Made In Abyss- World Building
As I mentioned in my first article, Made In Abyss is one of the most intelligent animes I have seen in some time. The first episode, “The City of the Great Pit”, just kinda throws us right into the mix of the world. It gives us a first taste of what we can expect to see more of, and it gives us questions that we want answers to. The second episode, “Resurrection Festival”, give us some world and character building, and finally builds up to what we could have guessed would be the major plot drive. By the end of the episode, I was ready to dive straight into the Abyss. So let’s get right into it.
The episode opens up with dialogue about the Star Compass relic again, which confirms its importance, as I noted in the previous article. Riko refers to it now as a mysterious instrument that always points to the far reaches of the sky. Before, Riko said that it will show the truth of the Abyss. The Abyss goes deep into the earth, and the Star Compass points to the sky, yet the Star Compass shows the truth. Riko points it out when she says,
“It’s needle led not to the far end of the sky above, but in fact to the exact opposite of that… the very depths of this planet!”
There has to be more to this; we’ll have to keep an eye on it.
Whistles and The Curse of the Abyss
One topic that I hope is touched on more is the hierarchy of the whistles… we know there are the following: red, blue, moon, black, and white. Red whistles are for the children who are apprentices and moon whistles are for the teachers at the orphanage, who teach the red whistles. Blue, black, and white are different levels of experience, with white being the most esteemed. The higher level whistle you have, the deeper you may travel into the Abyss. White Whistles are treated as celebrities and have no depth limit within the Abyss. Personally, I would like to see more about the requirements and steps necessary to attain each level of whistle, as well as the depth level each is allowed to go to. Check the chart below to see the whistle levels and their status within the hierarchy.
Master (unlimited depth)
I’ll update this chart if/when more information is given in future episodes.
We’re given information about the curse of the Abyss in this episode as well. This is a topic that is continuously fleshed out as the show continues. Check out the chart below to see the information that we’re given now about ascending from each of the six layers.
Cost of Ascension
Second Layer (Inverted Forest)
Nausea, headaches, numbness of the extremities
No info given
Intense pain throughout the body and bleeding
No info given
Sixth Layer (and beyond)
Loss of humanity and/or death
I’ll update this chart as I cover more of the show and more information is revealed.
Reg and Relics
Relics are part of the reason why everyone risks their lives diving into the Abyss. Somehow, Riko and crew have acquired a copy of The Compilation of Recorded Relics. It includes all of the relics found to date, including things like the Unheard Bell, a relic bell that can stop time. The children seem to be certain that Reg is also a relic… but there is no record of anything like Reg in the book.
We do have some information about Reg that Riko collected however. He can run on either food or electricity. His skin is smooth but is powerful enough to stop a blade. He can’t be hurt by fire. Enhanced vision and hearing. His arm can extend 40 meters… Riko was also unable to see inside his butthole, and Reg has a penis that doesn’t seem to be mechanical. I leave it to the imagination of the viewer to try and figure out how Riko got this information. Now, we just need her to find out if he ever has to poop, and we will know everything!
Reg is an Aubade, a supreme relic treasure of the Abyss.
The plot will no doubt go somewhere interesting with this. They’re also gonna have to keep Reg a secret, and they bypass the issue by getting Reg to be admitted into the orphanage under a false guise.
Lyza the Annihilator
“Resurrection Festival” gives us insight into the world of Made In Abyss and who Riko is. The festival being referred to in the title is actually a celebration of sorts; it’s in honor of Riko’s mother, Lyza the Annihilator. Lyza was a White Whistle cave raider, the most esteemed “whistle level” that can be reached as I briefly went over earlier. Lyza’s white whistle was found by Habo, a Black Whistle, in the Abyss and brought back to the surface… where he delivers it to Riko. Further, there is a sealed letter, allegedly from Lyza, which Riko is not at first allowed to see.
The festival itself is an interesting look into the customs and beliefs of the cave raiders. White Whistle raiders are apparently looked upon as Saints, of sorts. When they finally lose their life to the Abyss, and their whistle is returned to the surface, they believe the soul of the White Whistle has returned with it. Essentially, they believe the soul of the raider lies within the whistle itself. This lets us know that they really believe Lyza is dead… which will be an interesting topic later. Lyza is referred to as being the greatest of the White Whistles… a very high honor. The entire city is basically celebrating how great Riko’s mother was; no pressure Riko, you’ve got some super easy shoes to fill.
We glean some information about Riko in this scene as well. Lyza left for her final raid ten years ago. When Lyza left, Riko was two years of age. Now, we know that Riko must be twelve years old. I give my thanks to the creators of Made In Abyss for not sexualizing a twelve year old Riko at all in this anime. Riko has top notch voice acting (thank you Miyu Tomita) and is a brilliant character. She would be absolutely ruined if she was sexualized. There are a few scenes in the show where she doesn’t have clothes on, but she takes the form of a prepubescent girl, her parts are covered, and the scenes are meant to be comedic, which they are.
Riko has to wear glasses, but not because she has faulty vision.
She suffers extreme headaches unless she looks through crystal lenses. It’s a side effect of Riko literally being Made In Abyss, and I believe that this is directly where the show gets its name. Yes, Riko was born in the Abyss. Lyza went on an expedition to the fourth layer to retrieve the Unheard Bell and the expedition was far more arduous than they expected. They lost most of the survey team and they were repeatedly in combat with foreign cave raiders.
In combat, Riko’s father, a Black Whistle named Torka, was killed… and in the midst of the fourth layer, Riko was born.
Ascending from the fourth layer is nearly unbearable even for adults, so Riko could only come back alive inside of a relic called the “Curse Repelling Vessel”, which was extremely heavy to carry.
Lyza had to make a choice. Riko, or the Unheard Bell? She chose Riko.
Leader leaves Riko with these words,
“Now, this life the legendary White Whistle Lyza the Annihilator left you with… How will you use it?”
The Sealed Letter
This leads us right to the end of Resurrection Festival, where Riko is finally given permission to view her mother’s letter, accompanied by Reg. The interesting thing from Lyza’s documents— she was gone for ten years, and none of Lyza’s drawings have been in the Compilation of Recorded Relics. What does this mean? We don’t have an answer now, but I can wager a guess. I think that Lyza’s drawings come from a place in the Abyss that no White Whistle had treaded before Lyza. The seventh layer, maybe? And look there… we see a drawing that clearly resembles a creature or relic exactly like Reg.
Riko and Reg notice a piece of paper amidst everything else with only writing on it; it’s a note scrawled by Lyza, which only reads,
“At the Netherworld’s bottom, I’ll be waiting”.
Holy crap. Well, here we go. That’s the end of “Resurrection Festival”, and now we’ve been given the main plot driver for the show. Riko is destined to raid through the Abyss in search of her mother and to earn the rank of White Whistle. Stay tuned for my next article, which will at least cover “Departure”, and maybe more, depending on how long I ramble.
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