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⛏️ REVIEW: Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun

May your journey be filled with curses and blessings

WARNING: Spoilers ahead if you haven't the first season, read my first review.

Made in Abyss: The Golden City of the Scorching Sun is the second season of the science fiction dark fantasy adventure anime series, Made in Abyss, based on the manga by Akihito Tsukushi.



Before introducing to our trio, in a flashback of an apparent distant past, we're introduced to a young girl named Vueko, who escaped her abusive guardian and joined an expedition of pilgrims called the Ganja led by Wazukyan, Captain of the Ganja fleet, and Belaf, their guide, to search for the mythical Golden City at the bottom of the Abyss. Using a compass Vueko possesses, the Ganja is able to find the island the Abyss is located on. After negotiating with a native tribe where Vueko traded her compass for information, the Ganja continued their journey. Then, they encountered a native girl who'd been exiled from the tribe for being "infertile." Vueko took pity on the girl, and Wazukyan agreed to allow her to accompany them as their guide. As the Ganja delved deeper into the Abyss, they learned about the Curse and fought their way past many wildlife until they reached the transport pod at the Ido Front in the fifth layer, which allowed them to proceed to the sixth layer.

Left to Right: Vueko, Wazukyan, and Belaf

In the present, after the events of Made in Abyss: Dawn of the Deep Soul, Riko, Reg, and Nanachi activated the transport pod with Riko's newly acquired White Whistle, and it transports them down through the Sea of Corpses to the Sixth layer. This time, the sixth layer is more exotic and dangerous than any layer they've gone before - with a hot, desert-like environment littered with numerous ancient ruins and also populated by extremely dangerous wildlife.

For a while, the trio is quietly observed by a mysterious being. The next day, Riko wakes up to find that her White Whistle has been stolen. Reg picks up the scent of the thief, and they follow it until they reach a large structure with a single entrance. 

Nanachi, Reg, and Riko

Then, they unexpectedly encounter a village populated by a community of Hollows with a strange culture and customs. They are greeted by a kind (but strange) Hollow named Majikaja. The village and its people give the children (particularly Riko) a nervous feeling because of the alien atmosphere. Over time, it takes them time to learn their customs and language, and they meet a few new characters.

The story under consideration is an absolute gem, leaving you at the edge of your seat, craving for more. The plot is incredibly gripping and engaging, with a unique and well-balanced structure that is refreshingly original. There are no cliches or predictable patterns, and the narrative flows effortlessly.

As you move further into the second season's story, the plot takes a darker turn, with an even deeper and more intricate storyline that is masterfully woven together. Despite the increased complexity, the pacing is spot-on, and the plot never feels like it drags on unnecessarily. 

Moreover, the world-building is exceptional, drawing you into the story's universe and immersing you in its mysteries. The Abyss's underworld is still shrouded in secrecy, and countless mysterious elements are yet to be unraveled. Overall, the story is a must-watch for anyone looking for an immersive and thrilling experience that will leave you wanting more.

I think this anime is try'n to tell you something...
This season is mostly split into two relevant storylines, the past, and the present, and both nicely intertwine together by the end. The two storylines are 10x darker and more graphic than Dawn of the Deep Soul and Season One, making it more intense for viewers to swallow. It's more nihilistic, miserable, and, at times, horrifying (especially if you see a character in agony or pain). Again, don't let the puni-plush art style fool you, it's an adventure story disguised as a horror story with alot of gorefest where body horror and gory mutilations are displayed in full glory. So, it is not recommended for the faint of heart and not for all audiences. 

The dark story, with its macabre, disturbing, and weird elements, doesn't bother me at all. In my point of view, it is realistic. Adding a lot of realism comes with a greater sense of danger for the characters and immerses the audience into their world. I find it surreal to see a group of cutesy plushy characters in a grim-dark setting. I believe the author is trying to convey that there are no rainbows and sunshine in real life. The series also kind-of reminds me of Dante's Inferno. Are the kids in hell?

The series has been controversial since its creation (both the show and books), with season two even more controversial with realistic situations and disturbing content involving children. Some say that if you take the horror/graphic content out of the story, it would be the same. True, but its signature atmosphere would not. If it were to happen, (I'm looking at you America) it would be a watered-down version without the realistic sense of danger. The story is unpredictable, and you feel agony and emotional pain for these characters.

As the series progresses, we see the continuing theme of children pushed to become "adults," as we can see with Riko (even children younger than her) apprenticing as a cave raider. In real life before the 20th century, children were often more mature because of the hardships back then. But today, children (and young adults) of modern civilization are suffering from Infantilization, as children are brainwashed in public schools when they could be capable of much more. Of course, the adult world can be a cruel one, and being pushed to perform as such can lead to harrowing experiences (poverty, war, hardships). The characters in this show have gone through a considerable amount of physical tribulation and mental shocks to the point that I feel uncertain of what happens next. Even if they don't die, it makes me wonder what we can expect of their mental state or if they will even psychologically remain "themselves." It's one of the reasons why I enjoy this series because it never backs down. 

Now, let's get down to the negatives.

I won't spoil it, but all I can say is the ending was a little disappointing and heartbreaking. Is it the worst ending ever? No, but they could've done a lot better.


The character designs are artistically unique; if you see a character, you can immediately recognize that it's a Made in Abyss character, even if it's silhouette. Each character is very distinct and has a unique personality. Nobody acts or looks generic or the same.

Just like in season one and the movie, we're introduced again to Riko, Reg, and Nanachi. The trio often thinks about the events with Bondrewd and the effects it had on them. Reg loses his arm, Riko thinks about Pruska turning into a White Whistle (literally), and our fluffy Nanachi still thinks about Bondrewd. But they all suck it up and move on, but the effects that happened in the movie effects this entire season.

Season two introduces some new characters to us, both from the past and present, and alot of them are noteworthy.

Vueko. Not much is known about her. She's often shy and quiet, assuming because of the things that happened in her past. Overall, she is likable and seems to be a promising character.

Wazukyan is the leader of the Ganja expedition; he
seems like a jerk with his ego and point of view. He's not a good or bad guy, but a shady one.

Belaf is the guide of the Ganja expedition. He's smart and intelligent.

In the present, Faputa is a strange Hollow girl who "governs" the Hollow village. She's also wild and physiologically crazy.

Majikaja is a strange hollow with a puppet-like appearance and often talks in third person. He is kind and acts like a "tourist guide" in the village. I love his design; he's freaky but in a good way. Honestly, he's my favorite new character this season, and you'll like him.

Moogie is probably the only Hollow in the village who's "civilized." She's a sweet elderly lady who owns a restaurant. She will grow on you as she is one of the best side characters in this season. Overall, the characters in Made in Abyss are great and well developed.




Like the first season and the movie, Kinema Citrus has done it again with splendid high-quality animation. It's very fluid when they perform actions or express their emotions. The artwork for the characters, backgrounds, and animation is first-rate. You'll occasionally see CGI (in the battle sequences), but you'll often see it with Majikaja's character. The CGI doesn't look bad, and I thought it looked pretty good. The background shots are beautiful, capturing the story's dark and grim underworld.


Kevin Penkin's score is original and fits this season's story nicely. Instead of rehashing the old opening theme and music from the first season, Mr. Penkin writes completely different original music and tries to make it more distinct and unique. The English dub is good and the cast did an excellent job on portraying the characters.


Made in Abyss is like a fairy tale in its unfiltered form before it could be cleansed for children. The colorful child-like atmosphere and the bizarre antics of the children clash with dark undertones and adult themes is kind of surreal to me, and find it amusing. While I wouldn't go as far as to say this is a deconstruction of any particular genre, it certainly takes what looks to be a childish adventure and injects a strand of gritty realism into it. When I first saw the first season on Adult Swim, I was a little turned off by the colorful-plushy look until I watched more of the episodes; when I first saw the blood and gore, it let me know that this was no bullshit, and this was a serious adventure story. The second seasons takes further with it's gritty setting with a great story and awsome chracters

Despite the disappointing ending, I really enjoyed Golden City of the Scorching Sun and it's something I would re-watch multiple times (despite the gore). Normies, would definitly not like series and is not for the faint of heart, but for those who enjoy sc-fi/fantasy adventure stories with a gritty setting then Made in Abyss is for you. For those who want to continue the series, recommended - Æ

This is certified kino. I give it 9 out of 10 white whistles.


Article Author: Æ / Images: © Akihito Tsukushi / MiA Committee


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