Made in Abyss – 11

Thanks to the careful ministrations of Nanachi the Hollow, Riko’s arm is stabilized and she’d given another 12 or so hours of life to play with.

Turns out Nanachi had been shadowing her and Reg since they reached the Fourth Layer, but only revealed herself out of pity for Reg, who mewled like a “lost little kid” when Riko went blue.

She warns Reg Riko is far from out of the woods: to save her life, he’ll have to go back out into the Goblet to collect a number of items within those 12 hours.

Then another sound comes from the tent, and Nanachi introduces Reg to OH GAAAAAAAH JESUS CHRIST WHAT THE HELL IS THAT … THAT THING? Honestly, after the “meat” Ozen brought back to life and last week’s gruesome ordeal, you’d think I’d be more desensitized to the horrors of the Abyss, but “Mitty” provides another, well, layer of darkness and dread.

Nanachi makes it clear that Mitty in her current form (which is barely a form at all) is nearer to the rule, not the exception, where Hollows are concerned. Both Nanachi and Mitty ascended from the Sixth Layer. Both were changed irrevocably, but only Nanachi maintained her humanoid form and mental faculties – an “exception among exceptions.”

Mitty is…well, hollow. For most humans who undergo such a transformation, death by their comrades usually follows, but not in this case. Nanachi not only hasn’t put Mitty out of her misery, but keeps her around like a kind of pet.

Perhaps it’s an act of penance. In some flashes of the past we see what is probably a pre-ascent Mitty—a girl with eyes the same reddish hue as the eye of post-ascent Mitty—and a younger, post-ascent Nanachi being praised by the White Whistle Bondrewd the Novel, who is happy “the experiment” was a success. Perhaps Nanachi and Mitty were the subjects of that experiment, and only Nanachi survived (relatively) intact.

Reg collects all the items on Nanachi’s list without too much difficulty, only to learn that just one of those items—the purple mushrooms that grow on shroombears—was necessary to save Riko; the other things were merely for Nanachi to eat. But Nanachi makes a good point: she cannot forage for food while tending Riko, so someone had to.

Reg is also instructed to wash Riko’s soiled clothes at a nearby riverbank behind Nanachi’s hut. The utterly gorgeous verdant landscape he beholds is peppered with graves, somewhat souring the awe with melancholy.

But Reg starts seeing things – the field of flowers of fortitude, Blaze Reap marking a grave – and also hears his own voice speaking to Lyza. He wonders if he buried Lyza, but remembers Ozen said “no one was buried” there.

The thing is, “no one” could be construed as “nothing human”—i.e., a hollow—but when back in the tent, what’s left of Mitty suddenly approaches a sleeping Riko. Does this behavior suggest that Riko’s presence is somehow drawing out the humanity in Mitty, like the mushrooms are drawing out the piercer’s poison? Does Mitty recognize Lyza’s daughter?

Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

4 thoughts on “Made in Abyss – 11”

  1. The little things from this show always make it so impactful/agonizing. Watching “Mitty” stoke Nanachi’s arm and mewl as Nanachi pats their head mixed in with story of their current form shows you that “Mitty” is unquestionably gone forever but there is a horrific reminder that there is still a flicker left in there.

    Even in “light hearted” episodes (where a child worriedly scrambles to gather supplies to save his dying friend) like this there is still gut wrenchingly reminders that this is the Abyss and it can only go down hill

    I enjoy this show but fuck does it make feel like I am watching Grave of the Fireflies again

    1. I’ve seen Grave of the Fireflies once and only once. I’ll never watch it again. That’s not an indictment of it’s quality—it’s a masterpiece—and I’m glad I watched it, but there’s no reason to see it again unless I want to be apocalyptically depressed for more than a week.

      I never thought to make the connection between Grave and Abyss…but now that I have I can’t unmake it. A happy reunion with Mom seems less and less likely every week.

  2. Same here and everyone I have ever talked to about it, “I watched it once, I never need to see it again”. Hopefully you didn’t make the same mistake I did foolishly watch it thinking it was an optimistic Miyazaki film since its attached to Ghibli

    After the previous episode I was curious to see how Riko/Reg made it through and hunted down a copy of the manga…. I will leave my comment as nothing more or less than “…”

Comments are closed.