an echo chamber where nothing actually has any value anymore except for when it’s positive and that’s pretty useless.

        An opinion isn’t any more or less correct because you have them. They’re more correct when they adhere to objective truths, and those can be measured through standardized metrics and aesthetics (with varying degrees of fluctuations).

        Take for example, Citizen Kane. Regarded as one of the best movies of all-time and not strictly because of subjective opinion. There’s a lot of technical merit that is on display and a story narrative that was at the time something never seen before which had an influence on a great number of movies. Regardless if you like it or not, these are things that can’t really be denied.

        In Mayoiga’s case (probably the first and last time it will ever be mentioned in the same breath as Citizen Kane), it’s acknowledged as a train wreck, and it’s certainly not well-written. Funny how that’s something some defenders of this show don’t bother admitting, but keep saying it’s a matter of opinion, they’re enjoying it, and it’s not bad. That’s great, but those aren’t really reasons whether or not this show is good or bad.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      19. This is all basically semantics. If you can’t accept that, so be it. But I’m done on this side of the conversation and will stick with discussing the show itself.

      20. Yes, there is no right or wrong opinion when it comes to liking or hating an anime show, I don’t think that was ever the issue. But when it comes to whether the show is good or not, based on its own merits, is the case.

        A great example is the highly polarizing show The Leftovers. People either love it or hate it. It’s a critical darling. It can be pretentious at worst or one of the best shows when everything is clicking right for it. But in either case, it can be acknowledged as a very well-written show.

        Another example is Mad Men. I don’t really care for it myself. It simply doesn’t interest me. But I can acknowledge it’s a really well-written and well acted show.

        Or Game of Thrones. A highly entertaining show, and was really well-written the first few seasons, though the quality has really take a nose dive in the last few, which viewers and critics alike pretty much agree on.

        Again, that’s less to do with liking or hating, but more to do with whether the show is good or not on an as objective basis as can be.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      21. @Lyfe

        “This is all basically semantics. If you can’t accept that, so be it.”

        But that’s not semantics. That’s objective criticism. I’m sort of tired of fans dismissing objective criticism because “opinions”. That’s about as reductive as telling someone to go watch a Michael Bay movie because they found something slowly paced.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      22. @Samu

        “I love how it riles up so many anime fans by twisting their expectations.”

        You’re projecting a little bit there/misinterpreting. Being annoyed with bad, exploitative writing and characters has little to nothing to do with “twisting their expectations”, but more to do with being annoyed with bad, exploitative writing and characters.

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      23. It seems everyone here knows where they stand and isn’t going to budge. All I know is I view Mayoiga as being written intentionally the way it is, right down to the comedy moments. There’s too many references to earlier scenes/character quirks that fit right into place for it to all be by accident.

        As was brought up earlier, the difference between something being intentionally or unintentionally bad is a big difference. At this point I’m pretty much convinced that this is all intentional and I’m feeling exactly how I should be feeling, which is why I love what the show has going for it. Those who have a disconnect are unlikely to get that same enjoyment out of the show, which I think is unfortunate.

      24. Overall, I’m enjoying the show more now than I was a few weeks back, and I’ve settled in with how a lot of these characters are acting. I do think it’s intentional the way they’re were characterized, I just don’t think the result was intentional, as in the creators didn’t think it’d be this poorly received by some (including myself).

        Bamboo Blade Cat
      25. I’m glad you’re liking it more now! As for what they thought the reception would be, it’s hard to tell. I can’t imagine how this show was pitched in the first place, but I’m glad it exists, even if it isn’t getting much love (though it’s still one of the most watched titles this season – 7th overall according to MyAnimeList).

    2. Bros, bros, bros… We’re all going on the merry-go-around talking about a show that directly uses the exact same line from a certain movie by M. Night Shyamalan:

      “I see dead people”

      I mean like, c’mon. The moment I saw that line, I laughed my ass off so fucking hard I almost woke up the neighbors. You know that the moment you saw that line that the show’s Grade-A bad, and that Okada and the rest were probably doing some LSD in addition to stuffing themselves with pot brownies, so no matter how many time we go ON, and ON, and ON about whether oh, it was intentional or not, the fact remains that Okada, Tsutomu and the gang had SOMEHOW convinced a bunch of chumps in Japan to fund this show all the way until completion, which shows itself in an OP song that doesn’t bloody fit in a supposed ‘mystery/horror’ show. Fuck, I don’t even fucking know how they convinced over 30-40 voice actors to even be in this project in the first place. It just blows my mind.

      So like yeah, whatever the ‘authorial intent’ may be for this show, rest assured that the folks in Japan are either:

      A) Claiming that this is the best horror anime ever which it is certainly fucking not
      B) Enjoying the crazy-train until it crashes and explodes in goddamn spectacular fashion while tripping on all that acid
      C) Making fun of this show all the way to kingdom come (Fuck, I’ll even check the Japanese Twitter-netz just to lulz myself over)
      D) Writing hate mail to Okada and the gang for even getting the production committee to fund this project

      #LogicBeFucked #OkadasSmokingWeed # TsutomuOnLSD #WastedMillions #SHOKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!!!!

      Nishizawa Mihashi
  6. Wait , aren’t arrows supposed to pierce and kill people ??? that and mitsumune chasing something he was running away from , masaki and the most overused excuse to go do what ever it is that she is doing , Speedstar actually saying “will you please stay loyal and obedient to me ?” etc …

    ” It seems so obvious to me that every idiotic one-liner, every absurd plot turn, every hateable side character – it’s all intentional. If you can accept that, then we can actually talk about the series properly” , I dont know man I mean why do this in a psychological-horror-mystery-supernatural show ???did we suddenly run out of shows about school life and part time jobs ???
    It seems to be that when ever something (supernatural about people’s inner fears and struggles and life and death ) happens people tend to take it seriously for some reason

  7. People who complain seriously don’t know how to approach this show. It’s a bunch of traumatized people who left their ENTIRE life behind to start a new one together. No wonder that things get messed up after another. Also, count in the anime-japanese-craziness factor and that’s what you get. Most probably the solution to the whole mystery will turn out undewhelming but for now it’s funny.

  8. I mean… If it wasn’t obvious we weren’t supposed to take a show about 30 some odd completely broken individuals throwing their lives away to gamble on a myth, then I dunno what to say. I mean, if Mitsumune is incapable of realizing the contradictory behavior of Masaki between their first trip together to the tunnel (Where Misaki encourages him to face his demons and escape) and their second trip (where Misaki is dead set on not going through the tunnel), then yeah… Everyone’s called her out on her BS and yet she still escapes without having to say anything. These characters are broken and we’re just supposed to be amused by it. Not gonna lie though, I really wanna know what Masaki is up to.

  9. If Speedstar was that freaked out by a photo of his gran, couldn’t he have just turned the frame around when he’s locked in the attic lol

    & guessing Mitsumune woke up from a coma in the last scene? Maybe the idiot gang were in the bus & Masaki & her cousin in a car that caused their accident & put them all in comas??? Would laugh if they were all actually justified in hating her & wanting to kill her before lol

    1. The way they treated Masaki wasn’t that different from the way Witches(In story) were treated. All it took was someone to say that they’re guilty and they’re guilty. I think their fear about their current predicament fuelled that paranoia though. I can’t imagine they all genuinely wanted her dead.

  10. Just thinking, Mitsumune’s Penguin monster got smaller (cause he’s dealing with his issues), what’ll happen with the chick who’s monster is a giant version of her boyfriend that looks like Mitsumune?

    She’s (sorry totally forgot her name) also dealing with her problems, so she’ll just see a normal sized Mitsumune then? Will they even realise its the monster? lol

  11. By chance, are you Nick Creamer from ANN? I noticed your reviews are exactly like his.

    Even though this show cracks me up, I think people are giving the staff too much credit. I know Shirobako was great, but Keep in mind that this guy also directed “Another”. Mari Okada is also juggling multiple shows, so that also isn’t a good sign.

    1. I’m not Nick Creamer, though I do follow him and his reviews. It just so happens we share the same thoughts about Mayoiga, and most other people don’t. As for Another, I haven’t finished it, but I liked what I saw. And Okada is currently working on Kiznaiver, which is (imo) one of the best of the season, and whatever she’s done here is also working well, so I think things have worked out pretty well all things considered!

    2. I don’t know why, but even though that guy’s a pretty good writer, he just rubs me off the wrong way. Not that I’m anti-Nick Creamer, just that the way he perceives certain things are pretty off-putting but oh what the heck, I digress.

      Nishizawa Mihashi

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