The enormous cave system, known as the Abyss, is the only unexplored place in the world. Nobody knows how far down this titanic pit goes, inhabited by strange and wondrous creatures and full of mysterious ancient relics whose purpose is unknown to modern man. Generations of bold adventurers have been drawn by the cryptic depths of the Abyss. Over the course of time those bold enough to explore the dangerous pit came to be known as "Cave Raiders."
In Oosu, the town at the edge of the Abyss, there lives a little orphan named Rico, who dreams of becoming as great a cave raider as her mother was and solving the great mystery of the pit. One day exploring the murky depths she stumbles upon a little boy, who turns out to be a robot...
Made in Abyss is a tale of a journey to the land of no return.
It's a dark fantasy featuring obsessed little girls, shy robots and sarcastic bunny critters. Also giant mind-reading porcupines, don't forget those.
It's bizarre, beautiful, inventive, painfully emotional and bizarre (did I mention carnivorous porcupines? Pretty bizarre).
It's one of my all-time favorites, so let me tell you why.
So, what does make Made in Abyss so special? Just about everything.
For one thing, it's the Abyss itself. It's a weird and fascinating place with its very own laws of physics, mythology and ecosystem.
Mesmerizing scenery, lethal monsters, priceless treasures - the Abyss has it all,
has it everywhere, has it in any combination.
Beautiful flower meadow, eager to kill you dead (or worse)? Coming right up!
Toothy monster of shocking visage that wouldn't hurt a fly? Got one right here!
Legendary weapon that misfires regularly and gets lost all the time? Not even a problem!
You might've seen many a dungeon before but rest assured you've never seen the like of the Abyss.
For another, it's the art. It is amazing. Precise drawing, outstanding design and composition, exquisite shadows and lighting - this manga has it all and then some. It's a visual feast putting to shame at least 95% of all the other manga out there.
Also, the characters. Some of them are extremely likable, some are instantly hateful, some are totally incomprehensible but every one of them (including minor parts making appearance in a couple of panels) is distinctly and beautifully drawn and feels as real and alive as anything ever committed to paper.
All that being said, if I had to single out one element that contributes most prominently to the greatness of Made in Abyss that would have to be the story.
It's exciting, dreadful, weird, breathtaking and totally unpredictable. I mean, you get the general idea and know where it's supposed to take you eventually (although I strongly suspect it's going to be more of a way-point than the finish line) but have you the foggiest what's going to jump in your face when you turn the next page? Not a chance.
Anything can happen to anyone, all bets are off, no happy endings are guaranteed (neither are bad ones, for that matter). Have you ever been too afraid to turn a page but unable not to? You will have this pleasure.
That is something you should be aware of before entering the Abyss - this is not a lighthearted story. I've seen this manga being described as a cross between Ichigo Mashimaro and Berserk and this analogy might just have grasped the gist of it. As the story progresses it grows darker, more disturbing and ominous. It is the main reason I only give it 9 points - sometimes reading Made in Abyss is frustrating and pretty painful. Still, if that is something you can stomach you're in for an experience well worth your while.
Made in Abyss is an outstanding work of art by any standard. Cute and gritty, vivid and gloomy, delicate and overwhelming, heart-warming and spine-chilling - it'll sweep you off your feet and drag you down into the world of sinister beauty you'll never forget.
Made in Abyss...oh this manga is so precious. A gem you don't find easily. This manga is a dark manga with some strong gore, shouts nudity and uncomfortable situations. Uncomfortable because this is the journey of two kids that goes deep down in a obscure, dangerous and unexplored (for some parts) abyss, with terrifying creatures living in it.
Now, it starts out quite lighthearted (more or less), and the more you read the more it gets darker. It has some funny moments, and tragic flashbacks/scenes as well. This manga is a rollercoaster of emotions keeping the interest up all the time.
The plot is quite straight-forward,
one of the two kids wants to go the bottom of the Abyss for a certain reason. The Abyss is divided in 7 layers. At the beginning it seems like everything will be ok: no problems, no monsters, etc...but as they go on, troubles start coming. The curse of the Abyss is one of them, a very interesting adjunction to the story. This curse causes you a lot of bad things you would never like to have, I assure you.
There's a lot of mystery going on as well, so you will always want to find an answer for everything 'cause the mystery is so intriguing. Like what exactly is the curse, where Reg came from, and who is him, how does the Abyss works, etc...
No need to say the deeper they go, the more anxious you are. You don't want little kids to get hurt, right?
The art is...one of the best you will ever see (not ad good as Inio Asano's art). The art style is perfect but it can be confusing at times (that's why I didn't give it a 10) but it's candy for your eyes. The characters are perfectly designed, the backgrounds are stunning, like seriously, the Abyss is so complex yet so beautiful in its own way. It's quite unique, with various places you will fell in love with.
The creatures are original, some of them are real cute, and others are scary. Well, for someone who loves fantasy elements (especially weird creatures) this is like heaven.
Some of the characters are drawn in a way that you fell an ominous feeling. They are mysterious and terrifying as well when they want to be.
There's shouts nudity, so be aware of that.
Each character has unique aspects, the designs are well-drawn and they feel like are drawn with watercolor, it's weird but once you will read it you know what I mean. All characters are likable in their own characteristics and aspects, and everyone has its strong points and weak points.
Even though almost half of the characters are kids, they are quite smart and not as stupid as some adults in other mangas. Funny thing, all the adults are always terrifying, that's probably because how the kids see them.
Well I like them all.
Overall this manga is SO GOOD, I think everyone should give it a try. You will never lose interest in it, so just start reading it.