「欲望の揺籃」 (Yokubō no Yōran)
“The Cradle of Desire”
The title being “Cradle of desire” was apropos, referencing the emphasis on motherhood. Motherhood with an empty crib is not a sensitive topic.
We have learned in the past that worth is determined primarily by the relationships it has. In Irumyuui’s village, childbearing is highly valuable and females’ worth is based solely on their fertility ( i.e. The number of children they have. This system isn’t friendly to women. They will throw them out if they can’t procreate. It is disturbing that they tested a young girl like Irumyuui to see if she could procreate. This is both a physical violation and an emotional one. Irumyuui, a young woman, should not be subject to such a torture. Traumatically, she loses both her place in society as well as the love of her siblings and mother.
In Vueko’s gentleness, Irumyuui finds motherly love, commenting that Vueko smells like her. Vueko’s smell is reminiscent of someone who has mated multiple people, which has disturbing connotations due to past abuses Vueko suffered. Vueko, who cannot have children, views Irumyuui, as the daughter to which she can never give birth.
They find water and animals, and it is not all doom and gloom. It is not by accident that the waterhole they choose resembles the cave Vueko gets trapped in. However, it turns out the water isn’t quite water, but a parasitic organism that dissolves you, felling the crew one by one. It forces them into the tough position of “would you rather”-death edition. It’s a tough choice, deciding to die by thirst or parasitic invasion followed by melting. It was horrifying to watch their physical transformation-especially with the lingering close ups of bodily excretions. I find it curious that it took Vueko so long to catch it-I guess she’s just made of sturdier stuff, or the explanation will be forthcoming.
Wazukyan’s positive outlook is infectious. He doesn’t lose heart when confronted with negative evidence. Belaf was a strange spy on Vueko, Irumyuui. Who knows what he wanted to gain from it. He may have had an inkling, perhaps with Sage abilities, of the Irumyuui role. It’s beautiful, stylistically speaking, that they set the episode in dark caves where shadows obscure even faces. This episode is very representative of how dark and confused the explorers are about their situation.
There is hope, at least initially. They find a grant-wishing eggs, but it is only for children. Their victim-ahem,-hope is Irumyuui. The egg embeds in her body, making her partially inhuman. If that weren’t enough, the child births a creature from the egg in her chest. The newborn is very similar to her dead pet, hinting at the fact that it was actually a substitute child.
Vueko never seems to be phased by anything-her response on seeing Irumyuui in the after-birth: “lick the film off the baby’s head”. I think Vueko was the first to realize the nature of Irumyuui’s wish and wanted her to have that, no matter how strange it looked. The entire process from implantation to birth was horrendous, especially when you consider how the mangaka gradually built it up to become what came next. It was sickening when they went a step further with the “baby” dying the next day from lack of internal organs and Irumyuui continuing to birth creatures that die one after another.
Motherhood is a very personal decision. A woman can choose whether or not to follow that path. Once she does, it can bring immense joy and pain. We see it written in Irumyuui’s face as she cuddles her offspring, then heartrendingly grieves over their bodies. This is something she feels deeply about, and something we as third-party spectators feel wrong to witness.
I personally find it incredibly fucked up and problematic to fetishize a child’s trauma over her body’s reproductive abilities. I’m dreading next week, if Wazukyan’s statement about the life-saving stew and Irumyuui saving everyone means what I think it does. I get it, messed up stuff is MIA’s signature mark, but this one cut deep. There were beautiful stylistic moments as well, such as the imagery that was related to darkness. This series is divisive, and I find it hard to believe that there are so many beautiful images, as well as utter horror.
Let us all collectively take a moment to breathe? All right. If anything I’m kinda mad that the animation team decided to split this story into a two-parter, making us wait another whole week to see the finale of this heart-wrenching story. I would rather have preferred if they took a week off and aired episodes 07 & 08 as one whole thing so viewers could have had the whole story delivered to them in one big blow. This episode, however, was truly heartbreaking in many ways. Even though personally I already knew what was going to happen, it didn’t deter me from enjoying wholeheartedly this big reveal. Finally, we can see how the village came about. The cradle of desire – in the manga translates as greed. Vueko did mention that the abyss acknowledged the Ganja group’s greed. In return, Vueko gave them the egg-like Relic.
Vueko requests Wazukyan that the egg-like relics grant wishes. However, Vueko falls into the disease along with the water. Belaf cracks open a rock with the help a large man to reveal layers of corpses. The water was eating the animals and pushing them away. This is how it expands its territory and makes them muddle with dirt and sediment. But the Ganja group drank that water, it’s not water but some type of creature that seems like water and acts like water but it’s not actually water. Wazukyan drinks it like there’s nothing wrong with it. Vueko falls into this disease, and is unable to move her body or take care of herself, meanwhile, as the days go on, Irumyuui is transforming into something else, something that isn’t human, she’s getting her wish granted, her biggest trauma was that the tribe above the abyss saw her as cursed and sacrificed her into the abyss with the Ganja group. So the relic grants her that wish and gives her a child, but because they don’t have any organs they are unable to live past more than a day. Irumyuui’s life is a never-ending cycle of death and birth. Every day she gives birth to another creature, only to see it die again the next. The rest of the story will be revealed in the next episode.
OMG, I must talk about that scream! Irumyuui VA, Kuno, Misaki, did an incredible job. This was combined with the amazing music by MiAIt sent chills down my spine.
I’m tiptoeing around here, not really wanting to spoil anything for those that have yet to read the manga and are anime only, how are you guys doing, are you okay? Are you ready for a hug? You are not being serious, but things are about get worse. This is the episode that will pull you back into the darkness. MiAIt was always there. The story had to create these characters and make them care about each other so that they could be destroyed later. This was an absolute delight.
In an effort to make Vueko feel better, Wazukyan gives some broth soup to Vueko before the episode ends. He also tells Vueko that he gave something similar to the Ganja group to help them get better. Let your imagination run wild as you think about the situation. This is sure to be heartbreaking.
After watching this episode, my first thought was that Tsukushi must have had a terrible childhood. I consider myself a fairly imaginative person and a modestly decent writer, and I’m someone with a relatively dark outlook on life. But there’s no way I could come up with stuff like this – it would just never happen. It’s shocking how it manifests itself and the sheer amount of existential despair that it causes Made in AbyssIt is quite unique. The only think I can really compare it to is “Chimera Ant”, but even that’s not really a good comparison. Tsukushi is fundamentally different from what Togashi does. MiA.
It’s not the first time I struggle to express my feelings about this series. I admire it hugely – both the writing and the execution of the adaptation. Any story that touches me on a deep level is something I value. But do I enjoy it? It is something I enjoy? I honestly don’t know the answer. The way I felt after watching this episode… I mean, on some level you’d have to be nuts to actively search for things that make you feel that way. But in the sense that what we crave from fiction is for it to make us feel something – Anything – deeply, it’s like a drug.
Irumyuui, in my opinion, is the key to everything. She can read the strange glyphs the exiles find in a cave (though I don’t think she understands the words). Vueko becomes more close to Irumyuui, and her recounting these events becomes a survival story. Certainly the exiles can’t go back up – even if the “elevator” that brought them here can – but the Shourou Layer is clearly going to be no easy place to settle. The exiles find three interference unit robots to help them, but there’s only so much they can do. As it is so often in such situations, water is the number one priority for survival.
The exiles do everything right (under Belaf’s leadership) in finding water. They narrow down the options the robots provide them to the one which appears not to be befouled and doesn’t require venturing into dangerous territory. The water is boiled before being consumed, even though it smells and looks clean. But it’s this decision which sets the wheels of their fate in motion. They also have to deal with the creatures of the Abyss – some of which they hunt and some of which hunt them, including the little furry creature that Irumyuui has adopted as a pet.
Irumyuui still carries the burden of her village expulsion, as well as her shame about not being able have children. It’s Vueko’s own cruel past that literally and symbolically binds the two of them, and she begins to think of herself as the girl’s mother. But soon, the children start falling ill – the first symptom being diarrhea (shit is definitely a major Tsukushi fetish) with eggs in it. And it turns out that the “water” they’ve been drinking is another of the weird and terrifying creatures of the Abyss, and it begins to warp their bodies into strange inanimate forms. They don’t have any other water, but this water has been killing them.
In the throes of desperation Wazukyan finds what looks like a giant golden egg in the knapsack of one of the children that has died (being a prophet allows him to see things, clearly), which the interference units recognize as a “Cradle of Desire” – or a wish-granting egg. One of them tells Wazukyan that the egg is responsible for what happened, though it’s not clear exactly how. Adults should steer clear of it, but a child – especially a fearful one – may be closer to its visceral wavelength. Vueko convinces Wazukyan for Irumyuui to convey her desire to the egg. This is the final turning point on the road leading to the now.
What happens next seems pretty obvious to me. It’s bad enough that Irumyuui’s fondest desire is warped into this existential despair-producing cycle of dead offspring (which resemble her dead pet). What happens after, well… I suppose one can’t judge Wazukyan if they haven’t walked in his shoes, but it’s a deeply shocking turn of events. As to how it reflects on the present, it seems likely now that Irumyuui isn’t Faputa after all – though with everyone undergoing transformations, I suppose that’s not impossible. They’re certainly connected – maybe Faputa is an offspring that survived, or came into existence in some other way connected to the Cradle of Desire.
Vueko was driven by this horrifying turn of odds to do the things that led her to be imprisoned under Iruburu for what seems like a long time (and it is an important question). Ultimately the main import of this arc strikes me as being Reg’s origin story, but for now the exiles and TheyStory is the emotional heart of it. The Abyss still draws people into it and seems to almost universally bring them despair and death. Yet they’re still drawn to it in spite of themselves – it has a powerful appeal that makes one throw caution to the wind, much as a certain manga about it does.
Source: Anime Daily