Summer 2017 Season Wrap: Made in Abyss, Kakegurui, & Princess Principal

I’ll go ahead and apologize in advance for the length of this post, since I had a hard time reigning in my enthusiasm for the first entry, Made in Abyss. While all of these particular series surprised and delighted me throughout the summer, Abyss will probably be one of the first up for a re-watch. Princess Principal is another show begging my return due to its unique format. Let me know what you thought about any or all three of them!

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Made in Abyss: Eating to Survive, Eating to Unwind

“Over the span of many years, with a spirit of adventure for the unknown and countless legends luring them in, the world’s only remaining unexplored chasm has swallowed up a great many people. It is known as the Abyss.”

(“The City of the Great Pit.” Made in Abyss.)

From setting to character, story to music, this season’s Made in Abyss is all anyone is talking about lately. The show, a manga original, stunned viewers right from the beginning with its visuals and Kevin Penkin’s haunting melody, “Underground River.” That overwhelming feeling still persists more than halfway through the series, and now that we’ve made it to the third level of the Abyss, the danger seems more present than ever before. Our moments for respite are far and few in between. One thing about them obviously stands out to me: many of those quiet moments are spent around food.

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Marina Eats: Made in Abyss, Riko Soup

“For the meat, put a hearty helping in a pot and sprinkle a bit of ground-up Eternal Fortunes on top. Mix in some stick miso, and then throw in a bunch of diced sainona greens. Ta-da! My special “Riko Soup” is ready!” (“The Edge of the Abyss”)

JUMP TO RECIPE

Fishing season is in full force back in my home state, which means tons of salmon ready to eat fresh, or to preserve by canning, smoking, or freezing. Growing up, my mother was always “that crazy Asian lady” who saved fish heads from being discarded by others so she could use them in her cooking. I loved her “fish head soup,” otherwise known as sinigang. Each spoonful tasted like the essence of fish. I especially enjoyed picking out the succulent cheeks and saving them for last. Plenty of cultures around the world also use fish heads and scraps for cooking to create a flavorful broth that can be used immediately or saved for later.

Riko and Reg work together in the fourth episode of Made in Abyss to create a simple but delicious fish soup. We watch Reg dive into the waters to catch some demonfish, and see Riko clean and cut like a pro. Smoking the innards for later consumption, she proceeds to use the rest of the fish–head, bones, and all–to extract every bit of flavor into their meal. Her cooking skills reveal the valuable time spent studying how to survive in the abyss. Cave raiders can be gone days, weeks, and even years at a time–far too long to bring enough prepared food to last. They need to not only survive the monsters and curses, but also their own hunger.

With knowledge, ability, and a few non-perishable goods, hearty and tasty food can be made fresh from the surrounding environment. Riko pulls out her treasures of “Eternal Fortunes” seasoning and a miso stick; nature provides everything else, the greens, water, and fish. Just like the cave raiders who are born from past raiders and years of training, Riko’s Soup combines ingredients from outside and inside the abyss.

I hope you enjoy my version of Riko’s Soup, a miso cod fish stew that warms the belly and soothes the heart.

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Summer 2017 Set Menu

Summer has arrived in full force, slamming us not only with heat and humidity, but also with an endless supply of shows, many average and a couple extraordinary. Made in Abyss and Princess Principal top the lot, but shows like Nana Maru San Batsu and New Game!! follow closely in ranking. We are still at the start of the season, though, so my opinions are subject to change.

I ended up with far too many, as usual. I’m at 29 shows this summer, including hold overs from the spring, so hopefully I’ll have plenty of material for topics of interest and maybe even get back to the kitchen! If there’s anything in particular you’re interested in seeing me blog about, please let me know.

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