It’s a little odd to meet a new character this far into the anime. Sure, the finale will be an hour long but that’s still only an hour and a half for us to get to know Nanachi. I just hope Made in Abyss ends on a reasonable cut-off point.
Regardless, I’ve grown to like Nanachi as a character. I like how Riko and Reg’s personalities play off of each other but the team dynamic feels more complete with Nanachi included. Whereas Riko gets easily excited about the Abyss and Reg is almost always on alert, Nanachi feels so naturally accustomed to living in the Abyss. She’s knowledgeable about the place and not a whole lot fazes her. Nanachi is also extremely jaded by comparison. Riko and Reg more or less act their age but Nanachi, at times, feels like an adult messing with these kids. She attaches a lot of superfluous tasks to the ones relevant to saving Riko and she often toys with a lot of arguments Reg throws at her. She also doesn’t think too much about the human body and…if I’m being honest, I feel so uncomfortable with all the on-screen nudity in this anime.
It’s kind of jarring watching Reg get help from someone who has assimilated into the Abyss’s ecosystem perfectly. Nanachi’s house feels so serene and tranquil and even when Reg embarks on an RPG fetch quest, he traverses to so many safe zones thanks to Nanachi’s instructions. We’ve seen so many episodes where the Abyss is this entity that’s out to get Riko and Reg (just watch the last episode as a reminder). Here, we get to admire the sights and see the ecosystem without a death flag waving over Reg. This whole scene really sinks in how helpful it is to have a natural resident of the Abyss who can provide shelter and aid. It’s honestly very fortunate that Nanachi bothered to help Riko and Reg.
A few mysteries were dropped this episode. Nanachi’s existence is elaborated a bit in that she’s a Hollow, a human severely mutated by the final layer’s curse. More important than that is that Nanachi is an “exception among exceptions”; most Hollows generally lose all of their humanity. Made in Abyss further supports this detail as Nanachi’s friend, Mitty, is a mindless and horrifying mesh of warped flesh. You really have to wonder how Nanachi retained any humanity in the first place but I get the feeling that it’s simply a miracle that the girl ended up this way.
There’s also the hint that Reg has some sort of connection to Lyza after Reg suddenly recalls a conversation he had with her. It’s a bit surprising but it makes sense if he really was sent by Lyza to find Riko. I can’t think of any other reason a little robot like him would ascend up the Abyss apart from mere sightseeing. But I’m more curious about is the possibility that Reg is the one who was mourning Lyza in the Field of Eternal Fortunes. I want to say Reg is the one who made that grave for Lyza but he couldn’t possibly have buried her since Ozen said she found no body. Just what exactly happened? And no, don’t post manga spoilers in the comments.