I want to be honest. I was evading this anime and manga. My first impression was the picture of Riko, Regu, and Nanachi, I thought: An anime about children, with some strange plot, fanservice and maybe a big bunny. I was not expecting anything from this anime. I was preparing to skip and to "bury" it in a review, but now I can eat my own words. This anime is a jewel. The adaptation is incredible. It has a good narrative with an impressive artistic design, combined with the most beautiful soundtrack of the year and an acceptable character development.
An anime with a good story. It has everything, mystery, emotion, sadness, love, action, tears and much more. The story could be straightforward and conceptually very simple, several details are added as the story progresses. The show highlights concepts such as friendship, trust, why the abyss became important to the locals and the curse that surrounds it without being too complicated for the viewer to understand. Also, we can observe the constant need to find the truth and the need to resolve the abyss' mysteries. Besides, the story blended very well with the art and soundtrack to produce a beautiful animation.
The abyss is an incredibly creative world. For me, it has its own set of laws where all the characters converge. The story never contradicts the abyss but uses it to propel the mysteries and characters. The plot is very attractive, and the details are revealed at the right pace to keep you hooked to the end. Also, some details are never shared, we can try to guess about them.
Lowering the abyss is a dangerous task. However, it is gratifying to see the consistency between hazards and depth. Perhaps the only negative point I have is that the story is not going to be finished as the manga is still going on. In addition, it was only adapted to chapter 26 of the manga. I'm sure we'll have to wait a while for an ending.
The main characters are Riko and Regu. I consider Nanachi and Ouzen as secondary characters but those two added important details to the story.
Riko radiates great enthusiasm. She wants to explore and to understand the abyss. Besides, she is anxious to go deeper because she wants to see her mom. She suffers, cries, worries, but always tries to be active no matter how weak she is. She is brilliant, but her body is not that strong. She trusts Regu unconditionally.
Regu. Is it a machine? Is it a hybrid? This character has a mystery that maybe will not be explained. He is powerful but lacks thoughtful analysis. For that reason, he is the best partner for Riko because she is the rational one and they trust each other.
Ouzen (Ozen): She is a human being but could be a monster. She does not care if you're weak or strong. She will show you the reality and if necessary will put you in your place.
Nanachi is more a survivor of the abyss curse. She (I'm assuming she's a girl) is very intelligent and has suffered a lot. However, there may be an error in her age. She might look young as Riko, but is she so young? I think she's older than Riko and Regu.
The characters look good together because their traits are very different. The show portrayed them very well. However, I would consider the characters as the weakest link in the series. Do not get me wrong, they are good, but they were not explored enough to explain some parts of the story. At times I felt that we just touched the surface of these characters. There are some background questions, and I'm sure we will get the answers in the future.
The best of the season. They pay attention to details. For example, in episode one at the end, we can see the talent of this group when they combined the shadows and the lighting at dawn and created a perfect movement. The precise colors and design created an impressive effect that for the spectator's eyes could be one of the best of the year. That quality remained throughout the series. In addition, the choice of colors and a smart move adjusted within the scenes helps you to focus on what matters, not forgetting or letting go of the details if you choose to focus on other parts of the scene.
The action sequences have an excellent design and do not lose quality. They also combine very well with the sound mixing.
With one word I want to praise this "exceptional" sound.
The OST has several scores that help the storytelling. For example, a mixed composition such as "Underground River" (Ep1, Disc1), "Hanazeve Caradhina" (Ep1), "Swings and Roundabouts" combined with an intelligent sequence, an impressive story and a witty artistic direction created the perfect environment to catch any viewer and make them anxious for more. We can find another example in the score "The first layer." This score helps to add to the plot the feeling of the unknown and the expectation for the future.
The music runs in the best time possible. It creates excitement, drama, conveys feelings to viewers and makes the plot and characters shine.
The songs Deep in Abyss (OP) and Tabi no Hidarite, Saihate no Migite (ED) are the perfect complement to this anime. These songs are very catchy and have a great rhythm.
Finally the VO. I'm not used to talking about it, but in this case, the voices helped to portray the characters. For example, Ouzen's voice. That voice adds excitement to the scenes and creates a great twisted mystery to the character.
I really liked this anime. It does not matter if the characters were not explored in detail, no matter the lack of answers about some characters or if the story did not end. The show brings a lot of excitement to any viewer. The story is solid, well structured and consistent almost all the time. The pace is good and the details never hurried. Another good point is that they followed the manga so none could complain. The art and sound led the narration out of the chart.
I was tempted to give a 10 to this anime, but the questions about the characters and the unfinished story lowered the score. Unfortunately for us, we do not know if we will get a continuation of the anime in the future, but it does not matter. I recommend this anime, the art, the adaptation are exceptional with a unique soundtrack. It was the best of the season so skipping it will be a mistake. In the end, I became a fan of this story and I don't regret it.
PS: Yes! Another messy review by Pipe and I didn't proofread again, sorry.