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Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho – 05 »« Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho – 03

Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho – 04

「四匹のイモムシ」 (Shikiki no Imomushi)
“Four Caterpillars”

Time to learn, and to train.

This episode hews perhaps more closely to what many viewers originally expected of Yorimoi; it comes the closest to cute girls doing cute things, with a solid dose of explaining a hobby/job that most people don’t know a lot about ala Yama no Susume. What separates it from those shows is that the point of the episode still wasn’t any of the information about Antarctica, though that was cool. They weren’t educating each other in order to educate us. They were just learning, and training, because they need to know these things to survive and prosper in Antarctica. The characters still come first.

I did get a kick out of Kimari’s interactions with her mom, who is scary and has good reason to be mad. I understand why Kimari didn’t tell her originally, but she waited a bit long! And I got a hearty chuckle at her father, who knew better than to get in the way when the bad cop of their parenting relationship is doing her work. Wise man.

Surprisingly though, the relationship that has my interest the most piqued was that between Kimari and Braid-chan. I have a feeling Braid-chan is going to be trouble soon, even going so far as to become a minor antagonist, or at least a trial Kimari will have to get past. I don’t think she will mean Kimari any ill; I think she cares for her friend, and only wants what’s best for her. But Kimari’s sudden ambition and drive functions as an indictment of Braid-chan’s—I should probably start using her name, Megumi-chan’s—own life choices, and if she feels she’s falling behind or somehow becoming lesser compared to her goofy friend, she might turn to where so many people go in these cases: sabotage.

Make no mistake. She will mean no malice. Friends and family who caution you to do less, not try so hard, and take the safe path still do want the best for you. But they’re sabotaging you all the same. I can’t tell you how many people have told me I shouldn’t do what I intended to do—whether it be write books or take certain jobs or anything in between—because it’s the riskier path. Sometimes it’s blown up in my face. But mostly I’m happy I’ve done it, because Megumi is incorrect when she says, “If you work too hard and it doesn’t go through, you’re really going to regret it.” False. That’ll suck, but it’s not trying that leads to regret.

Enough with my predictions. The other big relationship drama—by which I do not mean melodrama, it was understated and well done, as most things in this series are—was between Shirase and Toudou Gin (Noto Mamiko), Antarctic Expedition Captain and high school friend of Shirase’s mom. That it was all told with Shirase’s face and the two never actually discussed the complex relationship between them—but it still had a resolution, through Kimari’s actions and Shirase’s smile—shows a deft hand. It’s not often that writers are confident enough to leave things unsaid, and let their characters be passive. The confrontation is avoided not just because Shirase doesn’t know how to act around the captain, but also because confrontation wouldn’t help. It was well done.

I also like that Kimari is noted as having the kind of personality that will thrive in Antarctica. I don’t know why—maybe it’s because she keeps being a bit baka but never slides down into annoying—but I like that someone as straightforward as her is well-suited for such a difficult task. Maybe because that’s just how I’d like the world to work.

I do hope we don’t spend too much time training, though. Some of it ought to be shown so the story works, but it isn’t the most interesting part of the story. Hopefully we’ll be on the boat to Antarctica before long.

Random thoughts:

  • It’s all right to use petty emotions (“In your face!” “Shut up, idiots!”) if they spur you on to be better, live better, or do something amazing. Not all anger is bad.
  • “Please shut talking now.” Lawl! I was confused for a second there, but the dialogue is just so good. No worries Yuzuki-chan, I’ve had that happen to me too. And the seiyuu are still great!
  • More shows should use an insert song for the ending of every episode. I love it. It’s delightful every single time.

My SECOND novel, Freelance Heroics, is available now! (Now in print!) (Also available: Firesign #1 Wage Slave Rebellion.) Sign up for my email list for updates. At stephenwgee.com, the latest post: The Last Jedi SUPER SPOILERY Review.

January 23, 2018 at 10:24 pm
28 comments »
  • January 24, 2018 at 3:23 amdanny

    Megumi’s warning struck exactly the wrong note for me as well. Even if you try hard and fail, you still gained experience and made some sort of progress in some way. That’s stuff you NEVER earn by doing nothing or by taking the ‘safe’ route and it’s really important stuff to gain for future successes. Megumi seems like the type who over-values how she thinks she compares to others.

    I think Kimari is a good personality for such a journey because she’s relentlessly positive and will find some fun and lightness even if a difficult situation. I’m not sure “goofy” is a good term since it implies incompetence to me. I think she’s both competent and silly but I can’t think of a good english term which permits both. If we go back to the chase scene in the 2nd episode, she was absolutely delighted by it while everyone else involved seemed to be so serious. It didn’t detract from her ability to not get caught and she didn’t impede the chased in any way. She kept her head on pretty straight even while enjoying it.
    If she can maintain that ability to find the delight, fun, or optimism even when a situation becomes difficult, serious, or even dire, she’ll be able to keep herself from becoming emotionally trapped and will hopefully be able to inspire the other girls too. Shirase has admirable determination when she has a goal but she also strikes me as being the most in need of frequent emotional lifts. Their relationship will be pretty important because Kimari is probably someone who can moderate Shirase’s more extreme moods.

    I appreciate this show for more positive and mature sensibilities without the sort of excessive sugar-coating or cheerleading which ‘optimistic you-can’ type shows often suffer from. Nothing too saccharine or painfully obvious here.

    • January 24, 2018 at 5:00 amAex

      I except that Megumi and Kimari will soon have a heart-to-heart about how somewhere, deep down, Megumi valued Kimari as “the lesser one” in their friendship without even realizing it, the friend that made her feel better because as little as Megumi was doing, Kimari was doing even less and would follow her advice, so seeing Kimari step out of that role really shook her. It’ll end on a positive note before the girls leave, of course, but we can really see now that that’s a conversation these two need to have.

      • January 24, 2018 at 5:01 amAex

        expect*

        I expect! >.<

    • January 24, 2018 at 10:23 amStilts

      @danny

      I don’t mean goofy as to be incompetence, though your way of explaining it is better. There’s no particular word; just throw a bunch at the problem and you’ll get there. Which you did :D

      @Aex

      I suspect you’re exactly right. And we’ll probably see that soon rather than later—though the lack of previews leaves us wondering exactly where. Which I love!

  • January 24, 2018 at 3:54 amJeffers

    One proof that a anime is very good is that you are pulled into the story. This anime managed to do that. Seriously if this will not be the anime of this season, i will call this a hidden gem, a sleeper, whatever you call it but surely this anime is among the best for this season together with the healing anime yuru camp

  • January 24, 2018 at 4:52 amAex

    I really hope Megumi’s doubt/jealousy doesn’t become too much of a thing. It’s been fine so far with just snipets of doubt all over the place, but if it goes beyond one or two emotional explosions I’ll be upset. It’ll work to serve as showing Kimari a vehement doubter at a point-blank range(something she isn’t used to), and sure Kimari’ll be upset/hurt, but after her moment with Gin on top of the rock and realizing that this is her journey now, too, it really wouldn’t fit for her to start having serious doubts because her friend yelled it was wrong.

    • January 24, 2018 at 10:44 amStilts

      I’d tend to agree, though I trust this team enough to let them take me wherever they wanna go. I have a feeling it’ll be more about Megumi learning a lesson, as opposed to Kimari experiencing significant doubt. There’ll be doubt, but she’s already full steam ahead. This is a story about going on a journey, and doubters—even ones close to you—are an unfortunately big part of most journeys. I’d warrant it’ll be Megumi that undergoes the biggest change from this subplot, not Kimari.

  • January 24, 2018 at 7:54 amMcL

    It appears that Mari will lose her bestfriend as a result of her going to Antarctica.

    • January 24, 2018 at 10:44 amStilts

      I don’t think so. I think they’ll become better friends—though not without some rocky times ahead. That’s part of friendship too.

    • January 26, 2018 at 1:08 pmAxe Armor

      Everyone’s expectations for the Megumi issue seem abnormally negative to me. “Lose a friend”? “Jealousy”? “Indictment”? Maybe I’m being thick, but I thought all we were going on here were one, maybe two scenes that linger on her being nonplussed just long enough to be portentous and the one line she gives to Kimari about failure and disappointment. Obviously she’s building up to something and it’s going to pivot on the philosophy in that advice, but until the next episode starts with a scene that implies that Megumi is simmering in loneliness, or disappointment over things not done, or some other deep struggle with her identity, I was just assuming it was going to be that obvious bush the show’s been beating around and which will probably be the last boss the girls will need to beat before embarking: “Kimari, all your scurrying about has been pretty funny, but realtalk, you’re going to die if you go to Antarctica, just like Shirase’s mother, who is dead, obviously”.

  • January 24, 2018 at 8:24 amVelvet Scarlantina

    I like where this is going.

  • January 24, 2018 at 11:17 amWanderer

    I just hope Mari and Megumi’s friendship isn’t broken as a result of all this. That would cast a pall over the generally positive tone of this series. And I hate to see friendships die.

  • January 24, 2018 at 11:23 amWorldwidedepp

    I am enjoying it.. Alone the “lively faces”. I like them. Please continue

    p.s. forget about my “test true friendship”. Their reaction when the “actress” just be her true self was Good. They like her how she really are, and not the Person she plays (actor…)

  • January 24, 2018 at 12:32 pmChoya

    I had to rewatch the scene where Kimari’s mom finds out about the Antarctica trip because the set-up and execution were hilarious. The pressure kept building up as her sister slowly made her leave, her mom’s composure is broken once she’s seen with the ladle, and her dad casually closes the door shut seconds after seeing Kimari trying to flee her angry mother.

    It is interesting that as funny and endearing as the characters are, there is still underlying tension within the story’s framework. Megumi looks like she’s slowly gaining resentment for Kimari’s quick progress in her friendship with Shirase and her snap decision to join her on a trip to Antarctica.

    And then, there’s Shirase’s side of the plot. Her lifelong journey to find her mom in the Antarctic is looking bleaker by the episode as the older adventurers feel at odds with how much they can say about her mom. Gin in particular is hesitant on really wanting them to be a part of their excursion in Antarctica. It feels like alot of hints are pointing towards something happening to her, and if that’s the case, something will definitely boil over on Shirase’s side.

  • January 24, 2018 at 3:22 pmewok40k

    that felt almost like YuruCamp episode…
    not that i am complaining
    some nice rivalry for beautiful sights

  • January 24, 2018 at 7:16 pmrenasayers

    For every episode that comes out Sora Yori mo Tooi Basho doesn’t disappoint, it would take a mother with a ladle to break up the bond all four girls have…oops.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2006.jpg

    This being said I always enjoy this Anime even more when I see Miyake Hinata get screen time. She is smart and hilarious for a girl who skip High School. Yes you can tell Hinata isn’t all looks no, she has a brain

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2004%20-%2008.jpg

    I am going to need to re-watch EP01, for the life of me I can’t remember exactly what lead to Shirase’s mother’s disappearance.

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2004%20-%2015.jpg

    • January 24, 2018 at 11:37 pmRedRocket

      I do not recall anything being said about her mom’s disappearance other than she disappeared during the mission in Antartica and was not found. Only other clue is a later brief memory by a team member of them calling out her name over and over certainly on a communication device during a storm.

      It is Antartica almost impossible for the mother to be alive. I would hate a mother found an abandoned base storyline with the base still having food supply that was still good with enough supplies to support her for years with no one knowing about the base to search it? Another bad storyline, mother fakes death with help of a team from another nation so that mother can dump her daughter and life in Japan. I am sure explorers in Antartica is a small world except for tourist trips that only reach the coast. So it is very hard to pull something over on the rest of the community and everyone would know a person went missing.

      • January 26, 2018 at 6:40 pmrenasayers

        So mommy dearest was put on this Earth to disappear when her daughter gets to High School. Well in that case Shirase should just give up on mom and go out enjoy herself. Get drunk, have a smoke, get laid like most teenagers these days.

  • January 24, 2018 at 11:26 pmRedRocket

    What I loved the most was the mother telling her daughter to take the bath salts to the bathroom. The daughter who hopes mom does not know yet picks up the bath salts which are Antartica branded and knows mom is on to her and mad. Mom was mad enough about her daughter trying to forge her permissions and sneak the trip with her that she decided to buy the bath salts just to rub in how nasty a surprise can be. I think most parents would get quite mad at child forging their signature and using their stamp for a trip to a dangerous place. I think Mom set up the whole thing with the cutting carrots as well, she wanted to inflict some fear. I loved the fake-out as she chopping with a knife and then gives chase to daughter to be only holding a ladle.
    Loved the sister bumping heads and Dad’s retreat. Love the whole horror movie feel of the scene that was not that bad because you know what type of show you’re watching. But you also remember being that age and in trouble and know that back then it could feel like a horror movie.

    This show has been a treat.

    • January 26, 2018 at 10:46 pmStilts

      Swiftly agreed to all of the above!

  • January 25, 2018 at 12:57 amSaburau

    When the four got picked up by the mini van in front of Tachikawa station, it really looked like To Aru Kagaku No Railgun, even though there’s no magic or ESP involved here, because many scenes of the To Aru franchise took place around that station.
    National Institute of Polar Research of Japan is located near that station so if the expedition project was real, its headquarter should be in that area.

    By the way you might remember Hinata’s saiyuu Iguchi Yuka is the one who did “Index” in the “To Aru” series.

  • January 25, 2018 at 1:02 amIncognito

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2005.jpg
    There goes the fourth wall… (Alas, poor camera…)

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2034.jpg
    “♫ I love the mountains… ♫”

    http://randomc.net/image/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho/Sora%20Yori%20mo%20Tooi%20Basho%20-%2004%20-%20Large%2029.jpg
    “♫ I love the clear blue skies… (I love big bridges, I love when Great Whites fly…) ♫”

    Sorry, I can’t help but reminisce about the good old shows from the Discovery Channel. That, and its catchy “The World Is Just Awesome” song just sounds so fitting for these kinds of scenes. (“♫ Boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada, boom de yada… ♫”)

    Anyway, enough digression. Part of me thought that with this being a training episode, the girls would approach the matter with a good amount of seriousness. But I guess there’s still a need for people with the personality of MariKimari (dang, you got me doing it)–and to a certain extent, Hinata–in order to figuratively break the otherwise monotonous and lonely atmosphere of working (or in the girls’ case, taking care of themselves) in the Antarctic.

    That and hopefully having a good Internet connection, as social media (like Twitter) also seems to play a supporting role in this story based on the episode title cards. How else will the girls tweet and post videos of their activities in the Antarctic?

    (P.S.: Has anyone managed to match the corresponding Twitter handles in today’s episode title card to each character?)

  • January 26, 2018 at 7:28 pmsealouse

    4th episode. Does this mean it’s getting covered?

    • January 26, 2018 at 9:05 pmStilts

      Schedule will be out in a couple days (I’m out of town, so it’s late), but spoiler alert: yes :)

      • January 27, 2018 at 2:01 amWorldwidedepp

        Great, thank you all of RandomC Team

      • January 27, 2018 at 6:28 amJeffers

        excellent choice for cover, randomc team. this anime is among the best for this season :D

  • January 30, 2018 at 12:29 pmWorldwidedepp

    Ep 05:

    I like how they solved the “problem” with our “since kindergarten actor”.. The girls know when she put her Actor mask up and be herself

    And she are helping her out when she are having “stage fright” panic attack. She is really an Pro and partner.. and on a very good way to become (perhaps already is) an friend

    The “matured” girl know so much.. is she really only 16?

    Also true friendship was tested.. but in an other way i was expecting

    did i mention i like this show? the way the act on screen and the voice actors inside our “ears”? the siblings Video and Audio create an perfect harmony inside my mind and burn deep

    i like it, please continue.. but i could write this on every episode.. keep the good work

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