Sep 29, 2017
HaXXspetten (All reviews)
It's been a long time since I saw an anime which manages to immediately get you captivated as much as Made in Abyss did. At first glance it might look like a kids' show of sorts, but you really couldn't be much further from the truth. This is a pretty dark anime past a certain point, but even before that it's still fantastic.

Made in Abyss is a perfect example of an adventure anime done right. When I first started watching it, it reminded me of the feeling you get when you jump into some beautiful-looking open-world RPG for the first time, as the world of Made in Abyss simply looks stunning. The environments are breathtaking by themselves, but the nature of the giant hole into the underworld known as the Abyss is also so fascinating to think about. Just what could lie down there? How could such a thing possibly even exist? It teases your imagination with its unique flora and fauna, and there are so many mysteries to unravel about both the Abyss itself but also the main characters' personal intrigues which are related to it. It's like a legendary dungeon which is just begging to be explored to see what new fascination lies just around the corner.

The story follows the peculiar robot boy Regu and his human friend Riko as they embark on a perilous journey into the depths of the Abyss in search of Riko's long lost mother. During their travels they have to learn first-hand about all the different types of hazards that lie within the Abyss, and what kind of strange creatures inhabit it. The main characters are both children and as a result still quite immature in nature, yet they're still filled with unwavering determination and courage to push onwards. Riko is ultimately quite helpless and incapable of defending herself or traversing difficult terrain, so Regu helps her out with his multi-purpose robotic arms to get the job done instead. But above all, they both feel very believable. Riko is very humane in nature and quite quickly becomes someone you want to cheer for, and even Regu is surprisingly genuine despite being an amnesiac robot of unknown origins. There are also a handful of side characters making appearances of different sorts throughout the show, but while most of their roles are relatively brief, they all feel like they serve a purpose.

It's not just a well-written and exciting adventure anime though, but past a certain point the story also becomes very serious. In an almost Madoka-like twist of fate, it's like the author suddenly snapped his fingers and decided to take the series to the next level, which resulted in one of the most gruesome anime episodes I've seen in a long time. It was legitimately hard to watch (you'll know it when you see it). However, this only serves to further add to the feeling of peril and caution when trying to proceed further down into the Abyss, because the viewers are shown first-hand that this place is not to be underestimated. The show may have childlike characters and beautiful environments, but death might just lurk around any nearby corner nonetheless.

Made in Abyss is one of those anime which may be fairly straightforward in nature, but is still just so interesting in so many different ways that it's hard to stop watching. You never know what you're going to find next in this fantasy-like place, and the danger and intensity of the Abyss is showcased so well in order to get the appropriate atmosphere across to the viewers. It's beautiful yet deadly at the same time. It may have merely been a potential dark horse when the season started, but by the end of it there's no question which horse won the race any longer.