「呪いの正体」 (Noroi to Shoutai)
“The True Nature of the Curse”

Oh hey, it’s these guys again. Even though they don’t really have much relevance for Riko and Reg down in the Abyss, they do make a point of popping up at regular intervals to remind us they exist, don’t they? I would like to think that these Orth segments are something like postcards from the surface, to give us assurances that those we’ve left behind are doing fine, but unfortunately it’s this kind of show. It’s what they get for living next to the malevolent hellhole that is the Abyss, I guess. It’s curious that the people of the Abyss have such reverence for the Abyss despite the implicit malice behind everything in there. When the Orthians die, they are ‘returned to the Abyss’—and from what we’ve seen of the Curse, the Abyss doesn’t want them to leave, either. It’s an abusive relationship, is what I’m saying. I want to respect the culture, but it seems unhealthy.

I do think that we’re supposed to have some doubts about the entire arrangement, or at least question the nature of whether the gifts of the Abyss is worth its Curse, because Made in Abyss is always inviting us to think about the relationship between the humans and the titular hole in the ground. That’s why, I’m guessing, we still get shown what’s happening to the orphanage, even though they have no impact on what happens to our protagonists. Riko and Reg are still connected to the surface, and still bridge humans and the Abyss. They send messages back to the surface. Contrast this with Nanachi who, while fundamentally human and will go out of her way to aid others out of sympathy, considers herself a creature of the Abyss and wants nothing to do with Orth. In fact, she would rather they remain ignorant of her existence. Perhaps her example is one that advocates a respectable distance between humans and the Abyss. And maybe there is no safe distance from the Abyss? With this mysterious illness that seems to lose potency once the afflicted leaves the island, maybe it’s a time to bail? Is the Curse leaking? How ominous.

Speaking of the Curse, the episode is actually titled The True Nature of the Curse. I was expecting some manner of huge reveal, an anagnorisis that puts the lie to everything we know about anything and plunges our protagonists into tragedy once again, but it turned out that it was only a mechanics lecture. With only a single (though double-length) episode left this season, I was hoping for less of, ‘How does it work?’ and more of, ‘Why is it so?’. I suspect that most of us already understood the nature of the curse as Nanachi explains it: it is pervasive in the Abyss, is a fundamental part of its environment, and allows entry but no exit. The things we don’t know, though, have the potential to be even more sinister. Is its nature by accident, or design? Have the special fauna adapted to the Curse over time, or did they come with the place? And, of course, why does this accursed place that lure so many to fates worse than death exist in the first place?

I get the feeling we’re not going to like any of the answer, and Made in Abyss continues to foreshadow terrible things. I doubt all these loose ends will actually be resolved next week, nor that Made in Abyss intends to, but it’s bound to be dramatic nonetheless. Nanachi finally steels her heart to put down Mitty, and the poor creature is sure to have its share of dark secrets, too.


      1. Well apart from this and My Hero…I am not seeing much out there to look forward to so I can relate to the other commenter. I am open to suggestions if anyone has any. Even older stuff. HxH and FMA…I would say they are on par with these current two shows.

  1. “That’s why, I’m guessing, we still get shown what’s happening to the orphanage, even though they have no impact on what happens to our protagonists”

    Show Spoiler ▼

  2. It’s a terrible shame that this wasn’t planned as a 2-cour series;
    besides the Abyss, it’s the series biggest tragedy.

    Honestly, though, I can’t think of anything I dislike about everything
    I’ve seen so far.

      1. They could announce 2nd season now after ending of 1st season without setting a date for it in stone, kinda like how Attack on Titan did it, just to reassure fans of the show “there is more on the way,just bear with us a little bit”, they really have no idea how positive the impact of announcements like this is (having been majorly disappointed by many series that ended abruptly and never got a 2nd season, no explaination no announcements, nothing)

    1. They can’t do more. The next arc only have about 8 episodes worth of material. And the current arc only have 6 chapters, and the manga is temporarily on hiatus because the mangaka is working on the anime staff.

  3. Wait. There’s only one fourty-five min episode left? I felt like the “true” adventure only just started.

    I must say that the previous two episodes have so far been my favorite – mainly because I didn’t have to hear Riko’s annoying voice.

  4. Let me tell you a story about Nespresso (ant-Nespresso people read the spoiler, otherwise TLDR) Show Spoiler ▼

    So, Nespresso pods came with a coffee strength rating from 1/10 to 10/10. People then kept asking for even stronger coffees, and so the scale now goes from 1/10 to 12/10. And once in a generation, the same thing happens with anime.

    Looking at my MAL ratings, I have only 25 out of almost 800 titles rated as 10/10. But if they really are (at least) 10/10 then Made in Abyss is a 12/10. I’m going to pull my punches until after the final episode, but at this stage it seems to me that MiA is way ahead of shows I used to consider at the pinnacle of anime. By this time next week, I think it’s quite possible I may have had to do a complete re-rating of the upper end of my list.

    1. So in this metaphor, anime is caffeine, and you need stronger and stronger hits as your body builds anime-tolerance?

      If anything, I think this shows the weakness of trying to put a numeric score on something as subjective your enjoyment of a show.

      1. So in this metaphor, anime is caffeine

        That hadn’t occurred to me. It wasn’t intended as a metaphor at all, it was more to demonstrate the futility of trying to rate things when you have an arbitrary upper limit.

      2. I think you could use drugs in overall as a metaphor and not just caffeine.
        Some are like cocaine and give you a state of euphoria.
        Some are very psychedelic like LSD.
        Some are very depressive like Downers.
        So on, so on…

        As time goes on you find a need to increase the dosage.

  5. Why they life with the Vulcan even if it kills them?

    Look at Italia in Europa. The Vesuv or the little Vulcan fields near it. in the ancient and even today, they use the heat of the Vulcan. in Japan these hot springs? so in Europe the Romans

    So, the Vulcan give life and can taken life.. the deadly gas they produce

    Perhaps here is it the same, thanks to this Abyss (for me an old gigantic Vulcan) around it Life has heat to endure the cold? How knows, little i know about the World around the Abyss

    1. Yes! I was thinking the same in regard to the sea. People in many European fishing communities would risk their lives making a meager living from the sea, going out in tiny boats to fish, even though most of them couldn’t swim. The sea could take individual lives or wipe a whole community out of existence. People lived in fear of the water, but revered it at the same time. Same as the people on the slopes of volcanoes, same as the villagers at the mouth of the Abyss.

    2. And in times past, we would sacrifice people to volcanoes in the hopes of appeasing them. That doesn’t mean it was a good idea. If the people of Orth were squatting next to a volcano for the rich farmland with full knowledge of what they were getting into, more power to them. But if the Abyss is secretly killing them in subtle ways, I’m more concerned.

      1. I think these kind towns evolve based on a series of events that can be seen in many stories as well as reality, adventurers hear about the Abyss and want to explore it, they travel there and explore then return with valuable artifacts.

        Over time the need to explore deeper forces explorers to set up camp outside the abyss, merchants and opportunity seekers hear about the Abyss and follow lead trying to capitalize on the valuable treasures adventurers find or the adventurers themselves, they too set up camps and shops to either buy stuff from adventurers as soon as they reach the surface or sell them essential stuff (like equipment and food), they build a port to facilitate easier trade with outside world and as more people are attracted to the promise of adventure, treasure and profit a city grows around the initial camp and shops.

        A similar thing happened in Diablo 3 videogame where the city of New Tristram grew around the camp set up by adventurers who wanted to explore the depths of a cursed cathedral in Old Tristram nearby that supposedly led to the depths of hell itself and also promises tons of precious loot and treature to those brave enough to explore it, similar examples can also be seen in westerns and the gold rush.

      2. Definitely a videogame trope (as appropriate for Made in Abyss, being basically a videogame adaptation). There is, of course, Diablo (and in the original Diablo the cathedral was one big dungeon and Tristram was a glorified pitstop), but many dungeon-crawlers would have have a central hub area like a town, and often the town pops up because of all the traffic to the dungeons (like one would for a gold rush).

        Made in Abyss plays with the trope a bit though. In dungeon-crawlers, the hub area is supposed to be a safe zone. But in Orth, people are dying in ways heavily implied to be due to the Abyss. And with the Lyza narration talking about how hard it is to resist the longing for the Abyss, it sounds like more sinister than simple curiosity or wanderlust.

    3. The fields around Mt. Vesuvius, due to its frequent eruption is actually quite fertile, thus people want to farm there. Likewise, despite the drawbacks, Abyss offers opportunity to get loots beyond what the rest of the world can offer. In a way, Abyss system is somewhat similar to Gateway system of the Heechee novels. There’s a galactic network of hyperspace transport system in the orbit of Venus left by aliens that human termed Heechee. There’s thousands of transport ship with preprogrammed destination. Those that goes on the trip to god knows where can come back with alien technology that revolutionized the world, or the ship comes back empty.

  6. Hmmmm, I think it was pretty obvious that they included the extra chapter about Orth from the manga because of its relation to the theme of the episode “The true nature of the curse”, it seems the curse of the Abyss had many aspects and facets and the phenomena of children dying on their birth-dates is another unexpected side-effect of the mysterious forces at work in the Abyss.

    Also I’m surprised you didn’t mention the reveal that the monsters in the Abyss can predict the future, which makes the already horrifying creatures even more scary (and we only got a glimpse of the lower level monsters in Lyza’s pages, fifth layer future-predicting seven-tailed scorpion anyone!!), it’s a very big reveal regarding the nature of Curse (aside from the cool visual explanation of how the basics of the curse work by Nanachi).

    Also i was amused by the very surprised reaction of Nanachi to Reg using his Incinerator as if she never saw anything as powerful as it before, despite her vast knowledge and the fact that she reached the sixth level (and was hanging around Bondrewd), so it means the Reg is probably something or someone very special and only is hindered by his memory loss.

  7. Another analogy between Yoda and nanachi popped to my head: horrendous cooking.

    Other than that to sum up my marathoning posts:
    good Lord, Abyss reminds me of both the Harry Harrison’s Deathworld Pyrrus AND Pandora from the Avatar
    alien place full of deadly critters, yet at same time miraculously beautiful and enchanting
    there is almost like in Pyrrus case there is some indomitable will pushing critters to atatck explorers and drive them away

    And REGarding Reg I think he might be someone sent from the other side of Abyss as sort of.. recon probe? to make contact with humanity?
    That would speculate some tech-advanced civilization down there

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

    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

  8. Ep 13:

    Warning!.. Get hold of many Tissues, you will need them. Trust me

    And before watching it, be sure that you have time after you found yourself again

    Video + Audio (also Voice Acting) = Hit…. aw, trust me if i say you will need the Tissues

    1. ok, this episode gave me sleepless night to the tune of lloped Hanezeve Caradhina…
      I have been thinking and thinking…
      What does Orphanage is not much different of 18th century sending young boys to sea travels with Cook or La Perouse, with huge risk to health and life, but at same time with possibility of true advancement and immortal fame as explorers.
      Show Spoiler ▼

  9. “I want to respect the culture, but it seems unhealthy.” Summed it up in words for me haha. I think potentially it was also refreshing with the medic ship team (?) making an appearance. Because they’re outsiders, they have a fresh perspective over this whole “Abyss Culture” thing and outside of the Orth, it is definitely not considered normal and is still quite a fantastical concept, whereas to the locals it’s become so normalized and their cave raider spirits all just accept reasonings like “yeah that’s just the cause the Abyss.”
    Also the bday curse thing is really creepy, just like everything else surrounding the mystery of the Abyss.


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