Riko lives in a small town located on the edge of a place referred to as “the Abyss”, a large land inhabited by all kinds of monsters and filled with ancient treasures and unseen mysteries. Along with her group of friends, Riko aims to one day become a Cave Raider, training herself to become an explorer by gathering any treasures she comes across. However, when she encounters a robotic boy named Regu, Riko realises that there may be far more to find in the Abyss than just relics and old bones.
Every season has at least a few shows that, based on the premiere episode, could go in literally any direction, good or bad. Made in Abyss is one such show. A series that, so far, is neither amazing, nor terrible, but simply the right amount of “okay” to make it something that I didn’t regret devoting more than 20 minutes of my time to.
That’s not to say the show isn’t enjoyable. Not at all. As things currently stand, it’s pretty good, and there’s a lot to like here. The biggest strength of the series so far, is that it’s introduced enough of its setting and has managed to set up its general story without doing what a lot of other new shows do in their premieres and going overboard with details. The delivery of these details feels less like the info dumps of this season’s Fate/Apocrypha and just more natural.
And it’s great. Made in Abyss has left out just the right amount of information that it’s managed to grab me enough to want to dive deeper. I’m just curious enough to see how this is going to develop and just what we’ll find out about the world that is the Abyss itself.
And of course, naturally, the series has this pretty nice sense of adventure about it. As a fan of adventure shows and as someone who really enjoys exploring places in the real world, I dig the adventurous feel of Made in Abyss.
The characters are also pretty fun. They have a nice little collective friendship with one another and they feel like an actual group of friends as opposed to a group of archetypes made to fill in various story roles. It’s something that’s surprisingly rare in today’s Anime landscape, and I appreciate the shows attempt at trying to craft something genuine here.
Of course, it’s not all perfect though. Like I said above, this show is good, but hasn’t quite done anything spectacular yet. I like it, and I think it’s doing a lot of things right, but there’s nothing particularly outstanding either. It’s a fun little adventure show with a charming cast of friends and a decent sense of mystery, but… That’s it, really. For now anyway. I’m not trying to undermine the shows good points in the slightest, but I do hope that down the line the show becomes a lot more than what it currently is.
And while I praised the dynamic of the main cast of characters, on her own Riko is far from the most interesting or unique character to come from this type of series. She’s likable, for sure, and she fills her role well enough, but she’s nothing too special as of yet and feels rather derivative thus far.
Furthermore, there’s the big concern: What direction is this all going to take? Is it going to soar to incredible heights? Or is it going to tumble straight down into the abyss? At this point in time, it’s unclear where this show is headed, and while that has me excited, it also has me concerned. But I guess that’s just the cynic in me talking.
Made in Abyss also has a fantastic visual style. The environments in particular are absolutely breathtaking, and I found myself in awe at how picturesque some of this stuff was. My eyes felt spoiled. This world is stunning and it’s a real treat to gaze at. The character designs are also fantastic, and serve as an interesting and awesome contrast to the visuals of the world, being very child-like due to them all being little kids. They look adorable and charming, like they were pulled straight out of a kids TV Anime. Heck, back when I first saw the key visual for this show, I thought it was a kids show. The animation is also spot on, as expected from Kinema Citrus. It’s expressive, and full of energy, which is fitting considering the energetic youths the series is following.
The soundtrack is also great. Some really beautiful stuff can be found here. And despite everyone being kids, the voice acting isn’t grating and is actually very solid, something I didn’t expect. And yes, the Opening and Ending Themes are pretty good too, although nothing incredible.
As it currently stands, Made in Abyss is definitely one of the better shows this season. It does have a few small issues that pile on top of one another which unfortunately makes it just “good” as opposed to “great”, but there’s plenty of time for the show to iron those out. This show could go literally anywhere, and I hope that it manages to find its feet and become something amazing. In terms of story, there’s lots of potential here and the visuals and sound design are already spot on. If it plays its cards right, Made in Abyss can go from being something good to being something phenomenal, and I really, truly am, rooting for it go get there.
Because it’s about time we got another good adventure show like this. It’s been too long.
If you’ve been on the fence about this one, I’d recommend giving it a chance. There’s a lot to like here, and it’s most definitely worth your time.
As for me, I’ll be keeping my eye on this one. Here’s hoping it grows.
What are your First Impressions for Made in Abyss?