The Winter 2018 anime season has officially begun, and I have already had an opportunity to taste some of the offerings. As such you can expect a slew of First Impression posts for the serials that I plan on watching, or have ultimately decided is not my cup of chai.
I’m going to begin with A Place Further Than the Universe (Uchū Yori Mo Tōi Basho), which is a seinen, adventure series revolving around a small group of girls who embark on a journey to Antarctica for various personal reasons. It’s being produced by Madhouse (Hunter X Hunter, Trigun, One-Punch Man) and is directed by Atsuko Ishizuka (NANA, No Game No Life, The Pet Girl of Sakurasō).
Honestly, I rather enjoyed the first episode very much. I like the soft animation and palettes used to build the breath-taking scenery and adorable characters. It does have the same quality that Tsuki ga Kirei did in where everything seems overtly shiny, which is the only aspect of the animation style I don’t care for. But everything else is very aesthetically pleasing and engaging.
While I’m not a huge fan of the opening and ending songs, I do like the musical score within the episode. It’s a nice compliment of gentle piano and string themes that can be equally light-hearted and evocative (if it calls for it later).
The premise is very interesting to me and is relatively original compared to other serials that I have seen within the past year or so. With that said, I can see how it won’t be everyone. One of the main characters is determined to “enjoy her youth” by embarking on some grand adventure to discover more about herself, as well as to truly experience what life has to offer. For people who are homebodies, or in general don’t feel that such a grandiose gesture is required to live life to the fullest, it can be off-putting, unnatural, and unrealistic, more so when you consider these ladies are in high school. I say this confidently because I am totally this type of person. However, while watching the first episode, I walked away from it feeling that the message is going to be more about taking chances if you have the opportunity, no matter the form it takes. It’s less about doing something crazy and outrageous as visiting frozen continents 14,000 kilometres away, and more about initiating a change if you are unhappy with life in anyway whatsoever, and also to just enjoy life before you are strapped down into a position where that becomes even more difficult or impossible (i.e. adulting).
But… I could be the only one feeling this way, which is okay.
So, that’s the big theme that I’m sensing from A Place Further Than the Universe. In addition, I think (more like hope) it’s going to revolve around characters who’ll build deep bonds on their mutual journey, while offering up some feel-good vibes. As it stands, I thoroughly liked the first episode and I’m eager to see how the show will progress as the season moves forward.
You can watch A Place Further Than the Universe on CrunchyRoll here. It airs on Tuesdays at 5:30am PST.
**All graphics were made by me, unless otherwise stated.**