Warning: This review may contain some spoilers

In This Episode

Reg and Riko began climbing down the Great Fault. Crawling through the network of tunnels, they managed to avoid the flying predators that inhabit the layer, the madokajack. However, not soon after, they accidentally stumbled into a madokajack’s nest. Reg fired the incinerator to protect Riko. Left only with seconds before Reg fell unconscious, a crimson splitjaw appeared to hunt them down. Though narrowly escaping, Reg passed out. It was then up to Riko to keep moving and protect Reg.

Prelude to the Last Act

Episode 9 serves as the conclusion of the Seeker’s Camp Arc. It throws Reg and Riko into a world more dangerous than ever before; bares them of their naivety. It concludes whether both of them have what it takes to traverse The Abyss. It does this by using Abyss’ finest arsenal: its simplicity.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

There are no twists here, no mysteries, no sub plots and foreshadowing that need some payoffs in later episodes. Episode 9 tells Riko and Reg’s struggle to overcome the ever-increasing danger of the Third Level. With every encounter, the dangers get more serious. The more serious the danger is, the more we see Riko and Reg develop as a character. The more Riko and Reg develop as a character, the more we get to know them and empathize with them. It is a feat to be able to draw out such a quality from a story simply by progressing the protagonists through various adversaries in a linear plot.

We have already watched Riko and Reg being tested by Ozen. Their spirit was crushed and they were thrown into the woods for ten days to survive. But that was a mere training; we haven’t got to see both of them facing off against real dangers. Episode 9 puts them in such a situation. From the madokajack, crimson jaw, to amakagame; all manner of creatures are gunning to eat our two protagonists. Not to mention, Riko is all alone carrying Reg on her back. These dangers give a greater and meaningful impact to Abyss’ as a story-craft.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

We see Reg took on the modakajack by himself. It’s different from episode three where Riko took the lead and told Reg what to do when facing the Abyss’ dwellers. We also see Riko‘s determination and courage as she’s carrying Reg when he has passed out after firing the incinerator. For once, Reg depends on Riko, instead of the other way around.

© 2017 Akihito Tsukishi / Takeshobo / Kinema Citrus Production Committee

Each danger becomes progressively more threatening and further pushes our protagonists to their limits. Reg becomes more capable to take risks, and Riko is able to rely on herself more. Our protagonists has grown to be wiser. An un-convoluted conclusion to the previous arc, and a nice, delightful prelude to the last arc of this season.

The Indonesian Anime Times | by Paksi Pradipta

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