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Euthanasia is a hard topic to discuss.

It is a topic that literally concerns life and death and challenges our
deepest moral and ethical beliefs. Very few countries have legalized its practice and it continues to be a
contentious and uncomfortable subject to talk about. So imagine my surprise when Made in Abyss
decided to tackle Euthanasia in its final episode. The result was one of the best, most honest depictions
of euthanasia I have ever seen.

Since the first episode, there was always a looming sense of darkness and grittiness in Made in Abyss.
But it was only in its last episode where it was able to truly capitalize on the series’ darkness and used it
to serve its story telling. The series creators were able to take that sense of dread and death that has
been present for most of the show’s run and turn it to a beautiful discussion on euthanasia that never
felt out of place in the narrative of the story.

The episode starts with Nanachi’s request <cut to scene request here> then proceeds to show us
Nanachi and Mitty’s past in a flashback. We learn that both of them were street children, probably
orphans, recruited by the White Whistle Bondrew to go down the depths of the abyss. For the first time
in the entire, we see who Mitty was before she turned into the blob of flesh she is now. She was a
bubbly enthusiastic person whose dream was to become a White Whistle, not very unlike Riko.

We also see the friendship that blossomed between Nanachi and Mitty, from practical strangers to
inseparable friends. The show makes us understand why the bond between them is so strong: Mitty was
the first and only person to show her love and affection.

In less than 10 minutes of screen time, Made in Abyss made us care about Mitty and helped us
understand the depth of the relationship she and Nanachi had. This serves as important context and
foundation for what was to come next.

<Insert trauma here hahahuhuhu>

In what is probably one of the most disturbing scenes in all of anime, we learn exactly how Mitty turned
to was she is now. A victim of the cruel human experimentation of Bondrew, she lost her humanity and
was transformed to a mere blob of flesh. In a cruel twist of fate, Nanachi was also indirectly partly to
blame for Mitty’s situation, as Mitty took the brunt of the abyss’s curse that was meant for Nanachi.
With her last words, Mitty begs Nanachi to kill her, not wanting to remain in a husk of a body.

We also eventually learn of the true nature of Mitty’s curse: she cannot die of any normal means. She
suffers, but merely regenerates and remains trapped in a body devoid of all humanity, despite the years
of efforts of Nanachi. The only way for Mitty to die is through Reg’s incinerator.

And so we come back to present time, with Reg and Nanachi having a conversation. This is one of the
things Made in Abyss does completely right in its portrayal of Euthanasia. It is usually an outsider,
typically a physician, who has to administer the fatal dose and not the family member of the person to
be euthanized, just as Reg is to Mitty. And despite the fact that these physicians are professionals, they
too have a personal beliefs and opinions regarding euthanasia. It is not any easier for them to perform
the deed and they too have doubts of what the right thing to do is.

The show perfectly shows us this struggle, with Reg taking time to process and evaluate Nanachi’s
request. We also get this realization from Reg <insert What will happen to you scene>
This is again another layer of the euthanasia conversation the show is able to flesh out. Caretakers of
people in vegetative states comparable to Mitty, usually dedicate large chunks of their lives to caring for
the people they love and there is a void that will surely be left after the euthanasia. It is particularly
impressive that the show doesn’t shirk from this and even goes all in when we confirm that Nanachi was
indeed thinking of killing herself once Mitty is gone.

Despite the obvious leaning of the show to be pro-euthanasia, the decision is never taken hastily or
lightly. There is always an air of seriousness present whenever the topic is discussed and you see that
the characters understand that the consequences will be grave either way.

It is only when Reg fully understands the consequences and decides for himself that the decision is
made. <Insert yes convo>

And even when both Nanachi and Reg are 100% sure of what they want to do, the act of killing Mitty
continued to be a hard and heartbreaking decision. <Insert euthanasia>

I personally couldn’t think of a better portrayal of euthanasia in any media. It is beautiful, thoughtful,
and heart wrenching.