A Place Further then the Universe Review

89879Story:
Kimari yearns to accomplish something big in her high school years. When she runs into Shirase, a girl dedicated to making it to Antarctica, the last place her mother was before her death, she may have gotten into something bigger than she expected or can handle.

Violence:
One character dies off screen. We never see anything violent in nature, but very young viewers might get scared during some of the flashbacks. It’s a serious concept that never leaves the show and is brought up more than once.

Language:
Sh-t and d-mn are the worst this show gets, though it keeps to the lighter side.

Nudity:
Considering the all female cast, I would have expected the usual unnecessary fanservice, but we are spared any of that, which is awesome.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from a few scenes showing an alter where Shirase’s mother’s photo is, religion really doesn’t come into play here.

Personal impression:
I came back from my hiatus for this show. Because it’s amazing. Really, really amazing and I did NOT see that coming considering what a train wreck the story summery is on Crunchyroll. But here we are, with me pretty much all set to call this show anime of the year for 2018. It might be a bit early, but every other show this year is going to have to work insanely hard to beat this title.
But enough of that. What exactly made this show great? First and foremost is the script. The dialog alone let me know in episode one that this show had some serious promise. It wasn’t stiff or contrived, but conversations flowed in a logical manor. It was dialog that made sense and felt natural at all times, a hard find in anime these days. Then the plot. It was character based, focused on character’s individual motivations for going to Antarctica first rather then just getting there to get there. And their motivations made sense. Again, no forced reasons. Each character comes to their conclusions in a surprisingly reasonable manor and not only are those reasons easy to follow, but they are also easy to sympathize with. Show-don’t-tell is used frequently as well, which means even if a character doesn’t spell something out, you can often read both their personality and motives clearly int heir actions and expressions.
Which brings me to the cinematography, which is breathtaking. From camera angles to how scenes are cut and edited, this show really out does itself. The paring with the soundtrack is nearly seamless as well, punching you in the feels over and over.
And last, but never least: this story has a conclusion. The lead characters grow to where they want and need to be, even if what they needed wasn’t something they thought they wanted at first. It’s an incredibly fulfilling end to such an emotional show and it leaves you with a bright feeling of triumph as well.
There are cons though. Primarily in the strength itself. This show will make you cry. A lot. If you aren’t ready for your heart to be destroyed over and over, this isn’t for you. Granted, it’s a good cry. A healing one. Not sad things for the sake of being sad. Stuff moves forward, characters grow. Still, it’s an emotional roller coaster so it’s something you need to be in the mood for.
In conclusion: this show is one of the best I’ve seen in a very long time and is defiantly the show to beat this year. I look forward to seeing some shows make the attempt. At the very least, I hope more directors learn from how this show used movement and angles to add to the story and solidify it as real, despite the extreme journey the girls were taking on. Because while I love how out-of-the-box anime often is, having a world and characters that feel real goes a long way towards pushing a show from good to great. And when you have a character driven story to boot? It’s pretty much a recipe for perfection.

Personal rating: 10+

Episodes: 13
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Adventure, drama, literary fiction
Studio: Madhouse
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: crunchyroll

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Classroom of the Elite Review

classroom-of-the-eliteStory:
Kiyotaka Ayanokoji enrolls in a top school and ends up in class 1-D, the lowest level of all the classes. The school works on a rewards system connected to how much work one puts into both their school work and social standing. In order to reach the top of the school, his class must accumulate an insane amount of points. But that’s difficult when the class at large is so disjointed…

Violence:
There a decent amount of punching and bruising and such going down as one of the classes is extremely physically violent. The blood is kept to a minimum and overall it’s tame for TV14.

Language:
Often only sh-ts and d-mns, but a few rare b-words pop up. Overall, this is another tame section.

Nudity:
This is one of those shows with little issue dragging fanservice around for no good reason at all. Large chested characters and bouncy boobs are here. It’s not as bad as a few other titles, but it’s very much there and a big contributor to my YA rating.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from some mythology stories discussed here and there, God and the supernatural really don’t apply. We actually don’t see much of traditional shrines and such either. So overall, this section is pretty bare.

Personal impression:
This show started out very boring to me, but actually got better by the end. Generally speaking, that is. The art and music are pretty standard stuff and I can’t say the directing was spectacular either, but the characters and plot were decent enough, even if their motivations are a bit too vague for much of the show (the lead male’s motivation turns into a plot point at the end, so I’ll give that one a pass).
This show’s biggest issue? Not enough time/ability to really come to love the leads. They remain pretty stoic and distant for much of the show and even when some things progress and get revealed at the end, it feels like little actually changes.
If you’re sick of highly emotional leads, this might be a refreshing experience for you. But if you want to deeply care for your hero? This show isn’t the type to invoke that kind of emotion.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Drama
Company: Kadokawa Pictures
Production: Lerche
Official streaming: Crunchyroll

Hinako Note Review

hinakoStory:
Girl who has a hard time interacting with others moves to a big city to become an actress and ends up living in a strange dorm with strange girls and maybe comedy comes from this but mostly it’s just an excuse to tick off all the moe boxes anime seems to demand these days.

Violence:
Slap stick only over here. If you see blood, it’s only for comedy and never graphic.

Language:
Maybe some sh-ts here or there, but rarely and overall this sector is pretty clean.

Nudity:
This is where it goes downhill from a nearly All Ages rating and lands squarely in the YA sector. Most of the time this show’s art keeps the characters in either chibi form or a very generic style prime to be more cute than sexy. However, randomly, and at least once but often more per episode, the art swings right into heavy ecchi territory (if you aren’t familiar with that term, it’s essentially “soft porn”). We don’t see bare details, but it’s obviously sexual and yes it will give you genre whiplash.

Theology/mythology:
Aside from some usual shenanigans concerning school ghost rumors and going to shrines, not much here. No discussions or deep theories on life. This show is shallow and does nothing to hide that.

Personal impression:
I played this show whenever I was doing the dishes. That probably tells you everything you need to know, but I’ll elaborate a tad just in case.
This show isn’t horrid. It has a few chuckle worthy moments here and there. But generally it’s boring. The characters are all stereotypes watered down to keep them as moe as possible at all times. No true conflict ever occurs. No character development ever occurs (the show’s lead even admits that in the final episodes).
This is a filler show. It does nothing well, but also isn’t insulting enough to warrant a drop from the get go. Unless, ya know, you’re bored. And you probably are.
The art and voices aren’t jarring though, so it’s decent background. Especially as you can trust nothing will really change in the moments you have to change the drain or put a cup away and miss a few minutes as a result. Nope. There will be no change.
This is a show I’m sure moe addicts would love, but for the rest of us, background noise is about all I’d recommend this one for.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 12
Languages: sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre: Slice of life, comedy
Company: Passione
Production: Kadokawa Pictures
Official streaming: Crunchyroll