A First Impression: Made in Abyss Episode 1

And I’m calling him ‘my son’.

The city of Orth lies around the edge of a massive, yawning hole known as the Abyss. Nobody knows how deep it is, because no one has reached the bottom of it before, but it’s filled with all kinds of strange artifacts and fearsome creatures. Excavators of differing ranks according to their expertise and the depth they are allowed to enter search for and recover these relics. Riko and Nat are two ‘red whistles’, one of the lower ranks from Belchero Orphanage who are sent on excavation expeditions and use the recovered relics to fund the orphanage itself. Riko dreams of joining the ‘600 metre group’ and becoming a white whistle, like her mother was.

Her and Nat’s latest expedition goes poorly when they are both nearly eaten by a massive beast, but are saved by a beam of light that seems to have come from an unconscious robot boy. Riko excitedly takes the robot back to the orphanage – while keeping him secret from the adults. They eventually manage to get him to wake up with a jolt of electricity – however, this ends up giving him amnesia and he can’t remember anything about himself, including the fact that he’s a robot.

This seating seems somewhat…inconvenient.

Well, this looks like it’s going to be the show of the season. I loved every second of Made in Abyss, and I already want to go and buy the manga it’s based on immediately.

The atmosphere and general look of both the abyss and Orth is absolutely goddamn gorgeous. Have you ever seen an anime that’s so beautiful you get genuinely moved? Because that’s how I felt watching this. Every scene is beautiful. From what I can see of the manga, it has a beautiful art style itself, so I’m sure there was initially some doubt as to whether an anime could properly capture the same feeling, but it definitely does. The still images I had seen of it I at first thought looked a little too much like a typical RPG fantasy world, but seeing the show itself that’s not entirely true. There’s an amazing aesthetic to the abyss itself that is simultaneously beautiful and forboding, and they’ve done a bang-up job of conveying that uncertain terror of a deep, deep, seemingly bottomless cavern while still looking spectacular. I could rave for a very long time about how good this show looks and feels in the backgrounds and lighting and setting alone. And that music!

The characters also have their charm – some people will undoubtedly be deterred by the hyper cutesy aesthetic that they have; the kids are all pretty round and chunky and even the adults look really cute. But I think it fits the rest of the shows feel very well, and I’m already really liking all the characters so far, especially Riko and Reg. I didn’t really know much about this series before I started watching it – other than the fact that it a)it was highly anticipated and b)it apparently gets very dark and messed up, which I look forward to – so I had no idea there was a robot character in it at all. As far as robot boys go, Reg’s completely adorable and I’d honestly watch the whole series for him even if every other element of it sucked. But every other element does certainly not suck, so he’s really just a great bonus on an already amazing show.

This is definitely the strongest premier of anything else I’ve watched so far, and hell I don’t even care if everything I watch after this is the worst anime I’ve ever seen. This is probably gonna be the one I blog, folks. There’s definitely a lot of small hints in this episode that things are going to get upsetting and tragic, but I’m pretty eager for the ride.


Out of 5,



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