Riko and Reg have descended into the first level of the Abyss. We get to learn a bit more about the bizarre science (or lack thereof) in the many environments in the Abyss – for example, while it appears dark from above, it’s only because the light can’t escape due to some bizarre distortion.
While Riko is excited to be off, the journey isn’t off to the best of starts. Her Star Compass – which always points to the bottom of the neverworld, and is apparently a Relic itself – ends up going over a waterfall, and they have to continue without it. Not only that, but their ‘escape’ from Orth didn’t go as smoothly as they thought – Leader actually knows all about it, and had slipped Reg a note the last time he saw them, declaring that he’ll be coming to retrieve them. Riko treats this as Leader’s last assignment to them and takes it as a challenge to reach the second level before a search party can ‘rescue’ them. After all, any red whistle going to the second level of the Abyss is apparently treated as a suicide, and no recovery attempt will be made.
Unfortunately, despite their best efforts someone does end up catching up to them – fortunately, it’s only Habolg – a black whistle from Riko’s mother’s (Lyza’s) party. Her friends back in Orth had convinced him to help Riko and Reg make it to the 2nd layer where they’ll be able to reach one of the Seeker Camps – and also to give her a special vaccine which can help stave off some of the effects of the second layer.
Two things I wanna get out of the way first: one, apparently quite a few manga-readers are getting disproportionately mad about the anime for…having a theme song that’s too happy? No, really, there are people saying this ruins the entire show because it makes it look like a kids show and not a super edgy dark show. I have absolutely no idea where these people were when the likes of Madoka and School Live were airing – both of which have openings far cutesier/happier than Made in Abyss’s (which honestly just sounds like an adventure kind of song to me) but did you guys ever stop to maybe think that’s kinda the point…? That maybe they don’t want to cram the opening full of spoilers about the show’s direction? Seriously.
Secondly, I haven’t mentioned this up until now but I can’t really stay silent about it because it keeps coming up in every goddamn episode. Look, Made in Abyss, I know. Reg has a dick for some reason. I get it. It’s funny that a robot has a dick that apparently looks like a real one. Well, I mean, it was at first, but when it starts to get pointed out in every episode, it uh, starts getting kind of weird. Let’s see how long we can go before bringing it up again and embarrassing the poor little guy.
Anyway, I liked getting to learn a little more about the way the Abyss works, and there was something kind of relaxing about watching Riko and Reg go about their journey, cook food etc. I doubt it’s a mood that will last, but it was still nice. The main point of interest though was what Habolg mentions about the Seeker Camp – that other members of Lyza’s camp are there although apparently a woman named Ozen, who helped carry baby-Riko to the surface – is to be feared. He also mentions that Riko had best prepare herself for something thoroughly unpleasant, so I can only guess what exactly is going on with Ozen.
Riko and Reg enter the second level of the Abyss, and easy mode is over. This is further than Riko has ever been, and it’s starting to take a toll on her body – not just because of the Curse, but because she ends up nearly getting killed by a terrifying monster with the delightful name ‘Corpse Weeder.’ These monsters mimic the cries of their prey calling for help – which is how they initially found one eating a dead explorer, mistaking his creepily recorded death cries as genuine.
Because the Corpse Weeder ascends with Riko towards its nest – and ascending is what kicks in the Curse for whatever reason – Riko ends up completely helpless and falls unconscious. In order to save her, Reg manages to once again activate the fire cannon that he shot from his hand back when he and Riko first met. Just like last time it drains his energy completely, but unlike last time he is able to wake up again with his memories intact (probably because he wasn’t electrocuted) Realizing how close his cannon came to destroying Riko as well, Reg is terrified of his own power but Riko seems to think the attack is awesome and gives it the name ‘Incinerator’.
With the Corpse Weeders dealt with, it’s already time to head to the third level, the Inverted Forest – where the Seeker Camp is. But their welcome might not be as warm as they expected.
-casually resets ‘episodes without being reminded of Reg’s dick’ timer back to zero- Anyway…
Made in Abyss has teased a lot of its darker elements in previous episodes, but this is the first episode that managed to unnerve me. The bit with the Corpse Weeders was goddamn scary. Everything about those things is terrifying to me. Something about the trope of a predator mimicking the sound of people in distress is one of those things that never fails to give me the heebie jeebies, and the dismembered explorer (who was definitely a higher whistle rank than Riko) didn’t help any. (Neither, of course, did Reg’s nightmare about Riko being in the dude’s place, which was even more graphic.) Looks like we’re in for a ride here on out.
It’s also the first time we see visible affects of the curse on Riko – she vomits a whole lot and then passes out – but for such a traumatic interlude she sure was chipper afterwards. Maybe she’s just good at recovering quickly, but that was a little odd to me. Reg, on the other hand, seems to be faring worse mentally than she is – and now he has his own strength to be scared of – and he’s a robot. Maybe the robot reacting more emotionally than the human is the point here, but geez, Riko’s made of some pretty strong stuff. The part where she quite happily explains to a completely horrified Reg that she has no issue with eating the flesh of a monster that has consumed a human because the humans it ate can become her strength was kind of…darkly humorous though.
When Ozen appeared at the end of the episode and expresses some displeasure about Reg ‘still’ being alive, it definitely made me eager to know how this meeting is going to go down in the next episode – if they actually do meet, that is. There definitely is something fishy going on at the Seeker Camp.
Out of 5,