Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 1

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 1

The Ganja Expeditionary Party

Made in Abyss Season 2 Episode 1 reaffirmed that the series is the best adventure anime out there. There are plenty of other good adventure anime. But the world of Made in Abyss is so much more interesting than the others. I’m always left wanting to know more.

The start of Episode 1 takes us back in time to one of the first expeditions into the Abyss. Back then, rumor had it that there was a hole to the center of the earth with a city of gold within it. This is the titular Golden City of the Scorching Sun.

After learning of this rumor, the Ganja Party sets out to locate it. This is a group of people with no homes to return to — the banished. To them, the Abyss and the city of gold within it represent a fresh start.

Belaf and Vueko from the anime series Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 1
Belaf and Vueko

Wazukyan is the leader of the Ganja Party. According to his followers, he has prophetic powers and is able to read the future. One example of this is how he foretold the arrival of Vueko the day before she joined the party. To me, though, his only real power is the power of charisma.

Vueko is a young girl who may be around 15 years old. Before joining the Ganja Party, she didn’t live a good life. She’s an orphaned abuse victim. But, it’s from her abuser that she first heard of the Abyss. And, it’s from him that she obtained a special compass that points to the Abyss.

From this first part of the episode, it’s clear that Vueko is going to be this arc’s supporting character. Or, it may be better to say this layer’s supporting character. You know, like how Marulk was in Layer 2 and Prushka was in Layer 5.

Mystery of the Abyss

The mystery of the Abyss is one of the best parts of the series. Even when we learn information about the Abyss, it only creates more questions. For instance, what happened to the crew of the “ghost ship?” Their situation doesn’t make sense.

Of the four people on the ship, only one survived long enough to warn his would-be rescuers. The other three died horrific deaths: spontaneous combustion, bisection, and disembowelment. But, how did the Abyss cause these injuries? And how did they make it back onto their ship? We don’t know.

By the time the Ganja Party makes it to the island, it’s still “uninhabited.” As we learn, there are natives who live in the jungle. But, there’s no modern civilization built around the Abyss as there is in the present. And it doesn’t appear that the Ganja Party founded the town.

The Abyss before it was colonized from the anime series Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 1
The Abyss before it was colonized

After interacting with the natives, the Ganja Party entered the Abyss. Their guide was a native girl, who seems to be 8 or younger. The tribe banished her to the Abyss because she wasn’t able to bear children. And yes, that’s a weird thing to say about a literal child.

Now, because I’m assuming Vueko is going to meet Riko’s party, later on, that means she made it to the Sixth Layer. That’s pretty far considering the Ganja Party knew nothing about the Abyss. But, Vueko would have entered the Abyss long before Riko — decades or even a century before.

So, if that’s the case, how are they going to meet up? Well, it’s a good thing I only recently watched the Dawn of the Deep Soul movie. In that movie, someone mentioned that time flows differently in the Abyss. I assume it’s slower as you get deeper.

Almost a Perfect Episode

Before moving on to discussing and theorizing about the Sixth Layer, I need to rant a bit. You see, this episode was almost a perfect episode. I loved the mystery of the ghost ship, the adventure of the Ganja Party, and how it all connected to the present story.

But, there were some problems. And you may already know what I’m going to say here.

The author of Made in Abyss is a creep. I don’t see myself ever being able to give the series a 10/10 because of some of the things he puts in the story. I know there was weird stuff in the First Season, but it’s been so long that I don’t remember the details. Dawn of the Deep Soul had a lot of belly button stuff that was strange.

This episode had 2 moments that stood out to me as suspect. First, Vueko commented on the native girl’s “supple” body as a beneficial trait. It came out of nowhere and didn’t add anything of value. All it did was remind us that the author should stay away from children.

The second moment was, in my opinion, worse. I didn’t need a scene of Riko going to the bathroom. I didn’t need an explanation of how Reg and Nanachi could smell it. And I certainly didn’t need ASMR of the act.

The Layer of No Return

The Sixth Layer of the Abyss, also known as the Capital of the Unreturned, is a major milestone in the Abyss. Once you’ve reached this layer, it’s impossible to return to the surface. But, I don’t know why it’s impossible to return.

I’m guessing the issue isn’t that it’s impossible to call the elevator back down. The issue is obviously the curse of the Abyss. But, in what way does the curse of the Abyss prevent you from returning to the surface from this layer?

Is it that the surface is too far? Can you only ascend a certain distance before dying? Or, is it that you can’t even ascend back to the Fifth Layer because the curse is stronger the deeper you are? As far as I remember, we don’t have an answer to that yet.

Riko's party arriving in the Sixth Layer from the anime series Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 1
Riko’s party arriving in the Sixth Layer

If the problem is the strength of the curse’s effect, it means neither Ozen nor Bondrewd has been to the Sixth Layer. That’s pretty interesting considering they’re both White Whistle holders. And, I kind of remember that there were only like 7 White Whistle holders in total at the start of the series.

Speaking of White Whistles, I’m a bit confused about how the Ganja Party made it down to the Sixth Layer. We saw them enter the elevator in the Fifth Layer, so they must have had one. I guess it wasn’t necessary to show since we just learned about how they’re made in the movie.

Still, I would have liked to see how they got their White Whistle. A scene only lasting a few seconds would have been good enough. It would add to building up the mystery of the Abyss. What horrifying fate did that person meet?


What do you think of the first episode of Made in Abyss Season 2? This is the anime I was most looking forward to this season. And I have to say that this episode delivered, despite the weird parts. Also, since the season is named after the Sixth Layer, I guess that means the entire thing takes place there.

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6 Replies to “Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun Episode 1”

    1. Maybe that was back in the first season. I was under the impression that was the effect of ascending at all in the Abyss, not just the Sixth Layer.

      1. Yup, first time they explain it is on s1 episode 2, when they explícitly say the effect for ascending the 6th is the loss of humanity or death

        1. Maybe I should go back and rewatch the beginning of the first season. It’s been about 5 years since I’ve seen it.

  1. Hmm. Where did you get the idea Vueko is “around 15 years old”? I feel she is clearly an adult. For comparison, Riko is 12 and Prushka appears a little older than Riko and was perhaps 14, while Jiruo/Leader is 20 one of the only young adults we see. In her flashbacks it looks like Vueko was Riko’s age when she was with her abusive caretaker, but she is now an adult who has trained for several years specifically for this mission. I would place her in her 20s.

    The part where Vueko comments that Irumyuui has a supple skin is imo directly related to how earlier she was putting herself down for having a scarred body and saying that made her less worthy and that because of her scars the others couldn’t even “sell” her if they got tired of her (even though this is something they have no interest in doing…). She has some definite self esteem issues related to her bodily worth. Considering that, it makes a sad amount of sense that in trying to convince the others to keep Irumyuui around she would point out that Irumyuui has supple unscarred skin (even though, again, there’s no way the rest of them care about that — it’s entirely down to Vueko’s own feelings about her scarred body.)

    The Ganja made it down in the elevator because there was a creature hanging out in the elevator that had its own white whistle. It was shown in the episode near the end iirc. I think it’s mentioned more specifically in another episode though that you’ve probably seen by now.

    1. It was a while ago, so I don’t know. I probably guessed about Vueko’s age by assuming she was a bit older than Riko and Prushka.

      What you say about Vueko’s comments about Irumyuui’s skin makes sense. I didn’t think about it that way. But, considering the mangaka, I think there’s still an element of fetishism there. He has some opinions when it comes to child characters.

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