Warning: This review may contain some spoilers

In This Episode

After much hardships, Riko and Reg had successfully completed their survival training and returned to the Seeker’s Camp. Before venturing further down the Abyss, Ozen gave them the “Everlasting Pickaxe”, Lyza’s pickaxe, and warned them about the dangers of other White Whistles in the Fifth Layer as they could threaten both of them. As Riko and Reg bid farewell to Marluk and other Seeker’s Camp’s residents, Ozen reminisced about Lyza. Thus, into the Third Layer, Riko and Reg descend.

Looking at the Sidelines

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

The training montage in most adventure anime is used to further develop the main characters or the protagonists. When the mentor characters are introduced, we know little to none than their capacities as mentors. Like Master Roshi from Dragon Ball or Jiraiya from Naruto; when they first appeared to train the protagonists, we know next to nothing about themselves, their identities, and personalities. All we know is Master Roshi or Jiraiya as the mentor. The training montage is always about the heroes. But, the latest episode of Made in Abyss uses it to flesh out the mentor character, Ozen. Indeed, episode 8 is most established if we look at the sidelines, at the supporting characters.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

We do see Reg and Riko are slightly progressing during their training. Both of them grow more dependent on each other, thus stronger, as they try to survive and hunt down preys. But this ultimately hides something more profound happening to Ozen. Indeed, the training montage is nothing more than a device for the audience to get to know more about the enigmatic Ozen. It evokes another side of Ozen and makes us more sympathetic to her. As the training goes on, we see Ozen reminisced about Lyza and their days of adventures. Riko and Reg’s growing bond reminds Ozen of hers with Lyza. In a series of flashbacks, we know the human, less-enigmatic, side of Ozen. Ozen cherishes Lyza and that Lyza is one of few people whom Ozen depends on, if not the most. Ozen here is not presented as a merely glorified mentor but is portrayed to be human, her character is explored.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

Although episode 8 is not as much of a joyful ride as the earlier episodes, it still ties the Seeker’s Camp arc together. This episode ends the arc by revealing who Ozen really is. We get a clear grasp of Lyza, too, albeit not everything. We also see Riko and Reg struggles throughout their training. However, the best part is that their character development opens Ozen’s true nature in a delightful way.

Just a few more weeks until the end of the season. Will this series hold up?

The Indonesian Anime Times | by Paksi Pradipta Mamukti

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