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

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Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4 Review – Quick Summary

In Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun episode 4, “Friend,” Reg finds himself outside of the village’s protective shield and face to face with… who? Or what? At least one of the creatures felt familiar to Reg, but he couldn’t be sure. Should he delve more deeply a past they might have shared? Or should he run for cover? Meanwhile, Riko and Nanachi make discoveries of their own. Will Riko’s culinary discovery as last time? And will Nanachi ever be the same?

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

Favorite Quote from Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4: Majikaja tried to get Nanachi's name right!

Well, at least he tried! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

I’m still trying to get a handle on the denizens of this village. After that ending – I’m pretty sure I will still be trying by the end of the season!

But between now and then, I’m looking forward to finding my favorite quote for each episode. For this episode, I’m going to go with something humorous, because let’s face it: what Nanachi faced at the end was an emotional punch in the gut and I could use a laugh to distract me.

Nanachi was just telling Majikaja that she was worried about Reg when Majikaja said (03:49), “HADI… Nice-Smelling Fluffy One.”

“The name’s Nanachi.”

“Nice-Smelling Nanachi,” Majikaja said.

Well, at least he made an effort.

Best in Show Moment for Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4: Riko enjoyed the taste, at least

Riko seemed more surprised by understand the language than by learning what was in the meal. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: The Abyss Cuts Deep

When I saw that this episode was available, I experienced two completely different reactions at the same time. On one hand, I was all like, “Cool! Latest episode dropped! This’ll be great!” On the other, I was all like, “Criminy, am I ready for this? Has it been too soon since I ate? Am I emotionally prepared?”

Makes me sound like a wimp, doesn’t it? I don’t think that’s it, though. I can obviously withstand the show’s unrelenting eye for the raw Abyss. But certain Real Life Family Events can put me in an emotional place where fiction like this hurts. 

In my review of the previous episode, I talked about how the plight of Mitty hit me pretty hard. I find that my experiences among people living with disabilities has made me aware of realities that are hard to reconcile in what we think of as civilized nations. Lookup statistics about law enforcement and those living with disabilities, for example. So coming across fictionalized depictions of those realities tend to hit me hard. The wound is already made, after all. This show just pushes the knife a little deeper.

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4: Nanachi meets an old friend

Nanachi is having a rough time here in the village. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

That’s why I’m not choosing the revealing moment at the end as my favorite, though its impact more than qualifies it. I’m not going to pick meeting Wazukyan’s Hollow form, or Vuelo’s. Those were powerful and, in some cases, subtle, moments, also deserving of recognition. Instead, I’m picking a world-building moment that was very much in character for Made in Abyss. And less emotionally challenging.

After she had begun to recover from her previous meal, Riko struck out on her own. Now, I give the girl credit for bravery, but I have to question her judgment. I mean, seriously, Riko. Was it the “re” or “balancing” that wasn’t clear to you? But off she went.

Delivery: Riko and Local Cuisine – Take II

After some misadventures, including meeting a rebuilt Maaa (guess the little pink creature is more resilient than I thought!), she remembered the words of her Leader. Leader drilled survival skills into her. One of them was that after experiencing diarrhea, she should drink plenty of water and get something to eat. Good advice, that! She she followed her nose to what looked like a restaurant. Maaa trailed after her.

Riko still couldn’t understand the language. So she looked around and noticed a particular denizen. “Their mouth… looks like mine,” she thought (19:01). “I should be able to eat that, too!” In a world like the Abyss, I guess that makes sense! So, she pantomimed that’s what she wanted, and that’s what the establishment’s matron gave her. Along with a tiny spoon.

She didn’t know what to make of it. It looked like a beachball, whereas the meal she had seen was flat. She poked it with the tiny spoon, and it burst! Now it looked just like the other dish. Sampling the food, she couldn’t believe how much she liked it.

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 4: Riko thought the spoon was really small

To be honest, the more she enjoyed the plate, the more worried I became! Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

“It’s so spicy my ears hurt!” she thought, planting her face in the plate. 

“You can handle it, huh?” the matron asked. 

Riko paused. I paused. The matron had just spoken a language that Riko understood! At first, I wondered if that dish gave Riko some kind of translation ability. But no, Moogie spoke Riko’s language. And just so there was no ambiguity about the dish, she said (20:08), “That’s roasted testicle, you know.”

Please do remind me never to visit the Abyss. If I absolutely have to, I really hope I can pack enough MREs. Because, even though I grew up on a farm, there are some delicacies that I am content that I will never sample. Testicle is one of them. Or two, I guess.

What did you think of Reg’s encounter with Faputa? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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

  1. Hearing one of Kevin Penkin’s recurring themes (the one with the marimba) made me go back and watch the first episode again, where a narrator said that the Abyss was first discovered 1,900 years ago. I’m presuming they mean by outside parties and not the natives who lived there before Orth was built. So that at least gives us a ballpark figure: Vueko, Irumyuui, Belaf, and Wazukyan have been down here a very very long time. Goosebumps!

    1. Absolutely goosebumps!

      The soundtrack is part of the artistic onslaught — if I can use onslaught in a positive sense. The way the narrative weaves together such temporally diverse perspectives into a specific event… I’m at the limit of my ability to describe what the writer has done, much less appreciate it!

  2. I don’t get how this place, this balancing, works and that makes doing anything at all scary. I’m constantly worried for everyone, here. And now this all ties into Bondrewd’s experiments, so you have to wonder what’s going on. What, in this place, is a body, and what has desires? Does Prushka (Riko’s White Whistle), for example, still count as a carrier of desire (Riko said she “didn’t mind” the treatment)? And then, if Faputa knows Reg as Reg, I wonder how linearly time flows here? I can take nothing for granted. Nothing. The abyss has always been brutal, but this place takes away my very ontological security: I have no idea what’s going on, yet I must act (or would have to, if I were there, which – luckily – I’m not). And the amazing thing about all this is that it somehow feels coherent. It doesn’t feel like arbitrary writing. It feels like there’s a narrative plan (and a coherent world).

    You know, in the space between seasons, I’d forgotten how great the show really is at world building.

    1. That might be the best description I’ve ever read about Made in Abyss. It captures exactly why it cuts so deep.

      The part about it challenging even “ontological security” was particularly on point.

      The obvious surety of the writer’s skill is part of the terror. Nothing’s arbitrary; it all fits together, and it all assaults my imagination in a way that bypasses the intellect and goes straight to the instincts.

      You’re right — the world building is phenomenal.

Please let me know what you think!

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