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Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

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Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12 – Quick Summary

In Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun episode 12, “Gold,” the village’s destruction accelerated. More and more creatures of the Abyss streamed in, attracted by the feast whose source was the villagers. There were even 2 turbinid-dragons! Riko, after boosting Reg with her White Whistle, faded in and out of consciousness. Reg himself tried to fight beside Faputa. But there were too many creatures. With the village crumbling around them, with so many hungry creatures wanting to eat them, do they stand any chance of exiting the village? And what about the remaining inhabitants?

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

Favorite Quote from Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12: Even Faputa admitted Nanachi smelled nice

I think Nanachi is getting tired of everyone saying how good she smells! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

The episode brought the weighty emotions, so it was nice to see a moment or two of levity. I especially appreciated how one such moment built on a running gag that’s been with us since Nanachi joined the cast.

The episode treated us to a flashback to when Faputa infiltrated the chamber where Riko, Nanachi, and Reg had been sleeping. That was before our heroes had met anyone from the village. It was when Faputa had taken Prushka, Riko’s White Whistle. Faputa recognized Reg, and she knew that Riko was a human. She even knew that Nanachi was a hollow. But when she sampled Nanachi’s scent to see if it held any secrets, she drew back in surprise.

“How… how very nice smelling, sosu!” she said (09:03).

I think Nanachi’s getting tired of everyone talking about how good she smells. I hope she realizes it’s better than the alternative!

Best in Show Moment for Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12: Faputa's choice to move forward was inspirational

It all comes down to deciding to live. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: Speaking from Beyond the Grave

I don’t like Made in Abyss. No, this isn’t a joke that ends with the punchline, “But I love it!” I honestly don’t like it. But I am still glad I watched it. That might not make sense, so please let me explain.

We knew that the villagers had lived by brutalizing Irumyuui. They did so because that was the only way they could find to survive, but that doesn’t change what they did. Given how Made in Abyss likes to show consequences, and given the amount of foreshadowing leading up to this episode, it was clear we were going to say goodbye to a lot of this season’s cast.

As in, permanently.

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12: Pakkoyan saved Vuelo, if only for a little while

You might think this is a typical viewer during the episode. But no, it’s Pakkoyan. While she still had a body, anyway. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

In that regard, the episode delivered on its promise. We saw Wazukyan die, which, honestly, was a relief. We saw Pakkoyan die saving Vuelo. There were others, too, and each seemed to show painstaking narrative care. Each death served its purpose; each death closed a character’s arc in some way.

Some closed more than others. Which brings us to my favorite moment.

Why do I watch Made in Abyss when I have to admit that I don’t like it? I think it’s because the show so closely mirrors my view of life. Consider the closing soliloquy (which, I think, was in Vuelo’s voice):

“Never to return… beyond the learning for home… within the true darkness, there certainly was a light that no one could find. But, not a single person could take hold of it. That gold was born of you… is free of the yoke called value… and is now about to set off… despite knowing that love itself is a curse… despite knowing that the path leads only to darkness. But that is probably why it is so very dazzling.” (45:02)

Delivery: An Act of Simple Defiance

There is so much meaning in that excerpt that I originally found myself trying to unpack it – and ending up with the material for many posts. That’s not what I want to do here. I just want to celebrate my favorite moment. In that context, I see the soliloquy as a manifestation of “the terror of knowing what this world is about,” as contained in Queen’s song Under Pressure. That song, and this series, understand a truth about human life: it’s a path that, by design, leads to darkness.

Some people fight back with religion. Those folks might argue that life leads to everlasting happiness. Fair enough — I’m not going to dispute that, because we can’t know. Not on this side of death. But one thing we do know: life if full of pain. some lives more than others. And every single human life ends in death.

It’s a depressing thought, isn’t it? So why do we still struggle forward? If we can’t find the light, and if even love is a curse, what’s the point?

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12: Faputa's decision was the point

Do we let the darkness win? Or do we decide to press forward regardless? Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

It’s simple. It’s for the sheer beauty of it. That beauty increases in proportion to the impossibility of the task. Faced with a world that gives us every reason to give up, the decision to press forward is itself a thing of beauty. It’s an act of existential defiance. It’s beyond hope and it’s beyond despair. In essence, It’s the ultimate middle-finger to fate. 

It’s the whole point of living.

And that is why, in Vuelo’s words, “it is so very dazzling.”

I can’t say that I like Made in Abyss. It hurts too damned much! Instead, I recognize it’s beyond my likes or dislikes. But in honor of the craftsmanship that went into helping me remember the value in a single act of will, I respect and honor it. It was worth the pain to get to this point. And yes, I’ll watch another season, if it ever comes to be.

What did you think of seeing Faputa first meeting Gaburoon? What were your favorite moments in the episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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5 thoughts on “Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 12 Review – Best In Show

  1. @Caption: Yeah, Nanacchi’s definitely getting tired of people telling her how good she smells, but that particular scene was the first one, and she wasn’t even awake, so it couldn’t possible have bothered her.

    Seriously, I liked the vignette-style backstory of Faputa. Most of it we knew, so there’s no need to linger, but seeing it anyway still added texture. Also, we now know that the weird hair ritual was some sort of protection spell all along. Not exactly a surprise, but good to have confirmation.

    All in all, this ended up my least favourite Made in Abyss: I preferred season 1, and I think I also preferred the movie, though that’s closer. But, well, being the worst of Made in Abyss is no shame at all; it was still brilliant. It’s just that I think season 2 of Shadows House in the end topped Abyss for me this season, and I’d never have expected it at the start of the season. But both shows had a very slight curve; Shadows House upwards, and Abyss downwards. I couldn’t tell you when they passed each other; I was too much immersed in either show to pay attention to comparisons. It’s just that at the end of the season I was surprised to find Shadows House had passed Abyss at some point. Franchise-wise, I still prefer Abyss, though.

    So will Faputa join the party? She said she’ll think about it. (I think she will, but I hear there isn’t too much unadapted story left, so I’ll likely not find out any time soon.)

    1. The problem with captions is that they don’t necessarily dovetail into the image. So, it was more a meta observation rather than an assertion about Nanachi in that moment.

      I think it’s too soon for me to compare the two seasons, if only because I have so much going on in my life right now I have almost zero mental cycles to devote to the problem. My first inclination is to agree with your opinion. It came down to quantity. In the first season, moments like Reg dealing with Riko and the orbed-piercer hit so hard because a lot of narrative work went into the setup, and we had time for the aftermath to play out. In season 2, villagers were dropping right and left.

      The entire subplot of Pakkoyan and why she was close to Vuelo got glossed over. With the same narrative room to breath, that could have been a powerful moment. With that runway, though, it was a footnote.

      Like you said, though, being second or third place in the Made in Abyss canon is still an honor. It’s still good stuff!

  2. I also wanted to add: All Hail Kuno Misaki for bringing Faputa to life. Misaki literally *lost her voice* temporarily and burst into real tears while performing as Faputa.

    Per ANN ( ), the producers rescheduled her recording to allow her voice to recover, and apparently Trasaki Yuka (Vuelo) and Ise Mariya (Reg) supported her by warming her hands and wrapping her in a blanket while she recorded.

    I was glad to hear a story of comraderie for a show that was as tough to make as it was to watch, and wish everyone the best in hopefully less emotionally and physically draining future roles!

    1. Some of Faputa’s streams made my throat hurt! Misaki’s work was phenomenal.

      That’s so great how they supported each other! No joke — that made me feel better today! Thanks for sharing it!

  3. It does hurt so damn much. And just like Riko venturing forth into the deepest depths, so too will I, whatever form the next sequel takes.

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