Riko going big brain mode and using her hair to make the Neherete villagers work together against the monster that they lured to hunt, was all fine and dandy, but the big question that stuck with me this week. Why did the blacksmith shopkeeper – who was the shop itself, find carving the white whistle weirdly sexual? Even saying he climaxed, I mean that’s MiA for you, the weird never stops getting weird. Like the cheesy fingers in Everything Everywhere All At Once, that part of MiA will forever be engrained in my brain, and it’s something that I will look back on and think of from time to time. Did Prushka also enjoy it, or did she have to put up with it resisting every step of the way? Probably the latter, as once again the fetish is showing.
I don’t really mind it, as personally, I think MiA standouts from other series because of the self-indulgence because it dares to be different and because it’s not really competing with anyone else, except maybe itself. Yet somehow it keeps outperforming. Things get more depressing, things get darker as episodes go on. It’s not afraid of itself, it’s not afraid to go beyond the limit and question, is this too much? With MiA it’s never enough. Nevertheless, that’s what makes it great. It’s always running on the edge, and all you see on the ridge is darkness.
This episode continued exactly where we left off last week, Riko finding out Nanachi did something, I believe she had to sell parts of her body for Belaf to comply in letting her be with Mitty, Nanachi is pretty much unable to move, and the blanket that covers her body is there to hides the horrors that were done to her. Meanwhile, she’s in a state of bliss because she’s now reunited with her friend once again. How far are you willing to go for a little bit of high in a place that resembles hell?
Riko is just about to do the same when Majikaja – the one made of smells, stops her and pulls her away. Rather quickly the luring starts and Kaja explains that the villagers bring in monsters into the townlet to hunt them, but more than that, they all seem like they are the ones being hunted. The blacksmith tries to fight against the monster but is disintegrated in the process. Riko forms a plan, but not before seeing one of the three sages. This time is Juroimoh the sage that values being strong and looking vigorous on the outside, if a strong enemy beacons him, he will show. The other two sages are still to be named so let’s look forward to next week. Or have they already been named?
A fight ensues but before that Riko comes up with her plan and decides to put everyone to work, not without retribution as they took parts of her hair. However it was necessary – me thinks, and this new look fits her quite well. There’s a big explosion and the monster is kinda dead, but not quite as it pushes out some tentacles, and Maa is almost taken away, almost at 5 fps, but that is neither here nor there, however, Riko uses the white whistle not before seeing a ghostly Prushka apparition. White Whistles are meant to bring out the true purpose of relics. So Reg gets on the scene before anything bad could happen and saves everyone in the process. The monster was made of tiny purple tentacles that formed together with a queen.
The episode ends on a positive note, but before Vueko mentions that Wazukyan can also show signs of fear (referring to Reg), even though his Neherete face might not be able to show it. Vueko was able to see. And so one final shot of the Cradle of Greed – sorry – Cradle of Desire (same thing right?) gives us a small glimpse into the truth of the village. How does it all connect and why? That’s for next week to show.
Hopefully, all in one episode, as finally we will be able to talk about how and why the Neherete is the way they are. If anything tragedy and darkness abound.
Hard to believe we’re already halfway through Retsijitsu no Ougenkyou. That cuts especially deep knowing that it’s going to be a very long time before we see more Made in Abyss anime, never mind another TV season – at the rate Tsukushi-sensei releases new chapters, five years might not be unrealistic. It’s no coincidence that mangaka who deliver otherworldly density of content both in terms of writing and art – Tsukushi, Togashi, Inoue, Mori – generate new material very slowly. No one else could do what they do, so it’s no surprise that it takes as much time as it does.
So far, this season still has a bit of unformed quality to it. All the wonder and world-building has been present but the story still feels like it’s in the preliminary stages. Riko (for me anyway) is the least compelling of the three major cast members, so two episodes focused largely on her are going to have a bit less traction than usual in some sense. Nanachi has largely taken herself out of the rotation (she came to for a few seconds of interaction in the into this week, but that’s it) and Reg’s thread has been secondary to what’s happening in the village. At least he got a hell of an entrance out of it, though I wouldn’t have minded if it had come a bit sooner.
As you’d expect, “The Luring” proved to be a pretty grisly undertaking. Unable to leave Iruburu the villagers periodically lure beasts in to hunt for food (I assume it’s that rather than just boredom), and this one is a particular menace. The casualty rate is strikingly high, and when the beast heads off towards the village Riko races off to protect Prushka. She, as it turns out, has been transformed by the village jeweler (TMI as to that process) into an “instrument” – in this case, a whistle. It’s clear Prushka is fine with this (and will become more clear before long), and the stonecutter gives her back to Riko as the instrument refuses to accept anything else.
As the jellyfish-like beast continues to terrorize the village consuming all it touches, Juroimoh emerges, and Majikaja informs Riko (and us) that it’s one of the three sages. It stands its ground and reveals a sacred sword with which it does battle, but the sword has little effect on the beast that I can see. Eventually Juriomoh stops moving, though I don’t know if that means it’s dead (and if it does, what that would mean for the village). Riko is not one to flee and save herself, despite Moogie (Saitou Kimiko) – the restaurant lady – urging her to. Rather, she comes up with a plan to fight the beast (Moogie is surprised she’s capable of it) and enlists Majikaja to help.
As best I can tell, Riko trades her hair for a Majikaja power-up, and lures the beast away from the village, where eventually she has the villagers strong with fire attack and bind it. But it’s not dead, despite Riko declaring victory a little too soon, and Maa (in saving Riko) is among the victims when it springs back to life. At this point Prushka appears in Riko’s mind and urges her to use her, which she does – and in the process we take another baby step in the journey to understanding just what Reg may be. As a relic he’s subject to the commands of the tool that Prushka has become, and he takes out the beast once and for all (Maa appears only to have been wounded once again).
It’s only now that Wazukyan shows up, and seems totally unfazed by the carnage the “festival” has wreaked all around him. With calm being restored everyone starts wondering where the hell Vueko came from – and this seems to be something of a point of no return for her. When Wazukyan suggests that some part of Faputa – the embodiment of value – would be all that could buy Nanachi and Mitty II back from Belaf, Reg volunteers to go meet with her again. And Vueko prepares to tell the story from which, she tells Riko, there will be no turning back.
I don’t think “Irumyuui” is a name we’ve heard before – apart from its striking similarity to “Iruburu” – but it’s who Vueko internally recalls as she begins her tale. Perhaps Irumyuui is connected to Faputa in some way, or is Faputa herself. Vueko also refers to Reg as “a true resident of the golden city” – and notes that Wazukyan looked frightened (he has a good poker face) when he saw Reg. Whoever and whatever Irumyuui is, it seems obvious that it’s crucial to everything that’s happened in Iruburu (Vukeo’s words about time being out of synch imply it could have happened a very long time ago), and what’s about to happen now.
This episode didn’t turn out to be what I was expecting on the gore-front, in a good way. The luring didn’t turn out as gruesome as I imagined it would be-from the way they were building it up, I was expecting it to be some form of torture. Which it is, in a way, for the creatures being hunted, but nothing graphic on screen, at least. Same thing with Riko-I went in, fully expecting a long-drawn-out scene of gut removal, which thankfully, Kaja saved her from.
Apparently, the luring in of outside creatures raises the village’s net worth-how I’m not to sure. Whether it be through increasing the strength stats of the inhabitants or strengthening the bonds between creatures through a hunting party. Unfortunately, it becomes a hunt gone wrong, with the prey (a nest that merged to make a new queen) becoming the predator, digesting the residents alive. Admittedly, it’s not too hard to see why the inhabitants couldn’t bring it down on their own-it’s kind of hard to defeat a creature when the majority of residents no longer have reasoning capabilities. Thanks to Riko’s quick thinking, they bring down the terrifying creature that had even Wazukyan scared (how Vueko could determine the expression on Wazukyan’s mask-like face is a mystery to me). I’m amazed at how fast Kaja can move when he wants to.
A sleeker, post-makeover Prushka makes her appearance, helping Riko save the day. Intriguingly, Reg answers Riko’s/Prushka’s whistle (just like the dog he is named after LOL). It seems that the whistle activates something in Reg’s hardwired subconscious, turning his metal white. Furthermore, if Vueko’s speculations are true, Reg might be a “true resident” of the Golden City- semi-explaining his connection to Faputa. There seem to be strong hints that we might continue seeing changes to Reg the further they stay in the Golden City. Speaking of Faputa-although Riko can’t use herself to buy back Nanachi, she can use Faputa. Reg has the connection with Faputa that could be used to that end-but will he lure Faputa in, using her as currency in order to protect Nanachi? It would be cruel for that to happen, but I also can’t see him let Nanachi die and watch Riko cry.
At the end, Vueko talks to an Irumyuui-who is that? The glimpse we got of it looks like an embryo of sorts. Whatever it is, it looks like it might hold the keys to some of the mysteries behind Reg and the village.
Full-length images: 36.