Alright, I’m really sold on this show now. I was pleasantly surprised by the first episode and this second one was just a blast to sit through. I definitely want to see more of this and who knows, maybe this’ll be an Episode Review commitment for me.
First of all, I kind of feel like an idiot for thinking that Mari and Shirase were heading off to Antarctica in the next episode. In my defense, this premise is so ridiculous that such a plot point seemed plausible at the time. As it turns out, the girls were checking out the ship in person and believe it or not, getting to Antarctica is really hard. There’s two challenges right now. First is getting enough money to afford a flight to Fremantle (where the ship will actually depart from). Second, is becoming members of the civilian expedition as the likelihood of teenagers getting recruited for it is very low. While I’ll never shrug off how silly the premise is, I’ll give the show a ton of credit for acknowledging that the odds are stacked against its cast. Going to Antarctica ought to be a challenge for the characters to overcome. And on top of that, the show is able to have fun with its premise. I love that the group’s first plan is just seducing a male explorer to smuggle them on board the ship. It’s so far fetched but considering the goal, I guess any plan is worth trying.
To save up, Mari has decided to work at a convenience store (because working in the “hospitality” industry would’ve been problematic). From there, she meets the third main character, Hinata Miyake (Yuka Iguchi), who is also quite interested in going to Antarctica. Already, I really love how peppy and sociable this girl is and the way she becomes instant friends with Mari and another contrast to Shirase was so entertaining to watch. Her motive is also quite interesting. Hinata doesn’t go to school anymore as she’s earned marks high enough to go straight to college. The idea of going to Antarctica in her youth just sounds like the perfect thing while she waits for graduation. At the same time, Hinata seems thankful that she’s become friends with Mari and Shirase, having envied how honest and close they are and wanting to become a part of the friendship.
Shirase had an interesting attitude this episode. I think because she has the most personal motive out of the three girls, she also has the most fragile mindset regarding the trip. She so desperately wants to get to Antarctica so when something doesn’t work in her favor, she loses it. At the start of the episode, she snaps at Mari’s doubts about the goal before realizing that she’s at the risk of losing the first friend who understood her dream. Towards the end, she completely shuts down after Kanae and Yumiko, members of the expedition, denied all three girls membership. As funny as it was seeing Mari and Hinata enact a mutiny on Shirase’s leadership, I think such a move is probably for the better. She might benefit from having more optimistic friends directing her towards the finish line instead of planning by herself.
Mari has a particularly great moment towards the end of the episode as the three try to run away from Kanae and Yumiko because go figure, Shirase panicked. Despite the drama, Mari can’t help but have fun with the situation. It’s the first time she’s ever felt like something crazy is happening in her youth and she’s reveling in it because that’s a feeling she’s wanted to experience for a while now. Even though the chase was more or less in vain, I really like that Mari found a positive takeaway from it and hopefully, she’ll experience more moments like that in later episodes.
The solution to the girls’ dilemma seems pretty-clear cut. While the girls were trying to sneak their way into the expedition, you can see what is presumably the fourth main character. If I have to guess (and for all I know, it’s probably confirmed in the cast listing), the lady that Kanae and Yumiko have approached for funding is that girl’s mother. It’ll be interesting to see what this character’s connection to the expedition is and what happens when she meets the other three main characters. Judging from the final shot of the episode, she seems like she wants to be part of the group.
ED: “Koko kara, Koko kara” by the cast of A Place Further than the Universe
Thanks for reading!
A Place Further than the Universe is officially available on Crunchyroll.
For all of my Episode Reviews for A Place Further than the Universe, check out the show’s archive page!
Consider supporting my blog via: