Inuyashiki Episode 2: The other side

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Wow, this series didn’t waste any time getting really twisted. It was almost hard to watch, but I really thought the events were presented in an interesting way that made me ignore that fact. The episode did a really good job of introducing Hiro as a very different character than our main character, Inuyashiki.

The title of the episode gives it away a bit, but a lot of this episode’s opening was a pretty interesting misdirection to introduce Hiro. He visits his sick friend, who was a much likelier candidate to be the antagonist because he was avoiding school, and even accuses him of being a serial killer.

The episode even gives Ando a good reason to be the killer by mentioning that he was beaten up recently. For all we know, he could be venting his anger or getting revenge. But instead, the episode flips everything. Hiro introduce himself by name for the first time and reveals his new body. Sure, you could argue that I should have remembered his general appearance from last week’s episode, but let’s be honest. He doesn’t have that many defining qualities physically.

From there, it’s a straight psychofest. Hiro pretty much puts himself in direct opposition to Inuyashiki by acting completely ruthless.

I just wonder if there should be more to Hiro’s motivations than what we’re shown in the flashback. I accept that his mind thinks very little of what he’s doing, but I like to know more about why his mind thinks that way. I hope that the show’s not lazy enough to go with the “oh, he’s just a psychopath” excuse.

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Inuyashiki First Impressions (1): The hero arrives

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I’m still not sure what to make of this series, but that was a promising first episode. I wasn’t completely sold on the old protagonist, but the progression of the episode did a good job of changing that. I gotta say…this is probably the most awkward midlife crisis I’ve ever seen.

I felt like this episode made good use of the scenes it showed. The weird delusion on the subway seemed strange at first, but makes a lot more sense when put into the context of the entire episode. It’s pretty much introducing us to Inuyashiki’s desire to be a hero even if he doesn’t have the power to go through with it. His desire to help at the end of the episode starts to make more sense with that in mind.

The cancer diagnosis and Inuyashiki’s subsequent phone calls also do a good job of illustrating his current position and mental state. There’s no need for him to narrate anything in his head or give some weird speech. The moment when he asks if his family would even cry at his death, you have a good sense of what’s happening.

As for the “discovery” scene, I suppose that pretty much went as expected. It was decently comical too.

In the case of the ending scene, I was pretty curious about the decision to upload a video of the incident with the punk kids. It seemed like a strange thing for an old man to do (or even know how to do), so it made me wonder just how much he’s in control of his new body. There’s the issue of the other guy who was with him when the aliens arrived. Plus, Inuyashiki was effectively turned into a robot, so how much is “him”?

Having Inuyashiki give his name at the very end was a nice touch too. He waits until he’s accepted himself and recognized that he still has the will to participate in the world.

Made in Abyss Final Episode (13): So tragic

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Well, this series certainly made use of the double episode for this finale. The “hot springs” scene felt a little bit like filler, but pretty much every other moment felt meaningful. This series was definitely an enjoyable watch for this season.

While Mitty’s condition certainly was tragic, I’m not sure how I feel about her post-curse immortality. It makes her much more pitiful, but I was expecting something different. I was expecting the fact that Nanachi hadn’t killed her to be an expression of Nanachi’s desire to maintain her own humanity. If she’s unwilling to take the life of her friend, she would prove that the curse hadn’t taken away her humanity as advertised.

Although we didn’t get too much of an introduction for Bondrewd, he certainly seems like an interesting character. When you really think about it, he has the same fascination and longing to explore the Abyss, but he explores in a different way. His character type isn’t too uncommon, but it becomes a bit more ambiguous in the setting that this series has presented, making him a curious case.

Given that we saw part of Riko’s dream last week, I was more receptive to the idea that her recovery was linked to Mitty’s death. I like that Riko was able to communicate with Mitty in some way right before Mitty ultimately died. Though it’s not explicitly stated, she probably gave Nanachi some closure and comfort about the decision to kill Mitty.

And so another ally joins the quest. This really did feel like a logical stopping point for this season. It had that “ending but also beginning” feel to it. That scene with the balloon at the end was also pretty cool, putting into perspective how far the main characters had come.

One final note: I didn’t notice until this scene at the very end, but Nanachi’s house somewhat resembles Mitty. The left window is fine, but the right window is messed up, similar to the situation with Mitty’s eyes.

Final Score: 8.5/10

Made in Abyss Episode 12: Learning the ropes

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This episode’s climax wasn’t really the development I was expecting as setup for the final episode, but I have to admit that it makes sense. Having Nanachi join the group is a very reasonable stopping point for this series and Mitty is really the only thing holding her back. The “dream” scene with Riko also seemed to support this. It looked as though it was showing a crying Mitty looking pleadingly at Riko. Perhaps that was meant to indicate that Mitty also wants to end her suffering.

That being said, I have to say that the explanation about the Curse was the most interesting piece of the episode for me. The cloth made for a good demonstration of how it works and I liked that it tied into the forcefield that has been mentioned on multiple occasions. Since the forcefield was relevant to other phenomena in the Abyss, it’s cool to learn that they’re all actually connected.

I also liked the idea of linking the forcefield’s movements to changes in consciousness. It was a really nice way to give a concrete reasoning to the danger of the lower layers.

The part that I didn’t really understand in this episode was the return to Kiyui at the top. I acknowledge that it addresses a question I posed much earlier in the series, but it still seemed…random? I’m sure there’s some deeper purpose that I’m missing, but I just couldn’t understand the timing of the scene. It seemed to end pretty simply too, suggesting that the cause of the mysterious illness was just the Abyss.

Part of me is wondering whether it’s meant to contrast with the explanation of the Curse. The people on the surface were really quick to accept that Kiyui’s recovery was just a quirk of the Abyss. However, the explanations in this episode seem to suggest the opposite. They suggest that the series is truly willing to explain itself even if things look “magical”.

Made in Abyss Episode 11: Fetch quests

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I guess this week’s episode was a bit of a breather after last week’s episode. We got a bit more of an introduction of Nanachi, who seems to be a pretty interesting character. Although Nanachi was overtly teasing Reg, I still got the sense that the “looming danger” to Riko’s life was very real…even if Nanachi insisted on downplaying it.

My only real complaint was about the repetition in the opening of the episode. From how it started, I was hoping we’d get to see more from Nanachi’s perspective, but we only really saw that she was watching Riko and Reg. That alone might have been good enough, but Nanachi specifically explains later that she was watching the whole time.

Reg’s fetch quest ended up being a bit interesting. It stood out to me because it’s really the first time he’s been able to work alone in the Abyss. The fourth layer that was so treacherous last week seemed more tame without Riko as added baggage. I’m not sure whether to attribute it to the lack of dead weight or to the instructions from Nanachi.

Nanachi’s past seems pretty intriguing too. The flashback this week seems to imply that White Whistle influence may be involved in her special condition as a “thinking” Hollow. I also like that she comes off as being deceptively serious. It seems like there’s a lot of truth behind what she says as jokes. Maybe that’s just my impression.

There’s also a brief memory sequence from Reg. It seemed to suggest that he was responsible for the grave marked by Blaze Reap. The fact that Reg brushed it off actually has me wondering a bit. Could Lyza really be dead?

As a final note, the last scene in this episode feels like another cheap cliffhanger. Sure, Mitty seems like she’s advancing on Riko, but I’d be really surprised if there’s any real danger.

Made in Abyss Episode 10: Turning it up

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It seems like the “fun” is over now. Sure, Riko and Reg have been in danger before now, but this week’s episode really sold the harshness of the Abyss. It went to a level I really didn’t expect, one that I admittedly had some difficulty watching. But we’ve heard so much about the dangers of the Abyss…it’s about time it delivered on these inexperienced cave raiders.

I just wanted to make a quick note on this scene. Since it’s a Japanese scene, I might be reading too much into it, but it worked as foreshadowing for me. Vinegar is typically associated with a sour taste, and you can kinda say this episode is where things went sour. Vinegar is also fermented, so maybe it’s universal enough as a concept.

I really don’t have much to say about Riko’s suffering…it was pretty gruesome.

But overall, I guess all of this torment is meant to give Nanachi a way into the cast by saving the day. I don’t think she could have come at a better time. Given that she’s been surviving in the fourth layer alone, she must be skilled. Adding her to the group makes their trip way more believable.

I’m curious about her statement regarding the Curse, though. She made it sound like she’s able to “see” the Curse’s influence. I wonder that’s supposed to mean. Anyway, maybe we’ll find out next week.

Made in Abyss Episode 9: Once more into the brink

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This week’s episode was a good display of what Riko and Reg learned from Ozen. That being said, I’m a little skeptical about the fact that Reg immediately uses his laser after the warning from Ozen (which even showed up in a flashback). I get that he was trying to be decisive and everything, but I would have expected more attempts to fight without it. Maybe they still weren’t deep enough for Riko to be completely helpless.

The confrontation with the monster from the beginning of the series is a good indication of the true start of the journey. The two go from being woefully underprepared to being somewhat competent, and they prove themselves by eliminating the first obstacle they ever faced together.

I also thought it was interesting that Riko got the chance to fend for herself without Reg. It sets the stage for the times to come. Based on what we’ve heard so far, the series suggests that Reg’s cooldown time is just a period of no progress for the main characters. However, this first time seems to indicate that it can’t be so easy.

Maybe I’m just reading too much into things, but I would have preferred if Riko was the one using the pickaxe at the end of the episode. It just seems a bit like a cheat if Reg wakes up just in time to save her, especially since Ozen took the time to teach Riko how to use the axe. Either way, it was a good episode overall. In particular, it (specifically the monsters) looked a lot better than some of the previous episodes.

Made in Abyss Episode 8: Off again

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I wasn’t expecting the training session to go by so quickly. I don’t have a problem with it…trying to explain a bunch of cave-raiding skills probably wouldn’t have been too interesting. But I’m surprised that Ozen role is already done, especially since her flashbacks in this episode were pretty sad.

I’m not sure what to make of Ozen’s comment about potential time dilation in the lowest layers of the Abyss. I guess I just don’t understand what it’s supposed to contribute. Does it only exist to give Lyza a better chance of survival? Is it supposed to set up some future scene where Riko joins Lyza at around the same age? It doesn’t feel all too impactful to me.

The introduction of the other White Whistles seemed interesting. Given that Bondrewd was specifically called out by Ozen, he’ll likely be a future obstacle for the main characters.

I don’t really have a problem with giving Riko a weapon as well, even if Ozen made it sound like she can only use it a few times. I suppose it’s meant to mirror the Incinerator.

This scene was probably the strangest one for me. I’m assuming that Ozen is just giving Riko and Reg some tips for their adventure, but it seemed like such a short scene for something potentially important. Maybe the show is trying to keep those parts obscured, but I guess we’ll have to see if they amount to anything. There’s definitely no way I’ll remember this when they reach the appropriate layers for the tips to actually matter.

Made in Abyss Episode 7: Testing grounds

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The big reveal in this episode was pretty nice. I think it explains why everyone was so okay with letting Riko journey into the Abyss. They would have been aware that Ozen was Lyza’s mentor and that Riko is effectively dead already. I wasn’t sure what to make of Ozen before this episode, but I’m glad she’s here to prepare Riko and Reg for the Abyss.

I think this scene was my only real issue with the episode. This scene felt more like a forced cameo than an actual contribution. Habo’s ominous line about the vessel and Riko’s secret would have made more sense if it didn’t happen immediately before Ozen tells Riko everything.

I’m also curious about this idea that White Whistles are trump cards. Why exactly is it so dangerous to give away a White Whistle’s special abilities? Who are they being protected from? Jealous competitors?

I only have on question about the Curse-Repelling Vessel. Ozen states that Riko is half-correct about the curse-repelling part. Does that mean that the vessel actually blocks the other negative effects of the curse? Ozen’s description made it sound like it doesn’t do anything to defend against the curse other than reanimate the dead. I’m just curious.

Ozen’s secret was a bit of a disappointment for me. I don’t think it’s a problem because it makes sense with her personality, but I was expecting her condition to come from something more than self-experimentation. Maybe I was thinking about her the wrong way.

Also, it took me a second to realize that Reg “went limp” as Riko woke up because of the backlash from using his laser.

Meh…I guess this is only fair.

Made in Abyss Episode 6: What’s in the box?

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This episode ended up being a pretty fun. There was a decent amount going on despite being a bit less-focused on showing the Abyss. The world was developed a bit more with a tour from Marulk.

Ozen was also a pretty interesting introduction…she’s definitely got the creepy feel to her, but there’s clearly more to her than that if Lyza trusted her to carry Riko out of the Abyss. If I had to voice a complaint, it would probably be regarding the repeated scenes in the beginning of the episode, but that’s not a new one for me.

Riko’s vomiting incident in this episode was pretty interesting because of how prevalent it was despite being in the background. Ozen starts out by explaining that it’s a side effect of the curse and then makes an off-hand comment about Riko’s smell.

Usually, this would be the point where the joke dies, but it gets brought back when Riko hears about the bath in her room. At no point does she ever say anything like “I have to get rid of this smell”. She just jumps at the opportunity to clean herself up right when it is presented.

Reg also continues to be a fun contradiction too. He’s unnaturally frightened by the idea of a ghost, but he’s also the very reason that Riko has survived as long as she has.

While it might seem a bit mean to Riko, I didn’t mind watching Ozen take her down a peg. Riko’s rushing down to the abyss because of a pretty tenuous reason, so it’s nice that an adult finally calls her out on it. Though, it also makes me wonder why the other adults are not only okay with it but also unable to recognize Lyza’s handwriting. I mean…weren’t there notes in the journals that were brought back?

We got a bit of a fun cliffhanger at the end of the episode. I’m not sure whether I’m more interested in the box or the monster that Riko saw, but maybe we’re about to learn some cool secrets of the Abyss next week.