Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Made in Abyss episode 6, “Seeker Camp,” Riko and Regu come face to face with Ouzen “The Immovable,” and she’s every bit as intimidating as they feared. To top it off, she also has a terrible secret. Ouzen’s assistant, Marulk, is also hiding something despite a welcoming and cheerful disposition. Those aren’t nearly the only secrets: What did Riko see at night — and what does it have to do with what Ouzen’s about to show them? And just what did Ouzen say happened to Riko’s mother Lyza?
What’s In This Post
What I Liked
Even ascending from the platform beneath the Seeker Camp up to the camp itself induces the Curse of the Abyss in Riko (2:10). I like how this show stays true to the world it created.
Wow. Ouzen’s really, really tall, isn’t she (2:39)? It looks like she’s more than twice Riko’s height. Even Habo didn’t seem as tall when we met him in episode 4! Though she’s less stocky than he was, she comes across, at least to me, as more imposing — and certainly more calculating. It’s like she doesn’t say anything or even move without careful consideration. Part of the effect is because of her eyes. They’re ink black; I don’t even see a pupil. Enigmatic!
She called Riko a “brat” in the last episode; she calls her “filthy” in this episode (3:01). Makes me curious to know what she has against Riko, and whether it’s something as simple as Riko’s birth interrupting an expedition. Or is that just the way she talks?
Are Ouzen’s scratches damaging Lyza’s White Whistle (5:10)? Or is she cleaning it? I can see little flakes coming off, but Riko doesn’t seem very concerned. At first, I thought that Ouzen was taking liberties with what is now Riko’s property; but then I realized she’d spent more time with Lyza and that whistle than Riko’s been alive, so maybe this is normal etiquette in the Abyss.
What is it with Ouzen’s calm hostility? She comes out and says that the relic that had been keeping baby Riko alive was really heavy and that she “…thought about just abandoning you [ Riko] many times” (5:56). I know this is the harsh (yet beautiful!) world of the Abyss, but aren’t there things you just don’t say to a child? Even a child as tough as Riko?
Is Ouzen referring to Reg when she said, “If only I had left you [Riko] there, that kid would’ve come with me” (6:05)? What did you think of Ouzen’s expression in this scene? Wasn’t her blacker than usual terrifying? Riko must have nerves of steel to withstand that gaze.
Just when I think Ouzen’s likely to just toss them out a window, she goes and does something like give them Blue Whistles, even if they’re only temporary (7:35). It’s yet another example of the world and its characters behaving in a way that makes sense: Ouzen knows a Red Whistle this far down would raise too many questions. She even keeps Riko’s mom’s White Whistle as collateral. Though I do have to admit I wonder what Ouzen’s really up to…
Ouzen made several harsh comments to Riko, even to the point of lamenting that she hadn’t left Riko to die. Yet, Riko didn’t react at all — until Ouzen pointed out that Riko reeked of vomit. Then, the little girl acted dejected (8:10). I think it’s a telling reflection of Riko’s character. Harshness from the outside she can stand. A reminder of her own weakness (getting sick because of the Curse of the Abyss) embarrassed her!
The Great Porta tree’s roots stretch all the way up, out of the Abyss, to the seafloor (8:31). I thought it was cool that Regu questioned that fact and forced Marulk to admit it as just conjecture. Can you imaging a specialist like a Dendrologist? They could spend a lifetime studying just the Inverted Forest!
I felt bad for Riko — she had to take a bath in a tub made for washing Relics (10:18). Of course, there was no hot water, so she had to endure the cold. After all she’s been though, this seemed like adding insult to injury.
Marulk seemed delighted that Riko understood that though Ouzen was “scary”, she was still a good master (12:17). He also seemed to be relieved that she understood! I wonder if he gets a chance to talk to people very often — and if those people can see beneath Ouzen’s exterior?
Marulk confirmed my suspicion that few folks — and no kids his age — come to visit (14:02). He seemed crestfallen when Riko recalled her mission to find her mom at the bottom of the Abyss, so she couldn’t stay and go exploring with him (14:34). He must get awfully lonely!
What is that thing that Riko saw in the dark (16:05)? It almost looked like a hollowed-out torso, complete with a lower spine. It certainly scared the heck out of Riko, and we know that she does not scare easily. I was a little surprised that it didn’t follow her back to her room.
This show certainly likes to shame Riko. Did they really need to display the sheet she’d accidentally stained (16:53)? She seemed awfully embarrassed. Regu’s reaction — asking why it had to be his bed — was perfectly understandable (17:04)!
Ouzen confirms that Lyza is dead (19:25). Why do I feel like that’s not the whole story? I get that only death parts a Whistle from its owner. I also get that Ouzen found the sealed letter and Lyza’s White Whistle at a grave — presumably Lyza’s (19:41). I also understand, now, that the letter Riko had interpreted as a summons from her mom wasn’t written by Lyza (20:14). The handwriting was wrong. So why do I feel like that isn’t the end of Lyza’s story?
Did it seem to you that Riko passed Ouzen’s test (20:57)? Despite systematically attacking every stated reason for Riko trying to get to the bottom of the Abyss, Riko didn’t back down. Isn’t it really easy to cheer for her?
I got the impression that Marulk did not want to enter his master’s chamber (21:30). He looked unhappy and reluctant, yet resolute. He didn’t seem inclined to let Riko and Regu go in alone.
Ouzen’s such an imposing character that even her spare outfit looks imposing (21:43). And I don’t know what the metallic cube or sheet is at the end of her chamber, but it looks like we’ll need to wait until next week to find out!
Is Ouzen really a “good master” like Riko and Marulk think? Marulk seems embarrassed to have to dress like a maid, and I’ve not associated forced cross-dressing with the archetype of “good master.” Though Marulk did seemed pleased when Riko called Ouzen a good master. I guess if the relationship works for them, who am I to complain?
Whatever Riko saw in the storage room, for her to say it “didn’t seem of this world…” (17:20) really drove home how strange that thing was. The creatures we’ve met so far made evolutionary sense in the context of this world. This new thing seemed alien or artificial. It seemed to be almost the same color as Ouzen’s outfit. Coincident? I wonder what its relationship is to her?
Riko passed the test. Didn’t she? Was it even a test? It seemed like Ouzen was deliberately destroying Riko’s reasons for descending into the Abyss in order to see whether Riko’s resolve was strong enough. At least, I think that’s what happened. Ouzen’s such a delightfully ambiguous character that it’s hard to be confident in her motives, and I think that’s the sign of great writing.
Do you have a favorite character moment in this episode? If so, I’d love to read about it! Share it 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 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