Warning: This review may contain some spoilers

In This Episode

Receiving a letter from her mother, Lyza, Riko sets her goal to descend into the depths of the Abyss, despite Siggy and Nat opposing it. Nat is vehemently against the idea as a friend (or, perhaps?) and it puts both of them in quarrel. Meanwhile, listening to Riko’s determination, Reg’s desire to find who he is becomes more ardent and he decides to go with Riko. Thus, the girl and the robot-boy descend into the depths.

A Humble Opening Act

I was not, by any means, being lazy when I wrote the synopsis for episode three, because it really is as it is; simple and humble. As my with my impression of its premiere episode, simplicity at its best is better. This episode, too, is nothing less of the sort.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

Unlike some other shows that are packed with conflicts, sub-conflicts, and characters arcs, Abyss is far too simple. It is so simple in its telling that the audience wouldn’t need to overexert themselves to understand what is going on. We still focus on no more than two characters, at best. While there’s a little development for Nat (we will be getting there a bit later), it is still mainly Riko and Reg. We get to see a great deal about them now. But, that is not the reason why I think this episode stands above from the previous two episodes. It is because of its neat build-up. Episode three serves as a conclusion of act 1.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

The reason behind the “three-episode rule” is, I think, because three episodes of anime is, mostly, where the opening act or act 1 ends. While some anime are not like this, notably The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Abyss follows that standard formula and uses it to the best effect. These three episodes of Abyss are all connected, in the way that each episode reinforces the next one. Say, after Reg was introduced, in episode two we see how Riko’s curiosity and passion for the Abyss was reinforced when Siggy said that Reg could l be a grand artifact of the Abyss. At the end of episode two, however, Lyza’s letter came and helped Riko to find her determination to descend in episode three. Indeed, those details reinforce the conflict, the characters, and the plot, making us want to see more of it after finishing an episode. And episode three is the climax.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

The previous two episodes lead to Riko and Reg finally finding their determination to descend into the Abyss, despite the odds. Indeed, the two of them arrive at the point of no return, the biggest turn in their development as characters. Amidst that, we see a slight development in Nat along the way. Opposing the idea, it seems that Nat has a certain feeling for Riko, though he might not realize it. What makes this little thing impressive is that it gets concluded in that episode. We see the payoff right at the end of episode three, thus freeing the series to explore the main theme in the next episode.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

Now, I admit I that I might sound too hyped for this anime. While there are bits here and there that I could’ve nitpick, but in light of it coming off as a rather child-friendly series, I’m more than willing to let them slide. Indeed, it is still a nice show for this summer. So, how does this series fancy you so far?

The Indonesian Anime Times | by Paksi Pradipta

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