Episode 4: Made in Abyss, The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

Episode 4 - Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

My dear readers, I have something to confess. I am the one who came into this second series of Made in AbyssIt was my expectation that I would enjoy it less than the previous. The events of “Friend” cover pretty much the last material that I read of the manga before I set it aside in favor of waiting for the movie and sequel seasons to come out, and I didn’t have to be a genius to figure out even back then that Akihito TsukushiWe were seeing all of the most horrific and disturbing elements in this scene. Made in AbyssTurning them up to 11. Because the story is so clearly written, I’m not making any judgements about its quality. TryIts audience to be astonished and disconcerting. The first season is an amazing masterpiece because it explores the contrast between Riko and Co.’s innocence and the brutality of their journey. That season’s ending, which I find to be essentially perfect, was possible because we have seen the trials that Riko, Co. have faced, and we know that their journey is going to become more difficult as time goes on.

Made in AbyssThe sum of its parts has always been greater than the sum of their parts. I believe the first season worked better as a whole than as an episodic series because you could only see the final result. To be clear, I give this season the benefit of the doubt. But the thing that distinguishes it is Golden City of The Scorching SunThe difference between it and its predecessors is that it doesn’t have enough breathing room to emphasize its most outrageous detours. After a few episodes, we were able to adjust to what was ahead. Even though the last few chapters were dark, there was always enough light at end of tunnel to make it worthwhile. This time, however, it doesn’t seem that this is the case. For folks who don’t share the same levels of morbid, er, “fascination” with how much kinky torture these characters can endure, it makes it a lot harder to appreciate the story that is being told while all of those boldly fluids and violated orifices are constantly being flung at the screen.

In addition to all of the nonsense these kids (and the audience) have already suffered through since arriving at the Sixth Layer, “Friend” keeps the misery train rolling right along this week. Poor Reg is subject to more arm-stump mutilation and bellybutton (not to mention non-consensual dick smelling) when he is reunited with Faputa. Meanwhile, Riko must endure the World’s Most Arrestable Toi before being accosted by a literal backalley gang tentacle-rape Hollows. Riko’s escape from her attackers is not something you can fully enjoy. The show makes sure to mention that Hollow Village’s restaurant has a distinct smell of feces and that Riko is served a huge fried nutsack filled with a heaping amount of. Actual testicles. It is amazing to me how the place operates. ball-abaisseA village freak offered to take his gonads off and serve them on a platter for his entire immortality.

I don’t want it to seem like this episode is just a bunch of self-indulgent gross out sequences. Throughout “Friend”, we learn that Reg has some kind of past connection with Faputa and the Hollow Village, to the degree where Faputa somehow knows the name he only got after being discovered by Riko. We see Nanachi being brought to a still-living Mitty by Wazukyan, Belaf, and other Hollowed forms. Vueko is also still alive, and looking mostly human on top of it, though she is clearly somehow involved with the strange magic at the core of Village’s “economy”, which raises a whole host of interesting possibilities for where the story is going to go.

The show even features Maa, the grampa-assed penis-armed, weirdo who turned Meinya into an ogre-doll. It somehow makes the character endearing. “Friend” may be the sort of episode that is mostly dedicated to asking a ton of bonkers questions that the season will (hopefully) answer before it ends, but I’ll be damned if I’m not fascinated by those questions. The animation and music of the characters are both top-notch this week. It was a horrible movie that I didn’t like, but Riko’s encounter with the Hollows was a good one. I also love how Faputa’s buoyant form is translated into animation.

The story seems to have lost the ideal balance between the absurd and the sublime. This is my current concern. Depending on your personal preferences, this part of the journey may not be for you. SupposedIt was entertaining to watch. I can see the dramatic effect of forcing these little innocents to face the kinda depravity one would only find by looking up Cthulu’s browser histories. It’s getting to the point now that all this stuff is too common, and it’s harder to see the wonderful production values, and the legitimately exciting developments in the story. I am not at a point where I feel the show should be cancelled. I also don’t think the recent episodes have been disappointing or poor. It is something that I am pondering for the first-time, however, whether Riko and her companions will descend so low into the Abysss that even a devoted fan will not be able follow them.


Made in Abyss, The Golden City of the Scorching SunIt is streaming currently on

James is a writer who has many thoughts and feelings on anime and pop-culture. You can also find James’s writings on TwitterYou can find his blog at and his podcast at.

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