Hi everybody! Welcome to anime Thursday. I hope you enjoyed MC- Tuesday where we talked about Captain American: The First Avenger (if you have yet to read it, you can click here). Today, I return to anime. January marks the start of some new shows. One such show is A Place Further Than the Universe. Now, I am not a big fan of slice of life anime, with the exception of Fruits Basket or The Disasterous Life of Saiki K. So, I was a little apprehensive to watch the show. However, after watching this first episode, I’m a little optimistic, yet still cautious.
The show is produced by Kadokawa Pictures. These guys produce some good anime including Kill la Kill, Deadman Wonderland, X, and my personal favorite, The Future Diary. They also did shows I’m not crazy about like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, so, there’s that. But first, let me give you some idea of what the show is about, based on what is in the first episode. I’m going to do my best not to spoil it for you.
Mari & Shirase
At the top of the show, we meet Mari. Mari is a second-year high school student who yearns to make the most of her youth. Anime characters feel so much older than their age. This girl is in her second year of high school and feels like she’s wasting her life. I know when I was in my second year I just wanted a boyfriend, not to fulfill some grand life purpose. But I digress. Mari decided this is the year she is going to see the world and make the most of her youth.
In her attempt to do it big, she meets Shirase. Shirase is a slightly anti-social, yet hardworking girl who is trying to make money for a specific goal. She is doing this in spite of the nay-sayers around her (you go, girl!!). Mari and Shirase decide to team up to accomplish both of their goals. Then, the adventure begins.
One of the things I instantly liked about the show is the relatable characters. I understand Mari because, in some ways, I am Mari. She craves adventure, spontaneity, and new experiences. That is an ambition I can definitely understand. I also understand her apprehension in the willingness to take a risk and try something new. Her desire for new experience, yet her apprehension reminds me of when I decided to join the military. At first, I did not want to do it because I was afraid of basic training and deployment. But, in order to have a better life, I had to go for it.
I also understand Shirase’s point of view. You have some sort of goal that no one believes in and no one understands. They think you are crazy or weird because your path does not coincide with what they consider a “normal” path. For instance, you (ahem) start a blog. But, you do it anyway because your goals are not for everyone, but for those who believe in you, understand, and support you. Kind of like how Mari believes and supports Shirase’s endeavor.
The excellence of the show depends entirely on how the show develops. From the opening credits, I cannot tell if the show is telling the story of their journey, or if they’re telling the story of the planning of accomplishing their goals. If it is the former, then the show should manage to keep my interest. However, if it talks about the planning, it may not hold my attention. That is unless it has the charm of Fruits Basket or the cleverness of Saiki K. I will not know until after they release a few more episodes.
So what do you think? Did you like the first episode of A Place Further Than The Universe? What are your hopes or fears for the series? Let me know. I will see you on Sunday for Sunday Drama. This month, we are watching High School Entrance Exam. I will be discussing the first three episodes this Sunday. If you go on Crunchyroll and hit that drama tab, you will see the show. I will see you in a few days!