Did you notice? The OP changed. Before, the last shot was of the orphanage folks. Now that Riko and Reg have descended to the second stratum, it’s the seeker camp folks. I think I know what this means. The orphanage is as good as gone. We’re not seeing those guys again, at least not for a long time. As I was saying last week, while Riko has been so pleased about getting past the first stratum and escaping the search party, at the same time she’s now irreparably separated from her adopted family and friends. The ‘final test’ was but the first of many trials. And appropriately, it’s now that things, as in the common parlance, ‘get real’.
Look, it’s a Moon Whistle. We can assume he’s at about the same skill level as Leader. He’s dead.
It’s a very quick and punchy demonstration of the dangers of the Abyss, full of shock and awe, and after something of an easy romp through the first stratum it’s probably one we needed. From what I gather, the Moons are supposed to be veterans of the cave raiding business, tasked with training the rookies. If even one of them can die so easily and so senselessly in the Abyss—ending as nothing more than an attraction for the scavengers—then it can probably happen to anyone. Riko’s just a Red, and if she wasn’t accompanied by a super robot with a heat ray she’d be bird food too. That she comes out of the entire experience mostly unfazed is quite remarkable in itself. There’s a fine line between bravery and foolishness, and I’m not sure on which side Riko falls yet, but the irrepressible optimism she brings to the duo is certainly something.
Of course, part of that attitude would stem from the culture of the cave raiders of Orth, which Made in Abyss takes some more time to delve into week. And as an aside, I’m pleased that it is taking this time, because it’s so tempting to rush through many things when one is limited by anime airtime, but at least Made in Abyss is not forgetting that a big part of its appeal is in the world-building, in discovering its setting and its people. And since death seems to be such a persistent theme, it’s doubly important that they dwell on it a bit more. It seems that the cave raiders make their peace with death from a very young age, perhaps as a necessary adaptation. In our world, humans are the unchallenged apex predator. Down in the Abyss, they certainly are not. In our world, sudden death is preventable and worth kicking up a fuss about. In the Abyss, it’s just part of the natural cycle.
Still, even with all this talk of nature, there’s something about the Abyss that is deeply unnatural. Uncanny. The random artefacts littered around the place is the first clue, of course, and there’s sci-fi tech and yada yada forcefields, but even beyond that the entire setup is quite odd. Take the Curse of the Abyss. It seems one can be afflicted with but mild ascent. It only seems to affect humans. The wildlife that have nested in the Abyss that hunt humans and drive them out of their turf I understand. They want humans gone because of course they do. But the Abyss itself doesn’t want to let them leave. That’s pretty creepy in itself.
Full-length images: 25.