Warning: This review may contain some spoilers
In This Episode
Reg and Riko arrives in the Abyss’ second layer. Their destination: the cave-riders’ outpost, the Seeker Camp. But, danger waits no longer for both of them. From a band of predatory birds to aggressive primates, perilous, other-wordly threats accompany their wondrous journey. And through all that, at the Seeker Camp, awaits the enigmatic Ozen the Immovable.
The Unforseen Suspense
This week’s Abyss makes me rethink my impression of episode four last week. Because episode five just gave some thrills compared to last week’s episode. Episode four’s seemingly peaceful, dull and threatless nuance is contrasted with the imminent threat of monsters and death in this episode. Not as gory or gloomy as you might imagine, though —this series is still pretty kid-friendly, mind you— but effective nonetheless, it wastes no more than the first five minutes to give a gripping thrill. Immediately it gives Reg and Riko their first close encounter with danger and death. If only for a moment, that made Riko and Reg realize how dangerous their undetaking really is. It reminds me how Reg mused in episode four that the Abyss is no place for human beings.
That life-death situation in the opening minutes plays as a great setup for a meaningful inner conflict for Reg. When the bird monsters kidnapped Riko, Reg had to save her using the cannon on his right hand, the incinerator. Yes, Reg saved her. but the fact that the incinerator was too powerful, and that he almost hit Riko, was too grim for him. After all, Reg is set to journey to the Abyss with Riko to find his origins. But, what if his true identity will endanger Riko and his friends back in the orphanage? This, I think, sets a powerful shadow of doubt of which its resolution will prove to be interesting in later episodes. Of course, I might be reading it too far … . But, so far Abyss never betrays my expectations. So, I guess it’s a save bet.
Another thing that I notice in this episode is the series’ world-building. There’s a narrator, yes, but the narrator does not serve to provide world-building through narration. The narrator serves more in building a tension, to a certain point. The world-building is exposed little by little in each episode. I thought it was just some gimmick for Siggy, but it turns out that I was wrong. Take this episode where Riko cooks a meal while explaining a little survival tip in the Abyss. It’s not much of a world-building, sure. We learn little no none how Abyss came to be. But those little, mundane things helps adding a sense of realism in the story’s setting.
With a touch of danger and a bit of mundane details of its setting, episode five of Made in Abyss turns out to be quite a delight yet again. Have you been fancied by this show as well?
The Indonesian Anime Times