“A life without longing is more terrifying than death itself”
We return to the surface for some well-appreciated story building. The youngest of the trainees who remained up above, Kiwi, has been afflicted with Birthday-Death Disease. This mysterious disease, that happens on the day of one’s birth has already claimed five other children at the orphanage. Just as mysteriously, Kiwi’s disease vanishes. This doesn’t do much than merely add to the already growing list of oddities caused by the Abyss, however, while the Abyss may have been responsible for the disease it may have been equally responsible for Kiwi’s recovery. A perfect example of the Abyss being this cursed entity that takes life but is equally responsible for giving meaning to it. It’s also fun to see new environments like the off-shore med-bay comprised of old industrial looking ships. Reminds me a lot of Gargantua of the Verdurous Planet.
Back in the cave… Mitty is showing her affection to the expected concern of Reg, and Nanachi tells him not to worry and how Mitty’s blood can produce the cure for poisons. Reg finally does get to see Nanachi’s smug air slowly lose its confidence over dinner, which involves the common trope of girl who can’t cook. Considering the conditions it makes perfect sense, as she’s never eaten a good-tasting meal compared to how the trope is normally handled I found the report quite funny; Reg mentions if this really came from the ingredients he gathered and how Riko might die for certain if she ate this.
Now we come to some answers of the show’s most highly anticipated questions. Nanachi offers to explain the curse to Reg because he can’t “See it”. Using a Grade 3 Relic Fog Weave a super thin transparent sheet that acts like a cloak-like forcefield, Nanachi explains how the curse moves on top of you. It’s only upon breaking upwards out of it that the curse acts upon its victims. Using the inverted thorns analogy Nanachi explains how you can’t notice that you’ve stepped into the trap until it’s too late. The curse travels downwards from the sky above the surface carrying light to the underworld while obstructing its view from above (i.e. why the Abyss appears pitch black from the surface). Those that have suffered the curse like Nanachi and the monsters can actually see the forcefield stretching and rippling around creature’s movements, so the Orbed-Piercer can use that to predict the future as Nanachi puts it, despite it really just being hyper-awareness. I like the scientific nature of this explanation. It gives credence to the notion of giving characters shonen-style superpowers of seeing your enemies movements almost like some sort of Haki. It also makes me wonder if the mystery of the Abyss was formed from some invisible force showering down from above, maybe the sky holds even more mysteries…
Meanwhile, Riko is busy having some nightmare where she appears to look like she’s suffered some Abyss-curse mutation. She notices the voice of a girl crying before leaning forward and coming quite literally eye-to-eye with it. I’m assuming this is Mitty so I wonder if she’s having some sort of psychic link with her soul, perhaps this is linked to why Mitty seems to be so enamored with her. I hope it’s more than Nanachi’s explanation of “they’re both girls of the same age”.
Nanachi’s demonstration doesn’t end yet. Equipping Reg’s helmet with a communication device he sends him back out into the 4th layer. Quite surprisingly a loud whistle rings and Reg stumbles across a sole Black Whistle, an old man, corned by an Orbed-Piercer. With Nanachi’s help, Reg manages to grab the monster right in its Abyss-sensing organ. Ready for the kill, Reg surprises both parties with his ultimate weapon. The Orbed-Piercer sheds its thorns to narrowly evade the attack (even with an expert’s assistance these things offer up more of a fight than I expected). With it retreated, Reg mentions to the Black Whistle to relay to Jiruo that “we are still continuing our adventure”. In no position to really complain, the Black Whistle agrees while Reg goes back to Nanachi. Last time I wondered what would need to happen to add Nanachi to the group and now that I know I am super curious as to how this will play out. Nanachi asks him to kill Mitty for her. Perhaps after seeing his power, she thinks he might be able to give her a quick and painless death and truly does recognize that she is in pain (as we too could tell from Riko’s “dream”). Also, I’m no longer sure how much we can consider Bondrewd the Novel as a positive influence on Nanachi and Mitty after seeing them desperately escape from, I want to say… layer 6?
- After two weeks, I’m ready for Riko to come back. Interested how she’ll participate in the whole “kill Mitty” decision (if at all).
- So Jiruo doesn’t seem to be following the pair very closely at all… wonder if or how he comes back into the story. Maybe he’s busy with cute doctor girl 😉
- This felt like a very involved episode, paced well and packed with equal parts backstory, plot and progress.