This season has brought along countless new anime to love; that little chubby mummy is cute after all. But one show has really stood out against the rest with its representation of female excellence. A Place Further Than the Universe is here to remind us that nothing is impossible and that women, no matter how young, can do anything.
In the beginning of this show, we're introduced to Mari Tamaki, a second year in high school who feels she's done nothing to make her youth memorable. Through a series of events, she meets Shirase Kobuchizawa, a fellow second year with 1,000,000 yen saved up to go to Antarctica. Our story continues to include two other girls to the team, Hinata Miyake and Yuzuki Shiraishi, who also become part of the "impossible" journey.
Each girl is extremely different from the next. They each have their own reasons for going to Antarctica, but each works together to see the other one through. For example, Shirase wants to go because she knows her mother is there. After her mother did not return from her expedition, Shirase worked for years to save up and find a way on the next one. Compare this to Yuzuki, a child actress who was only to go for work and report the journey. Yuzuki didn't even want to go in the first place and yet she chooses to out of the want for friendship. These are both very different reasons, and yet both girls get along and work together. Shirase never says that her purpose is more important than any other girl attending. Each of them wants to see the other succeed.
This is a rarity in a genre of television that often shows female characters compete; whether it's for love, work or some other goal, we know the troupe of women bringing down other women. Take shows like Citrus, for example. This show continuously pits the girls against each other over the goal of love. While Citrus is wildly different than A Place Further Than the Universe, they both carry very different messages for women and young girls.
Of course, that's also part of the beauty in this show. There aren't other anime about four high school girls going on a trip to a frost-covered placed that's isolated from the outside world. This show is completely unique in it of itself. Even the supporting characters offer excellence in their goals and reasons for wanting to go back to Antarctica.
Take the leader of the team, Gin Toudo. Gin wants to go back for a variety of reasons, but a driving force is definitely Shirase's mother. As a dear friend, she feels obligated to go back to her. Gin shows a lot of strength and when we're first introduced to her, even our main characters are in awe that the team captain is female. She has a very intricate archetype as she's not a cold person, but displays a strict air about herself as a leader. She feels something for her peers, she has emotions and development.
The thought and love put into the writing takes this anime to the next level. The characters exhibit a form of excellence that's both rare and important. All the women going on this expedition to the frozen tundra can be looked up to an admired. Their strength shows that nothing, not even traveling to such a distant place, is impossible.