A Place Further Than the Universe - Episode 1 Review
Episode one of A Place Further Than The Universe gives us a good glimpse at its bizarre and casual sense of humor, and it builds up character aspirations quite well, even though the drama can be cheesy.
The series starts off through the eyes of high school sophomore, Mari Tamaki. Mari is tired of doing nothing with her life, so she claims she wants to go on an adventure. However, when she has the chance, she's too afraid of what might go wrong. Through less than normal means, she meets a fellow student, Shirase Kobuchizawa, who is planning to travel to Antarctica to search for her lost mother. No matter how much Shirase is discouraged to go by teachers and classmates, she never gives up her dream. Mari is genuinely inspired by Shirase's resolve as she has never had the courage to do anything herself, quickly deciding that they would travel together.
The show starts with rather cheesy opening lines, music, and cinematography meant to foreshadow coming events. It gives us a solid glimpse of Mari's uninspired and lazy personality, as her room is unclean and her sister has to force her to wake her up every morning. However, when she learns of Shirase's resolve to travel to Antarctica, Mari's sister walks in one day to see a clean room along with her sister missing, having left to go on an adventure. This was a good way to show us how much Shirase changed Mari, as if her old personality was cast aside for the sake of this journey.
The show also has a casual sense of humor, allowing simple everyday moments to make us laugh. However, even though the contents of the conversations and jokes are simple, the execution is hilariously bizarre. It'll exaggerate sadness, anger, and happiness in an attempt to make us laugh. There's one scene where Shirase is upset that she lost a large sum of money, and the facial expression she makes along with the way the tears roll down her face is comical.
One thing that makes the show stand out so far is the gorgeous animation. Even though the art style is rather simple and cute, the fluid animation and the incredible amount of detail that went into the backgrounds is wonderful.
I'm not particularly a fan of the cheesiness so far, as these moments occur quite a bit. The use of blurring shots for the sake of dramatic effect along with making wind blow through hair whenever someone says something important is annoying. Not only that, but the dialogue during these moments don't really warrant the effects they put on. It seems quite out of place.
Also, the soundtrack can be obnoxious during casual moments, as it feels like random noises are being played for the sake of comedic enhancement. The soundtrack played during serious moments feels adventurous, but it's frivolously used when anything serious happens. For it to be played to full effect, we would need to see something or learn something magical. Instead, it's overused and misplaced.
Overall, the first episode of A Place Further Than The Universe was a solid and fun watch. I have many expectations for it, and I'm excited to see where the series brings itself.
|Gorgeous Animation||Quite Cheesy|
|Casual Humor||Misused Soundtrack|
|Solid Adventure Setup|