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EP. REVIEW: Made in Abyss


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Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 448
PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:45 pm Reply with quote
The show strikes an interesting balance in tone between the possibly deadly consequences of the cave-raiding, the questionable setup of the orphanage (so this orphanage basically takes in children without a future and sends them on life-threatening missions that at a certain depth are tantamount to suicide, so they can profit off the loot?), and the cheerfulness of the art and characters. The popular consensus seemed to be that episode 1 was the strongest of the three, but I preferred two and three because I think the basic premise (Riko's quest to find her mom at the bottom of the abyss) is really compelling - the only thing that risked putting me off of it was how jovial the show sometimes tended to be, especially some of Riko's behaviour in episode 3 after she announces her intent to go on an apparently indisputably suicidal mission. Where does she get the resolve to face certain death at 11 years old?

That this could have been an intentional juxtaposition to demonstrate a disturbing placidity that people working around the abyss have didn't occur to me till I read this review though, making the curse of the abyss perhaps not only physiological, but psychological, or at least constituting an attempt at a broader thematic point of some kind.

Anyway, my ultimate takeaway from these episodes is that Lyza The Annihilator is an extremely good Anime Mom name.


Last edited by 鏡 on Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:53 pm Reply with quote
I can't quite put into words why I feel this way, but Made in Abyss gives me the same sort of feeling I got reading Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy for the first time. Something about the naturalistic, matter-of-fact temperament of the characters maybe, or the shared idea of two children delving into a world that far outstrips them in complexity and maturity as they struggle to find their footing. Definitely looking forward to seeing where this goes.
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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 8:20 pm Reply with quote
Made in Abyss is to me easily the best new anime show. I like the intriguing premise, but so far the main characters, beautiful art, atmosphere and the execution are the things I have enjoyed the most. Each episode has been satisfying, and if the rest of the episodes continue to be this great, Made in Abyss has a shot at being the best anime series of 2017.
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AsuraTheDestructor



Joined: 24 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:04 pm Reply with quote
The abyss in this series is so horrifying it Makes the Abyss in Dark Souls look like a Child's playpen.

Its great.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:20 pm Reply with quote
Made in Abyss is the best anime of the season with fantastic animation, complex characters, and a world that is both beautiful and deadly. I can't think of any other anime quite like it though parts of it did make me think of Final Fantasy VII and The Secret of Kells. The combination of fantasy, science fiction, and exploration of the unknown makes for a very interesting story.

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John Thacker



Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:24 pm Reply with quote
The show takes some fairly standard RPG character types (the orphan with a legendary parent, the childhood friends, the mysterious otherworldly friend with seemingly magical abilities) and gender swaps them all. Not in a way that the show tries to draw attention to as an overt statement, for sure, and it would be just as interesting and well realized with the conventional sexes for each character, but it's nice to see something balancing the average a bit.
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Joshua Zarate



Joined: 12 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:45 pm Reply with quote
Made in Abyss can very well be many people's pick, including myself, for best of Summer 2017 if it can continue its quality storytelling. I'm really enjoying this one as well as Princess Principal this season and I am feeling real excited to keep following these shows on a weekly basis. The atmosphere and overall tone are the parts of this show I really like and make me feel real invested in the show. Here's hoping the staff can keep up the good work.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:54 pm Reply with quote
Episode 3 really worried me. The abyss is only an effective plot devise if it's some unfathomable things that swallow even the most hardcore of veteran. The main character mom went in with large experience crew and even though her goal wasn't to reach the deepest level she barely made it back up and most of her crew died. So obviously now we have to believe it's something a 12 year old with little experience can fully explore...

Either the abyss is daunting, in which case a 12 year old can't possibly explore it, or it's something a 12 year old can explore, therefore how come nobody did? These two things seriously clash with each others and it really seems like they're heading for the Riko actually reaching the bottom ending, meaning I'm already finding the abyss less interesting before we even set foot in it proper. It's the lovercraft horror dilemma that all adaptation fail to get, no matter how much you tell me that your villain is all powerful, it's only as strong as whatever defeat it and no matter how much you tell me it's mysterious, it's only mysterious if we don't know the full extend of it. I'm a show don't tell kind of viewer, you can tell me it's dangerous as many time as you want, but if it's shown to be simple, well...

I don't even see why they need that element, it would have been far more interesting if the show happened over 20 years as Riko go on multiple expedition deeper and deeper.

Imagine if in One piece when Luffy tried to set off as a kid he actually succeeded and reached the end of the calm belt, would that really have been interesting?
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Ajc228



Joined: 29 Dec 2015
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:25 pm Reply with quote
Can anyone explain why some people talk about the manga taking a gross or dark turn? Like I see people make vague allusions to offputting content in the manga.
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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:35 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:
The show takes some fairly standard RPG character types (the orphan with a legendary parent, the childhood friends, the mysterious otherworldly friend with seemingly magical abilities) and gender swaps them all. Not in a way that the show tries to draw attention to as an overt statement, for sure, and it would be just as interesting and well realized with the conventional sexes for each character, but it's nice to see something balancing the average a bit.
It is basically the gender swap of a rather common story element of boy finding a robot girl with Panzer Dragoon Saga being one of many examples. Girl finding a robot boy is very rare and in terms of the hero's journey I think this might be the first anime to do that. Made in Abyss would be great show regardless but that change does make it feel more original.
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Brack



Joined: 15 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:48 pm Reply with quote
Ajc228 wrote:
Can anyone explain why some people talk about the manga taking a gross or dark turn? Like I see people make vague allusions to offputting content in the manga.


I don't know about the manga, but episode 2 has its 12 year old lead depicted naked, in bondage.

Which kind of confirmed my suspicion that even if the target audience isn't creeps (and don't get me wrong, it might be), at the very least, creeps are involved in production of the show.

See also an anime-original gag in Magical Circle Guru Guru #2 that oversteps the line between cute and "animators are creeps".
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DuskyPredator
It...it's not like I post for you or anything!It...it's not like I post for you or anything!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:27 am Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
Episode 3 really worried me. The abyss is only an effective plot devise if it's some unfathomable things that swallow even the most hardcore of veteran. The main character mom went in with large experience crew and even though her goal wasn't to reach the deepest level she barely made it back up and most of her crew died. So obviously now we have to believe it's something a 12 year old with little experience can fully explore...

And you are mistaking the optimism of the girl for optimism of the series. Why do you think her friend was being so strong about trying to convince her not to go? It should be suicide, it really being hinted at that she has no idea of the magnitude of what she has put in front of her, that she is grossly unprepared, and it is likely a matter of time before she sees even the early levels will be. If you are thinking that the show is setting up that this something some 12 year old can do, then you are being a fool in that you need to pay attention. The question will be how hard this will hit her, how much of her intangible traits like optimism may be able to push her, and her mysterious robot partner will help.

At the least, I am currently theorising that if it does get that far, we will find that the expedition is very ill advised, in that I don't think the message was an invitation for others to follow her. Instead, I am think it was a warning, perhaps something like "It is waiting" instead of "I am waiting", that something down there is so Lovecraftian that only "It" could be a description.
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Jimmeeeh



Joined: 22 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:47 am Reply with quote
Ajc228 wrote:
Can anyone explain why some people talk about the manga taking a gross or dark turn? Like I see people make vague allusions to offputting content in the manga.

Oh boy, you have no idea.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:54 am Reply with quote
DuskyPredator wrote:
meiam wrote:
Episode 3 really worried me. The abyss is only an effective plot devise if it's some unfathomable things that swallow even the most hardcore of veteran. The main character mom went in with large experience crew and even though her goal wasn't to reach the deepest level she barely made it back up and most of her crew died. So obviously now we have to believe it's something a 12 year old with little experience can fully explore...

And you are mistaking the optimism of the girl for optimism of the series. Why do you think her friend was being so strong about trying to convince her not to go? It should be suicide, it really being hinted at that she has no idea of the magnitude of what she has put in front of her, that she is grossly unprepared, and it is likely a matter of time before she sees even the early levels will be. If you are thinking that the show is setting up that this something some 12 year old can do, then you are being a fool in that you need to pay attention. The question will be how hard this will hit her, how much of her intangible traits like optimism may be able to push her, and her mysterious robot partner will help.


Another thing to keep in mind also regard the thing with Riko's mom is that it's much harder to ascend than it is to descend, because of the curse. Fighting off rival cave raiders or the terrors of the deep is one thing, fighting them off while you're also bleeding from every orifice because of the curse is another.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this isn't just a 12 year old girl, it's a 12 year old girl who has as a companion an absurdly sturdy curse immune robot who can shoot death rays from his palms and possibly may have already made the journey from the bottom of the Abyss to the top by himself.

This is not to say that the journey should be easy, or that it is a good idea, but it does provide at least some context for why episode four isn't just "and then Riko died after reaching the second layer. Show over."
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Merida
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Joined: 21 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 1:54 am Reply with quote
Jimmeeeh wrote:
Ajc228 wrote:
Can anyone explain why some people talk about the manga taking a gross or dark turn? Like I see people make vague allusions to offputting content in the manga.

Oh boy, you have no idea.[/spoiler]


Well, that was helpful... Rolling Eyes

While the "off-putting content" might still change my mind, i'm gonna echo those who call this show best of the season so far. It looks beautiful, the world is fascinating, the characters are likeable and i can't wait to find out what awaits them down in the abyss.
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