“An enormous pit and cave system called the “Abyss” is the only unexplored place in the world. Strange and wonderful creatures reside in its depths, and it is full of precious relics that current humans are unable to make. The mysteries of the Abyss fascinate humans, and they head down to explore. The adventurers who venture into pit are known as “Cave Raiders.” A little orphan girl named Rico lives in the town of Ōsu on the edge of the Abyss. Her dream is to become a Cave Raider like her mother and solve the mysteries of the cave system. One day, Rico starts exploring the caves and discovers a robot who resembles a human boy.” –Made in Abyss (manga).
Made in Abyss’ story had me captivated within the first few minutes of the first episode. With so many interesting keywords such as Relics, Red Whistle, Abyss etc. you can’t help but be curious about what they mean. The world of Made in Abyss is, as the name implies, a very deep and dark place that invites those with the will for adventure, a story that they’ll never forget. From the surface, it looks like a fantasy adventure, which it is, but there is a much darker side to the lightheartedness that is shown in the first few episodes. The Abyss contains different layers which are practically different worlds with its own creatures and ecosystem. and it is also shrouded in a curse that destroys a human body as it ascends toward the surface.
Artwork & Animation:
I still can’t get over how amazing the artwork is for Made in Abyss. Each layer of the Abyss had it’s own color palette, along with its own unique set of dangerous and strange creatures.
Riko and Reg, though young, set off in their adventure. But in the end, they are still kids and make a lot of mistakes which all become lessons. The character development for both of them is very slow but as each piece of the puzzle is put into place and the bigger picture becomes clearer, the slow development isn’t all that bad.
Sound (OST & Voice Acting):
The soundtrack was beautifully orchestrated, strings being the structure of the pieces and a piano melody to lead the emotions. At times, especially when deep in the Abyss, there were eerie sounds that slither into the music creating an ominous sound that will make your skin crawl.
Each episode of Made in Abyss was pure bliss, each episode made the story deeper than it already was! The tense feeling I would have as they encountered the curse of the Abyss or dangerous creature was thrilling, to say the least! This first season ended so well with the quick scenes of all the characters that Reg and Rico met on their journey up to that ending point. Then the preparation for the next half of the adventure was a perfect set up for a second season!
Overall: Score 10
Made in Abyss blew all expectations out of the water and gave us a story that is deeper than the Abyss itself! With incredibly articulate, studio ghibli-esque, background artwork and naive yet charming characters it’s hard to not call this a masterpiece. Though the second season has already been confirmed we don’t have a date yet, fingers-crossed it’s coming soon!
Best Girl: Nanachi
Though she doesn’t show up until the last half of the show, Nanachi proves that she’s the strongest character in the show, both mentally and emotionally. She deserves so much more and I hope that she plays a more integral part in the story in the upcoming season.