When it first aired back in 2017, Made in Abyss was a series many of my friends were raving about. I watched the first three episodes of the 13 episode series and well I honestly didn’t fully enjoy it at the time but after watching Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn I decided to go back and marathon all 13 episodes because I had to know what happens next and it was much better.
Journey’s Dawn re-tells the story of the first eight episodes and condenses it into an hour and 58-minute feature. This means that quite a bit of content is removed and so at times some context of events goes missing leaving you a bit confused or rushed to the point that it’s easy to lose interest. This issue is highlighted in the first act of the film but it slowly starts to work in its favor as we see more and more of the series which I did enjoy.
We follow the story of Riko a twelve-year-old orphan, who works as a digger as part of her orphanage. The young orphans collect different artifacts known as “Relics” which are sold to help run the orphanages operating costs. As a Cave Raider-in-training, Riko wants to go even deeper into the mysterious abyss and one day while on a dig she attacked by a monster and is suddenly saved by a robot she names Reg. The two decide to enter the abyss and reach the bottom where Riko believes her mother is waiting for her and Reg who has lost his memories looks for answers about who he is and why he looks like a human.
The movie has some great moments, it isn’t perfect but for someone who felt the start of the series was slow, this kept my attention and had me wanting to know what happens next, which led me to marathon the entire series afterward.
The two must work together to survive as each depth of the abyss is much worse than the last and along the way, they come across wild beasts and plants and no escape, going back would prove just as dangerous as continuing on. It’s a story that gets progressively darker and it’s surprising just how the two cope with everything that is happening.
I’m honestly not a fan of films that retell the story of a 12 or 24 episode series not too long after the series has aired. Especially if the series is still fresh in my mind but for a series that I didn’t really enjoy the first time, this is fine as it got straight to the point and made is even more enjoyable to me. It made me look forward to what’s next and the different and unique art and music did a good job of doing just that.
With the movie set for screening for two days only, we thank both Sentai Filmworks and Fathom Events for inviting us to the Los Angeles Premiere for the film. Select theaters will screen Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn in Japanese with English subtitles on March 20th and the English dub on March 25th.
You can also check out photos from the Red Carpet and Q&A session below:
Now to wait for the second movie and hopefully a continuation to the anime.