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Posts Tagged ‘Made in Abyss’

2016 didn’t really end when it became 2017 and this hellscape of a world continues to get increasingly stupid and hostile, but hey! At least the anime was good.

These are my favourites from this year! I’m only including series that completed this year (i.e. if it’s a multi-cours series, it gets counted if the final cours aired this year. So March Comes in Like a Lion counts but March Comes in Like a Lion 2 does not) and films if I actually got the chance to watch them this year. Why top 14? Too many good shows, and I couldn’t cut any of them. It’s been a good year for me!

Without any further ado, let’s begin.

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In horror we find empathy. Would we be terrified if we weren’t sharing in the protagonist’s plight? Why are we afraid if we’re not imagining ourselves in their ordeal? When horror fails it’s because we stop caring; when it succeeds it’s because we care too much. Horror and empathy are inextricably intertwined.

Made in Abyss understands this well, and so great pains are taken to have us empathise with Riko and Reg. The abyss is terrifying not simply because it’s a dangerous unknown, but because it’s a dangerous unknown that Riko and Reg are facing. Without them it would be mysterious, captivating and creepy – but not something to fear.

But Made in Abyss also understands that the object of our empathy need not be distinct from the source of horror. Under the right circumstances, a horrifying being can evoke far stronger empathy as a result of their horror. Mitty represents this profoundly.

MAJOR spoilers for Made in Abyss follow. Do NOT read this if you have not yet watched this series.

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