The Compass Pointed to the Darkness
Episode 1 of Made In Abyss Season 2 starts with Vueko, a new female character, reminiscing about the horrors of her past life involving a former fisherman who’d found her. She also ganders at her compass, one of her most valuable possessions. She recalls the story this fisherman would always tell her concerning–the day he found this mysterious compass.
While traversing the seas, this captain found an abandoned ship filled with dead human remains. Amongst searching further, he finds a mysterious man who harbors the same compass we see at the episode’s start. Before the man passes away, he tells the fisherman that there’s a man-eating pit (referring to the show’s abyss) that harbors a golden city. Afterward, the fisherman takes the compass, heads back to his ship, and relays this information to Vueko before abusing her.
Unfortunately, he treats Vueko poorly, leading her to harbor dark memories that continuously scar her into her current adult years. This leads her to vomit off the ship as we learn that she’s now under the guidance of her new leader, Wazukyan. Noticing her pain, Wazukyan reassures Vueko that she shouldn’t apologize for vomiting and shares kind remarks toward her to boost her self-worth.
Wazukyan leaves Vueko to support the others on board. We get introduced to another crewmate named Belaf. Belaf and Vueko discuss Wazukyan’s character and his strong determination to find the Golden City. Despite being deemed as one of the group’s Three Sages, Vueko tells Belaf that she doesn’t feel like she fits the role. He shares some kind and motivating words with Vueko to lighten her mood before she’s called to assist with someone’s fever.
We transition to nightfall, where the ocean tides are becoming harsher. Wazukyan and Belaf notice several abandoned cargo, insinuating that other crewmates’ ships they were traveling along with didn’t make it out alive. While all seemed lost, Vueko tells them that the compass was acting up, leading to them discovering a solitary island. They land on the island, ushering a brief montage of them climbing one of its highest mountains. They reach the top and discover the abyss (the same abyss our protagonists Reg, Riko, and Nanachi are traversing).
Before they delve into the abyss’s depths, Vueko, and the team venture through a mysterious forest and get ambushed by the island’s natives. Belaf remarks that they didn’t receive any intel concerning the island’s residents, but Wazukyan doesn’t mind, as it only excites him. Thankfully, the tribe’s not hostile as they lead Wazukyan and the team to their village to meet their chief. Though the tribe’s chief speaks a different language, Belaf can understand and translate his words for the others.
Vueko decides to trade her compass for the chief’s knowledge due to the chief encountering hostile travelers in the past. Many Lord of the Rings fans will get a kick out of the tribe’s chief calling the compass “precious.” Although Belaf questions Vueko about her decision, she tells him the compass isn’t extraordinary to her, as she’s still searching for that “light in the darkness.” We pan to a shot of a mysterious little girl lurking in the shadows.
Then the team peers into the abyss. Belaf shares insight about what he attained from the villagers. He states that the Golden City (The Capital of the Unreturned) is deep within it. Also, there’s no chance they’ll return to the surface if they search for it.
The mysterious girl appears behind Vueko, and Belaf inspects her body for something. He learns she’s marked for exile because she cannot bear children. Despite not wanting her on their travels, Vueko convinces everyone to add her to the team since this girl’s knowledge of the abyss can guide them. Wazukyan accepts Vueko’s offer, and the girl accompanies them on their venture through the abyss.
During their travels, one of Wazukyan’s crewmates endures sickness caused by the abyss, despite the girl trying to warn one of his crewmates. Belaf translates the girl’s words to the others about the pit and its many dangers and curses. This makes Wazukyan’s trust in the girl’s knowledge skyrocket.
We then receive an inner monologue from Vueko, giving the viewer intel about her group “Ganja” and their purpose. We also see them heading into the same portal Reg, Riko, and Nanachi go through after their altercation with Bondrewd during the climax of Made In Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul.
Furthermore, we transition back to the present with Riko, Reg, and Nanachi having jumped through the said portal. They find themselves in a weird pod and discuss Bondrewd for a bit. Nanachi tells them they shouldn’t worry about Bondrewd since he can’t do much to them besides peeking in on their journey through Nanachi. Reg hugs Nanachi to thank her. Nanachi relays information that they’re currently descending past the “sea of corpses” to reach the abyss’s sixth layer.
After some time passes, Riko asks Nanachi how long it’ll take them to reach the sixth layer. However, duty calls early for Riko, as she finds herself needing to go number one and two. Thankfully, Nanachi and Reg give her some alone time to do her thing. Nanachi burns some leftover incense to clear the horrid smell away. Afterward, Reg notices them reaching their destination and alerts the others.
Then we receive multiple shots featuring Wazukyan and Riko’s group’s first time seeing and arriving at the abyss’s sixth layer. This is where the episode concludes.
The Episode Review
Right off the bat, Made In Abyss Season 2 reels fans back into its gorgeously vast world by introducing new characters, mysteries, and lore. Vueko, in particular, is given much screen time and depth concerning her personality and rough background involving her former caretaker. Although the scenes depicting this misconduct were brutal, it’ll help viewers sympathize with Vueko and appreciate her new friends’ goodwill.
As for Riko, Reg, and Nanachi, it’s nice to see them smiling and giggling, considering the brutal altercation they had with Bondrewd. It’s also great to know that Bondrewd’s prescience hasn’t escaped their minds. This gives insight that he may serve a bigger role in the series. Let’s hope it has nothing to do with harming more children.
Nevertheless, this episode has beautiful animation, and Kevin Penkin’s compositions are masterful. These two aspects worked for hand in hand in delivering me an immersive, grand experience from beginning to end.
Although some scenes felt unnecessary to include, there’s certainly a lot of wonder and joy to be had with this second season’s first episode. Let’s hope this series can keep this momentum flowing!