Several K-Pop artists face backlash for Made in Abyss support

by Gaby Agbulos

SEVERAL K-Pop artists such as Taeyong from NCT127, Woozi from Seventeen, and Soobin from TXT are currently facing scrutiny from netizens due to showing their interest in an anime / manga series entitled Made in Abyss, created by Akihito Tsukishi. 

This outrage from both fans and non-fans stems from the content of the series, stating that it had many pedophilic themes and scenes. 

In the series, there are many scenes wherein children are shown wearing revealing or provocative outfits, as well as being tortured in extremely graphic ways. More specifically, there are scenes wherein adults look at a child’s penis, where children would be seen peeing onscreen, or where they would be strung up naked for everyone to see.

Different K-Pop artists have recommended this series to their fans in the past, with TXT’s Soobin, for example, describing the second season as so fun in one of his broadcasts. 

He noted that the anime was a bit provocative, but that he found the story to be genuinely good, hence why he enjoyed watching it. 

Seventeen’s Woozi also mentioned the series during one of his broadcasts as an anime he’d recently watched and enjoyed. 

Though NCT127’s Taeyong never vocalized his support for or interest in the show, he still received backlash since one of the books in the series was found lying on the floor in one of his Instagram stories. 

Artists like Wooseok, Dex, and Mingi of Ateez have also come under fire due to their showing interest in the series.

About Made in Abyss 

Akihito Tsukishi’s Made in Abyss released its first-ever volume in 2013. Later on, it was turned into an anime, which aired in 2017. The manga currently has 12 volumes, while the first and second seasons of the show have 14 and 13 episodes, respectively. 

The series revolves around the life of a young girl named Riko, who resides in an orphanage in Orth. Surrounding the town is a hole that reaches deep into the earth, which the villagers aptly labeled “the Abyss.” 

Often, this hole is used as a hunting spot for Cave Raiders, who look for relics despite rumors of a curse.

Riko, whose mother was assumed to have descended into the Abyss, hopes to follow in her mother’s footsteps by entering it as well, hoping to reach its deepest pits no matter the belief that the deeper you go, the more you will feel the effects of the curse. 

In her journey, she meets a young robot boy struggling with amnesia, who then joins Riko on her journey to the bottom of the Abyss. 

Since its release, the anime has been nominated for several awards thus far; it was nominated as the Best Anime Series and Best New TV Series for the IGN Summer Movie Awards, for example, and was also nominated at the International Online Cinema Awards, the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, and the Anime Trending Awards.

It also won the award for Anime of the Year at the Crunchyroll Anime Awards, as well as several others.

Netizen reactions

There have been mixed reactions from netizens so far concerning this issue. 

Some have shown support for the show and the artists, explaining that scenes like this are to be expected because the show is a psychological horror. One X user explains that the show was heavily censored in Korea, which probably meant that the idols didn’t see a lot of the scenes deemed to be controversial and that the show is critically acclaimed for its story. 

They also noted that the scenes and themes that have been placed under scrutiny online are not at all romanticized in the anime. 

Another compared the show to Game of Thrones, saying that there was no such talk when that show was popular, even though the only difference between the two is that one is an anime and the other isn’t.

Another stated that the blame should be put on the author and not the artists because Soobin, for example, only mentioned that he enjoyed the plot and not the other problematic themes found within the anime. 

Others have shown complete disgust toward the idols who have been named to like this anime, saying that fans are babying them too much considering they’re grown men and that they shouldn’t be defending them.

Given the contents of the manga / anime, many fans are greatly disappointed with these idols who have shown their support and interest in Tsukishi’s work, likening the series to pedophilia or even child porn.

“Men who consume this genre of fiction need to be investigated,” one user said.

“If they weren’t your idols, you’d side-eye them or call it gross.” 



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