You know the CGDCT genre will do anything these days if the first one premiering in 2018 involves sending high school girls to Antarctica of all places. I know there’s been far stranger premises but come on, traveling to Antarctica isn’t exactly accessible or practical for most teenagers (or the general population for that matter). You can’t seriously expect anyone to think that such a premise isn’t the least bit silly. Perhaps, the staff making A Place Further Than the Universe (Yorimoi) was well aware of that as the show’s first episode is certainly set up so that the characters would begin their journey ASAP.
The main character of the show, Mari Tamaki (Inori Minase), is a young girl who fears that she’s not doing anything remarkable during her high school career. By sheer coincidence, she bumps into a classmate, Shirase Kobuchizawa (Kana Hanazawa), the daughter of an Antarctic explorer who went missing. Touched by Shirase’s desire to embark on a trip to the South Pole, Mari decides to accompany her on the journey. As simple as that sounds, there is definitely some suspension of disbelief required here. I understand Mari’s desire to do something amazing but traveling to Antarctica is a pretty insane thing to do at that age. And she’s practically ditching her family and education for this! I’m also surprised there’s even a public cruise ship heading off to Antarctica and that Shirase can afford two tickets with her one million yen. I know they have to get to the continent somehow but man, I wish it was that stinking easy to get there in real life!
I joke but the truth is, I actually enjoyed this episode a lot. As crazy as Mari’s decision to go Antarctica is, I love that it’s a response to her habit of backing out when things get too nerve-wracking. I imagine that a trip to the South Pole will most certainly remedy that. There’s also a neat duality between Mari’s initial aimlessness and Shirase’s specific and ambitious goal. While the two meeting other is extremely sudden, I did really enjoy watching these two interact each other from Mari helping Shirase shrug off some bullies who want some of her money to stopping her from spending too much on food during their train ride to the seaport. The presentation is quite good as well. I love how this premiere is full of some ironic imagery. Once I noticed that Mari stuffed Shirase’s money in an ethics textbook, I couldn’t help but laugh. Visually, the coloring is somewhat muted yet really pleasant to look at and I’m liking the white outlining on the characters. It reminds me a bit of Tsuki ga Kirei‘s art style.
As goofy as this story sounds, there’s definitely potential for fun in A Place Further than the Universe. With a premise like that, you can’t help but wonder how exactly they’ll get to Antarctica and the characters seem entertaining enough right now. I don’t know if this show has merited completed dedication out of me, but consider myself convinced to watch some more of it.
OP: “The Girls Are Alright!” by saya
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One thought on “A Place Further Than the Universe – Ep. 1 (First Impressions)”
I haven’t watched it yet, but this one looks like a lot of fun and I’ve been hearing great things about it.