Happy Halloween, everyone! I hope you’ve had a fun time watching what I was going to post next. Since I’ve filled this month with a lot of older anime media, closing out the month on something soul crushing and new felt called for. Call this post the Togusa of Public Security Section 9 for Mamoru Oshii October. That makes a lot of sense, right? Probably not. Regardless, I have been waiting for this film for a long time and I am very excited to talk about it finally. Made in Abyss is a series that I loved in 2017. At that point, I am pretty sure I called it my favorite anime that aired that year. Finally having a follow up is awesome. I’m glad that it was possible to watch on my laptop considering the nature of this year.
For a brief recap for Made in Abyss, it’s a show featuring a young girl named Riko and a relic/robot named Reg traveling down the mysterious Abyss. A deep hole in the ground made out of different layers of danger and horror in a massive adventure. The creatures inhabiting the Abyss get stronger as they go down along with the curse of the Abyss taking place. You know, kind of like bends when going up under water really fast except worse. So, definitely a Dante’s Inferno situation here. All of this just so Riko can possibly see her mom. The two met Nanachi, a kind fury being, who has her own sad story on the fifth level and has agreed to joint them. That’s where we left off.
This film is focused on one singular plot, dealing with Bondrewd and his laboratory in order to make it to the sixth, final level. Bondrewd is the horror from Nanachi’s backstory. The reason why she is the special fury being that she is and why her friend Mitty was in such a horrible state. Getting past him is a major challenge because of how smart, insidious, and uncaring he is. I should also add how this horrifying piece of trash also seems to have an innocent; young daughter named Prushka. If you know Made in Abyss, then you know something completely awful is going to happen to her. Death is not the worst thing that happens to people in this series. That’s the easy way out.
Before reaching for the horrifying things, I should mention how much Nanachi adds to the team. Riko and Reg did alright on their journey so far, but they’ve struggled to keep alive. Riko has knowledge about the relics, creatures in the Abyss, and the general lay out. Reg is the shonen protagonist hero. He has he laser beam, is good at combat, is very hard to break, has arms that can stretch out for long distances, and everything. So basically, knowledge and tool working together. Nanachi brings experience. She actually plans things out in ways that take advantage of everyone’s attributes to the fullest. This changes how things would actually go in this film because no one would survive without her.
The creepy thing about Bondrewd is how inhuman he is. He doesn’t think like a human, he doesn’t feel because pain because he doesn’t feel anything, and he can change bodies whenever. A being of pure logic and pain. All of which makes the fact that he has a daughter so creepy and wrong. Especially since Prushka loves him for some reason. Then again, she is young and was raised in this scientific environment. Yeah. This asshole just exists to research for human advancement with pure, cold logic. He and his guys at his lab take Reg out of nowhere and start running experiments on him without thinking about any consequences. He has one of his arms taken off and everything. It’s so unsettling.
It even gets worse when our team gets to know Prushka. Riko and Prushka are similar kinds of girls and they know it. With their small amount of time together, Riko and Prushka form a really cute bond with each other through the fact that their parents are White Whistles. The highest level of adventurers in this film. Which, of course, plays into the heart-breaking finale of this movie. They understand each other a lot, but Prushka has some knowledge on how to defeat the curse of the Abyss so Riko can go up. That also plays into the finale of this film. I just wish this all didn’t happen in Made in the Abyss where children are used from certain evil figures for horrible science projects. Like a certain Ozen, the Abyss changes people. I suppose that’s the entire point of this series now, isn’t it?
Dawn of the Deep Soul takes the already beautiful visuals and art of the TV series, then boosts the quality and depth in a lot of ways. I mean, the jump from a TV show to a movie kind of does that, right? Characters look like themselves, except more detailed and heavier. The movie resources allow the film to do more and makes everything carry more weight. The massive change between the two is how dark the film is compared to the series visually. Mainly from the setting of the darkness of Bondrewd’s base. A dark, scary, shut in laboratory with tons of dark hallways. Even the areas the three travel in to fight Bondrewd are underground and are filled with shadows. Muted color pallets and such. It’s a choice that boosts the tone and themes it’s tone more.
It’s been weeks since I’ve watched Dawn of Deep Soul and I can’t get it out of my brain. It is this vastly huge emotional experience that can leave anyone broken and lost for thought for days. It’s not just sadness pushing all of this, there is such a huge complexity of fear in the scenario of this movie. Especially since it questions the value of human life? Like Full Metal Alchemist, the series goes into dark places to explore this theme. In this chapter, it’s proving to an unfeeling being that Riko and others deserve to continue on with their journey. Gah. This film is a solid watch. No questions asked at all.