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Made in Abyss – 12 »« Made in Abyss – 10

Made in Abyss – 11

「ナナチ」
“Nanachi”

While reg putters off on a series of fetch quests, per the grand RPG tradition, let’s take the opportunity to talk about Nanachi. It’s something we should definitely use some time for sooner or later, and it may as well be sooner, and indeed this week’s episode is titled simple, Nanachi. Here we have a genuinely interesting character, and that’s beyond being a snarky humanoid lagomorph. Nanachi’s role in the story is equally curious.

For an anime like Made in Abyss, I consider the setting as much a character as any other individual in the show, and deserves development. And indeed, after 11 episodes, we really can say that the titular Abyss has a character, even a personality, of its very own. Everything we know about the Abyss tells us that, despite its beauty, it is a cruel, unwelcoming, and openly hostile place. At every step we are warned about its dangers, and every emphasis is put on how unforgiving exploring it is. Even when it seems our protagonists have a brief respite, like at the Seeker Camp, it is only an opportunity to drill home these lessons. Yet here we have Nanachi, who is, from what we’ve seen, friendly and helpful (for the most part). The mere presence of these qualities in the Abyss changes its character entirely. Nanachi shows empathy, when the Abyss has none. Nanachi offers safety, where the Abyss should be fraught with danger. And Nanachi provides knowledge, when for all others the Abyss is other mysterious and uncertain. Juxtapose Nanachi’s home, and its tranquil beauty, with the forbidding awe that is the rest of the fourth stratum. It is a singular oasis in this alien world.

Of course, we know that Nanachi used to be human, but while that may explain why Riko and Reg receive aid, it also calls into question the relationship between humans and the Abyss. Again, the Abyss is supposed to be a terrible and dangerous place. Yet, Nanachi stays. Sure, there’s an excuse about how a rare specimen like a sentient Hollow will be dragged off to be dissected and studied, probably like how Reg would have been, but I wonder if there’s more to it than that. If the White Whistles who explore the depths of the Abyss are lauded as heroes, shouldn’t Nanachi, who presumably has been to the sixth stratum, be a hero, too? Or maybe this exile is because White Whistles are heroes, and must symbolise human progress, so the monster-fication is unacceptable. Hollows are allegedly usually put down on the spot. A heroic death is celebrated in Orth, and rather that than to have succumbed to the Curse. Yet, Nanachi keeps a Hollow around, rather than put it out of its misery. Maybe it says something about the humans, and perhaps we’ll know more once we hear more stories of the past.

Back when Ozen first told Riko of Lyza’s grave, we pondered that there were fates worse than death in the Abyss. Yes, Lyza is alive—but that may not be a good thing. All the foreshadowing makes me fear for the worst. I hope it isn’t so, but either way it looks like Riko has much to suffer yet.

September 16, 2017 at 7:10 am
20 comments »
  • September 16, 2017 at 7:19 amAtsu

    It’s just a speculation but something tells me that the White Whistle guys don’t go down the sixth layer themselves, but rather perform experiments on people like reg and nanachi and throw them down the sixth layer and see whether they would be immune to the abyss’ curse while also gathering info about the depths of the abyss.

    • September 16, 2017 at 7:30 amAtsu

      And the White Whistles probably keeps their existence a secret, as Ozen previously mentioned about Aubades, or maybe even permanently silence them and that’s what nanachi fears about.

    • September 16, 2017 at 10:01 amWanderer

      Show Spoiler ▼

  • September 16, 2017 at 8:35 amMaou

    • September 16, 2017 at 1:46 pmKurisu Vi Britannia

      Let’s play, Edduwardu.

    • September 17, 2017 at 12:52 amKurik

      They don’t make them like FMA again….sigh. Is there anything that compares? But you are right it does remind me of that scene in FMA. This episode is a revealing one. Wonder who the girl is in Nanachi flash back…

      • September 17, 2017 at 7:48 pmKarmafan

        You already know, you just don’t want to admit it.

  • September 16, 2017 at 4:40 pmphatmlrd

  • September 16, 2017 at 4:58 pmsealouse

    Man this show is so serious and ominous and that cutesy ending theme kind of ruins the mood.

  • September 16, 2017 at 6:27 pmBear

    Does Nachi have a choice? Going up is as much of a hell as going down at this point.

    Show Spoiler ▼

    • September 16, 2017 at 8:42 pmBigFire

      Nanachi already made it clear that she cannot go up to the surface as the divers will either kill her or experiment on her. Besides, there is a reason why she’s on Level 4.

  • September 16, 2017 at 7:38 pmMayhamer

    Mitty looks like it knows Riko or something… and for a moment I thought the thing was gonna eat her. lol

  • September 16, 2017 at 9:50 pmWill

    I will take Lovecraftian cat-eared horrors over last week ANY GODDAMN TIME.

    That was a trial….

  • September 17, 2017 at 1:51 amDanpmss

    God, the unnecessary sexualization ruins so much stuff in this.
    Every single time it happens, I just imagine “couldn’t they have trimmed these 10-20 seconds of these shitty fetichist conversations with some “atmospheric walking” like the ones they are doing so much in the anime already.

    This kind of thing kinda ruins most of the great things I read and reread in the manga, and even if they toned down a bit in the anime, they didn’t in this EP and they probably will cover that infamous [spoiler]bath scene[/spoiler] as well using that one hour final episode.

    • September 17, 2017 at 3:42 amMayhamer

      I can definitely understand how you’ve felt, even though I was never really bothered by the sort of aspect.

    • September 17, 2017 at 7:34 amGyabo

      +1

      Every time I start brush off those scenes as an early (and unfortunate) mistake, they bring out another one. So many of these scenes can be removed without any loss to the show, and the few that serve some sort of purpose (like this episode) could be addressed in a non-sexual way and the show would be far better for it.
      Instead of Riko being stripped naked for Reg to see, why not just have Nanachi hand him the dirtied clothes when he comes in? The girl is dying and instead of any real concern we just keep getting “”funny”” (heavy quotations) reaction shots of Reg seeing her in compromising situations. It takes away all severity in the moment, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    • September 18, 2017 at 12:27 pmKiritsugu

      Riko’s nude scenes are even worse to process because we are watching a “serious” anime. I mean this is not an ecchi with sexy lollis and panty shots, it is supposed to be a realist and gritty story with some nice and warm moments.
      I too am appalled every time they decide to show Riko’s nudity, especially because every one of those scenes could have been cut out or replaced by any other thing, with no loss for the story. The whole peeing incident, this episode, could have been equally addressed if they just showed the wet clothes – like they did. There was no need for naked Riko for the Nth time. It just feels wrong watching a little girl – with the body of a five year old – being shown in the nude once and again.

    • September 19, 2017 at 8:58 pmPetit

      Yeah. I felt like an old Catholic pope, and was disgusted with myself for seeing something I really didn’t want or need to see. It really annoys the fuck out of me, because it just wasn’t the right time and place to make this kinda joke. And they’re still going to keep on doing it. Unwoke as fuck.

  • September 18, 2017 at 4:19 pmTarage

    Smell the bun.

  • September 27, 2017 at 11:23 amewok40k

    oh well just made it marathoning to this episode and Nanachi looks very much like Yoda to me…
    she is very knowledgable, if somewhat grumpy
    she lives in forgotten place in small hut

    apart from that, she seems to be result of some twisted experiment by some twisted whitewhistle

    and, amongst all the muysteries of the Abyss, Reg’s origins fascinate mem the most – could it be he is sort of probe sent form the bottom, by some high-tech civilization there, to make contact with humanity?

    could the civilization be the source of the curse somehow, and driving the deadliness and agression of the critters of Abyss?

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