By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J.
Riko and her plucky band of friends dream of one day becoming Cave Raiders, exalted adventurers who brave the treacherous descent into the enigmatic Abyss, which is an unforgiving and deadly place. Despite the dangers, it still captures the imagination of explorers such as Riko who wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and trains hard to become a Cave Raider.
Riko lives in an orphanage in Orth and currently holds the rank of Red Whistle. Her mother is the legendary cave raider White Whistle Lyza. Riko wants to quickly descend to deeper places in the Abyss so she can one day be a White Whistle like her mother. In an effort to move up that ranks, she participates in excavations searching for relics. She finds one such relic in Reg.
Reg is a robot who looks just like a human, and he has forgotten his name, functionality, and even the fact that he’s a robot. He’s diligent and pure, and he’s not good with scary stories.
Although Riko has received news that her mother died in the Abyss, a mysterious note tells her that her mother may still be alive. Vowing to uncover the truth about her mother’s fate, Riko embarks on a journey with Reg by her side. Reg is a willing participant because he wants to find out exactly what he is and he hopes to protect Riko as she heads for the depths of the Abyss. Together, they will discover if they have what it takes to survive where so many others have perished.
“Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn” is an animated story of Riko and one friend who wander out on a strategic adventure. It is based on a television anime and reveals much about the determination of Riko and the commitment of her new friend Reg. The journey not only aims to help Riko find her mother but to also sharpen her skills as a raider.
The Abyss is not to be underestimated, although its depths are not truly known. All that Riko knows is that she believes that her mother is alive in the Abyss. And that’s all the encouragement that she needs.
Anime is a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children. Anime is characterized by stark colorful graphics depicting vibrant characters in action-filled plots often with fantastic or futuristic themes.
This film’s graphics don’t disappoint. It is flush with vivid animated sequences and imaginary things and places such as an oversized caterpillar that eats humans, Flowers of Fortitude and Petrified Trees. It reinforces the notion that if a child dreams hard enough he or she can confront challenges and accomplish what may seem insurmountable tasks.
Sentai Filmworks presents the first of a two-part theatrical compendium “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn” premiering in theatres on March 20 and 25 only. To give audiences a unique experience, the event will include behind-the-scenes footage, Japanese created spots and a reflection on how “Made In Abyss” mirrors fairytale, as cinema audiences can experience the timeless story of Riko and Reg.
“Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn” will be shown in theaters on March 20 for the Japanese with English subtitled screening and March 25 for the English dub showing.
Presented in partnership with Fathom Events, tickets for “Made in Abyss: Journey’s Dawn” are available at participating box offices and online at www.MadeInAbyssMovies.com and www.FathomEvents.com.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader newspaper. She is also the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood–South Side of Chicago.” For book info, [email protected].