Oddly enough, another cute girl doing something. She’s going treasure hunting, for her mother. How Evil is Made in Abyss?
Made in Abyss
Studio: Kinema Citrus
Genre: adventure, drama, fantasy, psychological, science fiction
Okay, so this is a first for me on the site. I hadn’t planned on recapping this series. At all. The dark stuff usually leaves me drained, to say the least. I made an exception because one of our patrons requested this one and, you know what, it was pretty good. Our protagonist is Riko – an adventurer-in-training called a “Red Whistle.” Oh, before I forget, I should explain the whistles because I know how much everyone loves exposition. Red whistles are the second lowest ranking from what we see. Below them are bells. Above the Red Whistles are the Blue Whistles, then the Moon and Black Whistles. Above them all are the White Whistles. Why, does any of that matter? Riko’s mom, Lyza, is (or was) a White Whistle. Okay, back to the story.
Riko is out on a regular dive into the abyss – basically, the nine circles of hell in the form of a pit. There’ll be more on that later. During this routine dive, Riko is attacked by a giant snake thing and then saved by an unknown energy beam. The beam came from a robotic boy who seemingly broke down after saving her. Riko and her friends try to jump-start him but shock results in his memories being lost. Not knowing what else to call him, Riko names him Reg. After getting Reg into the orphanage/school for young cave divers, things take an unexpected turn.
Lyza sent some information after being missing for ten years. Riko inherits her whistle, which won’t work for anyone besides its original owner. The town then throws a festival for Lyza’s death. Apparently, when a white whistle returns to the surface without its master, it means the owner has died. Sounds like another girl who has a lot of tragedy in her life.
After the authorities clear the rest of the package they let Riko and Reg take a look at the contents. Among them, Riko finds a letter inviting her to the bottom of the abyss. Here is the beginning of a good mystery. The fact that there is a letter means her mom might still be alive, but their tradition conflicts with that possibility. This prompts her to sneak out and go into the abyss with Reg. As you can imagine, her friends aren’t thrilled to see her leave on a suicide mission, but she wins them over for the most part.
After descending into the first level of the abyss, Reg hands Riko a letter that someone hid in his pocket during their escape. The letter tells them that a retrieval team will be sent for them at dawn. Riko suggests they speed up to avoid capture, though Reg points out that someone is already on their tail. Still, it’s funny that a 12-year-old has more situational awareness than almost everyone so far.
The chase itself is pretty amusing to watch. Reg and Riko try everything in their skill-set to get away from their pursuers. Including using Reg’s extendable arms to maneuver across what should be unpassable terrain. The result of their hard work? Failure. They are greeted by a familiar face.
Habolg – the shopkeeper’s husband – has arrived. He’s been sent by Riko’s friends to help the duo out. Habolg is a Black Whistle, which explains his catching them so fast when they had such a head start. He offers to help them get to level two but Riko refuses his help. So, he gives them some supplies and a little advice about a White Whistle they’re sure to meet. Part of what they converse about regards the search party who is lagging pretty far behind.
As the duo advances further they start to hear cries for help. The cries lead them to a clearing, where a giant bird-like creature is devouring what seems like a living person. Upon closer inspection, Riko makes out the creature as a Nakikabane – a beast that can mimic it’s prey’s cries for help. In this case, it’s humans. They try to back away but, like velociraptors, the Nakikabane are pack hunters. One of them makes off with Riko, prompting Reg to remember he has an X-Buster.
Reg wipes out the entire flock of Nakikabane with a single shot, then catches Riko, saving her from a nasty fall and eventually passes out. So, that’s why he passed out before. After they both recover from the ordeal, they successfully make it to level two. This means there’ll be no rescue or search team to help them.
The duo ventures deeper, searching for a place called Seeker Camp. When they finally arrive, they are “greeted” by their first White Whistle, Ouzen “The Immovable Lord.” Ouzen is a very strange character. She is almost impossible to read due to how she behaves. She claims she doesn’t like to lie to children so when she talks to them she is brutally honest. And she just might be the scariest thing in the show. She’s one of those. She has a chat with Riko about her origins, revealing that Riko was stillborn in the abyss itself. Only through the power of a relic is she even alive. Basically, Riko is a zombie. Also, the letter is not written with her mother’s handwriting. This upsets Riko to the point of tears, so Reg attacks Ouzen.
Reg fails… miserably. Ouzen then proceeds to mop the floor with both of them. This causes Reg to use his X-Buster which Ouzen counters easily. After Reg’s eventual blackout Ouzen answers all of their questions and, after pointing out their weaknesses, offers to train them. Ouzen takes the duo out to the woods and tells them they must survive for 10 days with only the gear they have on them. And like any good teacher, she leaves her students alone in the dangerous terrain. Pretty sure that’s considered neglect.
For the most part, the training was just basic survival stuff. They had to make a shelter, find water, and fight a hippo thing, which wasn’t much of a challenge for them. It just allowed them to learn how to work together a little more. We did get to see their weaknesses and how they overcame them to survive. I was expecting a training-from-hell scenario. But this didn’t come close.
After ten grueling days, the duo returns to Seeker Camp a little stronger but a lot more worn out. It’s was nice of Ouzen to let them recuperate for a short time after that ten-day training session. She also gave them more supplies to get them ready to leave. Ouzen is also revealed to be Lyza “The Annihilator’s” master. And everything she did was to keep a promise to her former student. We also learn that Lyza left to allow Riko to have a choice in becoming an adventurer or not. Basically the opposite reason of Emi’s dad in Infini-T Force.
That seems almost motherly… almost. Ouzen isn’t done giving gifts just yet either. She gives Riko her mom’s weapon, Blaze Reap, an artifact that’s basically an explosive pickaxe! So now she’s letting kids play with explosives. Can I have a cool pickaxe too? (CVoyage: Hell no.)
The duo has a tearful goodbye with their new friends and they set out to reach level three. This is where things start to get dicey for our heroes. They end up accidentally in the lair of a carnivore and Reg fires off his X-Buster, leaving Riko without a means to really fight. Especially when the giant snake thing returns for revenge. Riko drags Reg deeper into the tunnels and barely escapes a giant man-eating plant by digging her way out of the stomach.
She is then forced to walk up a hill a few meters. This is bad because of the curse placed on each level. She starts to vomit and hallucinate, but she pushes herself through. Not bad for a 12-year-old. After a brief rest the snake thing burst in after her again, but this time Reg wakes up and hits it with the pickaxe.
Yeah, it pretty much kept exploding and fell to its death. With that out of the way, the duo proceeds to the fourth level. The fourth level is full of giant mushroom things with almost no actual monsters in it from what can be seen. The duo’s travels are, for the most part, pleasant until they start to descend deeper.
Upon reaching the bottom of the giant mushrooms, they run into a porcupine on steroids that can see the future through some very convenient plot devices I won’t go into. Reg tries his best to protect Riko but in the end, Riko gets stung by one of the poison quills. It’s a little worse than what happened to Qrow in volume 4 of RWBY. Reg botches amputating her arm which might have some consequences in the future.
Reg escapes with her by ascending… and this level’s curse kicks in, bleeding from every orifice. With the combined bleeding and the poison, Riko stops breathing. But through the power of plot armor, Reg’s panicked crying awakens the humanity in one of this level’s denizens, Nanachi. Nanachi instructs Reg in giving Riko mouth to mouth which gets her breathing again. Nanachi gets reg to follow by telling Reg she can be saved.
After arriving at Nanachi’s place it’s revealed that Nanachi is something called a hollow – someone who has survived the sixth level’s curse but has become a beast man. Nanachi then begins to treat Riko. Using some strange methods. No, I don’t want to talk about it. It’s become one of those overused jokes that we talked about not to long ago.
After getting rid of the poison, Nanachi sends Reg on a fetch quest to get medicine and snack so Riko can stabilize. Once the fetching is done, Nanachi attaches several mushrooms to Riko’s afflicted arm to speed up her recovery. Sometime after that, Reg gets some revenge on the monster that injured Riko, but Nanachi wants to ask him for help on a personal matter.
Nanachi escaped from a White Whistle-run lab that experimented on children, making them into monsters. The beast man form is a result of that tampering but Nanachi lives with a friend who is trapped in a useless body that won’t die. Reg puts it to rest okay. I still don’t like that part. It seems like it was another unnecessary death to me, but it also seems like a mercy killing.
There’s not much else to this series. It ends with Riko and company heading towards level five which is where the lab is. Odds are, this won’t be pretty. As a first season, I think this show has a lot of good things happening in it. We got the mystery of what happened to Riko’s mom, though that’s looking bleak. We have all of the backstories I couldn’t get into – just look at how long this thing is.
Don’t get me wrong there are some cringe-worthy things in this show too. I won’t go into details here, but some things or jokes they used aren’t helping them grow their fanbase. Overall I would say this season was about as evil as a Politician (7).
If you like the action in this series, but it’s a little too dark for you. Check out CVoyage’s reviews of Toji No Miko. He seems to be enjoying it. Well, that’s all I have for you today. Thanks for letting me waste your time, people.
Keep It Classy,
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