Made in Abyss Episode 12: A Daring Rescue and a Terrible Request

Quick Summary

In Made in Abyss Episode 12, “The True Nature of the Curse,” Mitty tries to communicate with Riko — after having saved Riko from the orbed-piercer’s poison. Nanachi reveals the true nature of the Abyss to Regu and immediately puts that revelation to the test — against the orbed-piercer that’s attacking a Black Whistle! Having seen Regu’s combat capabilities, Nanachi congratulations him and immediately asks for a favor that shocks Regu to his core.

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

What’s In This Post

Quick Episode Summary
3 Favorite Moments
Thoughts
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3 Favorite Moments

The hospital ship has a little of everything I love about this show: cool set details, interesting characters, and great mystery and atmosphere. Everything you need to create an immersive world! Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.
  1. The visit to the caravan’s hospital ship (1:50) shows some of my favorite things about Made in Abyss. You have the amazing detail in animation, like the rust on the ship’s hull, the valve behind the recovered Kiwi as he sat on the bed, and Gilo and the pharmacist’s subtle yet expressive movements. Did you see her stretch and yawn at the end of the scene? That wasn’t necessary, but it was an interesting little character detail that made the scene more interesting! You have the whole idea of the caravan being aquatic, which I thought was cool. And then we got an outside perspective of Orth and the Abyss. From the ships’ view, the city and the entrance to the Abyss looks almost like a gigantic and (I hope!) extinct volcano. It even looks like it’s made out of volcanic rock! I wish I could achieve the transparent and seemingly effortless way the world-building’s woven into the plot. This is good stuff!
  2. Almost feel relaxed watching the show? Here, have a kick of sorrow-filled terror! Time for Riko to suffer a little more — and Mitty, too! This show… Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

    Riko’s dream (14:25) might be the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in a series brimming with disturbing things! At first, Riko’s an almost formless blob, though her consciousness is still clearly intact as we see in her terrified expression. Then, she sees Mitty’s red eye looking in from the outside, almost as if Riko’s inside a hollow tree trunk and Mitty’s outside looking in through a knot-hole. As Riko approaches the wall, her form becomes more distinct and human. All the while, Mitty is wailing in pain. The scene left me feeling a sense of pity and dread that became more intense after the last scene (see below).

  3. That last scene (20:46)… Regu says that he’d love for Nanachi to travel with him and Riko further into the Abyss. Nanachi acts almost bashful and says there is a favor Regu could do, but it’s very hard to ask. Regu encourages the furry one, and do you know what Nanachi asks? “Please kill Mitty for me.” Okay, now I’ve read a lot, I’ve watched a lot, and I’ve written a lot. I’ve gotten to the point in my life where it’s rare that I can be surprised or startled, and truth be told, I enjoy those moments because of their rarity. It just makes sense, right? Experience is the enemy of surprise! So when a show can actually shock me to the point where I’ve stopped breathing? That’s an amazing experience. Made in Abyss just shocked me with that question. I think my reaction probably looked like Regu’s! Nanachi’s pained, wistful expression made it even more evocative.

Thoughts

“Please kill Mitty for me,” Nanachi asks Regu. What in all of the Abyss could drive sweet, gentle Nanachi to ask such a thing? Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Nanachi sure values personal space, doesn’t she? Or maybe it’s just when Regu get too close? In this episode, I thought Nanachi might run screaming from the room (9:27) when Regu begged for the secret to seeing the Curse. I wonder if that’s just an amusing trait, a key to understanding Nanachi’s past, or both?

Like I said above, when Nanachi asked Regu if he would kill Mitty, I was stunned. What must be driving Nanachi’s terrible request? Judging by the expression on the fluffy one’s face, it wasn’t malice. We saw in this and the previous episode how Nanachi treats Mitty with compassion. There seems to be real affection there! In the context of Regu asking Nanachi to help them in their journey, it’s almost like the narrative’s trying to convince me that Nanachi just wants rid of an inconvenient roommate. That would be horrible thing!

Horrible to the point I might just walk away from the show if it’s true.

But that would invalidate everything I think the show’s revealed to us about Nanachi’s character and motives. I think the dream sequence contains the vital clues to the real reason. Mitty may have lost her humanity, but she maintains some part of her identity. That identity’s in agony, judging from the wailing we hear. I’m beginning to suspect that Mitty doesn’t want to go on. She wants an end to the pain.

It Mitty the one who really wants an end? How can they be sure of her desire — and that it’s no coerced? That she’s sound enough of mind to make such a final decision? Capture from the Amazon Strike stream.

Why now? Why didn’t Nanachi take care of the situation months or years ago, without involving Regu or Riko? Is there another clue in how Mitty helped save Riko from the orbed-piercer’s poison? I mean, how did Nanachi know Mitty was immune to poison? Was it because the furry one has tried to euthanize Mitty before and failed? Perhaps at Mitty’s request?

Do you remember how Nanachi reacted to Regu’s Incinerator? At first, I thought that Nanachi was just surprised at Regu’s ability. In retrospect, I wonder if Nanachi saw an opportunity to finally succeed — by delivering a quick, painless death to a friend in agony?

This is the most dangerous ground the show’s trod to date. Mitty’s terribly, pitifully disabled. She can’t live on her own, and for all intents and purposes, her humanity’s already dead. But that’s by no means the only measure of a life’s worth. Mitty can still love. She can still express herself, however indistinctly, as we saw when she covered Riko. If we value life, we have to be very, very cautious about how we approaching ending it. A decision to keep someone alive can easily be changed later. A decision to kill? It’s final.

What do you think? Have I hit on a plausible explanation for Nanachi’s request? Or am I missing something basic? Honestly, I hope you have a less tragic explanation! Please share it in the comments!

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Post Author: tcrow