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Quite possibly my favorite series that aired in 2018, Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho is a tale of adventure to one of the most desolate places on Earth. I’m not going to lie. Part of the reason I stalled this review is that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to write a good one.
The story follows Mari Tamaki, a girl with dreams of seeing the world who realizes that she’s spent the majority of her high school life without any progress on those aspiration. However, she’s given her chance when she meets Shirase Kobuchizawa, a girl determined to visit Antarctica.
Shirase is driven by the disappearance of her mother, who was lost on her own expedition to Antarctica. Desperate to understand her mother’s passion, Shirase is willing to go to any length to go to Antarctica herself. Inspired by her, Mari decides to help her and join her on her trip.
To be fair, this series was bound to appeal to me, as my family is one that travels fairly often. As a result, I’m the type of person who enjoys going out to see the world. That being said, I did find myself identifying heavily with Mari, the character with the most fear when it comes to travelling.
And that’s because I’ve found that I can be similarly hesitant to travel on my own. Despite having been to plenty of places in the past, I can understand her ability to talk herself out of her plans when the slightest thing goes wrong. I am pretty indecisive, after all.
As you may expect, Antarctica isn’t exactly the safest place in the world, so Shirase and Mari face a heavy amount of opposition for their proposed trip. The series itself is largely a story of overcoming that adversity in order to reach their dream. The two are eventually joined by two other girls, and it’s a lot of fun to watch them working together, especially since they all come from very different worlds.
From a technical standpoint, I appreciated how much effort went into visuals in this series. From the vast landscapes in various locations to just general scene layout, it was enough that even I could notice. The screenshot above is one of my favorite moments. It shows Mari after having just picked up a million yen standing in front of an advertisement for winning a million yen. It’s a great visual joke.
While the major plot points in this series tend to have a harsh reality to them, the series is pretty lighthearted overall. I also really liked the emotional aspect of the ending, but I won’t go too much into that. If you’re not into cute girls doing cute things, I can understand, but I think this series has enough going for it to warrant a shot nonetheless.