Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious!
In Made in Abyss episode 7 “The Unmovable Sovereign”, Ouzen delivers another shocking revelation before beginning her “lesson” with Riko and Regu. Just who’s side is she really on? Does she even understand the concept of “side?” And can anyone, even her apprentice Marulk, trust anything the White Whistle says?
What’s In This Post
What I Liked
The idea that Ouzen has become “karma itself” (0:09) is fascinating. Whatever the Abyss is, its power can apparently combine with an explorer’s personal convictions. It reminds me of a larger-scale, live action Gom Jabar from Dune — it tests you, and if it finds you lacking, you’re dead.
Talk about setting the mood! Habo’s musings about what Ouzen would do (3:18) filled me with a sense of dread. Combined with how Ouzen spoke so callously to Riko in the last episode, at this point I’m sure I have no idea what Ouzen’s going to do.
I don’t know about you, but I thought the curse-repelling relic looked like something that Cthulhu might have in his living room (4:23). The idea of having to get inside that thing, even if it were to save my life, is not attractive!
I’ve seen a lot of anime, and I’ve read a lot of science fiction and fantasy of all sorts. I still gasped thing when Ouzen said to Riko, “You were stillborn, you know” (4:58). My cat’s still now sure she can trust me. She looked at me like, “Dude, it’s just an anime.” So I shot right back, “What do you know, cat? It’s not just an anime – it’s Made in Abyss!” The conversation went downhill from there…
And now I’m off topic. Suffice it to say I gave the cat something to think about.
I thought that the thing moving in the night from the last episode looked like a carcass. It was (5:24). That’s creepy as all get out!
Ouzen’s expression when she mused, right to Riko’s face, on how long Riko would keep moving (5:39) looks like something right out of a horror movie. Riko, who has faced a lot of adversity in the little time we’ve gotten to spend with her, looked paralyzed with fear (5:57). Gotta say I can’t blame her.
Poor brave (and ultimately stupid) little Regu — grabbing Ouzen “The Immovable” arm’s like that to protect Riko (6:15). That boy needs to learn strategy. I say that with more force than’s necessary, because I like the little guy, and I don’t want to see Ouzen rip him apart. And from everything we’ve seen of her and heard from Habo, she’s powerful enough to do it — and despite Habo’s trust, I think she’s dangerous.
Did you start really worrying for Regu’s safety when Ouzen said that beings like him “simply must not exist” (7:22)? The way she was effortlessly tossing him around didn’t make me feel any better.
And then she says that she needs to destroy him before he remembers anything (7:42). What the heck’s her game? Does she hate Riko so much that she intends to kill both of them here and now?
This show does such a great job of foreshadowing. We’ve seen how powerful Regu’s arms are; we have a good idea what they’re capable of. So seeing Ouzen literally shrug them off was pretty impressive — and terrifying for our heroes (8:10).
I really don’t like her smile as she’s slamming Regu into the floor (8:44). I’m seriously worried for Regu and Riko at this stage. I tried to think what they could possibly do to withstand her, and I came up blank. It doesn’t look like they’re doing much better…
I was still holding out some hope that Ouzen was just testing their resolve when she back-handed Riko across the room (9:15), especially given how much blood Riko appeared to be loosing from the resulting head wound (9:31). That was too much for Marulk, who ran from the room. Is Ouzen really going to kill them here? It’s only episode 7! She can’t really be trying to kill them. Can she?
Ouzen just grabbed Regu’s Incinerator and pointed it at Riko (10:24). While I had to admire the beautiful light effects and scene composition, I couldn’t help but feel a little anxious for Riko’s safety! Regu doesn’t have precise control over that thing, and Ouzen’s not likely to let him point it back at her.
I think I found a new example of “intimidation” today: Ouzen in her full cloak and hat (starting around 11:30). Even Regu was overwhelmed (11:39). Again, the show prepared us for this moment by showing again and again how strong, resourceful, and brave Regu is. For him to back away, terrified, was a powerful dramatic moment.
After Riko’s outburst that she didn’t want to live without Regu, seeing Ouzen stomp him into the floor was really hard to take (12:54). And if it was hard for me sitting here in my comfy chair, it had to be hell for Riko. Her expression said it all (12:57).
Ha! I knew Ouzen was just testing them (13:20)! And I lie like a rug… In reality, I was afraid she’d turned on them. But she, like Gilo, was just testing them to see if they were ready to go deeper into the Abyss. And she found them lacking. But seriously! Her method are so brutal!
Riko just about broken my heart when she threw her sobbing self on Regu and demanded that he not leave her alone again (13:35). Riko’s voice actor, Miyu Tomita, did a fantastic job. Drew me completely into the scene.
The award for Best Way to Break the Tension goes to one of Ouzen’s cave raiders who, observing both Riko and Regu crying, said, “Ouzen has made yet another one cry” (14:00). I thought it was a good emotional segue to the next act. And dang — that was some dramatic stuff we just watched!
Did I detect a sense of pride coming from Ouzen when she praised Marulk for acting intelligently and asking the cave raiders for help (14:41)? Of course, the instant where I thought Ouzen might actually have an ounce of compassion was slapped away when she went on to say she was going to string Marulk up naked for punishment (14:48). What is it with these people?
So Ouzen really does lack self restraint? She confessed that she got more and more into smacking Regu around because he wasn’t showing any signs of breaking (15:45). Was she being serious?
As Ouzen’s walking out, she decides to drop yet another bombshell: Lyza’s grave was empty (16:49)! Or is it? Dang, I have no idea when Ouzen’s telling the truth and when she’s not! The writer, Akihito Tsukushi, has created an amazing character here — among a cast of great characters!
Yeah, I’m a little happy about it. I’d argue I’m not being hyperbolic, though! I adore interesting characters.
Doesn’t little Lyza’s attitude remind you of Riko (18:01)? It does me. That scene showing Ouzen agreeing to be Lyza’s mentor, coming as it did on the heels of her perhaps necessary brutality with Riko and Regu, humanized Ouzen for me. Just a little bit. It showed even she’s capable of an emotion I recognize as compassion.
10 days alone in the dark. Only a little gear. “Survival Training,” as Ouzen called it. Well, if Riko and Regu want to challenge the Abyss, they’re going to need all the experience they’ve got (20:40)! I also have to say that I like how she made her point about Regu’s Incinerator: she reminded him that once he fires he, he falls unconscious after a few minutes (20:58). Then he stays unconscious for quite a while. What’s going to happen to Riko in that time? Nothing pleasant! So I get the point Ouzen was trying to make.
Was Riko really stillborn? Or was that one of Ouzen’s Moments of Creativity (MOC)? I have to give the writer credit again for making such interesting and complex characters. Not only that, they’re complex characters in a beautiful and terrifying world — that’s shaped the characters who inhabit it. From the perspective of fiction, it doesn’t get much better than that.
I can’t say enough good about the job Sayaka Ohara, the voice actor who plays Ouzen, is doing. Her cadence and quiet musical tone convey a sense of patient power backed up unfathomable depth of thought. The art’s holding up its end of the bargain: Ouzen is a physically imposing, yet physically beautiful figure. But it’s the voice acting that really makes the difference.
Everything I saw in this episode hammered home — again — just how dangerous the Abyss is. It’s so dangerous that all of the adults we’ve met so far have to take extraordinary steps to prepare the next generation to descend. While the motivations vary from person to person, as Ouzen alluded to in this episode, there seems to be an almost theological drive to confront one’s self and one’s creator in the path to the bottom of the Abyss. Riko appears to be in that camp. Even when confronted with the idea that Lyza was dead, Riko was determined to continue.
What an interesting world!
Did you see through Ouzen? Did you know she was just testing Riko and Regu? Or were you worried that she’d turned on them? 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 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