「拾うものすべて」 (Hirou Mono Subete)
“All That You Gather”
Oh my God!
I was blown out of the water in more ways than one, personally, I found it incredibly cinematographic, fluid, and dynamic the way Kinema Citrus transitioned between the promise Faputa and Reg once made in the far distance past; their backstory, and them being together finally tied concurrently the prince and princess storyline, MiA has been building this season, however allegorical it might be. There are no words that might suffice this episode for me.
The rampage Faputa has against the villagers is explosive and her unique way of fighting against them proved just how much superior she is to them and establishes exactly how outmatched they are against her, even if they try to fight back, the battle is but all lost. The villagers fight for their lives, fruitlessly that is, but they still fight. If anything the abyss is proving just how much primordial things might get when one’s life is on the line, and souls are the one main currency of the abyss.
“Fau”, meaning “Precious Daughter”, and “Aputa”, meaning “Immortal Being.”
All hell has officially broken loose, and no one rule is out of the question. If I may, this week has left me with few words to speak off, not only because the fight felt incredibly short, but also because of how they managed to incorporate this week’s story elements. Once again I was left mouth agape and no words to speak of.
However, if I must – Nanachi’s release, so to speak, was also once again incredibly emotional, how much longer must Nanachi suffer the loss of Mitty, will the abyss continue to provide her with that never-ending turmoil? Hasn’t Nanachi suffered enough? But such is the base of the abyss, suffering is at its core. It’s but a peek at the underworld, remember this isn’t a story with a happy ending.
The village is starting to decompose, Nanachi and Belaf, stationed on the roof of the village, will probably be the first ones to suffer the curse of the abyss, as we see how the little guys that took a liking to Nanachi also disappear as they bring her a new helmet. Much like Riko’s hair, Nanachi’s new helmet might symbolize a new part of herself, a new discovery within herself that makes her a new character, or at least one with a new type of understanding. Cutting long hair in film language has long signified that a character wishes to change, to leave a past, unwanted or not, behind.
The animation on display was also of worthy note, Kinema Citrus and the team behind MiA S2 are worthy of praise and deserve a well-merited mention for their hard work, is after all people that make the animations we watch on our screens, I might have been taken aback simply just because of the animation and the nobs and bobs that center around it like mentioned before, the transitions between past and present were just incredibly creative. I really like that they felt the need to incorporate Reg’s story as well. As slowly he is starting to remember.
Once again Riko had to use the white whistle, one little detail here that they either forgot to add or changed from the manga, is that during this scene, when Riko used the white whistle for a second time now, it actually hurts her, making her bleed out of her nose. I’ve always found the changes between scenes in MiA a bit obtuse, but that doesn’t mean that it deters itself from telling a great story.
Once again MiA has proved just exactly how impressive it is, even if sometimes those little moments of interaction between characters, like Faputa looking inside of Reg’s pants, are a little weird, or come off as awkward for the viewers, meanwhile, I have a feeling, the original creator might find them silly, naive or just funny. But once again, the um… fetish is showing… it doesn’t mean that the story it tells is not incredibly emotional, full of twists and turns, full of despair and passionate trauma, that come together to form an incredibly transformative piece of art, that even to those in the distance future, might warner an immediate watch
That kicked my ass and left me for dead by the side of the road, in the way only Made in Abyss can. From the opening with Belaf to the strains of “Hanezeve Caradhina” (always a clue something emotionally heavy is going down), the emotional barrage was relentless. This series is just so hard, in so many ways – it never lets up on you as the audience. It’s demanding, it’s difficult, it’s painful, it’s awkward and unsettling. I haven’t felt the need to trot out that opening line since Orange (Episode 4, I checked) but it definitely fits.
Belaf was the one of the original expedition who most suffered through what happened, as much or even more than Vueko I think. Both of them took their fates as a sort of deserved punishment, rightly or wrongly. His giving Nanachi his memories and releasing her and Mitty as a sort of benediction was perfectly in-character, both for Made in Abyss and the character himself. But what he offers Nanachi is not freedom, because it forces yet another impossible choice on her. That’s what Retsujitsu no Ougankyou is all about more than anything else, I think – impossible choices.
Nanachi’s decision was, again, perfectly in-character. She can’t abandon Reg and Riko for the past, even if the past looks and feels like the Mitty from before the worst Bondrewd could inflict upon her. This brief reunion was a sort of dream, and I think one from which Nanachi always knew she would wake up. She embraces her responsibilities and makes the painful choice, though this at least gives her the closure of having seen Mitty off herself. It’s also a reminder that what’s true of Mitty is true of everyone else in Iruburu – there’s no leaving this place for them. One way or another it’s their final rest.
Meanwhile, Gaburoon is protecting Riko, Ma, and Moogie – along with a few other hollows – from Faputa’s murderous rampage as Reg dozes and Wazukyan and Vueko look on from above. It’s every bit the slaughter you’d expect, though it’s not the gore that makes this episode so brutal – it’s the karmic pain which suffuses every pore of it. I’ve seen it argued (absurdly, in my view) that these hollows are not truly sentient, have lost the essence of what made them human and individual. Well, they sure as hell don’t act like it. They fight and die to try and protect each other and their village. They have memories of the past and dreams of the future, and regrets about both. You can argue that Faputa is justified in annihilating them, but don’t let yourself off the hook by devaluing those she’s destroying.
This is a very, very, dark and difficult situation morally speaking. Tsukushi designed it to be. Just as one can’t reasonably dismiss this as anything but a massacre, Faputa can’t be pardoned with ignorance. Gaburoon has been visiting Iruburu – she knows full well that inside the village is a thriving culture. The problem is that culture is an affront to her very being, and she’s perfectly justified in feeling that way. Gaburoon makes it clear to Reg once he awakes that this is something he can’t run away from – he has to make a decision and face down Faputa, if that’s what he chooses to do. Reg doesn’t remember as much as Gaburoon does, but he remembers enough to know that Gaburoon is right.
Not for the first time, poor Reg. I’ve come to view his context within this story as the embodiment of pure goodness. Reg is (as Faputa keeps repeating) kind – limitlessly kind. All of his impulses are driven by empathy and integrity, and that, combined with his tremendous power, constantly puts him in impossible situations. In the past (his already being named Reg almost assures that it was Riko’s mother that named him) his kindness towards Faputa made her fall in love with him. Not all the memories come back as he and Faputa struggle but enough do to recall the emotions they shared. That Reg never had to see this Faputa, and the promise he made to return and go adventuring with her was made in good faith, but without the knowledge of what she truly is.
This is the latest impossible dilemma Reg finds himself in. How to stop Faputa, who he loved, from destroying herself in a sea of rage until nothing is left. How to save a village that was created from terrible darkness, but now claims a hold on the heart of Reg’s current companion. I don’t see any reason to suspect Wazukyan is powerful enough to do either, so Reg carries the fate of all on his narrow shoulders. I don’t know what the right answer is here, but I do know it’s not a simple question. Perhaps most fascinatingly, I don’t even know what Irumyuui would want to happen (and I don’t think it’s as obvious as some would have you believe).
What talented voice acting. You could hear the shattering pain of Nanachi’s fragile heart and the tearing of Faputa’s soul through their voices.
Just like the villagers and her mother, Faputa is mangled by her desires. Rather than physically transforming, she changes in personality. Whereas the villagers became senseless, lost in innocence, she became senseless, lost in bloodthirst. Previously, I thought (and still think) the villagers shouldn’t be held responsible by the balancing for any harm they cause in their naïve curiosity (i.e. squeezing Mitty). In that line of thinking, should Faputa also not be held responsible for her rampage, since it isn’t entirely her fault? She was born into this anger inherited from her mother. The curse is definitely playing a role in this, distorting her desires and blinding her. The morals are so muddied, I can’t really say what would be right (although it is clear what is wrong).
Nanachi’s plight was painful to see-faced with the choice between new friends or the memory of old ones. Obviously, the right choice was to rejoin Reg and Riko since they are, you know, real and alive. However, even as a copy, the memories can be powerful enough to sway any reason, tying someone like Nanachi to a past they can no longer live, but long for. Which is the whole point that the Golden City revolves around. Nanachi choosing to throw off the past no matter how much they longed for it, choosing harsh reality over the comfort of illusions was a turning point. Nanachi did what the villagers could not do (or at least Wazukyan and Belaf since the others had no choice). It’s no coincidence that at the same moment Nanachi steps out, the cradle of desires is on its way to obliteration.
Set on her path of self-destruction, Faputa tries to bring Reg along with it. The flashback was a sweet children’s love story- the “prince” promising to rescue the princess from despair, lighting each other’s way. That sentiment was beautifully enhanced by the soft, golden light filtering throughout the scenes. A stark contrast to the dark shadows that dominate the Golden City and recurring theme of inner darkness. Seeing Faputa joyfully playing with Reg in the past makes it that much more devastating to see how wrecked she has become by ambitions of revenge. In the brief second that she calmed down, I was seriously hoping Faputa would come back to her senses, but alas, this is MIA where hopes and bodies alike are crushed in the end.
The whole HAKU bit caught my eye. The person symbol marks something as HAKU-the MVP. Faputa said she has three-one on her robot guardian, one on her mother, and one left to spare. Interestingly, she didn’t put the last one on Reg-why? Was she waiting until he returned or was he never meant to be a HAKU, only a mere tool? Whatever the reason, the outcome doesn’t look too good for Reg. Sure, he may physically survive, but emotionally, this will be a total blow to him (and me).
Full-length images: 36.