Anime Best in Show

Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 9 Review – Best In Show

Quick SummaryBest MomentSetupDeliveryOther Posts

Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 9 – Quick Summary

In Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun episode 9, “The Return,” Reg made it back to the village with Faputa’s body parts. His plan? To trade those parts for Nanachi. But there’s a problem: just showing those body parts to Belaf might break him, according to Vueko. Reg and Riko will have to decide what to do quickly: even the village seemed to be reacting to Faputa’s parts. What will Reg and Riko do? What insight did Riko have about Wazukyan? And what will it mean for her fate – and the fate of them all?

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

Favorite Quote from Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 9

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 8: Faputa likes her head-pats, but vengeance is vengeance

Faputa realized they needed to get back to the village quickly. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

The contrasts in this show are really something else. At first glance, Reg carrying Faputa looked super cute. Her complaining that she felt itchy was also cute. But then you look closer and see that she’s itchy because she had ripped her ear off to leave exposed tissue, and, well, that’s just not cute. At all.

My favorite quote happened amid these contrasts. Faputa seemed to feel happy that Reg worried about her, and that worry seemed to give her the courage to ask him to pat her around the horns like he used to. So he extended his arm and scratched around her horns.

Seeing her roll over in ecstasy was adorable. But again, seeing her wounds? Less than adorable.

Gaburoon met them and warned that the smell of Faputa’s blood had attracted all sorts of animals. Faputa said they needed to get back to the village.

“Patting is precious, sosu,” she said (01:33). “But freshness is important, sosu.”

It’s good to know she has her priorities in order.

Best in Show Moment for Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 9

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 8: Faputa prepared to take her revenge

If even a single villager survives, I’ll be surprised. And if they don’t, I’ll mourn for them — at least some of them. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

Setup: Dark Choices for a Dark World

What Wazukyan did to Irumyuui was morally reprehensible. Irumyuui’s life had been terrible after her family and tribe discovered she was not fertile. With Vueko she had found something like a family. But through Wazukyan’s machinations, she lost even that.

It’s a testament to Akihito Tsukushi that I now understand why Wazukyan did what he did. He beheld what he thought was the end of his entire party. He saw no way anyone would survive. So, he chose the only way forward that he could see.

If I’m honest with myself, I can’t say I would have rejected that option. I can try to make myself look noble and moral by saying something like “I would have fought to find an alternative until the very end!” And I would have looked for alternatives. But real life is not a work of fiction. Reality does not follow any plot arc. Sometimes, the only choices you have available are bad.

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 8: Riko thinks a little too much like Wazukyan.

Riko figured out what Wazukyan was up to. That’s more than a little frightening, in terms of what it says about Riko’s mindset. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

I remember getting into an argument with the priest who taught one of my moral systematic theology classes. He said suicide was always a mortal sin. So I presented a scenario to him. What if I were a soldier? I had information that if exposed, would result in lots of deaths. The enemy was closing in. I had a pistol and a grenade. The enemy would take me alive, if they could. They wanted my information. I asked that priest: is it morally acceptable for me to sacrifice myself to save the others?

He repeated his assertion that suicide is never acceptable. I knew right then that he had never had the lives of others depending on him.

Is it okay to hate myself a little for admitting I might have made the same choice as Wazukyan? Is it okay to not hate myself a lot for the same admission? The best art invites us to take a hard, honest look at ourselves. I have to admit: this show approaches the level of “best.”

Delivery: Faputa’s Righteous Curse

I almost quoted my favorite moment verbatim. But you already watched the show. You don’t need me to show you the script! But it was that powerful. It was that well-delivered.

It reminded me of Tolkien. You know something impressed me when it reminds me of Tolkien! In this case, it put me in mind of a quote. Eowyn had just tried to order the Lord of the Nazgûl to get away from her fallen king. The Nazgûl answered:

‘Come not between the Nazgûl and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shrivelled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye.’

Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Return of the King: Being the Third Part of the Lord of the Rings (pp. 52-53). HMH Books. Kindle Edition. 

I’m talking about Faputa’s return. The way she held herself, there on the remains of the incinerated wall, was the very embodiment of royalty. She was the returned Princess. She had returned for vengeance.

Made in Abyss - The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 8: Faputa prepared to launch her attack.

Vengeance will be hers. Capture from the HIDIVE stream.

The way she stood before them and delivered her invective froze me in my seat. She would take revenge for what they did to Irumyuui. I was fully onboard with her mission. What Wazukyan had done was unforgivable. Yet…

At the end of her curse, she looked upon the villagers and said (20:49), “And now, it begins.”

Her words were powerful. They were terrible, they were an embodiment of justice. Yet, they reminded me of the Nazgûl. I don’t know how Akihito Tsukushi achieved that dichotomy, but I thank him for it. He just gave me one of those moments I live for.

What did you think of Riko seeing through (at least partially) Wazukyan’s ploy? What were your favorite moments in the episode? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 9: Other Posts

Other Anime Sites

This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)

Copyright 2022 Terrance A. Crow. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “Made in Abyss – The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 9 Review – Best In Show

  1. Fantastic analysis. I also can’t fault Wazukyan for doing what he did to save his people, even if I also agree it was reprehensible.

    Whatever happens in the ensuing battle/slaughter, I do hope Faputa and Vueko (and of course Riko/Reg/Nanachi) come out of it okay!

    1. Thanks!

      I hope they come out of it, too! I’m not worried about Riko and Reg. Even if they lose body parts, I’m confident they’ll continue to be part of the narrative. Like I mentioned in my reply to Dawnstorm, I’d love to see Faputa join the part, but I’m worried about her. Same with Vueko.

      I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading the next episodes!

  2. Wazukyan is a puzzle to me. I can’t tell if he cares about people, or if he’s just a sociopath with a mission. I can see both. It’s not his choice I question; you’re in the abyss, and it’s not a forgiving place – you do what you have to. It’s the attitude he displays outwards… he always feels sort of detached and serene – like some buddhist ideal, but he also has that curiosity about what others might do. And he overrides other people’s decisions (like when he didn’t allow Vueko to die, and without any consent implanted her into Irumyuui’s head). What Riko said, this episode, that they’re alike is something I felt earlier this season, too. Riko, too, has that driven side. There’s this I-have-to-go-on-no-matter-what strain to her, too. Except, with her, it’s clear that she cares about people. She, too, will make decisions she has to make. I’m not quite sure yet if she’d have been able to make Wazukyan’s decisions… yet. In a few years, as a more experienced white whisle? Who knows.

    All the explorers have a screw loose.

    Faputa is an interesting case, though. It feels like Irumyuui has split off her nurturing mom-like feelings into the village centerpiece and her resentment into Faputa. But Wazukyan’s actions have left the villagers addicted to value. Faputa specifically mentions that she cannot forgive their eyes. Interestingly, Irumyuui took Belaf’s guilt away and left him greedy but stationary inside herself. Basically, Irumyuui took away his suffering but left him in a way that would fuel Faputa’s vengence. I think I’m starting to understand the balancing. You can’t face your pain? You can’t face what you’ve done? I’ll allow you reprieve from your pain, but that has consequences. The entire village seems like an engine driven by three artifacts of the same type. Irumyuui’s desire is the motor, Vueko’s desire is the grease and fuel, and Wazukyan’s desire is the catalyst. Or something. Not sure the metaphor works.

    It’s maybe one of the best depictions of how I understand karma I’ve come across. It’s not about justice; it’s all about the balancing. I have a sense of where this is going. So far, every story line has added a “party member” to the group. I think we’ll have Faputa tagging along from here on out. (She’s the most likely candidate, I think. Vueko a distant second, but I can’t see her keep up with Riko.)

    1. I know what you’re saying about Wazukyan. One moment, I understand how he might have acted to preserve his people. The next, I wonder how he can be so blasé about it. Is he simply overcompensating? Or is he really a sociopath, which you identified as one of the options.

      I tend to think he’s one of those folks who have begun to believe their own press — namely, that he’s a prophet, and as a speaker for his deity, is justified in whatever he does. With a streak that doesn’t want his people to die. Which is part of what makes him interesting!

      I like your observation about Faputa and Irumyuui. The relationships you tried to describe via metaphor are hard for me to tease apart. At this point, I don’t even have a guess. But I like how the story feels like it knows what’s going on, and it’s driving toward a conclusion that’ll make sense. This show and Jobless Reincarnation have really impressed me with their plotting and other basic mechanics. I think that shows the value executing on the basics can have to the story’s effect.

      I would love to see Faputa join the party. She and Reg have a great dynamic! I wonder how that would affect his absolute dedication to Riko!

Please let me know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.