r#133 — a place further than the universe

Hi there. It’s definitely been a while, maybe even too long, since I last posted an article on this website! If you happen to be new here, my name is Alfredo or what most people call me, Al, and I’m the other writer here on #moe404. I’m definitely not as consistent and proficient of a writer/reviewer as nesha but I try my best when talking about anime on here *lol—

Anywho, since nesha has come back from hiatus, I thought it would be a great time to come back to writing stuff on here as well. I’ve watched and caught up with a good amount of anime ever since my last published review —which was unbelievably five months ago, yikes— and I just wanted to talk about one of my absolute favorites among that list.

Let’s just jump right in!

synopsis – a story that leads to the antartica.

Tamaki Mari, a regular high school girl, has always had an overwhelming interest in what really is out there in the world around us. However despite having all these aspirations in her mind of discovering the new things that life had to offer, anxiety and having a fear of the unknown simply overpowered Mari’s will to chase those dreams. Now that she’s in her second year of high school, Mari no longer wants to waste her youth and is fully determined to find out what’s outside her regular environments. And the first step in doing so came from a fateful meeting she had with a unique lady by the name of Kobuchizawa Shirase.

Years after her mother had disappeared during an expedition to Antarctica, Shirase has been working job after job, earning money so that she can take a trip to the South Pole in order to search for her missing mother. Despite being countlessly doubted and made fun of by other people for having such a bizarre and impractical-sounding ambition, there’s no obstacle at this point that’ll stop Shirase from reaching her goal.

After hearing Shirase’s story and situation, Mari took inspiration and decided to follow along in this journey of hers. Eventually, two other young girls in happy-go-lucky Miyake Hinata and child star/actress Shiraishi Yuzuki also take interest and join Shirase and Mari on their trip. Thus, we follow this group of ladies and their fascinating adventure to the freezing continent of Antarctica, all in order to fulfill their own individual desires.

script.

Man, where to start with this anime.

Well, I guess let’s start by talking about the storyline itself. I thought that studio Madhouse did a pretty good job setting up what the focus or main goal of this whole show is; traveling to and discovering brand new experiences in a place like Antarctica. Even towards the very beginning where we see how these four girls’ paths meet up together, I personally thought that everything and every event was expressed in a way so that it was both intriguing to watch and had a sense of importance towards the main part of the narrative.

There are the obvious things like the main characters taking an expedition training course in order prepare for the real deal but I think where it really shines is within the characters and what backgrounds they’re from and conflicts they deal with. Things like how Mari and Shirase accidentally crossed paths, why Shirase is so committed to finding her missing mother, why Yuzuki is so hesitant on going to Antarctica as part of her job as a famous personality; all these explanations do a fantastic job of helping us understand why and how these four random teenagers who have never met before, come together to do something big like travel to Antarctica.

And I think one reason why the set-up of the beginning of the show was shown really well, is the pacing. To me, I felt like the pacing of this story was pretty darn good, as not much was rushed or slow to the point where some things didn’t make sense; Madhouse did a good job with taking their time to display everything they wanted in this narrative. One good example of that, and a nice segue to my next point is how they expressed the main theme of adventure.

Adventure and experiencing new things is, as you can tell, are big and recurring things in this story, and the many different ways Madhouse expresses them is truly wonderful. Pretty much everything these four ladies did in their time, traveling from Japan to the South Pole was so intriguing and they made it fun to watch like doing expedition training and learning route mapping, trying durian fruit in Singapore during a two-day layover, dealing with sea-sickness and different duties needed while on the expedition ship, and ultimately doing what they intended to do while in Antarctica. Not only were these events and scenes super entertaining to watch, but it did show why this is a slice-of-life anime. Especially things dealing with the actual expedition, we got to actually see and learn the processes and experiences of an Antarctica expedition team, from beginning-to-end. Even if the depiction of Antarctica expeditions was not shown in full detail, it still gave us a good idea of what it’s like since me and you most likely won’t be one of the 44,000 people who actually go to the South Pole every year.

Lastly, Yorimoi had a great balance of comedic and emotional/dramatic moments throughout the show. Where there were jokes and funny interactions between characters, they definitely were amusing and enjoyable. Where there was drama, conflict, and/or an emotional moment involving all four of them, they definitely had my full attention and sometimes even made me tear up a bit … a lot, actually.

cast.

The characters of Yorimoi, I would say, are one of the best parts of this show. As I mentioned before, the main cast is very well written and they did a great job showcasing who these four girls really are, as each one of them had their own unique background and reasoning on why they had the urge to take this trip to Antarctica. Whether that be someone like Shirase who has a specific goal she is fully determined to achieve or someone like Hinata and Mari who think more openly and just want to do something new and exciting in their young lives, it was interesting learning about these individual characters and why they’re involved in this narrative.

But even though these girls all have different personalities and aspirations, they certainly mesh very well with each other. Seeing them laugh, joke around, cry, struggle, be supportive was such a fun and heart-warming thing to watch throughout this anime and it showed that they really developed a special friendship with one another throughout their journey to their destination. Not only that but their relationship felt so genuine and real to me, as they’re simply a group of close friends who talk and act like young girls you’d see in real life. Even the conflicts and road bumps they sometimes encountered as a group, I could imagine someone, including myself, having the same experiences with their own friends.

And on the topic of realism within this anime, I have to add how relatable these characters can actually be. Let’s take Mari for example; she is the kind of person who is immensely interested in discovering the world around her and ultimately wants to finally do something before the time left in her youth life runs out. However, her dreams of doing so quickly become out-of-reach due to her anxiety and she end up chickening out of things at the last second. This type of personality and behavior is definitely not something uncommon, as a lot of people in this world have trouble dealing with particular things like talking to other people or just being worried about how a certain situation will play out.

I have personally experienced a great amount of anxiety in my life, mainly with not being able to speak to others due to my extreme shyness as a kid. So while I was watching Mari go through and eventually overcome her struggles, I was heavily reminded of myself experiencing the same things. And honestly, this was the first time I actually found a character in anime so relatable that it made me think a lot about it. So props to them 🙂

Lastly, I really did think the side characters in this show, the other people who also went on the expedition to Antarctica, had a lot of meaning, both towards the story and to the main cast themselves. Whether that be someone as important as the commander and vice-commander of the whole expedition or even the head cook of the observation team, all of them absolutely had an impact and made Shirase, Mari, Hinata, and Yuzuki much better people during this trip, and vice versa.

visual and arts.

Madhouse is obviously a studio that never seems to disappoint when it comes to the art and animation of the anime they’ve created. I too am a Madhouse fan and I’ve loved many of the shows they’ve produced and animated such as Death Parade with its dramatic-yet-bright artistic direction or the smooth and totally awesome animated fight scenes in One Punch Man. So while Yorimoi’s art and animation are nowhere near as outlandish or jaw-dropping as the other Madhouse works I mentioned, you can absolutely tell they still brought their A-game when working on this show.

The character designs are a tad different from your average anime, but it does give it a distinguishable look. The animation was really nice, lighting was superb, but the main thing I loved about the look of this show is definitely the environment visuals. They were super, super detailed and I was just impressed with how spot-on everything looked compared to its real-life counterpart. From replicating the expedition ship, making Antarctica not look like just a flat piece of ice, to even recreating the city of Singapore and its famous landmarks, I just appreciate how much detail went into this beautiful-looking anime.

To be honest, I didn’t pay too much attention to the background music of this show but from what I can recall, it was pleasant-sounding accompanying music and there were times where the BGM was appropriately placed in particular scenes. However, the real deal is within the opening, ending, and insert songs. The opening theme, “The Girls Are Alright”, performed by a completely brand new artist named Saya, is a very mellow yet uplifting song, I’d say. I think because there’s so much going on in this track, instrument-wise with the prominent violin and percussion, it just somehow screams “going on an adventure” to me. Meanwhile, the ending, “Koko kara, Koko kara”, sung by the main four characters, gives me a sense of joy and even completion for these ladies whilst on this journey to the South Pole.

But my absolute favorite part of the musical side of things is definitely the insert songs. Those were, in my opinion, played at the correct times and scenes throughout this show, and some even added to the intended emotion/feeling in certain scenes. My favorite one has to be “Mata ne” since it’s such a beautifully-sung song that got me crying at a particular time it was played.

And to top it all off, the voice acting in this show was pretty nice, actually. Obviously, this is a pretty stacked cast of voice actors and actresses, as it has the big names like Hanazawa Kana, Minase Inori, Iguchi Yuka, and Hayami Saori, whom all fit their respective characters really well. But my biggest surprise was the vocal performance of Minase Inori, who voiced Mari. If you have watched a good amount of anime featuring Inorin, you would know that she is usually known to play deeper, serious-sounding characters such as Chino from GochiUsa or Rem from Re:Zero. But here with Mari, she pretty much acted like a joyful, silly high school girl, which I loved hearing! She did a great job in this show, as well as the other voice actresses.

closing – al’s final verdict.

I remember when this anime first aired back in January 2018 and while I was about four episodes in, I just lost interest in it. I guess past me was more into sillier, comedic shows that were airing at that time like Yuru Camp and Gakuen Babysitters. But now that I actually, finally watched this gem of the Winter 2018 season, putting it on-hold was a big mistake.

Not only did I love this show because it’s a slice-of-life anime with a unique premise of four young girls traveling to an environment like Antarctica, but I found out that there was so much more to this show than that. The unique characters and the great friendships they made together, how much they all valued adventure and experiencing something new in their lives, and the fact that this narrative can be relatable and hit close to home … all of these aspects were fun, informative, and emotional to watch, and I’m just amazed how Madhouse managed to fit all of that in only 13 episodes.

And while I did say Yuru Camp was my favorite show from 2018 … it may have to slide down to second now. 🙂

scored 9 out of 10

additional pieces of information.

external links: sliceofalfredo.blog
official site, official Twitter account, Wiki (en), Wiki (jp), Crunchyroll, Allcinema, Anison, Syoboi, ANN, and MAL

* this image is available to be downloaded!

Thank you very much for reading! I really loved watching this anime a few months back, and I thought it would be appropriate to talk about it for my first review in months.

Speaking of doing something after a long period of time, I will try my best to be more consistent with writing reviews on this site since I really enjoy doing it. I already have an idea of which anime I want to write about so please stay tuned! In the meantime, feel free to check out our other posts on #moe404 and consider following if you haven’t yet!

Also, if you want to hear more about my thoughts on how relatable and even inspiring Yorimoi was to me personally, check out this post I wrote on my personal blog. Thanks again, keep watching anime, and I’ll see you in the next post~

© written by sliceofalfredo
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