In Made in Abyss episode 11, “Nanachi,” Nanachi gives Regu a laundry list of ingredients that should save Riko’s life. Can he find them before the poison overcomes her? Is Nanachi really trying to save Riko, or does she have some ulterior motive? And poor Mitty — what was she trying to say to Riko?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
What’s In This Post
3 Favorite Moments
- Riko’s indomitability amazes me. Remember when Nanachi asked why Regu didn’t start cutting Riko’s arm at the elbow joint (7:40)? He cut where Riko had told him to cut, as we saw in the previous episode. Even when she was about to lose consciousness, even faced with the failure of her life and dream, Riko refused to back down: leaving her forearm would allow her to continue to keep exploring (8:00)! That kind of spirit’s pretty badass in my book.
- The detailed ecology in this show continues to appeal to the world-builder in me. The water-mushrooms are actually parasitic (16:45), though Nanachi restates it as symbiotic later on (17:10). Nanachi had Regu collect a shroombear infected with the water-mushrooms to “plant” them on Riko, especially her damaged hand and wrist. The Abyss takes, and the Abyss gives. This is a great way to help Riko heal within the narrative; it’s also a good way to speed her recovery to keep the plot moving.
- With the exception of the symbiotic water-mushrooms, everything Nanachi had Regu collect wasn’t to treat Riko — it was for dinner (17:38)! Regu’s initial reaction of shock was just Regu being the young and immature Regu; Nanachi explained by asking who would take care of Riko if the doctor fainted from lack of food? I’m not convinced Nanachi was really on the verge of collapse. After all, when Regu apologizes, Nanachi thought, “He’s really a pushover…” (18:14) But the point’s valid: Nanachi was busy taking care of Regu, so someone had to go shopping! Regu was the only one available!
Another episode, another load of new questions! Did the red-haired girl in Nanachi’s memory (0:26) become Mitty? Why did we see the White Whistle Bondrewd praising Nanachi, while Nanachi looked wracked by guilt (13:15)? Does it have to do with Nanachi realizing that she remembered the White Whistle that Riko carried originally belonged to Lyza (13:12)? Or does it have have something to do with Mitty? How the hell does Mitty know Riko’s name (21:56)? And don’t even get me started wondering how Regu remembers saying a mournful farewell to Lyza (19:20)…
Argh! But “argh” in the most delightful sense…
Nanachi almost looked proud to introduce Regu to Mitty (10:03). Regu looked at least sympathetic, but his question revealed his true, inner reaction: “Wh-what is that…?” Made in Abyss hasn’t pulled any punches when it comes to the Abyss and its effects on people, so I guess this shouldn’t surprise me, either: people who attempt to ascend do indeed either die or lose their humanity, and Mitty is an example of the latter. Whatever human form she once possessed, it’s completely gone now, replaced by extremities and orifices that are both incomplete and assembled out of order. She has become one of the most pitiable creatures that we’ve seen so far. Initially, part of me wonders if being “put out of her misery” might have been more merciful.
Then I remember experiences I’ve had with disabled humans, and I realized just how cruel my initial reaction was. Mitty’s still obviously capable of responding to affection. Did you see how Nanachi petted her, and how Mitty stroked Nanachi in return? Her clawed hands were clumsy, but it was clear reaction to the Nanachi’s warm gesture. Mitty even responded favorably to Nanachi saying she was special, too. And at the end of the episode, I heard longing in Mitty’s voice as she called Riko’s name. Mitty is still a person, handicapped though she may be, so she’s still deserving of respect and caring. She’s still capable of being loved and of loving.
All of this comes together to show us just how compassionate and amazing Nanachi is. It’s obvious that Mitty can’t fend for herself, or contribute to the household. In the logic of the Abyss — and, sad to say, in the logic of some humans living now and in our past — Mitty is an impediment or simply an economic drain. According to Nanachi, even cave raiders kill a fellow raider if they become a Hollow like Mitty (11:23). In spite of this, in spite of the drain on her resources and the norms of the Abyss, Nanachi has decided not only to keep Mitty safe, but to treat her kindly and with love. When you consider that the decision to save Riko exposed Nanachi to personal danger, it paints the picture of someone who is fearlessly compassionate. I can’t help but respect that.
What do you think? What was your favorite moments in the episode? Let me know in the comments!
Other Posts of Interest
- Made in Abyss Episode 1: The City of the Great Pit
- Made in Abyss Episode 2: Resurrection Festival
- Made in Abyss Episode 3: Departure
- Made in Abyss Episode 4: The Edge of the Abyss
- Made in Abyss Episode 5: Incinerator
- Made in Abyss Episode 6: Seeker Camp
- Made in Abyss Episode 7: The Unmovable Sovereign
- Made in Abyss Episode 8: Survival Training
- Made in Abyss Episode 9: The Great Fault
- Made in Abyss Episode 10: Poison and Curse