Are you looking for a good, fun, light-hearted adventure? This has that.
Are you looking for a wonderful, sci-fi thriller? This has its thrilling moments.
Are you looking for wonderful chemistry between the characters? This presents that.
Do you want an anime with well-animated fight scenes? This gives us that.
Are you looking for an anime that has a wonderful staff backing it up, always checking to make sure they bring out the anime’s fullest potential, based from its manga source, faithfully adapting it? They both have, and do that.
Made in Abyss is an anime, that can abide to almost anyone’s taste in anime. I personally believe that Made in Abyss is an anime and manga, that will ring throughout time as one of the best classics to come out in recent years.
Why? I’ll tell you.
As said before, Made in Abyss has a staff of people running it, that always checks to make sure that every episode is doing great, always trying their hardest into their works. A wonderful story, great character chemistry, a harmonious soundtrack, effects, and voice actors, and beautiful, fluid animation. All of that came onto the screen because of such a wonderful staff (except story, for the most part. Credit to the author, Akihito Tsukushi!). Everything about the series was able to grab me, and pulled me in like a roped hostage on a train or bank scandal. While that may sound rough, what is truly meant is that, just from the first episode, I could tell that Made in Abyss was going to be great.
In the first episode, it panels off immediately into a beautiful waterfall within the first layer of the Abyss, and then into an abundance of flowers, trying to make you feel as if you’re standing right next to the lead in their journey into the abyss. The staff did that to have world build for the viewers, but it was a lot more than that. With the waterfall, and pacing through the first episode, the waterfall and what happens after foreshadows what is to come later in the story. EVERYTHING that happens in the first episode, is foreshadowing the story within the Abyss. But, let me get back to what happens shortly after the waterfall and flower clip. We are introduced to the light-hearted driver of the story and her friend, Riko and Nat. They walk down a path, where they see a gondola, foreshadowing that Riko will be going down into the abyss. Then, she goes on an excavation to find relics, only to find a dead body in prayer.
And then.. The craziest part of the episode that foreshadows the darkness of the story.
A child, an inch away from death, from being eaten by the monster with the most peculiar characteristics, that will have importance in the show. The monster can be compared to that of a Manta Ray, a slug, and a snake.
Of course, because Riko is the main character, she cannot just standby and watch it all happen. So, she tries to attract the monster away from the child by blowing her whistle, and she runs away as hard as she can, and she gets hurt. Just when it seems everything is hopeless, A robotic child, or maybe I should say a knight in shining armor, saves Riko with a blast of light, and is found unconscious shortly after. Riko can’t just leave him, being the main character. So, she brings him. That robot’s name is Reg.
Thus, starts the wonderful character chemistry between the characters.
With the first episode, whenever the characters interact with each other, it always brings great joy for how well they work together. It might be that the leads are kids (no, not lolis, they range from ages 10-12, and Kiwi is, like, 4), but because they are kids, it makes me feel as if I, myself, am a kid again. Just watching them do what they do across the screen, pulls my heart even more into the story. It truly feels as though I’m standing next to them during their interactions. Due to the leads being kids, they give off the light-hearted sense of adventure. Living joyously, actively, and having fun. This is just between Nat, Riko, Reg, and Sigy. Don’t even get me started on the interactions with Lyza, Ouzen and Nanachi. Their interactions are some of the biggest reasons why this anime is great, along with the fight scenes. Lyza being the narrator, Ouzen being the badass grandmother, and Nanachi (My favorite!) breaking your average anime tropes. If you want to know how great they are, just watch the anime. After the encounter with Ouzen, the story shows that, not even the main characters have plot armor. The definition of humanity treads onto many uncomfortable grounds for its viewers to display dark desires from within.
Another great attachment to the anime is the sound.
The soundtrack is beautiful. In an instant, from hearing the insert song from the first episode, I pre-ordered the soundtrack. The soundtrack sounds as if it came straight out of a game, and really has an adventurous beat to it. Thank you, Kevin Penkin. However, if I were to compare the soundtrack to the sound effects, the sound effects are some of the best sounds I have heard out of anime, especially when Reg shoots his arms or laser. What I can describe those sound effect as, is organic. With the voice actors, the kids sound like kids, and the old adults sound like old adults. But, when the intensity rises, comedically and dramatically, or narration within the anime, say, the fight scenes and Maaya Sakamoto (Her narration is wonderful to hear), the voice acting is great. It rounds about the sense of adventure, just like everything else the anime provides. With the voice acting, one can tell that there is passion going on behind the scenes.
One more thing to talk about that the anime provides is the animation.
I have not seen many anime with such fluid flowing animation besides those of Ghibli films. Speaking of which, the background animator of Made in Abyss comes from the Ghibli films! Will that motivate you to watch and finish Made in Abyss? ...No? Okay, then I’ll provide more than that to motivate you. Time frame 19:57 to 20:10 in the first episode. That should be enough to talk about the animation, because animation like that is all the anime will provide, making eye candy for the viewer. From the grainy wood, to the cavities on rock walls, and the sun coming over the horizon are wonderful details added by the animators.
Overall/TL;DR | Enjoyment: 10/10.
Made in Abyss is quite original in handling the fantasy setting, and I have to say that, I’m glad something like Made in Abyss was able to come by. How the author was able to build a culture around an enormous crater is quite plausible. Made in Abyss provides variety, satisfaction, and it even provides the knowledge of the author, such as medical assistance and ecological terminology. Made in Abyss is an anime I can universally recommend. A great story that compels the viewer to finish from the start, active and lively characters that can be described even more as such through their interactions, the wonderful sound from the soundtrack, effects, and voice actors, and the Ghibli-comparable animation. I utterly, truly, from the bottom of the abyss within my heart, recommend this anime to anyone who seeks a great story. Made in Abyss provides just that.
Note: To legally watch, you'll need an Amazon prime account, and then take the anime strike subscription. You can also take a 7-day free trial to watch it! The first volume (episodes 1-6) is currently out, and can be bought for Blu-ray or DVD at CDJapan. The second half will be released in December.
Note edit: Anime strike was taken down, so you just need a prime subscription!
Extra Note: The second half has been released for Blu-Ray and DVD! (7-13)