「アビスの淵」 (Abisu no Fuchi)
“The Edge of the Abyss”

Indeed, we can always rely on Reg to… lend us a hand.

I apologise for nothing.

Curiously enough, even though I was talking about how the journey has started with Episode 03 last week, but the full truth of it doesn’t really hit home until the end of this one. It’s not that the adventure hasn’t begun, per se—Riko and Reg are already camping out, eating weird, and fighting for their lives, and it’s a great introduction to the routine of these cave raiders. But it does not fully represent the true nature of their expedition. The two aren’t just here to see the sights and have a picnic. They’re off to the bottom of the Abyss, and there’s no guarantee they can come back. In the first stratum, they’re still within reach of the surface. The adults will look for them. They can still turn around. It’s when they hit the second that they reach the point of no return.

So as e,otional as the farewells were last week, they were not complete. We saw it all from the perspective of the children who sneak away. Now we get to see it from the perspective of the adults who let them go. If you recall, I talked about how part of me was hoping that Leader would have stopped Riko and Reg before they ran off, because that’s what adults are supposed to do: keep children out of danger. So when they don’t do that—even as all parties recognise that the Abyss is nothing if not dangerous—it requires explanation, and I’m glad that Made in Abyss does not skimp in these world-building details. Hence the very angular yet very stylish Hablog, who quickly assumes the role of Riko’s father figure. His farewell, as a representative of the adults, weren’t quite so emotional, because his relationship is not quite as fleshed as the one between the children, but it’s clear that he cares for the kids. So he’s not letting Riko and Reg go out of negligence, but out of a cultural reverence for the Abyss and its relics. The Abyss giveth, and the Abyss taketh away. It’s an important perspective for us to have, and helps us interpret what we know of this world. They’re not sending orphans into the Abyss as a sign of abuse, but because the Abyss is such an integral part of their lives. And they’re not choosing to abandon the red whistles who wander into the second stratum as a sign of neglect, but necessity. It’s not that nobody will help them. It’s that nobody can help them. The pain of the parting is two-way. For those that journey downwards, they leave all on the surface behind. And for those on the surface, their loved ones who take the dive go out of reach. Even if they wanted to, there is no aid to give.

I can see this journey into the Abyss being more oppressive as we go, not just from the beasties, and the disease, and the restless nights, but just from being deep beneath the earth and alone. It’s already been telegraphed that not everything is going to go well—7 minutes in and they’ve already lost their fancy compass. Not an auspicious start, to be sure.

Full-length images: 04.


    1. Actually, Hablog says it was a woman named Ozen who helped get Riko out, and warns Riko about her. Riko of course ignores the warning and is excited to meet another white whistle who knows her mother and how Riko made it out of the Abyss.

      I haven’t read the manga, so I’m speculating here. In previous episodes, it was said multiple times that cavers that go deep enough lose their humanity. In this episode, Hablog says Ozen won’t leave the settler camp in the 2nd layer and warns Riko that she may come across “unpleasant” things. My guess is the reason Ozen can’t or won’t leave the camp is tied to the curse of the Abyss.

  1. But wait, if Riko takes the vaccine and basically becomes a Blue Whistle… Doesn’t that get rid of the restriction on not chasing her into the Second Layer? Well, there was that thing about too much effort, but stll, it could open some other plot piece up.

    I’m curious about the term “vaccine”, too. Makes the Curse sound less pressure-related or even supernatural, more like it might have a source it spreads from underground.

    1. The curse is definitely not pressure-related, despite the diving metaphor being used as a bit of a false flag in the subs for this episode.

      More importantly, though (at least for my self-esteem), looks like I was wrong about the pacing versus the manga. Given what we see in the OP, I was expecting a much faster pacing for this cour, somewhere around 3 chapters per episode. However, this episode didn’t even cover 2 chapters, so I don’t see how we will get as far as I thought we would.

      That means one of 3 things: either there’s a second cour already in preparation but not yet announced, or there are going to be large chunks missed out, or there’s going to be a cliff-hanger end. I know which one of those I want.

      1. because, the Background here show us that this Island was born out of the ocean ground, the white lines are coral things. So they are really sitting on an old Vulcan

      2. I did make a post in the episode 3 comments which I was referring to, maybe I should have quoted it:

        Judging from the characters and settings appearing in the OP, my guess is that they will adapt the first 38 chapters of the manga in this cour of 13 episodes.

        So I was assuming 3 chapters per episode from now on based on the first 3 episodes having covered 8 chapters. There are things in the OP which you’d need to get to chapter 29 to see, but where exactly will they end it if it doesn’t then reach chapter 38? I could only see 3 ways around that, which I listed above. Maybe there are others, though.

    2. I doubt being given the vaccine automatically promotes Riko to Blue Whistle. It seems to be more an assumed skill level thing. Red Whistles are not expected to survive in the second stratum, and it’s too dangerous to search for them.

      I also won’t be surprised if there are strange diseases beyond just the Curse that afflicts them on ascent. Something that would be handy to have a vaccine for.

  2. I’m so confused. Can’t they just parachute all of the way down?
    Or that hot air balloon shown in the first episode. Just decrease the fire and you can descend in no time?
    And if you need time to adjust to the elevation. Just park it somewhere for a while and then continue?

    And why do you need a compass that points downward? Surely testing the gravity by seeing how something falls will tell you? Or does gravity change midway? As in like the last stratum is actually the center of the Earth and direction does not apply? Lolz.

    1. Each level you descend gets harder to deal with on your body. Imagine just parachuting or gliding to the bottom. You would be dead long before you got to the bottom.

      1. You could compare it to Mt. Everest, people take weeks getting acclimated to the altitude. If you were just flown to the top (if possible), you would die quickly.

      2. Yeah, what if….

        (Speculation time)

        if this Vulcano we see here, are inside/under the Earth Belt? Yes, this Vulcano shows into the inner part of Earth, and the Water surround this Mountain are hold in place because of centrifugal force? That would explain the “up side down forest” (the border of the Outside and Inside World) and the Water pressed on this Gigantic Magma Bubble where they life

        Yes, they are living inside an gigantic Magma bubble under the Earth belt with centrifugal force at work

      3. or, why there are no planes to explore the Sea outside of their Mountain? Because there is nothing just Water? Why no Harbors, why no Fishing? Suspicious is it not, they know only the (or are curious) throat of this Vulcan

      4. But the outside world does exists. Its alluded many, many times in the previous episodes. Refer back to 1st EP end narration:

        The Abyss was found on the southern sea of Beoluska. By who? by the people not native to the island, of course – people from across the sea or the mainland.
        “…beckoned adventurers to strike it rich, which in time gave rise to a giant city” implies that the Abyss triggered some kind of a Gold Rush, attracting prospectors from around the world to settle in Orth.

        And never forget of the repeated mention of “Foreign Cave Delvers” that Lyza fought in the 2nd EP. Reg’s fabricated backstory says that his cyborg appendages are “foreign technology”. This, again implies that there are foreign states and places. Those states also send Cave Raiders to Orth to collect relics in the name of their own country. Orth itself possibly is a colony of a mainland state, and not an independent city-state on its own right. Lyza was ordered to bring the Unheard Bell by “the powers that be” suggesting that official cave raiders answer to some sort of authority.

    2. People can parachute down or descend using baloon. Provided that (refer to previous episode on Shiggy’s description over the Map of the Abyss):

      They’re not attacked by native Abyss monsters
      They’re not blown away by winds only to slam into the walls
      They’re not stuck on the giant trees of the second layer
      They’re not stuck on the giant cups of the fourth layer

    3. Reg was specifically warned that descent will not be as simple as continuously lowering himself using his arms. We’re also told balloons sent up from the depths rarely make it to the surface. As others have commented, there are more dangerous things in the Abyss than just distance. It’s entirely possible that there can be something in there that outright defies physics. Of course, we don’t know what the relic compass is actually for (and what it actually points to), but we do know that there’s a stratum they call ‘The Inverted Forest’. I doubt it’ll just be a smooth trip downwards.

      1. Yeah. I keep wrongfully thinking that this is science fiction, because there’s so much emphasis on the setting, and have to keep reminding myself that this is fantasy, with pseudo-geophysics undertones. Writers can make up shit however they like.

  3. Not a single episode has actually covered three full length (about 20ish pages each) chapters. Chapter 1 was double length of a sort so it was split between episodes 1 and 2. Episode 3 covered three chapters, but one of them (Chapter 6) was only half length at 10 pages and they needed to cut out the ED to fit all of Chapter 8 in.

    What one thing over all the other content this episode covered has happened over and over again? Think hard now. Figure it out? Yup! Talking. A large majority of chapters 9 and 10 are Riko and Reg just making conversation. When you read manga, try acting out the text (this includes thoughts and narration of course) based on the scenario. Are the characters just talking while breaking for lunch? Keep the cadence of the conversation natural. Are they in danger running for their lives perhaps? Speed the cadence up. You’ll find that just acting out all the lines in a text in a chapter can take up quite a bit of time.

    TLDR: The reason episode 4 only covered 1.5ish chapters is because they’re dialogue heavy. Text in chapters can take up many minutes of an episode. Pages with little to no text at all go by in seconds by comparison.

  4. I may have missed this before, but the word they use for the netherworld in Japanese is ‘Naraku’. One of the possible meanings of this word when translated to English is hell. As if the signs each episode gives about how dangerous the Abyss is weren’t enough.

  5. Hablog is one big badass it seems. Sad we won’t see much more from him, I like him.
    Even though it was quickly done with not much depth, they sold the “father-figure” idea well enough.
    At least enough to make it clear that if it were up to him, he’d rather take Riko back home and it’s hard for him to let go even if he understands he needs to.

  6. It’s kinda lonely and sad for me to see how their “culture” – if you call it – with the abyss has them letting of loved ones for “greater things” to the Abyss and what not :O
    Of course I can see that it’s not that they’re not sad about people leaving and it’s just part of their lives to be integral to the Abyss, but it’s still really lonely to see how they parted almost so easily gah


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