I’ve got the girls of A Place Further than the Universe running across the banner of this dinky little blog. Funny, then, how I haven’t written a single word on the series until now, despite having first started this blog a whole half a year ago. I just can’t bring myself to write about what has fast become my favourite anime – no, favourite show – of all time. A Place Further than the Universe is the series I can definitively say changed my life forever, and I will reserve only the best, most well-crafted, most passionate words on it for another time.
That said, I can’t not talk about it. It’d be a disservice to my personal feelings and to one of the best anime of all time if I didn’t shove my praises for it down everyone’s ears and eyes at every opportunity. My Music in Anime segment is much quicker and easier to write than my usual reviews and thought pieces, so I thought I’d start here.
Sora wo Magiete. Looking up at the Universe.
We first hear this song at the end of the second episode. The music starts as Kimari, Shirase and Hinata are chased through the alleys of Kabukicho as they take their first steps toward distant Antarctica. As the song builds the lyrics come to life, detailing their future travails toward that distant place – as well as the feelings of youthful adventure and defiance, trepidation and trust that swell in their chests, bursting forth like water as they themselves burst forth out of their boring, stagnant lives. Kimari sums up this feeling as she and Shirase flee down a cramped alley, laughter building at the tip of her tongue.
“I was just thinking,” she says. “This is pretty fun!”
“Fun?” asks Shirase.
“Yeah. It’s like… motion! I feel like my youth is in motion!”
A Place Further than the Universe features what I personally consider to be the absolute best insert songs in anime, making use of them to bookend each episode in an emotional crescendo that is perfect each time. My one, single complaint with this entire series is that there weren’t enough original insert songs, but that really is just a testament to the sheer unmatched quality of these songs. Of them, Sora wo Miagete best captures the very essence of the show as it was presented from the very first few seconds of the prologue, right before the opening played for the very first night.
“Water collects in stagnant pools,” monologues Kimari. “I’ve always loved watching it spill out all at once. Breaking free, liberated, rushing out. The energy stored up during its stagnation bursts forth. Everything springs into action!”
A Place Further than the Universe is available on Netflix. I think I’ve made it pretty clear just how much I love this series, so I really can’t not recommend it. A personal plug, but I’m halfway through writing a novel that draws quite heavily from this series, at least thematically. If any of you are interested in reading it, let me know, but more importantly – watch A Place Further than the Universe. Let the emotions rush forward and change your life forever, as it did mine.