Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun – Episode 2

Here we are, episode two of the new Made in Abyss is out. I have my volume 6-8 at the ready behind me to see if I can keep track of what’s been moved around, assuming there is anything.
You can find my discussion of last week’s episode here. I talk about what changes were made in the order and my thoughts on them doing so, if you’re curious about that. If not, strap in with me for episode two!

Riko and Meinya are ready for whatever comes their way.

The squad has only just arrived in the sixth layer and Riko almost immediately gets into trouble. Luckily it’s nothing major but it does show that the ground there isn’t walked on too often, seeing as she falls through it with ease. And just like that we jump into the opening, that wasn’t there last week. We see a nice cut of Riko and friends arriving, juxtaposed against the sages and their group arriving. It really gives a sense of adventure and it’s making me realize how much darker the black and white makes everything seem. I’m sure it’s going to get plenty dark as this arc continues, but the lack of color makes everything more eerie I think. Anyway, the opening music is fine but it’s not particularly memorable. I don’t really remember the opening from the first season either. What I do remember is the soundtrack and just like with the first season, Kevin Penkin is on board as a composer for this one too. He recently featured on the Trash Taste Podcast that I listen to at work and gives some great insight into his process there if you’re interested in that stuff.

I love this parallel the show makes, very well done. So many great little moments in the opening.

From here on out it’s really a mystery what they can find. It is interesting to hear  them talk about creatures who can move in all dimensions unbothered by the curse. That immediately gives me the hope that there is a way to negate the curse and freely travel the abyss. It’s probably how Riko’s mom brought her to the surface. The gang finds some strange creatures and their eggs before being barraged by a firestorm of poisonous fire. Riko’s enthusiasm is still endless as they prepare and eat the aforementioned eggs. Riko gets nostalgic about her home and the friends she left behind and they decide to write them a letter. I don’t think the letter is making it all the way up though. The scene ends with a quick look at a character I’m very excited to see more of, spying on the gang. 

That’s a bad omen if I’ve ever seen one.

The gang wakes up to some serious creepy problems. Someone managed to retrieve their failed mail balloon, circumvent their protection and leave a threatening letter as well as steal Prushka which was on Riko’s person. Things go from zero to a hundred very fast. They go on the pursuit. Not only that, this person apparently took some of Riko and Nanachi’s hair and then sewed it into the corpse of an animal. We’re reminded that the Abyss doesn’t mess around and isn’t a fun place for a jolly adventure once more. It’s the quieter moments where I’m already starting to notice how much the OST is adding. It’s already so good and so memorable. Just listening to it improves the atmosphere. Across a bridge they see the same symbol that was on the threatening message, so they decide to head there as the music and the sound effects get more ominous. With that in mind they cross the hauntingly beautiful bridge as their adversary watches them from afar. 

“If your fears can take shape and manifest in your body then couldn’t your wishes also take shape and become reality?” This line is taken directly from the manga and for good reason, it’s very powerful.
The sheer scale of it all has me in awe. It’s impressive that Reg picks up the voice they hear from that distance.

After crossing the bridge and pushing past a barrier we find ourselves at the capital of the unreturned, the golden city, the village of hollows. Strap in folks because things are about to get weird. We meet Majikaja who speaks a combination of broken Japanese and a language completely foreign. They’re in a village surrounded by strange creatures. This episode seems to cover the introductory part of this arc, until about halfway through chapter 40 in early volume 6. We’ve had no more jumps around in the content like last time, but I do still think it’ll be a boon to watchers to have already met Belaf, Wazukyan and Vueko ahead of the rest of the arc. It also makes it so that the opening theme animations make sense. All in all there’s not much I have to add to this episode’s discussion. It’s faithful to the manga, hauntingly beautiful in a way that the manga can’t be without color and sound and makes me very excited to see more of the capital of the unreturned. But for that, we need to come back here next week and do this all over again. Thanks for reading!

Nice to meet you too Majikaja, what a fantastic voice cast choice, they sound so gentle.

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