My hubby and I are both huge lovers of anime! Even though he doesn’t have much free time to sit down and watch it by himself anymore (a 60 hour-long work week will do that to you), we still make it a point to watch it together, both taking turns to choose a show. I’ll usually pick a show that I’ve already seen for us to watch together, because I just love sharing with other people the things I love – that’s why I blog! Made in Abyss, the surprise hit of 2017, was my latest choice. That’s why I decided to write about my favourite Made in Abyss character for this month’s Character Spotlight: Ouzen the “Immovable Sovereign”. This might seem like an odd choice for favourite character. She’s certainly much less lovable than Regu, Riko, or Nanachi, the show’s main characters. But during this post I hope to convince you as to why Ouzen is no less incredible.
If I wanted to sum up Ouzen’s appeal in one word, it would be: presence. Her presence is so intense, it cannot help but demand the viewer’s attention whenever she is on-screen. This is largely due to Ouzen’s appearance. At over two meters tall, she towers over the other characters. Given that we are frequently viewing the world through Regu and Riko’s perspective, we are almost always looking up to her. This, as well as Ouzen’s peculiar hairstyle, which gives her the appearance of horns, and her tendency to hunch over, almost doubling her width, conjures up the image of a huge, ferocious beast. I imagine that this was the intention behind her design, what with her whistle shaped like a bull’s skull.
It’s not just Ouzen’s physique that contributes towards her overwhelming aura. Her ghostly pallor, dark, pupiless eyes, and grotesque facial expressions make her looks like some kind of dead thing. Ouzen’s cold, lifeless drawl, devoid of feeling and emotion, also gives you the sense that she has long cast aside her humanity. She’s extremely unsettling to behold.
Ouzen’s actions are equally as scary as her appearance. Contrary to the stereotype of women as caregivers, at first glance she appears to show very little regard for children. Ouzen seems to take enjoyment in spilling all of the horrific details of Riko’s birth to her, goads Regu and Riko into losing their composure, and even tests their abilities by pitting her overwhelming strength against theirs.
All of the above definitely makes Ouzen sound quite the villain, but (and here’s my favourite thing about her), whilst she often acts in extreme, kind of warped, ways, she actually always has the best interests of other people at heart. As a result of her short-lived battle with Regu and Riko they learned just how dangerous their overconfidence in their own powers was. Regu also learned to consider the timing of his Incinerator. If Ouzen had, instead, doted on them, their naivete would have definitely gotten them killed.
Ouzen’s also a secret softy, as evidenced by the fact that she continued to humour and act as a mentor towards Lyza, whose bubbly, outgoing personality couldn’t be more different to her own. Her facial expression, full of shock (and maybe a hint of rejection), upon learning that Lyza had gotten married also alludes to her softer side. What’s more is that Ouzen also took Muruluk, a young orphaned boy, under her wing and continues to mentor him, as she once did Lyza. She might not be your conventional hero, but deep, deep, deep (perhaps even deeper than the Abyss itself) down she has a heart of gold! That’s why she’s my favourite Made in Abyss character.