The Amazing Worldbuilding of Made in Abyss

Other than a compelling story and three dimensional characters, another important element of storytelling in fiction is worldbuilding. This is especially crucial for the fantasy genre. After all, this particular genre often sets its story in a fictional world that only exists within the author's mind. That is why proper worldbuilding is needed in order to convey the wonder of the new world to the readers.

Among the new manga that were published within the last decade, one particular title stands out from the rest as having some of the best worldbuilding. The name of that manga is Made in Abyss, and the world that works as the foundation for its story is called The Abyss. It is one of the most wondrous, fascinating, and dangerous worlds that has ever graced the world of manga, and these are some of the things that make it so amazing.

The Curse of The Abyss

The Abyss is a colossal hole in the ground with a diameter of around 1000 meters and the depth that is thought to be more than 20,000 meters deep. It is located on an island in the southern ocean of Beolusk. And since it was first discovered roughly 1900 years ago, countless people have come to the island to descend into the Abyss. They are called Delvers. And since there are more and more people who wish to enter the Abyss every day, a town called Orth was built around the Abyss in order to accommodate the needs of the Delvers.

The Abyss has its own ecosystem with its own kinds of plants and animals that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Studies on The Abyss have revealed that there is some kind of invisible force field that surrounds everything inside of The Abyss. It carries lights and nutrients from the surface and transfers them all the way to the deepest part of The Abyss. In a sense, this force field is the source of life for everything in the Abyss.

However, this force field also carries the Curse of the Abyss with it. Everybody can freely descend into the Abyss, but the ascent, on the other hand, is where the problem begins. Everybody that decides to ascend from The Abyss will have incurred its curse, also known as The Strains of Ascension. There are six known layers within The Abyss, and each of them has their own brand of curse - from just mild dizziness in the first layer, to the loss of humanity or death in the sixth layer.

The Ancient Artifacts

If The Abyss is such a dangerous and mysterious place, then why would countless people risk their lives to descend into The Abyss? Well, the desire to explore the unknown frontier has always been deeply engraved into the hearts and minds of humankind. So there are people who simply do it for the pursuit of knowledge. They devote their life to the sake of uncovering the secrets of the abyss.

On the other hand, there are also things called Artifacts, scattered around The Abyss. As it turns out, there seems to be an ancient human civilization with technologies that far surpassed that of the current world that used to live inside of the Abyss. For unknown reasons, they went extinct. However, the remnants of their technology still exist till this day, and they are called The Artifacts.

Artifacts come in all shapes and sizes, and the overwhelming majority of them have unique and non-replicable functionalities as well. From the fourth grade Artifact called the "Sun Sphere" that can emit light without any kind of power source, to the incredibly rare special grade Artifact called "Zoaholic" that can transfer its user's mind into other living beings, all of them are priceless items that can fetch absurdly high prices.

As it turns out, exporting the Artifacts to the outside world is one of the most crucial sources of income for the people of Orth. And that is why Delvers are willing to risk their lives inside of The Abyss.

The Mesmerizing Landscape

Other than the sheer amount of mysteries that lie within The Abyss and all of the priceless Artifacts inside it, The Abyss also offers some of the most mesmerizing landscapes in fantasy manga. As mentioned before, The Abyss is divided into six known layers. Each of those layers has its own unique landscape and ecosystem.

There's the sprawling greens, cliffs, and caves in the first layer (The Edge of The Abyss). Then the scenery changes into a massive rainforest with diverse plants and animals that can easily kill any human being in the second layer (The Forest of Temptation). After that, The Great Fault of the Third layer is a 4km deep rocky pit that resembles a colossal sinkhole, with tons of tunnel networks and crevices.

Those are just some of the landscapes that can be seen within The Abyss. The deeper you delve into The Abyss, the more mind blowing the scenery will be, and the deadlier the journey will become. It literally feels like you are transported to a different world as you move from one layer to the next.

The Flora and Fauna

Along with the mesmerizing landscape, there are also countless strange and often deadly plants and animals that live in every layer of The Abyss. The majority of them have not been identified, and even among those that have been discovered by the Delvers, there are still countless things not known about them.

Although most of them look strange and bizarre, there are also animals there that sort of resemble animals in the real world, such as the Ottobas that looks like a Hippo, or the Crimson Splitjaw that looks like a giant snake. However, unlike their real-life counterparts, both of those animals have unique characteristics, such as that the Ottobas can easily swallow a human whole, or that the Crimson Splitjaw can glide in the sky.

And just like the animals, the plants are also quite diverse in The Abyss. There’s the regular Amagiri moss that can be used as a natural compass due to its tendency to grow towards the north side of the Abyss, as well as the giant trees in the 4th layer that look like massive cups and can hold tons of water on their tops.

The Settlements

Despite the harsh living conditions, there are several settlements that can be found throughout various levels of The Abyss. The closest one is the Seeker Camp that is located deep in the third layer at the Inverted Trees area. This is where one of the legendary white whistle delvers known as Ozen "The Immovable" resides. The Seeker Camp is the place where the delvers can rest and prepare for their next journey.

The next settlement is a place called Ido Front, and it is located at the deepest part of the 5th layer. This is a research center for another white whistle named Bondrewd. Ido Front is the place where a white whistle can prepare for their last dive, which is a term used for any white whistle who wishes to explore the 6th layer.

The last known settlement within The Abyss is a little place called the village of Ilblu. It is located at the edge of the sixth layer in an area where the force field does not exist, which means the curse of the abyss is also not present in this village. Interestingly enough, every citizen of the village of Ilblu is a Narehate, just like Nanachi.

Final Thoughts

On top of the already interesting story and lovable characters, Made in Abyss also puts a heavy emphasis on its worldbuilding, even more so than other manga in the same genre. The result is one of the most fascinating fictional worlds that has ever been created. Not only for manga, but also for fiction in general.

What do you think about worldbuilding in Made In Abyss? Do you know any other manga that have stellar worldbuilding like this one? If you do, then don't hesitate to share them in the comment section below.

Made-in-Abyss-Wallpaper-700x393 The Amazing Worldbuilding of Made in Abyss


Author: Harry

Harry is a manga addict first and freelance writer second. While he hasn’t read every manga under the sun, he has read an unhealthy amount of Shounen and Seinen manga. When he’s not writing in Honey’s Anime, you can find him in his personal blog:

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