Village of the Hollows
Made In Abyss Season 2 episode 3 begins at the start of where the previous episode left off, with Reg, Riko, and Nanachi following the mysterious creature called Majikaja.
Riko stops during their exploration because she is worried about being affected by the curse of the abyss. Nanachi quells Riko’s fears by telling her that the force field doesn’t exist in this area. This means the curse can’t hurt her. However, she warns Reg to cover them since she also can’t sense any consciousnesses in the area.
They briefly discuss the phenomenon surrounding the Hollows lurking behind them and Majikaja. They also ponder if Bondrewd or the other White Whistles had something to do with these Hollows “state of being.” However, Nanachi suggests they continue following Majikaja instead.
Majikaja and Team Riko arrive at Prushka’s location. They find a Hollow breaking apart the Prushka whistle. Before Reg attacks it, Riko tells him to calm down because she senses that Prushka isn’t in danger. Majikaja confirms Riko’s feelings. He tells them that the Hollow is trying to fix Prushka and possibly turn her back to normal. Riko glances at Prushka and accepts Majikaja’s explanation.
Majikaja offers to give them a brief tour of their homeland. Yet again, Team Riko decide to follow behind Majikaja. During their outing, Reg asks Majikaja about his status. Majikaja informs them all that he is a Hollow like Nanachi. However, he confirms that his robotic body is only a vessel, as he’s made entirely of smells.
They arrive at the marketplace of value. Riko, Reg, and Nanachi are bewildered by what they see. Riko glances at some of its booths. Some shops sell antique weaponry like Cave Raider gear and weapons. Upon closer inspection, Riko discovers someone is selling a piece of her mother’s letter.
The shopkeeper throws a fit because she’s touching his items. Although Riko’s flabbergasted, Majikaja confirms that she can’t interact with objects that hold value without permission. This encourages Riko to look through her belongings to find something valuable to sell to the shopkeeper.
Majikaja stops Riko. He tells her that she must fork over one of her body parts because she herself is worth a higher value. Of course, Riko denies the offer. Majikaja is upset since he desires some human organs for himself. He also explains that stealing “values” is a great crime in this city.
While Majikaja’s preoccupied, Riko, Reg, and Nanachi huddle together to discuss some things. To gain information, Reg suggests pretending to be interested in the products the shopkeepers sell. Nanachi and Riko agree with Reg, and they all continue exploring the marketplace.
As they walk past each booth, Majikaja gives Team Riko intel about each shopkeeper and what they barter. He also gives them a brief overview regarding Hollows in this place.
Essentially, the bodies of the Hollows take on the shape of their respective desires. Upon turning into Hollows, they become bound to this area and cannot leave it. In exchange, they receive protection and a body in line with their desires.
After sharing, Majikaja turns to Nanachi and remarks that she’s lucky to have been bestowed with a blessing. Suddenly, all the civilians of the city gather around Team Riko. During all this, Meiyna ends up hopping over some Hollows’ heads, and one of them catches her.
Riko panics as the Hollow squeezes Meiyna until her eyes start bugging out and drop her to the ground. Riko and Nanachi rush to Meiyna’s aid as Riko cries. Thankfully, Meiyna is still alive, despite some of her guts poking out. Nanachi pokes them back inside.
Majikaja asks Riko what Meiyna’s value is. Riko tells him that Meiyna’s not something worth bartering, giving Majikaja the idea that she’s “extremely valuable.” Suddenly, a loud shrieking noise echoes through the environment as Majikaja notes that the “balancing” is about to start.
The robbing Hollow tries to make a run for it, but gets caught by a strange black sludge-like organism. This organism begins vandalizing this Hollow’s body. Majikaja explains to Team Riko that because the Hollow caused damage to a “value” that exceeds their own, they must sacrifice everything they have equal to the damaged value’s quality.
As the Hollow loses more things left and right, Majikaja shares more knowledge with Team Riko. According to him, this is all the village’s doing, and he can do nothing about it. He even deems it the “protection of the village.” Things get worse for the robber Hollow as the black organisms rip off its flesh to sell to the other Hollows.
Nanachi questions Majikaja about Prushka. She wonders why the village’s darkened organisms didn’t protect her from being stolen. Prushka wasn’t stolen within the village’s boundaries, so its powers couldn’t protect her. This allows Nanachi to remove any doubts she had about these Hollows being the ones who took Prushka.
Riko receives some coins for the trouble the robber Hollow caused Meiyna. Majikaja informs them that they should get some rest and that none of the other Hollows should bother them. Riko confronts some Hollows after Majikaja departs. These Hollows lead her and the others to a lodging.
Upon arriving, Riko uses the coins from earlier to rent her and the others a room and some food. Several hours later, Riko develops a stomach ache from the food. She rushes to the restroom. Nanachi and Reg decide to leave the lodging to find some medicine for Riko, who stays behind to handle her “duties.”
Reg and Nanachi hear a massive explosion and notice Majikaja and the other Hollows stampeding toward a specific direction. They ask him what’s going on.
Majikaja explains that Faputa is causing all this commotion. He explains, that everyone wants to see her because she is the embodiment of value, who can go anywhere she wants without perishing. Nanachi wonders if Faputa was responsible for kidnapping Prushka and leaving the note in the cave from episode 2.
Nanachi tells Reg to interrogate Faputa alone, as she’ll focus on finding things for Riko and Meiyna. After Reg departs, Nanachi asks Majikaja to help her find a food shop. As Reg marvels at the sight of Faputa, Nanachi interrogates Majikaja to learn more information about her. Majikaja tells Nanachi that she’s the Princess of the Hollows.
We shift back to the scene where the Ganja Suicide Corps (Vueko’s team) arrive at the Golden City. Upon arriving, they encounter the Hollows and have trouble communicating with them. Fortunately for them, these Hollows mean our travelers no harm and ask them all to follow them.
As they traverse, they all marvel at the different landscapes floating about. Suddenly, a massive dragon swoops in and eats one of the Hollows. This startles the Ganja, who now realize they’re in for a frightening and terrifying time. And this is where our episode concludes.
The Episode Review
In this episode, Made In Abyss demonstrates how much the anime loves to undervalue fans’ expectations. It starts with a cheery vibe and gradually spirals into something horrifying and grotesque. These terrifying scenes shook me to the core and left me wondering what would happen next.
Furthermore, I adore this episode’s sound design. Hearing the Hollow’s shrieking cries helps sell the underlying darker tone of the series. The soundtrack incorporates for its more peaceful moments too, which are well-utilized.
This episode also offers some incredible world-building regarding the Hollows’ origins and the laws set in stone for their village. The village itself has character. This is all thanks to Majikaja’s explanation and the actions it takes to punish the robber Hollow.
When adventure and fantasy anime provide characteristics to non-humanoid organisms it really adds to the abyss’ overarching mystery and helps it stand out from others.
However, there are some negatives. I wasn’t a fan of how Riko, Nanachi, and Reg looked during many parts of this episode. Occasionally, their character designs seem a bit unpolished and off-putting in motion.
Also, the conclusion is a point of contention. While it’s great seeing more of the Ganja interactions with the Golden City, the ending could have had more of an impact if it concluded with Faputa towering over Reg. It would’ve made Majikaja’s dialogue about Faputa’s royalty feel more powerful and impactful.
Besides those complaints, this episode was a joy to watch. Hopefully, the episodes to come will conclude on a more dramatic note.
You can read our full season review of Made in Abyss Season 2 here!