Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun anime series cover art
Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun (Made in Abyss: Retsujitsu no Ougonkyou / メイドインアビス 烈日の黄金郷) is the second season of the Made in Abyss anime series. But, it’s also the third entry in the series.

If you think you can go right from the first season to this second season, you’re sorely mistaken. The movie, Dawn of the Deep Soul, takes place between the two seasons. And, it’s canon. You’re going to be very confused about a lot of things if you skip the movie.

The first season of the series covered Orth and the first four layers of the Abyss. Dawn of the Deep Soul covers the Fifth Layer. And The Golden City of the Scorching Sun covers the Sixth Layer. That’s right, it’s an entire season dedicated to a single layer.

Reg and Faputa from the anime series Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun
Reg and Faputa

In case you forgot, let me remind you of a few things we’ve known about the Sixth Layer for some time. For starters, this is the first of the deep layers of the Abyss. When a cave raider heads to the Sixth Layer, it’s known as their “final dive” because they can’t return.

Of course, that’s not completely true. Nanachi and Bondrewd have both returned from the Sixth Layer before. But, it’s the curse of the Sixth Layer that makes return nearly impossible. Nanachi lost her humanity and became a Hollow because of it. And Bondrewd was only spared thanks to his use of capsules.

The Sixth Layer’s curse is the loss of humanity or death (due to the loss of humanity). That’s why going into the Sixth Layer is considered a one-way trip. We only know of one sentient being that returned from this layer naturally: Nanachi.

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Iruburu, the Hollow Village

While we get to see a decent amount of the Sixth Layer, the main focus of this arc is on Iruburu. Iruburu is the village of the Hollows who live in the Sixth Layer. But, the Hollows who live here aren’t the same as Nanachi.

Nanachi is a Hollow created by the curse of the Abyss. Iruburu itself created the Hollows that reside within it. And because of this, those Hollows are unable to leave. They gave up their humanity in exchange for living in the relative peace of the village. Beyond Iruburu’s boundaries, the Sixth Layer is a hostile environment.

Just as the Iruburu Hollows exchanged their humanity, the exchange of value is a core part of Iruburu. Everything that enters the village has a value — usually given to it by whoever owns it. Villagers, and outsiders who visit the village, can exchange this value.

Majikaja and Riko from the anime series Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun
Majikaja and Riko

Above all else, the Hollows value human children (because of course they do). And this value extends to parts. So, if Riko sold one of her arms, she could receive an immense amount of value. She could then spend that value buying things from the villagers.

One key thing to know about value, however, is that it’s policed by Iruburu itself. Those within Iruburu face severe consequences for stealing or destroying someone’s value. The village takes value from the offender equal to that which they stole or destroyed. And, this rule is only one of the mysteries of Iruburu.

Now, while I think Iruburu is an interesting place, I would have also liked to explore more of the Sixth Layer. We do get to see a lot of the layer, both in the past and present. But, we never got to actually explore the floating ruins of this layer.

History of the Abyss

In my mind, the best parts of this season are the flashbacks to the Ganja Party. The Ganja Party was one of the first expeditionary parties to enter the Abyss. They arrived on the island back before Orth existed. In fact, they may have been the first non-native islanders to enter the Abyss.

Throughout the season, we get to see glimpses of the Ganja Party’s adventure. And yes, this includes the eventual founding of Iruburu. Iruburu was the final stop for this party — once they entered, they could never continue their journey.

But, what makes the Ganja Party parts of the season interesting is the exploration. Riko, Reg, and Nanachi do a little exploring when they first get to the Sixth Layer. But, they pretty quickly make their way to Iruburu. With the Ganja Party, we get to see them explore the layer more and figure out how to survive there.

The Ganja Party from the anime series Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun
The Ganja Party

It’s also important to keep in mind that the Ganja Party went into the Abyss blind. They had no idea what to expect in each layer. That hasn’t been the case for Riko so far. She has her mother’s notes and also Nanachi’s knowledge and experience.

So, a lot of the problems the Ganja party ran into aren’t issues for Riko. She’s simply following in the footsteps of those who came before her. Riko has infinitely more resources at her disposal compared to the Ganja Party. She even has Reg to help her traverse the layers.

But, Riko’s journey isn’t going to be so smooth from here on out. The notes she has from her mother don’t include any information about layers below the Sixth. And Nanachi and Reg don’t know anything about those layers either. Riko’s going to be exploring blind from here on.

Conclusion

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun is an 8/10. As expected of Made in Abyss, this season is very good. But, I also felt like it was a bit too slow at times. Maybe we don’t need an entire season for each layer of the Abyss.

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