My Top Ten Anime of All Time

To celebrate my 900th blog post, I decided to make my top ten anime of all time lists. When coming up with the top ten I focused on series that had the most impact on me. At the same time I also choose anime that can and have stood the test of time (even from an animation stand point), and I would recommend to anyone. I don’t think any of these series are going to be surprise anyone, as most are mainstream to an anime audience.

[Note] One Piece, Naruto and Bleach aren’t on the lists because I prefer(ed) the manga.


10. Dragon Ball Z

If this was a list of the series that I was the most nostalgic about Dragon Ball Z would be number one. Most of my childhood was centered on DBZ . The Cartoon Network would torture me by repeating the same arc’s over and over again. I must have watched the Radditz arc at least 50 times before they moved on to the saiyan arc. The series has come to define anime for many anime fans and non-anime fans. It’s hands down one of, if not the most popular anime series of all-time. Dragon Ball Z has been often mocked for it’s constant screaming and it’s “inaction sequences.” My mother would often comment “did they start fighting yet” as she would walk past the t.v. Despite it’s iconic status, DBZ as a series had a lot of problems. This is mostly due to running up against the manga. DBZ had many bad fillers, dragged out fights and at one point took ten episodes for planet Namek to explode. Even with this, the series had some of the most epic fights and has clearly left a mark on anime in general. Dragon Ball Z still remains an anime series that I consider a must see.


9. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

A mecha anime series by Gainax, Gurren Lagann focuses on mankind’s rise from a subterranean existence to the galactic exploration. Taking place in a future where Earth is ruled by the Spiral King, Lordgenome, a young digger named Simon and his “brother” Kamina dream of reaching the surface. As they and Team Gurren make their way to the skies, they engage in epic, over the top mecha battles. Gurren Lagann features high quality animation, surprising deaths, fanservice, theme music power ups and cool mecha designs. Gurren Lagann resulted in another anime classic for Gainax.


8. Made in Abyss

My favorite anime genre tends to be shonen, but Made in Abyss made me appreciate the seinen genre more. Made in Abyss plays with expectation, if you think the adorable characters are going to have a fun adventure, you are wrong. While only having one season under it’s belt, Made in Abyss had a profound impact on me. Exciting, ruthless, filled with body horror, tear jerking moments and has a intriguing mystery to discover. Made in Abyss is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth the emotional scarring.


7. Hunter X Hunter

For some reason I kept avoiding Hunter X Hunter. After running into a little bit of an anime drought, I decided to give the series a try. I wasn’t disappointed. On the surface Hunter X Hunter feels like a typical shonen series, but it’s more than that. Gon Freecss, the main protagonists, is a prime example of the undermining of shonen tropes this series does. I loved it’s complicated power system (Nen), character development, action and the uses of a narrator. Narration seemed unnecessary at first but I think it is an amazing addition to the series that adds to it.


6. Mob Psycho 100

An anime from web-comic creator ONE, Mob Psycho 100, is about a 14 year old boy named Shigeo Kageyama. He aims to be ordinary despite the fact that he’s extraordinary with telekinesis. He is a complicated young man struggling with his emotions and fear of his power harming others. Mob Psycho 100 main moral lesson is that despite having an extraordinary abilities you still need work to improve yourself as a human. Mob in particular embodies this theme. Despite his psychic powers he doesn’t think he’s better than anyone. That said, Mob Psycho 100 is still a shonen series with fluid animation, bright colors, humor, funny characters and epic battles.


5. One Punch Man

The creator of Mob Psycho 100 is also the creator of One Punch Man. The title is to be taken literally, as the main protagonist, Saitama is capable of defeating most monsters with one punch. One Punch Man is a parody of the shonen superhero series. It makes fun of the over the top and somewhat silly nature of the typical shonen anime, that results in the main character always defeating the bad guy. It’s surprising how satisfying you find Saitama’s one hit victories. The series does have interesting action, usually it’s other less powerful characters are doing the fighting though. Despite this the series does manage to keep us wondering, which monster can make Saitama hit it more than once. The first season is considered perfect, the second one, not so much. Still, One Punch Man remains an important series for anime fans to watch.


4. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

The story of the Elric brothers, Edward and Alphonse is a sad, tragic tale. Born into a world that practices alchemy, the brothers arrogance leads them to believe that they can break one of the most important rules of alchemy. Trying to resurrect their mother, Ed loses his right arm and left leg and his brother loses his entire body. The brothers go in search of the “philosopher stone,” so they can transmute without consequences. While maintaining a sense of humor, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, is full of themes like sacrifice, death, selfishness, what is truth, and the value of life. If you want to watch an anime series that balances dark themes, comedy and great action, FMA is it.


3. Attack on Titan

If you read this far it’s clear that I love anime series that manage to successfully combine dark, mature themes with great action and top animation. Attack on Titan is a series that lives up to those standards. What separates Attack on Titan from typical series is the level of dreariness. While the main characters are largely safe, you’ll never certain. Secondary characters and any other character are fair game. With characters that are constantly underdogs, failure is the most likely outcome. Often in anime you feel that everything will be fine, in Attack on Titan your surprised that half the squad is still alive. Attack on Titan has mystery, what are titans (weird giant humanoids) and why do they eat humans? Conspiracies, what is the government doing? As they fight for human survival, the scouts deal with trauma, lost and death.


2. Cowboy Bebop

For many Cowboy Bebop is the greatest anime ever. Considered to be a masterpiece, Shinichiro Watanabe blends elements of westerns with elements of film noir. The classic anime series Lupin the third was a visual influence and the three main characters of Cowboy Bebop are inspired by Lupin, Jigen and Fujiko from Lupin. The overall story is influence by Japanese cinema. Cowboy Bebop also uses a jazz heavy soundtrack that is iconic on it’s own, marking a major departure from the common use of J Pop. Cowboy Bebop focuses on mature themes like loneliness and difficulties escaping the past, it’s well animated, well (voice) acted and generally entertaining. Cowboy Bebop is considered a “gateway series” for anime, and I couldn’t agree more.


1. Neon Genesis Evangelion

When I first began watching Neon Genesis Evangelion it was for the epic and violent mecha battles. I couldn’t comprehend the more complex themes and imagery woven into the narrative. Evangelion is credited with revolutionizing anime as a medium. Set in the year 2000, a global cataclysm called the “Second Impact,” changes the world. Antarctica is destroyed and the planet’s axis shifts, causing flooding and a altered climate. After nuclear war, half the worlds population is wiped out. Teenagers, Shinji Ikari, Asuka Langley Soryu and Rei Ayanami pilot massive mecha called Eva’s. Their enemy are physic altering monsters dubbed Angels.

Evangelion explores complex themes like depression, human subjectivity, and child abuse. The series makes many references to philosophical, psychoanalytic concepts, as well as references to Kabbalah, Christian and Jewish religions. Evangelion even uses religious texts like the Book of Genesis within the series and the Angels share names found in religion like Sachiel. The series has been described as both a ” both a critique and deconstruction of the mecha genre.” On the surface, Neon Genesis Evangelion, is a mecha anime with distinctly designed robots that engage in brutal battles. However, the series has levels of deeper and more sophisticated themes that makes Evangelion one of the most well regarded series ever.

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Made in Abyss Dub trailer released

During Crunchyroll’s live stream of The Anime Awards on Saturday the dub of Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn trailers was released. According to ANN:


Sentai Filmworks and Kadokawa Pictures will screen the first film in theaters in the United States on March 20 and 25. The screening on March 20 will feature Japanese audio with English subtitles, and the screening on March 25 will have the English dub.


The screenings will be a partnership with Fathom Events, and tickets are available for purchase now. The screenings will include “behind-the-scenes footage, Japanese created spots and a reflection on how MADE IN ABYSS
 mirrors fairytales.”


The film will have its U.S. premiere at Regal Cinema (L.A. LIVE) in Los Angeles on March 15. Sentai Filmworks will host a red-carpet event at the premiere with guests such as director Masayuki Kojima, composer Kevin Penkin, music producer Hiromitsu Iijima, and producer Shinpei Yamashita.

ANN

Both films were already released in Japan in January and both films will be released in 2019 in the United States. Check out the trailer:

Made in Abyss Compilation film to be released on March 15th

Sentai Filmworks announced that Made in Abyss: Tabidachi no Yoake the first of two Made in Abyss movies will have it’s premiere at the Regal Cinema in L.A. on March 15th. The film is describe as:

The enigmatic Abyss is an unforgiving and deadly place. Despite the dangers, it still captures the imagination of explorers such as Riko who wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and trains hard to become a Cave Raider. One day, she receives news that her mother died in the Abyss, yet a mysterious note tells Riko that her mother may still be alive. Vowing to uncover the truth about her mother’s fate, Riko embarks on a journey with a humanoid robot boy name Reg. Together, they will discover if they have what it takes to survive where so many others have perished.

Sentai Filmworks

Both films will be released in 2019. The first film had revealed a “new work for the franchise titled Gekijōban Made in Abyss: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei (Made in Abyss the Movie: Dawn of the Deep Soul). The second film will feature a new scene featuring a new character, Prushka.

Source: ANN

First Impressions – The Promised Neverland 001

Emma center during the happier times

The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Neverland) is a series that starts off happy and endearing, but quickly becomes heartbreaking and horrific. The fact that the anime involves children makes it even worst. Emma (a happy and energetic girl) awakens, she then wakes her “siblings,” and gets them ready for breakfast. We meet Norman and Ray as well. We are also introduced to the seemingly kind caretaker, “mom” (Isabella) as engages the children in prayer.

Numbered tattoo on the neck

The first thing you’ll notice is that the children have (what I’m assuming is tattoo’s or at least permanent ink) large numbers on there necks. It’s not made clear what the numbers are actually representing. The children are also subjected to testing, that requires the children to answer questions in 9 seconds. Regardless, Norman, Ray and Emma scored perfectly on them. Don seemingly jealous of Norman challenges him to a game of tag. The game seems to take on a significant importance in this series. The children even compare not getting caught to “surviving.” I might be reading too much into that though.

The clock motif was prominent in this episode

The game of tag is considered to be more complicated than just chasing after each other. Ray states that it’s “chess with your whole body.” Don challenges Norman again, this time he’s it. Everyone runs in search of Norman, Emma finds him at a short blue fence. Clearly curious as to why they were warned not to go “near” the fence, Emma considers touching it. She’s stopped by Ray. He’s skeptical of the “dangers” of the fence, calling it a “obvious lie.” Emma seems to believe anything Mom tells her, but Ray doesn’t.

The adorable Conny and her bunny

The siblings discuss why they haven’t received letters from the children that were adopted. The conversation is hopeful, with the children discussing what they wish to see when they “go outside.” Interestingly, Emma claims that she doesn’t want to leave at all. Conny says her farewell, but leaves her bunny behind. Emma and Norman run to return the bunny. The tension at this point in the episode increases dramatically. I spoiled myself on what happens hear, but wasn’t sure that they would show Conny’s body. They did, instead of being horrified though I was sad. She was so happy to be “adopted,” and adorable too.

Conny murdered

The animation at this point also becomes more dynamic. The camera zooms in on the faces of Emma and Norman as they discover the “monsters” and ease drop on them. The monster states that he wants the “top three” next. Emma and Norman leave Ray in the dark, they plan on rescuing all the children together. I really enjoyed this episode more that I anticipated. I would image that if I didn’t know the ending of this episode it would have more of an impact.

Are the aliens or monster?

The Promised Neverland series reminds me of Made in Abyss. Both feature orphan children yes, but it’s the contrast between the innocent children and the horrible environments they’re trapped in that connect the two the most. The adults aren’t doing what’s expected, which is protecting and tacking care of them. In fact they are neglectful at best. This results in the children having to grow up and take care of themselves. Would this series be similar to Made in Abyss I don’t know, but I loved what I’ve seen.

Mom looking menacing

Made in Abyss films will be released in 2019

For those who don’t know, Made In Abyss was the hit anime from 2017. Created by Akihiko Tsukushi, the series focuses on a orphan Rico and her harrowing journey into the Abyss. The Abyss is a massive hole in the earth that has artifacts, remains of previous civilizations, making it a popular hunting ground for “Cave Raiders.” The Abyss can be dangerous as it has what is called “the Curse of the Abyss,” that inflicts various horrible effects on the adventures. 

Sentai Filmworks has confirmed that two films of the series will be released in the US in 2019. Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn, will be the first of the two films. Expected to be released in Japan on January 4th and Made in Abyss: Wandering Twilight is officially will be released on January 18th. Sentai Filmworks hasn’t made the US dates clear. The two films will be a compilation of the first season of the series. It is expected or at least fans hope that the films will feature new events. The second season of Made in Abyss has already been confirmed. 

The Salty Anime Challenge Day 21: An anime that you thought you’d hate (due to genre/tropes), but actually love.

The anime/manga genre that appeals to me the most is Shonen. So I was surprised that I loved Made in Abyss. On the surface Abyss looks like it’s going to be for kids, with it’s chibi like characters and bright color pallets. Abyss, a Seinen series is for my age group mind you but I generally don’t like the genre. What initial drew me to the series was what always draws me to a series is the high quality animation.

Made in Abyss is an impressive series that subvert the expectations of the viewer. The adults take a backseat to the children and cute bunny like characters. The background environment are often colorful, with bright sunlight even as they travel deeper in the abyss. This anime is a full on display of body horror. The effects of abyss on the human body and mind are brutal, “evisceration, hemorrhaging, swelling, parasitism.” Not to mention the abuse that adults inflicts on these children.

It also tugs at the heartstrings. I haven’t seen many anime that is as balanced as this one, while fighting isn’t it primary purpose, it has good action. The story is incredibly intriguing, the feeling you get from the characters is enthralling. It might be too dark for some, but I find that to be the reason I enjoy it.

Made in Abyss Episode 13 Review, The Challengers

Bondrewd dark plan

Nanachi remembers her childhood when she meets the white whistle Bondrewd and he offers the orphans an opportunity to explore the Abyss. He sends the orphans to the fifth layer of the Abyss, the Sea of Corpses as it’s referred to. While being transported down below, Nanachi meets Mitty and they become partners. Both were outcast due to Nanachi being a smelly and dirty child and Mitty being “an idiot,” or simply excitable.

Bondrewd experiments

It was always implied that Bondrewd was an evil character considering what Ozen had previously stated regarding the other explorers. It is revealed that Bondrewd wasn’t interested into becoming a surrogate father to the orphans and instead intended to use them as experiments. Specifically, he wanted to test the effects of the Curse of the Abyss. Bondrewd sends the orphans down an elevator to the sixth layer. At this point viewers already know what’s going to happen, however, it’s still terrible to watch the inevitable.

Mitty and Nanachi

The transformation was horrible to witness as Mitty was being painfully ripped apart begging for death. This of course explains why Nanachi requested Reg kill Mitty for her. Mitty existence is a miserable one, an nearly immortal mass of flesh capable of experiencing pain. Reg unsurprisingly is hesitant ending Mitty suffering. However, he’s convinced by Nanachi that Mitty’s life isn’t worth living. He finally gives in, killing Mitty with his incinerator while teary eyed.

Riko awakens

Riko awakens without movement in her left hand. Riko quickly bonds with Nanachi and teaches her how to cook delicious food. Despite the traumatic first half of, Made in Abyss, the second was more comical. Riko, Reg and Nanachi have all overcome so much trauma. The three manage to work well together playing of each other. The second part of this episode is a stark departure from early, representing what makes this series so enjoyable. Made in Abyss does take great effort in examining the effects of harsh environments and now terrible explorers but does counter with happier moments.

Riko and Reg invite Nanachi to join them, they send a message to the surface. Finally, we see that Bondrewd is able to track the victims of his experiment through their energy signature. He states that he is eager to meet Nanachi again. Overall, this season and series has impressed me. I haven’t seen a series that manages to blend the innocence of children with the horrors of the environments so well, everything from the tone of the series to the art style creates a contrasting world and a endearing series.

 

Made in Abyss: Episode 11 Review, Nanachi

Getting to know Nanachi

As the title suggests we primarily focus on Nanachi in this episode. The episode strikes a lighter tone, relative to the previous one, however, the gruesome elements still remains. We see some remnants of Nanachi’s past, Nanachi appears to have work for, Bondrewd the Novel. We are also introduced to Mitty, a human the was transformed by the curse of the Sixth Layer. Mitty, unlike Nanachi wasn’t transformed into a cute rabbit creature, but into a tragic grotesque, hairy, one eyed flesh creature. Mitty has lost all her intelligence and is largely limited to making various moans and sounds. It’s hard not to feel sympathy for what Mitty has become, while at the same time feel repulsed by her appearance.

Nanachi saves Riko

Nanachi gives Reg a list of ingredient to help save Riko. Made in Abyss continues with it’s weirdly invasive interest into the bodies of the prepubescent characters, while largely non-sexually it’s seems to be a consistent theme in this series. In this episode, this focus is on Riko, instead of Reg, as Nanachi inserts a suppository into Riko’s rectum and constantly mentioning the fact that Riko urinated blood through her clothing and having Reg wash them. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but necessary to add to this series harrowing environment.

Reg’ memories

While washing Riko’s clothing, Reg has a flashback to a past memory. He hears a voice and remembers that he was once in present at a grave-site, marked by Lyza’s Blaze Reap. This scene adds to the future intrigue of the series, who created Reg and what’s his connection to Lyza? Clearly, Reg will get more of his memories as the series continues, creating anticipation for what they will reveal. Overall, the series continues to expand the it’s world, while reminding the audience that more dangers await.

Made in Abyss Episode 10: Poison and the Curse

The fourth layer, the Goblet of Giants

Reg and Riko begin to head down towards the fourth layer, the Goblet of Giants. Riko quickly displays her knowledge of the new layer’s plant life, however, while Riko is excited, Reg is concerned. This layer will cause such a strain that you will “bleed out of every orifice in your body.” Reg feels the presence of a creature, it turns out to a “orbed-piercer” that has spines that can penetrate steel. They are also covered in poison, Reg and Riko attempt to escape, but the orbed-piercer catches up to them.

Reg and Riko vs the Orbed-piercer

The orbed appears to be more intelligence than originally thought. It prevents Reg and Riko from fleeing, while blocking the blaze reap. Riko gives the scaled umbrella to Reg, he uses it to block the orbed attack, but pierces the umbrella and Riko’s hand, poisoning her. Reg ties a rope around Riko’s arm to prevent the poison from spreading, the blaze reap is submerge under water and he can’t use his incinerator or he’ll faint. Reg’s only choice is to flee upwards, as the orbed prepares to strike he yells distracting it, then uses his arm to pull them up.

Riko poisoned

Riko begins to hallucinate, the curse of the abyss causes the poison to be “expelled” from Riko’s body, however, then her blood begins to pour out of her eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Meanwhile, Riko’s hand turns purple and begins to swell. Riko tells Reg to cut her hand off, she tells him that he needs to break the bone first, then cut it. Riko begins to turn pale and stops breathing, as Reg’s is crying an odd looking creature appears and tells him to perform CPR.

The creature introduces itself, as Nanachi a hollow.  This episode was intense and harsh. Normally I would assume that Riko would always be okay regardless of what happens but even though she will survive this ordeal she won’t be the same. The breaking of her arm was hard to watch, but at the same time adds to the series realness and since of urgency. Reg and Riko have also lost several item intended to help them survive, making them more helpless than they were before. I don’t think this Nanachi is trustworthy but Riko and Reg need it to survive.

Made in Abyss Episode 8 Review: Survival Training

Survival Training

Ozen brings Riko and Reg to the forest for survival training. She tells them that they are to survive for ten days and cannot go beyond the Pillar tree. Ozen warns Reg against using his incinerator, due to the effects it has on him. According to her he faints for ten minutes after using it, potentially leaving Riko alone and in danger. However, Ozen encourages him to use it only when necessary and without fear. She abandons them to fend for themselves.

Riko and Reg survive

While exploring the area, Reg and Riko find some water. Rohanas, insect like creatures with a pink glowing tail, are indicators of the waters cleanness, as they only live in clean water. Riko attempts to get some water and is attacked by a hippo like creature, Reg is rescued by Riko. They build a hut like structure and start a fire. Riko assumes that a lot of creatures have “regressive” eyes and will keep their distance from them. However, the flame attracts insects instead.

Despite seemingly leaving them to take care of themselves, Ozen continues to watch Reg and Riko. Ozen notices that they depend on each other, she flashes back to her relationship with Lyza, as she reveals that she married Torka and lost her child (Riko). It’s clear that Ozen actually cared for Lyza, and took care of Riko. Both Reg and Riko survive the ten days and return. Ozen tells Reg and Riko about the time distortion effects of the fifth layer.

Beware of the White Whistles

Ozen tells Riko that she believes her mother is still alive, she then warns them against the white whistle found in the fifth layer. The Sovereign of Guidance, Wakuna the Chosen, The Sovereign of Mystery, Srajo the Mysterious, The Sovereign of Dawn, Bondrewd the Novel, are currently in the abyss. Ozen comically tells Reg that Bondrewd isn’t “as kind as she is.” Ozen tells Riko that the note that she has from her mother is written on a relic. Finally, she gives Riko a “Everlasting Pickaxe,” that belonged to her mother and is a weapon. Riko and Reg descend to the third layer, “Great Fault.”

This episode continues to expand the world of the series. Ozen as a character is more complicated than I initially thought. She clearly has a friendship with Lyza and made good on her promise to help her daughter. The white whistles all seem to be “bad” people, although Ozen appeared that way at first. Riko’s general knowledge of the animals and plants in the abyss make her a perfect partner for Reg, who lacks the knowledge and curiosity of Riko, but has strength.

Made in Abyss Episode 07 Review: Unmovable Sovereign

The truth of Riko’s birth

Ozen reveals a shocking truth, that the “Curse Warding Box” has the ability to “temporarily” revive the dead. The monster that Riko saw the previous episode was revived by the box, but was a lump of meat a few hours prior. She then reveals that Riko was born stillborn and revived using this relic. This obviously is surprising and ominous for Riko considering that anyone or thing brought back from the dead dies again. Ozen is overtly cruel towards Riko, suggesting that she was the equivalent to the meat she reanimated.

Reg verses Ozen

After Ozen torments Riko a little bit, Reg comes to her rescue. However, Ozen proves to have odd strength. She attacks him hoping that she will “dispose” of him before his memory returns. Reg is completely ineffective against her, and she slams him into the ground. When, Riko tries to stop her, she knocks her into a wall, causing her to bleed. Reg decides to use his cannon, but Ozen uses it against him. During the altercation Ozen arm is exposed and she tells Reg that she embedded something called “Thousand-Men Wedges,” and that she “inserted them at 120 points around her body,” resulting in her living for so long.

Just a test

Despite her assault on Reg and Riko, Ozen claims that she only was serious to test them. She was concern that they couldn’t survive in the Abyss, she decides that she will train them like she did Lyza. Ozen also tells them that the grave she found was empty, implying that Riko’s mother may still be alive. Ozen’s first test will be a survival test, challenging Reg and Riko to survive alone in the forest for 10 days. Ozen is an interesting character, she’s appears to be amoral. Her willingness to attack Riko and Reg does not bold well for her claim that she didn’t really mean it. I think you can assume from her treatment of assistant that it wasn’t all an act. However, her behavior is likely to have help her survive this long. This series keeps getting more interesting and darker, while I don’t like Ozen, her personality adds to the series.

Next Episode: Survival Training

Made in Abyss: Episode 04 Review

The fourth episode of Made in Abyss, entitled the Edge of the Abyss, sees Reg and Riko begin there travel down into the depths of the abyss. Reg uses his arms to great effect in this episode showing his versatility and usefulness in traversing the abyss. Riko has her usefulness as well, she has general known of the surrounding flora and fauna, as well as cooking. Reg gives Riko an envelope featuring a replica of her mother’s sealed letter.

Reg speculates that the letter was placed in his pocket by Leader, Riko reads a note stating that leader will pursue them at dawn. Reg and Riko conclude that this is a test to see if they are worthy of begin explorers. They encounter a strange spider like creature called Silkfangs, that is limited in movement by webs. The episode fails to explain what the creature is and why it’s limited by web. I think this was a missed opportunity to further reveal the world.

Reg notices a green light in the distance and conclude that it must be a search party. It turns out that their pursuer is Black Whistle Hablog and he wants to see the “supreme treasure of the netherworld,” he like Riko in a previous check the “balls,” of Reg. Regardless, he explains that Nat and Shiggy hired him to help them get to the second layer. Riko tells him while she appreciates his help the mission is their “last test.” Hablog accepts this and gives Riko a vaccine for the second layer, mustard steamed and a warning regarding “Ozen the Immovable.” However, Riko doesn’t appear to consider the warning that serious, she and Reg finally arrive in the second layer, the Forest of Temptation.

 

Made in Abyss: Episode 2

Problems with cave raiding

We quickly learn that there are problems with going deeper into the abyss. A tremendous psychical toll can be a consequence the deeper you travel. When returning to the surface from the first layer you would experience “mild dizziness,” from the second layer you will experience, “nausea, headaches, and numbness of the extremities,” from the fourth, “intense pain throughout the body and bleeding.” When an explorer travels from the sixth layer or beyond, they will apparently result in their lose of “humanity or even death.” This phenomenon is dubbed “the curse of the abyss.”

Who or What is Reg

Based on the curse, Riko and the others conclude that it’s possible that Reg came from the bottom of the abyss. Reg wonders if that’s the case, but what’s his purpose. The check the “Compilation of Recorded Relics,” is a “field guide to the major Relics that have been unearthed.” Reg isn’t found in this book, however, Riko has done some research on Reg, he can function with food or electricity as a fuel source. He possess smooth but hard skin, flame retardant hair, superior sight and hearing, flexible material and apparently he has a normal human penis.

If that wasn’t strange enough it seems that Riko experimented on Reg without his consent. Due to all of the special material that made Reg he’s considered to be incredibly valuable, as a Aubade, “supreme treasure of the netherworld.” This unsurprisingly mean that he is in danger of being taken apart, captured and hidden. To proved him with a cover they give clothing to hid his arms and legs and a false story. Obviously, this is going to be an important plot point in the future. I think Reg will be exposed at some point and maybe Riko and her friends become outlaws at that point.

Reg shocked at Riko’s invasion

Learning about the whistles

Cave raiders are into groups, these groups are symbolized by the color of the whistles. The apprentices have red whistles, the proficient blue whistles, assistant-instructor Moon whistles, expert black whistles and the heroes the white whistles. This episode focuses on the white whistle, Liza the Annihilator, she is clear held as an example for the larger society. She’s even depicted as being a dragon and used to sell merchandise. The most important revelation is that Liza is Riko’s mother and much is expected from Riko, her father was a black whistle named Torka.

More animals are introduced, a hammerbeaks

In this episode the world is expanded, as we learn about more problems with cave exploration. It makes since that robots like Reg would exists in the world with the harsh conditions, however, it seem strange that no one thinks robots exists or that they shouldn’t be created for everyone. Riko becomes a more complex character as her mother’s fame is presented, she will have a lot to live up to. Riko is reckless and is definitely going to get herself in trouble.

Riko with her mother’s whistle

Thank you for reading.

Made in Abyss Episode 1

Made in Abyss (Meido in Abisu) is an manga series by Akihito Tsukushi, the series has been adapted by Kinema Citrus. The story centers around a  system of caves called the “abyss.” The abyss is the only unexplored place in the world. Inhabited by odd creatures and unique relics, the caves are a source of adventure and intrigue for humans. These explorers are called, “Cave Raiders,” they head into the abyss in search of the relics. The first episode entitled, “The City of the Great Pit” introduces us to this world.

Riko and the Crimson Splitjaw

Riko is training to become a “Cave Raider,” like her mother, the episode reveals information about the world slowly. While discovering new relics, Riko witnesses a odd looking creature, a crimson splitjaw. The splitjaw attempts to eat Nat, Riko blows her whistle capturing the attention of the creature. It begins to chase her through the caves, she reaches a cliff and is trapped. However, she is rescued by what she learns is a robot boy, she later calls, Reg.

The director addressing the orphans

At first glace Made in Abyss may appear to be geared towards children, but it appeals to a wider audience. The animation quality of this series is stunning, fluid and detailed. The animation is on best display when witnessing the background, from the city surrounding the pit, Riko’s room or the classroom. As a lead character Riko is likable, as are her friends. Reg is interesting due to the mysteries surrounding his existence. Made in Abyss is an exciting new anime and I’m eager to see what it has to offer.

Reg, Robot boy


Coro Coro Comic July 2017