Tag Archives: Made in Abyss

Highlighting the Best Anime of the 2010s (Part 2)

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Apologies for missing most of this week, but passing my classes does, in fact, take precedent over writing about anime. Speaking of, I promised last week that I would give you all the second half of my 2010s highlight list, so here it is. Enjoy!

Welcome back, tourists. Today I will be finishing off the list for the best anime of the last decade. Who knows, maybe I am giving up the good stuff a little too soon, but might as well get it out there before the 2010s slowly fade away from our collective memory. After all, between the death of beloved athlete Kobe Bryant, huge wildfires that are destroying Australia and the outbreak of the Coronavirus, 2020 seems to have enough to keep people occupied.

March Comes in Like a Lion – Fall 2016 – Studio: Shaft

Nowhere in the universe is there a show nearer and dearer to my heart than Studio Shaft’s masterpiece, March Comes in Like a Lion.

It tells the story of Rei Kiriyama, a middle school shogi prodigy turned high school depression case. While still involved in the world of shogi as one of its better players, Rei faces some of his most traumatic emotional scars, including the death of his birth family and the relationship with his adopted parents and sister. Despite only ever playing shogi because of his dad, Rei’s relationship with the game becomes fundamentally altered as he works out his problems.

It is rare that a singular show ever reaches such a wide range on the emotional spectrum as March Comes in Like a Lion. Even with its seemingly odd subject matter, and also seemingly because of it. The show manages to cover a wide range of topics outside of shogi, such as depression, abuse and bullying. 

Not only that, but the show also covers these topics well. Each of them is explored in-depth and through the perspective of multiple characters, all while resolving the main plot at hand in a way that makes sense narratively. In a lot of ways, the series reflects a lot of what is going on in society today, actively bringing awareness to mental health that was not there before. 

A Silent Voice – Fall 2016 – Studio: Kyoto Animation

I said series and movies at the beginning of this list for a reason, because not recognizing one of the most impactful films of the decade would be incredibly irresponsible, to say the least. 

A Silent Voice focuses on the topic of bullying from the perspective of Shouya Ishida, the resident bully of a girl who transferred to his school, Shouko Nishimiya. Shouko, as is revealed fairly early, is deaf, and because of this is targeted by almost everyone in the school. However, Shouya gets sold out as the main culprit by his classmates. Years later, after almost attempting suicide, Shouya attempts to make amends with Shouko.

Bullying has been and remains a popular topic of conversation, especially as it affects specific communities. A Silent Voice, however, portrays a specific aspect of bullying that is not often explored, that being what happens when a person attempts to befriend the person they bullied. From that perspective, it can be quite a jarring film. 

Still, its emotional resonance and message can not be overstated, and it’s easily one of the best animated films to be released this decade.


Made in Abyss – Summer 2017 – Studio: Kinema Citrus

If Game of Thrones has shown anything, it is that there is still a large appetite for good fantasy stories among the general population. Luckily, I have got a show that delivers just that. 

Made in Abyss is truly something special. It is set in a world where what is below the earth’s surface is arguably much more interesting than anything above. “The Abyss,” as it is dubbed, is a giant chasm that leads to an entire ecosystem below ground. Riko, a young orphan girl who grows up in the town surrounding the abyss, hopes to find out its secrets, including what happened to her mother.

Joined by Reg, a mysterious humanoid robot that has no memories of his past, Riko journeys into “The Abyss,” despite the dangers that are present. What sets Made in Abyss apart from other fantasy stories is just how unique its story really is. The universe that is constructed both around and within “The Abyss” is both original and interesting, from its creatures and plant life to the abyss explorers’ societal structure.

A Place Further Than the Universe – Winter 2018 – Madhouse

Between Wandering Son and A Silent Voice, there are already a number of emotionally powerful works on this list. Still, I think there is room for at least one more. Trust me, A Place Further Than the Universe deserves it. It is the high school drama adventure of the decade.

A Place Further Than the Universe follows Mari Tamaki and her quest to fulfill her goal of going on an adventure before she leaves high school. Right before giving up on her goal, she finds a million yen lying on the floor of a train station. After finding the girl it belongs to, Shirase Kobuchizawa, Mari decides to join Shirase on her journey to reach Antarctica.

Mari and Shirase’s trip ends up becoming much more than just a journey to Antarctica. Along the way the two meet up with Hinata Miyake and Yuzuki Shiraishi, who help them acquire the means to get there in the first place. Early on in the series, it is also revealed that the reason Shirase wants to go on this journey is because of her mom, who was a researcher in Antarctica but lost her life while on an expedition.

A Place Further Than the Universe is a phenomenal anime and one that hits home for many. At its core, the show is about looking inward, finding oneself and seeing that identity through to the end. 


“Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai” – Fall 2018 – Cloverworks

In case anyone is wondering, no the title for this anime is not wrong. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai is, in fact, the real English name. Despite that, it is still a phenomenal work that should be talked about. 

The series makes sure that, even with its incredibly strange title, it lets the audience know it is a serious show. The first episode features Sakuta Azusagawa running into fellow classmate and acclaimed actress Mai Sakurajima, except, as he finds out, she has been affected by a disease that he himself has dealt with in the past, Puberty Syndrome. Puberty Syndrome changes people’s realities by materializing their insecurities. 

Deciding to help Mai through her problem of people suddenly not knowing who she is despite being famous across Japan leads him to meet with others who also have the disease. This includes one of his close friends Rio Futaba. Sakuta’s world becomes even more confusing than his mundane high school life already was. All of it forces him to realize that there are a lot of things that are more important than one’s own comfort. 

That, my lovely tourists, is the list. It is by no means a complete list of everything worth watching from the last decade, but it is what I consider to be the best. After watching a few of the things from this list, it would certainly be worthwhile to venture out further into the world of anime.

Now that the list on this site is complete, I’ll ask again: did I miss anything important? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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Special shoutout to Jenn for continuing to support us on Patreon, it is greatly appreciated.

If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Three Great Anime Soundtracks Everyone Should be Listening to

Welcome, weebs, to Animated Observations


Well, I still have a few columns left to republish, and what better way to start off the weekend than by recommending some sick tunes for the uninitiated. Today, I’ll be showing off a column from March of 2020…yeah, depressing, but this music certainly is not. Check it out!

Welcome back, tourists. 

Almost everyone has a niche musical taste. Whether it be an obscure genre, or even just a relatively unknown artist, most have their music that others do not know about. Many anime fans, including myself, can relate to this feeling, largely due to the fact that even many of the people who watch anime do not actively listen to the music that accompanies it. 

Well, I am here to change that. Apart from being a great storytelling medium, anime has an incredible amount of good music, so much so that I had to cut it down to three for the sake of word count and time. Midterms are a pain, and I am screaming internally. Regardless, here are some anime soundtracks you should definitely be listening to. 

“Made in Abyss” – Music by Kevin Pinken

I mentioned “Made in Abyss” on my best of the decade list about a month ago, and a large part of the reason that I did so was on the back of its incredible soundtrack. Indeed, a big reason for the show’s appeal is based on the musical accompaniment to the story. Almost all of the music in the show does a great job matching the tone of the anime. 

Almost all of the credit for this goes to the series’ musical composer Kevin Pinken, who got his breakthrough into anime with “Made in Abyss,” and who is working on the soundtrack for the upcoming animated adaptation of “Tower of God.” While the music of the series never really goes beyond a particular tempo range, generally focusing on slower songs, it still manages to capture the emotion of the series in a way that makes it wonderful to listen to on its own.


“Re:Creators” – Music by Hiroyuki Sawano

Composer Hiroyuki Sawano is well known within the anime community, even among those who do not know his name. He became relatively famous due to his work on “Attack on Titan,” and to a lesser extent “Seven Deadly Sins,” two shows whose music is both electronically driven and bombastic in its tone—see “Reluctant Heroes” for more on that. 

However, some of his best work came on the soundtrack of “Re:Creators.” The series focuses on the story of characters from various video games, anime and manga coming to life due to the power of another character. 

Its theme is based on the power of people to create universes, and the psychological effect that those universes have on its inhabitants. However, it is also a show with a lot of action, and so Sawano’s style fits it perfectly. There are definitely a lot of tracks worth playing on a long car ride.

“Carole and Tuesday” – Music by Mocky

While it is true that Director Shinichiro Watanabe knows how to make a good show, he also needed the help of Canadian musician Mocky to really make “Carole and Tuesday” shine. As an artist, Mocky brought a lot of his diverse prior experience in order to really enhance the show’s sound, and it is really apparent when you listen to its soundtrack. The series, which centers around the lives of two girls hoping to make it in the music industry, boasts a variety of musical genres, including rock, jazz, hip-hop and even opera. 

However, Mocky can’t take all of the credit. A lot of the soundtrack’s standout pieces include those featuring vocals from the likes of Nai Br.XX, Celeina Ann, Thundercat, Denzel Curry and many others. On top of that, all of those same standout pieces, save for a few, are done in English, making them much more accessible to a wider audience. It is a strange soundtrack to be sure, but one that is definitely worth anyone’s time. 

There are definitely a lot of other great soundtracks, but these three also have the quality of wanting to listen to them even after the show is over. Each of these shows has tracks that will make you want to keep it on loop for the foreseeable future.

Have you heard these soundtracks? if so, how do you feel about them? Let me know in the comments.

If you are interested in reading more from me, check under blog to read my most recent stuff, or look below for some related posts. Also, if you would like to support Animated Observations, consider donating on Ko-fi or through paypal, or pledging on Patreon. You can even support by just liking and sharing this post.

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If you can’t, or just don’t feel like it, no worries. Thank you all for reading, and goodbye, for now, friends!


Final Thoughts: Made in Abyss

Welcome, weebs and uthors alike, to The Aniwriter.

I recently finished my watch through of Made in Abyss, and honestly, the first thing I need to say is… wow. Going into to the show, I was not at all expecting such a fantastic piece of art. This show has so many absolutely beautiful aspects about it that I might honestly miss something while writing this, but I’ll do my best to try and talk about everything that is worth talking about.

The Soundtrack

Screenshot 2018-10-12 12.09.18.png

I said it in my episode one review, and I will say it again, with emphasis, here: Made in Abyss has one of the best anime soundtracks period. Everything about this show’s music is absolutely breathtaking, from the way it meshes with the environment of the abyss as well characters, to the music itself just being so excellently composed.

The one song that most people who have seen the show, and even some that have not, including myself before I watched Made in Abyss, is called Hanezeve Caradhina, and features vocals from Takeshi Saito. Now, while it would be inaccurate to say that every song on the soundtrack is as good as this one, the song is fairly representative of the soundtrack as a whole. It’s a beautiful listen on its own, plus it has excellent placement within the show itself and uses that timing to bring out an emotional response that, by the end of the show, had me in tears. I gave Kevin Penkin props for his work even back during the first episode, but after seeing the whole show, he really deserves them. Great work all around.

The Lore of the Abyss

One of the things that make the show for me personally is the lore surrounding the Abyss itself. To me, a world in which one day humanity discovers a giant hole in the ground with an entirely new ecosystem that people then decide to build a society around is super fascinating.

There is also the cave raider society which I think is really interesting and in some ways also kind of disturbing. One the one hand, you have a town and an economy based on rare relics that people bring up from the ground because they are worth a lot to other people. It is fascinating to think about not only the town surrounding the Abyss but also the world outside the town, which we see virtually none of outside of a few medically ships.

There is also, however, a darker aspect to the story. The orphanage, which takes in kids yes, but then essentially forces them to become cave raiders. It is never shown in the story that they have the option of doing anything else. That may be me just grasping at straws, but it is still strange.

The curse of the Abyss is another aspect that I hope we get to learn more about as well. Sure, because of Nanachi we now know how it works, but we don’t know why it happens, or even if there is a why. What kind of natural phenomena causes something like the curse? Why does it get worse as people go down further? There is so much that we don’t know that I really want to.

Nanachi and Mitty

Screenshot 2018-10-24 15.16.24.png

I said earlier that I cried at the end of the show, and the story of Nanachi and Mitty is exactly why. As I watched the last episode, it became harder and harder to hold back tears. The last episode had more of an emotional impact on me in 49 minutes than most series have in their entire run.

Nanachi and Mitty’s story also says a lot about what the Abyss does to people. As it has done to both Riko and Reg, the Abyss forced Nanachi and Mitty to reckon with their humanity and what it even means to be human in the first place. It seems like in the Abyss, to be human is to be alive, and to be alive is to be conscious, to feel something, to feel… anything.

Riko and Reg

Screenshot 2018-10-12 12.13.17

I honestly do not have much to say about Riko and Reg other than that they are great main characters. They play off of each other well, and despite the beginning feeling a tad rushed, the two develop well together. They are truly great main characters to a great story.

What did you guys think about Made in Abyss? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Made in Abyss Episode One Reaction

Welcome, weebs and authors alike, to The Aniwriter

I think if there was one show that truly defined anime in 2017, other than My Hero Academia, it would be Made in Abyss. Definitely one of the most talked about anime of the year, Made in Abyss captured people’s hearts in a way that made them feel good about anime again. Even to this day, I see people talking about how it should have one anime of the year at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards. Generally speaking, I try not to let other people’s opinions influence how I look at a show before watching it, but with just how much praise this show has gotten, it has been hard not to. So, did I think Made in Abyss was everything people have said it was?

Screenshot 2018-10-12 12.09.18.png

Well, in short mostly. One of the downsides to this format is that it is hard to make solid conclusions about a show just based off of one episode. But, if there was ever a show to praise for just its first episode, Made in Abyss would be it.

Screenshot 2018-10-12 12.13.17.png

One of the things people have consistently praised the show for is its Ghibli-esk art style and character designs, and I tend to agree. Not only are the art and character designs good on their own, it seems like they also work in tandem with the show’s overall narrative. Seeing as how the main characters are kids, it makes sense to have an art style that is initially very vibrant and bright, similar to a how a kid would see the world. But, based on the screenshots I have seen from later on in the story, that art style shifts to reflect a much darker narrative surrounding what the “Abyss” contains. Because kids tend to see the world in black and white due to their lack of knowledge about the world, this dichotomy would make sense.

The other great part about this show is one that I’m sure fans are very familiar with: The Soundtrack. Now, let me just say that I’ve already listened to the show’s soundtrack in full, but even if I were to judge Made in Abyss’ soundtrack just based off of the first episode, it would probably still end up in my top ten anime soundtracks of all time. Major shoutout to Kevin Penkin to making what is potentially one of the greatest soundtracks, like, ever.

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Overall, Made in Abyss’ first episode is phenomenal. I did not think that Riko and were particularly compelling yet, but it was the first episode, and everything else about the show was just so interesting that it more than makes up for it.

How do you guys feel about Made in Abyss? Let me know in the comments below. Also, if you want to support the Aniwriter through donations or are just feeling generous, consider buying me a coffee on Ko-Fi. Otherwise, thanks for reading and bye for now, Friendos!

Aniwriter Update #5: Hiatus Accomplishments and Future Plans

Welcome, weebs and authors alike, to another update.

It’s been about two weeks now since I’ve gone on hiatus, and it has been great. I’ve had a lot more time to relax since taking a break, and it’s allowed me to focus more on some of the things that I’ve wanted to do. So, I thought I would use this post as a way to catch you all up on what exactly I’ve been doing.

Playing Dragon Quest 9: Sentinels of the Starry Sky

Dragon Quest is one of those games that I started a while ago and just never really got around to finishing. As such, I started a whole new play through, and it’s been going relatively well. Honestly, I’m not sure whether it’s the pathing I took around the map or not, but the enemies after a certain point in the game get pretty ridiculous. Even having four characters in my party doesn’t protect me from just getting randomly crit by an enemy just walking around.

Still, it is a super fun game, and I can’t wait to finally finish it.

Watching Re:Creators

Do you ever get that feeling that a show was just made specifically for you, or at the very least it speaks to a certain idea that you can understand because you know people who are in somewhat similar situations? Yeah, that was me with Re:Creators, which has become one my favorite shows that I’ve watch this year.

Admittedly, sometime around episode four, I was ready to drop the show entirely. The first episode was fantastic, but episode two, three, and the first 20 minutes of episode four felt a bit lacking. Then, when the reveal at the end of episode four happened, which I won’t spoil, the show takes not a fairly drastic turn.

I’ve probably said it one too many times already, but Re:Creators soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal, and Hiroyuki Sawano deserves a lot of credit for putting together a great collection of very fitting musical pieces for the show. Overall, it was fantastic.

Future Endeavors: Made in Abyss

Ever since I got ahold of my mom’s Amazon Prime account, I’ve pretty much been going through there catalog of exclusives that I’ve been wanting to watch. I started with “The Great Passage” not to long ago, then of course “Re:Creators,” and now I plan on watching Made in Abyss, which I am super excited about. The amount of good things that I’ve heard about this show honestly makes me wonder why it didn’t beat out My Hero Academia at the anime awards. (JK I know exactly why My Hero Academia won). Definitely excited to start it soon though.

Also, before I end this post, I wanted to inform you that I will more than likely be on hiatus for about another two weeks or so, and I plan on spending my last week working on posts so I can come back better than ever! Anyway, I will see you all soon.

This Week in Anime: 11-30-17/Quicky Update

Hey, Friendos!

So first thing: Update. This was originally going to be a video post because I got a lot of feedback from people telling me that they liked the talk show format, including Chizurue and Visual Joint, so thank you to them for the feedback. The reason that the video post is not happening this week is that between working on other posts and school this week, I’m trying to budget my time well. Also, my phone with the finished product died, and it won’t charge because the charging port won’t work, meaning I have no access to it. So there’s that.

Anyway, here’s this weeks news.

Made in Abyss Confirmed for Season 2

Made in Abyss
Poster from Deep in Abyss event. Source: Otaku Vines

During a Deep in Abyss event done for Made in Abyss fans earlier this week, it was announced that the show had been renewed for a second season. The announcement was made by the producer of Made in Abyss, as well as the main characters’ voice actors. The show’s production company Studio Kinema Citrus has yet to announce an official release date for the show, but it will likely be coming out in 2018.

Goboiano Conducts Poll on Gen Orubuchi Best Works

Source: Madoka Magica Fandom Wiki

Goboiano released the results of a poll they conducted on Saturday. The poll asked fans in their community to rank the best works of Gen Orubuchi, a famed anime screenwriter, and novelist who was the man behind shows like Phantom: Requiem for a Phantom and Fate/Zero. The results of the poll can be found here.

Bookwalker Releases Top 10 Light Novels of 2017


Digital Manga and light novel bookstore Bookwalker recently released their top ten best selling novels of the year, and there are a few changes from previous year’s list. For the first time in two years, DanMachi is not at the top of the list, and one series has two separate entries in the top ten. You can find the entirety of the top ten here.

Women Faces Lawsuit for Selling Boyfriend’s Anime Collection

Recently, a Twitter user by the handle of @wkkazuyu claimed to be the victim of a robbery by his own girlfriend. A police report detailed the incident. The girlfriend, who had recently been kicked out of her previous living situation, admitted in the report to needing money at the time. She decided to take her boyfriend’s anime collection, worth about 810 U.S. Dollars. The girlfriend took that collection to a local shop and sold it. When the Boyfriend found out, he quickly notified the police. He was able to get the collection back but not before certain limited edition, unopened sets had already been opened. The boyfriend is now suing his girlfriend for damages. It is not known currently how much he is seeking.

What did you guys think of this week’s stories? What’s your favorite Gen Orubuchi work? What Light Novels have you been reading? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for Reading and bye for now, Friendos!