This is a post that was meant to happen the first week of January. My real world kind of exploded and I haven’t had the time to sit down and write for a couple weeks. Now that things have settled down to be more normal, I’m hoping to get back to my schedule. Also I want to thank everyone for the award nominations. I tried to keep track… but I think I will end up missing a few. I’m so thankful for the nominations and thankful that you all follow my blog.
I’m going to look back to when I got an Amazon Strike subscription for one week to watch what I consider to be the best anime of 2017. Now that Amazon Strike is no more hopefully more will be able to watch “Made in the Abyss” and enjoy the story as much as I did.
At first glance when I saw the picture as I was scrolling through it looked a bit childish and I was unsure if I wanted to watch it. I pick anime based on my mood: Do I want action? Romance? Adventure? Thriller? I was in a weird mood that day and I couldn’t find anything that I wanted to start. So I just dived in and started my free subscription and “Made in the Abyss” took me on a journey that I will never forget.
The world building in this anime is fantastic. I tend to enjoy a world that has set rules and then stick to those rules. With this world there is a giant abyss (didn’t see that one coming huh? haha) and the people go down into the abyss to find relics of another era or time. That is a mystery that is still ongoing about what/who exactly left these relics (I have a few theories on that but I’ll let you find your own 😉 ). There are levels to the abyss and starting Cave Raiders are red whistles. They can only go to the first level without suffering too much from the “curse of the abyss”. The curse is ill effects that happen to your mind and body as you ascend from the abyss. The lower you go the worse the effects are. And when you go upwards even a few feet the effects start happening.
The main character Riko finds a robot on one of her raids. He looks human but he can’t remember anything. He is then called Reg and the children decide to hide him since they believe that if they turned him in he would get taken apart to be researched. In this world all these children belong to a home and they have to give the head of the house everything they find at the end of the day. Right away you will realize that this isn’t an anime for children. The children are abused Riko is strapped up naked for keeping a relic from the abyss. There is a continuing theme of these forgotten children who no longer have parents or who have parents that are gone. It comes to head at the end of season one.
This anime does a great job of developing the world but not taking a long time to get the story started. Riko’s journey begins when a letter arrived from her mother, Lyza, telling her to meet her at the bottom of the abyss.
Riko’s mother is what they call a “white whistle” they are the only ones who made it to the bottom of the abyss and survived the effects of the curse. Her mother has been missing presumed dead for some time. This letter leads Riko to believe that her mother is alive.
There is a great mystery surrounding this world. As you watch you get the feeling that something ominous is just around the corner that has been kept hidden. Secrets. That is in part of what makes this anime so good. You can’t just figure it out but you know it is there. There is a lie going around about this world and as you watch you have a desire to be let in on the secret. The white whistles have to be a part of that mystery. There is only a handful of them and we only meet one with Riko, Ozen, the one who trained Lyza. The others we see flashes of in another story. It leads you to believe that maybe these white whistles aren’t such great people and there is an agenda that we don’t know about.
Riko learns about her birth from Ozen. Ozen can be one of those characters that you want to hate but you don’t understand fully. I’m still not sure if I would ever trust her or not and I’ve seen the end result. Each character has their own motivation and again that is part of what makes this a great anime to watch. They all have their own goals and desires.
I think that goes with the world. It is easy to believe that people who want to be the first at something or the first to make a discover. We see these things even in Indiana Jones. The world of finding relics may be more cutthroat than we see.
Seeing this journey through children’s eyes can be somewhat disconcerting. The story does a great job in setting up Riko’s character to make her believable and self sufficient. You kind of need to be in this world. Also I love that Reg’s powers have rules. There is no unlimited use. This anime doesn’t make things easy and that is also what makes it so great.
The creatures they meet along the way. Whew… They are just as amazing and unique as the characters themselves. Again they have rules and can be very horrifying and nightmarish. So not only do they have to worry about the curse of the abyss but with each level it brings in creatures that basically want to kill and eat them.
There are a couple episodes at the end that open up about the darker side of this world. The characters and the backstory are truly heartbreaking and I had tears pouring down my face. It sets the conflict up well for season two and we know things are not going to get any easier for our characters.
If anything the art is visually fantastic. I also enjoyed the credits.
I love little things like this… When you see the end credits you get to see where Reg and Riko are on their journey in the abyss. It add a nice touch and it gives your mind a map to follow along.
Each level in the abyss has its own world and story. Again give this anime a try. This is my top choice for 2017 over all the seasons. It is unique and I have no complaints about the plot. Every so often we get a truly amazing anime that leaves you sitting still in the moments after you finish knowing that you were just a part of something amazing. Happy Watching!