Today I’m hitting episode 3 of Made In Abyss, called Departure, and sharing my thoughts. Last time, I covered Resurrection Festival, so go check that out if you haven’t already.
Let’s jump in.
Riko’s goal, right from the very beginning, is to get to the bottom of the Abyss where she believes her mother is waiting for her. As of now, it’s an interesting proposition, especially to us the viewers. On one hand, it’s like, “Yeah this sounds great! Plot development! Fun! Mystery!”. On the other hand, I think Nat is the only one who really has his head on straight when he rejects the idea and gets pissed. While Riko has solid intentions and a good heart, I think she’s not fully considering what she’s getting into.
It’s either that… the innocent hope and determination of a 12 year old child… or she perhaps does know exactly what she’s doing and might be the most brave and mature 12 year old to ever “not live”. As I see it online so often, and as I will say often, “I’ve learned so much from the people who never existed.” This is serious business. While it seems fun right now, it’s likely Riko is headed straight to her death, no matter the outcome. No one has come back from the 6th layer alive and intact with their humanity… When a White Whistle descends to the 6th layer, it is known as their “last dive”.
So naturally, Nat, having his head on straight and realizing the implications of what Riko is wanting to do, gets angry. He doesn’t want Riko to die. I don’t want Riko to die either. She’s freaking adorable. But I guess we have to walk this path to continue the show, so let’s roll.
I’m going to spend most of my time in this post writing about the first 4 minutes of the episode. But before that, I’ll hit a few other points that I found mildly important. First… when Reg lied to Leader and told him that he was going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, Leader knew he was lying. This isn’t stated, but it’s painfully obvious. We do get more backstory on Leader later on in the season, but his motive behind letting Reg go, knowing that he and Riko are heading for the Abyss, is unknown. Perhaps he has previous information from Lyza about what is going on?
Second, Reg finds an object in his bag at the end of the episode that he didn’t put there. Personally, I didn’t pick up on what it was. In the midst of Riko breaking out in tears and saying her goodbyes before descending into the Abyss, Reg decides to not mention it for now. I’m curious what this object is.. Perhaps a tool given by Leader? I’ll follow up on that in a later blog post if it comes up again.
Pictured below, Riko gives her goodbyes to Nat and friends before descending into the Abyss with Reg to undertake their journey to the bottom of the netherworld.
With that, I’m going to jump into the first few minutes of the episode.
Lyza’s Journal Entry
After the opening song, without any real context, we get a taste of Lyza’s cave raiding journal from her last dive. I want to hit the topic because it tells us more about the layers, but the real gem is that it reveals information to us about Reg’s origin. If you’re not paying attention, this part is easy to miss, but there is tons of information to be dissected about this short scene.
We’re told that the 5th layer is called the Sea of Corpses. The 6th layer, the Capital of the Unreturned, has rain. The interesting thing is… it’s iron rain. One of the monsters Lyza encountered was a large lizard that lives inside a massive shell that defends its body from said iron rain. She names it an “emperorshell”. Here is something of note… Lyza says that the emperorshell lizard “grows up while still inside its eggshell”. Thinking about this… this means that she was in the 6th layer long enough to see this lizard grow up.
How long did she remain in the 6th layer?
Now, let’s get to Reg. Lyza says that when she was “nearing” the 7th layer, she encountered a “human-looking silhouette”. The human looking silhouette is definitely Reg. The drawing looks EXACTLY like him. Not only that, but as the scene closes, it fades out into the next scene… which is Reg.
Reg and the 7th Layer
Let’s take a closer look into everything here. She says it had been observing her for several days, but that she had also been observing it back. She was aware she was being watched. It did not seem to be a Hollow, so she thinks it may be a real human… I’ve already seen all of the first season, but at this point in the show, Hollows have not been revealed so I won’t say anything on that.
There are three things I want to zone in on.
1. Lyza was “nearing” the 7th layer.
We know nothing of the 7th layer. In fact… I will have to go back and spot check myself on this later, but I want to say that this might actually be the ONLY time in the entire first season that a 7th layer is mentioned. Whether it is or not, lots of questions take shape here. How did Lyza know she was nearing the 7th layer? What makes it distinct from the 6th layer? The penalty from ascending from the 6th layer is loss of humanity and death. What could be the penalty of ascending from the 7th layer? Maybe the goal of her final raid was to descend beyond the 6th layer to find out if a 7th layer existed, and if so, what is there. The “layer system” is just a human made convention for all of this anyway.
2. Reg did not start watching her until she was near the 7th layer.
Why? Because Reg is from the 7th layer… That’s the only explanation. Now we know that Reg is from deeper in the Abyss than any cave raider has ventured. If Reg was watching her when she was near the 7th layer, that means that they were both in the 6th layer. Why was Reg watching her in the 6th layer, before she reached the 7th? I have a theory on that coming up.
3. Reg appeared to Riko near the surface mere days before Lyza’s white whistle was returned.
Everything is starting to tie together now, and it is too much to be a coincidence. Near the 7th layer, Lyza and Reg are observing one another. What happens next is a mystery, however, next thing we know, Reg shows up near the surface. Several days later, Lyza’s whistle is returned by Habo’s squad, signifying her death. What happened? I suppose we’ll have to wait for answers, but I do have a theory.
Reg, A Guardian of the 7th Layer
Let’s state the obvious. Reg is outfitted for combat. His incinerator cannon is able to blast even the toughest Abyss monsters into dust. His armor is near impenetrable. It’s immune to fire damage and all kinds of other things according to Riko from episode 2. This deep in the Abyss, what would be the purpose for that? His purpose must be to defend whatever lies in the 7th layer from any creature above that would threaten it.
If so, then why is he observing Lyza and not attacking? My explanation: he’s never seen anything like her before. As a guardian, he’s likely accustomed to keeping watch and blasting the same sorts of creatures from time to time when they go to far or threaten whatever lies beyond the edge of the 6th layer. Cave raiders have never made it this far before… Reg has never seen a human. Further, Lyza would likely not appear to be threatening at first. She isn’t some massive, atrocious looking monster. No. She’s a beautiful woman with blonde hair.
What Happens Next
Reg had to have been intrigued. Instead of blasting her, he chose to watch her. At some point, they must have met. What happens after they meet is anyone’s guess. Somehow, it resulted in Lyza either dying, or remaining at the bottom of the Abyss… and with Reg losing all of his memories before ending up near the surface. I believe that the difference in time between Reg showing up and Lyza’s whistle showing up has something to do with time dilation the deeper into the Abyss you go, which is briefly mentioned later in the season.
Regardless of whether or not my theory ends up being correct, we do know for a fact that Lyza and Reg met. What happened between Lyza and Reg at the bottom of the great pit is unknown… but the thought of finding out exactly what happened down there, and what Reg may have been guarding… leaves me tingling with excitement.
Here is the updated chart with more current information on all of the layers of the Abyss:
Cost of Ascension
Edge of the Abyss
Depth down to 1,350 meters
Forest of Temptation
Nausea, headaches, numbness of the extremities
Eventually turns into the Inverted Forest. If Red Whistles tread here, it is treated as suicide and they will not receive help
The Great Fault
Vertical cliff face of 4,000+ meters
Goblet of Giants
Intense pain throughout the body and bleeding
Depth down to 7,000 meters. Only Black Whistles and above may tread here
Sea of Corpses
Only White Whistles may tread here
Capital of the Unreturned
Loss of humanity and/or death
When White Whistles descend to here, it is called their “last dive”. No one has returned.