August Anime Challenge: Made in Abyss

Our August Anime Challenge is Made in Abyss which is based on the manga series by Akihito Tsukushi. The anime was adapted for screen by Kinema Citrus and ran from July to September 2017. The anime covers volumes 1 – 3 of the manga and the final episode was an hour long special. The series was directed by Masayuki Kojima and written by Hideyuki Kurata, with character designs by Kazuchika Kise. The Australian artist Kevin Penkin composed the anime’s soundtrack.

The Opening and ending themes ‘Deep in Abyss’ and ‘ Tabi no Hidarite, Saihate no Migite’ were performed by cast members Miyu Tomita and Mariya Ise the latter in collaboration with Shiori Izawa (Nanachi).

The anime was followed by two compilation films Made in Abyss: Tabidachi no Yoake (episodes 1 – 8) and Made in Abyss: Hōrō Suru Tasogare (episodes 9 – 13) in 2019. A sequel movie Gekijōban Made in Abyss: Fukaki Tamashii no Reimei premiered in Japan on January 17, 2020. The movie was set to premiere in Boston, USA at Anime Boston, but the convention was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Made in Abyss is set in a world where the whole world was explored except for a massive bottomless chasm named The Abyss, a place filled with relics and artefacts. Our hero is Rico, a 12-year-old orphan with a dream to become as famous an explorer like her late mother. The Abyss hides artifacts and remnants of a civilization long gone, making it a popular hunting spot for so-called Cave Raiders, who undertake dangerous adventures into the mist-filled depths to recover whatever relics they can find. Returning from the Abyss can be dangerous as “the Curse of the Abyss,” a mysterious and potentially fatal malady, manifests upon ascension. One fateful day she meets Regu, a strange robot boy who may just be the one who helps her reach her dream … if they can survive, that is…

Week 1 August 3 to 9, 2020

Episodes 1 – 4

Konnichiwa Minna, it is week 1 of our anime challenge. We have a surprise for you! We are hosting a discussion of Made in Abyss on the 4th August 2020 at 20h00 on our Discord. Come and join in for the fun! The opening and ending themes ‘Deep in Abyss’ and ‘ Tabi no Hidarite, Saihate no Migite’ were performed by cast members Miyu Tomita and Mariya Ise the latter in collaboration with Shiori Izawa (Nanachi). Let enjoy the music and watch the videos together!

Deep in Abyss

Tabi no Hidarite, Saihate no Migite

We hope you enjoy the challenge and that you will visit us for our discussion on our Discord on the 4th!!

Week 2 August 10 to 16, 2020

Episodes 5 – 8

Konnichiwa Minna, welcome to week 2 of our Made in Abyss challenge. Did you enjoy last weeks episodes. We saw our heroes starting their descent into the mysterious abyss! Akihito Tsukushi is the talented mangaka behind the anime. AnimeFanatika combed the internet like a ninja and found out quite a bit about Tsukushi. He was inspired by Hiromu Arakawa’s “Silver Spoon” manga to draw a fantasy story. The abyss idea came to him when he visited a science museum in Ueno and saw a tree on display in an exhibit. He thought that if you enlarge the microscopic world like the tree, you can make fun things. He also thought that the anime adaptation of Made in Abyss would only be 5-minutes long because he didn’t think they could animate the more gruesome parts. (we’re so glad he was wrong ;)).

When Tsukushi was in high school he at first drew creatures with lots of warts, he wanted them as realistic as possible, but then he met a fellow student with a more cuter artistic style, they began to draw together and Tsukushi’s style shifted. After school he worked at Konami for about 10 years prior to making Made in Abyss.

We hope you enjoy the challenge and that found our info on Akihito Tsukushi interesting, next week we will explore more Made in Abyss lore!

Week 3 August 17 to 23, 2020

Episodes 9 – 10

Konnichiwa minna! Last week’s episodes of the challenge was intense, especially with us finding out what happened to Riko when she was a baby. Those who missed out on the challenge will have to watch last week’s episodes for more! Did you know that the first talk about adapting Made in Abyss into an anime was when Tsukushi was working on the 4th volume? Apparently the producer, Ogasawara, approached the director Masayuki Kojima with the manga series,  Kojima was impressed with the artwork on the cover and the color pages.

The music composer Kevin Penkin worked with director Kojima to write the music according to some of the anime storyboards, and it is interesting to note the Made in Abyss‘ creator Tsukushi imagined that the music would be Celtic at first! Tsukushi and director Kojima worked well together and it must be that winning attitude that made Made in Abyss such a success.

We hope you enjoy the challenge and that found the extra info on Akihito Tsukushi and the anime interesting, next week we will explore more Made in Abyss lore!

Week 4 August 24 to 30, 2020

Episodes 11 – 13

Konnichiwa Minna, this is our last week of the Made in Abyss anime challenge. We hope you have been enjoying the challenge as much as we do. When the challenge is over and you feel in the mood for more Made in Abyss, remember there is also the movie Made In Abyss Dawn of The Deep Soul.

If you are in the mood for more anime by the studio Kinema Citrus, try the post apocalyptic action sc-fi, Black Bullet. It is the year 2021. Humans have been defeated by Gastrea (viral parasites) and exiled to a small territory, living in terror and despair. In fact, what is left of humanity now tries to survive within Monolith walls, made of the only material (called Varanium) that seems to hurt Gastrea. There are also special people that can counter the Gastrea threat. They are called ‘Cursed Children’, female children whose bodies contain trace amounts of the virus. They are granted super-powers thanks to that. These girls are given partners called Promotes, whose mission is to guide and protect these young ladies. They work in teams of two and go out to fight these monsters created by the Gastrea virus. The anime series’ main protagonists are Aihara, an Initiator and Rentaro, a Promoter, both part of a group called ‘Civil Security’ a specialized group fighting against the horrible Gastrea. It is a tale of a world of darkness, the very dawn of humanity’s existence, where without heroes, there will only be doom.

We hope you enjoyed the challenge. Next month we will bring you a new challenge, so watch this space!