K-Pop stars face backlash for watching anime Made in Abyss. But why?

Tanushree Debbarma
Tanushree DebbarmaNov 20, 2023 | 17:33

K-Pop stars face backlash for watching anime Made in Abyss. But why?

The anime Made in Abyss has received criticism for scenes that some viewers find disturbing.

K-Pop artists often share their interests, but a recent one has sparked controversy. Some idols are openly expressing their appreciation for "Made in Abyss," a manga turned anime, yet fans are disappointed by their stars due to the anime's dark and intense themes.

All the K-pop idols who shared about the anime

  • On November 17, K-pop boy group TXT member Soobin and RIIZE's member Seunghan's Instagram posts went viral, leading fans to find the posts problematic.
  • The issue arose from a leaked snippet where Seunghan teased Soobin in a now-deleted video, upsetting fans by unnecessarily involving LE SSERAFIM’s Eunchae. Seunghan criticized Soobin's skills, and in response, Soobin showed a gesture with his foot.
  • While netizens were accustomed to Seunghan's controversial private life, they were surprised by Soobin's participation in the incident.

This prompted netizens to look into Soobin's older content, where many found an old Weverse livestream in which he mentioned the anime "Made in Abyss," resulting in heavy criticism.

However, it should also be noted that during the livestream, Soobin mentioned that the anime contains provocative content.

But this incident led internet users to search for other idols/celebrities who discussed the anime/manga and begin criticizing them as well.

  • NCT’s Taeyong shared an Instagram story featuring a pair of shoes, but eagle-eyed viewers noticed a copy of the manga in the bottom right corner. 
Taeyong's Instagram story. Photo credit- Twitter/@panchoa
  • SEVENTEEN’s Woozi had previously mentioned the anime and actively recommended it. DEX had also stated that the anime was his "anime of a lifetime."
  • WEi’s Yongha and ATEEZ’s Mingi were embroiled in the controversy after fans brought up moments when they mentioned the anime.

But why is watching an anime being heavily criticized? Here are the reasons why:

Made in Abyss

  • Made in Abyss, created by Akihito Tsukushi, follows the story of two protagonists, Riko and Reg, as they explore a mysterious and perilous abyss to uncover its secrets.
  • The anime has received criticism for scenes that some viewers find disturbing. It includes situations where child characters face danger, violence, and unsettling themes like torture.
  • The controversy revolves around how underage characters are portrayed in distressing situations, with concerns about potential pedophilic undertones and discomfort. Discussions also focus on whether the exploration of dark and mature themes is appropriate for certain audiences, especially younger viewers.
  • The parental guide section also shares a list of these categories of dark themes and even describes the scenes, proving the existence of such dark content. It also mentions that this anime is not suitable for kids.


TRIGGER WARNING: Disclaimer of the sexual content and nudity references

There are occasional instances of subtle sexual innuendo and humor involving Reg's anatomical correctness. Here is the link of the parental guide.


The anime and manga feature unsettling content primarily centered on children. Audiences have shared that the anime was distressing, with comments suggesting that the manga is even more graphic and disturbing.

Numerous internet users are criticizing and expressing strong disapproval toward the K-Pop stars for their support of the anime/manga.

Just like any other day, the internet also stands divided, as many fans have mentioned that the K-pop stars did not endorse the anime for the audience to watch, and the Korean version is heavily edited.

The situation highlights the challenges of being a K-pop idol, balancing personal expression with maintaining a public image. As K-Pop artists navigate the line between private interests and public responsibilities, the controversy raises questions about the intersection of K-Pop and mature content.

The dialogue around K-Pop idols expressing their love for Made in Abyss reflects the evolving nature of fandom and the difficulties artists face in expressing individuality within the scrutinized K-Pop industry.

Last updated: November 20, 2023 | 17:44
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