Made in Abyss 5 begins with a frightening scene that nearly ends in Riko’s death, and while it dallies a little it was still effective in communicating to us that this Abyss will kill you if you’re not on your toes. Good thing Reg has that ray gun going for him. The episode doesn’t have anything after that to match that scene, so the rest is going further down, to the inverted forest, speculating about the land and what the hell’s up with Reg, his ray gun, that glowing symbol on his helmet, and fleeing from monkeys. Were the season to continue like this it would be a bore, rich and detailed as the surroundings are, so they first bring in a girl looking at them through a telescope, and then Ozen the immovable, who doesn’t seem pleased with them. Still, the episode needs some new characters, fun and cute as Riko and Reg are, they can’t sustain the show by themselves.
So in episode 6 we get the two new characters we expect, Ozen the Immovable, full of bad news and cryptic comments … and cute little Marulk, her apprentice. Ozen doesn’t seek to care for Riko at all, and frankly, I wouldn’t trust her with anything, let alone Riko’s beloved white whistle. Wonder if it will be returned. Thus, I also doubt her story about the grave, or at least that it’s Lyza in it, or her surprisingly lame excuse for the written message (“I don’t know how that got in there”). The big question is, is she going to let RIko and Reg continue on, or will she do some harm to them? As for Riko, it’s obvious that if nothing else she’s going to check out that grave for herself. The monster Riko encounters is just another complication, though I suspect it’s Ozen herself.
Princess Principal 5 formally introduces Chise, a strange girl from a foreign land. However, I don’t really know what the show was thinking, having her sneak on board the train to the alarm of the other girls, when we already know she isn’t the real threat. Also, the timeline is making me confused. The member of the Japanese contingent who gets killed by Jubei was around last week, but so was Chise … or maybe not. Even more bewildering was the railroad car full of soldiers, seemingly frozen, with playing cards in their hands. The story itself was fairly routine. Nice battle between Chise and Jubei livened things up. Still, at this point I hope the show will start working on a longer story arc.