I purposefully avoid anime fans and their circlejerks these days so I can’t say for certain but I’m willing to bet this was very popular in those groups and was probably anime of the season – possibly year – for many people. Having watched since the start there were definitely times I’d agree, especially once the true show, the journey of Reg and Girl into the abyss began, as Made in Abyss can at times be something incredibly special. Most noteworthy is the perfect balance in a show of man vs nature of showcasing the genuine beauty and mystifying aspects of this pit as well as the treacherous horrors in it. Nature is always beautiful yet terrifying, and the directing here, especially early on, does a fantastic job of getting that across without being in your face about it nor subtle, but fittingly “natural”.
Gorgeous barely-traveled landscapes, all sorts of mysterious flora and fauna, and a general sense of unease yet curiosity for both the characters and the viewer through great “camera” shots and insert songs reminiscent of Wolf’s Rain subdued vocal tracks. For something created based on a shitty web manga that almost got cancelled before introducing every single thing they could to retain the otaku audience, this had an amazing amount of potential AND of already greatly executed content for a good while.
Then came the first bump in the road – Ozen the awful fucking “I don’t understand basic anatomy” hunchback who is 13 feet tall and somehow can break her spine and extend her neck 10 feet regularly to hunch over so far that it is completely impossible. She also changes entire size throughout her appearances from shot-to-shot because they didn’t know what they were fucking doing.
In fact, almost every problem with this show comes from meeting new characters in a story where there should be none, or at most VERY fleeting meetings that last maybe a few minutes (such as when that fun big guy catches them before they go deeper and has a really touching moment to say goodbye) or one night. Either the meeting itself lasts for several episodes and is just a terribly written shitheap or it’s that PLUS involves some seriously forced bullshit to tell itself it “needs” that character. In this case it’s only the former, we meet up with Ozen in her outpost thing along with – because, again, this is a webmanga aimed at anime otaku and not an actually good story – a cute boy who dresses as a girl, wears pouches on his ears (????), acts like a girl, and talks like a girl but still has a dick because this turns people on. He’s not a huge issue, in fact I actually liked his character and the scene of him saying how many people he’s had to see leave not bothering him but how hard this time is for him was really well done and got to me a little. Ozen, however, IS an issue beyond just her godawful stupid fucking design, hunchbacked, 30 feet tall bullshit – and so is this 3 episode arc that serves no real purpose aside bringing up questions that shouldn’t exist.
Girl while in this outpost needs to take a piss while everyone is sleeping, she gets lost, and stumbles upon a weird monster smashing around in a storage area. How does this headless, gutted, 1/10th of a monster make it to this storage room in the main building? We learn shortly after that it was locked in a special box that only Ozen’s whistle can open and is literally impossible to get in or out of otherwise, locked in a building that can only be opened by Ozen as well, and also several trees and an ELEVATOR away from the main building. Yet, inexplicably, this creature makes it all the way to a storage room in the main building by just somehow getting out of this locked cube, locked room, jumping around on trees with no head or real body, and even riding an elevator WHICH ONLY OPERATES IF THE PERSON IN THE MAIN BUILDING TELLS IT TO GO DOWN OR UP. Wow, it’s VERY talented!
You could say Ozen put it there but her own explanation of the events ends at “I put some meat inside the cube to see what would happen and left it there”. She never says she took it out and into the main place, she never says she had someone else do it, she never explained how it’d be possible for it to have done it – and okay, lets say she DID put it there.
1. How come none of the other explorers gave a shit? There are like 6 people aside all of the mentioned ones that are here right now.
2. How did Ozen guess that Girl would need to pee at like 2am when nobody else was awake, would go the wrong way from being lost in this place, and would specifically end up in the vicinity of that room as well as check it out when the bathroom doesn’t even seem to be remotely nearby?
3. How did she also make sure the monster didn’t go anywhere else?
4. why fucking bother doing this at all?
Ozen is retarded. She’s super edgy every fucking second she’s on screen for no fucking reason even her goddamn seiyuu tries making her sound like a fucking Halloween joke, she’s a cunt, she also beats the SHIT out of both Girl and Reg for absolutely no reason. I don’t even feel like talking more about this part, it’s just so fucking STUPID rather than offensively shit. Oh, actually one more thing – she’s canonically like 300 years old, nope, no explanation for that one not even some special abyss item or anything. She just is.
And then the true abyss for the quality of the show, an endless drop into complete and utter shit – the introduction of what fans are defending as “Justified edginess” mixed with Nanachi the rabbit girl, Mitty the horrific blob monstrosity, and Le Evil Edgelord Mastermind Antagonist.
This’ll take a bit so lets first establish something important. The curse of the abyss is a constant threat in this show and it’s really well thought out – it’s very clearly just hardcore altitude sickness from how deep they dive in here along with sometimes including psychosis from, well, look at the place they’re in and what they’re surrounded by – it’s not surprising you could lose your shit especially when there are forests upside down, sunlight coming from beneath you, and so on. It makes sense and is something realistic and believable mixed with just a slight tinge of fantasy to it that it works well because it doesn’t sound like retarded bullshit.
Then you learn it’s just retarded bullshit.
It can morph you into a bunny-person, it can turn you into a horrendous blob with one huge eye and a giant vagina-mouth, or it can just make you sick! WHATEVER SUITS THE NARRATIVE BEST AND CAN EXPLAIN WHY WE INTRODUCED AN ALMOST ALWAYS TOPLESS RABBIT GIRL FOR PEOPLE TO MASTURBATE TO SO THEY’LL KEEP READING! The curse is nonsense and is just a vague sense of “it does whatever will, at the time, aid the writer at making something dramatic or edgy happen”. What it doesn’t do, however, is force the writer to make any of those situations ACTUALLY MATTER.
Girl ends up poisoned by a spine covered monster that gets her in the hand, they escape (for some reason) to the highest fucking platform they can find when there were plenty of places to the sides, less high, and below that were safe from this creature – and so the curse of the abyss hits her hard. She immediately starts bleeding out of every orifice – eyes, mouth, nose, ears, vagina, ass – pint after pint nonstop. The bleeding is meaningless and is just there for show. This includes the INTERNAL bleeding which canonically exists and is brought up and, yes, magically heals itself – no the show doesn’t say magic, nor does magic exist in the show, they just say “the internal bleeding will be okay in a day or two”. That isn’t how internal bleeding works. It’s even less how it works when you just bled out, as a very tiny girl, the amount of blood that maybe 10 massive cows would have in them total and the amount of blood that even a fucking fully adult special forces member of the military would die from in about 3 minutes time NOT including the internal amount which would make it nearly instant. Blood in this show is part of the “justified edge” that people defend because, well…uh…it’s justified. Somehow. Somehow the bleeding out all over, the gorey imagery, the internal bleeding, the blood pouring out of her eyes and her skin turning gray – that’s all JUSTIFIED because it…I don’t know, ask them not me. When that stuff has LITERALLY NO RELEVANCE beyond THAT SECOND and is immediately – with no actual care given to it – fixed and not an issue, how is that justified and not just edgy to say “look how mature this is! the main character IS BLEEDING OUT OF HER EYES!”. It’s literally done so people will, as they have, post it on various websites and people will go HOLY SHIT WHAT FUCKING ANIME IS THAT GODDAMN I HAVE TO SEE IT IT ALMOST LOOKS AS GOOD AS BERSERK!!!!
By the way, she basically fucking dies here and is bleeding out of every organ and orifice from the curse – which should include her heart but clearly doesn’t because a non-character says “her heart is still beating” from across the way – and the cure? A kiss from the robot boy! You can argue all you like about how that doesn’t literally cure her but it DOES. Nothing is done about her blood loss, nothing is done about her BLEEDING that’s STILL happening, nothing is done about the fact she should be dead for awhile now – she just immediately after BEING KISSED her skin goes from gray to normal colored, the bleeding never happens again and is stopped, and she’s breathing just fine. Nothing else is done she’s just fixed because we needed it fixed because we can’t have anything happen to the main character.
Then there’s the arm which Reg cuts open and breaks the bone of to try and rip the hand off to keep the poison out of her system so she won’t die from THAT. Well, that’s fine too. Mitty the Monstrosity slobbers on her and, of course because we need a deus ex machina to get us out of this situation that the writer realized too late was edge for edge’s sake without planning how to get out of it and just wanting to keep readership up decided, well Mitty’s slobber is an anti-venom anti-toxin anti-anything poisonous in your body probably even clears out cholesterol and cures diabetes. There’s ZERO explanation on how this is possible, it just is because – as usual with this show – we NEED IT TO BE so IT IS. We slap some fucking mushrooms on the wound too. What happens? Her arm is 100% fine, literally totally okay even after we pull out shards of broken bone, SPECIFICALLY MENTION IN CANONICAL DIALOGUE that almost all the nerves in her arm were cut by Reg, how “I can’t fix those”, and after having a gaping hole in her hand. It’s all fine and works as if nothing ever happened.
Actually that applies to everything. Girl shows LITERALLY zero consequence from any of those events after a night’s rest and some slobber from a monster. Her blood? Eh. Her internal bleeding? Eh. Her nerve-less hand? Eh. It’s all fine. Well okay, she has a scar on her arm! WOAH! CONSEQUENCES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME! Truly JUSTIFIED! I mean afterall it’s totally justified to have all that happen to her and visually go gore-fest with it when NOTHING FUCKING ACTUALLY HAPPENS, right? Oh, that’s the OPPOSITE of justified, that’s literally what it means to be edgy shit just for the sake of getting attention? Oops! She doesn’t even have any problems, she squeezes her hand a few times after waking up and it works perfectly after like 10 minutes.
“Justified edge” could be applied to, say, that ‘person’ calling for help earlier in the show who turns out to be a corpse-eating monster-bird mimicing the sound of it’s prey which is now shown to us as a completely gutted dead man being eaten by hundreds of little bugs as well as this bird. That’s justified, it served a real purpose in the show and wasn’t just there for shock value or for viewership – it reminded us of the harshness of this world, reminded us of CONSEQUENCES, showed us how fucked up and dangerous it is, and was even while showing a guy with basically an entire cavern for a stomach somehow subtle about what it was doing. It meant something. All that shit I just described didn’t and, in fact, proved that there is nothing to fear because NO MATTER WHAT this main girl will ALWAYS be completely fine even in the worst case scenario where she’s literally fucking dead because they’ll just introduce a magical way to save her. Which, oh, right, her backstory is literally that she was stillborn so hey she’s ALREADY COME BACK FROM THE DEAD BEFORE SO WHY NOT AGAIN?
The edge doesn’t stop there though – nor the fuckawful writing. Nanachi and Mitty exist, and so does their backstory. Nanachi is a rabbit girl. Mitty is a monstrosity. And their backstory is entirely about Evil Badman who is evil, bad, and does human experimentation on children because he’s evil and bad and that’s what evil bad men like Evil Badman do. Nevermind that this entire show’s appeal was the Man Vs Nature aspect of it all, it’s now Man Vs Badman because a solid very poorly written in-your-face bad guy is a much more sellable antagonist than “nature itself”. I’ll remind you again, apparently the manga was going to be canned right before this stuff with Girl’s “justified edge”, Nanachi, Mitty, and Mr. Badman being introduced. I take back what I said about not serving a purpose by basically killing Girl just to magically fully cure all her wounds – the purpose was to keep the manga viewership from dwindling further and hopefully even, as it successfully did, raise interest in it because WOAH THEY GO THAT FAR?!?!?!!? INCREDIBLE! and then throw in WOAH THEY MADE A PEDO-PANDERING NAKED RABBIT-FURRY A MAIN CHARACTER? FUCK YES! and woah…dude…they killed that blob thing…holy shit man this show is fucking legit real deal hardcore shit man.
Yes, except the blob was never a character. It was as much a character – no, arguably less of one – as someone in an establishing shot walking by where the “camera” is situated for a tenth of a second. Fiction works in a special way that isn’t how reality does – Mitty, Nanachi, and Badman never existed until the moment they showed up, which was essentially only in the last 2 episodes of the show. Nanachi has a lot of screen time, she’s an early bit of a character. Badman is an antagonist so it makes sense for him not to be seen a lot after his introduction so that when he appears more it’s a “big deal”. Mitty, however, has almost no screen time, can’t speak, can’t emote, can’t do anything but make retarded baby noises and slobber and this is all she is shown doing and even that’s only shown for maybe 2 minutes total. She is absolutely not a fucking character – and she is the only “character” to die. How fucking convenient. Now, if this happened and was just a whatever who cares thing – sure, that guy’s body I mentioned is about the exact same level of a character dying as Mitty dying so okay, and the concept of taking her out of her misery even though she and Nanachi were so close in the past isn’t totally lame. The problem is the show tries SO FUCKING HARD to make it out like it MATTERS that this thing is dead now, like it should have you in fucking tears in your seat watching it – having to pause because you can’t see out of your eyes with how much water is pouring out nonstop and how tight your chest is from just how awful what you’ve had to witness is and how horrible an experience to see precious Mitty be torn asunder.
It’s nothing. Mitty is nothing so Mitty dying is nothing. In fact Mitty should have died ages ago SO WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO HAVE MR. EVIL BADMAN INTRODUCED because the entire reason he exists in the narrative is to explain her and this fucking furry so that they could exist because the latter would make more sales from fetishists and the former would make more sales from “woah…dude, I can’t believe they did that this is so mature and amazing”.
The finale of the entire show is a 45 minute episode entirely devoid of any relevance to Reg, main girl, or our journey as a whole with the exception of Nanachi going “okay I’ll join you now” – literally one line. The rest of those 45 minutes are dedicated to showing the irrelevant and completely stupid backstory of Nanachi and Mitty and how they came to exist. Evil Badman recruited children from orphanages around the globe to go into the abyss with him because he’s evil and bad, then when they got there he’d lock them up and do experiments on them – most notably one where they’d go down an elevator and come back up it to see the effects the curse would have on them while laughing evilly when he sees the product of his elevator antics because you need to remember how evil he is – so evil that even his entire body is covered from head to toe without any skin showing and a slightly robotic voice due to his mask because HE’S. FUCKING. EVIL. He also wears all black and, nobody questions it somehow, has an accessory that is two gross looking severed hands clasped together because, I mean, he’s evil. They’re probably the hands of his wife and child who he slaughtered because how fucking evil he is after raping them to death and eating their innards because FUCKING EVIL FUCK DAMN HE’S SO FUCKING EVIL GOD SHIT DAMN SO FUCKIN EVIL.
In this case, Nanachi turns into a rabbit-girl because she does. Mitty turns into a blob with a giant vagina-mouth and a big eye because she does. He laughs evilly and says how different this time has turned out because they’re special and for some reason doesn’t throw Mitty down with the other monster-blobs because he doesn’t. So their BACKSTORY EXPLANATION of HOW THEY BECAME A RABBIT AND BLOB is “they became a rabbit and blob”. That’s it. There is no attempt whatsoever to actually explain it aside that it happened. It also, as mentioned prior, destroys the great aspect of this “curse” which was originally a very realistic aspect that now just RANDOMLY turns people into rabbit-people, blobs, or who knows what else because it just fucking does.
Oh, right, he also is SO FUCKIN EVIL that beyond just turning Mitty into a blob he’s been torturing and trying to kill her because HE’S EVIL.
And, of course, the FINAL scene in the entire show is Evil Badman going “I’m fucking EVIL and now I want to rape the shit out of that fucking rabbit girl GOD I LOVE FUCKING RABBIT GIRLS FUCK I WANT TO FUCK THAT LITTLE BITCH SO HARD because that’ll make even more sales so now I am going to be a permanent antagonist who, if there is a season 2, is out to get the group because I am Evil Badman and evil never rests.”
Made in Abyss is another Erased-tier disappointment; an incredible start, an unending amount of fantastic potential for something truly special, and a writer who has absolutely no skill, talent, or integrity. There’s just not much more to say aside to continue repeating that this show, rather the manga, completely lost hold on what it was originally clearly trying to be all in the name of raising viewership and making sales. Everything up to Ozen was anime of the year material, even with Ozen’s bullshit it was still alright and ended up bouncing back after. Then came the shit I described and made it just a complete fucking mess. On top of that the writer included loads of jokes about naked little girls, little girls playing with little boy penises, and little boys becoming erect due to being around naked little girls throughout the show especially early on and within minutes of the show coming to it’s total conclusion because pedophilia is SO IN right now according to Salon.
Also, sorry for the lack of posts lately even compared to normal. I just moved from CA to my own place in Arizona and am still acclimating.