A Place Further than the Universe – Ep. 9

It’s been a pretty interesting weekend for me. My college is still out of power from the nor’easter and I’m staying at my family’s home for the night. And as petty as this sounds, my ability to watch anime and write posts was also put to a halt. I can’t catch up too well on weekdays so you’ll have to excuse me if it seems like I’m breezing through some content in the next few posts.

So about A Place Further than the Universe. What an odd beginning to an otherwise really good episode. Not that Zaizen is a bad character per say but his one-sided crush towards Gin was definitely a means to an end here. There probably is a better way to have Shirase confront Gin about her mother but regardless, the drama was still very compelling.

While they may not realize it, Shirase and Gin are actually quite alike. Beyond a mutual compassion for penguins, Gin’s tough and determined personality had a lasting influence in Shirase’s childhood. I do wonder what exactly was going on in Takako’s mind but clearly her plan of leaving Gin to babysit Shirase worked the way she had hoped. Be it her ability to jump rope like a pro or the stories she took inspiration from, Shirase’s perseverance is definitely a product of Gin’s actions. It seems like Shirase got that flustered state from Gin too; as evident from how overwhelmed Gin is during her interview in this episode.

It doesn’t seem like Shirase and Gin have really sorted things out but then again, it didn’t seem like a single conversation would do the trick. Personally, I think Gin did exactly what she had to do as a captain though it’s understandable that the decision still haunts her (that flashback scene is really intense, by the way). Shirase seems to understand these circumstances but she does have every right to be angry about it. I’d certainly like to see some conclusion to this arc but with where it stands now, these emotions are understandably raw.

Watching the ship crash through all the ice (which for all I know, could be an environmental hazard) really captures Yorimoi‘s theme of perseverance. The ice is a perfect representation of the obstacles these characters have faced to get to this point and so, the ship’s ability to break through it all reflects their refusal to give up. I particularly like that it’s not just one bomb rush to the finish line. Something about seeing the ship break through the ice bit by bit fits perfectly with the dialogue about facing things step by step.

It does astound me that it took nine episodes for Yorimoi to get to Antarctica. Had this show faltered in any of its plot points, I might’ve abandoned the show entirely. Still, the journey was a ton of a fun and quite riveting and already, the destination looks promising. I love how Mari offers Shirase to jump on land first, only for the latter to have the whole quartet jump together. It’s a nice reminder of how Shirase views this journey; she has dreamed of Antarctica the most out of the four but she sees the goal as one she now shares with the others. I sure hope Hinata recorded everybody saying “In your face!”; that line was so satisfying to hear.

Other Thoughts: 

  • I refuse to believe that the girls’ online show is tanking in views. For crying out loud, it’s four teenagers going to Antarctica! I’m sure plenty of Youtubers would kill for that kind of opportunity.
  • At first, I was as stumped as Zaizen about what Gin means when she says she likes people who are like clouds but it’s a really interesting simile. Gin’s clearly a woman of ambition so perhaps that kind of quality, even if the goal is out of reach, is something she really relates with.
  • Kind of shocked that Yorimoi brought up WWII given that Japanese media generally refrains from that topic. Nothing about any war crimes are brought up here but the way the war did have an indirect effect on this expedition was pretty good and any talks more extreme would’ve been out of place anyway.
  • That post-credit scene was pretty crazy. It seems like Yuzuki got a message from her mom, meaning that the next episode will be about her. It’d be kind of funny if the mom is demanding that her daughter come back to Japan. It’s kind of too late for that.

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!

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