Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss

Made in Abyss Cover Art featuring Riko, Reg, and a Crimson Splitjaw
Made in Abyss Cover Art

Overview

Made in Abyss is about Riko, a young girl who wants to travel to the bottom of the abyss in order to be reunited with her mother.  The abyss is a giant, seemingly bottomless hole in the ground surrounded by a city and located on an island.

This is an adventure anime which will take you through strange new environments filled with mysterious creatures.

General Plot

People come from all over the world to live in the city and go into the abyss in search of treasures.  The depth a person can go into the abyss is determined by a colored whistle.  The whistles are red, blue, moon (purple), black, and white.

These whistle distinctions are very important because the abyss is separated into layers, with each becoming more dangerous the deeper you go.  Not only do the environments and creatures become more dangerous, but the effect the abyss has on the body as well.

This physical effect is called the curse of the abyss.  The curse of the abyss doesn’t affect one’s ability to travel deeper in the abyss, but rather affects the body when attempting to climb back out.  Ascending from the first layer causes slight nausea, but the lower layers cause much more severe reactions.

Characters

There are two main characters for the first season of Made in Abyss.  These are Riko and Reg.  Riko is the protagonist who is searching for her mother and Reg is a robot boy who was found by Riko in the first layer of the abyss.

Riko serves as the brains of the pair by using her extensive knowledge of the abyss and everything that can be found within it.  Reg is the muscle of the pair.  His robot body allows him to help Riko traverse the dangerous environments of the abyss.

Riko and Reg from the anime Made in Abyss
Riko and Reg

**SPOILERS AHEAD**

Complaints

The main issue I had with this series so far is that the different layers of the abyss are not explored as much as they could be.  There are all these new and interesting places, but they are glossed so the plot can move along faster.

Filler isn’t something that I want just so I can see more of the unique environments, but at times it felt like they would introduce a new environment and then nothing special was done with it.

One example of this is the inverted forest.  Sure we get to see the forest, and there’s a base there, but there’s no real conflict or anything special about it other than that it exists.

Essentially I felt that the series moved too fast.  A slow pace isn’t usually something you want out of an adventure anime, but at the same time you do tend to want the adventure to last a while.

I haven’t read the manga of Made in Abyss, but after the first season I felt like it was half over.  At the pace they’re going it doesn’t seem like there can be any more than two seasons total, but I want there to be so much more.

**SPOILERS INTENSIFY**

Predictions

I would like to preface this section by reiterating that I have not read anything about this series further than where the anime left off.  That said, the spoilers for the first season of the anime will continue in this section.

So we’ve established that there are physical effects on the body that occur when attempting to ascend out of the abyss.  We also learned that Riko was actually stillborn and later resurrected by using an artifact found in one of the lower layers of the abyss.

Her resurrection is key to this theory because we also learned that anything that has been resurrected “crawls toward the abyss.”  Further, there is a saying that everything returns to the abyss.

So What Does This All Mean?

I think that it will be revealed that the Abyss is actually Hell.  This would explain why things that should be dead are drawn back into the abyss and it could explain the curse of the abyss.

The curse of the abyss, as mentioned before, is a series of physical symptoms that one experiences upon trying to exit the abyss.  The deeper you are, the worse the symptoms will be, with the final symptom being death.  I think this is the abyss, Hell, trying to tear the soul from the body so as to keep it trapped.

There are other minor features of the abyss that we can use to point towards this theory as well.  One is the strange man-eating creatures that are found there.  Another is that there appear to be seven known layers to the abyss which would match up with the seven circles of Hell as popularized in Dante’s Inferno.

Why Does This Matter?

We know that Riko’s mother, Lyza, descended into the abyss beyond the point of no return.  However, the message that came out of the abyss with Lyza’s white whistle included a note which was apparently not written by Lyza.  So who wrote this message?

Riko’s father wrote the message.  We are told that he died around the time that Riko was born, but if we are assuming that the abyss is Hell or some version of the underworld, then that’s where he would end up after dying.

Lyza made it to the bottom of the abyss and found her dead husband there.  Maybe she learned something about the abyss that made her think this would be what she found at the bottom, or maybe she went down there out of curiosity.  Either way, both of Riko’s parents are now at the bottom of the abyss awaiting her return to them.

Conclusion

Even with the complaints I had, Made in Abyss was good, really good.  I ended up watching the whole season in one sitting and by the end I decided it was an 8/10.

While the season as a whole lived up to the hype, I was lead to believe that there was some huge reveal that never seemed to come.  The most surprising reveal was that Riko had actually been dead, but that came much earlier than the whatever reveal I was led to believe existed.

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