Abyss 5-6, Principal 5

Nice catch, Reg!

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.

… and they probably aren’t pleasant …

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.

Catching up with Made in Abyss

RIko has just learned about her past.

Unlike many infodump episodes, Made in Abyss 2 works very well, I think for two reasons. First, Riko is a genuinely fun character and I find myself rooting for her and worrying with her about the fate of her mother, Liza the Annihilator (is that a great name or what?). I’m also interested in Reg’s backstory, what he was doing in the Abyss and why he came out. So right there we have two, probably interconnected mysteries to unravel. The other reason the episode works is that all these odd things, the relics, the star compass, the curse of the abyss (which sounds a little like the bends), form a much greater and richer puzzle that might never get entirely solved. Also, when we get some information, it’s not the info we expect. I didn’t expect to learn that Riko was actually born in the abyss, or to see Reg in the letter Lyza sent up. It all makes me want to dive in for more.

And episode 3 brings what must be the prelude to an end, and it’s all about preparation and arguments about whether Riko should go down the Abyss in search of her mother or not. I’m a little surprised she’s going, myself. While she’s obviously impulsive, she seemed to make the decision to leave behind everything for good awfully quick, in spite of the work done in ep2 to show how her mother’s absence affects her. It’s nicely brought home by Nat, angry and sad about her leaving, blurting out the unspoken point that her mother might be actually dead. Still, off she goes, with Reg of course, and if it goes like it seems to be we’ve just lost just about everyone in the cast save two.

I have a feeling they’ve barely started.

Well, since ep4 just came out, I’ll do it too. As expected, right now the show is just two people. They put Nat and Shiggy in a flashback of sorts, And Habo shows up to give them advice and act jolly, but he’ll be gone from now on. There’s that weird girl in the closing credits they haven’t gotten to yet. I figure she’ll show up next week to rescue Riko and Reg when they’re in mortal peril, kind of like what Reg did originally. Oh, and we haven’t met Ozen the Immovable yet. Something to look forward to. She’ll have a lot to say about Riko’s mom and if she’s still alive. Other than that, to paraphrase Reg, there will be no more humans chasing them, only monsters.