「生存訓練」 (Seizon Kunren)
“Survival Training”

As many of you may be aware, the most dangerous of the wildlife in Africa is, without question, the hippopotamus. While on your safari, you may be lucky enough to encounter all manner of wondrous fauna, including big, carnivorous cats like lions and cheetahs. If you stay in your car, those are no threat. The guide will, however, take extra time to warn you about the hippopotamus. They are herbivores. But they are also territorial, easily angered, and will chase. ‘Docile’, as Ozen may put it, they are not. A general rule of thumb to live by (literally): stay away from the water. Maybe I’m just speaking as a land-based mammal myself, but oftentimes it seems that nothing in this world hides as many deathtraps as the water. Here where I am, in Australia, from time to time there will be a story in the paper about some tourist going out to take an evening dip in some creek in the bush. You don’t even need to read the rest of the article to know, yep, they’re dead. We have some of the biggest and meanest crocodiles in the world around here, and they lie wait in the water for prey looking for a drink, and there’s no chance of survival if they drag you underwater. Going to them is suicide. They’re even pretty fast on land when they chase after you (the trick is to run in zigzags). The point is, it’s sensible to look for a water source first when out camping, because we all sustain on water, but predators know that too, and they are waiting. Just another case of Riko needing to curb her enthusiasm so she isn’t killed immediately. Again.

Aside from that episode with the hippo, though, Made in Abyss doesn’t actually dwell very long on Riko and Reg’s little outdoors excursion, despite the title. I suppose we were talking about whether Made in Abyss will have enough to do what it wants just last week, and almost on cue the pacing has drastically accelerated. I don’t know how deeply the manga goes into anything, but here we’ve skipped almost all of the 10 days of training, and narrated past all of Ozen’s story time. That’s a shame, because that stuff could have been fascinating in a show like this. In a world mystery, the secret oral tradition, the myth that is passed down, is foundational to the development of the setting. And in a darker sort of adventure, we could have had some poignant survival horror. Instead, the ordeal is implied, but not shown. We don’t get to experience the constant danger, the thinning supplies, and the paranoia. We are told in passing that Riko and Reg were separated at some point, and that should have been a lonely, nerve-wracking experience, but it has no consequence when we’re just skipping to the end where everybody is safe and back together. No time for any of that, apparently. Got to speed off.

And zoom away we do, past the second stratum and onto the third. For the first time, we get to see Lyza’s face in full (and it’s all eyelashes). Oh, and Riko’s dad too, but we don’t know anything about him yet other than his height. Point is, Lyza is Riko’s goal, and the goal is becoming clearer. So too, though, are the dangers. There are nastier things than Ozen in the Abyss and it’s, of course, humans. We know that the depths of the Abyss drives people mad (is the time dilation effect doing it?), but Ozen seems sane enough. Bitter and cynical, yes, but sane, or at least sane enough to honour her promise to Lyza. Other White Whistles are, apparently, much more broken, and bound by no oath to help Riko. If Ozen’s calling somebody else a scumbag, then they must be truly depraved indeed. The White Whistles may be heroes, but evidently not for their moral fibre.

Just a word about spoilers: as Made in Abyss dashes off towards the end of its run, I’d like to remind to all commenters to use spoiler tag. I have not read the manga and cannot tell what is a spoiler and what is not, so it would help me immensely if you could put everything in spoilers. Even just speculation or name-dropping can go in spoiler tags, and say something about what the contents of the tags are. Thanks.


  1. Actually, what I’m getting more and more as I watch this series
    is that Reg is a true enigma. Ozen wasn’t aware of his existence
    and he seems really, really tough surviving Ozen’s harsh testing.

    So, is he 100% robot (maybe bio-mechanical) with some parts of his
    “skin” to simulate human skin (anatomically correct from all accounts :))?

    Even if he was an altered human, his torso would not have fared as
    well as it did with Ozen’s thrashing. The more I see, I think he was sent
    by Lyza to return with Riko but for reasons not yet explained.

    Good series so far.

  2. I don’t know how deeply the manga goes into anything, but here we’ve skipped almost all of the 10 days of training

    Actually even in the manga the so-called survival training barely takes up a page and a half.

  3. We actually saw more of the training here than we did in the manga. the whole ten day trial was just an extremely short couple-page montage in the manga to let us know they’re learning to work together; they make a decent team, but their skill growth is still at a semi-realistic level, so they’re not getting a sudden shonen powerup or anything.

    I really love that scene with Lyza. Not just because it’s beautiful (although it is), but because it reveals something significant about her. She, perhaps alone out of the white whistles, had not been broken by the Abyss. She had gone through the same sorts of trials they had, had faced the Curse, and suffering, and loss, had spent years exploring a harsh, alien environment where the laws of nature hold no sway… Yet she still believed in miracles, and she still saw the world as a place full of wonder and adventures waiting to be had. There was a purity of heart and of purpose in her character, compared to Ozen, or Ozen’s descriptions of the other white whistles.

    I just hope that’s still the case when Riko finally reaches her.

    1. Not that I don’t admire Lyza’s pure passion (she made a refreshing foil for Ozen, for starters), but I think it also says something about her fascination with the Abyss. She got married, she got pregnant, she had a child—all great reasons to take a break from the Abyss. But in every case, she still went back.

      1. I think that woman is close to a hundred years of age, maybe a side effect of the relic she has been using all this time, I think the manga stated she was close to a hundred years when Lyza first aproach her.

  4. You know the more i think about it the more I belive Lyza is a real scum, not only she went down to the Abyss with more than a half way through her pregnacy but she also abandon her own daughter in an orphanage, she can talk the crap she wants about giving Riko the right to choose her life but Ozen was spot on, she abandon her own daughter to satisfy her own neeed of adventure and curiosity, she might be hero but she is worst kind of scum a human can become in my eyes.

    1. Cave raiders at Lyza’s level are basically tools of the state, they have to descend into the Abyss when they are told. With Riko’s father already dead and with Lyza having to be prepared to descend at a moment’s notice, what else could she do but put Riko in an orphanage?

    2. Lyza didn’t abandon her daughter. She put her under the care of her disciple. Lyza appears to have no family and her husband is dead. She still has a job to do and can’t take Riko with her so whats should she do? In the flashback she discusses with Ozen the possibility of leaving the Abyss area with Riko but because of Riko’s nature she thought that would be cruel to her.

      1. But Ozen corrected her at the moment, she told Lyza the real reason was her curiosity and that woman does not lie to others, besides, Lyza didn´t dive back into the Abyss, she went fo a Last Dive and as far as I know that´s a personal choice for the White Whitles, no matter how I look at it the woman went to chase her dream and left her behind. Also, Riko´s motivation is no longer a noble sense of adventure, as Ozen said when she was brought back by the relic she found herself forced to go for the Abyss, that sounds more like acurse to me than a miracle as Lyza said, hwo can anyone be sure to be acting by their own free will you´re nothing more than a zombie with a command to complete? It´s like that plot twist in the first Bioshock.

      1. Yeah, that cute art style for some of the characters is just a huge trap or prank of the author depending of the way you see it. The abyss is depicted with incredible artistic beauty, the characters are what you would expect from a moe manga but the true horrors of the Abyss are the stuff of nightmares that belong in a hardcore horror manga if you ask me.


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