Sora yori mo Tooi Basho | Anime Universe
The story starts off with four high school girls who are total strangers and have problems that are related to one another. In the first few episodes, these problems were presented and used to connect these characters together, to build a friendship based on related problems, and to have an end goal of going to Antarctica, which satisfied all of their problems in the end. I won’t be diving into these problems in the story aspect of Yorimoi but rather, the characters aspect. During the journey of preparing and going to Antarctica, they’re faced with many problems in between that are usually resolved within each episode, but in the end, it creates the atmosphere of resolution and serves to strengthen their friendship. When the girls finally arrive in Antarctica, they were able to experience “A Place Further Than The Universe”, an entirely new experience, the things they’ve learned for the first time, seeing the distinctive scenery, creating and experiencing friendship throughout a journey. You feel like you’re experiencing the journey and feeling their emotions with them.
I’m going to start off by saying that all four of the main characters are very relatable. Their problems are of what regular people would have. The first girl that shows first screen time was Tamaki Mari. She’s a typical high school student who has a typical problem: wanting to make the most of her youth but doesn’t act upon their wants. She feels as if she hasn’t done anything impactful in her life and now that she is in high school, Mari feels must do something before its too late but she is indecisive. Relatable. Kobuchizawa Shirase. Shirase was initially the one to want to travel to Antarctica, in hopes to find her Mother and say “In your faces!” to all the haters who told her it was impossible for a high school girl to travel to Antarctica. All in all, she is the type that doesn’t like to give up, stubborn but is very passionate.
Miyake Hinata, the third girl, caught wind of Mari and Shirase’s trip to Antarctica and asked if she could join their journey. Out of all of the characters, she was the most confusing for me, I’m not sure why. However, her problem was that she was essentially thrown under the bus by her friends at school so she quit school, wanting to be alone, and started working at a convenient store. The last girl, Shiraishi Yuzuki, is an idol who doesn’t have real friends, due to the overload of work as an idol, leading her to not understand friendship. They all first come together with a similar problem: Antarctica. Yuzu is being forced to go but Mari, Shirase, and Hinata, who wants to go, cannot. The girls find a way that satisfies their problems and end up going together on this beautiful journey. As the story goes on, each of their problems is slowly being resolved and their friendship becoming stronger as they help each other through tough situations. Overall, the characters are loveable and quite relatable. They all have different problems that they work out in the end. Beautiful.
Although the soundtrack wasn’t anything special, I believe the direction of the OST was what made the sound as impactful as it was throughout Yorimoi. At first, I didn’t find the opening, “The Girls Are Alright”, to be anything special. As time went on though, I found it ‘Alright’ then started to find it catchy and by the end, I felt something every time this OP played. Now every time I listen to this OP, I feel happy and remember the great experience I had with Yorimoi, it’s very connecting. The ED was always emotional for me and I feel it is largely due to the fact it is sung by the four main characters. Also, each, if not most, episodes end with a happy, resolved ending and when the ED comes up, it just hits you hard in the feels. As for the OST, the great timing of the legendary OST at the right time—Legendary. Every time an emotional scene comes up, the sad music makes it way more emotional. When they’re enjoying their time with each other or a problem is resolved, the happy and inspirational OST kicks in.
Honestly, nothing too much to say about the visuals except that it is phenomenal. I mean, it’s Studio Madhouse. They never cease to amaze me with the direction of their animes, including their art and music, which were always perfectly timed for an epic experience. Most of my, and probably a lot others’, favorite anime are produced by Studio Madhouse. After finishing the series, I saw in some forums and comments that the Syowa Station was actually a real thing and was linked to google maps, where I was able to view a 3D image of Showa Station and their ship, Icebreaker Shirase, in real life and they were strikingly similar. The visuals of Antarctica was definitely something new for us anime viewers since we don’t see a lot of animes take place in Antarctica. Overall, beautiful.
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