The Cradle of Desire
Episode 7 of Made in Abyss Season 2 begins with Vueko sharing her past experiences with the Ganja to Riko and friends as it pertains to the Golden City. Her flashback occurs during the concluding events of episode three, where the Ganja are following the robotic individuals (who we now know are Interference Units).
Belaf and Wazukyan interrogate the robots and ask them if they are this area’s residents. The robots deny this remark and give them the same morsel of interference unit information Faputa’s robotic companion gave Reg in the previous episode. These robots also ask if they can observe Ganjas’ activities. Wazukyan accepts their offer but mentions that he’d love to learn more about them in the process, too.
They conduct a test before proceeding to verify that the words they attained about not being able to return as humans were true. They test this hypothesis by sending a few of their comrades (along with a Hollow they found) back up to the altar via the pod-like device they used to travel to the Golden City. Unfortunately, they learned that ascension beyond a specific point without losing their humanity was impossible.
Wazukyan informs everyone of this saddening news. He reassures them that they are the only humans who’ve found the Golden City and will be the first ones to make it their home. Based on the wishful legend regarding the Golden City, Wazukyan’s followers, including Vueko and Belaf, didn’t panic and trusted their leader’s optimism.
While everyone in the Ganja is working on some shelters, Vueko notes that they’re in danger of running out of supplies, preferably water. During this exchange, Belaf shares some intel he uncovered about the Interference Units and a water source with Wazukyan. He confirms that they’re unaffected by the abyss’s curses. These units also do not know how long one can ascend from this layer without triggering the dehumanization curse.
As hope dwindled, Vueko’s villager companion Irumyuui deciphers a random message on a wall in the Golden City’s language. This alarms Belaf that Irumyuui’s knowledge will be helpful. He tells Vueko to gather the Interference Units and those of the Ganja who can read and write–as he wants Irumyuui to help them decipher the language, too.
We then receive a wholesome exchange between Vueko and Irumyuui regarding this city’s past residents. We also gain more intel concerning Irumyuui’s challenging and saddening life in her village. Irumyuui tells Vueko she used to have friends, but all that changed when they learned she couldn’t bear children. This resulted in her getting a tattoo-like symbol on her body, informing everyone around her of her problem.
Their conversation is interrupted when members of the Ganja alert them that a wild Hermit Rat is in their shelter. Irumyuui takes a liking to the creature. While some don’t think it’s a great idea to keep it around, Belaf informs them that it could provide a breakthrough to securing their survival. Wazukyan agrees–allowing Irumyuui and Vueko to adopt the wonderous creature.
Meanwhile, Belaf goes over some details with Wazukyan regarding five water sources he found during his outing. They eliminate four of them from their list because of their locations. Belaf also confirms that the Interference Units don’t need to consume water to survive, so there’s no guarantee this final water source is safe. They’ll need to determine themselves regarding the water’s potability.
Therefore, Vueko, with a few others, travels to this source’s location to check out the water. Although one of the Ganja wants to test it immediately, Vueko informs them that it’s best to stock up and try it back at base. They fill a few barrels with water and head back. When they return, they test out the water. Since everything seemed fine, they allowed everyone to grab a pint and drink up.
In the present timeline, Vueko informs Riko and their friends that they had to make sacrifices to survive, but everything worked out fine. Unfortunately, the happy ride starts dwindling toward despair when Vueko notices something off about Irumyuui. Despite everyone’s happiness, Irumyuui’s depressed since she can’t erase the poor memories and mistreatment she suffered from her mother, friends, and others. This is all because she couldn’t bear children provoking everyone to call her a “cursed” individual.
As Irumyuui cries, Vueko comforts her. She shares that she can relate to Irumyuui because she also can’t bear children. Although she feels she can’t replace Irumyuui’s mother, Irumyuui tells Vueko that it’s okay if she does. This is because she doesn’t want to be deserted ever again. Vueko holds Irumyuui close. Meanwhile, Belaf had heard their conversation and walked away without making himself known to either woman.
We receive a montage of scenes depicting everyone’s daily life activities in the Golden City. Unfortunately, Irumyuui’s pet Hermit Rat dies in one of these scenes. However, Vueko comforts Irumyuui by making a necklace out of the rat’s bones for Irumyuui. Surprisingly, this helps fill the empty void left in Irumyuui’s heart. Once again, Belaf spies on them from afar without either girl knowing.
In the morning, Vueko wakes up and notices Irumyuui’s extremely ill. One of the other Ganja tells Vueko to follow her immediately. Unfortunately, the other members of the Ganja have been affected by a similar illness as Irumyuui’s. To make matters worse, these Ganja individuals are also undergoing some melting and hardening skin processes. Vueko tells her informant that she needs to find water and for her to observe the illness carefully because this could be contagious.
After Belaf and some Ganja crewmates depart, Vueko decides to check on Irumyuui’s fever. However, she’s interrupted again by the same informant from earlier. She discovers some food survey team members have died and mutated into human-like stone organisms.
Back to Belaf, he and his team observe the same area where Vueko and his friends’ secured the water. His team discovers a creature’s corpse who had died in a similar fashion as the food survey team. Belaf confirms that the water they drank is responsible for this creature’s bodily changes and death. Although there’s no other safe watering hole, Belaf decides to bring more of the water back but plans to inform everyone of his discoveries.
Meanwhile, Wazukyan looks through one of the dead food survey team member’s bags. He alerts Vueko to come to him because he found an egg-like relic in the bag. Vueko doesn’t know what it could be, so Wazukyan ponders that it might be best to ask the Interference Units. Wazukyan and Vueko meet up with Belaf–who has returned with more water. They discover that the water, itself, is a living organism and that they had consumed its eggs–despite Vueko confirming that they had boiled it before serving it.
During this briefing, Belaf informs them that they’re out of safe waterhole options and must consume it or die of dehydration. Vueko chimes in and say the symptoms and their onset differ per person, and it’s best to examine everyone to find a possible cure.
Before they would examine everyone, Wazukyan, Vueko, and Belaf interrogate the Interference Units about the egg relic. He asks them an onslaught of questions regarding where they could have found it and if this relic has anything to do with the recent stone-hardening outbreak.
The Interference Units confirm that this relic is the cause of their issues since it represents the “shape of wishes.” It calls it the “Cradle of Desire” or a “Wish-Granting Egg.” He warns Wazukyan to put the egg down as if he gets swallowed up by its charm and his wish dissipates, his body will become that of the egg. It warns them that adults aren’t suited for its power, and only a juvenile can withstand the relic’s power.
After their conversation, Vueko helps the medic team care for their ill comrades, including Irumyuui. Irumyuui cries out to Vueko as she notices that Irumyuui is starting to turn to stone like her fallen comrades. Vueko rushes to Wazukyan and urges him to give her the relic. The Interference Units confirm that Irumyuui should be able to handle the relic’s power since her fear mirrors its origins.
Wazukyan hands Vueko the egg (now wrapped in cloth) and trust that Irumyuui’s wish will save them all. It also appears that Belaf has fallen ill and is undergoing treatment. He tells Vueko that he’s counting on her and knows that Irumyuui will be their salvation. We get a brief monologue from Wazukyan with a scene showing Vueko pressing the egg on Irumyuui’s chest to activate Irumyuui’s wish.
In the morning, Vueko awakens as Irumyuui calls out to her–smiling and no longer feeling ill. However, not all is well, considering the egg had fused into Irumyuui’s chest. Her left hand is no more, too, and now takes on a twisted stone-like shape. She informs Wazukyan and Belaf about what happened to Irumyuui. Vueko confirms that Irumyuui exhibits no pain and doesn’t remember what she wished for the other night. Belaf tells Wazukyan that it’s best to put their faith in their bond regardless of what happens now.
Meanwhile, we get more input from present-timeline Vueko. She says that the wish hadn’t positively affected the other ill individuals since many were dying daily. To make matters worse, Irumyuui had begun transforming into an unorthodox beast. Vueko ponders if entrusting Irumyuui with the wish was for the best since she may have opted to secure her happiness over the others’ well-being.
After a long nap, Vueko wakes up to Irumyuui’s loud screams. She rushes to her and witnesses something horrific. Irumyuui had given birth to an organism nearly identical to her fallen Hermit Rat’s appearance. Although Vueko’s internally upset that Irumyuui’s wish was a selfish one, she comforts her.
Unfortunately for Irumyuui, her child dies the next day because it lacks the needed organs to digest food or drink. This trend of rebirth and death continues into the days and weeks. During this time, Vueko falls ill and reflects on Irumyuui’s wish and her life in general. Wazukyan feeds her some soup, and she falls to sleep.
Vueko wakes up in the morning and no longer feels sick. She goes outside to find Wazukyan looking out into the distance. He tells her that the soup works wonders and that he had fed everyone else some of it too. But Vueko implies that it did taste peculiar. This results in Wazukyan indicating that he inserted chunks of Irumyuui’s dead offspring in the soup, which miraculously held the cure. Vueko stares at him in shock as the episode ends.
The Episode Review
This episode of Made In Abyss’s second season sums up this anime’s setting well. The further you delve into it, the more dangerous, heartbreaking, and insane it becomes. This episode embodies the overarching cruel tone felt through Riko and Reg’s adventure as I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.
I’m thrilled the anime’s finally answering our questions and concerns regarding the Ganjas and their exploration through the Golden City. Having Wazukyan, Belaf, Vueko, and Irumyuui share the spotlight allowed us to learn more about them. This episode did a fine job at displaying each character’s flaws and profound abilities. Despite being in good faith, these abilities also return to haunt them.
For example, Vueko’s motherly approach toward Irumyuui is wholesome and understandable. Both of them have experienced cruelty and come from similar walks of life. As Vueko’s trust in Irumyuui faded slowly after seeing her bear children, it reintroduced that deceitful and fake happiness vibe Made In Abyss is known for. While the scene is horrifying from a visual and symbolic perspective, it marvellously illustrates the “be careful what you wish for” motif.
On that note, this episode delivers phenomenal voice work. Irumyuui’s cries and screaming tore at my heartstrings each time I saw her demonstrate physical or mental pain. Wazukyan’s carefree delivery of his dialogue near the episode’s end made my heart burn brightly. His decision to utilize Irumyuui’s dead children will either rile fans up or have them discussing if what he’d done was justifiable or not.
Overall, this episode was painful to sit through–concerning its gruesome imagery and harsh atmosphere. I was left speechless as many thoughts regarding character choices, morals, and others mishaps soared through my mind. While I don’t expect the anime’s cruelty to pivot anytime soon, I hope there is some light at the end of its tunnel.
|Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!|
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