Made in Abyss has two movies coming that will adapt the anime series, remove the fluff, and help tide fans over until season 2 releases. The anime series centers on the struggles of Riko, an orphan girl living on the edge of a massive sinkhole that descends an unfathomable distance into the earth. The Abyss holds many valuable treasures and harbors incredibly dangerous monsters in ecosystems that become ever more hostile the deeper one descends into its seven levels. One day, Riko receives a message from her mother, a long lost explorer of the Abyss, saying that she has arrived at the bottom and asks for Riko to join her. Armed with her knowledge of the Abyss and accompanied by a mysterious robot friend named Reg, she descends into the Abyss, likely forever.
Made in Abyss stood as one of best anime series of 2017. The seemingly kid-friendly anime builds up relationships between its central characters, Riko and Reg, and slowly adds new figures to the cast as the duo descends into ever deadlier territory. The toll it takes on them and their personal growth make for a really compelling watch, even as the darker horror elements that make it decidedly not a kid-friendly program close in.
Crunchyroll has reported that the films are titled Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn and Made in Abyss: Wandering Twilight. Journey’s Dawn will release in Japan on Jan. 4 while Wandering Twilight will hit theaters on Jan. 18. Both films have planned screenings in the United States sometime after those dates, though no specifics are known as of yet.
The prospect of a compilation film might seem a bit odd to some out there, but the star power attached to Made in Abyss makes it possible. The director of the Made in Abyss series, Masayuki Kojima, also worked as the director of the critically acclaimed anime Monster. Hideyuki Kurata, Made in Abyss’ head writer, also penned Gun Sword, Samurai Flamenco, and Drifters. Perhaps one of the most important assets for the show to really translate well into film form has to be Osamu Masuyama, the art director. Masuyama previously worked as a background artist at Studio Ghibli, creating the background worlds that delighted audiences in Spirited Away, The Cat Returns, and Howl’s Moving Castle. The production values these three bring just by their association elevates the series and makes it a good contender for feature film adaptation.
One of the only major criticisms leveled against Made in Abyss was that its pacing felt a bit off. The series starts off strong but stalls out a bit in the middle before ending on a strong, 48-minute special. The new films won’t offer much new material, but a second chance at fixing the pacing of the series overall might actually be just what the show needs to improve the story at its core.
Made in Abyss: Journey's Dawn releases on January 4, 2019, while Made in Abyss: Wandering Twilight follows close afterward on January 18, 2019.