Well, we finished this quickly. Whilst we didn’t exactly watch the whole show in one sitting, we did end up watching the final 9 episodes one after the other until it was early morning. You know those shows where the episodes are so engrossing that it appears that the end credits are appearing where the midway point should be? Well, that’s pretty much my experience of watching most of Made In Abyss.
When this came out in 2017, I heard so many good things about it. However, there’s just so much to watch that it just fell onto the same ‘for later’ pile as everything else in my life that is meant to be worth watching/reading/listening/playing. Thankfully the luck of the bucket was on my side and my husband pulled this out after we concluded watching Mushi-shi.
Given how new this series is, I don’t really want to stray into spoiler territory too much – so here goes. Made In Abyss takes place in and underneath the city of Orth – but mostly underneath it. You see, this city is build around a gigantic hole in the ground (the titular abyss) and it’s economy thrives on raiders who feel the call of the abyss and risk their lives to explore it and bring up the treasures that lay below. The series itself focuses primarily on two of these raiders, a twelve year old girl who is hell-bent on reaching the bottom in order to find her mother and a robot boy of indeterminate age and whose origin is a mystery.
The drawing style and the music in the opening and closing sequences make this feel like this is going to be one of those lighthearted adventure romps. Then again, if it was one of those it wouldn’t have gained all the awards and nominations that it reverdie at the end of the year. No, this series makes no bones about the fact that what these two are doing is extremely dangerous and is as much driven by a peculiar abyss-inspired madness rather than a straight-forward search and rescue.
Made In Abyss is one of those shows which, like Puella Magi Madoka Magica always has both hands on the rug and is ready to pull it from underneath you at any moment. It’s obvious from the beginning that things would go dark at some point, but man I wasn’t prepared for how dark things got the further they descended. And graphic, which isn’t just down to the vomit that you see (something that I am so used to other shows censoring that it immediately signalled to me that we’d possibly be getting worse down the line).
Through all this beautiful animation, fight sequences and scenes of sometimes extreme hard-ship, Made In Abyss is still a character-driven show at its very heart. Everything you see and experience as part of this show wouldn’t work if you didn’t deeply care for who you are watching, and they really make you do that. Hell, the final episode might have one of the more emotionally-disturbing anime sequences that I have seen since that section of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
Truly this is one of the best animes that I have had the fortune of seeing and is probably one where I will end up watching the two summary films before I end up seeing the sequel film which, by the time this post is published, should have been released in Japan. I know there’s little to no chance of me being able to see it in the cinema here in the UK and having to wait until a Blu-Ray release in the summer, but I just cannot wait and see what comes next in this story. Here’s hoping that the film can live up to the legacy of what came before it.