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Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

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Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3 Review – Quick Summary

In Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun episode 3, “Village of the Hollows”, Riko, Reg, and Nanachi moved deeper into the new village they had discovered. Partly lured in the hopes of finding Prushka, Riko’s White Whistle, and partly in the hopes of finding food and shelter, they followed Majikaja. It became increasingly apparent that they weren’t communicating, but Riko pushed forward with enthusiasm. Is the problem one of language? Or is there something deeper going on? Just how safe are they in this village?

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

Favorite Quote from Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3: On the positive side, Riko just found out she's worth a fortune

Just checking out a bazaar. But there’s seldom a “just” in the Abyss. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

This episode was vintage Made in Abyss. The village was beautiful, it was unusual, and it was terrifying. And the relationship between those things is all mixed up compared to what I’m used to. What’s beautiful can quickly become terrifying; what’s unusual might become something beautiful.

Riko grew up in Orth. It gave her an idea of how societies should function. Put another way, in this context, it gave her plenty of opportunities for misunderstandings. As they followed Majikaja, they passed through what looked like an ordinary marketplace. Riko even stopped to admire some of the wares.

She was shocked to find a page of her mother’s journal. Riko asked how much the vendor wanted for it, but she couldn’t understand the answer. So she asked Majikaja how she could buy it. Majikaja said she could buy anything she wanted if she changed into value.

Honest to God, my stomach went cold.

She didn’t understand what he meant, and she offered to barter. Majikaja said (06:32), “No, you yourself. You would fetch a very good value. For instance, your eyes, or skin, or fat. Human children have the most value.”

I think even HP Lovecraft might say, “Well, I don’t know, that’s pretty close to the line…”

Best in Show Moment for Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3: Nanachi did not want to remember Mitty; not right then, anyway

Nanachi remembered someone precious to her. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: A Different Currency System

This show… Everything about it, from the writing to the voice acting to the animation, subtly asks for a reaction. The sum total of those reactions can be a moment of profound beauty, or raw terror.

When I wrote my review of the first season’s thirteenth episode, I could only marvel at the artistic magic that so immersed me into that world. I felt like I experienced Reg and Nanachi’s agony as they acted to end Mitty’s suffering. I don’t think about that moment very often. And to be honest, I don’t want to. No lie, it hurts to recall that moment.

This episode decided to use that memory to smack me in the face.

Riko, Reg, and Nanachi began to get an idea of just how reality differed from their expectations as they followed Majikaja through the market. One vendor sold small furry creatures because they were excess from its store of what it valued: small creatures crawling around its body. Another valued slicing up bodies – yes, bodies – with the blades it had instead of ribs.

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3: The denizens of this village can be terrifying

Nature finds ways to say “Don’t touch!” without words. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Majikaja explained that Hollow’s bodies took on the shape of their desires. He went on to explain that they had challenged the netherworld with their desires, and they had lost. Their choice came down to die or become a Hollow. Nanachi listened with more than her usual intensity. That made me start to feel nervous.

Majikaja said that they had bodies in line with what they wanted, and the village protected them, so they were cool with the arrangement. Then he turned and spoke to Nanachi. His words fed that nervousness I felt.

Delivery: Nanachi’s Powerful Desire

“Nice-Smelling Fluffy One,” he said, turning the description into a name (09:05). “… Unlike us here, you’re a Hollow from the old ritual site, aren’t you? You have a real life. You must’ve been protected by a very powerful desire.”

Nanachi knew what was coming. Suddenly, I did, too. I did not want to revisit that memory. Even for me, some guy watching an anime, the memory hurt. Nanachi didn’t want the memory, either. And yet, it came to her. An image of Mitty, holding some of her favorite toys, frozen in a moment of time.

Her mouth open, Nanachi started at Majikaja (09:24).

“It is of wonderful value,” Majikaja said.

Riko thought she understood, but I think real understanding came a little later. In another absolutely horrifying scene that made perfect sense in context. But my favorite moment is that shared sadness I felt with Nanachi. In that moment, I could only think how much I wanted this village to stop, and how much I wanted to go home. And I was already sitting at home!

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3: Nanachi knew where Majikaja's words were headed

Nanachi knew what was coming, and she didn’t want to hear it. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

That’s a clear sign that this show has become real to me in a way that few shows have. I’m here for it. I’m looking forward to the next episode. But I won’t lie: there’s trepidation there. And that’s exactly the intensity of emotion that effective art is capable of producing.

What did you think of Maaa’s part in the rebalancing ceremony? What were your favorite moments? Let me know in the comments!

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4 thoughts on “Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

  1. No forgiveness or mercy, but also no deception. The village of the hollows is a place of pure, terrifying truth. Everyone knows the rules and everyone knows what happens when they’re broken. It’s also a dead end in terms of exploration and enlightenment, which is why Rika cannot stay here and probably shouldn’t stay much longer.

    My favorite moment might’ve been the flashback to Vueko and Ganja first meeting the hollows and realizing that no matter how far they’ve come, their troubles will never be over…though it’s a good bet most if not all of them chose to become some of the very hollows greeting our main trio in the present…

    1. “Pure, terrifying truth.” I like that description! It’s spot on.

      That was a great scene with Vueko and Ganja. Their expressions were really pulled me into that moment!

  2. The “rebalancing” and what led up to it left me with shivers up my spine. This is a place of no forgiveness. Tread carefully in the extreme. I’m wondering what the value of the whistle is?

    1. I think I should probably have been brave enough to choose the rebalancing scene as my favorite. It certainly hit the hardest! And it was a perfect “Made in Abyss” moment.

      Good question about the value of the whistle. And if that Hollow increases its value, is Riko on the hook for the cost?

      Maybe literally?

Please let me know what you think!

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