Nanachi takes Reg and Riko back to her hut so she can tend to Riko’s arm and drain the poison out of her system. Reg goes hunting for items and later, begins to hear voices in his head that sound awfully familiar. The mystery of the Abyss continues to deepen as Nanachi reveals herself as a Hollow.
After the soul breaking Episode 10, Episode 11 is surprisingly tame. Nanachi sends Reg on a mission to collect ingredients to help cure Riko’s poison. He’s also collecting Nanachi’s dinner, but hey, he was out anyway so why not?!
If I had to guess, I am going to state that I think the writers of Made in Abyss are poising themselves to roll out tragedies in a strategic manner. I think they realize if all you do is pump out tragedy, the audience eventually becomes immune to it. Giving people a break and then handing out another set of pain is more effective for drawing out emotion.
Nanachi’s introduction as an “acidly sarcastic” individual lets us all take a breather from the sickening sequences we experienced last episode. Watching her playfully torture Reg into doing what she wants is very entertaining and I appreciated the show’s choice in her character design. Given her adorable bunny body it would have been easy for the creators to make her cutesy and poised to be the “moe soft toy sell” of the show. Instead she’s like an old lady who’s seen too much sh&t in her life and knows a thing or two.
This episode is more on the edge of what Scott’s been getting, where not a lot happens but the show still crams meaning into it’s 20 minute run time. We learn more about the Abyss and its creature. We also gain some insight into the eco system of the Fourth Layer. I desperately want a water bear, by the way. Just look at these little cuties!
I really admire this show’s attention to detail and desire to showcase the Abyss as a living, breathing, biome of sorts. It’d be very simple to design the show to just be a series of downward trials where super deadly monsters live, akin to a “Pit of Trials” in an RPG. Instead the show wants you to know that there’s beauty, peace, AND danger lurking here. Some parts of the Abyss even look like a paradise. I mean seriously…who doesn’t want giant hot tubs practically everywhere you go!
If I had to complain about one thing, it would be the show’s random dives into perversity. These are short moments but they are just…out of place and bizarre. I admire that the show candidly does what it needs to do (in the beginning of Ep. 11 Reg just gives Riko mouth to mouth, without that stupid anime-nonsense of “Oh my God, it’s a kiss!!” *blushies*), but this gets undone when Reg is blushing like a summer rose everytime Riko needs to get naked or some manner of bodily function is mentioned. It’s weirdly atonal.
Now, it’s back to my first comment; Rolling out tragedies slowly and giving you a break in-between. In the midst of the peace of this episode, we get the next painful hook set up. Reg overhears a noise and Nanachi reveals that it’s her roommate Mitty. When Mitty is revealed there’s an instant recoil. The show has given me Episode 10 with no holds barred, so my mind is aflutter with horrible thoughts as to how Mitty came about. Nanachi makes to no bones about explaining that Mitty and herself are Hollows aka victims of the Abyss’s curse. She also says some things that are very curious. Needless to say, I am eagerly awaiting this weekend to learn more.
Made in Abyss takes a little break to get poor Riko patched up and drop us some more mysteries. The show really seems to know how to layer in pain and it’s likely that the last two episodes of this show are gonna cause more heartbreak. Regardless of that, the show’s incredible art direction, attention to detail and well realized world keep me eager for more.