Warning: This review may contain some spoilers

In This Episode

This week’s episode is opened with Riko once again praising the mysterious allure of the Abyss. She then turns to discuss her observation of Reg’s body to her friends to a comical effect. This is the first scene where Riko, Kiyui, Nat, and Sigy discuss Reg’s identity together. Albeit puzzled, Riko seems excited observing her robot-boy discovery, citing that even her mother had never found such thing.

But this episode is more than just Reg and the kids in the orphanage. It’s about Ōsu City’s merry folk celebration of the Resurrection Festival. However, amidst its merriment, Riko finds a shocking news about her mother, Lyza. When she tries to confront that news, Riko knocks into Reg’s mysterious identity at last. With the story’s stake raised higher, the second episode fares surprisingly well.

Opens Casually, Ends with A Bang

Contrary to how most anime handles their second episode, this week’s Abyss picks up a rather fast tempo. Yet, surprisingly, it barely introduces new characters despite its yet unexplored fantasy setting. It still focuses on the two main characters, Riko and Reg. There’s even barely any scene where either Riko or Reg is absent. The focus is praise-worthy. The episode further reveals who are Riko and Reg as a person … and a robot.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

We now know that Riko is a curious-freak with no touch of delicacy whatsoever. She even examines Reg’s whole nook and cranny, unabashed even when her friends point it out. But it is a given since she seems to see Reg only as a mere discovery. Riko still seems revolted to the idea of dissecting his body, though. While we still do not know what kind of a person Reg is (makes sense since he lost his memories), he does appear to be curious of his own self and past.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

Further into the episode, we have a glimpse into Osu’s folk festival. The Resurrection Festival is a festival to celebrate Ōsu‘s legendary Cave Rider. She’s one of the few who wields the “white whistle”, people who are given limitless access to explore every level of the Abyss. She was Lyza, Riko’s mother, who’d spent the last ten years exploring the cave more than caring for her only daughter. It reveales Riko’s relationship with her heroic mother. Now, this is where this episode somewhat watered down its storytelling.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

Despite being a supporting character, we know next to nothing about Gilo the Leader. This second episode somewhat fails to reveal his personalities. His only trait was, well, being the mentor of the kids in the orphanage. His only role in this episode was to be an exposition machine, notably by telling Riko what kind of person Lyza, her mother, is. This is rather unfortunate because other supporting characters have been featured more. Shiggy is a curious kid, but, unlike Riko, he’s more collected and somewhat observant of other people. We’re even shown how Kiyui, the youngest in the orphanage, is eager to explore the caves–however subtle.

Exposition is not a pitfall for this episode, only for that one particular scene. So don’t turn away just yet, because this episode ends with a bold statement from the depth. We get a glance of who Reg could possibly be from a letter sent by a certain someone. I can’t possibly leave out a spoiler for this episode’s cliffhanger now, can I? This, I think, is a strong follow-up to last week’s premiere. A rightful contender for this season’s fame.

The Indonesian Anime Times | Written by Paksi Pradipta Mukti

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