You know that feeling when you’re sorely under-leveled for a dungeon and it feels like your party is gonna get wiped? Well imagine it’s only the first dungeon and multiply that feeling by 10! Hints of this being a horror show are beginning to bubble up. The strain of the second layer Abyss Sickness is getting harder for Riko to bear and that’s the least of her problems. They run into a Corpse-weeper, which lure others to them by mimicking the cries of help of their prey. Riko notices the trap and sees that its prey (a Purple Whistle) is beyond saving. However, it’s too late because, with little resistance, Riko is easily captured and flown off to the monster’s nest. There is an immediate terror as we’ve just seen the gruesome damage these beasts can do and the horror of a panicking Reg, who gets ambushed by other Weepers in hiding. The sense of anxiety is incredibly effective as the abyss shows its hand in how dangerous things can go from zero to ten at the drop of a hat. Reg manages to remember the super powered attack he first used to save Riko before and with some dazzling animation, he blasts the creatures away. Not knowing his own power, the blast is much bigger and almost risks roasting Riko along with the Weepers.
This leaves Reg terribly concerned. He sees Riko passed out due to Abyss Sickness (which gets stronger when you dramatically ascend in altitude) during the altercation and his recklessness, while saving her, also almost cost Riko her life. She also lost her cave-raiding notebook in the blast, but considering everything is headed downwards they might bump into that later. Riko on the other hand, leaves this incident incredibly positive, seeing how the fact that Reg’s beam used to be more controlled means that he’ll eventually improve and wants to give the move a cool name. When our main hero is pointing those things out instead of the more realistic dangers around her and how unseriously she’s taking those dangers in stride, I can feel the dread of her naivete crawling up my back; her luck can only last so long. Even Reg stops her by saying “I’m not in the mood for this right now”. However, what Riko believes here makes sense as tragic as it is. Going back to what Habo said about everything returning to the Abyss, Riko echoes this to Reg when they’re eating cooked Corpse-weeper. Despite only being a silicon, humanoid robot, Reg objects to discovering the source of said meat since this creature once ate humans who are now a part of this creature’s meat. This is natural to Riko since most of the meat in her society is from hunted monsters that feed on humans, the way she sees it it’s a part of the circle of life. They gave their lives to them so that the next generation can continue their journey.
As they continue to the Seeker Camp (the first goal post explained by Habo) we are treated to more beautiful music, gorgeous scenery, and climbing montages. All an effective way to show them make it to the bottom of the second level: The Inverted Forest. Now things are getting bizarre as it’s not just the trees that are growing down from the abyss wall’s ceiling but even the waterfalls are falling up. More weird abyss magic I suppose. The winds are so strong that Reg’s arm extending ability gets blown away, further hamstringing his overpowered ability. However, a mysterious symbol appears for a short while on his helmet, I’m sure that will be important later. Our heroes have only just recovered so the abyss throws more creatures at them: these really stylishly animated sloth-like creatures called Inbyos. By the way, these monster designs are mostly animated by Kou Yoshinari (older brother of You Yoshinare who is the creator of Little Witch Academia), who imparts a very distinct look and feel to them. They chase them close to the edge of the forest, where the magic and Abyss Sickness is thankfully weaker. They finally find the observation base where Riko’s mother’s White Whistle companion, Ouzen”The Immovable“, is said to stay. Her assistant (I think) can be seen spotting them outside and Ouzen seems to know that it’s her friend Lyza’s daughter without even looking. However, what happens next is left to be explored next episode.
I’m just glad we have new characters. Particularly characters that seem like they can shed some deserved light on what exactly is going on. Riko and Reg’s chemistry have been great so far and the drama that’s surmounting between their survival and Reg’s one-sided crush on Riko is great. I can’t wait till we get further down. Each new layer has brought exciting new obstacles and I’m sure my heart palpitations will only get worse as the stakes get more serious.
As always, make sure to check back once a week for more Made In Abyss analysis!