Not so long ago I had no idea what to watch. I was not feeling super good so I wanted to watch something wholesome. That’s when I picked up A Place Further Than The Universe. It has an extremely high rating on MAL (8.5 at the time of writing this). And that is not without reasons. I enjoyed it so much that I wondered if I should read the original manga, turns out the adaptation is apparently better than the original. Quite surprising isn’t it?
I actually didn’t expect much from it at first, despite the high rating. I even waited about a month to start it after having decided I would watch it. In the end, it was simply great. Short, but great.
Story and Scenario
If there’s one thing that sets A Place Further Than The Universe, it’s definitely its original plot. To keep it simple, it’s about a bunch of high school girls traveling to Antarctica. Sounds a bit unrealistic like that but anyway. But it’s a pretty original story, and it’s quite refreshing to watch something a bit different. So you simply follow those girls as they first prepare to go to such a faraway place. That part is really well done, it’s not easy to get to Antarctica after all. Then you follow along as they travel and ultimately reach their goal. Simple, original, and extra wholesome.
There’s one thing I was unhappy with however, it doesn’t last long enough. I would have loved it if there was a bit more depth to the characters and if there was simply more content about their travel. It kinda left me wanting for more.
Of course, it wouldn’t be such a good anime without the super cute high school girls.
All 4 of them are pretty different.
Shirase is the one who started it all, she’s a bit weird and somewhat of a tsundere. Still, she’s the type to never give up and it makes her quite enticing to watch.
Mari is the cheerful kind, she’s energetic and everything. The viewer is also mostly given her point of view so she sort of acts as the protagonist more than the other 3 and is really fun to watch.
Hinata is more introverted and more capable than the others, but her backstory is kinda weird.
And last Yuzuki, the super cute and shy kind who got no idea how the social world works.
All 4 of them have their things, they’re all interesting and you can’t help but be drawn to them. However I think they are not developed enough, they’re somewhat lacking in depth. That’s a shame cause it would have made it all better otherwise.
The other less important characters are well, they exist, a few of them are given some screen time, but that’s about it.
Art & Animation
Honestly, there’s not much to say about the technical part of A Place Further Than The Universe. It does its job. Yes, it has good animation quality, yes the drawings are fine and all. But that’s it. Basically, it’s on par with today’s standard, it’s better than 90% of what other anime offer though. But while it’s super clean and everything, it didn’t transcend me either, surprisingly it’s not why I liked this anime.
You’d think an anime talking about going to a wonderful place like Antarctica would have put more emphasis on how beautiful a place it is. Don’t get me wrong, it’s plenty beautiful, but I would have wanted more.
The characters are super expressive though so that’s pretty good. All in all, It’s great quality without being breathtaking, or maybe I just have too high a standard.
The actual reason why I enjoyed it
Yeah, so I just spent all this time saying how it’s good without being amazing right? Yet I truly loved it. And that’s because it’s somewhat wonderful and actually well thought out. Antarctica is a magical place, but the journey was also magical. It does a good job showing all those things. It’s super cheerful and wholesome. And it was not made randomly, everything had logic, there were no moments where I felt something was off or totally unrealistic. I can’t quite explain it I think. But it has this little something that makes it so marvelous and unique. After watching it you can’t help but want to travel and discover such amazing places.
In the last few years, we’ve seen a rise in the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ category. Honestly, it can get boring or feel like it’s too much.
Yet A Place Further Than The Universe manages to not fall into those bad areas. Yes there are cute girls, yes they do cute things, but they are also having an adventure of sorts. And what an adventure it is. This anime really transports you into a remote place. You get to see everything, from the preparation to the journey to Antarctica itself.
The only thing I can reproach it is that it could have done much better. It could have been a masterpiece, if only it had more depth, if it was more developed and if the scenery was even better. A shame really, but in the end, it was truly enjoyable to watch.
Featured image by Pixiv Id 3318407.