A Place Further Than the Universe – Ep. 4

Now that the whole team has been assembled, it’s time to prepare for the freezing might of the South Pole! Training camps are admittedly a staple in anime but given this show’s plot, I think the characters definitely need one.

Mari seems to be in a bit of a pickle though as her parents find out about what she’s been up to. I actually kind of forgot about that elephant in the room (and I even brought it up in my First Impressions!) but it’s nice that the show is addressing it in some way. It does seem like Mari is the only one who has this problem. Shirase’s grandmother gave permission and Yuzuki’s mom is, well, a sponsor for the expedition. I suppose Hinata’s situation is unknown but I guess if your child is already set for college, studying abroad in Antractica must sound mighty appealing.

That whole scene with Mari’s mother was hilarious though. I love how it plays out like some sort of horror anime. The mom practically acts like she’s going to kill her daughter and it is quite frightening when your parents catch onto a secret of yours. Perhaps even funnier is that it’s during this scene that you meet Mari’s father and, well, I can’t say I blame him for chickening out.

Strangely, the detail that Mari needs to pass her exams in order to go on the expedition is brought up only to fall in the wayside halfway through the episode. Perhaps that’ll be in the spotlight again next episode. For now, it seems that Mari was able to get permission for the training camp at least. As the girls get picked up, you can tell that funding has been a tricky obstacle for the people running this endeavor. Kanae’s van is just littered with unused promotional materials and the vehicle itself doesn’t look all that impressive either. Still, it’s reassuring that the people running this project are convinced that things will work out. I particularly like how Kanae relates with our quartet over the criticisms and pressure they get from the people around them.

Introduced at the training session is the project’s director and a colleague of Shirase’s mother, Gin Toudou (Mamiko Noto). Even though Gin and Shirase apparently don’t have that much of a history together, it’s clear that they’re skittish around each other. Just one look at Shirase’s face and you can tell that she’s uncomfortable facing the woman who confirmed her mother’s disappearance. Conversely, Gin sees the girl as a spitting image of her friend yet also curious about how this quartet seemingly came together. I really like the role Mari plays in this drama; she doesn’t really resolve it but gives both of those characters some reassurance that this journey might work out.

As for the training camp itself, this scene does border a lot on slice of life territory but with a group this entertaining, I have little reason to complain. It was just a lot of fun seeing the girls camp together (step aside, Laid-Back Camp) and fiddle around with the equipment. I was wondering how well they’d work as a team because these girls do know how to push each other’s buttons. All things considered though, they work really darn well as a team, even assigning each other certain roles with little to no arguments. Of course, there is some banter with each other but it’s all good fun here. That bit where Yuzuki messes up her grammar especially had me chuckling. It really demonstrates the sincerity and strength of these friendships.

Overall, this was a really fun episode to sit through. I imagine Antarctica is just around the corner but honestly, I’m really liking the journey so far. Judging from the post credit scene, it looks like the next episode will have Mari’s childhood friend, Megumi, at the forefront. Megumi has played the skeptic to Mari’s ambition for quite some time now so I’m curious to see how this will be addressed.

Thanks for reading!

Watch A Place Further Than the Universe on Crunchyroll

Read My A Place Further Than the Universe Reviews

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