4 High School Girls Visit Antarctica

Still haven’t gotten around to the Madoka movies, something about having to commit to watching anything longer than 24 minutes makes it more difficult for me. Even though it shouldn’t really. I’ll watch them soon though!

Until then I finished A Place Further Than The Universe. I’m going to be straight with you all: finishing this anime was a struggle. I don’t even know if I would normally have finished it if I hadn’t promised to watch it. It’s not a bad anime by any means, and I can completely understand how it’s considered above average for many. Sora Yori just didn’t do it for me.

four.png

So what kept me from really enjoying this anime? The cast. Following four eccentric high school girls for 13 episodes was too much for me! I don’t know what it is about their personalities, but I just didn’t really like any of the main characters. The anime just felt like it had too much “eccentric high school girls”. I’m not against female protagonists either, it’s just that in this case the characters sort of all blended together in my mind. Yeah, they all have their own personal stories, and quirks. But in the end they all felt so similar!

The story itself was well done, but even then my impression of the anime ended up being “4 high school girls mess around.. and go to Antarctica, where they continue to mess around. Plus some emotional stuff.”. That’s my impression right there, and that’s what I’ll remember from this one. I couldn’t even get into the emotional moments, because the characters all felt the same to me – and when they all feel the same, none of them feel individually important.

The style of humour used in Sora Yori heavily played off of the four high school girls. It felt like they were all prone to initiating the same type of jokes / comedic situations. Just a lack of distinction for me. I guess I just can’t relate well enough to really grasp and distinguish the individual characters. Or I just didn’t find them interesting enough to want to make that effort. And it’s not the type of comedy I enjoy very much, the whole “girl makes a mistake – teehee~”, or whatever you want to call it. I think it’s okay in smaller doses, such as if only one character is using that style, but with four of them I became immune to their jokes pretty quickly.

I hope that all makes sense.

three.png

I also wonder if I ruined it a little for myself by thinking that this was going to be an emotional anime. It didn’t feel nearly as emotional as any other anime that I could give that label to. I went into Sora Yori braced for impact, and it never came. Instead it was just high school girls having fun and going to Antarctica. I feel like my mindset going in did ruin it a little bit.

It’s sort of like how it was with Madoka, I went in knowing there would be a dark theme – so I began to suspect everyone. And nothing ended up catching me off guard as a result.

BUT, the question then is would I have watched Madoka if I hadn’t known that? And the answer is that I would not have. I think Sora Yori is the same, because if I had thought it was just an anime about four high school girls having fun and going on a trip, I would never have watched it. I can guarantee that.

One thing did catch me off guard in Sora Yori though! Because I never read the synopsis, I had no idea that the anime revolved around Antarctica!

arrival.png

And that was the best part for me. Antarctica. I’ve always had a fascination with that icy continent. Did you know that an approximately 78,000 km² hole appeared in Antarctica last year? That’s bigger than Maine, or New Brunswick, or the Netherlands – to put it into perspective. Crazy!

There are also a lot of cool stories and records from old explorers as early as the 18th century about Antarctica, back when they were still mapping the continent too. Here’s a map published by French cartographer Philippe Buache in the early 18th century:

map-southern hemisphere-1757.jpg

From what I’ve read this is just a map that Buache hypothesized using his geographical knowledge and whatever documents he had available to him from explorers, starcharts, records, etc. Still, it’s pretty cool how close he was to the real thing! Who knows? Maybe Antarctica did actually look similar to that hundreds of years ago.

Here is Antarctica as we know it now:

antarctica-map-modern.jpg

And speaking of maps, that’s one thing that bothers me. We never get to see Antarctica in it’s full glory on maps, because it’s always cut off on regular 2d maps! And so you never really get to realize how LARGE the continent is!

Antarctica is 14 million km²! That’s larger than China. Also larger than Canada, and almost as large as Russia! You just wouldn’t realize it because of the way it’s displayed on maps! And I thought my drive across Canada was a long haul. Antarctica would be quite the journey indeed.

Anyways, thanks for joining me on this mid-post edition of Antarctica facts!

flags.png

So I enjoyed Antarctica being in the anime. It would have been more difficult for me to finish otherwise. I was actually more interested in watching the regular tasks they were doing in Antarctica, like setting flags, shoveling snow, moving supplies, cooking, etc. What their base looked like, the vehicles they used, the ship, etc. So while the girls were talking about whatever, I was checking out the equipment and stuff. I don’t know how accurate the anime actually is compared to real life expeditions, but it was interesting either way.

So the anime wasn’t a total failure! I ended up enjoying it more as an Antarctica documentary of sorts, that happens to have a bunch of eccentric high school girls talking and playing around.

shovelling.png

In the end, it turns out this type of anime is pretty dependent on its characters. And they just didn’t pan out for me. It’s weird to say it like this, but they were too “high school girly”, to the point where they all seemed way too similar, using the same jokes and whatnot.

Also, a trip to Antarctica looks like a lot of fun! I sort of miss the cold already, and it’s only July.

Until next time!
Thanks for reading.

14 thoughts on “4 High School Girls Visit Antarctica

  1. First time I read a less that gushing review about this show…Granted I read them from bloggers that tend to love this exact type of show. Still it’s nice to see a different viewpoint

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think it’s explicitly intended to be a comedy, but slice of life anime generally rely pretty heavily on comedy so I think it’s fair to judge Sora Yori on this.
      On the plus side, if you really like high school girls you’ll probably love this one!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Woah woah woah.
        I’m feeling challenged as a guy now…
        I’m barely out of high school, so it would be really unhealthy to say that I’m not interested in them! (junior+, of course)
        Slice of life is just really hit or miss for me!

        Like

  2. WeeaBroDerek

    Ima let you finish, but A Place Further Than the Universe is prolly the second best overall series I’ve seen this year!

    Having said that, I totally get what you mean about possibly having the series diminished by preconceived expectations. Death Note was weakened for me by outside expectations. Your Lie in April was weakened for me by pre-existing expectations. I try so dang hard to evaluate each series as it is, and by what I feel it’s trying to accomplish. It’s very difficult, though, because sometimes a large part of what makes you watch a series in the first place is what other people are saying about it.

    Still looking forward to your thoughts on Made in Abyss tho haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah like I can understand why people like Sora Yori at least. I would have enjoyed it a lot if I liked the characters more than I did.

      Expectations are quite the double edged sword! The best though are those moments where you go into an anime and it somehow exceeds your high expectations. FMA:B did that for me, I avoided it for the longest time thinking it was just an overhyped shounen. Couldn’t have been more wrong.

      Made In Abyss coming to a blog near you very soon! It will be the next anime I watch, before I go back and tackle the Madoka movies.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It sounds like a really intriguing slice of life show to watch. I’m kinda a sucker for the ones that don’t take place in a high school of any sort, plus Madhouse is one of my favorite studios, so looks like this ones a keeper.

    Great review btw!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Sunday Blog Post | Umai Yomu Anime Blog

  5. Pingback: Kobayashi-san Chi no Maid Dragon Review (Spoiler Free) | Umai Yomu Anime Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s