Made in Abyss was one of the pleasant suprises of the Summer 2017 season. Stories about exploration have always fascinated us, and the adventures of Rika and Reg’s into the mysterious Abyss were at first dismissed as childish, possibly because of the peculiarly and almost chibi-like art style. After the end of season, anime viewers are still counting the times they almost shouted in front of the screen or cried their hearts out. Made in Abyss also reminded us that as much as romantic the notion of exploration may sound, unknown lands hide unknown dangers.
If the series was not enough to quelch your exploring spirit, here are 10 more anime that are in one way or another similar to Made in Abyss.
1. Girls’ Last Tour (Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou)
In a post-apocalyptic future where most of humanity has perished, two little girls, Chito and Yuuri, are exploring the ruins of the world on their Kettencrad. Their main concern is food to survive and fuel to keep them rolling.
Girls’ Last Tour is one of my favorite anime this season and one of MANGA.TOKYO’s reviews I look forward to each week. At first glance, the two series may seem very different. Made in Abyss is a fantasy adventure while Girls’ Last Tour seems more like a science fiction philosophical story. What they do share, however, is a common theme: exploration. Both protagonistic duos are going through interesting worlds, making the viewer excited to see what they are going to discover next.
2. Children Who Chase Lost Voices (Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo)
This anime movie directed by Makoto Shinkai was bound to show up in this list. The adventures of Watase Asuna in an unknown world are similar to that of Rika’s, if not literally then emotionally. The movie follows Asuna as she escapes a life of pain (she has lost her father and her mother is never there for her due to work) into a strange world where the dead remain in the world in other forms. She works with the brothers Shin and Shun as she tries to find a way to return back to ther world.
This is one sad anime that may deceive you at first with its coloful visuals and happy characters. Yet, just like Made in Abyss, there is more to it than laughter and adventure, so be prepared for some tense moments.
3. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica)
What does Made in Abyss have to do with Magical Girls anime? If you have seen Puella Magi Madoka Magica, then you already know why it made this list. Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Miki are your typical anime middle school students, totally into anything magical and fluffy and sparky. When a magical being known as Kyuubey offers to turn them into magical girls, they jump at the chance. Of course, the kind of magical girls they become are not your usual defenders against the ultimate evil. Things quickly get dark and the plot is definitely not what you would have expected.
And that’s its major similarity with Made in Abyss. They both have a suprising plot that is not what it seems at first. Magical girls and abyss explorers are not always about fun and laughs, and things can get dark and gritty very quick.
4. From the New World (Shin Sekai Yori)
Fall 2012 – Winter 2013
A millenium from present day, Japan is a utopia. Saki Watanabe lives in what seems like the perfect society but is barred from the outside world. The people in this new society have psychokinesis powers and when Saki gets his own powers, he leaves for Zenjin Academy to train along with similar children. At the Academy, Saki and his friends will discover that their world is not what it seems to be.
What makes the two anime similar is a deep story that unravels as you proceed with the series and an eerie feeling that something is not quite right with the world the protagonists are living in. While at first both worlds seem to be bright and cheerful, the protagonists soon discover that things are a little darker than they thought.
5. Log Horizon
Fall 2013 – Winter 2014
Similar to a very famous anime we all know, Log Horizon is about an MMORPG called Elder Tale and its players who are unable to log out. The main difference with that other RPG is that the NPCs are real people and the players are trying to find out how much of their new world is real and how much is virtual.
Unlike its MMORPG brother, Sword Art Online, the world of Elder Tale in Log Horizon has a more adventurous feel that feels a bit similar to Made in Abyss. It’s not as dark or as pessimistic, but if you are looking for a world of adventure, then you should give Log Horizon a try.
6. Hunter x Hunter
2011’s Hunter x Hunter is the latest adaptation of the famous manga series by Togashi Yoshihiro. The titular Hunter is someone who travel the world and takes on dangerous jobs like capturing criminals or searching for treasure. The protagonist is Gon, whose father disappeared as he was traveling the world as a Hunter. He decides to retrace his steps, wishing that one day they could be reunited.
A protagonist taking the mantle of his parent in order to find them? I think this is the main similar theme of the two series as both stories are not afraid to throw their main characters in deep shit and remind them that the world is a cruel place. Both Rika and Gon are first naive and learn things the hard way.
7. Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk (Druaga no Tou: The Aegis of Uruk)
The titular Tower of Druaga is a bit similar to the Abyss. Both are places of great mystery which adventurers hope to conquer in pursuit of fame and fortune. In The Aegis of Uruk, Jil is a young adventurer who creates a team that he hopes will be able to conquer the tower!
Like in Made in Abuss, conquering the tower is easier said than done. Druaga is a more traditional fantasy title, but both series share a common element: the thirst for adventure.
Blame! was one of our favorite movies of the year (here are 5 reasons). In the distant future, humanity is hunted down by the defence system of an ever-spanning city structure. A small humanity enclave called the Electro-Fishers is trying hard to survive, and a girl named Zuru leaves the village to find food, only to trigger the self-defence mechanism of the city. Her only chance to stay alive is Killy the Wanderer.
There is no doubt that if you liked Made in Abyss, you will also find the story of BLAME! appealing. There is a sense of mystery in both and the settings are quite similar.
9. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash (Hai to Gensou no Grimgar)
In Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash, the six protagonists find themselves in a strange world without any memories of who they were before that moment. The only thing they remember is their names. They become members of something that looks like an adventuring guild, the Reserve Army. Their job is to slay monsters.
Much like in Made in Abyss, the protagonists of Grimgar are risking their lives and are not sure if they will make it through the day. They also have to deal with an unknown world and the absense of memories, as they are struggling to find a reason to why they do not remember their previous lives and to why they have found themselves in the world of Grimgar. Much like Rika and Reg, the protagonists have not known each other for long, but they eventually have to rely on each other to survive.
10. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka)
I have to admit that when I first saw the English title of the anime, I created in my mind the wrongest impression for the series. I thought it was going to be a lewd ecchi story about your typical boobs-hungry protagonist who chases after his harem, or his harem chases after him. But, like its spin-off Sword Oratoria, DanMachi is not just about boobs and panties. Bell Cranel is a 14-year-old adventurer who wants to become a great hero. After his life is saved by the beautiful Ais Wallenstein, Bell falls in love with her and wants to become a hero worthy of her affection. How do you become such a hero? But of course by conquering dangerous dungeons!
Similar to the Cave Raiders in Made in Abyss, the adventurers in DanMachi seek fame and fortune in dangerous places. The creatures in both the Abyss and the dungeons are not there to play chess but to kill anyone who enters their domain.
Let’s Go Down the Abyss
Made in Abyss makes you wonder if you would have had the guts to go down the hole and see where it leads. Do you have an explorer in you? Maybe all you have is more anime titles similar to Reg and Rika’s adventures. Share them in the comments!
We want to know what you think about our recommendations: Do you want us to write more of these? Let us know in the comments which anime, games, manga, or light novels you want us to bring a 10 X Like Y article and we will get it done!