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Made in Abyss – 03 »« Made in Abyss – 01

Made in Abyss – 02

OP Sequence

OP: 「Deep in Abyss」 by 富田美憂, 伊瀬茉莉也 (Tomita Miyu as Riko and Ise Mariya as Regu)

「復活祭」 (Fukkatsusai)
“Resurrection Festival”

There were some remarks last week about how chipper the OP song was, and indeed it’s no less so when listening to it this week. Perhaps it’s even lighter and fluffier when watching it set to animation. The OP sequence evokes a carefree, happy-go-lucky adventure tale with something of a boy meets-girl-story woven in. And the ED, rather than contrasting the OP as some anime EDs like to do, instead reinforces that atmosphere, somehow making the whole shebang even cuter. If I knew nothing at all about Made in Abyss, and you showed me just this OP and ED, you could easily convince me that it was in fact an educational children’s show starring a pair of curious siblings and their muppet friend, where they prance about on a fantastical adventure with Mary Poppins while they learn the importance of sharing and long division.

Yet, this second episode is about death.

Made in Abyss is fairly explicit about the dangers of the Abyss. For one we have an orphanage filled with kids whose parents died exploring the natural labyrinth under their very feet. And it wants us to know, in no uncertain terms, of the terrible fates that await those who dig too greedily, too deep. So death itself is not really all that much to write home about. What is interesting is how this city built around the Abyss copes with death, which seems to be the main purpose of The Resurrection Festival. The vibrant fantasy world of Made in Abyss is definitely its main draw, so I quite welcome all this development it is devoting to its culture and customs. Presumably, this cave diving is a very dangerous business so death should be commonplace, which is why it seems to be such a casual subject in Made in Abyss. This is a city that has come to terms with loss, in fact rallying around it, making heroes of its worthy dead, passing down their feats as part of their storytelling tradition, and even energising the local economy. There’s a suitable metaphor snuck early in the episode; even if one adventurer is devoured by some horrific beast, it just spurs the rest of the flock to fight.

Made in Abyss also finds time, though, to explore the more personal angle. Last week in the comments some mused about the ethics of using orphanage-produced child labour to explore the Abyss. The scene where Regu enrolls formally implies there may be little alternative for a lost child. Sacrifice seems baked into this society, and while some may not see the heroics in throwing one’s life away to the inevitable Curse of the Abyss, it seems to be the expected thing for a child to take up the mantle of a parent and take their place at the wall, so to speak. So it is for Riko as well, in some much welcomed development for her character. She’s obviously very enthusiastic about exploring the Abyss, and that’s been the gist of who she is up until now, but if we look at this drive as being as coming from her mother, then it takes on new meaning. What exactly is the legacy she is inheriting? Riko’s mother bore the epithet ‘the Annihilator’. She fought, and suffered, and sacrificed. Is that the future in store for Riko, if she wishes to be worthy of the white whistle?

That’s likely a way in the future, though. The OP has another piece of interesting information for us: a cross-section. That… is a lot of Abyss. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be a reference or just an artist’s impression, but for comparison the deepest any human has ever gone on our earth is about 4,000 metres. And that’s just barely scratching the surface.

Full-length images: OP 08.

 

ED Sequence

ED: 「旅の左手、最果ての右手」 (Tabi no Hidarite, Saihate no Migite) by 富田美憂, 伊瀬茉莉也 (Tomita Miyu as Riko and Ise Mariya as Regu)

July 15, 2017 at 2:20 am
41 comments »
  • July 15, 2017 at 2:41 amZannafar

    I found some Lyrics for the OP.

    English
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Romaji
    Show Spoiler ▼

    Not as cute and carefree as you’d expect from how it sounds.

    • July 15, 2017 at 3:11 amPasserby

      Aw, it’s so optimistic anyway! Even if they die a gory death, I’m sure it’ll be a cute gory death.

    • July 17, 2017 at 4:14 amAngelus

      Shame about those lyrics, with something more upbeat this could have been an OP to rival Narutaru.

  • July 15, 2017 at 3:23 amkittyraider

    • July 15, 2017 at 11:59 amWanderer

      …Did she get strung up naked and beaten?!

      • July 15, 2017 at 2:45 pmAex

        Not beaten… if that makes it any better…

      • July 17, 2017 at 3:44 pmGuardMonkey10

        Its a public shame punishment like being put in the stocks.

    • July 19, 2017 at 10:53 pmPetit

      Lol I was taken aback by that.
      And the char’s reaction… lolz.

  • July 15, 2017 at 4:50 amAnon

    I absolutely love the world building in this series, especially the sheer mystery that comes from seeing that cross-section. I’m not sure if the main characters grow up in the series (guessing not…), so it will be interesting to see how they manage to get down there at the current rate.

    • July 15, 2017 at 8:01 amAex

      I’m guessing a bad accident that drops them past where a Red Whistle can safely come back to the surface from, so the only way to go is down. Or Riko just won’t be able to hold back anymore and on an expedition something(maybe a less-serious accident, maybe the death of her friends) will influence her to straight-up ditch her life on the surface to find her mother.

      As far as I can tell whistles are only needed to come back in one piece, not to keep going.

  • July 15, 2017 at 5:21 ammaou

    hmmm…wait a minute, the leader said riko’s mother fighting against foreign cave raider… not just monsters? so human killing each other down there? wow it’s dark…hmm but why “foreign”? is there multiple raider agency or something?

    http://randomc.net/image/Made%20in%20Abyss/Made%20in%20Abyss%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2025.jpg

    and this thing? i can only see the country trying to brainwash children to become adventurer…it’s the same system made by Gods to orario city(danmachi)give them fame, and lot of young people will came.

    passerby on previous review talked about games and now i look back all the rpg games that i played…it’s kinda funny now to see the heroes trying to save the world but still need to buy hi-potion for 500G no discount,black company…what a wonderful sytem.

    • July 15, 2017 at 8:09 pmPasserby

      I’m guessing a mercantile economy, a bunch of guilds, and each sector being fiercely protective of their ‘turf’. And for a city built around the Abyss, the exploration and exploitation of it would be central to their economy, and they’re not going to allow just anybody to go down there (especially if there’s crazy artefacts like a bell that stops time). These foreign cave raiders would be poachers, so to speak.

      • July 16, 2017 at 7:56 pmKuma Kuma

        You are correct, but on grander scale. It is mentioned that the artifact extracted from Abyss is so phenomenal that it considered as national treasure and could even change the world. Since, the world superpower are most likely determined by the number and quality of artifact they hold.

        Hence, it is easy to assume that all the countries in the world tried to get one on their hand by placing their turf around the town in abyss. I would assume stiff competition, espionage, and even assassination of explorer are common down there.

  • July 15, 2017 at 5:55 amyoloalchemist

    I think the title can apply to both Riko and Reg.

    • July 15, 2017 at 8:02 pmPasserby

      You got it.

  • July 15, 2017 at 6:53 amWorldwidedepp

    Mmm, perhaps this Abyss has an other secret we do not know yet. But i watched some other OAV in my past, and its secret could be the same here

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • July 15, 2017 at 3:54 pmjust sayin’

      “foreign” cave dwellers, some tech marvels.
      well this could prove rather interesting, i kinda loved patema’s world-building.

      • July 16, 2017 at 1:33 amWorldwidedepp

        there are some OAVs that use the theme of an
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • July 15, 2017 at 7:36 amKeike

    Riko and reg are gonna end up together evidence by them both blushing at each other in opening song or at least I hope so.

  • July 15, 2017 at 7:52 amAex

    I know we don’t need a hard-and-fast lesson on whistles right now(and I actually like that we aren’t getting one so we have to think about it), but it’ll be interesting to see later how much thoughts been given to them beyond “tools that ward off the Curse of the Abyss”, especially with White Whistles being such a big deal.

    • July 15, 2017 at 7:59 pmPasserby

      At the very least, they made too big a deal of Riko’s mother’s whistle for it to be just an accessory. I’m sure it’ll come up again at some point.

  • July 15, 2017 at 8:05 amyoloalchemist

    The Curse of the Abyss made me think, is the curse purely science based, or is it supernatural? I don’t know how I’d feel if it turned out to be the latter honestly. On one hand, it would apply more mystery to it. On the other, there is Reg, whose origins come from the Abyss itself, who was implied I think to have been human before and then later on turned robot (amnesia and stuff). The curse, if it doesn’t kill, makes one lose their humanity, and he most certainly qualifies as losing his humanity, from a physiology perspective. Maybe there is a question of consistency is what I’m getting at, but maybe it’s just the Abyss messing with my mind when we haven’t even gotten deeper than its first level.
    But in either case, when it was explained that the curse may manifest the moment a cave raider reaches the surface (at least that’s how I think it works), that would mean that if a cave raider doesn’t get back to the surface, he/she would not be subject to it. That would mean that Lyza would have to stay in the deep if she wanted to stay alive, which is tragic of course. That’s assuming death is the worst of it when she is at the very bottom of the Abyss, whose repercussions remain unknown. Aaagh, so many questions!

    • July 15, 2017 at 8:31 amKurt

      The symptoms explained..almost like hypoxia(lack of oxygen) but it still can’t explain riko’s eyesight problem though

    • July 15, 2017 at 8:42 amsithstormjedi

      Im sure the first few floors are scientific, since extreme pressure can do things to a person. But the last few floors of insanity, loss of humanity and even death possibly hints at something of a lovecraftian nature. If im interpreting right, the effects only take place once you go up.

      • July 15, 2017 at 4:40 pma2222222222

        I’m going to bet on fantasy (loss of humanity is shown to cause non-human features) as the bends would be unscientific as air pressure doesn’t cause bends even at that kind of depth especially given how slow they would have to ascend as well. Water is extremely dense compared to air.

    • July 15, 2017 at 11:23 amBear

      The description they gave in this episode is that the problem isn’t going down, it’s coming back up. Actually, the description of the Curse sounds almost like the description of divers bends aka caisson disease, though the lower regions’ effects do seem more superantural.

    • July 15, 2017 at 7:56 pmPasserby

      The pictures imply that the curse at lower levels turns one into a demi-human thing, and in the ED they’re waltzing around with some demi-human thing, so… connection?

  • July 15, 2017 at 11:26 amSarnik

    “Energising the local economy”
    Shows a picture of Riko being hung naked.

    Am I missing something here?

    • July 15, 2017 at 7:54 pmPasserby

      Whoops. It’s Freudian. Fixed!

  • July 15, 2017 at 11:59 amNamaewoinai

    “Curse of Abyss” Hmph…It’s more like Hypoxia or whoever inhales some toxic gases (Like Carbon Monoxide, Ammonia etc) there, well if they don’t have a some sophisticated equipment that can ya know store oxygen, like from the astronauts, oh wait, nah but i guess, they don’t had a knowledge for that… yet!

    and
    http://randomc.net/image/Made%20in%20Abyss/Made%20in%20Abyss%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2012.jpg
    …is that legal!? :P

    • July 15, 2017 at 4:34 pma2222222222

      I think it is more than that at the very deep levels loss of humanity isn’t normal. The pictures in the anime show non-human features being related to loss of humanity. The air pressure from being so deep is not going to cause problems. The bends in water is orders of magnitude worse because water is extremely dense relative to air the hydrostatic pressure against your body is extreme at deep ocean depths. The abyss in normal reality would become a literal hellscape deep down as temperatures would rise far faster than air pressure. On earth we have mines ranging from 3500-5000m deep (2-3rd layer) and at those depths it is only ~1.5 times normal air pressure vs water pressure at the same depth is 4000x atmospheric. This is because water is a liquid and is much more dense than air.

  • July 15, 2017 at 1:35 pmEnan84

    http://randomc.net/image/Made%20in%20Abyss/Made%20in%20Abyss%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2029.jpg

    I’m curious who the adventurer is, who help to bring back Riko. I’m sure he will play a major role in future.

  • July 15, 2017 at 4:14 pmnip

    • July 16, 2017 at 5:36 amkittyraider

      Still, she draws and describe the chinchin in real detail

  • July 16, 2017 at 11:46 amillusion

    A new season, a new ochinchin girl

  • July 16, 2017 at 2:08 pmlunascha

    Another beautiful episode. I feel like I got so much more information from this episode and better understanding of where this series will go.

  • July 16, 2017 at 5:17 pmdaikama

    The word that comes to mind most frequently with this show is “quality”. Just an all-around quality show. Ep. 02 had the same strong visual presentation. Do have to give points for that. The “abyss curse” when ascending from lower levels montage was quite well done. It kept the “moe-ish”, simplistic style, but still managed to somehow give a sense of seriousness and perhaps even a little foreboding. It also fits how the show in general manages to keep its style which rides this odd line between light-fluffy “moe”, and yet has a dark undertone, telling you this isn’t really light & fluffy show. Some serious stuff can (and probably will) happen.

    It also does a fairly good job with pacing. It’s not that slow. Actually, one might argue perhaps a bit fast with more world-building to do. Just kind of throws the whole enemy/competing faction raids and such out there. Like to know more about that. Riko’s mom’s backstory didn’t surprise me in terms of timing, but I was a bit surprised that we got the contents of the message revealed at the end as well. Definitely adds another level now with mom “waiting” at the bottom… in some form.

    I’m in. Two solid episodes so no reason to keep on the “trial” watch list. That being said, I still need to recalibrate my mind a bit in terms of things probably going to hell and not a “feel good” ending. The cake is a lie!

  • July 19, 2017 at 3:19 amIzaak

    Leader’s talk with Riko in the manga had more impact. Literally. He sat down with such force that Riko jumped. You could see in his expression that the death of Lyza hit him hard, and his story was just as much meant for him as it was meant to calm Riko down.

  • July 19, 2017 at 11:50 amKeike

    I hope they don’t supject riko to the “nerdy makeover” trope where she loses her glasses in some way and has to where contacts. Do they even have contacts in this world?

  • July 19, 2017 at 7:34 pmsealouse

    Riko’s supposed to be 12? I would have guessed 9 at most.

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