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Apr 16, 2021
Made in Abyss review
I should say this first and foremost: beyond chapter 30, this is no longer for the faint of heart. The writer is hellbent on making you as uncomfortable as possible when reading and by god does he do a brilliant job at it, and not in a "uhh i shouldn't be reading this" uncomfortable.

Story: 10
Due to the excellent worldbuilding and the fact that the author has hammered home that basically anything is possible in the Abyss, nothing feels forced or deus-ex-machina. The driving force for the main cast is easy to understand and easy to root for, and the obstacles they face along the way genuinely do feel like walls instead of speedbumps (that is a major issue I find with other stories, it never feels like what the protag is facing acts as a genuine threat). Combine this with mini-arcs that hit an uncomfortable nerve (most notably the arc from ~ch40-current), the world around them feels truly hostile and serves as the obstacle.
These uncomfortable arcs feel well integrated into the story, and the author does not include them for shock value or to make the story "edgy" and "gritty". It serves to show the harsh reality of life in the Abyss, and it does so excellently.

Art: 8
I don't have much to say about the art. It's consistent, it looks nice, and it does its job well. It doesn't come anywhere near Murata's level or anything, but I can't think of any faults in it either.

Characters: 9
This would have been a 10 if Riko and Reg were not children; I find that adults have more complex reasons and reasoning that allows for more meaningful interactions between each other and the environment. As it stands however, children being the main cast (apart from Nanachi) felt like the right choice, since it highlights the divide between their competence and the harshness of the Abyss. Them being children also helps so that we instead of see the world through youthful optimism and clarity, and opposed to the cynical professionalism an adult would have had to adopt (i.e., Ozen).
The author perfectly captures the innocence of youth without making either Riko or Reg feel too naive. When it comes down to it, they can both grit their teeth and soldier on, even if they lack technical experience. I would really like to touch on Riko's character, especially how she treats Reg, but that would go into spoiler territory; I would have also liked to touch on Nanachi, but you future readers will have to see that for yourself.

Enjoyment: 10
The characters' fleshed out personalities and clear drives are a breath of fresh air compared to many stories I've seen recently. The worldbuilding is elaborate without piling on too much exposition or unnecessary detail, and the way it poses as a threat to the characters feels very real, in that it is neither forced nor laughable.

Overall: 9.5, though I will have to round it down to 9.
Just go read it.
Apr 16, 2021
Made in Abyss review
Without spoiling to my best ability I will try and explain my overall feeling on this manga, and for sure it's a definite must read.. Unless you're not here for a very graphic story that tugs on the very meaning of catharsis. Otherwise if you were looking for something similar to Madoka Magica if even stronger then this is for you.

I found this series out from a post on a social media of all things from a friend back in 2017, stating they had a positive experience with the show. Their post included the opening sequence of 'Underground River' from the anime and well quite literally I was sold.

The music by Kevin Penkin just like Tsukushi Akihito's work on backdrops work together to create something that feels almost like a legendary work of art. Art clashes between beautifully stunning to cute quite a lot which compliments it quite a bit and provides relief after an emotional quest. Further into the story I feel like the art improves a lot. I personally recommend listening to the anime's OST while reading for a great experience.

After watching the anime and experiencing the emotional roller coaster which makes you feel genuinely sorry and sympathetic for the cast. I decided to hop straight into the manga, given my curiosity at the end was killing me to know what was next. To only experience so much more than the anime ever offered bar the music of course.

While to some the pacing can seem too fast for some to build any amount of connection to the characters, however I believe it's warranted. To me the story is about the abyss, well that more than the characters but don't get me wrong. You're in for an amazing story with characters that have morals (or lack there of) and motives and personalities that seemingly contradict why they are why they are.

A main reason to what pulled me into this series is the mystery. I love not really being told so much as it builds up the questions every slight time something is kind of brought up.

Story: 10
Art: 10
Character: 9
Enjoyment: 10
Overall: 10

Overall I recommend this 100%. Maybe not to someone that is new to manga and anime but absolutely if you're looking for something to get emotionally invested into.
Apr 16, 2021
Made in Abyss review
This manga is, by far, the best I have ever read out of many. An amazing manga, a great show. The anime, however, is not what I am going to cover in this review. TL;DR at bottom if you wish to skip any possible spoilers.

Based on what I have seen, no reader has ever regretted reading it. It is a story of 2 children descending into the Abyss, more or less for reasons of their own, but share a common goal - to learn as much about this Abyss as they can, learn of how they came to be, and find their origins. For Riko, this is through finding her mother, who is supposedly at the bottom of this hole. For Reg, I am not sure. He hopes to regain some memories, and learn more about himself by descending.

It was the art that first had me hooked. Akihito Tsukushi is an amazing artist, and this manga is probably the best example of it.

Story: 10

Made in Abyss has so much to offer in the story. Throughout the orphanage, down to the Golden City, I have never been bored by this story. The easier times, more stressful times, and emotional times all kept me hooked. I love each and every page, none being wasted for filler. It is not only the descent of Reg, Riko, and Nanachi that is a reason for the story receiving a 10. The amount of lore and small details that can be learned is amazing. Relics, stories of delvers, and the layers add another layer of storytelling that I haven't seen in too many manga. The relics, other delvers, and the characters seen throughout all add depth.

Art: 9

The art. Also one of, if not the best art I have seen. Every single panel is a joy to look at, and some panels I have spent 5 or more minutes looking at. The landscaping is beautiful, and the amount of landscape panels makes reading this even more worth it. The character design is also very good, and I like how it somewhat strays from normal drawing. The art does lose a single mark, though. The reason I took a mark of is because some panels are a bit hard to understand what is really going on, mostly with landscape panels. After looking at the panel for a few extra seconds, I can see the layout, and why it was designed the way that it is, but some are a bit messy. The art alone is enough reason to read this.

Character: 8

Some of the character growth is hard to see, but the characters do improve after descending and meeting new characters. I mostly see this is Reg, how he grows from the Orphanage to Nanachi. During the time he spends with Nanachi, he seems to learn more of the Abyss. I think Reg is growing more than Riko, at least by what I see. The characters are done very well. A good example of this is Ozen. It is hard to describe why. She almost has this aura around her. I am very excited to see how more characters might get introduced, and how current ones will change.

Enjoyment: 10

As I said in the story section, this manga never failed to excite me. Every page wanted me to see, more and more, what happens next. Even during the hardest of times, the stress I felt pulled me in. I feel like in any action/adventure anime or manga, if I don't feel stressed, I'm not getting any enjoyment. This rule doesn't apply to slice of life, of course.

Overall: 9.7

I love this manga. Not much more I can say than that. Something about the feeling of the Abyss makes it all that more amazing. This manga is filled with emotion, expressed very well by the art and characters. It is beautiful, both in story and art. I would recommend this to anyone, whether they have read manga before, or haven't even considered it. It is a great read, great watch, and should be on everybody's list.

TL;DR: 9.7

The story and the art are amazing. It will rarely, if ever, make you bored. It is worth every minute you spend reading, and I would recommend if you haven't read it, to do so. It is the manga that has never left my memory, and I doubt it will. Some scenes do have to do with children suffering and gore, so beware.

Author's note*

This is my first review ever. I think this is a good manga to leave my first review on, and I tried my best. I may not be the best writer, but I tried to get my feelings of this manga across as well as possible!

If I could make any improvements, I will be sure to make them in my next review, whatever manga or anime that may be. I may also edit this review later on, after more chapters get released.
Apr 16, 2021
Made in Abyss review

I don’t usually write reviews but this was the first manga I bought in great anticipation, and was quite disappointed.

None of the other reviewers explicitly address this so I’m going to highlight it big time — this manga contains pedophilia imagery. I'm docking three points for this because it left a bad taste in my mouth. I tried to justify it when they would tie up children in the air as a punishment for breaking rules. Aight, people strip their children to their underwear and throw them outside. This must be another version; a cultural difference. Okay, so Reg’s ‘realistic’ penis is constantly highlighted… for scientific purposes, right? Oh, an often shirtless Riko. I mean, she is just a kid and me calling this perverted is me unnecessarily sexualising a child right… it’s fine. It has got to be fine. Hold up, progressively detailed chest(s) as the manga goes on??? A number of the female underaged characters squeezing their boobs drawn right on the inner cover???? Describing a bunny hollow thing CHILD’s scent in her pants???? Alright, this is absolutely fucked up. I can’t introduce this manga to anyone sane.

I’m trying to make the point that in the beginning of the manga, the pedophilia imagery was mild; I dismissed it as the usual thing in anime/manga. I know that there are certain genres that highlight ‘sexual’ imagery, but this manga was doing so well without it. As the story progresses, it becomes more prominent. I believe this is for fan-service and not a vital part of the story. Who told Tsukisha pedophilia imagery was a good idea? Why did no one stop him from ruining a perfectly good story?

Aside from this, the storyline is a perfect escape from reality. It coverts a whole new world with a hole full of mysteries — the best kind of story to get sucked into. There is always something new to discover, something new to experience with the characters. It’s dark but it is also thrilling. You always want to know what will happen next, and what will really come out of their adventure to the seventh layer. There are so many possibilities.

The characters are also portrayed so well. I believe choosing to have children as the main characters of the story was a power move. In a world that starts out quite mystical, with the common darkness of poverty and orphan-ry, we meet Riko — a child with big dreams and the will to achieve them. She lives with her friends who are knowledgable and supportive. She finds Reg, an anxiety-ridden robot thing who has lost his memories. Cute, right? But the common darkness becomes pitch black the further they go down the abyss. Gruelling experiences, blood, sacrifices, loss of humanity, accidents, hopelessness all become very real. Still, none of the ‘bad guys’ truly feel like bad guys. The 2m giant lady who tries to smash the little robot into pieces is also the beloved mentor of Riko’s badass mommy. She is terrifying but she means well. The evil man of the 5th layer who grinds up humans and sacrifices children to the curse for scientific research is also, somewhat a doting father. Somewhat. You can’t truly hate him, for he knows too much. It is out of this search for knowledge that he ruins the lives of unloved children.

Honestly, I don’t think I have to say much about the rest; everyone covers what a ride this manga is. I really do appreciate and love the story but if it wasn’t for the sexualisation of children, this manga would be a 10/10 for me.

Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
My first thought as the story progressed was this:

"I didn't sign up for this."

Don't be fooled by it's light and youthful art and its very young characters. Don't.

I honestly thought when I picked up this manga it'll be like Pokemon, Digimon or something that shows a bunch of kids going on an adventure of a lifetime. You know, like a kid friendly show.

But I was wrong. So, so wrong.

This is anything BUT a kid friendly show. This manga is very, very dark with fantasy and psychological elements mixed in. It has strong gore too and, in my opinion, I'd go far and say that the characters, especially the main protagonists, are created just to suffer.

Heck, I'd say that Re:Zero, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica would look like cute, little kittens against this manga.

You have no idea how much the first 42 chapters broke my heart. I cried. I mentally screamed. I even almost threw my phone in frustration. Almost. I hate how such young children are forced to go through things that even adults can have a hard time dealing with. Like, are you freaking kidding me? They're just children! They're too young.

But even with my complaints, there's no denying the fact that it shows reality; which is really ironic since this is set in a fantasy world.

It's real that kids suffer even at such a young age.

And aside from that, I can't jump on the ship in this one. The couple in this manga is very obvious. It's already glaring at me.

I'm a shipper. I live for the shipping. But not this time. I just can't bear to ship two kids. I mean like, they're freaking kids. I don't care if they're 12 or 13, they still look like 8 year olds to me. And I find the idea of shipping them to be disturbing.

Now, I know what you're thinking. What about Sakura and Syaoran from Card Captor Sakura? They're kids too but many people ship them. So what's the matter with the ship in this one?

My dear friend, here's the problem. Sakura and Syaoran depicts the innocent side of puppy love. The one that gives you good memories. The one wherein if you recall your first love, it'll bring a smile on your face. It doesn't have too much drama and just light. It's positive.

On the other hand, the ship in this one is not. Yes, the two of them are perfect for each other. They handle what the other can't and together, they're really strong. But the fact that they look like they're 8 year olds and this manga has too much sexual innuendoes for me to truly appreciate it, I just can't.

I honestly found myself thinking "I wish they were teenagers or older" A LOT while reading this. I kept on seeing a lot of lolis since they're kids (not a fan of too many lolis) and reading about the sexual innuendoes on, let me remind you again, KIDS is really awkward for me.

I don't have anything against kids and sexual innuendoes. It's just not my cup of tea. So is the concept of making kids suffer a lot.

I'm sure at this point you're wondering, why did I give it a 9 if this review is just full of complaints?

That's because this is a masterpiece despite all of my rants beforehand.

The art is misleading but beautiful. The concepts, the plot, the characters -- everything is almost perfect. I love the idea of The Abyss and more. So much thought has been put into the story that after finishing a chapter, you're filled with a lot of questions.

And in hopes of answering those said thoughts, you can't help but immediately read the next one and ta-da! More questions. And before I knew it, I reached the latest chapter (as of the day this review was written) which was chapter 42. And I had more questions than before.

It's mysterious. It's captivating. You get dragged into this world whether you like it or not.

This is that kind of story.

So at the end of the day, despite my complaints and awkwardness, I'll still continue reading this and watch the anime. I'm emotionally and psychologically invested on the characters and I sure hope they'll have a really happy ending. They deserve it.

If you're a fan of dark fantasy and children suffering and sexual innuendoes (on KIDS) is fine with you, then go and pick this one up. You'll be in a really wild and psychologically scarring ride.

P.S.: And in case you're wondering if there's nudity involved, yes there is.

Story: 9/10
Art: 10/10
Character: 10/10
Enjoyment: 7/10
Overall: 9/10
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
Made in Abyss is one of the very few mangas that I have read in one go, mainly because it draws you into its world through the use of its unique art, story, and characters. One moment the story will show the reader how twisted and disturbing the abyss is and the next will leave you in awe of how beautiful and epic the abyss can appear in certain moments.
Even making a dangerous man-eating creature appear majestic at times.

In terms of world-building, it was a good choice to flesh out the abyss and the island it belongs to as beyond the island is not all that important when it comes to Reg and Riko's journey, though it has been talked about a few times throughout the story.
Speaking of beyond the island, Bondrewd an antagonist and a wanted man from another country has become one of my favorite antagonists of all time.
(Have been obsessed with him for quite a while after reading, though most people who've read the manga probably hate him #bondrewdbestdad)

Bondrewd is a man devoted to knowledge and will stop at nothing to pursue it, sacrificing people as a means of acquiring knowledge and has become so warped that he cannot see the wrong in his actions.
Along with Bondrewd, the main protagonists Reg and Riko are very likable, Riko is brave and knowledgeable but physically weak and reckless.
Reg is physically strong and cautious, but at times acts cowardly and is emotionally dependent on others.
And both characters develop throughout their encounters in the abyss overcoming their weaknesses both on their own and through supporting each other.

Story 10/10
It may seem like a basic set up for an adventure story, but has many surprising twists and turns in the story.
Especially after the point, they meet a character called Nanachi in the story and dive into the Bondrewd arc. Though it was already pretty surprising before that point anyway with how the curse of the abyss affects people when they descend and the things that were revealed about both Riko and her mother.
Art 9/10
The Art fits perfectly with this manga giving it a unique look fitting to the story and can transition from light-hearted to dark moments effectively.
I also love the design of each layer in the abyss, each having its own look and creature designs unique to that layer.
At times it was hard to make out what was going on in a scene, which wasn't that often for it to be a major hindrance.
Character 10/10
A lot of well designed and likable characters such as Ozen who has more depth to her than at first glance and is a major link to Riko's mother.
Nanachi is a later addition to the main cast, who is shy and distant at first but is found to be kind-hearted yet haunted by her past.
Then there are the characters from below the 6th layer that all have strange personalities and have mystery surrounding how they came to be.
Also, many of the inhabitants below the 6th layer believe in the importance of possessions, a little more than they should. (my favorite being Majikaja)
Enjoyment 10/10
As I said at the beginning couldn't stop reading until I had reached the current chapter and had to wait for the next.
Overall 10/10
A must-read for fans of fantasy manga, though don't be fooled by the cover, this is by no means a light-hearted read as it contains quite a few disturbing scenes and dark subjects. And the deeper they go into the abyss the darker it gets both literally and metaphorically.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
I write this with the biased perspective of a Christian.

Though, as is obvious to note, all perspectives are biased due to our individuality and experiences in life. That being said, if anyone has similar biases as me, then this review is for you.

Others have written about this in other reviews, but I feel it important to add my voice to theirs because what this manga portrays is absolutely appalling and horrific to anyone who values the lives of not just children, but human beings. Like a frog put in warm water only to be boiled, there isn't as much child pornography (yes, child pornography) in the beginning of the story. If you're like me and saw the anime first, then you also may think it won't be so bad because the anime is so beautiful and breathtaking that you hardly think about its depictions of these children which are utterly abused in the manga.

I don't want to go into detail because I don't feel I need to--others have done that I believe for the most part. Honestly, all you need to know about this story is that the writer is very disrespectful and perverted to be drawing and writing these things. To bask in the suffering of children in the ways as depicted in this story is nothing short of a disgrace. It pretends to be something it is not--literally a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Basically, to sum up my harsh and dramatic review, the anime was so interesting that we forgot about the somewhat awkward things that disturbed us, but the manga shows that it truly is an absolute garbage story in my utterly biased and proud of it perspective.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
*This review is spoiler free*

This manga is something that doesn't come along very often and I recommend to be careful when picking when you start reading it; once you start, you can't really stop. That is because Made in Abyss starts off as a subversion of its presentation, the art and the character designs doesn't reflect the themes the story explores.

Akihito Tsukushi's art is what hooked me in, for without his unique art style, Made in Abyss couldn't begin with this subversion. The art is a very well made blend that serves as a well fitting medium through which the story is told. The highlights for me are the backgrounds/sceneries and the qualities of the base character design slate that allow for the fantastic variety of character designs and the emotive movements and facial expressions. To go even further, what specifically makes this art special is the weight in the emotional and action climaxes of each chapter that the art creates. When something of note happens in Made in Abyss, it is conveyed through the art with lines and contrasts so perfect for each event depicted that its a little scary how good Tsukushi is at this.

The characters themselves are great, and the main group is naturally the highlight of the manga's cast. Without spoiling anything, Made in Abyss has this ability to make me genuinely feel and root for characters. I think this comes down to the great art; the emotions that the characters are able to express feel real and have the weight necessary to make readers empathize or simply understand them. When a character grieves, I can't really help but grieve alongside them in a weird sort of sympathy.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the 47 chapters that have been scanlated, and I can't help but check every other day for new updates. I thoroughly enjoyed and will enjoy this manga; it's so different to anything else I've read. I've personally never really enjoyed genres like sci-fi, fantasy and adventure but this manga... This manga has something special, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
Reading the manga compared to the anime actually made this series feel a lot worse because of the weird things the author kept showing, such as child nudity and bodily fluids. You really start to notice these things and how most of the comic relief is... awkward sexual moments with the kids. Or at least body related things. If you can look past that there's still a lot of things that bugged me about the story itself that no one really mentions. As I read on I noticed it became more focused on shocking the readers without any real reason, for example they'd hit you with something messed up and it would always find some way to relate somehow in another messed up way. Just one "shocking" thing after another, always body horror related or leading up to something body horror related. It feels unnecessary a lot of times when the base of this story has a lot of potential. The recent arc (up to chapter 54) feels a lot like filler with the main goal lost and it really serves no purpose other than to give more shock material. Honestly if I wanted to read about body horror I'd just go read something by Junji Ito. It feels like that in the recent chapters sometimes but with kids and crazy emotions mixed in. There are many attempts to get feelings out of you for these kids and the horrible things that happen but a lot of it comes from them being kids and not actual character we care about. It was sad to see those parts yes but its definitely not that deep since it just gets more and more horrific. They hit you with too many emotional scenes and not enough build up to balance.

The art is nice yes, but it's really not enough to justify the rest of this manga. It is unique but it isn't a big factor for me in deciding what makes manga better or worse. Sometimes it was a bit hard to tell what was being drawn but its still very detailed and nice to look at.

I did find it interesting to see what was happening and to learn about the abyss but it definitely drags on a bit later and over time you just kind of expect it to be messed up all the same. 

The main characters are likable in how they have their own passion and love for each other, but I found a lot of problems with Riko especially. The decisions she makes are questionable and she really would be hopeless without the other two. It's like she gets into these difficult situations without knowing the consequences...even though it's pretty clear they are bad. She cannot sit still for even a second before getting into trouble again. Nanachi and Reg are the only characters I dont have much problem with because they do have some depth to them and they make logical decisions. I dont have a problem with the side characters either, its just that none of them are really given more depth. A lot of them are barely shown at all after being introduced (trying not to spoil). 

Overall I dont really get why everyone likes this so much, maybe its the creative ways to twist kids around and make things as gross as possible that hooks everyone. Maybe the emotional rollercoaster that just keeps going but never really hits. I would maybe understand their thoughts if they only read up to around where the anime stopped but that just shows how downhill it goes. It is interesting to go through but Im not really sure if I could say this was an enjoyable read with all these flaws. It does have its moments where you want to find out what happens next and it keeps you going until you realize that nothing really changes with the characters and the story just drags to shock you.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
Made in Abyss is a tale of a journey to the land of no return.
It's a dark fantasy featuring obsessed little girls, shy robots and sarcastic bunny critters. Also giant mind-reading porcupines, don't forget those.
It's bizarre, beautiful, inventive, painfully emotional and bizarre (did I mention carnivorous porcupines? Pretty bizarre).
It's one of my all-time favorites, so let me tell you why.

So, what does make Made in Abyss so special? Just about everything.
For one thing, it's the Abyss itself. It's a weird and fascinating place with its very own laws of physics, mythology and ecosystem.
Mesmerizing scenery, lethal monsters, priceless treasures - the Abyss has it all, has it everywhere, has it in any combination.
Beautiful flower meadow, eager to kill you dead (or worse)? Coming right up!
Toothy monster of shocking visage that wouldn't hurt a fly? Got one right here!
Legendary weapon that misfires regularly and gets lost all the time? Not even a problem!
You might've seen many a dungeon before but rest assured you've never seen the like of the Abyss.

For another, it's the art. It is amazing. Precise drawing, outstanding design and composition, exquisite shadows and lighting - this manga has it all and then some. It's a visual feast putting to shame at least 95% of all the other manga out there.

Also, the characters. Some of them are extremely likable, some are instantly hateful, some are totally incomprehensible but every one of them (including minor parts making appearance in a couple of panels) is distinctly and beautifully drawn and feels as real and alive as anything ever committed to paper.

All that being said, if I had to single out one element that contributes most prominently to the greatness of Made in Abyss that would have to be the story.
It's exciting, dreadful, weird, breathtaking and totally unpredictable. I mean, you get the general idea and know where it's supposed to take you eventually (although I strongly suspect it's going to be more of a way-point than the finish line) but have you the foggiest what's going to jump in your face when you turn the next page? Not a chance.
Anything can happen to anyone, all bets are off, no happy endings are guaranteed (neither are bad ones, for that matter). Have you ever been too afraid to turn a page but unable not to? You will have this pleasure.
That is something you should be aware of before entering the Abyss - this is not a lighthearted story. I've seen this manga being described as a cross between Ichigo Mashimaro and Berserk and this analogy might just have grasped the gist of it. As the story progresses it grows darker, more disturbing and ominous. It is the main reason I only give it 9 points - sometimes reading Made in Abyss is frustrating and pretty painful. Still, if that is something you can stomach you're in for an experience well worth your while.

Made in Abyss is an outstanding work of art by any standard. Cute and gritty, vivid and gloomy, delicate and overwhelming, heart-warming and spine-chilling - it'll sweep you off your feet and drag you down into the world of sinister beauty you'll never forget.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
Mod Edit: this review may contain spoilers.

This manga has gained a fair amount of attention for its artwork, it's absolutely stunning. It has a lovely aesthetic, and there was clearly a lot of effort put into the detail. The settings are unique, and are very telling about the story's world. The whole narrative revolves around descending and ascending "the Abyss", and the surrounding town of Ōsu seems to be almost sliding into the Abyss, pulling you in. The landscapes are very vertical, even the classroom in the orphanage has desks attached to the walls, requiring the children to climb to them. Everything looks large and imposing in contrast with the main characters.
I've seen a lot of people compare the artwork and atmosphere to that of Ghibli films, but if I'm honest it reminds me of ecchi works. Right from the beginning, there was *something* about how the children were drawn (especially Riko's cheeks?) that made me question whether or not the mangaka was a loli/shotacon. Reading on, I found that several of these children are shown topless or naked, and the soft way in which they are rendered made me uneasy. There are at least 6 specific instances that I can think of where Reg's genitals are discussed. Many of the children have loosely fit clothing over their chests, even when they are supposed to be portrayed sympathetically. Additionally, the mangaka seems to have some odd interests - I currently don't have the ability to phrase this the way I want to, but there's something about the way that pee and vomit is discussed and drawn that made me suspicious.

The story is decent - the beginning few chapters set the location well, and create a sense of intrigue. As Riko and Reg descend the Abyss, there's a real sense of progression. They are introduced to various sets of characters, learn new things, move on and repeat the process. None of these arcs felt pointless to me. However, in some sections, especially the Bondrewd arc, I felt that the pacing got a little slow, and the story could've been more streamlined.

The characters are fairly interesting, Riko and Reg both have good motivations for reaching the bottom of the Abyss - the former wants to find her mother, and the latter wants to find out why he was made. Riko has been raised in a town where many people aspire to explore the Abyss, and are prepared for the strains of ascending it - being unable to return from the lower levels is just matter of fact to them. Riko has an almost-encyclopedic knowledge of a lot of the known areas, treasures and creatures of the Abyss. Reg, being an amnesiac blank state is an audience surrogate for Riko's explanations. There's a lot mystery surrounding Reg's creation and history, although more questions have been created then answered so far. Nanachi is very sympathetic, though I worry that she doesn't have as much of a reason for being there as the other two - she achieves her goal quite soon after she is introduced.

I stopped reading after the Bondrewd arc. The situations these children were put into made me too uncomfortable to continue. I'm not talking about the body horror or anything, that's fine for an adult work like this. However, adult doesn't always have to mean sexual, *especially* if the main character is a 12 year old girl. It's a real shame, I think that Made in Abyss could've been really good if the mangaka didn't have such worrying tastes.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
This is not a good manga. Most reviews here and elsewhere would have you believe that this is the best series since humanity invented sliced bread but I would beg to differ.

The manga starts with an exciting premise. Our 12 year protagonist lives in a town that surrounds an unexplored hole called the Abyss. No one knows how deep it is or its origins or the dangers that lurk in it. She discovers a mysterious robot on the edge of Abyss that has lost its memories. We also learn that our protagonist has a mother who is the most famous explorer of the Abyss but has not been seen for the past 10 years. Our protagonist wants to meet her mom and therein lies the plot. Simple enough. We have three mysteries, all of them tied to the mysterious Abyss.

While it starts simply enough as an adventure, the author brings in mystery, horror and thriller elements to keep the reader engaged. And the manga is brimming with creative art which clearly demonstrates the talent and imagination of the author. Sadly, those are the only positive things that I can say about the manga.

My biggest criticism is that this manga’s narration proceeds like a rudderless ship stranded in the middle of a stormy ocean. It zigs one way and the zags another with no sense of purpose or direction. For instance, in one of the most infamous chapters one of our main characters is subject to physical torture. I’ll spare you the gory details but body mutilation is involved. And yet in the very next chapter, this character fights the villains and almost wins! Hmm. So, was the point of that torture-porn simply to make readers squirm? Here’s another – in this same arc the main side character starts out as the villain’s accomplice, switches sides, then switches side again, is killed, then revived and finally ends up becoming friends with our main characters. Wow. In the currently ongoing arc, a character who was thought to have been dead suddenly reappears, ends up putting one of our protagonists out of action, only for them to leave and our protagonist is now back just in time to help out our two other protagonists. And in the middle of all this, the author shoehorns a 200 page flashback so that he can somehow make the plot cohere.

Al this is clear evidence of bad writing. It indicates that the author has no overarching plot and just makes stuff up. He gets an idea, runs with it, only to find himself stuck and then retcons the earlier events when he feels like it. As of chapter 56, all the original three mysteries that were posed at the start of the series have been conveniently forgotten. Our protagonists are in someone else’s adventure acting like pawns in a game of chess that they should not be a part of. Now while adventure is exciting and drawn beautifully, l as the reader have to sit back and ask – what is even the reason for this adventure to exist? How does this fit in with the original three mysteries? It doesn’t. And for me, it doesn’t look like it will either.

I’m dropping this train-wreck. I’ve better stuff to read/watch.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
Wow, what a journey this was. Made In Abyss Is the first manga I have ever read and It was an amazing experience, I never thought that I would love reading so much. It started with my passion for the anime, it became my favourite and I couldn't wait any longer to see what happened next, so I read the manga (from the beginning).

The story is outstanding and full of mystery. The idea of this abyss that has never been fully explored and the history behind it not being fully known, along with its relics and creatures. Everything that happens has you on the edge of your seat, you always want to keep reading chapter after chapter to see what happens next, and I can say that I was never disappointed. It sounds silly but I never thought that a book would make me cry, I felt a range of intense emotions, I felt sad, disturbed, anxious, it was truly a wonderful experience.

The art in this manga is marvellous, there's so much detail and every character keeps its consistency, emotion is conveyed so well and the action looks so intense for a still image. The backgrounds are conveyed so beautifully and you can really feel out the environment through the pages.

The characters are so sweet and lovable and you cant help but love (almost) everyone you bump into in this book. Their designs are all amazing and all have unique personalities and motives, which makes their actions all the more emotional when they happen.

With a manga to anime comparison, the anime does the manga so much justice, putting colour into these wonderful characters and worlds, and adding so much to the world with its gorgeous sound track. The anime has some extra scenes that are not in the manga, but I wont argue with that, they were still very enjoyable and added some more feeling for the story and its concepts. However the manga has some more visually strong representations of things such as fighting and shows more nudity than the anime.

I cant wait to see what the anime does with the rest of this lovely story and I cant want to see what else is in store for the manga too, it's been a wonderful journey with these fun and lovable characters, and I'm so excited to feel all of these crazy emotions once more. I highly recommend this manga to anyone who loves a story that really makes you feel these dark emotions and has a hunger for mystery and twists.
Apr 15, 2021
Made in Abyss review
*This review might contain some spoilers for those that aren't caught up to the manga and/or are watching the anime*
*TL;DR at the bottom alongside an author's note*

I remember seeing the announcement for the anime of this... I would never have thought that this would become one of my favorite manga of all time, rivaling my love for Jojo, Berserk, and Oyasumi Punpun on their own. Also inspiring me to change my profile picture to that of Riko eating an onigiri.

It's a story filled with just raw emotion which pops out thanks to the incredible art, especially in the most recent chapters that have been released in English and/or Spanish (since I also speak that language).
There's also this best dad guy. The things he does are so utterly lovable, it made me love a fictional character to the point I wanted to just shout compliments to him and his motives... It might just be me though.

Another thing this manga does really well is the feeling of dread the abyss creates just with its presence. The reasons why? The "curse of the abyss", the creatures, the people residing in it (like the one mentioned before), and just the abyss itself with its layers of mystery, making you guess what might be at the bottom, what other creatures inhabit it, and just who could be the next person our protagonists might encounter.

And then there's the characters: I've never rooted for a bunch of kids to succeed to this level in a long while. Every time they are in peril or in a tough situation I just find myself sweating and my heart beating fast.
The villains and the not-so villains are also really great.
There are only a few characters I found myself not really hooked with as much, and they are the other kids at the orphanage (except for the toddler whose name I forgot). They aren't as developed, but I still like them.

I really couldn't stop reading this manga as soon as I started, too. That feeling of just "one more chapter" is fantastic, and the anime managed that wonderfully too.
One last thing though: I really can't recommend it to everyone, due to all the dark and gory moments. Also the fact it has nudity. Read it with caution.

TL;DR: Made in Abyss is a manga filled with emotion, great characters, a mysterious world, and you might just won't stop reading it. Only read it if you aren't so bothered by gore, kids suffering, and child nudity, to the point where you might just drop it.

Author's note: This was my first review. Been almost three years on this site, and finally decided to make a review. That should probably tell you how much I love this manga.
Made in Abyss
Made in Abyss
Autor Tsukushi, Akihito
Artista --