I know it is almost halfway through the Fall anime season now, but I only watch anime once they have completed airing. Along with work commitments and time spent on subbing Robomaster, I finally got around to watching some of the better rated summer anime shows and at the top of the list was Made in Abyss. While I had no idea what I was getting into, I heard rave reviews about the show, and also how we should keep on watching till the end instead of dismissing it based on first impressions and the first couple of episodes.
My first impression was that due to the animations style, it was targeted at children. While this is not entirely wrong at the first few episodes, it starts to become darker and more mature midway through. It deals with simple themes of searching for one’s love ones, searching for one’s purpose, losing of memories as well as friendship. Eventually, the series started to delve into darker themes like human experimentation, exploitation and mercy killing. In particular, the last few episodes, with the introduction of Mitty and Nanachi, were particularly impressionable and left a huge impact on me. I was really overwhelmed and consumed with emotions, something that I have not felt in a very long time. In my opinion, the Shinsekai Yori is the only other fantasy anime that has managed to affect me this much in the last couple of years. I remember what struck me the most was how Shinsekai Yori managed to weave mature themes into a seemingly sanitised coming-of-age anime. If you liked Shinsekai Yori, be sure to give Made in Abyss a try. Likewise, if you have watched Made in Abyss and want something similar, I recommend Shinsekai Yori.
Made in Abyss is too short for an anime of this quality. But I expect a continuation in the foreseeable future as the ending did not seem like an ending, but rather a start of a new chapter. In time to come, when the manga has enough material, I expect a second season. When that happens, you can be sure I will be following it weekly.
TL;DR: If you are looking for a fantasy anime that focuses on friendship, bonds and deals with more mature themes that you expect, Made in Abyss is a good candidate.