Once I had seen it, A Place Further Than the Universe, became one of my all-time favorite anime shows. It has well-developed characters, fantastic animation, and a great plot, but for me, it had a stronger, more personal effect. To be honest, I was more connected to this show on a personal level than I have ever been to all the inspirational speeches and quotations thrown at students. It portrayed that spirit of adventure in an energetic and youthful way and grounded it in reality. There’s no quest to save someone from danger, nor an epic adventure to battle evil and save the world. It’s more like a personal journey in learning things about yourself.
In episode one, there’s a scene in which Kimari (the main character) wakes up and realizes that she hasn’t done anything in her youth due to her fear of failing, and she feels that she’s wasted her youth. It sounds cliché, but I’m sure it’s a feeling relatable to most people. You have goals that you want to achieve someday, but today you have school, work, commitments, or you’re not up for it, or it’s just not the right time and eventually, time passes by and that day doesn’t arrive. We keep waiting for that one moment to push us over the edge. In the show’s case, Kimari meets Shirase, a girl who had the determination and bravery to come up with the crazy goal to go to Antarctica. For Kimari to see the unstoppable drive of Shirase to achieve this goal was the push she needed to embark on an unplanned trip she longed to do; to see her go on this journey gave me a huge grin that wouldn’t leave until the episode ended. I thought to myself that if the show turned out to be just girls just messing around with penguins and icebergs, I would be disappointed. Fortunately, it turned into this wonderful watching experience—discovering new things and meeting the friends who really cared about someone—that I haven’t seen in a long while from on an anime.
Watching Kimari conquer her fear of failing reminded me of my past self, and looking back at it felt nostalgic, even though this was just a few years ago. When I was a transferee in elementary, I was the quiet kid in class. I spent most of my time studying to get ranked first, and because of that, I barely socialized with most of my classmates. This led to me being ostracized for a long time. They described me as a bland and arrogant person who didn’t need friends, but that wasn’t true. I was just scared of being rejected if I offered friendship, and decided to just wait for someone to come near to me. But then I realized something. I had to take the initiative because waiting for something to happen just wouldn’t help. I saw that I would have to do this for myself. Realizing this, I started to change myself, and eventually, I made friends along the way. Of course, that fear of rejection would rise again occasionally, but at least I now have better control of it, and I’m working it out.
This is one show that I highly recommend, and it’s worth checking out not only for anime fans but for casual watchers or even those who don’t watch or haven’t watched anime. Maybe this will remind you of something as well, just as it did me.