This show got quite dark toward the end. Ozen was just the start. It may have started as a good ol’ adventure story but boy did the suffering come in hard. But it wasn’t just suffering that the abyss gave us. A quote from the end of episode 3 can more accurately describe this show. “For those who offer up their bodies and challenge it, the Abyss is said to provide all… Life and death, curses and blessings.”
I’ve covered through the introduction of Ozen. She seems evil at the start, but it’s slowly revealed she cares for Riko and Reg’s adventure and took the “tough love” approach to preparing them for the later levels. Ozen quickly became a favorite character of mine just for her personality. Confident in Ozen’s training, they descend deeper but have trouble facing an orb piercer, a porcupine-like monster with a very fatal toxin in its spines and the ability to read its opponents intentions. The relic Reg had to protect him and Riko was unfortunately not enough and Riko ended up pierced by a spine. In order to get away from the orb piercer, Reg had to carry Riko upward to a different platform which, while still affected by the toxins, caused Riko to start suffering the effects of the curse.
Cue the introduction of the new favorite character, Nanachi. Nanachi shows up to help Reg save Riko’s life after Reg’s not so great attempts to save her. Nanachi has somewhat of a lax attitude compared to Reg’s panic when it came to Riko’s well-being. Nanachi knew exactly what to do to ensure Riko’s recovery but her history was a complete mystery to Reg but he chose to trust her to save Riko. During Riko’s recovery, we learn a lot about Nanachi’s history, and her blob-like friend Mitty. Nanachi teaches Reg some secrets of the abyss and her request for Reg to return the favor of her saving Riko was for Reg to kill, or in this case, save Mitty from all her suffering. I never thought I’d feel sad for a blob.
The story covers everything the narrator said in episode 3. Life, death, blessings, and curses are all present in this show and shape the characters into some of the best characters I’ve seen in anime. Even the certain big-bad we see in the last episode is an exceptionally well done character. He’s so well done, you start to hate him on a very personal level. Keep in mind Riko during all this is still a child at 11 years old. Her hardships along with Reg’s, while it will impact anyone of any age, are amplified by how young they are. These two are definitely blessed with how well they can endure being thrown into literal hell with so little experience. If not the suffering, the chemistry between the main characters is more than enough to get you hooked to this show.
Art and music are extraordinary. The art style is one of my favorites personally. The main characters are all drawn fairly simplistically but are still extremely expressive. The detail in the monsters of the abyss is also rather impressive. The fight with the orb piercer left me with chills after watching how the creature moved and hunted its prey. Music is spot on for this show. The composer really shined and all key moments were highlighted beautifully with great BGM. The music during the final montage of the final episode was the icing on the cake that gave more impact to all of it.
This is anime of the season. I’m not counting Re:CREATORS because it’s 2 cour and started last season. This show is the best to come out of the summer 2017 anime season in my opinion and it deserves it. I will start reading the manga to continue the adventure because the likelihood of a second season is not all that great. The anime is available to stream on Amazon’s Anime Strike. Give it a watch and let me know, do you agree with me saying this is anime of the season? Is it worth all the praise it’s getting?