A Place Further Than the Universe is a thirteen-episode anime original television series produced by Madhouse. The director for the series is Atsuko Ishizuka, the writer is Jukki Hakeda, and character designs are by Takahiro Yoshimatsu. The studio that produced it was Madhouse.
A Place Further than the Universe aired as part of the winter 2018 season of anime, and is available to be watched on Crunchyroll.A Place Further Than the Universe focuses on four girls who join an expedition to the Antarctic.
The story begins with Mari Tamaki – also known as ‘Kimari’ – eager to make something of her youth. However, that first step always proves to be too daunting for her, so she never takes it.
That is until she ends up meeting fellow student Shirase Kobuchizawa. Shirase is dead set on going to Antarctica, intent of finding her missing mother. Shirase’s mother, Takako, disappeared during an expedition to Antarctica, but Shirase firmly believes she is still out there somewhere.
As Kimari and Shirase try to work out their plans for getting to Antarctica, they end up gaining two more companions. First is Hinata Miyake. Though Hinata is the same age as Kimari, she dropped out of school for her own personal reasons. She works part-time at a convenience store instead. With her college entrance exams two years away, Hinata wants to do something special before then. As such, she ends up joining Kimari and Shirase.
Finally, the last member of the main cast is Yuzuki Shiraishi. Yuzuki has been an actress since the age of four, and as such has never really had proper friends. She is the least keen to go to Antarctica, but spending time with Kimari and the others leads her to learn a little about herself and what it means to have friends.
A Place Further Than the Universe is very character-driven, which each member of the main cast getting their turns in the spotlight. This really helps to endear the viewer to them, and their interactions tend to be a lot of fun to watch.
As each character overcomes whatever struggles they have to confront, there are some incredibly powerful moments that will certainly leave their mark on viewers. These moments are often accompanied by insert songs, building upon the experience even more.
Whether the girls are at home or in Antarctica, there is some incredibly compelling viewing to be found here. With each of the four main girls having their own troubles, it is very likely that the viewer can easily relate to at least one of them.
Going back to characters for a moment, Shirase’s mother, Takako Kobuchizawa, is a very important one. She may be missing, but she has quite an impact on the plot – after all, she is the very reason that Shirase wants to go to Antarctica in the first place.
During that fateful expedition where she disappeared, Takako was joined by the current captain of the Private Antarctic observation team, Gin Tōdō. Several hints dropped throughout the show strongly suggest that Gin was in a relationship with Takako, and this gives her a connection with Shirase.
It’s already been mentioned, but A Place Further Than the Universe has some incredibly powerful moments. These moments will stick firmly in the mind, and maybe even cause a few tears to be shed. Saying too much more about them will only invite spoilers, so let’s just move on for now.
Four schoolgirls going on an Antarctic expedition may sound just like a set-up for yet another cute girls doing cute things anime, but A Place Further Than the Universe proves to be so much more than that.
From the character development throughout, the powerful moments and the more light-hearted ones as well, this show is a compelling watch from start to finish. Everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to anime, but A Place Further Than the Universe is a show that should be universally recommended.
A Place Further Than the Universe might just be the best that the winter 2018 season of anime had to offer. A truly incredible experience.