Anime Review: Made In Abyss

Details: Aired in 2017. Thirteen episodes with each episode about twenty-five minutes long and the thirteenth episode twice as long. Here’s a site with more information: https://myanimelist.net/anime/34599/Made_in_Abyss

This is not a kid’s show. The art is cute and childish, reminiscent of a Studio Ghibli movie, but this is not a kid’s show. As the episodes progress, the subject matter of the show get darker and more adult. With that said, this show is still a grand adventure that does a great job creating an interesting world and in evoking emotion.

Made in Abyss takes place in a world where there exists a massive, supernatural chasm that is filled with untold beauty and horror. Explorers risk their lives to explore the chasm in hopes of finding supernatural treasure known as relics. At the top of the chasm sits a city. In this city, an orphan named Riko dreams of descending into the chasm in hopes of finding her mother, a legendary explorer of the chasm. After meeting a mysterious robot boy she names Reg, Riko and Reg make their way into the chasm in hopes of finding Riko’s mom.

The story is one of the more unique stories I’ve seen in recent memory. It doesn’t take place in the real world, which gives the show the liberty to really reach for fantastic, extreme ideas. If there is one thing I love in anime its the establishment of rules in a world. Made In Abyss does a great job of establishing rules and creating a massive, mysterious world for us and the protagonists to explore.

While I didn’t feel a depth of emotion at the beginning of the series, I did feel it by the end. There are some profoundly sad moments in this show and it helps to contrast the relentless optimism of the protagonist Riko.

As you can see from the clip above, the animation in this show is top-notch. It is almost good enough to pass as a movie. Everything looks beautiful and the fantastical elements of the show are well portrayed by the art style. The music is also great.

The only complaint I can think of is some scenes border onto pedophilia territory. It reminds me of scenes from movies like the recent 2017 remake of the movie It where kids are needlessly sexualized. I think most people would agree that the scenes in question were humorous and innocent enough not to matter. I’d rather not see kids portrayed anywhere near the vicinity of being sexualized. Pedophilia is an unfortunately common problem. The author of Kenshin was found with kiddy porn for goodness sake.

Overall, this was a great show. I can easily see how some might even consider this show a masterpiece. The art, story, and originality are that good. Even the questionable scenes were arguably done innocently enough that most people wouldn’t sympathize with my complaints. If you like original ideas that avoid a lot of the popular, overdone tropes commonly seen in anime, then Made In Abyss is the breath of fresh air you’ve been waiting for.

Score: 8.2/10

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