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Made in Abyss - Anime Review

Made in Abyss

So, this week I had the pleasure of discovering the little anime gem of Made in Abyss. Released in 2017 and based off the manga that came before it, it's probably one of the more notable series that have captured my attention this year. It's first season is 12 episodes long with the final episode being a double length feature at about 40 minutes plus.

I've never had to describe a show as both cute and, in some parts, horrifying. And just to give you an example of the two extremes; you go from a meet-cute and budding relationship with all the romance and fondness of a coming of age tale, to a heartbreaking tale of death, tragedy and euthanasia. But I loved every minute of it. 

The story follows Riko, an orphaned preteen, who traverses the Abyss, a massive hole in the centre of an island that reaches down to what they call the Netherworld, some many kilometers below the earths surface. We soon learn her goal is to reach the bottom and become a famous White Whistle, the title given to those few who can withstand the abyss' detrimental effects, ranging from nausea, dizziness, mutation and death.

The mythos is established fairly early on in the series and the different levels of the Abyss and the different classes of cave raiders are explained in the colour of their whistles. Being only a child Riko and her friends are Red whistles, only allowed to go to the upper layers of the Abyss. After red there is Blue, Black and White. Each one allowed to go further and further into the abyss where they hunt for mysterious ancient relics with mystical properties in an attempt to uncover the secrets of the abyss.

It's on one of these treks to the upper levels that Riko finds Reg, a robot boy with amnesia, that seemingly saves her from being devoured by a giant monster. It’s after this chance meeting that Riko learns that her mother Liza, a white whistle herself, has gone missing and sends her a secret message to come find her at the lowest level. And so begins the journey downwards for Riko and Reg, one on a quest to find their mother and the other trying to regain their memories.

The one thing that really struck me with this series was the score. Hauntingly beautiful and powerful in all the right moments, it adds another level of emotion to what is already some pretty imagery (I downloaded the OST after watching the series). The art style is beautiful and the vistas are dreamlike, but everything that is nasty and or wild in the series is roughly drawn and misshapen which adds to its otherworldliness.

There were a few scenes that can definitely be taken the wrong way by some more sensitive viewers and the show doesn’t shy away from showing the harsh reality of the abyss, like when Riko is struck down by the Curse of the Abyss (the effects of climbing back out of the Abyss) and bleeds from every orifice. While it’s not a particularly graphic scene, seeing the amount of agony that Riko is in and the actual blood in the scene might be a bit much for some. It’s a brutal scene and the pain is real, so is the amount of anguish that Reg goes through as he tries to save his friend.

But that’s what I loved about this series, it was as innocent as it was dark in some places. It deals with some fairly heavy material later on in the series and manages to deliver it without overplaying. The music and animation is beautiful and the story is enthralling enough to keep you watching.

But there is a season two coming in 2019 which I am definitely looking forward to so check back to get updates on when it’s coming out and where you can find some awesome memorabilia if I can get my hands on some.

Overall if I had to rate the first season it would be fairly close to a perfect score for me. So, my first review will have to be a 10 out of 10 pops, so why bother watching anything else, ay?

Score 10/10

Favourite Character: Nanachi

 Nanachi Fav


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