Made in Abyss & the Derangement of Bondrewd the Novel (or, what makes a good villain)



over the tolerance so you need nice to eat and Disney are not worrying I eat a bond rude is a monster that's the simplest way to describe him saying that his actions are irredeemable is an understatement the mere idea of him is terrifying and yet there's something about him that is oddly alluring there's an unpredictability to him that you can't help but get interested in which is an aspect of villainy that can feel damn near impossible to get right when creating one's own antagonist believe me it's a pain in the ass and it's why in this episode of the storytellers notebook the series in which I analyze various storytelling techniques used by various creators in various mediums I want to break down Maidan abysus infamous Lord of dawn bond Rudin novel and figure out what makes him such a great film and yes spoilers ahead for both the anime and the manga as well as a Content warning for graphic and disturbing imagery for those who may not know main abyss is a manga created by Akihito tsukushi that was adapted into an anime of the same name about a young girl named Rico who runs into a robot boy she names reg in the middle of the legendary abyss a cavernous hole full of relics monsters and runes around which a society of explorers has sprung up to uncover all of its secrets the story follows the fairs they go on an adventure into the abyss to find Rico's mother a legendary cave Raider who's gone missing along their journey they deal with all sorts of trials and tribulations including the curse of the abyss a strength phenomenon that affects delve errs and Raiders as they tried to ascend the abyss whose effects range from simple nausea to physical deformation and death they eventually run into Nanaki an orphan of ambiguous gender from a foreign country who alongside their friend Mehdi was transformed into an Erik due to bond drudes experiments and soon they all face off against the Lord of dawn himself as he blocks their path to the sixth layer of the abyss on a surface level bond Jude like any good aunt Agnes is a challenging roadblock for the children to overcome he's intensely interested in Rico and reg Rico for the fact that she has an undead child born in the abyss and ranked for the fact that he is a living automaton and has few qualms about kidnapping and experimenting on them for the sake of scientific discovery his formidable strength durability and vast array of abyss relics means that he's not going to be the a true brute force alone a point made clear by the way he shrugs off the giant scorpion trap they set up to kill him like it was nothing alongside that he is able to hijack nanaki's vision to spy on them hinge and durability to make plans and outwit him and worst of all thanks to the sole slave machine Zola holic and abyss relic that lets him spread his soul across multiple bodies he is technically immortal even when they do manage to kill him one of his loyal cave Raiders known as the praying hands simply throws on his mask and bond Rude returns as if nothing had happened he's a tricky obstacle in the children's past one that is not going to be dealt with so easily but on a deeper level there's something simply uncomfortable about bond rude his mere presence dominates every page he makes an appearance in with his arms often stretching beyond the panel to emphasize it his and his Raiders appearance is oddly uncanny having the familiar makeshift stylings of a typical delvar but wit an Aryan is created by their masks which twist what should be humanoid facial features into something strangely mechanical and whose flowing robes give them a religious heir the compliments are unquestioning devotion to science and technology their appearance teeters on the edge of the uncanny valley being recognizable as human but not quite an uneasy feeling magnified by bond roots dominant presence but one need only look at bond whose actions throughout the story to see the depth of his derangement he almost casually tortures and experiments on orphaned children to find a way to manipulate the curse of the abyss turning them into horrific blobs creatures or even worse cartridges small device is made by scraping the aforementioned orphans clean up everything except the parts of the body necessary for the curse of the abyss to take effect and stuffing them into cases that pump them full of enough drugs to keep them docile they are then connected to bond roots body in such a way that it circumvents all of the pressure and pain of the curse onto these still living children until their nervous system simply can't take it anymore his actions are irredeemable but do seem to be caused by the gsella holic which ironically by giving him immortality has taken away his humanity and yet this demented side of his character is heavily contrasted against his parental nature he genuinely cares about the children he's tortured for the sake of science not only remembering each of their names but also what they were like before he ruined them when fighting rag he doesn't get angry when he's bested or outwitted he's almost proud and praises him for getting the upper hand his relationship for his daughter pushka is warm and caring he encourages her to do her best and is there for her when she needs it we even see how bonded went to great lengths to help her survive in the abyss even when others encouraged him to give up on her likewise pushka cares just as much for him as he does for her and cries when Reich kills him for the first time there's a genuine emotional core to bond roots character which only makes what he does specifically what he eventually does to pushka all the more heartbreaking I think this dichotomy can best be summed up by this panel toward the end of volume 5 after children managed to weaken bond his forces enough to move forward in their journey this image leaves us to wonder is this a man who has been blessed with redemption and was seen the error of his ways or is this a man cursed by his own ambition forever trapped by the choices he's made this duality is both the mad scientist and a loving father adds layers of complexity and nuance to bond roots character that makes us dig deep to try and fully understand him and why he does the things he does but for as interesting as bond reason of himself it's a similarities where Rico's that I personally find to be most fascinating both our characters who've come back to life thanks to the power of a relic of the abyss both to use some kind of mechanical aid by Nanashi to help them navigate the abyss both have a strong knowledge of the abyss in its many dangers hell both of them have even strapped direct to a torture chair and experimented on him but most importantly both have a profound desire to reach the abyss bottom and uncover its secrets they're both characters driven by ambition this is a trait that Enrico is portrayed as a positive and almost inspiring thing yet in bond dude we see the same characteristic taken to its most extreme where such Drive makes a person go to despicable lengths to accomplish her goals and leagues both Rico and us as the audience to wonder whether such desperate measures are worth it or even justified in this story about children learning how harsh and cruel the world can be bond rude acts as a dark reflection of the protagonist Rico and subverts the ideals that she and her friends had initially aspired to even more disturbingly bond Rude also reflects not just the world main abysus set in but also her own since Bonjour and the other white with are hailed as heroes this in itself would be twisted with people looking up to the Lord of dawn without realizing white does behind the scenes but what makes it even more questionable is that some of the white and black whistles at the very least know that something's going on I was in warns reco and reg to be wary of bonjou Thabo tells named shaggy about some of the sketchier aspects of bond roots history and yet no one does anything about it they love bond rude carry on his business as usual because of the amazing feats a he's been able to accomplish it's an earth-shattering revelation for Rico to find out that one of the people she'd looked up to for so long turned out to be a monster and one that in the real world seems to be all too common and something has become especially relevant after two recent sexual assault and harassment claims have come out about many celebrities in Hollywood but as an Irish viewer bonjou Dax hit a little too close to home as mentioned before there's a strong religious air about bond drew down his del verse they're called to praying hands they have an almost priest-like appearance and their base of operations I do front is set up in a former religious ritual temple coupled with the way bond route focuses on children it to me seems quite reminiscent of the controversy surrounding the Catholic Church in Ireland which were brushed under the rug for far too long of course this specific interpretation is a vague one based on loose connections and is something I doubt the bank has specifically had in mind but it's unnerving nonetheless bond route status within the world of Maine the bitts shines a light on a more sinister side of its setting as well as a problem that is ever relevant in the real world that is the problem of well-regarded public figures and organizations doing morally reprehensible things and being allowed to get away with it because of their achievements and or status within an industry or otherwise and strengthens our engagement with the series by personifying said issue bonds ood is a formidable villain one whose thematic and emotional significance and connections to real world problems makes him an intensely interesting character but there's an aspect was writing them makes him stand above a typical antagonist and that is the fact that there's no escaping his influence each of the main characters in the story has been both mentally and physically scarred by him Rico is broken by the fact that in the end bond returned pushka into a cartridge and ends up with Poosh cos heart as her own white whistle reg is tortured by the praying hands as they bearment anuman ends up having one of his arms sliced off as a result Nanaki was not only transformed into an air hate because of bond Drew's experiments but was forced to watch her best friend mutate into something beyond words and it leaves us wondering if this is what a white whistle on the fifth layers like that how twisted will the other ones be below and more importantly how deranged will Rico's mother be down at the very bottom of the abyss bond roots influence on the story lingers long after we and the children have moved on from it bond roots duality is a madman and a father figure coupled with his immense ambition acts as a dark reflection of the story's characters that forces us to reconsider the world we've gotten so attached to and whose impact on the story and it's characters is tangible he shows that a great villain isn't just an interesting obstacle for a protagonist to overcome but should act as a deeply complex and morbidly fascinating reminder of all the parts of ourselves in the world around us that we'd rather keep behind closed doors and yeah those are my thoughts tell me why you think if he's agree disagree who your favorite villain is why you think makes a good villain etc and thanks for watching if you enjoyed this and while see more check out my last video where I talk about vile ever garden wide slow pacing and emotional storytelling makes so fun to watch or check out the last episode the storytellers notebook where he breakdown Ruby vol fives fight scenes and see what they get horribly wrong and fantastically right and don't forget to Like comment share of course subscribe to come flagman you can also follow me on twitter for more updates about this child learner stuff and hopefully I'll see you later

50 thoughts on “Made in Abyss & the Derangement of Bondrewd the Novel (or, what makes a good villain)

  1. Jesus this was a damn good video

    Goddamn this was a wonderful video!

  2. Rumor has it in his youth he worked for the USSR conducting sleep experiments.

  3. Lol im so late but they announced the movie today and I can't wait to see it!

  4. If he lacks empathy, everything he did could be considered from the perspective of someone who was literally just helping Riko and Reg, he presumed the two were coming down and he initiated a progress of premeditating the necessary 'ingredients' needed to create a White Whistle so they could travel deeper, their fight and trauma and bonding and emotions were used to boost the White Whistle and result of the experiment. He more or less did everything as both an experiment, and to assist the main characters, though a part of him that is demented probably does want to hoard the main characters and experiment on them to learn – the other side is that father-figure side where he did what he did knowingly because he presumed 'The Truth' would've been told to them from Ozen, but they weren't – so it would moreso feel like he Forced them, but he somewhat didn't force anyone to do anything, though it may be arguable based on Reg being captured – which may be a result of his 'more curious nature' getting the better of him. Otherwise? People came to him for help, Prushka said she wanted to be of help to him and he made use of her.

    If Prushka didn't say she wanted to help him in any way – and if she wasn't the best nominee in becoming a White Whistle for Riko, I'm sure she'd still be alive, but no other individual was sane and capable at the time to grow a bond with the main characters to assist in his demented desire to 'help them go deeper in the Abyss'. Zero empathy but pure and morbid curiosity as well as results obtained with side effects like pain, emotions, sadness, meaning nothing to sway him. Prushka only died because Riko and Reg decided to adventure at the time that she'd be the perfect nominee, one could easily argue. If they hadn't arrived – Prushka would either be adventuring with Bondrewd or perhaps would've potentially have been experimented on to also become Blessed like Nanachi, which is why manga-wise they had shown what she'd have been if she'd be Blessed, but, MC's quest to the bottom of the Abyss changed her fate to be of use to MC's rather than what would've been if they never showed up. That's at least how I see it.

  5. Very interesting character. I agree with everything you said.

    Bottom line: He tortures and kills children. He gotta die.

  6. Excellent dissection…

    However, it's nah-reh-HAH-teh, not nair-hait. Comes from the Japanese phrase 'nare no hate' (成れの果て), meaning 'shadow of one's former self, ruin of what once was' — apt. 😉

  7. Are the post-anime sections clearly marked?  I'd like to be able to watch this before either a second season comes out or I bite the bullet and continue with the manga if possible.

  8. He's not deranged, he knows perfectly well what he's doing, he simply values his research and unraveling the abyss's mysteries more than the life of a handful of unwanted orphans. Speaking of which, that's probably why he went to underdevelopment and far off countries when selecting test subjects, nobody would miss them and their lives would be shit and short lived either way

  9. How he used Prushka also has some implications. He went through the effort or raising her, but he didn't turn her into a side-kick. She didn't assume Nanachi's old role. He converted her into a single-use object, purely disposable. The imagery of the fight where she's 'used,' looks an awful lot like he's ejecting spent shell casings from a weapon. He's pretty much a pure textbook psychopath. Rapport and personal history means nothing. In the end, he's no more attached to her than anyone else.

  10. people keep trying to say that nanachi isn't given a gender lol

    the creator said she's a girl when he was asked

  11. Omg mitty's transformation in the anime was something i dont want to see again but the manga? Oh God that is the stuff of nightmares!!!

  12. talking about interesting well-written villain,
    you should check Satou from Ajin. and make a review
    check the manga too. it has more scenes of him.

  13. One thing I hope is that you would take a look at Reinhard and Mercurius from the VN Dies Irae. I am asking this due to as far as villains go, they are absolutely depraved, yet like with Bondrewed, have this strange kind of charisma and allure too them. Seriously, many consider those two to be the primary reason to read the VN.

  14. Bondrewd reminds me so much a villain from a show called wakfu. their is Nox the scientist that Exemplifies the idea that the ends justify the means that brought suffering and killed millions believing it would all be fixed once he had gained the necessary amount of energy to undo it all with his time abilities

  15. oh fuck i nearly spoiled myself god dam
    i onla watched the anime and did not know how far the Manga goas

  16. Bondrewd is my favorite villain because he scares me in a way that isn't horribly contrived.

  17. It wasn't just you, I also saw a strong parallel to real life child abuse rings in this story.

  18. Why would you give a spoiler warning specifically for the first season of the anime, and then proceed to spoil the manga past the events of the anime? I'm not normally one to complain about spoiler warnings but come on man. I was really looking forward to season 2.

  19. Man we only saw 2 white whisles soo far and both gave me the creeps in the anime and manga altho we still didn't see the other 3 white whisles

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