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Made in Abyss Discussion

BY LUIGGI CAVANNA
The Final Episode

“This anime season was a little bit underwhelming”, those were my thoughts at the beginning of the season if I recall correctly. I did talk about three different shows of this season in my blog “The Anime Season So Far”, but let me say that “Gamers” didn’t quite recover after episode five, and “Tsurezure Children”, even though stay consistent, was still just a romance anime and if you are not into romance you were shit out of luck. So aside from two-day specials like “Owarimonogatari” or recurring anime like “Boku no Hero Academia” there wasn’t much out there, except for…


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Of all the shows from this season, “Made in Abyss” was the one I waited for, every week, with the most anticipation. This show left such a mark on me that I have to talk about it, so I decided to create another segment like “The Anime Season So Far” and name it “The Final Episode”. In this segment, I’ll take a second look at one anime near the ending of a season, in which I’ll discuss the show in more detail. Without further ado, let’s jump right in.


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No pun intended.


First of all, I already wrote a little synopsis of this show in my previous anime blog, “The Anime Season So Far” and if my editors at Amerime Media are awesome, as I know as they are, they will put a link to it right here. So I won’t be discussing so much what the show is about, as much as dealing with more in depth stuff. So fair warning, there are some minor SPOILERS AHEAD! But not that many, I still want people that haven’t watched the show to give it a chance.


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Here is a refresher on how the curse works.


Made in Abyss was the one anime I stayed with until the end of this season, and it truly will be a crime if any of you gave it a pass just for its cutesy look. If “Madoka Magica” has taught the community anything, it’s that looks can be deceiving and cutesy looking anime can have an amazing well-written story. It can also be very dark. Unlike “Madoka Magica”, which turned really dark on episode three, “Made in Abyss” took it’s time and actually slowed down its pacing. We spent a few episode on the surface getting to know the world outside the abyss and characters that we might never see again! I really appreciated that. It gave us a sense of what the characters were leaving behind for the sake of this adventure. Friends and family, a world that they will never see again because the journey to the bottom of the abyss is a one-way trip.


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Madoka Magica is suffering.


I have to say it was quite a move this show pulled since a second season is not certain. Other anime would’ve rush through the story cramming as much content as it could in a twelve/thirteen episode run and hope for a second season. “Made in Abyss” only cared about building its world and characters, disregarding the time constraint and managed to give us a satisfactory ending.


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Satisfying but still bittersweet.


Despite the slow pace, the show knew when to pick things up. At the point where the anime ran the risk of becoming stale, it threw us into the chaos of the abyss. In episode ten, at the layer where the effects of the curse escalate to a point where a return is near impossible, the anime gets serious really fast. Every layer up to this point has showcased a vast number of creatures that are formidable, as they are deadly. The creatures of the fourth layer proved to be in a different league. With a combination of speed and otherworldly instincts the Orbed Piercer, a terrible monster of the abyss, severely injured Riko and the only way to escape that Reg could think of, was to take Riko and ascend rapidly to a structure above. That comes with a price though, remember, the strain of the curse at this level is quite terrifying.


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“I just wanted to have a nice and wholesome adventure…”


I love how the story was constructed. So far, with Reg’s might and Riko’s knowledge of the abyss, the journey has proven to be dangerous but manageable. We had some fake-outs on our way to this point, and some of us probably grew complacent thinking that they would just have a nice and wholesome journey to the depths of the abyss. This is where the story shocked us and told us that the tales of this place are very true and any step you take can be your last. This part was also the perfect time to introduce other characters, characters that are tremendously important in order to have a better understanding of this world.


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Nanachi and Mitty.


The story of Nanachi and Mitty, aside from leaving the whole community a sobbing mess, still followed the themes of humanity’s curiosity and longing for the unknown but also added the other side of the coin to it. Faith and the unstoppable thirst for knowledge, a thirst that can drive men to commit the darkest of deeds. Nanachi and Mitty weren’t always a bunny girl and a fleshy bag of pain and sorrow. They were orphans from foreign lands that were brought to the abyss by one of the white whistles and most hated anime character currently, Bondrewd.


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More like “The Ass-hole of Assitry” dude!


There is something eerie in the way that Bondrewd was introduced and how the children viewed him. He was like a messiah that walked into the orphanage to offer purpose and salvation. That also showed us how the world sees the abyss, a place of wonder, where we can find a second chance. Heck! It even spawned so sort of religion.


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“Let the children come to me”


In a way, Bondrewd is what we feared Ozen was going to be, remember when I talked about “fake outs”? Since the introduction of Nanachi and Mitty, we knew that their appearance was caused by the curse of the abyss, but we didn’t know why they had tremendous differences between them. Bondrewd is the answer, and also it’s the answer as to why Nanachi requested Reg to do something that, not only dumbfounded him but the audience as well.


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My heart sank.


I don’t want to spoil much more, I really feel people should experience this show. It explores so many aspects of our humanity, our curiosity, thirst for adventure and longing for a place to belong. There is so much sorrow and pain in this world, but also many beautiful and wonderful things. Despite all the fearsome creatures of the abyss, it’s telling that the most terrifying creature in the depths is man.


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Life continues, and regardless of everything that our heroes experienced, there’s still hope. I gotta say that it's been awhile since a show has made me feel so many things and I can only hope that it gets a second season, and if not, it would be time to read the manga. I can’t recommend this show enough! It is an adventure worth having, regardless of the dangers.


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So did you watch Made in Abyss? Are you going to give it a chance? What are your thoughts? Let us know. Now I return to the deepest darkest corners of my dwelling, probably to keep crying. Good-bye, for now, my friends.

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