Made in Abyss is back after some time and it comes back in a way it only knows how: Brutal. Right off the bat it hits you with some hard hitting topics and brutality against its characters, which I guess is something we should get used to now. But man it really does hit you hard how much these poor characters have to suffer, and we don’t even know their full story yet. It’s been about five-ish years since the first season of the anime, and it’s been two years since the sequel movie Dawn of the Deep Soul. Which I just watched two days ago for the first time.
I suppose I’ll give a quick review of the movie, but first I’ll talk about the episode.
After the events of the movie, Riko, Reg, Nanachi, and now Meinya head into the little capsule ship to descend to the sixth layer The Capital of the Unreturned. However, we don’t even get to see the main crew until the very end because the episode was mostly set in the past with a completely different crew of characters as they descended into the Abyss for the very first time. In this story we follow many characters but mostly focus on Vueko. Vueko is a girl traveling with the Ganja, a group of undesirables sent as a suicide group to find The Golden City to find the source of their nameless god and whatnot. Vueko seemed like she had been sent, but in part voluntarily joined the group in order to escape her abuser. Anything to get away from the physical and sexual abuse and torture, even if it meant putting her life in danger trying to find The Golden City. She is appointed to be one of the Three Mages and is unsure about it but is given some words of encouragement by Belaf, another significant character part of the group. He serves as a translator between the Ganja and the natives on the land, and he seems very calm and collected. Vueko doesn’t particularly like herself and is very meek, but she does her best to help everyone and quickly takes in one of the native girls that was banished to the Abyss.
This episode was really interesting! Maybe they’ll show it more, but it would have been great if we really got to see Vueko and co’s adventure down the Abyss. We didn’t get a deep dive into it, but it at least seemed like they didn’t really suffer any casualties. They were aware of the Curse of the Abyss when one of their group climbed a small ledge too quickly and ended up vomiting. But it seemed like their descent all the way down to the fifth layer seemed smooth, whereas Riko and Reg had an extremely difficult time. Either they just wanted to skip it, but considering Vueko’s journey took place a VERY long time ago it could be that the monsters that Riko and Reg encountered weren’t as plentiful back then, or as dangerous. They also had the little native girl guide them as well, though I have to wonder how much of the Abyss she knew when we know how severe the Curse gets deeper into the layers of the Abyss you go, making it more and more difficult to come back to the surface. But eventually the group made it to The Golden City, and we transition back to Riko and gang. Their interactions are always fun but I think the weird…potty jokes kind of make me uncomfortable? This is something I felt about the movie but I’ll get to that in just a second. Either way, I really enjoyed getting to know Vueko and the other characters as well as taking a look at the world outside of the Abyss for once. We didn’t get to see too much, but it was at least something because the first episode made it seem like only the Abyss existed in the world. It was nice at least checking out the ocean, even if it had scenes of…vomiting and corpses.
The deeper into the Abyss they go, the more terrified I get for these children. They made it perfectly clear beforehand that once they descended into the sixth layer, that would be it for them. Going back to the surface isn’t possible, and one thing that always astounded me in Made in Abyss was Riko’s excitement. She’s almost dead many times during her journey but her fascination with the Abyss and her mission of finding her mother terrifies me. She left everything behind to risk her life on a perilous adventure and she couldn’t be happier, I just want to grab Riko and just be like, are you okay? I think there’s something wrong with you! But it’s too late, they’ve stepped into the sixth layer and their real journey is about to begin. And let me say, that last shot of The Golden City I admit was gorgeous.
I wasn’t expecting a story like Vueko’s to start us off, but I loved it. It was really interesting to see a time of the Abyss from long ago and see if Vueko’s group had any influences. One of my favorite things from Made in Abyss is the worldbuilding. The first season was able to meticulously go over every detail of how different each Abyss, what the Curse’s effects were for each specific layer, and just the grandness of it all. Vueko’s story just adds to that more and I believe will continue to add to it whenever we see more of their story. It’s all so very interesting and adds to this sense of adventure and mystery of the horrors of the Abyss. So, I enjoyed this premiere and I’m so curious to see what this layer will hold and what info we’ll learn. I’m excited albeit very cautiously because…
Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of blogging: Guaranteed
Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul
I’ll just give a brief summary of my thoughts of the movie. So obvious to say there will be spoilers beyond this point, but if you’re reading this I’m assuming you’ve already seen the movie. If not, YOU NEED TO SEE DAWN OF THE DEEP SOUL BEFORE WATCHING THE GOLDEN CITY. Dawn of the Deep Soul is a direct sequel of the TV anime and it’s required before watching The Golden City. Anyway!
I thought the movie was…okay. Maybe a 6.5-7/10. The movie’s pacing was really fast and the things I loved about Made in Abyss was not here. Lack of worldbuilding and even the lack of great character interactions. Prushka felt like a waste of a character only to be used as a plot device for the white whistle, and it drove me nuts that Riko and ESPECIALLY Nanachi left her alone with Bondrewd knowing what a monster he was and what he’s done to her and many other children. It may have been a fool’s errand considering how much Prushka loved Bondrewd but whatever. The action scenes were nice but again the pacing of everything was much too fast and there were so many new terms thrown in with the scenes lasting a short time because we just had to jump into something else, that it sort of made things a little confusing. And going back to Prushka, I couldn’t even feel for her like I did Nanachi and Mitty because her character was barely around and we didn’t have enough time to make an emotional connection with her. I couldn’t quite believe her wanting to be friends with Riko and going on an adventure when the scenes where she said all that were through flashbacks when Prushka already disappeared and eventually died in the story. It felt like a huge waste. Bondrewd was an interesting villain but even then I couldn’t get into his character all that much either. So in the end, the movie was nothing more than okay. And when I say that, it was kind of disappointing in reality. Which is why I hope this second season to be much better.
Now, one thing that I don’t like all that much from the movie and sort of from the premiere from the second season is the weird sexual/potty jokes. Talk about Reg getting a boner and keeping in a scene of Riko pooping for laughs is…fine I guess. But it sort of makes me uncomfortable, and that’s on top of the gratuitous gore and torture of these young children. It drove me insane seeing the movie having three separate scenes of belly button stabbing. And look, I get it, Bondrewd and the Umbra Hands are awful and do human experimentations on these wayward children, BUT STILL! I know it’s the point, but then you have Vueko getting raped. And one other scene that basically insinuated rape when the little native girl was labeled as not being able to have babies. Geez, there’s only one way to figure that out. Ugh…I can see why Vueko was so protective of her considering she went through the same abuse. Sigh…
I know the first season could get dark, but it was mostly the monsters of the Abyss Riko and Reg needed to watch out for as well as the Curse, which Riko was already knowledgeable about so it could be avoided. It did get gory at the end but not to the degree that we see now. I just don’t want the gore and uncomfortable dark topics to go overboard, so…we’ll see. I just want a really good adventure, so I’ll prepare myself.