Made in Abyss – Anime Preview
Synopsis: Within the depths of the Abyss, a girl named Riko stumbles upon a robot who looks like a young boy. Riko and her new friend descend into uncharted territory to unlock its mysteries, but what lies in wait for them in the darkness? (Official Anime Strike Synopsis)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Made in Abyss boasts adorable character designs juxtaposed with epic and creative fantasy monsters, producing a world that feels quite unique visually and undeniably eye catching. But the art is hardly Made in Abyss’ greatest pull, and merely speaks instead to an overall refined quality that makes the entire production appealing.
Linny: The art style of Made in Abyss is definitely adorable and enticing with a character design style that makes me feel like they would fit right into a cute Nintendo adventure game. The chibi designs work really well with the young age of the characters though on the other hand that cutesy look could be a con for those who find it clashes with the darker elements of the story.
Tom: I’m someone who actually really likes that clash, and I think it’s part of Made in Abyss’ greater charm. It helps to produce this intriguing world, which the show does an excellent job of easing us into. We aren’t fed an unending diatribe of details, we don’t have lengthy narration or exposition. Rather we’re allowed to explore alongside Riko as she goes about what amounts to her usual life. Through this, there’s lots of subtle world building that put a number of other anime to shame this season. It’s an excellent way to introduce viewers into the story without overwhelming them. Made in Abyss nails it.
Linny: Maybe it’s the pleasing visuals that make Made in Abyss’s world exploration and explanations fun to sit through. They don’t feel like crammed in exposition, though it does employ the ‘lead character is new/has amnesia so we have to explain everything to him’ tactic to dole out exposition. The episode gives the viewers just enough information to form a basic understanding about the world and location the story is set in without overwhelming them. And going back to my comment about this show looking like a video game, even the lore of the show makes it feel like an action adventure rpg begging to be explored.
Tom: Riko is an adorable, strong, female lead. She clearly has her own mind about things, and isn’t terribly keen about sitting around waiting for others to tell her how to do. She’s feisty, heroic, but perhaps naive and underestimates the dangers ahead of her.
Linny: On the other hand Riko could potentially frustrate viewers who are sick of the brash daredevil lead who engage in reckless behaviour because they suffer from tunnel vision. Otherwise, she and her group of friends are an adorable bunch who use their wits to make up for their lack of stature, even going so far as to employ and include a toddler in their escapades. Our other potential lead character, Robot Boy aka Regu is not only interesting due to his seemingly human-robot hybrid looks but also because of his mysterious origins.
Tom: Made in Abyss nails its opening. In fact, I might be tempted to say it’s got the single best season opener of the summer. It’s world is unique, its introduction near flawless and its main characters appealing and fun. Riko is a joy and the robot boy intriguing just as the entire setting is. I honestly can’t wait for the next episode and the only other anime to make me feel that way this season is Aho-Girl. Made in Abyss is a must try, there’s no doubts about that.
Linny: Made in Abyss’ premiere has it looking like a fun action adventure tale set in a fantasy world just waiting to be explored. Combined with its unique visual style, adorable cast and pleasing animation quality, it feels like it has the potential to be one of the more worthwhile shows of the season. However, despite the cutesy look of the characters, there’s definitely some darkness lurking within. One should probably be able to detect it from the few mentions of how these orphan children are punished severely for under performing on their expeditions or trying to keep anything for themselves. These alone lead me to believe that we might be in for a lot of darkness and suffering down the road. So consider yourselves warned.
Made in Abyss is available for streaming via Amazon’s Anime Strike Channel.