This week’s episode started off with a bit too long of a thinly veiled recap. I wouldn’t even have this minor a criticism unless these episodes feel short enough on their own, but I digress.
I suppose we see the events from the end of the last episode through the eyes of Nanachi, the hollowed rabbit-eared girl, in which we see flashes of someone she knew and thus a bit of insight into her willing to help Reg out. As Reg recognizes that Nanachi is the same age as them, he’s a bit concerned at first about how she will be able to save Riko. Based on her collection of Black and Purple Whistles and Raider equipment her possible tie to human beings sends mixed messages for Reg. However, she appears to be very knowledgeable in medical treatment and is an able surgeon.
This week’s episode doesn’t flinch at placing the show’s hero Riko in a very humiliating and un-heroic state. Nanachi uses an antivenom suppository on her and cleans clothing stained with bloody urine, both of which put Reg in a confusing state of discomfort and embarrassment. This reminds the viewer that while Riko will be saved, characters in this world are still very fragile and the process of saving them is as much a struggle as anything else. You won’t be relying too hard on a magical McGuffin to guarantee to heal them.
Nanachi gives Reg a mission to look for more ingredients but not before they have a little argument about why Nanachi didn’t help them when she reveals she’d been keeping tabs on them the entire time. Reg sensed her presence before the Orbed-Piercer appeared so it seemed a bit cruel. But Nanachi only appeared because she took pity on them and had nothing but teasing, jeering comments about Reg in light of the tragedy he went through.
Next, they’re interrupted by a mysterious room-mate (someone else being there was not something I anticipated) only to reveal another hollowed girl but this time the hollowfication process didn’t treat her as kindly as Nanachi. The glimpse in the opening was brief but I’m assuming this “friend” or rather pet hollow is the same girl in the Nanachi’s flash of memory. The hollow is called Mitty. She is the first proof we’ve seen of what happens when you ascend too quickly in the sixth layer. Loss of life and humanity. They become such poor and miserable creatures that they are often put to death almost as a kindness to both them and preserve their heroism in the memories of loved ones Nanachi is an anomaly in this sense and due to her being a scientific oddity would be captured and experimented on so showing herself is a big risk. Reg immediately understands Nanachi’s reasons now, though she calls him a pushover for sympathizing way too easily (maybe she was just being lazy).
Now Reg goes on a little shopping run for the magical trinkets turned medical lifesavers that Nanachi doesn’t have on her. She gives him a mere 12-hour deadline before Riko reaches her own. Including having him hunt her dinner, which as Nanachi explains – being fed allows her to operate at full capacity. Reg is angry at first but eventually concedes as logical not fully understanding her perspective again (or him just being a pushover again?). Nanachi’s lackadaisical outlook really brings some needed levity to the otherwise slow pace of the episode she creates. Looks like some parasitic water-mushrooms that hitch a ride on a sickly breed of creature in order to resuscitate them can be used to heal the majority of Riko’s otherwise impossibly damaged injuries.
In the meantime, Nanachi looks at Riko’s White Whistle (or rather Lyza’s) and starts to suspect something is going on with them. We dive into her memory and see a man who she knew when she was younger and still a hollow (how young did she turn?) They discuss manners of a Cartridge and some experiment that sound like they may be linked to relics or the mystery behind her hollowfication. Don’t think I didn’t recognize this guy from a few episodes back. Ouzen referred to her as The Sovereign of Dawn, Bondrewd the Novel. His whistle is two skeletal hands clasping. I already want to know more about him.
Also, Reg has a bit of a memory-like vision as well. In which we hear proof of him knowing Lyza in the past. “I’ll be going now, Lyza” is what we hear before Reg sees the site of the grave in his mind. He’s also holding a necklace with a clear blue gem. Since you can still see the giant plateau-like stalks of layer four up above I’m going to assume this is layer five (if there has already been confirmation of this, I’ve long since forgotten). We don’t get much confirmation as Nanachi interrupts Reg’s lucid flashback-ing. Inside, Mitty crawls up on Riko’s body. Hopefully, this means something more than “whoops she’s eating all the life-saving mushrooms”.
Speculating that Nanachi will become the next party member, I’m most curious what her motivation would be for joining them and abandoning Mitty. Perhaps the connection between Lyza and Bondrewd…
- Rewatching scenes of the surgery to capture an image really drove home how grating the sound-effects and foley work were.
- Starting to have wild theories about the physiology of the monsters in the abyss. Perhaps there were other anomalies like Nanachi but of instead of humans they were different real-world animals that fell in, survived hollowification, and adapted.
- Nanachi is very fluffy and ain’t about no weirdo robot boy getting too close to her.