「火葬砲」 (Kasouhou)

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.


    1. The curse was activated because she was being carried back up by the bird thing. Whatever depth you are at, the curse will normally activate if you go back up by more than a short distance.

      1. Not entirely correct. I’ll put it in spoilers because it’s probably going to be explained later in the show, but
        Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I kept thinking that meat cooking on the stone was reminding me of something, then I remembered about this meal I had once at an onsen in Hakone – wagyu beef cooked on a hot stone.

      1. Cooking on stone is always a thing in most tribal civilization. Maybe due to the part it allow you to ‘fry’ something in uniform heat using practically just things around you. They often said that granite and volcanic rocks made the best coking stones.

  1. Loved it. But I had a little trouble following the dream
    sequences (that is, when they started / ended). Felt a tad rushed.

    Very sad that this is only 13 episodes. This is definitely a story
    that could have comfortably filled a 2-cour series (assuming the
    same artistic level of detail and beauty).

    1. I have this crazy theory that Reg is actually from the future. Right before he fired the Incinerator, he notes that this event seems familiar. Notice how his dream seemed to be an alternate version of the same event. He even comments to himself how Riko nearly died. It’s possible the dream is actually a memory from another timeline where he actually did hit Riko with the Incinerator. Also note that we never actually saw Reg climb out of Abyss, he just showed up out of nowhere.

      1. It seems familiar because he’s beginning to remember the time he saved Riko from the flying snake thing back in episode one and then had his flash disk fried shortly afterwards.

    1. They can be both cute and deadly and you can be both relieved and saddened they got blasted into nothingness.

      Nature is conflict-ly like that.

      Nice to see it shown so well here. This show has the feel of a very well-done child’s show which carries into some more mature themes. I loved shows like this as a kid. I like this one now.

  2. Passerby i know I’m just elated because it’s been a looooong time since a boy x girl kid relationship has taken center stage let alone get any development. For the past decade it has been nothing but creepy relationships (nanoha, prisma illya, black bullet, no game no life, and ryo ku bu). To see a boy x girl kid relationship again is a breath of fresh air.

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