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A Place Further Than the Universe

The No Place Further Than
A Place Further Than the Universe (or, as I will refer to it from now on, "Antarctica Girls") is one of those strange, but special things that only comes along once in a Unicron moon. It's light, it's funny, it's got amazing characters, it's got quite a bit more plot than your usual "slice of life" show, and it's got some really well-done heart-string-tugging moments that will make you tear up a little... Unless you're an unfeeling fucking robot who's out to kill me, but has FAILED miserably for the last 23 years! Fuck you, Robot Pedro!

Wait, you watched this high school chick show? And you LIKED it?

Yes, I watched it, but no, I didn't "like" it...

Whew, for a second I thought that--



Get off your high horse and give this anime a shot. It's mooks like you who only watch crap like One Piece and Borunaruto and who run with their arms thrown out behind them who annoy the piss out of me.

I'm typically not one to go in for high school "slice o' life" shenanigans, but as I've stated above, there is an actual plot and a fully-formed story to this thing. It's much more than just following around a handful of girls as they go to class, sit around talking about tests and boys, and say overly clever and sometimes humorous things on occasion. Antarctica Girls has a whole lot of soul to it.

It's just about four girls running around Antarctica for some stupid reason, isn't it?

No, and no. First of all, the girls don't even get to Antarctica until about 2/3rds into the series, and second of all... Well, let me back up a bit.

Antarctica Girls is about four high school girls who are each trying to figure out who they are and what they want out of life. Mari is the one with the laughably shitty bangs who has never done anything on her own, and is afraid to even take the train to Tokyo because that would mean that she's actually doing something for herself.

Shirase is the one whose dream has been to go to Antarctica ever since she lost her mother there during an observation expedition a few years back. Shirase is strong-willed and determined, but she has trouble meeting new people and talking in front of anyone, which makes it difficult for her to get on the next Japanese Antarctic expedition. Her challenges in going to the bottom-most continent are expanded by the fact that those in charge of this new expedition feel guilty for letting Shirase's mom die in a blizzard under their watch and therefore don't want her to go anywhere near the murder site, I mean the place she was last seen.

There's also Hinata and Yuzuki. Hinata has taken a year off from school to work (and study for her college placement exams), but she dreams of doing something special that will set her apart from her bitchy ex-friends in high school. And finally there's Yuzuki, a teenage actress whose life and schedule is ruled by her mother who is being forced into going to Antarctica in order to further her career.

All four girls' paths cross when Shirase's will to make it to Antarctica gets her ostracized (and mocked by a bunch of cunts) in school, but her conviction brings her to Mari's attention. Shirase's resolve to not give up or give in to naysayers' bitchiness awakens Mari's desire to be a tenacious chick herself. And in throwing her hat into the Antarctica ring, Mari gets a job at a local Qwik-E-Mart in order to raise funds to join Shirase on her trek into the frozen void.

It's at this job she meets Hinata, who is looking for something different, extraordinary, and adventurous herself, and she then hitches her wagon to the growing team's ice-bound train. And finally, Yuzuki falls into the group when it becomes known that she's scheduled to actually join the expedition as a documentary star in order to film bits for a program about the sub-zero continent and penguins.

You're still defending this?

Each girl has her own reasons for going and for not going. The mental battles that they each fight within their own minds is actually pretty deep for a slice-o-life series. I got more attached to the main characters in this short, thirteen-episode series than I have for most shows double, or even quadruple it in length.

Beyond the characters, I found the actual story (the girls' training for, and chores and menial jobs while in Antarctica) to be fascinating. Antarctica Girls never slows down and never gets boring. Even when they have weird, almost out of place episodes about the girls having a layover in Singapore on their way to Australia (where they will meet up with the ice-breaker that will take them on the final leg of the journey to the icy realm of the white continent below the thunder of even the "Land Down Under."

Is that all? Do you want to jizz all over the animation quality and the music too?

YES! As a matter of fact I do! I thought the animation quality was pretty good for a quiet little show like this, and all the songs (the opening, the ending, and the songs played in the middle of episodes) were all catchy and enjoyable, to the point where we never skipped past them to get to the next episode.

Honestly, I can't think of one negative thing to say about this series.

Great characters, fun story, the perfect amount of feels, choice music... A Place Further Than the Universe is a great show that everybody will enjoy. EVERYBODY! Watch it, live it, love it. I give it 75 out of 78 Stars of Icy Oblivion.


Meh, this show was a'ight.

I could have stood for a shape-shifting alien from a hostile planet to show up once they reached Antarctica, but I realized that wasn't coming pretty early on, and so I just sat back to watch the zany hijinks of these kind-of-stupid high school girls as they trained themselves to be the next MacReady.

This series reminded me of that one time I got caught in that blizzard that hit Atlanta last January, and I got stuck in my car on my way to my girlfriend's house. I tried to stay warm in my little Camry, but it was just so cold, and nobody was out driving due to the terrible conditions. So I just huddled up in the back seat with a blanket and hoped for some sort of eventual salvation.

Then, about 5 hours in, I heard a knocking on my door, and some scruffy-looking vagabond was brushing the snow off my window. I couldn't believe my luck! He waved to me and I waved back... And then his face turned into this disgusting maw of teeth and pulsating organs, as if his head opened up into a portal to Hell! He started to try and break into my car by banging on the window and screaming in an unholy tongue!... And, uh, that's all I remember.

So, uh, I guess this Antarctica Girls show didn't really remind me of that time in the blizzard, but it did remind me of The Thing, which reminded me of that time I got stuck in that blizzard. So... yeah.

(NOTES FROM THE ROSSMAN: Oh, Carl's girlfriend at the time told me about this story. But the way she tells it, that "blizzard" was really just a half an inch of powder in which Carl freaked the fuck out in and almost crashed his car into his girlfriend's neighbor's mailbox. He then curled up in the back seat of his car for a few hours, but he left the car running, and he suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The girlfriend went outside to get her mail, hours after she expected Carl (don't ask me why she didn't seem to worry too much when her boyfriend was about five hours late... It was Carl. Maybe she was just hopeful), when she noticed his Camry next to her neighbor's mailbox, and went over to see why it was there and still running. That's when she saw him in the back. So she knocked on the window and saw him "go mental" for a few seconds, like he thought he saw a ghost or something.

Then, she said, a look of resignation passed over his face and he opened the door to let her in, and they, ummm, did a little horizontal boogie in the back seat, all the while Carl kept muttering something like "Make it quick," and "Is this how you copy me?"

It all makes sense now... Well, it does if you know Carl and you've seen the greatest horror movie of all time, The Thing.)

It wasn't bad. I kind of liked it. Kind of. It was kind of lame, but not lame enough that I thought I could mock it really. Meh, you may like it too. I don't know. Get off my back!

Angry About Everything AMY

Thank you, anime, for giving us countless shows featuring an all-female cast of lead characters........ in which all the females are always pretty fucking retarded or useless.

Yeah, it's kind of progressive to have lots of all-female leads in lots of shows, but it's kind of retrogressive when almost every last one of them is below average in some way. Am I being too picky here? Would it be simply too boring if the main cast was competent, or not an underachiever, or non-imbecilic? I guess we'll never know.

Lame show featuring whiny high school girls going on a field trip and acting like idiots the whole time. One finger up.