Made in Abyss Episode 3: Preparing to Take the Plunge
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Made in Abyss Episode 3, “Departure,” Riko shares her desire to go after her mother Lyza at the bottom of the Abyss. When Nat objects, Riko attacks him. Will he warn the Leader (Gilo) about their plans? Gilo catches Regu trying to say goodbye to Kiwi — was Gilo there by accident? Or was it Nat’s doing? And how will Regu get away, now?
What’s In This Post
What I Liked
Nat’s reaction to Riko’s plan to just charge into the Abyss (starting around 0:28) drove home how much he cared for Riko. His argument could be boiled down to, “Your plan is reckless and bound to fail — and you’ll die!” But what he was really saying was that he didn’t want her to leave his life. And while what she was doing was pounding his head with her fists (vigorously, too!),what she really meant was that she would miss him as well. The show’s not content with great background and atmosphere. They just had to add compelling character moments, too!
The Sea of Corpses (3:04) and its seven-tailed scorpion in the fifth layer? Iron rain on the sixth layer (3:17)? These and other things mentioned in Lyza’s letter make the Abyss sound absolutely terrifying! And, of course, makes me even more ready to see more of it!
Regu sure seemed terrified by another praying skeleton (5:16). I wonder why? He seems so level-headed most of the time. Unlike Riko, Nat, and the others, he’s not actually a kid (well, as far as I know), so I expected his reactions to be more subdued. But he sure seemed to move fast when he saw the skull.
Nat mentions that remains like the skeleton Regu found are all from 2,000 years ago, and “all of ’em are posed the same way” (5:28). Details like that help bring the world alive for me. This is only the third episode, yet I feel like I’m alway invested in this world. This is the kind of thing that draws me to any quality work of fiction — especially anime.
We know Riko wants to go to the bottom of the Abyss to find her mom. We find out Regu is every bit as motivated because he wants to find why he was created (among other things) (6:30), and he thinks the answers await him at the bottom. Both of these are motivations I can accept and relate to. The show’s really building a log of dramatic momentum toward going into the Abyss, and I have to say I’m ready!
We learned that while even Nat feels the effects of the “Curse of the Abyss,” Regu seems immune (7:35). I’m assuming that Regu’s not fully human and that he’s the same kind of being that Lyza reported seeing deep in the pit. While Regu himself isn’t sure, hints like his immunity are pretty compelling.
Nat was convinced that Riko had tried to convince Regu to go with her. But when Regu explained he wanted to go for himself, Riko was so overcome with relief that she burst into tears (9:18). She’s this strong-willed, impetuous young woman, but in many ways, she’s still a kid.
Riko and Regu are going to miss Sigy. He’s well-read and he thinks things through. In other words, he’s Riko’s opposite! His expression when he hears Regu’s plan — or lack of plan — was hilarious (10:09). He correctly guessed that Regu was planning on just lowering himself and Riko using his extendable arms. Sigy then lectures the two of them about the dangers as he shows them the map he had stolen from the Director’s office (10:35). He’s not only smart; he’s brave.
Speaking of the map — it’s gorgeous (10:47). Like I said in my review of the previous episode, I’ve loved maps since as long as I remember, and I think the ones I’ve seen so far in this show rival Tolkien’s maps of Middle Earth.
I’ve also said before how important details are to sustaining a world’s believability. Remembering what they’ve said about the “Curse of the Abyss,” it makes perfect sense that any news sent up by anyone who’s not a White Whistle is treated with great suspicion (12:15). Why? Because the curse can rob people of their reason. I hadn’t considered that angle, but it makes perfect sense.
In the last episode, I wondered why the revelers treated Lyza as if she were still alive when the only thing that had returned was her Whistle. This week, we learn at least one reason why: since the White Whistles are the only ones to send news up, they’re thought of as “a voice of the Abyss…” that lives on in lore (12:36). Another interesting detail!
Nat comes out and says what I’ve been thinking: how could Lyza still be alive after 10 years in the Abyss? Especially in light of her Whistle returning without her (13:04). His works so shocked and hurt Riko that she ran from the room, and Nat seemed to feel guilty. But he’s right, isn’t he? At least according to conventional wisdom. Still, I felt bad for Riko…
Regu’s a wise little man. As they’re preparing to depart, Riko’s still fuming about Nat, who isn’t there to send them off. Regu asks her if she’s okay leaving their friendship in shambles; he goes on to say that he’s not okay with it (14:00). His honestly pierced her facade, and she threw herself into his arms.
As Regu’s saying his goodbyes, Gilo finds Regu and asks what he’s up to (16:25). Gilo’s no idiot; he clearly knows that Riko’s missing and that Regu’s involved. And then he said something that confirmed my suspicion but also made me wonder about his motives: “Stay with her and make sure she’s okay” (17:03). Is Gilo trying to help them? Is he really clueless (though I don’t think that’s it)? There’s a lot going on under the surface in this show.
Regu and Riko took exactly 0 seconds to see through Nat’s disguise (17:46). Which was exactly how long Riko took to forgive Nat after he apologized (17:59). I’ve liked almost everything in this show, but I’ll tell you something I don’t like: the idea that these four won’t be together starting next episode. I read something similar in a post on Marth’s Anime Blog. We’re only three episodes in, but the affection these characters have for each other is so compelling that I don’t want to see it end! To me, that means Made in Abyss is doing a great job with its characters.
What’s the package in Regu’s backpack (20:43)? Just another detail to propel me forward!
Nat looks so miserable now that Riko’s about to step into the Abyss — and out of his life (21:07). Riko’s feeling it just as much (21:51). Her sense of mission impels her forward in spite of her affections. These kids have relied on each other and have such a strong bond that it’s hard to see them separating.
Daggone this show! I figured I’d have just a handful of things to note in What I Liked in this Episode, but no! The show had to go and densely pack its goodness! Stupid show making me write so much…
“At the netherworld’s bottom, I’ll be waiting.” A terrible thought just hit me. What if Riko’s mother Lyza is not waiting for Riko? What if she’s waiting to die: “…I’ll be waiting… to die?” The note was written hastily (19:05)…
I said I don’t want to see the band broken up — but maybe if I like the characters, I should hope they stay in Orth where it’s safer? It might make for a less exiting series, but I think I could handle a fun romp where none of the character I’ve started to care about experience anything too terrible. Because I’m starting to get a “terrible things are about to happen” vibe from this show!
The show’s given us solid motivations for Riko and Regu to go into the Abyss. Between the maps and the amazingly dangerous sounding names like Sea of Corpses, I’m dying to know more about the Abyss myself. Add the praying skeletons, the mysteries surrounding Lyza’s report, and all of the inscrutable, and I find myself impressed at how much this show’s made me want to dive into Abyss in just three episodes. And yet I’m scared to death for Riko and Regu…
What about you? Ready to head into the darkness? Prefer to hang out in Orth a bit longer? 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 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 the Curse
- Made in Abyss Episode 11: Nanachi