The Abyss is an enormous cave system and the only unexplored place in the world. No one knows how deep it goes, but generations of bold adventurers have descended into it. In the town at the edge of The Abyss, an orphan named Rico dreams of raiding, as her mother did before her. One day while exploring the murky depths, she meets a boy, who turns out to be a robot, kicking off the start of her epic adventure.
As one of the more exciting series of the Summer 2017 season, Made in Abyss took us on an ever-intriguing adventure in a brilliant world, so hopefully these anime recommendations can help inspire the same.
For Fans of Coming of Age Stories
From the New World
After a small portion of humanity suddenly developed psychokinetic powers, the world underwent a rapid transformation. After 1,000 years of turbulent history where regular humans struggled against those with powers, we focus in on Kamisu 66, a small town where 12-year-old Saki Watanabe finally awakened her powers. This awakening means she is finally able to join her friends at the Sage Academy. However, things in Saki’s life do not remain as simple as those precious days. With missing children in the village, rebellious rumblings, and a world steeped in myth and mystery, Saki and her friends are about to face the shocking truths of their peaceful society.
Both shows start off telling the coming of age adventure of a young protagonist while presenting an intriguing world that often opens up a number of questions. However, both series actually go to good lengths to answer these questions while presenting a great story and showing off a detailed world.
Kemono no Souja Erin
In the small village in Ake lives Erin, a bright girl who spends her days with her mother Soyon who serves as a doctor to the empire’s Touda war-lizards. However, when the Grand Duke’s favorite lizard Kiba dies, Erin’s peace is shattered as her mother is arrested and suspected with its death. In an attempt to save her mother, Erin sets off on an epic adventure.
Both of these shows are incredibly similar in terms of plot points. Both main characters are motivated by either the adventures of or to save the life of their mother which ends up leading them into places they otherwise might not have gone. Along the way, both meet a series of new people and explore a vibrant world in sweeping adventure stories while also doing a lot of growing up.
Yuuko Okonogi and her family move to Daikoku City, the technological center for the new augmented reality technology. There she joins an investigation agency with other children equipped with powerful virtual tools. Here she encounters a hacker named Yuuko Amasawa that seeks to unlock the mystery behind a computer virus that cut off a portion of the virtual world.
While both shows have touches of technology, Dennou Coil is the more advanced of the two. However, both show off these worlds through the eyes of young people and present a series of mysteries to unravel, although Made in Abyss generally maintains a less dark tone.
For Fans of Discovery
Natsume’s Book of Friends
For as long as he can remember, Takashi Natsume has been chased by spirits, but recently he discovered that the reason was because his deceased grandmother had passed on to him her “Book of Friends,” a book containing all the spirits she had brought under her control. Now Natsume realizes that these spirits haunt him in hopes of gaining freedom. With few friends, no loving home, and constantly hunted by malicious spirits, Natsume looks for a place where he belongs.
While Natsume doesn’t go on many epic adventures like Made in Abyss, it does have a certain sense of discoveries through all the spirits. Both shows paint a relatively bright and beautiful world with its own touches and even if they are wandering around town or traveling through a cave, it has a way of drawing the viewer in so well that you feel like you are there.
In this world, there exist Mushi, spirits that often exist with no purpose. However, these Mushi can affect the physical world in countless forms from diseases to more pleasant phenomenon. Why do these Mushi exist? That is the question that Ginko the Mushi-shi, a researcher on the phenomenon, asks himself as he travels the land investigating Mushi-related incidents.
While Made in Abyss might not have the same supernatural flair as Mushishi, both shows are about discovery. In them, both main characters travel to new places, meet new people, and see new things, each more wondrous than the last. They also have a distinct laid back feel at times that makes them relatively peaceful to watch, but intriguing enough to keep things interesting.
Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
Thrown into a fantasy land with no memories of their previous life, the strong among this new group of people bind together while the weak are left to fend for themselves. Grimgar tells the tale of the struggles of the weak as they pick up combat skills and fight the creatures of the world in order to earn a living.
Both Grimgar and Made in Abyss are build on worlds of exploration. While the main character in Made in Abyss know much of the world except the one undiscovered Abyss, in Grimgar the characters must figure out everything. In these shows, they make mistakes and they learn from them, although Grimgar can be a touch more emotional.
For Fans of Rich World Building
So Ra No Wo To
On the outskirts of Helvetia lies the tranquil town of Seize. The only notable thing of this idyllic town is the Clocktower fortress where the 1121st platoon of the Helvetian army is stationed. They have recently received a new recruit that joined the army solely to play the bugle. This is the story of their spirited platoon and the town they occupy.
You have to love shows that can create a world that feels like it is more than just the plot. While Soranowoto doesn’t show much aside from the town, it feels like there is a large world that surrounds it that gets addressed rather than ignored. it is very much the same in Made in Abyss since it really only shows off the Abyss but you know there is a big world around it.
Hunter x Hunter
Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become a world-class Hunter, a skilled individual that perform all manner of dangerous tasks, in order to find out what happened to his father. However, Gon finds that the path to achieving his goals is more challenging than he could have ever imagined, but in order to overcome it, Gon recruits some powerful friends.
There is no shounen anime that presents a more fleshed out world than Hunter x Hunter, not only do you explore social hierarchies, but their adventure shows off the world as well. In both shows, you explore areas of the world and learn about the rules and intrigues that govern it.
Accompanied by her talking motorcycle, Hermes, Kino travels through her mysterious world, spending only three days and two nights in each town. The idea is that three days is enough to learn almost everything about a place. This is the story of her journey.
While Made in Abyss has the more concrete plot, if you loved exploring the new areas in the series, than Kino’s Journey is right for you. Following both of these young female main characters, the series show off a variety of areas and people that fully flesh out the world.
If you have any more anime recommendations for Made in Abyss, let us know in the comments section below.