SPOILER ALERT: Many spoilers follow, read at your own risk
Movie(2021) 100 minutes
Yui (ユイ) Abandoned by her mother and abused by her cruel father. She runs away.
Hiyori (ひより) Young girl who lost her entire family and is now mute
Kiwa (キワ) The pretend grandmother who brings Yui and Hiyori to her Mayoiga
Kiwa is an interesting character. One part of her is MC and her right foot is
in the real world of the story with Yui and Hiyori and other towns people
Kiwa (キワ) The pretend grandmother who brings Yui and Hiyori to her Mayoiga
Kiwa is an interesting character. The other part of her is SC and her left foot is
in the imaginary world of the story with all the other mythical creatures
All other mythological creatures
Grief and Despair
TRAILER FOR The House of the lost on the Cape
A REVIEW OF A REVIEW ON ANN
We recently responded to a strange review of this work on ANN
“After the initial conflict is resolved, the story meanders for a while, balancing scenes of daily life with appearances of staple figures of Japanese folklore. It gestures somewhat towards an episodic narrative structure of heartwarming small town adventures (think Natsume’s Book of Friends), but eventually an antagonist emerges, and the film pulls itself together for a rather conventional climax.
It never feels entirely believable that the antagonist is a manifestation of the negativity in town when the auxiliary characters only get to show their cheerful and helpful sides.” Kim Morrissy, ANN 2022-9-18
The reviewer here has misread the story they are criticizing.
“.. but eventually an antagonist emerges, and the film pulls itself together for a rather conventional climax.”
The destruction of the Agame monster by Yui and Hiyori is not the denouement of the story! The killing of the Agame monster is a post-coital afterglow of the actual climax which took place much earlier. Yui and Hiyori are walking together, and the vision of Yui’s evil Father returns to take possession of Yui. This almost succeeds until Hiyori in desperation utters a blood curdling scream which breaks the possession into which Yui is falling! This sound which is the first we have heard from Hiyori breaks the hold that takes possession of Yui and she pushes it away. This breaking of mute silence is the very moment of the denouement because the antagonist is not some monster, but lives in all of us. Hiyori has gone mute because the pain and suffering of total loss is beyond words. In making the first sound in her scream, she empties the monster of pain which controls her, and that sound helps Yui to free herself from her pain. This act of making the first sound is later referenced and quoted in the attack on the Agame monster where Hiyori makes a sound on her flute which allows Hiyori to shoot her arrow into Agame. The arrow was given to Hiyori by the same Fox Dance character who gave her a moped.
“Why do good people suffer evil? Why me?” This is what cripples Yui and Hiyori, and in the influence of myth and fantasy, and their mutual support together, they are able to break free from their own sadness, grief, and depression.
This is the point of the story, not some children’s tale of monsters. If you track the characters of Yui and Hiyori closely, anyone can clearly see the character changes that these girls undergo through the progress of the movie. They have both suffered enormous tragedy and loss and are now orphans. As The Swissman observes in the comments, surely one can feel empathy for this loss. While Yui and Hiyori are fictional, there are thousands of children undergoing just that real loss right here and now, and not in some fantasy world.
The movie shows clearly the healing power of myth and then demonstrates how that can actually work it’s effects in real human beings when real people care! Each encounter with the mythological leaves an impression and the two girls slowly begin a series of changes under the influence of the Mayoiga and other mythological beings. This central plot element reaches its climax in the scream of Hiyori’s pain which she is finally able to release.
That scream is the moment where both girls suddenly change and become sisters in a new family.
We at Pywackett Productions believe this story to be one of Reiko Yoshida ‘s greatest works. Perhaps the story is too quiet for more sophisticated reviewers to handle. This brilliant author does more than theorize about storytelling. She actually shows how myth functions to help individuals escape their own internal monsters. She is making an argument that has been made by others such as Tolkien whom she appears to quote with the Eye of Sauron.
A NEW REVIEW
We had never heard of this Anime Movie, “The House of the Lost on the Cape” which was released in 2021, but as this was the virus year, we can see how this one would slip through the cracks.
One of our favorite bloggers, wrote up this review and that was our first introduction to the movie.
A review by The Infinite Zenith
The first and most immediate problem is the English name “The House of the Lost on the Cape”. This is probably as close an English translation of The House of the Lost on the Cape (岬のマヨイガ, Misaki no Mayoiga) as it is possible to make do.
A (マヨイガ, mayoiga) being a house of the lost and (岬の, misaki no) being located on a Cape is a relatively accurate translation, but the actual problem is that the very concept of a Mayoiga does not exist in the English speaking world. A strange house found in the woods is usually occupied by a witch and the story of Hansel and Gretel is quoted in this movie.
In Japanese mythology, (マヨイガ, mayoiga) is entirely salvific. That is if you are lost, then the house will appear to you and grant you goodness and help if you take something from it.
迷家-マヨイガ Lost House – Mayoiga translated into English as “The Lost Village(2016)”, an anime series, turns the concept of a mayoiga on its head. In this anime, its the mayoiga that is Lost and that functions as a haunted village. This interpretation of a mayoiga is not the way Japanese mythology sees the mayoiga.
When we look up a mayoiga in “The Legends of Tono(1910)” by Kunio Yanagita, sec 63, a mayoiga is entirely good and healthy for all those people who are lost.
“The Ancient Magus’ Bride” created a 3 OVA prequel called “Those Awaiting a Star(2016)” and in that work, the mayoiga saves the life of Riichi Miura who then saves Chise Hatori with a book and charges her to fulfill his destiny for his beloved which he is unable to do now for reasons which are shown. She does fulfill her duty to Riichi, but fails to understand the book which he has given to her “The Lonely Little Star” and she leaves it behind. Being a magic book, it finds it’s own way to England and back into the hands of Chise Hatori who now begins to understand what Riichi Miura was trying to teach her about the lonely little star.
As in all tales, every storyteller is free to invent, modify and reinterpret existing myths as he or she sees fit for their own story.
The House of the Lost on the Cape (岬のマヨイガ, Misaki no Mayoiga) was written by MS Reiko Yoshida who is somewhat famous in anime having penned many famous screenplays such as Silent Voice, Liz and the Bluebird, Violet Evergarden, Marimite, The Heike Story, Aria, Non-Non Biyori, K-on, and many others. She is one of our favorite authors and she knows how to touch feels.
In this work of The House of the Lost on the Cape (岬のマヨイガ, Misaki no Mayoiga) she is in excellent form, and produces a very quiet story about tragedy deeply embedded in Japanese mythology. How to move on from this profound grief and despair? MS Yoshida suggests quite directly that one way to heal and prevent a spiral out of control into deep depression and even suicide, is mythology which in this film acts as a healing agent for our two main characters. Yui (ユイ) and Hiyori (ひより) are two young girls who have lost everything in life. Their family’s have been taken in total, and they are both orphans totally alone until they are taken in by Kiwa (キワ), a very strange older woman who claims that she is their Grandmother (she is half real and half imaginary herself), and she lives in a mayoiga out on the cape. Kiwa has deep roots in myth, and knows many mythological characters. Even she is possibly mythological and she is a story teller herself.
Interestingly MS Yoshida tells a story about a storyteller and her tales.
What is so very precious in this movie is to watch Yui and Hiyori closely as they slowly change from being lost in grief and sorrow and loneliness to becoming fully human again. If you watch this film, I would suggest that one concentrate on these two girls as they experience directly the full force of imagination as it impinges upon their real personalities and lives. It is quite well done, with lots and lots of feels.
WHY THIS FILM IS UNIVERSAL AND CULTURALLY SIGNIFICANT
In this film, MS Yoshida argues the same points as J.R.R. Tolkien and C. K. Chesterton who were of the opinion that certain human problems could only be discussed in a highly mythological setting.
It is common today to be highly cynical and trollish about such things, and one argument that is made often is that a story is not “real”. This is actually a silly take on any story or work of art which by their very nature are entirely imaginary. Several years ago there was a fad in sculpture to make human statues out of poly chrome that were so lifelike and realistic. But as many artists themselves were quoted as asking, “What is the point of exactly reflecting reality in art? Does that ever truly say anything?”
Several thinkers have embraced this same point of view. C. K. Chesterton(1874-1936), Carl Jung(1875-1961), J. R. R. Tolkein(1892-1973), C. S. Lewis(1898-1963), Mircea Eliade(1907-1986), and Terry Pratchett(1948-2015) all shared in one form or another the belief that mythological stories were critical for human growth. Chesterton, Tolkein, and Eliade did so to support Roman Catholic Orthodoxy, Lewis for Protestant beliefs, and Jung for general mystical beliefs. While Pratchett shared many of the views of these others, he was decidedly non-orthodox and did not have an agenda in support of a specific Faith system. Instead he used many modern storytelling techniques, such as irony, satire, and humor to tell his fantastical tales.
Terry Pratchett made this exact claim explicit in his “Hogfather” where Death says, “No, humans need fantasy to be human, to be the place where the falling angel meets the rising ape…. Yes, justice, mercy, duty, that sort of thing….You need to believe in things that aren’t true, how else can they become?”
If you do not believe in human love, how is love to become?
Please do not pass on The House of the Lost on the Cape (岬のマヨイガ, Misaki no Mayoiga). You will have missed a work of subtle beauty and endearment, and of wonder and awe at the realization of profound artistic values.
Live well and thrive!
© 2022 Folwine P. Pywackett mox028.odt
A DEEP DIVE INTO FAITH VS BELIEF
If you are interested in this important distinction, the following is a further link into a much larger and more abstract discussion.
“Belief” is different than “Faith” and is more fundamental. “Faith” is the rigid adherence to fixed dogmas and formulas as they are expressed in various religious and political discussions. One “Faith” tradition conflicts and denies the validity of other “Faith” traditions. “Belief” is more foundational and underlies all systems of various conflicting “Faith” traditions. The distinction is itself foundational.
One might think of Belief as a set whose members are all other Faiths and their traditions, dogmas, and rituals.
HE DREW a circle that shut me out—
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!
For a very detailed discussion of the Anime Aria and the function and need for “belief” please see