Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Made in Abyss episode 5, “Incinerator,” Riko and Regu continue exploring the second level, where they encounter a corpse-weeper — and learn the horrifying reason for its name before one of them tries to feed Riko to its young! Our heroes make it to the Observation Base, but when they to try to ascend, Ouzen “The Immovable” grabs Regu’s arms. What’s her intention with them? And why does she so terrify Regu?
What’s In This Post
What I Liked
- Please let me just get this out of the way: once again, the show’s beautifully animated, stirringly scored, and has backgrounds that are more real than some photographs of our world. And, oh, yeah, the sound effects are spot on, too. There. Now I won’t have to keep saying it!
- The cries for help had a strange timber (starting around 2:21), so I knew something was up. But as much as keep telling myself that I know this show’s going to get dark and dangerous, I wasn’t prepared for the corpse-weeper (2:58). How the fallen cave raider (a purple whistle) moved passively as the corpse-weeper fed on him was gut-wrenching. The cloud of bugs feasting on the cavity that had been the cave raider’s abdomen was also grimly effective in driving home just how much danger Riko and Regu were in.
- Did you notice the corpse-weeper’s eyes (3:11)? It has one on its forehead, and one on the left side of its head. That’s a good adaptation for an environment like the Abyss! Again, it’s the little details that both delight and pull us farther into the world!
- Really? They had to start the OP there (4:07)? Jeesh…
Oh, crap! The corpse-weepers know teamwork (5:43)! Regu tries two to save Riko as one corpse-weeper flies away with her, but he can’t get a clear shot because other corpse-weepers deflect his telescoping arms! How does anyone make live more than a few minutes in the Abyss? No wonder Gilo trains them so hard.
- Knowing what these beasts are capable of, I actually shuddered as the corpse-weepers swarmed Regu (5:58). This show is so effective at making us care about the characters, dramatizing the extreme danger of the threat, then at unleashing it on our heroes. It’s delightfully light on exposition!
So Regu in extremis can remember how to use how weaponry (6:40). Amnesia as a dramatic device is used so often that it’s become a trope, but in this show, I think it’s really effective. Cool effects as his hand fired, too (6:54)!
- Did you notice Regu worrying that the corpse-weeper was carrying Riko upward, so she’d suffer from the Curse of the Abyss? Well, apparently she’s suffering, because she had thrown up all over herself (7:38). Again, the show had presented us with what could happen, and now one of our heroes is exposed to that danger and reacts realistically.
- When Regu has a second to reflect on what just happened (7:59), he’s really shaken up. The smoldering ruins of the landscape stretched before him as he wondered who he was. Did you notice, even while he’s experiencing an existential crisis of identity, his main concern was what would have happened if his beam had hit Riko? And I have to say — I wouldn’t have pointed that thing at my face like he did! I’d’ve been afraid I’d blow my own head off!
Riko’s practicality impresses me. Regu’s on the verge of tears saying that he had almost blown her away, and she’s naming the device (Incinerator, the title of the episode) (9:50), grinning, and estimating the size of the beam from the first time he saved her! And that size meant he could control it better before now! I haven’t met many character as brave as Riko!
- Isn’t it hard not to admire Riko’s positive attitude even in the face of losing her notebook (12:16)? I felt bad she’d lost something so important, but on behalf of Regu and as a fellow guy, I admit I felt relieved: the details of his manhood were now safe in the clutches of the Abyss (12:54). Guess there’s a silver lining after all!
The first thing I thought when Riko let slip that they were eating fried corpse-weeper (13:43) was “Uh, those things eat people…” First I was gratified that Regu had the same reaction, and second, I was forced to face, once again, the harsh impact the Abyss has had on its explorers: Riko was nonchalant about the cycle of life (14:02). She even related how the orphanage used to eat meat harvested from the first level, where the beasts also feasted on humans. She’s brave, and she’s tough as steel. And she’s heading into the teeth of the Abyss — and I’m enjoying it!
- Did you see the utensils they used to eat the corpse-weeper (13:51)? They’re using a combination of a fork and a knife. I like that combination way more than a spork — the fork/knife seems so much more dignified! But I’m guessing they have to be careful not to slice their cheeks!
- The “Cool Use of Technology” award goes to Regu for using his arms almost as if he were a cable car (15:42). Looks like that technique gives them a really stable ride!
The scene in the Inverted Forest (starting around 16:15) was gorgeous. I know I tried to get it out of the way in the first point I made above, but I can’t hold back — the scenery was amazing. Lush, dark, beautiful and lethal — with environment-appropriate beasts (the inbyos starting around 18:10). The inbyos’ hands seemed perfectly adapted to their environment — just like the corpse-weepers’ eyes.
- After everything she’s been through, can you remember Riko sound more disappointed than she did when Regu’s helmet stopped displaying writing (18:04)? That was so sad!
- So Ouzen (Ozen) called Riko a brat (21:38)? That didn’t strike me as an affectionate use of the term, either. Does she hold a grudge against Riko — maybe for holding back Lyza? Is Ouzen still upset about something to do with helping Lyza bring Riko back to the surface? Wait, what? The ending scene’s making me want to watch the last episode? It’s like they planned this or something!
Has Regu been “robot-zoned?” Around 9:14, Riko told him not to be embarrassed after he undressed her to check for broken bones because “You’re a robot, after all.”
Why didn’t Ozen (Ouzen) lower the gondola for them? Why’d she call Riko a brat — or was Ozen referring to Regu? The show’s done a great job laying the founding for a deep and rich world. From the first episode, we’ve gotten little hints that, in total, make the dangers that Riko and Regu are facing real. And now, we’re starting to see some of that setup paying off — like with the introduction of Ozen.
The show’s never shied away from the more harsh aspects of this world. Remember Riko’s humiliating punishment? Nat getting sick from the Curse of the Abyss as he and Regu returned from an expedition? But this episode kicked it up a notch with the corpse-weepers. Their animal-kingdom brutality were a perfect fit with the Abyss. Doesn’t it make you want to know more about the world? And feel even more anxious about Riko and Regu’s chances?
Speaking of their chances, I like how the two of them work together. Riko knows a lot about the creatures and environment, and her optimism and pragmatism keep both of them anchored. Regu’s strength and combat capabilities keep them safe. But his arms aren’t enough against corpse-weepers, and he loses consciousness after using his Incinerator. They both need each other if they’re going to have any chance of surviving.
What do you think of Riko and Regu’s chances? Will they make it past Ozen — much less to the lower levels?
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 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